Vol 23 No 23

18 November 2013


 

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thoughts in the key of Oxford

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 29 November 2013
    5 Comments

    The woman at the canteen yells 'Urrry up! Speed up! Who dropped that?' A 30 second washing detergent ad prefaces a video you want to watch on YouTube. A homeless man talks to his dog over a sandwich: 'Get lost Chance! It's mine, you've 'ad yours!' Everyday speech tells stories and offers glimpses of things not yet understood, to resurface later alongside other words and verses, fully invested with meaning.

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  • RELIGION

    Churches fight for economic justice

    • Brian Lawrence
    • 29 November 2013
    12 Comments

    In his recent address to the Yarra Institute about Christian social thinking, Fr Frank Brennan expressed the view that 'Christian churches are all but absent from the economic debate other than making the occasional, predictable utterance about ensuring that no one is left worse off as the result of new policy measures'. This seriously understates the public advocacy of the Australian churches and does a disservice to many people and organisations.

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  • MEDIA

    Rights and wrongs of ABC spy reports

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 29 November 2013
    14 Comments

    The ABC does not have a special responsibility to be 'diplomatic' in deciding what to report and what not to report. It does not have an obligation to adjust its news judgments to implicitly support government policies, or to weigh up what the majority of the public might think to do in such a situation. It must only exercise its professional judgment as to 'news value', and be accountable for it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    El Salvador suffers Australia's maleficent miners

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 November 2013
    16 Comments

    El Salvador is a small, largely agricultural society, with one of the highest population densities in the world. A largely Australian owned mining company proposes to mine for gold there, at great social and environmental cost to the local population. In Australia the wellbeing of people in areas affected by mining is central in the granting of permits. Are we willing to accept a lowering of standards for the overseas operations of Australian companies?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Corrupt cop's crack at redemption

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 28 November 2013

    Police detective Bruce Robertson is corrupt, violent, misogynistic, and a depraved drug addict. But he is not entirely inhuman, and Filth spends much frenetic energy trying to map the ghastly inner wounds that bleed greenly into his outer corruption. But just how do you build sympathy for a character whose near-to-first on-screen act is to sexually assault the underaged girlfriend of a murder suspect?

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  • CARTOON

    Coalition kitchen

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 27 November 2013
    3 Comments

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Monster in the car park

    • Prue Gibson
    • 27 November 2013
    1 Comment

    The car park is a concrete cave, a holding cell, a sarcophagus. From the outside, it looks like other buildings, but inside, there are darker, deeper modalities. I wind down to sub level four. Free spaces, empty rows: I savour the desolate and bare space. 'Hey you,' shouts someone from up ahead. A man, in well-groomed suit pants with a snappy vest, strides towards me. I glance around at level four. There are almost no cars to be seen.

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  • RELIGION

    Knowing the unknowns of clerical sexual misconduct

    • Stephen de Weger
    • 27 November 2013
    82 Comments

    Is there an agony in the garden of Catholicism which has yet to be faced — the dark figure of clerical sexual misconduct involving adults? From my research into this issue, two aspects have become quickly apparent: that it is a 'known unknown' within Catholic life, and that it is a very complex issue. That it occurs is not in doubt. More often than not, the victim is blamed.

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  • RELIGION

    No copping out of abuse blame

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 November 2013
    32 Comments

    The Catholic Church hierarchy now seems more prepared to admit institutional and personal failures prior to 1996. They are yet to admit the pervasive, closed clericalist culture which infected the Church until at least 1996, but that will come. Let's hope that the Victorian police can also now move forward admitting past mistakes without manufacturing excuses which do not withstand the contemporary spotlight.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    What my daughter wrote

    • Mark Tredinnick
    • 26 November 2013
    8 Comments

    She said I was 52 and weighed 68kg and stood one-and-a-half metres tall, and some of that is right. She said my hair was brown and that my brown beard prickled her when I kissed her ... She said she loved me because I hugged her all the time (but who could not?) ... He buys me Toys from Sydney, she had written — as if toys were spices and Sydney were Tashkent.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Spies like us

    • Bill Calcutt
    • 25 November 2013
    6 Comments

    The recent observation by a close Asian ally that 'spying on friends is amoral' belies an apparently growing gap between the illusion of civility and honesty and the reality of our suspicious relations with 'foreigners'. While the justification for the development of ubiquitous electronic surveillance capabilities is counter-terrorism, the greatest beneficiaries may be private business interests gaining a competitive advantage in a global free market.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ethics of spying

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 November 2013
    12 Comments

    A minor diversion in the disruption of Australia's relations with Indonesia has been the entanglement of political commentators. Many have wriggled on the hook of their conviction that international relations are an ethics free zone in which the only guiding star is national self interest. But that does not stop them from launching a raft of ethical judgments. It is worth considering on what ethical principles international and national politics might rest.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Abbott should not punish the ABC

