Vol 24 No 2

03 February 2014


 

  • RELIGION

    Pastoral priests decry clerical culture that fostered abuse

    • Pat Power
    • 14 February 2014
    49 Comments

    Most priests believe the Royal Commission was very much needed to face up to a terrible episode in the Church's history. They also believe that sexual abuse took place in an environment of clericalism which was imposed by the highest authority in the Church, and which they felt powerless to confront. 'Father is always right' operated from the Pope down and any questioning of it was seen as disloyal or even heretical.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The empathy revolution

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 14 February 2014
    3 Comments

    While realpolitik can drive us beyond a healthy scepticism to cynicism and indifference, British cultural thinker Roman Krzaric contends that when we look beyond the real — through imagination, creativity, vulnerability and networking — we can bring about the ideal of 'empathy on a mass scale to create social change' and even go about 'extending our empathy skills to embrace the natural world'. Without dreamers like Krzaric, we're stuffed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Devil in the detail of asylum seeker directive

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 February 2014
    23 Comments

    In the clamour of Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, an almost unnoticed government direction struck a revelatory chord. It affects people who came to Australia by boat and have been found to be refugees and have protection visas, stating that any applications they have made to bring family members to Australia must remain at the bottom of the pile. The brevity of the direction belies its enormous effects on the people affected by it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A distasteful slice of gender politics pie

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 13 February 2014
    1 Comment

    Adele is a single mother suffering the debilitating after-effects of past trauma. But her story offers no robust consideration of mental illness. In stark contrast to her male counterparts, Adele is merely pitiable and helpless, and lacks the agency to raise herself from despondency. Weakness is thus conflated with femaleness. Only the arrival of a strong, practical and violent man serves to raise her Adele from her stupor.

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  • CARTOON

    Opposition? What Opposition?

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 12 February 2014
    4 Comments

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Economists undaunted by car industry canning

    • Ray Cassin
    • 12 February 2014
    18 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull assures us that something will come along to fill the gap left by the demise in Australia of Toyota and SPC Ardmona. But new sources of employment do not magically appear because they have been foretold by economic doctrine. Only about a third of those who are about to lose their jobs in car making or food processing are likely to find new jobs on equivalent incomes. Another third will probably never work again.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cold silent life of a football monk

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 12 February 2014
    5 Comments

    He worked as a shoemaker in a local shoe store, and all the girls in town were secretly in love with him. In a football-mad town, he played at centre half back on the local team and was in that position the year they were beaten in the championship final. After that game, he disappeared. Finally, the truth came out. He had gone into a Cistercian monastery in the foothills of the Knockmealdown mountains.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Coal hard facts for religious investors

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 11 February 2014
    12 Comments

    The international movement to divest from investment in fossil fuels is gathering momentum. Investors are starting to realise that as governments act to restrain fossil fuel consumption, fossil fuel companies will find their assets being written down. This is particularly pertinent to Australia, the second largest coal exporter. And it raises questions for Australian religious bodies about the prudent and moral use of their resources.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Clean, bright, efficient death

    • Kristin Hannaford
    • 11 February 2014
    1 Comment

    The abattoir to the left funnels steam into the night, a long slow drag exhaled by a thousand beasts, also travelling tonight. Poor cattle, horses, and pigs. Some days, the air is so bloodthick it hinges at the back of the throat, a glottal of rusty muck. Not tonight though. The air is winter clear, glassy.

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  • MEDIA

    Exploiting consumers needs to be illegal

    • Michael Mullins
    • 10 February 2014
    7 Comments

    The ANZ Bank faces a huge payout after a class action by its customers secured a partial but significant victory against the bank's unfair and illegal credit card late payment fees. This is happening because we have laws to protect consumers. The Federal Government is well advanced in its efforts to wind back existing and planned laws that protect consumers, as they are considered red tape that places an unnecessary burden on business.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    It's time to heatproof our cities

    • Greg Foyster
    • 10 February 2014
    23 Comments

    Climate change has loaded the dice towards hotter days and more frequent heat spells. Heatwaves are only going to get worse, and air conditioning isn't the godsend it seems. We need to start retrofitting our cities, suburbs and homes to withstand the sweltering summers to come. Any new houses that perform poorly in the heat are going to be a tremendous burden on the next generation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Passion has a place in border protection's age of reason

