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The ANZAC spirit

More and more people in Australia are questioning whether jingoism – extreme patriotism – is an increasing danger in and to Australia. Even noted leaders of the warrior class are speaking out, as this ANZAC DAy speech by a former Vice Chief of the Defence Force illustrates. Ray Funnell questions where we are headed, and whether we’re following the right types of ‘leaders’.
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Verifying virtuality could scorch the planet?

Should we be worrying about rights and liberties issues broader than the mainstream problems and opportunities? CLA member Silke Hesse introduces a consideration from left field about whether or not we’ll have a planet left to inhabit as a society. What do you think?

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My oath! We have a problem, says Tennant

Oath-against-Oath trials are fraught with dangers, says Brian Tennant AM. Lives are being ruined by courts and juries accepting verbal statements, with no physical evidence, that are impossible to prove or refute. Perhaps we need to have a new set of rules, and less vindictive punishments, for such cases, he says.
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Refugee policy: you choose how to vote

Many citizens are upset that the plight of refugee claimants held in limbo for five years on Manus Island and Nauru are not front and centre in the current election campaign. But the policies of the major parties are somewhat similar. Here CLA’s refugee champion, Director Jennifer Ashton, explores the issue.
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May 2019: Voters lie in wait – what we want of MPs

  • Banning property developer political donations is valid
  • Birds have flown, due to lax protection of wildlife
  • CLA contributes to seminal prison inquiry
  • Inquiry into religion enjoys a third coming
  • Internal police investigations a fraud on the public
  • Amal Clooney takes media freedom role
  • Heads roll as Australia ups its sales pitch
Click for SINGLE COLUMN (read on screen)
Click for 2-COLUMN (print, read over a break)

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French finds uni freedom of speech is complex

Former High Court chief judge Robert French has delivered a less-than-innovative report on the issue of free speech on uni campuses. He proposes tinkering with new federal laws. But, says Law student Sam Coten, the universities themselves should take individual leads and live up to the promise on which the entire sector was founded nearly 1000 years ago.
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Jurors under scrutiny for allegedly breaking rules

A man convicted of sexual offences who has nearly completed his non-parole period in jail may have to undergo a retrial because of alleged misbehaviour by jurors. The unusual case is being investigated by the sheriff of NSW.
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War. What for?

Honouring people who have served Australia in notable ways is an honourable thing to do.While feting our war dead and the living former soldiers, we have an equal duty to critically examine the wars of the past and present, measuring how we got involved, what the outcome and result looks like in hindsight, and whether we can avoid making mistakes in how and why we enter wars in future, Keith McEwan wrote, originally in 2011.
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Jurors under scrutiny for allegedly breaking rules

A man convicted of sexual offences who has nearly completed his non-parole period in jail may have to undergo a retrial because of alleged misbehaviour by jurors. The unusual case is being investigated by the sheriff of NSW.
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From Taiwan to Robinvale, via Easter

Easter is a time of reflection, and of religious services for many. But CLA member Keith McEwan, a lifelong atheist who died this month aged 93, explained in an Easter missive to friends some years ago that you can "love thy neighbour” far away from prayers and churches.
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Society’s prejudice makes mental illness worse

Fear and bigotry is diminishing in relation to homosexuals, but they remain ‘go to’ reactions for most people when the subject of mental illness comes up. Sufferer Reg Murray explains that mental illness is just another type of disease, and sufferers should receive compassion and tender loving care, like anyone who is ill.
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Never-ending inquiry into religion to keep on keeping on

The federal government is likely to keep inquiring into religious freedoms in the new parliament from May 2019, because it can’t make up its mind how to reconcile giving priority to Christian religious beliefs in a secular society mandated by the Australian Constitution. The latest of many inquiries has just reported, and it at least had the good grace to quote the sensible observations of CLA.
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