keywords: The Lost Art Of Sleep

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 September 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

  • The insights of Pope Francis in shaping Catholic health and aged care

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 August 2015

    When addressing Italian doctors last November, Pope Francis quoted St. Camillus de Lellis who suggested that the most effective method in caring for the sick was simply to 'Put more heart into those hands.' Let's do something to change the market settings and political settings here in Australia to modify the behaviour of all Australians in the future, and let's attend to our own Franciscan interior ecological conversion with our care for the vulnerable.


    The gloriously flawed humanity of our federal politics

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 August 2015

    Recent weeks' events in federal politics stretch the imagination. The search for historical parallels brought me to the start of the Burke and Wills Expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria, the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, and the race that saw Fine Cotton unravel. Each of these events was characteristically Australian. In Les Murray’s memorable phrase, they all had sprawl: the mingling of excess, overweening self-confidence, and the cutting of corners. 


    Maintaining the rage beyond the golden rhythm of youth

    • Ellena Savage
    • 14 August 2015

    A friend recently died at 25. She was heavily involved in our political and literary communities, and I saw in her the very best of rage and rawness in politics. But I also saw how possessing such a sense of obligation to raw, honest, and emotionally-engaged political exploration, is exhausting. Of course it is. Popular wisdom has it that as you age, you get more 'realistic' about political matters. But that's not it.


    Artefacts of grace

    • Rory Harris
    • 30 June 2015

    The fabric over your bed, a life of quilts made simple & held up ... of more than ninety years, taught generation to generation.

  • Meddling priest's witness to the primacy of conscience

    • Paul Bongiorno
    • 09 June 2015

    'In discussing Australia's asylum seeker policies Frank laments the government's deaf ear to calls from the churches, his own included, for a greater measure of compassion and a better way of dealing with the issue of boat people. Frank wryly comments: 'If only the Abbott Government with its disproportionate number of Jesuit alumni cabinet ministers could listen.' Paul Bongiorno launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra, 8 June 2015.

  • Reclaiming faith from the props of belief

    • David Tacey
    • 05 June 2015

    'We were told to 'believe' that God could perform miracles, but this was a false lead in terms of what we now know about sacred discourse in the holy lands. This literalism was used against other religions to prove the supremacy of Christianity, but ironically it is what turned the majority of Europeans and Australians off religion as education has swept through Western nations in recent times.' David Tacey reflects on faith and belief. Andrew Hamilton replies.


    Another casualty of the mucus wars

    • Megan Graham
    • 29 April 2015

    Public transport is a likely site for an ambush. Not only are passengers attacked at a time when their surroundings encourage a diminished will to live, they are also crammed intimately into a small space, allowing broad-scale invasion that goes initially unnoticed. There is always one way to ensure victory. Sir Alexander Fleming discovered the nuclear bomb of the bacteria world — an antibiotic to obliterate all players, good and bad. No defence, no attack. Annihilation back to square one.


    The ignorant courage of the anti-vaxxers

    • Jen Vuk
    • 27 April 2015

    When my friend Lena told me she wouldn’t be vaccinating her newborn son Sammy, I admit I was fascinated but not surprised. Lena was always going to do motherhood her way. There are many like her who decided with a clear vision and level-head. But I can no longer accept these decisions. Since having my own precious boys, my world view has shifted and I am less ignorant.


    The spirit of Eureka at Gallipoli

    • Peter Lalor Philp
    • 22 April 2015

    On the first morning of the Gallipoli landing, the 12th Battalion was fighting its way up the steep slopes from the beach below. Reaching the top of the cliff, the Australians discovered their commanding officer Colonel L.F. Clark was dead. Captain Joseph Peter Lalor – the 31 year old grandson of Peter Lalor of Eureka Stockade fame – then took command, but by noon he was also dead.


    The General of the poor and the Iron Lady of industry

    • Barry Gittins
    • 01 April 2015

    Former Australian Salvation Army world leader General Eva Burrows, who died on 20 March, tried in vain to engage the former British PM in making the preferential option for the poor. ‘Margaret Thatcher was a disappointment,’ the General said. ‘I felt she didn’t have a deep, true feeling for the poor. I invited her to come out on the soup run indirectly and said it wouldn’t be a media event, we’d go incognito, but the answer was no.’


    The dark side of a migrant's American Dream

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 March 2015

    Abel's life is pointedly contrasted with Peter's, a young truck driver who has been the victim of several violent assaults on the job. Peter idolises Abel, for whom the Dream has apparently come true — if Abel can make it, so too can Peter. The problem is that Abel's Dream stands on the backs of ordinary workers like Peter. Peter is a tragic antihero coming to learn that for many, the Dream will remain just that.



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