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  • AUSTRALIA

    Insights from Cardinal Newman on Religious Discrimination and Religious Freedom

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 February 2022
    1 Comment

    In recent days, if you were to listen to the media reports, you could be forgiven for thinking that religious educators want to retain a right to exclude children or teachers from their schools on the basis of their gender or sexual orientation.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Or nothing should be further from the truth. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    The rise of the machines

    • David James
    • 31 January 2022
    5 Comments

    There is a great deal of commentary about the growing importance of artificial intelligence, or AI, especially in business circles. To some extent this is a self-fulfilling prophecy — if people think something will have a seminal effect then it probably will. But if the supposed commercial benefits are significant, the dangers are potentially enormous.

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  • RELIGION

    What now for senior clergy who covered up abuse?

    • Miles Pattenden
    • 27 January 2022
    23 Comments

    Many Catholics will have found the news from Germany this past week painful. A law firm, Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, has presented findings in its investigation into historic sexual abuse in the Munich archdiocese. Running to 1,000 pages, the report is shocking: it lists at least 497 victims for the period 1945–2019 and identifies 235 probable offenders including 173 priests and nine deacons.

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  • RELIGION

    When Pope Francis comes of age

    • Miles Pattenden
    • 16 December 2021
    4 Comments

    Pope Francis turns eighty-five this week. His pontificate has seen him emerge from obscurity in Argentine Church politics to become, late in life, a global cultural icon and one of the most popular popes in living memory. Over the past nine years he has invigorated the Church and, according to papal biographer Austen Ivereigh, has made the papacy ‘much more human, much more accessible, much less remote’.

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  • ECONOMICS

    The battle for the future of money

    • David James
    • 07 September 2021
    4 Comments

    There is a three-way battle looming over the future of money and the stakes could scarcely be higher. Conventional money, mainly debt created by banks — the ‘folding stuff’ is only a tiny proportion of the total — is in trouble. Total global debt is now so large relative to the world economy it cannot be serviced, which is why monetary authorities have resorted to dropping interest rates. When they almost hit zero, the next step was quantitative easing (QE): printing money by getting the central bank to buy back government and corporate bonds and putting them on its ‘balance sheet’. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    L’Allegria: Seven translations of Ungaretti

    • Wally Swist
    • 30 August 2021
    1 Comment

    Stopped at two stones, I languish beneath this vault tarnished with heaven. The tangle of these paths are in possession of my blindness. Nothing is more squalid than my monotony.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unmarked graves in Canada raise questions about Australia’s stolen children

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 12 August 2021
    9 Comments

    Across the Pacific Ocean, in Canada or ‘Turtle Island’ as it is also known by many of its Indigenous inhabitants, a horror has been unfolding. It started at a the former residential school in Kamloops, British Colombia where, via the use of ground penetrating radar technology, the remains of at least 215 Native Canadian children were found buried in mass unmarked gravesites. This school ran for 85 years, was part of compulsory government programs to forcibly assimilate these children, and was administered by the Catholic Church.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The High Court’s surrender to the Morrison-Dutton immigration detention regime

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 June 2021
    11 Comments

    Who’d have thought that during Refugee Week, Australia’s highest court would endorse the Parliament’s view that our non-refoulement obligations under the Refugee Convention and the Convention Against Torture were now an irrelevance.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Fragile fraternity a hundred years on from Black Friday

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 April 2021
    4 Comments

    The parallels with our own times of the events of Black Friday in 1921, with its movement from a time of heavy social spending and the flowering of social capital to a time of recovery, and the fateful choices that are made at such times, are evident. We await the results of the economic choices being made by government and their effects on community and solidarity.

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  • ECONOMICS

    When economic policy transcends political division

    • David James
    • 08 April 2021
    5 Comments

    It is one of the ironies of Australian political history that a policy that has profoundly benefited this country’s version of capitalism came, not from the right, but from the Labor party and unions. The mandating of superannuation payments in 1992 under the Keating government has profoundly changed Australia’s financial system.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Finding a new business model for big tech monopolies

    • David James
    • 09 March 2021
    5 Comments

    Social media companies are adopting a strategy that may go down in history as among the worst corporate mistakes ever. Google and Facebook are now monopolies and, like all monopolies, they no longer see their main interest as serving customers but rather to capture governments in order to protect their market dominance.

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  • ECONOMICS

    GameStopping the system

    • David James
    • 09 February 2021
    5 Comments

    The controversy over the shares of US video game company GameStop has again exposed what has long been obvious: there is something seriously rotten in the state of the world’s financial markets. It was a battle between a hedge fund, Melvin Capital, which manages $US13 billion, and a small group of ‘amateur’ investors who communicated with each other on a Reddit forum called WallStreetBets.

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