Justin Glyn | 22 July 2014
The horror of the crash that killed 298 people was not a day old before blame was being vigorously assigned by all sides. Not only is this deeply unhelpful and disrespectful, it obscures the fact that, whatever actually happened, a terrible tragedy is at risk of being compounded by the hot-heads on all sides calling for more war and escalation of a conflict in which both Russia and the United States have acted with rank opportunism.
Michael Mullins | 21 July 2014
The Coalition glorifies business entrepreneurship, which is promoted as a good that trumps social inclusion. It is paradoxical that there is more appetite for social entrepreneurship in the USA, which is known as the land of the self made man. The explanation is that investing in social capital ultimately makes good business sense.
Binoy Kampmark | 21 July 2014
Last week the Dutch Supreme Court found that the Netherlands was liable for the deaths of over 300 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in Bosnia-Hercegovina in July 1995. They had been part of a group of 5000 refugees, who had been sheltering with Dutch UN peacekeepers known as Dutchbat and were handed over to Serb forces in exchange for 14 Dutch peacekeepers. A historical arrangement had been writ in blood.
Raff Piccolo | 18 July 2014
The latest round of attacks on Gaza is not an isolated incident or bout of violence. It is part of a larger ongoing trend that has persisted for over 60 years. Thus it will come to an end soon, and the Palestinians will begin the process of rebuilding their lives. Like the violence, it is a process to which they have unfortunately grown unaccustomed. To break the cycle Israel must abandon the rhetoric of 'national security' and find a new approach.
Brian Matthews | 18 July 2014
Life in Orwell's Airstrip One is graceless, demeaning and inhumane for all but those entitled to preferment. Surveillance is increasing, ruling-party secrecy and monopoly on information is rigid, refugees are demonised and language is reduced to sound bites and slogans. The leadership is disjoined from and cynical about the natural world. Just as well it's fiction because it sounds awful doesn't it?
Andrew Hamilton | 17 July 2014
My response to government reports is often like that of a small boy watching a magician. You know that a rabbit will be produced out of the hat, but you can’t quite work out how it will be done. For a Government set on cutting costs the McClure report into Australia's welfare system will be easy to cherry pick by further depriving the already deprived. The risk is that it will not pull a white rabbit out of the hat, but a ferret.
John Ellison Davies | 16 July 2014
Judge Garry Neilson is in a spot of bother after comparing incest and paedophilia to homosexuality. He is not the first judge to find himself in this situation and he will not be the last. Judges enjoy a life of privilege and status. In their own courtroom they are feudal masters. But when one of them makes a mistake, the media jumps all over them. Politicians rant. The controversy is always out of proportion to the alleged error.
Nick Gadd | 16 July 2014
He was a civil engineer. His professional life was a matter of mathematics and rules. Driving over a bridge, he’d quote the equations that ensured it was safe and stable. There were formulae in his domestic life too. Strict rules about stacking the dishwasher. Knives and forks pointed downwards, to avoid careless stabbings.
Susan Fealy | 15 July 2014
Shamed me with his arithmetic, built me a balance beam... Let me practise, practise, practise:My body weighted all its edges, open to his eyes, the air, the sun.
Peter Maher | 15 July 2014
Ian Thorpe’s interview with Michael Parkinson on Sunday revealed the self silencing he believed was necessary to protect his integrity, his sporting career, and his relationship with friends, family and fans. It is still a challenge to be open about sexual orientation. Some parents blame their children for ‘insisting in being gay’, and a few priests continue to advise young people coming out to seek medical and psychological help for their ‘problem’.
Irfan Yusuf | 11 July 2014
We’re in Ramadan, a time when you’re supposed to be nicer than you normally are. In recent times my mob hasn’t received much niceness from certain quarters. Some of the nasties have been inspired by hysteria related to a proposal to build a mosque in Bendigo. I’m not quite sure what Bendigo’s largely university-based Muslim community did to deserve so much vitriol.