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 07 February 2014
    24 Comments

    In the Australian migration debate, 'passion' is construed as opposed to 'reason'. But the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has said that 'passion' in its classical (ancient or biblical) sense, is not opposed to reason (being attuned to the world), but rather to 'peace' or 'harmony'. Therefore 'passionate' language — alongside practical proposals — can unsettle uncritical pictures of the issue.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Deciphering capitalism's corrupt metaphors

    • David James
    • 07 February 2014
    15 Comments

    'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'. This was George Orwell's parody in Animal Farm of the vicious use of language in communist states. It was one of his memorable depictions of how the absurdities of language not only reflect evil, but also predicate it. Language was a tool of oppression in communist states. In capitalism it is no less vicious.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Pilger's cheap shots won't ease Indigenous oppression

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 February 2014
    13 Comments

    Rabble-rousing Australian journalist John Pilger is prone to hyperbole. He refers to a 'concentration camp' located on Rottnest Island and proceeds to denounce the atrocities that occurred there. He conducts a vox pop amid flag-waving Australia Day revellers, goading them with questions about the white invasion with predictably cringe-worthy results. He may have good intentions, but he's not doing Aboriginal Australia any favours.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's booze culture on trial

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 February 2014
    10 Comments

    Alcohol has a privileged place in polite society. All mood changing substances rely on a myth of a better life and relationships, but the alcohol myth is distinctive because it is rooted in high as well as in popular culture. Attempts to regulate its consumption and limit the damage it does will therefore always be unlikely to succeed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Old age is not for sissies

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 05 February 2014
    10 Comments

    London journalist Adrian Gill refers to the 'incremental shutdown' of old age, British Prime Minister Disraeli, who died at the age of 77 after a life of great and varied achievement, stated that old age was a regret, while noted Hollywood star Bette Davis roundly declared 'Old age is no place for sissies.' In rural Greece, it is considered shameful to instal an old relative in a home, and most aged people see their days out amid their family.

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  • CARTOON

    The Coalition's ABC

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 05 February 2014
    8 Comments

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

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Silence won't answer the Woody Allen abuse allegation

    • ZoĆ« Krupka
    • 05 February 2014
    22 Comments

    On Saturday Dylan Farrow accused her adoptive father, the filmmaker and actor Woody Allen, of sexual assault for the second time. She first made these allegations when she was seven years old. There is a real ethical concern when allegations that have been denied in court continue to be raised publicly. We need to be able to forge a difficult balance between making space for ongoing doubt and fuelling public vilification.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Vulnerable victims of government hit-and-run

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 04 February 2014
    7 Comments

    Each time I see a Melbourne driver wait for a pedestrian, it seems they can barely restrain the urge to run the poor person over. Similar observations could be made about how our politicians confront the most vulnerable individuals.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Don't rob the poor to pay the rich

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 04 February 2014
    14 Comments

    The budget problems are not caused by Newstart or disability pensions, which have been declining as a proportion of economic activity. Had the Howard Government not been so generous with its tax cuts to upper and middle income groups, there would today be no budget deficit.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The Bible LOL

    • Geoff Page
    • 04 February 2014
    6 Comments

    They say there's humour in the Bible, but I am not so sure. The scholars cite a joke or two. Why aren't there rather more? The Book of Psalms (one twenty-six) has mouths that 'filled with laughter' — but that's no consolation if a smiting's coming after.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Obama's cannabis defence illuminates NSW booze laws

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 03 February 2014
    7 Comments

    In a nation still divided bitterly along race lines, blacks, and to a lesser extent Hispanics, bear the brunt of America's prisons-for-profit program. The perils of mandatory sentencing should serve as a warning to NSW, which has announced mandatory minimum sentences as a response to alcohol-fuelled violence. The question is not which drug is more dangerous, but how society chooses to deal with each one and why.

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  • MEDIA

    ABC should lose international TV channel

    • Michael Mullins
    • 02 February 2014
    18 Comments

    Tony Abbott's suggestion that the ABC should be patriotic in its news reporting is not compatible with its Charter obligation to truth and impartiality. But it is a reminder that the ABC has muddied its own waters by taking on the running of the Government's Australia Network international television service, which gives patriotism priority over truth.

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