Vol 20 No 24

06 December 2010


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The search for meaning begins at home

    • Ashleigh Green
    • 21 December 2010
    2 Comments

    When we search in distant places for fulfillment and purpose, we can miss the value of the local experience. I recently spent time in Nganmarriyanga, a remote Indigenous community, where I was greeted by a child. 'This is the country of my mother,' she told me.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Vigilance needed as South Africa welcomes Zimbabweans

    • David Holdcroft
    • 21 December 2010
    2 Comments

    There is growing awareness that the leniency shown to people fleeing Zimbabwe in recent years has put pressure on the South African community at the same time as letting Mugabe's government 'off the hook'. It seems that political imperatives may have replaced humanitarian motives.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sudan's moment of hope and fear

    • Jack de Groot
    • 21 December 2010
    1 Comment

    Sudan's referendum on 9 January could bring much-needed change to a region plagued by instability. But it is just as likely to lead to violent turmoil that has the potential to reach far beyond the country's borders and involve many African nations in a bloody conflict. The world must prepare.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stable bleatings

    • Various
    • 21 December 2010
    2 Comments

    Look at her, at the child cradled across her arm, replete in milky sleep, perfectly composed; At how her fingers fuss over his perfumed skin, The cool heal of her palm. 

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  • RELIGION

    Christmas in Islam

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 December 2010
    13 Comments

    The Gospels describe Christmas as a time of great happiness that a saviour has been born. But they also intimate the murderous business through which salvation will come. This Christmas many Christians in Muslim nations will be shadowed by fear.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Personal reflections on the Christmas Island tragedy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 19 December 2010
    23 Comments

    It is curious and sad that in weeks when our media are celebrating WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, we can accept so easily a government-managed story, whose public accountability obligation stares us in the face. Perhaps because editors know that our complacent society really does not want to go there.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Excavating the Bible for the future

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 17 December 2010
    1 Comment

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Excavating the Bible for the future

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 17 December 2010

    Progressive Christianity aims to bring religion into line with the latest scholarship. A leading proponent,, Brisbane Anglican minister Greg Jenks, is co-director of the Bethsaida Excavations Project in Israel, an archaeological site two kilometres from the coast of the Sea of Galilee. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Another date on the refugee tragedy calendar

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 17 December 2010
    12 Comments

    Let's hope Wednesday's tragic events are not exploited for political advantage. We remember those who died and offer prayers and condolences for their families. For the living, they need to be treated with dignity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Oprah and Australia's 'socialist' health care

    • Susan Biggar
    • 16 December 2010
    18 Comments

    Were she to suffer a broken leg or burst appendix and find herself a customer on the doorstep of our excellent and equitable healthcare system, America's best-known mouth might go home peddling a message that could change her society.

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  • MEDIA

    Losing Mikayla

    • TIm Kroenert
    • 16 December 2010
    6 Comments

    The mainstream media dons a benevolent face. 3AW talkback radio, The Herald Sun, Channels Nine and 7 News carry Mikayla into Melbournians' homes. It's easy to be cynical about their motives. In an ideal world every sick child would be noticed in this way.

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  • EDUCATION

    Education in a post-WikiLeaks world

    • Fatima Measham
    • 15 December 2010
    6 Comments

    The National Curriculum has sparked passionate debate. An enlightened society upholds that its young people are more than just future workers; they are human beings first. Unfortunately, it is easier to generate data for the knowledge and skills that we expect of future workers.

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  • CARTOON

    Santa's climate challenge

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 15 December 2010

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Praying to Santa

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 15 December 2010
    6 Comments

    We invented you, Santa, and named you after a hirsute Russian bishop. For anyone who thought about it, you were a kind of parable; you helped us to believe that prayers could be answered, that there was a bounty that was not diminished by the number of clients.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Shoulder angels

    • Diane Fahey
    • 14 December 2010
    3 Comments

    The one on the left, wearing crimson tights, promises the world, probes with his pitchfork for hidden desires, sports a prehensile tail able to wrap around your mind ... his counterpart, in snowy alb, meditates on your right shoulder, sending into your soul's bloodstream a thirst for peace ...

