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April 17, 2014
Whether you believe the Easter story or not, in a world of 'total work' the tale is otherworldly enough to disturb our notions of work and rest.
Religion & Spirituality - Justine Toh - 10 comments
 
I was one of those weirdo Christians who got arrested in Julie Bishop's office yesterday.
Law & Liberties - Laura Vertigan - 55 comments
 
Some people choose to do things that they are not necessarily the best at, and then convince governments to protect them. Trade agreements are aimed at unwinding this protection.
Economics - David Leyonhjelm - 7 comments
 
Day has an opportunity to shape FFP as the 'sensible' right of centre alternative for conservative voters disillusioned with the Abbott Government.
Domestic Politics - Haydon Manning - 3 comments
 
This is the atmosphere that leads us up to 25 May presidential elections in Ukraine, which will be shaped by metamorphosing relations with Russia - and by energy.
International - Robert Bensh - 2 comments
 
However that may be, the views of Vanstone and Brandis suggest the spirit of Mill is still alive in the Liberal party, and not wholly confined to the world of business, property and entrepreneurs.
Law & Liberties - Max Atkinson - 7 comments
 

Featured Topic - April
Saving Australia

April Feature - Saving AustraliaSome estimates suggest the Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey needs to shave at least $70 Billion from expenditure to keep the budget under control. What would you cut, or is there an alternative growth solution? Submissions to
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Ambit Gambit - Our blog
Some budget thoughts from a literacy researcher

Ambit Gambit These are some thoughts from Valerie Yule, a regular OLO author. Hockey could cut * middle class welfare e.g. parental payments at the rate of usual income, even if high. All payments at the lowest rate. *negative gearing *payments for buyers of first housing as that only makes housing prices higher, and rewards the owners […]

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Generational pressure is building and could become the driver of future political action.
Society - Syd Hickman - 8 comments
 
Statements by PM Tony Abbott and some of his associates that the ABC is not barracking for the 'home team' and is 'un-Australian' presumably prepare the ground for funding and program cuts.
Media - Klaas Woldring - 41 comments
 
Is the Australian penal system following the USA's Supermax prison model in the way it punishes certain prisoners?
Law & Liberties - Anil Matoo - 6 comments
 
Kerry needs to come clean and put all the drafts of his framework agreement and the objections raised by Israel and the PLO into the public arena.
International - David Singer - 16 comments
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Government payments should be focused on the well-being of children and not on preferential treatment for career women.
Feature - Babette Francis - 20 comments
 
Two examples of how reactive short-term political thinking damages our long-term national interest emerged at the weekend.
Domestic Politics - John Harrison - 7 comments
 
If the ABC's business model is as flawed as it appears, how will it withstand an efficiency dividend?
Media - Barry Spinks - 11 comments
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Most of the Budget cost of these exemptions does not go to the groups they supposedly are meant to support. It is sprayed increasingly up the income scale.
Feature - Geoff Carmody - 8 comments
 
This begs the question why higher aged care expenditure is not on the agenda - as opposed to pension austerity.
Feature - Tristan Ewins - 25 comments
 
The internet has become a far too important political development and, despite what is being said, governments increasingly want to control internet governance.
Science & Technology - Paul Budde - 2 comments
 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Now that investors smell a rat, workers are being lined up to foot the bill via their superannuation. But what of the economics?
Economics - Karl Fitzgerald - 37 comments
 
The visits will grow in importance as the forlorn memory of the joint effort to democratise Afghanistan recedes.
International - Peter Coates - 22 comments
 
It seems to me that the IPCC may well be coming to the view that if it is to survive, it will have to have more than the mitigation arrow in its quiver.
Environment - Don Aitkin - 95 comments
 
The main beneficiaries of the HELP deceased estate write-off are likely to be the adult children of HELP debtors.
Education - Andrew Norton - 3 comments
 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The prime minister is concentrating on growth at the G20, but without equity, growth will lag.
Economics - Raffaele Piccolo - 10 comments
 
There is one significant attribute wanting from this analysis of required qualities and skills and that is moral courage – moral fibre.
International - Bruce Haigh - 28 comments
 
Putin claimed that since the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq the US had lacked moral authority, while the EU would be unable to manage another financial crisis.
International - Arash Falasiri - 4 comments
 
Social media and other forms of digital communication provide major portals through which we establish new tribes.
Science & Technology - Mal Fletcher
 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

But at what point should the special treatment of race pass? Australia has been among the most successful and cohesive multicultural societies for several decades.
Law & Liberties - Tanveer Ahmed - 17 comments
 
