Vol 20 No 21

25 October 2010


INTERNATIONAL

South Africa shows compassion to Zimbabwean refugees

9 Comments
05 November 2010 | David Holdcroft

Zimbabwean Refugees

Zimbabweans have been coming to South Africa for reasons such as political violence, displacement due to land reform, and the collapse of the economy. After initially turning them back at the border, South Africa moved towards a pragmatic 'special dispensation' that was more compassionate, even if the future of the country's refugee rules now remains uncertain.


EUREKA STREET TV

A hybrid Christianity for Aboriginal Australians

7 Comments
05 November 2010 | Peter Kirkwood


A hybrid Christianity for Aboriginal Australians

05 November 2010 | Peter Kirkwood

Tom Calma

Prominent Aboriginal elder Tom Calma was brought up Catholic but no longer sees himself as a Christian. While he has gravitated towards his Aboriginal spiritual heritage, he envisions a positive engagement between Christianity and Aboriginal spirituality, and urges the Churches to be open to a hybrid Christianity that embraces both.


RELIGION

Questions miracles raise

12 Comments
04 November 2010 | Andrew Hamilton

Mary MacKillop

In the 1970s Latin American theologians began to explore the connections of faith to a public world marked by great injustice. Some of them initially criticised such popular expressions of faith such as devotions, fiestas and processions. The miracles dimension of the coverage of Mary MacKillop's recent canonisation uncovered a similar tension.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Sex, songs and cigarettes

04 November 2010 | Tim Kroenert

GainsbourgThe Troubled Artist — for whom self-destruction is a necessary by-product of creation — is a cliché whose ubiquity risks robbing it of tragedy. Gainsbourg is portrayed as a swaggering louche, drinking and chain-smoking his way amid a murky and surreal Parisian backdrop.


Greece's wheel of financial hardship

3 Comments
03 November 2010 | Gillian Bouras

The Greek population is trying to cope with the consequences of three decades of greed and irresponsibility. My middle son is in the Army; my youngest son is a fire fighter. Both have had their salaries cut by a total of 3000 euros for the year, and more cuts may follow.


CARTOON

The banks' public interest deficit

03 November 2010 | Fiona Katauskas

'The banks' public interest deficit' by Fiona Katauskas


AUSTRALIA

Political opposition need not be nasty

16 Comments
03 November 2010 | John Warhurst

Adversarial politics can be seen as a necessary and positive aspect of Westminster style parliamentary politics. This does not include needless aggression that is expressed in a nasty tone and apparent anger.


ARTS AND CULTURE

The inevitability of tears

10 Comments
02 November 2010 | Alison Sampson

TearsWhen my grandparents died earlier this year, I barely cried at their funerals. While reading aloud at my grandmother's, I glanced out at the congregation and saw my grandfather's face shiny with tears, looking up at me ... My voice cracked, but I'm a good girl so I held it together.


Ten short poems

4 Comments
02 November 2010 | Various

Lost — Waiting for Spring — God owes me Royalties — Niche — Folding & Flying — Judas and Jezebel  — Donne captains a ship of fools — Home — Loose Change — election


AUSTRALIA

Indigenous jobs another forsaken moral challenge

2 Comments
01 November 2010 | Michael Mullins

At the time of the Apology to the Stolen Generations in February 2008, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd committed Labor to halving the gap in employment incomes within a decade. It is now looking like another great moral challenge that Labor has given up on.


EDUCATION

Tokenistic action against homophobic bullies

16 Comments
01 November 2010 | Fatima Measham

Principals and teachers can keep gay young people safe at school only to the extent that they are also safe in the wider community. While ticking boxes on ‘teacher training, resources and consultancy’ may not adequately address the source of the behaviour of homophobic bullies, such programs remain important.


AUSTRALIA

John Howard shoe-thrower's moral miss-hit

9 Comments
29 October 2010 | Farid Farid

John Howard, ShoegateIf smelly shoes are the last objects of resistance then the occupation of Iraq will never end. The culturally co-optive nature of benevolent groups to take on causes and speak on behalf of those who allegedly cannot speak for themselves is disturbing.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Hating Canberra

17 Comments
29 October 2010 | Ellena Savage

Parliament House CanberraCanberra's bad weather has its benefits: Brisbane was Australia's capital, we might be living in a banana republic whose despotic ruling family would never want to relinquish their grip on leisure governance. The best thing about hating Canberra is that it discourages nationalism.


No clear villains in Facebook tragedy

28 October 2010 | Tim Kroenert

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social NetworkFacebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly displeased with the film. The decay of his friendship with co-founder Eduardo Savarin during the creation of a site predicated on accumulating 'friends' is the film's greatest irony, and greatest tragedy. 


MEDIA

Wikileaks' problematic moral justification

8 Comments
28 October 2010 | Andrew Hamilton

Wikileaks logoIt has been argued that even if the leaks do endanger the lives of some allied soldiers, even more lives have been lost because governments have concealed the reality of the war. This utilitarian argument undermines Wikileaks' claim to be ethically superior to governments.


AUSTRALIA

The hard life and death of Tyler the Sorrowful

11 Comments
27 October 2010 | Moira Rayner

Tyler CassidyTyler Cassidy was a very upset, masked child on the day he was shot dead by police. They saw a boy who sounded like a man, playing 'dare' with a deadly weapon. Any parent will know that confronting an enraged teenage boy and advancing on him with threats is not likely to result in submission.


CARTOON

The return of Honest John

2 Comments
27 October 2010 | Fiona Katauskas

'The Return of Honest John' by Fiona Katauskas


ARTS AND CULTURE

Philosophy of food

6 Comments
27 October 2010 | Mark Chou

Epicurus makes clear that food is pleasurable to the extent that it satiates a need. My dad's longing for the foods of childhood has nothing to do with bodily hunger, and everything to do with remembrance of his childhood in Taiwan and of his parents.


AUSTRALIA

France shows Australia how to protest

6 Comments
26 October 2010 | Bronwyn Lay

6th protest day against retirement reform within 6 weeks, Marseille, France.In Australia a mass strike is unimaginable. The bureaucratic hoops required before a strike can be considered a legal 'protected action' are Kafkaesque. Therefore strikes have become small, localised and limited to issues of contractual entitlements.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Church tourist

26 October 2010 | Michael Sharkey

Antipodes of HateReflecting on the brutal way the hierarchy treated her, I see the logic of the place she holds in this ambiguous space. Born in murderous times among such vicious things as men become where power is at stake, she stands among the metal, glass and stone ...


AUSTRALIA

Packer's brave new world of media self-interest

2 Comments
25 October 2010 | Michael Mullins

Network Ten logo There is credible speculation new part-owner James Packer will use his influence to kill innovation at Network Ten. The authority should respond by enforcing broadcast licence conditions, to ensure Packer's return to significant media ownership is in the public interest and not his self-interest. 


INTERNATIONAL

Social welfare good news stories

3 Comments
25 October 2010 | Tony Vinson

Moving From the Edge coverThe new Jesuit Social Services study Moving from the Edge is not a tale of welfare woe. It is a celebration of lives that have 'come good'. Individuals and families have spoken in a basically human way about their transition from being 'outsiders' to social 'insiders'.