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  • AUSTRALIA

    WikiLeaks and artistic freedom in China

    • Tony Smith
    • 14 December 2010
    6 Comments

    While WikiLeaks' exposures of US government secrets have created a media storm, the case of Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei, which reveals much about the authorities in China, has attracted little comment. China has moved towards capitalism but not democracy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't make smokers pay to quit

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 December 2010
    3 Comments

    The Federal Government announced the inclusion of nicotine patches in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Critics argue that smokers should take responsibility for their habit and pay the full cost of giving up. They miss the point of society.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Burmese refugees' Christmas story

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 13 December 2010
    3 Comments

    Outside: the fish factory that never sleeps. The people working in it are illegal migrants, paid a pittance and treated as sub humans. Only the strong return from the fishing trips. If you are ill and cannot work, you can be tipped into the sea along with the other rubbish for the seagulls.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Escaping Oprah and Christmas

    • Brian Matthews
    • 10 December 2010
    2 Comments

    'Apodemialgia' is the opposite of nostaligia: a desire to escape. Add the brash, McDonald's-sponsored presence of Oprah to the pleasant but undeniably testing rigours of Christmas and apodemialgics all over the country will be reaching for something stronger than McCoffee. 

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  • MEDIA

    Oprah and WikiLeaks

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 December 2010
    14 Comments

    Winfrey's style is confessional in therapeutic mode. Wikileaks is confessional in a heroic mode. Winfrey will be feted in Australia, while Julian Assange's enterprise will, one way or another, be brought to an end. The grace he offers is not cheap enough. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    U2's way to God

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 December 2010
    8 Comments

    A ridiculously wealthy humanitarian, Bono is an object of scorn among grassroots human rights advocates. But a U2 show may be as close to church as a rock concert gets. Nowhere outside a church would you find so many voices declaring in unison: 'I believe in the kingdom come.'

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  • MEDIA

    Julian Assange's problem for feminists

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 09 December 2010
    36 Comments

    Julian Assange claims to be fighting for freedom of speech and government transparency — ideals that feminists also hold dear. But Assange has been arrested on rape charges and many feminists will find it hard to reconcile their defence of him with their support of rape victims.

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  • CARTOON

    Julian Assange spoils Christmas

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 08 December 2010
    2 Comments

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Environmental road kill on the highway to Perth

    • H. A. Willis
    • 08 December 2010
    4 Comments

    Like most small settlements along major highways, Eneabba is now bypassed, and reached via a side road. The company responsible for what will be one of Australia's dirtiest coal-fired power stations insists that 'prevailing winds will favour non-populated areas to the east and west'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Keith Richards' other church

    • Philip Harvey
    • 08 December 2010

    'When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully — the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you,' writes Richards. Librarians know better than anyone that the library attracts the most unlikely clientele.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Money is rooted

    • Various
    • 07 December 2010
    3 Comments

    You can't have your cake if it's eaten. Or your cooked goose if it's no good for a gander. Golden eggs are useless in a fragile economy. And what goes up must keep going. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Kevin Rudd and 'harmless' WikiLeaks

    • Tony Kevin
    • 07 December 2010
    6 Comments

    Rudd's showing off to Hilary Clinton reveals Australian insecurity and diplomatic immaturity, and little of what he said would shock the Chinese. WikiLeaks' cable trawl can do no great harm and may in the long run do some good.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cronulla racism five years on

    • Sarah Ayoub
    • 06 December 2010
    7 Comments

    In a society where image and representation are everything, our perceptions of the other become blurred across boundaries, suburbs and ways of life. Then, on the off chance that we clash somewhere in the middle, we can't take the interference, and we riot.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't shoot the messenger, award him the Nobel Peace Prize

    • Michael Mullins
    • 06 December 2010
    43 Comments

    The character flaws of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are being exaggerated in order to shift the burden of shame from embarrassed governments on to Assange himself. We need to be told why it's in the public interest to hide the undermining of the international cluster bombs ban by the British Foreign Office.

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