Minutes later came the unforgiving sound of peeling metal followed by a surge of over one million litres of highly acidic uranium slurry from the buckled and broken number one leach tank.
Environment - Dave Sweeney - 9 comments
 
With good reason, former Prime Minister Paul Keating has condemned the planned changes as outrageous.
Environment - Peter West - 11 comments
 
Such a theology would abandon any idea that the thinking individual may come to clear and certain truths by means of his own reason. Descartes' promise has turned out to be absurd.
Religion & Spirituality - Peter Sellick - 39 comments
 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

To be fair, useful work is being done in some countries to tighten nuclear security. But it's too little and too slow, and the concept of nuclear security is too narrowly defined.
Environment - Jim Green - 3 comments
 
Have we stalled in a morass of information that is so vast that we no longer have the means to examine Information to make sound decisions?
Society - Barry Spinks - 5 comments
 
It is not enough for us to point at politicians - for we all have responsibility for the sort of society in which we live. By our silence we are complicit.
Law & Liberties - John Töns - 20 comments
 
Redrawing Jordan’s international boundary with Israel to restore the status quo existing before the outbreak of the 1967 Six Day War provides a realistically achievable alternative to the doomed Israel-PLO negotiations.
International - David Singer - 12 comments
 

Monday, April 7, 2014

My reply to him after reading the story was: 'Al Shabaab would probably demand the girl be killed as she now carries an infidel’s organ in her body.'
International - Bashir Goth - 5 comments
 
Youth wages acknowledge age can be a relatively good proxy for gaining workforce skills and experience, discipline, maturity and attitude.
Economics - Alex Philipatos - 9 comments
 
CSW debated a resolution recognising seven genders. This was unlikely to be adopted by the Australian Parliament, but it gave the impetus for the Australian Human Rights Commission to acknowledge 23 genders and Facebook is up to 50.
Political Philosophy - Babette Francis - 10 comments
 
The ancient Egyptians used medical cannabis extensively four thousand years ago, and the diuretic, antiemetic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic effects of cannabis were well known in medieval medicine.
Health - David Leyonhjelm - 34 comments
 
There are signs, however, that the Gandhi magic is fading. For a start Rahul does not have the love of the political rough and tumble that characterised his ancestors.
International - Graham Cooke - 1 comment
 

Friday, April 4, 2014

There are sound reasons to support greater school autonomy given that principals and local school communities are better placed to encourage value for money.
Education - Chris Lewis - 7 comments
 
The amendments made provision for the alteration (on request) of the Births' Register to record a change of sex, where a person has undergone a sex affirmation procedure.
Law & Liberties - Brendan O'Reilly - 16 comments
 
From forests in Queens to wetlands in China, planners and scientists are promoting a new approach that incorporates experiments into landscape restoration projects to determine what works to the long-term benefit of nature and what does not.
Environment - Richard Conniff - 2 comments
 
Right now, the pipeline system is nothing but a conduit for Russian gas into Europe. It could be much more.
International - Robert Bensh - 24 comments
 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Downplaying the principal source of forestry knowledge and selective use of 'experts' fans perceptions of the ABC's Green-Left agenda.
Environment - Mark Poynter - 24 comments
 
Abe has vowed to push for a wholesale revision of the Japanese constitution to be enacted before the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
International - Tom Clifford - 6 comments
 
In New Delhi there are concerns about an unstable Afghanistan yet again turning into a springboard of destabilisation and terrorism, with direct impact on India's security.
International - Shanthie D'Souza - 4 comments
 
Numsa's actions can be seen as both a challenge to the neoliberal world order and a rallying cry for working class solidarity.
International - Benjamin Hale
 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

'...If our population grows to 35-40 million and climate change constrains food production, we can see years where we will import more food than we export...'
Environment - Kellie Tranter - 75 comments
 
Hollywood takes a Christian fable and turns it on its head as a warning to those who would manage creation.
The Arts - Anthony Cox - 23 comments
 
In this landmark publication, researcher and physician Dr Peter Gøtzsche traces the sorry history of deception, bribery and corruption that has allowed this extraordinary situation to develop.
Health - Tony Reid - 1 comment
 
Reports concentrated on claims there was no evidence of adverse health effects, neglecting to note '...the body of evidence...is small and poor quality'.
Environment - Max Rheese - 7 comments
 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

This was a treaty signed in 1928 by most of the nations of the world, including Australia, and by which the signatory nations pledged to renounce war as an official instrument of national policy and to use peaceful means to resolve disputes.
Law & Liberties - James Page - 5 comments
 
