There’s more to super fund HESTA’s divestment than ethics

Bernard Mees –

When industry superannuation fund HESTA announced it would sell its A$23 million stake in offshore immigration detention centres Transfield, it wasn’t the first to do so. UniSuper had rather more quietly decided to divest its holding months ago -– but both divestments came in the immediate wake of campaigns by unions and refugee advocacy groups that targeted the funds.

The HESTA divestment has been decried as shareholder activism by conservative critics, but is part of a long history at HESTA and other union-sponsored funds of divesting members’ retirement savings from ethically problematic corporations.

via There’s more to super fund HESTA’s divestment than ethics.

Passage of time: why people with dementia switch back to the past

By Hannah Keage

People diagnosed with dementia often have a distorted sense of time passing. My friends who are clinicians often comment on their patients with dementia preparing and arriving for their appointments many hours before they’re scheduled.

Dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease progressively impair cognition, causing problems with memory and planning, and day-to-day functioning, making it difficult to do things like shopping and cleaning.

Accurate time perception is critical in our modern society (and for much more important reasons than waiting room congestion) so this disorientation significantly affects those with dementia and their families and carers.

via Passage of time: why people with dementia switch back to the past.

Choosing children’s sex is an exercise in sexism

BY Tereza Hendl..

To stimulate public discussion, the draft offers five case studies that involve issues around “family balancing”, selection to “replace” a dead child, reproductive tourism, parental autonomy, and “slippery-slope” claims.These case studies provide examples of sex selection that suggest two arguments in its favour: first, that sex selection for family balancing is ethically more permissible than selection based on a strong gender preference. And second, that parents have the right to select their child’s sex based on respect for reproductive autonomy.But are these arguments convincing?

via Choosing children’s sex is an exercise in sexism.

News and Politics Archives – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Dear Tony Abbott,

I will try to keep this letter brief as I know you have a short attention span and since you’ve never responded to my previous correspondence, I can only guess it was because they were longer than your brain capacity could absorb. The main topic of this letter is to let you know that I think you’re an opportunistic, petty, vindictive creep and that you’re running the country as if you would like to imagine that all Australians are equally as petty and vindictive as you. But we’re not. And you’re not going to win your soon to be announced election because we’re better than that.

via News and Politics Archives – » The Australian Independent Media Network.

The alpine grazing debate was never about science

The Victorian government has removed cattle from the Alpine National Park and introduced legislation to parliament that bans future cattle grazing in the park, under debate this week. This is the latest in a string of decisions relating to alpine grazing in Victoria.

We are now back where we were a decade ago, when the Labor government under Steve Bracks banned cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park in 2005.

via The alpine grazing debate was never about science.

We’ve scrubbed Dennis Nona’s art from our galleries to our cost

By the time Dennis Nona turned 35, in 2008, he was hot property on the Australian art market. He was the winner of the of the most prestigious art prize for Indigenous artists, the A$40,000 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. He was exhibited nationally and internationally. He was headhunted for major international commissions and key national and state art collections extensively acquired his art.

via We’ve scrubbed Dennis Nona’s art from our galleries to our cost.

This Indian Village Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl Is Born – NationofChange

In a country where male children are still favored over females, Piplantri village in Rajasthan offers a refreshing and modern perspective. The endearing village embraces its daughters and has even created a tradition that benefits both the local people and the planet every time a girl is born.To save its daughters and create a greener planet, the community of Piplantri village plants 111 trees every time a girl comes into the world.

via This Indian Village Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl Is Born – NationofChange.

A hybrid Australia, where identity has a multi-layered crunch

Australia today is very different to the place I grew up in: our culture has changed and is changing, but public discussion is still framed by old tropes. We need a new shorthand to capture the reality and potential of Australia in the 21st century – one that synthesises the past and casts it forward with insight into what makes this place and its people unique.

via A hybrid Australia, where identity has a multi-layered crunch.

It’s Remembrance Day, so what do we owe the dead?

Remembrance Day is an occasion when people are supposed to remember and honour those who died in their nation’s wars. But why should we believe that this obligation exists?The dead are dead. They can’t be gratified by our remembrance or insulted by a failure to honour them.Those facts do not prevent us from thinking that we have duties to the dead. Most of us believe we ought to remember people who made sacrifices for our sake. Most of us believe we ought to keep promises made to the dead, to protect their reputations from malicious lies and to fulfil their bequests.

via It’s Remembrance Day, so what do we owe the dead?.