Vol 23 No 2

27 January 2013


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Election year food, sex and meaning

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 07 February 2013

    David Marr's withering piece on Tony Abbot completes the political trinity. These writers manage the impossible: they have me feeling sorry for politicians. Well, almost. I'm not sure if such magnanimity is allowed in an election year. But what a pleasure to discover those grey Canberran corridors harbouring such a chiaroscuro of emotion.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Don't bet on the Australian dollar

    • David James
    • 07 February 2013
    4 Comments

    This week the Australian dollar reached its lowest point in three months. Tangible factors such as interest rates and trade with China influence its strength. But what really determines the direction of our currency is the whim of the currency traders. In that sense, the Aussie is is arguably the most 'unreal', or virtual currency in the world.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Time runs out for idiot slavers

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 February 2013
    1 Comment

    Lincoln's quest to end slavery is a centrally moral endeavor requiring political maneuvering and even underhandedness to achieve. Whereas Spielberg's Lincoln hums with quiet patriotic fervour, Django Unchained is pure irreverence and a vicious 'up yours' to the idiocy of white supremacy. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    Migrants and big bank theory

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 February 2013
    8 Comments

    There is often a natural antipathy between the financial sector and the community sector. If you give the dog a bone, say the money men, he will only rub it in dirt and bury it. If you give the bank a bone, say the community workers, it will charge you interest on the transaction. But sometimes we are nudged to reconsider our reflexive prejudices.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In the halls of Cambodia's Auschwitz

    • Nik Tan
    • 05 February 2013
    4 Comments

    You wouldn't find Tuol Sleng if you didn't know where to look. The genocide museum is embedded in the inner suburbs of Phnom Penh, an innocuous, decrepit school building. Each cell contains an iron bed with metal manacles still attached, and a grainy image of the last prisoner found rotting in each room.

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  • CARTOON

    The never ending campaign

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 05 February 2013

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  • AUSTRALIA

    NSW Labor's diseased ethics

    • Tony Smith
    • 05 February 2013
    11 Comments

    The Labor Party's ethical problems are deep seated. Once it adopted pragmatism as its first principle, policy debates lost meaning. The ideological vacuum was filled by enslavement to poll driven politics and media images. The Left struggled to retain its influence and Labor's heart vanished. We should expect much more from our politicians.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Intervening in Israel

    • Philip Mendes
    • 04 February 2013
    23 Comments

    The effectively deadlocked Israeli election outcome reflects a contradiction between philosophy and action: most Israelis are willing to consider two states in principle, yet they have been debating the same political issues for 20 years with no concrete outcome. Some form of long-term international intervention may be necessary to overcome the deadlock.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Diabetica and other poems

    • Les Murray
    • 04 February 2013
    3 Comments

    A man coughs like a box and turns on yellow light to follow his bladder out over the gunwale of his bed. He yawns upright trying not to dot the floor with little advance pees.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate change and Australia's weather on steroids

    • Paul Collins
    • 03 February 2013
    38 Comments

    Foreign Minister Bob Carr has said that, coming from Australia where climate change denial 'fills the air', he finds it significant that world leaders see climate change as the world's most important concern, even more than the economy. Recent extreme weather events, including the floods in Queensland, are symptoms of long-term climate change.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tax justice for unpaid carers

    • Michael Mullins
    • 03 February 2013
    8 Comments

    Last week the political leaders were brawling over assistance payments for middle-class Australians, with Tony Abbott claiming to be promoting 'tax justice for families'. A new Human Rights Commission report has shown how our super and tax systems fail unpaid carers, who are needed to sustain many families. But not the ones whose votes matter most.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Teaching literature to rock stars

    • Brian Matthews
    • 31 January 2013
    2 Comments

    He appeared in the doorway of my study one day in 1971 and asked if I was the one who was starting a course in Australian literature. His voice was soft and melodic, his accent beautifully Irish. Born in Belfast in 1947, he had grown up amid the horrors of 'The Troubles' and would in later years refer to himself as 'a recovering Catholic'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election year narrative shaped by the common good

    • Fatima Measham
    • 31 January 2013
    14 Comments

    Abbott's statement that the 2013 election is about trust is correct, but also redundant. Every election is about trust. The problem of who to trust, however, lies at the end of a string of other important questions. For as far as politics goes, there are no spectators; we are all on the same island.

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  • MEDIA

    Pope sweet on tweets

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 January 2013
    10 Comments

    When the Pope speaks on social media the casual reader might expect to hear the musings of an old man out of touch and out of sympathy with modern technology. If so, Pope Benedict's recent statement for World Media Day may come as a surprise. He pays little attention to risks, focusing on possibilities.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Evil is relative in the hunt for bin Laden

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 January 2013
    5 Comments

    The tagline 'history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man' is ironic. By the time of bin Laden's execution his dangerousness was arguably largely emblematic. Zero Dark Thirty portrays the manhunt as a quest for revenge, and leaves open to question whether America was enhanced or diminished by exacting its vengeance.

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  • CARTOON

    The Coalition presents ...

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 29 January 2013

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A fine teacher's urination solution

    • Brian Doyle
    • 29 January 2013
    11 Comments

    Sister Marie realised that Linda had been robbed of her lunch, and had not eaten at all, and had been humiliated by the theft, and was more humiliated now by public revelation. She straightened up and stared at the older kids, but just as she began to speak, Linda sobbed even harder, and a rill of urine trickled from the back of her seat.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Post 9-11 demon words too simple for Africa

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 29 January 2013
    3 Comments

    Behind the labels of undifferentiated militancy lie dangerous consequences. When it comes to the disturbances in Algeria and Mali the mistake has been to equate local troubles with international significance. Both al-Qaeda and Western powers are playing on this theme, and in doing so have created enormous suffering.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mortality made articulate

    • Chris Wallace-Crabbe
    • 28 January 2013
    2 Comments

    For what, I ask you, was somebody called our saviour in the turbulent middle-east (still in trouble, of course it must be) two long Ks ago? Light flickered on dwellers in death's dark shadow yet those turbulent sandy nations truckle on, just where their ancestors ambled out of Africa toward the hideogram of history.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gillard's election year crash course

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 January 2013
    13 Comments

    Gillard's pick of Nova Peris as Labor candidate for the Senate in the Northern Territory could be a signal that she will try to get on the front foot this year. Since her famous misogyny speech last October, she may have decided not to die wondering but to crash through or crash. This poses an interesting dilemma for Abbott and his team.

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