“Okay it’s time to go now - they have started throwing stones.”
The words were calm but it was hard to miss the rising panic in the voice of my Greek host Danai as stones pummelled into the building behind us as we watched the latest episode in the demonstrations that have been rocking Athens for the past month now.
Yesterday the tension was palpable.
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Yesterday, we had a lively discussion in The Punch office. The following is what the fly on the wall heard…
Ant: What’s this story you’re thinking about re babies on planes, T?
Tory: Malaysia Airlines are banning kids in first class and I reckon it’s a brilliant idea. I wish I had the money to fly first class, and now there’s one more reason. I’m always the passenger who ends up next to the screaming baby which means I arrive somewhere tired and pissed off when I’m meant to be enjoying my holiday
Ant: You’re aware that babies are human beings with every right to be on a plane, right?
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Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit. Yesterday, F1 racer Nico Rosberg was flogged with limp lettuce for bracketing women’s soccer in with watching the Paralympics.
Rosberg was pinned down in an interview about his level of interest in the women’s World Cup, and said he’d probably just watch the finals. “Then you have the Paralympics, which people also watch on TV,” he said.
German defender Saskia Bartusiak was among those who disapproved of his comments.
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For years, I, and many like me, have suffered in silence - hiding our shame in plain sight. We’ve struggled through life without support groups, online forums and Oprah specials, praying each day that no one notices our humiliating affliction. We are the smooth-cheeked ones who walk among you, we men who cannot grow beards.
Much like “Eyes Slightly Too Close Together Syndrome” (ESTCTS), “Chronic Male Beardlessness” (CMB) is a very real condition that affects countless men around the world.
I myself have been a victim since birth. During a recent two-week break, I decided to defy the gods and grow a big ol’ beard. Turns out it’s really hard.
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Artists are “appalled” at a suggestions art should get a classification scheme, similar to that used for movies, television and video games. A Senate committee has recommended one be introduced for controversial artwork such as the images of nude children produced by Bill Henson. Here, Tamara Winikoff gives us her perspective.
The question of where the visual arts should sit in a national classification scheme was one of the matters considered by the recent Senate Inquiry into the National Film and Literature Classification Scheme.
Currently, though, artworks are not required to be classified as a matter of course - the Classification Board can call in artworks, especially in response to a complaint or alternatively artists can choose to seek classification themselves if they wish to be clear about their legal status.
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It’s time for a quick quiz.
1. In Italy, people marched and voted against nuclear power recently. Every Australian news service carried the story. But did they mention how many nuclear power stations Italy will need to close as a result of this courageous decision?
2. Following the Fukushima failure the Chinese suspended approvals on new nuclear power stations pending a safety review. Did the Chinese stop work on any of the 26 reactors currently under construction? How much nuclear power are the Chinese planning for in 2050?
3. The recently announced Moree Solar Farm will take 4 years to build and will be, so far, the largest solar photovaic power station on the planet. How many food producing hectares will it displace? How many such “farms” would you have to build to replace a large coal-fired power station like Victoria’s Loy Yang A?
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According to Confucius, the three things necessary for government are weapons, food and trust. If a ruler can’t hold onto all three, Confucius told his disciple Tsze-kung, he should give up the weapons first and the food next. Trust must be jealously guarded for “without trust we cannot stand.”
Although written over two thousand years ago in a vastly different culture to the modern west, the advice remains pertinent. More than any other system of government, democracy is built on a broad consensus of values and duties, without which the rights of individuals are endangered.
Central amongst these values is trust. Without it, the consent of the governed is frayed or destroyed as a culture of suspicion and distrust develops.
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He’s got a taste for ear cartilage. He’s done time for rape. Once rolling in money, he quickly squandered it all. He’s the notorious boxing champion, Mike Tyson, and he turns 45 years old today.
It’s Thursday at The Punch. What’s on your mind?
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What with New York legislating same-sex marriage, and Labor state conferences toppling like dominos, it appears that same-sex marriage activists have adopted a new tack: “momentum rhetoric”.
The most blatant momentum rhetoric sprang up around the recent Galaxy Poll, wherein 75 per cent of respondents agreed that same-sex marriage is inevitable in Australia.
It was an odd poll - more Nostradamus than Aquinas - on what really is a complicated political and moral issue. No engagement with the issue itself, just speculation as to where we might end up.
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Some 27 Liberal MPs were eating at a restaurant in the Canberra suburb of Kingston last Wednesday when frontbencher Christopher Pyne rose to start a rousing rendition of For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow.
There also were speeches, the main one from shadow attorney general George Brandis, and offers of assistance from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and shadow treasurer Joe Hockey.
The centre of attention was restaurant owner Portia Yeung, who stood by embarrassed, giggling into her hands as is her nervous habit.
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