Vol 24 No 6

30 March 2014


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Punk's holy fools still putting it to Putin

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 10 April 2014

    Journalist Masha Gessen describes the members of Pussy Riot as 'Putin's ideal enemies'. In recent months, their nemesis has hosted the Olympics, taken control of Crimea and clamped down on media. For a group born out of 'the repressions of a corporate political system that directs its power against basic human rights', Pussy Riot still has much to roar about, even if its signature 'punk prayer' sounds more than ever like a plea.

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  • MEDIA

    Racial hatred laws 20 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    5 Comments

    In 1994, a year before the Parliament enacted the present section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, I wrote in Eureka Street: 'At this time, in this part of the world, thought-police armed with criminal sanctions are not the answer' to racial discrimination. Senator Brandis has now circulated a proposal to amend the existing provisions. What he has produced is the racial hatred law you have when you don't want a racial hatred law.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palmer power! Lessons from the Senate by-election

    • Ray Cassin
    • 10 April 2014
    2 Comments

    The most insidious outcome of the WA Senate election is the bargaining power it has delivered to Clive Palmer, the Queensland mining magnate who dominates the party on which he has bestowed his name. He massively outspent all his rivals, raising yet again the question of whether limits should be placed on private financing of political campaigns. It is a question that, because of his newfound clout, will not be answered anytime soon.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nightmares and daydreams about women and power

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 April 2014
    1 Comment

    Sex addicted woman Joe's story is marked by innumerable sexual encounters with random men. Often it is explicit, and thoroughly unpleasant. It culminates in a pointed statement about societal double standards regarding gender and sex. By contrast, Carol's story about trying to get ahead in a man's world is affirming and uplifting at every turn. Both stories are about women and power, but ultimately Carol's is the more empowering.

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  • MEDIA

    Golf mag's slice of sexist misery

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 09 April 2014
    7 Comments

    I got into an argument on Twitter yesterday about Golf Digest's use of a model on its cover rather than a female professional golfer. My opponent assured me that a 'gorgeous girl who modelled for a magazine is no harm' and that it must be 'miserable' to be opposed to every magazine that presented women this way. It is miserable. For most women, objectification is so commonplace that they have learned to live with it as one would a disability.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confessions of an overeater

    • Isabella Fels
    • 08 April 2014
    9 Comments

    I am a wicked creature of the night. The more I munch in sinful silence the more I feel I am trespassing with the dead. Food did my head in even before I took tablets for my head. I turn into a beast with a huge midnight feast as I go wild with chocolate, cake and ice-cream. The pounds come on like thunder with all my eating blunders. I have come a long way from my bulimic teens, but I still am obsessed, and think I will always be.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    China syndrome haunts Abbott's Japanese jaunt

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 08 April 2014
    3 Comments

    The two powers in Asia on whom our economy and security depend, Japan and China, have reached an impasse. That should not constrain Australia from reaching out to both on the basis of mutual interest and shared values. China has a keen appreciation of the former and an abiding suspicion of appeals to the latter. Distinguishing one from the other and acting accordingly is the first great test of Abbott's statecraft.

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  • CARTOON

    Labor's long road

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 08 April 2014
    2 Comments

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Love is not rocket science

    • Peta Edmonds
    • 07 April 2014
    3 Comments

    You're hopeless, emotionally. You're like a box jellyfish that floats into my world, and stings me with silence. It's only love, it's not rocket science. That's why girls cut their wrists, because they wear their hearts there.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Homeless young people need the means to flourish

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 April 2014
    13 Comments

    Curing homelessness is not simply a matter of finding homes for disadvantaged people. With backgrounds of family dysfunction, broken schooling, physical and mental illness and addiction, homeless young people come to the attention of many government departments. For all the good will involved, the effect of piecemeal interventions is to confuse young people who feel themselves the object of care, not the subject of their own growth.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The GST and Abbott's fair go for all

    • Michael Mullins
    • 06 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Federal Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson has called on the Government to increase the GST. In isolation this would hurt the poor and benefit the rich. But it could help the common good if it is part of a tax reform package that cuts tax avoidance strategies for high income earners, including superannuation concessions, negative gearing and trusts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Harsh home truths for returned asylum seekers

    • Paul White
    • 06 April 2014
    13 Comments

    Returnees to the Congo have been harassed, imprisoned and tortured by state authorities. Some have disappeared altogether. Forced returnees to Sri Lanka are routinely detained and quite often suffer torture. Hazaras returned to Afghanistan are persecuted due to their ethnicity and their adherence to the Shi'a sect. Australia continues to forcibly return asylum seekers, placing them in tremendous danger, ignoring a 2000 Senate Committee recommendation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Freedom of expression for the rest of us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 03 April 2014
    6 Comments

    How ironic that, even as Attorney General Brandis ensures the rights of 'bigots', the rest of us find our own rights under threat. Liberal state governments continue to roll out laws that affect the more marginalised and less privileged among us. Victoria's new 'anti-protest' laws and Queensland's 'anti-bikie' laws threaten public protest and assembly, which for most of us is how we exercise our freedom of expression.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugee's march of thanks

