Vol 23 No 19

23 September 2013


 

  • ECONOMICS

    Dollar bulletproofs US economy

    • David James
    • 04 October 2013
    1 Comment

    America is fond of claiming exceptionalism, which is usually little more than an indication of its attitude to moral accountability. But in one area America definitely is exceptional: the global currency markets. There is no risk of the market for American dollars drying up, which means that a default by the American government is, while significant, not especially relevant to what happens with the global trade in US dollars.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Exasperated American's note to crazypants Republicans

    • Jim McDermott
    • 04 October 2013
    13 Comments

    That's right — the House Republicans shut down the government because they oppose universal health care. Which for the rest of the world is like crazy talk gibberspeak. Opposing people's right to have health coverage is like opposing Disneyland — in fact it's even weirder, because you can at least imagine someone saying 'I just don't like giant smiling mice'. Who in their right mind would say 'I just don't want people to have health care'?

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  • RELIGION

    Suicide silence and stigma

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 October 2013
    20 Comments

    In Rome and in Christian times people who took their own lives were buried outside the communal graveyards and without the prayers that farewelled the dead of the community. The symbolism was clear. They had separated themselves from society and its shared life; now society separated itself from them. And by implication it also marginalised those closely associated with suicide. Has much changed?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The film about Indonesia that Tony Abbott must see

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 October 2013
    3 Comments

    In Australia the reality of ongoing Indigenous disadvantage is proof of the effect of past atrocities on the structure of ensuing society. Likewise, despite some democratic progress in recent times, Indonesia's unhealed past remains a source of serious human rights problems. The Act of Killing demonstrates a direct continuum between the evils of the past and the present political reality.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's mixed messages for Indonesia

    • Pat Walsh
    • 03 October 2013
    15 Comments

    I suspect that Abbott's visit has left Indonesians with a poor impression of Australia. Dewi Fortuna Anwar, political adviser to Indonesia's Vice President Boediono, described the Abbott asylum seeker policy as 'callous'. Abbott's heavy handedness also contrasts sharply with the sensitive way Jakarta's popular governor, Jokowi, is managing complex change, for which Indonesians feel genuine enthusiasm.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott nails Jakarta

    • Tony Kevin
    • 02 October 2013
    15 Comments

    Tony Abbott did handsomely in Jakarta. He was able convincingly to pitch the message that the bilateral relationship is much bigger and more important than the people smuggling issue, which he implicitly admitted had been mishandled by Australia. The national interest will be well served by the PM's deft handling of a difficult situation. 

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  • CARTOON

    Tony's backpedalling

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 02 October 2013
    5 Comments

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blessed are the whistleblowers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 October 2013
    12 Comments

    The International Day of Non-Violence on 2 October coincides with the birthday of Gandhi, who pioneered the concept of political non-violence and the notion of passive resistance, and paid the highest price for his moral choices. A great many people, like Gandhi, desire a non-violent world, in which whistleblowers and thoughtful, idealistic individuals are honoured rather than punished.

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  • RELIGION

    Cardinals meeting consultative Pope

    • Brian Lucas
    • 01 October 2013
    14 Comments

    As a specially selected group of cardinals prepares to meet with Pope Francis, there is eagerness among the world's press for access to the meeting and clear expectations of radical shifts in church policy. Some have tried to hose such hopes down. Yet the cardinals have a unique opportunity and a serious responsibility to help Francis understand what the people of God are thinking and expecting.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A conversation in the wind

    • Bai Helin
    • 01 October 2013

    When husbands and wives quarrelled, I put it down to personality clashes. It's not till I got married that I found it's a tradition.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Seven pointers for stopping the boats ethically

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 October 2013
    35 Comments

    Last Tuesday, seven West Papuan asylum seekers reached Boigu Island in the Torres Strait. Without any determination of their refugee claims, they were removed to PNG. They were not engaged in secondary movement, they were in direct flight from persecution. The Abbott Government should recommit to our obligation under the Refugees Convention to grant asylum to refugees who have entered Australia in direct flight from persecution.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Syrians counting on Australian aid

    • Mark Green
    • 30 September 2013
    2 Comments

    The conflict in Syria has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. And the need for a peaceful solution is great. I hope that Australia's successful aid program remains a priority for our Government. We must not ignore the needs of those lying at our gates simply because their communities do not hold trade or economic interests for us.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    School sport's level playing field under threat

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 September 2013
    14 Comments

    Five of Sydney's prestigious GPS schools have boycotted competition with another member of their association, The Scots College, because it is accused of undermining the spirit of competition in school sport by offering inducements to lure students with sports star potential. This undermines what the GPS code of ethics calls 'the spirit of the amateur' that promotes character, resilience and teamwork ahead of winning.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Politicising the bimbo

    • Ellena Savage
    • 27 September 2013
    6 Comments

    The pleasure of not affecting one's native mode of speech to appease a kind of person who means to privilege the privileged, is unparalleled. Try speaking in a playful way to someone who's scared of bimbos, and then watch their brains literally explode. When a listener struggles to understand that when I say I 'literally died', and yet clearly am still alive, that I am using language in a playful and even ironic way, it's not really their fault. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Al Shabaab's grisly PR pitch