The provisions in the ILC’s Draft Bill, if legislated by the Australian Parliament, would place the Land Account above and beyond politics.
Indigenous Affairs - Dawn Casey - 7 comments
 
Of all the nations in the G20, Australia’s record in creating modern infrastructure is the least progressive and most inefficient.
Nation Building - Everald Compton - 9 comments
 
Israel defined the meaning of 'Jewish state' a long time ago, it is no tower of Babel affording cover to Palestinians.
International - David Singer
 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Republicanism-by-stealth has included removing the Queen’s picture from public buildings, replacing the title Queen’s Counsel with Senior Counsel, and eliminating references to the sovereign from the oath of office sworn by government ministers.
Law & Liberties - Jeremy Sammut - 31 comments
 
The Senate committee report Paying polluters to halt global warming? signifies only sound and fury, like most parliamentary theatre.
Environment - Don Aitkin - 39 comments
 
According to a survey conducted between 14 and 19 March, Poroshenko was polling with a significant lead of 24.9 per cent, leaving Klitschko and Tymoshenko battling it out for second place and Tihipko trailing slightly.
International - James Stafford - 3 comments
 
There is no doubt that those educators and policy makers, focused almost exclusively on test scores, have failed to recognize the diverse talents of students and in effect left many out of the education system.
Education - Xue Wang - 4 comments
 

Friday, March 28, 2014

These aircraft and ships are of course being used for humanitarian, soft power purposes, but as China is seen as a possible strategic problem their presence seems a little unreal.
International - Peter Coates - 45 comments
 
Population growth has the potential to get us things we cannot obtain in other ways: better cultural goods and a more productive, more entrepreneurial culture. A larger nation has more mouths, but also more minds.
Nation Building - Andrew Leigh - 54 comments
 
A striking feature of recent Cold War style confrontations between Russia and the United States is the frequency with which plainly political motives have been contested through the rubric of international law.
International - Malcolm Jorgensen - 9 comments
 
How does this debate and the ordinary, everyday values it draws on, relate to arguments which appeal to religious authority?
Religion & Spirituality - Max Atkinson - 179 comments
 
In 1929, an amateur prospector known as Harold Bell Lasseter claimed publicly to have discovered the reef at a remote location somewhere in the vast desert of central Australia.
The Arts - Simon Caterson
 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Today a young married woman, excited about being pregnant, can present to her doctor for her first prenatal appointment and be asked about whether she 'wants' the pregnancy as a matter of routine.
Health - Debbie Garratt - 46 comments
 
In the early 1980s, when Go Betweens songwriter Grant McLennan penned 'Cattle and Cane', south east Queensland had a population of around 1.5 million. Today it's around 3 million.
Nation Building - Ross Elliott - 2 comments
 
Could a bill of rights stem growing levels of community disenchantment with the standards and behaviour of Australian political leaders.
Law & Liberties - Bill Calcutt - 19 comments
 
US Secretary of State John Kerry has increased the possibility of renewed conflict in the Holy Land with some very confusing remarks this week refuting his earlier demand that the PLO recognize Israel as the Jewish State.
International - David Singer - 11 comments
 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Anything that leads Australians to give less is a tragedy. The inexcusable actions of a few dodgy organisations are being allowed to undermine the fantastic work undertaken every day by the huge majority of Australian charities.
Economics - Andrew Leigh - 4 comments
 
The new formula will also be directly applicable in the future: how will Australia rank after a full year of Coalition government? After three years? Beyond?
Economics - Alan Austin - 153 comments
 
More intriguing is the prospect that the more or less severing of relations between Russia and Europe will accelerate a Russian pivot towards China.
International - Nicholas Cunningham - 10 comments
 
The Australian government, intoxicated by secrecy, will have another reason to move further into the dark.
Law & Liberties - Binoy Kampmark - 6 comments
 
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development was held 50 years ago this year, with trade seen as vital to eliminating global poverty.
International - Ioan Voicu - 1 comment
 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I am 69 so my chances of prostate cancer would be 63 in 1000. However I have now had a positive PSA test result.
Health - Chris Golis - 9 comments
 
Recently the dire situation faced by many farmers and graziers induced by yet another 'drought' has reignited the debate around justification for government financial support to farmers.
Economics - Peter Mailler - 17 comments
 
Described by a Chief Protector of Aborigines as 'breeding out the colour', the policy was known as assimilation. It was influenced by the same eugenics movement that inspired the Nazis.
Indigenous Affairs - John Pilger - 41 comments
 
