Vol 19 No 16

17 August 2009


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Witnessing East Timor's independence

    • Meredyth Tamsyn
    • 28 August 2009
    1 Comment

    Ten years ago, the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly via UN referendum for independence from Indonesia. The euphoria would not last. By nightfall there were over a hundred refugees seeking shelter in the backyard of the UN house where we were staying.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Reasons for optimism in Israel and Palestine

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 28 August 2009
    3 Comments

    Members of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel are remarkably sanguine about the future. Within their lifetimes, they expect peace to reign after implementation of the two state solution.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Indian cinema beyond Bollywood

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 August 2009

    Joseph Pulinthanath's film cost less than the costume budget for a Bollywood film. His encounters with the peoples of the 'anthropologist's paradise' that is North-East India drove him to respond to injustice in the region.

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  • RELIGION

    When tolerance doesn't cut it

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 August 2009
    5 Comments

    One striking feature of our society is the contrast between an emphasis on tolerance, and an increasingly punitive approach to lawbreaking. Shock jock Kyle Sandilands and violent youths in our cities have been exposed to this.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Former politicians make incestuous lobbyists

    • John Warhurst
    • 26 August 2009
    2 Comments

    The process of making public policy shouldn't be like a school reunion. Former politicians have a right to do what they like after leaving Parliament, but those who opt to serve the community sector, rather than hanging around politics, are to be admired.

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  • EDUCATION

    Parable of the long-suffering teacher

    • Fatima Measham
    • 26 August 2009
    5 Comments

    Students are more proficient in technology than their teachers and are accessing information their elders would not have known. They wonder, if they can already function as if they have finished school, then what's the point of school? It's a fair question. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for Abbott as Opposition leader

    • Scott Stephens
    • 25 August 2009
    23 Comments

    Opposition presents the Liberal Party with a rare opportunity to recover its conservative soul and abandon Labor's vapid brand of politics. The only way forward is for the Party to replace Malcolm Turnbull with Tony Abbott as its leader.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The birds I can't quite like

    • Diane Fahey
    • 25 August 2009
    4 Comments

    The birds I can't quite like, that symbolise .. cold self-intent, greed, the scalding primal .. writ small: drama queens and morsel-pirates .. at odds after the picnic — scraps about scraps.

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  • EDUCATION

    How Catholic schools are failing the poor

    • Ross Fitzgerald
    • 24 August 2009
    25 Comments

    A neoliberal funding policy has undermined the ability of Catholic schools to meet poor children's needs. Instead, Catholic schools have allowed millions of tax dollars to be siphoned off public schools and given to the private sector.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Flame blame is a shame

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 August 2009
    10 Comments

    The Black Saturday bushfires had the same relationship to previous fires as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima did to other bombing raids. Defects of communication and organisation, while regrettable and costly, were irrelevant: there's no assured safety for those who live near bushland.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Strategies for a new era of firestorms

    • Paul Collins
    • 21 August 2009
    5 Comments

    There were many mistakes made on Black Saturday and the Interim Report of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission points them out. For now the commissioners avoid the 'bigger fire questions', but in the end these will have to be faced.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Holistic history of early Sydney

    • Tony Smith
    • 21 August 2009

    Sydney's history has traditionally been interpreted through the artefacts of a people who are literate and industrial: through documents and buildings. The Colony acknowledges the equal importance of the sparse traditions of the Indigenous peoples.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Discerning truth in Balibo's fiction

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 August 2009
    5 Comments

    'Cinema,' says director Robert Connolly, 'can take the audience and show them a tragedy in a way that creates empathy. I was interested in exploring the ability of this country to compel people to tell its story. It's hard not to start caring for what happened there.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How Balibo distorts history

    • Paul Cleary
    • 20 August 2009
    10 Comments

    The first feature length film about Indonesia's invasion of East Timor and the deaths of six Australian journalists fails to inform the audience of the diplomatic dirty tricks, and Australian and American complicity.

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  • RELIGION

    Right to lifers miss the point

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 August 2009
    31 Comments

    Last week a Supreme Court judge gave a sensible decision regarding the case of a quadriplegic man who wants his carers to discontinue feeding him. 'Right to life' and 'right to die' advocates have had a field day. You'd think they had not read the judgment.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Insomniphobia

    • Edward Reilly
    • 18 August 2009

    At the end of our courtyard a car starts .. Growling like some fierce predator .. Our collective souls quiver, cough softly .. Lest he draw up outside our window.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Refugees and other aliens

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 18 August 2009
    5 Comments

    One night 11 years ago I joined members of a local police commando to report on a mission to intercept Mozambique refugees travelling into South Africa. It is easier to 'tolerate the intolerance' in under-resourced, refugee-deluged South Africa than in Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's 'new anthropology' shoots for the moon

    • David Holdcroft
    • 17 August 2009
    7 Comments

    Reflections on the 40th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing can help us understand the major themes of Pope Benedicts's social encyclical, and explain why many critics of this radical document have missed the point.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Yes we can achieve justice for Indigenous Australians

    • Michael Mullins
    • 17 August 2009
    1 Comment

    The death of a WA Aboriginal elder in a prison van last year was one of the worst human rights tragedies in Australian living memory. A recent speech by Governor-General Quentin Bryce evoked a more optimistic outlook for Indigenous justice.

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