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 November 2013
    14 Comments

    The prime minister said he 'sincerely regrets any embarrassment that recent media reports have caused' Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Did he mean the media was doing its job and that the embarrassment was collateral damage? Or was he regretting that the media was out of line? Outspoken monarchist Professor David Flint says the government should retaliate against the ABC by reviewing the its overseas broadcasting contract.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    JFK and the myth of American innocence

    • Ray Cassin
    • 22 November 2013
    10 Comments

    The assassination of John F. Kennedy 50 years ago elicited a particular quality of grief. It was not only a matter of mourning the violent death of a world leader who, at the time, was much admired. The notion also stuck that something called innocence had been lost because of what had happened in Dallas. That sense has withered under reassessments of Kennedy's character and record in office but it has never been extinguished entirely.

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  • MEDIA

    Would Crikey pay Doris Lessing?

    • Ellena Savage
    • 22 November 2013
    7 Comments

    Last week a letter circulated among freelance writers that called out Crikey's online arts daily, The Daily Review, for its decision not to pay freelance conributors, despite being a commercial, advertising-driven enterprise. The death this week of British writer and Nobel laureate Doris Lessing speaks further to this issue of whether writers should be paid for their work. The way she lived her life could not be disentangled from how and what she wrote.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sad life of a serial killer whale

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 21 November 2013
    1 Comment

    I was grateful that I had my back to my colleagues. My tears were occasionally due to sadness, but just as often they were a result of outrage. Blackfish finds much ground for moral outrage in its consideration of the suffering endured by trained orcas. It is an impassioned riposte to a commercial model in which death and suffering, human and cetacean alike, are merely the byproducts of profit.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Imaginative connections between Haiyan and climate change

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 November 2013
    9 Comments

    The confluence of the Climate Conference in Warsaw and the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has been confronting. If they are treated separately there is little problem in finding words and symbolic gestures to recognise the importance or lack of it placed on each. But it is hard to find words to hold together climate change and the death of so many people in natural catastrophes, let alone to act as if they might be related.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    NDIS helps the common good

    • Moira Byrne Garton
    • 20 November 2013
    15 Comments

    Dr Maurice Newman, chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council, last week cautioned the Government against listening to certain interests at the expense of the common good. His criticism of the former Government as 'reckless' for establishing and funding the National Disability Insurance Scheme reveals an upsetting indifference and a lack of awareness of the benefits of such a scheme both to individuals and to society as a whole.

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  • CARTOON

    Abbott on the world stage

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 20 November 2013
    1 Comment

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

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's spy games

    • Tony Kevin
    • 20 November 2013
    36 Comments

    Tony Abbott's reply in Parliament to Adam Bandt may have seemed a balanced, well-crafted answer but it was way too clever. Indonesian anger against Australia continues to grow. These events will harden already strong views in Jakarta of Australia as a false friend to Indonesia, as a nation whose only true affinities are with its four fellow members of the five-power Anglo-Saxon club.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Aboriginal victims of Tennant Creek's addiction

    • Mike Bowden
    • 19 November 2013
    21 Comments

    Jordan Jenkins, owner of the Tennant Creek Hotel, let the cat out of the bag: Tennant Creek is addicted. 'I mean, we are not going to go bankrupt so police can present stats to people,' he said. It seems the police are doing their job too well. Alcohol sales are declining. Profits are at risk. And so the liquor licensees of this remote town with a large Aboriginal population are pulling out of an alliance designed to reduce alcohol related harm.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    On death and preservation

    • Lorraine McGuigan
    • 19 November 2013
    2 Comments

    Laid out with care this woman lifted from a dry river-bed. Here is death but also preservation: turned-up nose, high cheekbones, long lashes fringing her sunken eyes ... Beside her a child staring, close to tears, hands bunched into fists ... a six-year-old girl and this ageless beauty. Rising between them the dust of centuries.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Change tax tack to take power back

    • Jean-Paul Gagnon
    • 18 November 2013
    15 Comments

    What if citizens were given the chance to fill out a preference form online as part of their own personal, digital tax portal? You could choose to pick 'below the line' and individually choose what your tax money can and can't be spent on. For example you might like to spend on funding public schools, the bullet train, hospital supplies and museums, and not to spend on nuclear power plants, weapons development, or the automotive industry subsidy.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Business voices competing for Tony Abbott's ear

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 November 2013
    2 Comments

    Dr Maurice Newman is chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council. It's his job to lobby for big business against, as it happens, the common good. But he is criticised even among some of his peers in the business world, particularly for his unwillingness to accept the need for a reduction in carbon emissions. Does Tony Abbott really listen to 'a range of voices' on business, as he claims?

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