International Affairs
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The Non-Funny ISIS

June 16, 2014 / by / 1 Comment

In the mayhem of the Iraqi Civil War, the preeminent threat to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Shiite government is the militant Sunni group, ISIS. Actually, truth be told, the fledgling state is a threat to the entire status quo of the middle east – the frontier moves through Syria and Iraq, because ISIS isn’t concerned with what it sees as artificial divisions designed to suppress the creation of an Islamic state.

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MH370

Now Boarding: A Former Pilot’s Daughter on the Disappearance of MH370

April 27, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Sprawling blue skies, blood-orange sunsets, and the silver gleam on the horizon that appears unattainable regardless of how much you chase it – the simple things always look amplified from the window of an airplane.

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National Affairs
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Ego Politics: Identity, Religion, and Criticism

July 24, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

In the course of my interactions with the members of various religious and political ideologies over the years, I have noticed a fascinating phenomenon pertaining to identity, ideology, and criticism. I tend to call this phenomenon ‘Ego Politics’ (courtesy of James Fodor); in a nutshell, people who are emotionally invested in an ideology—people whose ideology forms an integral part of their self-perceived identity—have a tendency to defend their belief-system at all costs, and to perceive any criticism of their ideology as some kind of personal attack. In order to elucidate the implications of this phenomenon, I will regale you with an anecdote. The most salient example of Ego Politics that I have personally witnessed occurred on Wednesday the 27th of February, 2013, when I was operating the O-Week stall for the Rationalist Association of Monash University (R.A.M) . That semester’s O-Week was a bountiful one, and after several days of practice I had perfected my propaganda spiel to attract new members to the club: “Are you interested in rationalism, skepticism, and critical thinking?” I would chirp, with a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye – or something like that. There was an unprecedented number of sign-ups […]

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Political Consciousness: An Interview With Dr Nick Economou

July 22, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Following ten months of political instability and chaos at the hands of “one of the world’s most unpopular prime minister’s” (The Washington Post), political knowledge is fast becoming an indispensable commodity for all Australians. With so many people being affected by recent government propositions, it seems as though ordinary citizens will have to become more politically astute to recognise when and how their rights and their voices are being forsaken.

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