The key problem we now face is not that energy sources are going to suddenly disappear but that the surplus energy after extraction is already declining rapidly and will certainly decline faster in coming years.
Economics - Syd Hickman - 9 comments
 
'[M]any of us today fail fully to grasp the sole true intellectual achievement of modernity: the creation of a fully developed, imaginatively compelling, and philosophically sophisticated tradition of metaphysical nihilism'.
Religion & Spirituality - Peter Sellick - 29 comments
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

From what we know of Tories and what we have seen of their current activities, the aim is the creation of a pool of unemployed or people in insecure employment, who are not protected by unions.
Domestic Politics - Judy Crozier - 15 comments
 
It’s difficult to believe, but 60 per cent of Australians want the government to increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers.
Law & Liberties - Jack Maxwell - 83 comments
 
With Crimea, Ukraine loses some prospective offshore oil and gas territory in the Black Sea, but it doesn't lose any shale. All the shale is in Ukraine's east and west.
International - James Stafford - 1 comment
 
That means each Tasmanian, rich or poor, gets nearly $8,000 per year from the people of WA and NSW while Northern Territorians get more than $16,000.
Economics - David Leyonhjelm - 8 comments
 
By swapping out companies in decline for those in growth, and altering the mathematical formula, the Dow Jones gives a false view of growth.
Economics - Wim Grommen - 1 comment
 
Every year about 4000 young people leave the state in search of work. Many are the cream of the crop: university educated, ambitious and abrim with new ideas.
Economics - Malcolm King - 9 comments
 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Today is the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21st March) and the 2014 theme is 'The Role of Leaders in Combating Racism and Racial Discrimination'.
Law & Liberties - Jatinder Kaur - 93 comments
 
It is a no-brainer that tax exemptions for religion in a modern liberal democracy provide a public benefit which saves the taxpayer billions.
Economics - Lyle Shelton - 43 comments
 
David Scowsill, President and CEO of The World Travel & Tourism Council has urged the Australian Government to extend e-visas to high spending Asian travellers following a disappointing year for travel and tourism.
International - Brian Hennessy - 6 comments
 
Toronto-based Jon Duschinsky is an international fundraiser, non profit agitator, and co-founder of The Conversation Farm, a global agency that creates ideas that create conversations.
International - Heidi Kingstone - 3 comments
 
Secretary Kerry's solutions to the non-existent global warming problem can be compared to the pre-20th century medical practice of bloodletting - patients not cured and many die.
Environment - James Rust - 114 comments
 
In Thailand, one will see shrines outside most buildings, villages, and even next to trees and along the roadside to pay homage to local spirits that inhabit specific geographical areas.
Religion & Spirituality - Murray Hunter - 3 comments
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bolt wanted an apology from Marcia Langton, and got one. The plaintiffs in Eatock v Bolt wanted one, but had to sue to get it.
Law & Liberties - Dilan Thampapillai - 16 comments
 
He threatened the core of the practice of art, the right to freedom of expression and the autonomy of the artist to decide what to say and how to convey it.
The Arts - Lisa Singh - 10 comments
 
Many of the large systemic changes to education are about meeting longer term goals and as a result are not particularly well suited to the electoral cycles of government.
Education - David Robertson - 2 comments
 
Playing favourites with industry support is cronyism pure and simple.
Economics - James Falk - 16 comments
 
The aluminium story weaves together three distinct plots. The first is one of an industry based on world-scale bauxite deposits.
Economics - Tony Wood - 6 comments
 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

South Australian political historians coined the phrase 'Playmander' to describe the phenomenon that saw Sir Thomas Playford retain office as Premier from 1938 until 1965 despite 'losing' the popular vote on a number of occasions.
Domestic Politics - Allan Pidgeon - 9 comments
 
According to Reuters, Crimea may nationalize oil and gas assets within its borders belonging to Ukraine, and sell them off to Russia.
International - Nicholas Cunningham - 18 comments
 
The Foreign Minister must end the uncertainty for our friends in the Pacific. Will Julie Bishop's commitment to our neighbouring leaders and their citizens made last December be met?
International - Matt Thistlethwaite - 5 comments
 
These new kneejerk laws are a perfect example of lawmakers' childish desire to Do Something in response to shocking or widely news-covered events.
Law & Liberties - Charlie Pearson - 13 comments
 
What do 2000 blokes do together in Bohemian Grove? Ask often enough and Bob Carr and Kim Beazley might tell tales.
International - Kellie Tranter - 8 comments
 

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