    • Maureen O'Brien
    • 03 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Three members of Tri's family made it to the open sea in a wooden boat with 65 others. They encountered storms and shipwrecks, and pirates who raped the women and tortured and robbed the others. Eventually they were handed over to UN troops, who took them to a refugee camp in Malaysia. Tri's story is about trauma, but mostly his emphasis is on the welcome and kindness the family received in Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    Church honours market over Gospel in abuse cases

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 April 2014
    51 Comments

    It seems most Sydney Church leaders did not see Ellis primarily as a vulnerable person to whom they should reach out in compassion, but as a threat to the financial wellbeing of the Church. Even though it was recognised that he had been abused by a Catholic priest, the callous treatment he received was inspired by the desire to avoid large payouts. These leaders effectively accepted that human worth can be measured by economic price.

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  • RELIGION

    Deeper dysfunction behind the Ellis case

    • Tim Wallace
    • 02 April 2014
    12 Comments

    In 2004, two years into the Sydney Archdiocese's botched handling of a sexual abuse complaint against Fr Aidan Duggan, the executive director of the Church's National Committee for Professional Standards did something extraordinary: he inquired into whether Duggan, prior to joining the Archdiocese in 1974, had form. It is the only evidence of a Church official actively attempting to check Duggan's past — an attempt destined to fail.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    North Korean propaganda pans Australian miners' might

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 April 2014

    An intriguing insight into the North Korean film industry, whose strangely beautiful films have been used to obfuscate serious human rights abuses. Offbeat documentarian Broinowski acknowledges this fact too lightly, approaching her subjects simply as humans, who are part but by no means the sum of a much larger corrupt system. She learns the tricks of their trade, looking for clues about how she might shut down a gas mine to be built near her inner-Sydney home.

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  • RELIGION

    Commission hearings' trail of collateral devastation

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 02 April 2014
    21 Comments

    Damage was done to the reputations of Pell's secretary Dr Michael Casey, and to the solicitors from the his chosen legal team Coors, who would have heard clearly the warning of Justice McClellan that saying they were following their client's instructions would be no defence. There is the damage done to the Australian Church as a whole, and, of course, the damge to Pell himself. This is not how he wanted his reign in Sydney to end.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Count the cost of refugee legal aid 'savings'

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 01 April 2014
    8 Comments

    Despite presenting the end of taxpayer-funded immigration advice to 'illegal boat arrivals' as a cost-saving measure, Scott Morrison's announcement demonstrates once again the Government's policy of punishment for those who come on boats without a visa. As an immigration lawyer who does not do any cases that are government funded, in theory I should applaud this decision, as it means possibly more clients. Instead I am appalled.

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  • CARTOON

    The Coalition's knight terrors

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 01 April 2014
    10 Comments

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

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Be selfish, save the planet

    • Megan Graham
    • 01 April 2014
    3 Comments

    Just a few days after we marked the annual observance of Earth Hour, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, emphasising the likelihood of an increase in extreme and irreversible damage. In light of this, the fact that we deem Earth Hour to even be necessary seems akin to prompting a dog to notice its kennel is on fire. Unless the dog is in very bad health, it would do what it needs to do to save itself.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor needs the Liberal Left

    • John Warhurst
    • 31 March 2014
    6 Comments

    In a party in which conservatives are dominant, life is rarely easy for centrist Liberals. They are a cultural minority within their own party and can be criticised for rocking the boat when their party is on a roll. Those who are further to the left, including Labor and the Greens, should not just hope that the Liberal Left is heard loud and clear, but they should respect and nurture this strand of liberalism.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Unready for sudden fatherhood

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 31 March 2014
    5 Comments

    My father took a train to Melbourne, watched his Swans play, fell asleep on the homeward journey, missed Bungaree, and walked miles from Ballarat to his parents' farmlet in the heart of the spud country. I see him tramping an empty road, blackness mitigated by a wan winter's moon, hear the clash of leather boots on bitumen, the baying of disturbed farmyard dogs; him scarcely more than a big boy who played bush footy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's killing the charities regulator?

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 March 2014
    5 Comments

    The Federal Government is moving to abolish the body set up to protect and regulate the non-profit sector. Vinnies CEO John Falzon describes the action as 'ideological', while Melbourne Catholic education chief Stephen Elder sees it as an opportunity to spend more time raising money and delivering services. The Government must explain the policy imperatives driving it to dismantle such an extensively considered piece of legislation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's hip to be a bigot in radical Abbott's Australia

    • Ray Cassin
    • 27 March 2014
    23 Comments

    The Howard Government's radical-right tendencies emerged gradually. By contrast, the Abbott Government has already sent multiple signals that it is intent to radically remake the political fabric. While the restoration of knighthoods to the national honours system is merely a wacky emanation of the prime ministerial psyche, the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act are corroding basic principles of constitutional democracy.

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