Opinion

Alan Missen Oration: Michael Kirby at the Melbourne Writers Festival

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Liberty Victoria is proud to announce the Alan Missen Oration with Michael Kirby Dear MembersThe Melbourne Writers Festival program has been released and tickets are now on sale.Liberty Victoria, with the support of the Alan Missen Foundation, is the proud sponsor of the Alan Missen Oration to be delivered this year by Michael Kirby AC CMG on Friday 22 August at 5.30 pm at ... Read More »

Convert Or Die

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He was warned not to go out onto the street, even for the weekly shop but his brother laughed and told him not to stop fretting like an old woman. Confidently, they walked out of their house and proceeded down the block , when suddenly they were set upon by masked men. They kicked them into a kneeling position and ... Read More »

Community Relations Boss Resigns After Pro-Israel Assault Email

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The Chairman of the NSW Community Relations Commission has finally resigned, after supporting the Israeli assault on Gaza. Vic Alhadeff’s job as the Chairman of the government-appointed Community Relations Commission was to promote harmony in New South Wales between different ethnic groups. He sure had a funny way of going about it. Two weeks ago, Alhadeff, in his other capacity ... Read More »

A humbling man, Julian Burnside.

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Julian Burnside walks his talk. In other words, anything he believes in, he does something about. As a QC, he has represented the richest of rich and poorest of poor. He has opened his home to asylum seekers. He commissions classical music. He is an incredible humble and humbling man. James Lush talks with Julian Burnside about his passions. Read More »

Marriage falls out of favour for young Europeans as austerity and apathy bite

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Experts blame economic and cultural changes for decline in weddings Marriage rates have fallen dramatically in most major European countries over the past decade, as austerity, generational crisis and apathy towards the institution deter record numbers of young people from tying the knot. The number of weddings has fallen to historical lows in France and Spain and has tumbled in other Catholic countries such as ... Read More »

Harvard historian: strategy of climate science denial groups ‘extremely successful’

Naomi Oreskes, Harvard University Professor of the History of Science. Photograph: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Public Affairs & Communications

Professor Naomi Oreskes says actions of climate denialists are laying the foundations for the government interventions they fear the most In 1965, US President Lyndon Johnson had a special message for the American Congress on conservation of the environment. Worried about the “storm of modern change” threatening cherished landscapes, Johnson said: “This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere ... Read More »

The Inescapable Choice: Welcoming or Refusing the Stranger?

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When faced with the stranger, do we open or close the door? Do we reach for a weapon or extend an open hand? This is one of the inaugural dramas of human ethics. Hosting the stranger is not just some abstract virtue, however, but a living existential struggle – a struggle with crucial contemporary implications. The ethos of hospitality is never guaranteed; ... Read More »

Costly, cruel, futile: the price of Scott Morrison holding 157 asylum seekers on floating prison

Unrepentant: Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison in Sydney on Friday. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/costly-cruel-futile-the-price-of-scott-morrison-holding-157-asylum-seekers-on-floating-prison-20140725-3ckr2.html#ixzz38YN9CMB7

Let’s, for a moment, put to one side the ordeal that the Abbott government inflicted on 157 asylum seekers whose boat was intercepted off Christmas Island, just outside Australia’s migration zone late last month. Scott Morrison’s message was that the resolve of the government was as strong as ever, which suggests he has learnt nothing from this sorrowful episode.” Let’s ... Read More »

Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA

Handout photo released by Nasa Earth Observatory on June 7, 2011 and taken from Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows the Sun unleashing a solar flare, radiation storm and a coronal mass ejection

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-earth-survived-near-miss-solar-storm.html#jCp

Back in 2012, the Sun erupted with a powerful solar storm that just missed the Earth but was big enough to “knock modern civilization back to the 18th century,” NASA said. The extreme space weather that tore through Earth’s orbit on July 23, 2012, was the most powerful in 150 years, according to a statement posted on the US space ... Read More »