    • Evan Ellis
    • 27 September 2013
    3 Comments

    Last week most Australians had not heard of al Shabaab. But after a grisly four-day 'performance', complete with social media strategy, this has changed. The Nairobi shopping mall massacre was made for media consumption. Kenya might be tempted to simply seek revenge, but a measured, discriminate response that prioritised the safety of all Kenyans would allow the government to draw a line between the 'bad men' and themselves.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Holy Feast of the AFL Grand Final

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 27 September 2013
    3 Comments

    The Feast of the Grand Final has a great deal in common with celebrations in other religious traditions. Events such as Christmas and Easter are celebrations of the stories that help fashion the identity of Christians. Telling these stories each year helps us create our own new stories about the values or beliefs we follow. The Grand Final has its own stories that tell us about ourselves, as well as rituals that personalise those stories for each of us.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mythologising family history

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 September 2013

    Polley approaches the subject with great patience, like an anthropologist who has a deep love for those whom she is studying. In the beginning she instructs her interviewees simply to start from the start and tell it how it was. She no doubt hopes to find clues in the detail, but she also dignifies each participant by allowing them to have a voice. She is self-effacing, yet the questions she asks are bound up in her very existence.

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  • MEDIA

    Marring the Cardinal's image

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 September 2013
    64 Comments

    The limitations of Marr's account are the obverse of its virtues. It sifts Pell's motives and words but not those of his critics, and simplifies complexities. The details are designed to imply character. Churches are empty or full depending on the needs of the plot; Pell does not speak but booms. If a cock crows in a distant farmyard it crows for the Cardinal alone. This makes for engaging reading, but demands careful judgment.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Problems with jihadi tourism

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 26 September 2013
    1 Comment

    Jihadi tourism is big business, oiled by a global recruit base from which various diasporas can be tapped. The attackers on the shopping mall in Nairobi were linked to a Somali based outfit calling itself al-Shabaab, a standing affiliate of al-Qaeda operating in the Horn of Africa. But the Somali case is far from unique. The Afghanistan and Iraqi conflicts netted their fair share of foreign recruits in the fight against US-led forces.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    The ethics of paternalism in Aboriginal policy

    • Callum Denness
    • 25 September 2013
    3 Comments

    Following the abuse received by Adam Goodes from a teenage spectator in the AFL's Indigenous round, and the subsequent remarks made by Eddie McGuire, the country became embroiled in a debate about racism in modern Australia. Meanwhile, the Northern Territory introduced its Mandatory Alcohol Treatment Bill which, if passed, will see more Aboriginal people incarcerated. We were too busy describing the modern face of racism to notice.

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  • CARTOON

    A brief history of Scott Morrison

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 25 September 2013
    5 Comments

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border protection silence is deadly

    • Tony Kevin
    • 25 September 2013
    9 Comments

    During the election campaign, both major parties made much of their humanitarian concern to stop drownings by stopping the boats. Scott Morrison offered no words on this during the first Operation Sovereign Borders briefing on Monday. Nor did Labor's official commentators. Deaths at sea have apparently dropped off the radar — at least until the next maritime tragedy, which both parties will no doubt exploit to score points.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A life of oranges

    • Rory Harris
    • 24 September 2013
    6 Comments

    My father is still in the house he built with his wife; those hand-held walks after work from three suburbs away, to plant a garden as the bricks became walls, and as the fruit trees budded walls became rooms.

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  • RELIGION

    Judging and fudging Pope Francis

    • Fatima Measham
    • 24 September 2013
    18 Comments

    Ever since Pope Francis stepped onto a balcony at St Peter's Basilica, his words have been abbreviated, deconstructed and turned into memes. The attention paid to last week's interview with the Pope, conducted on behalf of by major Jesuit journals worldwide, suggests that the Roman pontiff is still held relevant, even by those who regard religious institutions as anachronistic.

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  • RELIGION

    Advice for the Pope on reforming the Church

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 24 September 2013
    35 Comments

    I wish he would invite me to be his temporary consultant, to offer him advice for his next 500 days. I'd begin by proposing a substantial Vatican-led inquiry, into why the Church has been so troubled by sexual abuse across various countries. Then I would point to the experiences of several large secular institutions, including the New York Times and US Army, that have rebuilt after crises.

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  • EDUCATION

    Universities are changing, not dying

    • Jessica McLean
    • 23 September 2013
    4 Comments

    The 'renewal' of Sydney University's Fisher Library has raised eyebrows, with books removed to storage to make way for 'hot desking chill zones and break out areas'. Universities Australia found in 2013 that 88 per cent of survey respondents encourage their children to attend universities. This large pool of students requires educators to accommodate diverse learning needs, and do more than just set essays to assess learning.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis' field hospital

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 September 2013
    11 Comments

    Pope Francis says in his recent interview that the wounded won't come to God if their pastors throw the rule book at them. Likewise the federal government will do nothing to increase employment participation if it chooses to demonise people through its punitive Work for the Dole Scheme. It's cruel and pointless to condemn people for not being able to walk up stairs while refusing to build a ramp.

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