Vol 24 No 18

15 September 2014


Flawed thinking that allows us to abuse animals

23 September 2014 | Valerie Wangnet

Pork chopsIn Ancient Greece, Hippocrates used the term 'hysteria' to account for emotional instability and mental illness in women. This is a diagnosis that survived up until the first sparks of the women's suffrage movement in mid–19th century. In the case of food animals, we are told that they cannot think, suffer or feel pain.


China calls a halt to dirty coal imports

23 September 2014 | Evan Ellis

Beijing hazeFrom 1 January 2015, China will ban the import of coal with high ash or sulphur content and impose a three per cent tariff on all coal imports. In the muddle of politics and policy, we have a concrete example of worsening environmental conditions forcing policy makers to act. Australia's economy propped up by coal exports, but it's also time to think beyond the specific implications of China’s proposed restrictions. 


Threats to humanity

23 September 2014 | Fiona Katauskas

Fiona Katauskas' cartoon shows Tony Abbott alongside Julie Bishop in New York, contrasting the 'climate hoo-hah' meeting with the miltary strikes against Muslim extremists.

View this week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.


Concern for Jennifer Aniston

1 Comment
22 September 2014 | Various

Jennifer AnistonBuying coffee. Newspaper reads 'Jennifer Aniston is reportedly spending $20,000 a month on beauty treatments'. Next, the Herald covers her age, her profession and her interests. The girl in front of me cradles her latte as she nudges and tugs a carbon-fibre-framed stroller and purrs with concern for Jennifer.


The Kurds: fighting the good fight?

1 Comment
22 September 2014 | William Gourlay

Illustration from Molla NasreddinTurkey and Iran, the two major regional powers against whose borders ISIS jostles, have, each for their own reasons, declined to participate militarily in President Obama's action against ISIS. The likelihood or benefits of working in concert with Iran can be debated long and hard, but in the meantime the Kurds clearly emerge as the immediate go-to allies. Positioning them as such, and arming them, will change the dynamics of the region.


Identifying the enemy in confused Iraq and Syria

22 September 2014 | Kerry Murphy

'We are all ISIS' T shirtWe have adopted the dictum that our enemy's enemy is our friend. But the situation changes so rapidly on the ground, and working out who our 'allies' are is a very difficult and high risk activity. We are not even clear on the Rumsfeldian known unknowns, let alone the unknown unknowns.

Sacrificing freedoms in the war against terror

21 September 2014 | Justin Glyn

Computer hackerTerrorism is a real threat but it is hardly a killer on the scale of coronary heart disease or accidental falls, both of which far outstrip terrorism as killers on Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Blanket rollbacks of important civil liberties, until recently taken for granted, cannot but provoke the suspicion that terrorism has become a diversion of the public's attention from something much more sinister.


Ian Paisley's no middle ground

21 September 2014 | Frank O'Shea

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness

Somehow Paisley and McGuinness worked well together. The Chuckle Brothers they were called, an attempt to present them as two buffoons out of their depth. But for ordinary people, it was an endearing image, a tribute to a pair who had brought their respective sides with them in an unlikely peace. 


ISIS misusing ancient religious symbols

21 September 2014 | Irfan Yusuf

Kalima ShahadaToday the Kalimah Shahada is being used on flags of groups whose mission is to kill Sunni and Shia Muslims. Imagine how it must feel to be a Sunni Kurd or a Shia Iraqi or an Alawi Syrian . Imagine how it must feel to be an ordinary Shia or Alawi or Sunni Australian walking around in a Sydney shopping centre and being treated by one's neighbours as an ISIS fighter.

Foster care's future in jeopardy

18 September 2014 | Darrell Cruse

Child with teddy bearMore than forty thousand children are in out of home care in Australia. Yet with a drop in the number of available foster carers, there is a real danger foster care will be non-existent in five years, creating even more problems for already vulnerable children.  


Kashmir's majestic allure

1 Comment
18 September 2014 | Catherine Marshall

HimalayasPeace has come to Kashmir, but it’s a tentative, fragile peace. My guide Younis swiftly apprises me of the virtues of his homeland: ‘Pakistan wants Kashmir, China wants Kashmir, India wants Kashmir. It is a very beautiful place and here we have [so much]: electricity grids, land, fruits.’ He pauses, then says, ‘But nobody likes Kashmiris.’


Navigating the maze of young adulthood

17 September 2014 | Anthony Morris

The Maze RunnerIn The Maze Runner, a group of teenage boys find themselves dumped in the middle of a giant maze. Lacking the freedom to do what they like, faced with rules and laws that seem arbitrary while struggling with deep changes on a physical level, teenagers’ personal problems have proven to be ripe material for dystopian novels and films. 


Women's lives the front line of conflict

1 Comment
17 September 2014 | Lulu Mitshabu

Lulu Mitshabu in DRC'It is now more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier in modern conflict', says Major General Patrick Cammaert, a former UN Peacekeeping Operation commander in DRC. Let’s reflect on that for a moment. It has become more dangerous to be a woman collecting firewood or water than to be on the front lines as a fighter.


Liberty and equality's forgotten sibling

17 September 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

Two boys on stepsThe way to a better society does not lie simply in defending either liberty or equality, still less in the victory of one of these values over the other. It lies in bringing together a passion both for liberty and for equality and holding them together.


Terror Australis

16 September 2014 | Fiona Katauskas

Fiona Katauskas' cartoon

View this week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.


A Woman from the Provinces

15 September 2014 | Xiao Xiao

Illustration of Chinese woman on a roadThe woman from the provinces must have disturbed someone. Listen: the noise from below the Square. Countless faces aslant, breathing heavily. Rusting in the shell of broken words.


Employment solutions can be found close to home

15 September 2014 | Adrienne McGill

Home office desk Transitioning people with episodic illnesses like bipolar and severe depression from disability support into the workforce is problematic. However, one obvious solution to help some people in this group has been overlooked to date: self-employment.


Scotland's brave quest for self-determination

15 September 2014 | Duncan MacLaren

Child with Scotland face-paintPrime Minister Tony Abbott’s remarks on the Scottish independence debate were front page news in Great Britain. If Mr Abbott had actually visited Scotland rather than follow the advice of the British PM, he would have seen that the whole debate had centred on the kind of society we wanted – one where social justice is paramount, our National Health Service is not privatised and rights are built into a written constitution.


Shrugging off the robots

15 September 2014 | Michael McVeigh

Man handing flower to a womanWe created the robots to make our lives easier. Before we knew what was happening the robots had transformed our world. Each day people go about their business, feeling unhappy but unable to name the source of that dissatisfaction. 


What are we walking into in Iraq?

14 September 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

Islamic State maze graphic President Obama's decision to take military action against ISIL forces in Iraq and Syria has been applauded. But it should give us pause that this is the outcome desired and provoked by ISIL itself.


Sovereign aspirations and political power games

14 September 2014 | Justin Glyn

Scotland referendumThe problem of who qualifies as a 'people' and what the content of the right is becomes particularly acute when the right to self-determination bumps up against that bedrock of international law, national sovereignty. In some cases, the problem goes away by agreement. The sad truth is that each side adopts the rhetoric that suits it and the result depends on the balance of political powers which each can muster. 


High noon for Government refugee policy

12 September 2014 | Kerry Murphy

View of Parliament from High CourtThere may not be simple solutions to complex issues such as how to reduce the risk of travel by boat without punishing the refugees. However, the High Court's latest decision reminds us there are people involved and they are not ‘outlaws’.