Vol 24 No 7

14 April 2014


 

  • RELIGION

    The peacemaker pope

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 24 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Quite striking is the similarity between the warm response to Pope John XXIII half a century ago and to Pope Francis today. Both broke through the gilded cage of outdated conventions and stereotyped expectations. Both stepped over barriers of ideology or religion to evoke bonds of a common humanity committed to promoting the wellbeing of all people, especially the poor and marginalised. The contexts were of course quite different.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My pop's Anzac nightmares

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 April 2014

    As a stretcher bearer, he tended to two landmine victims, including one who had lost his leg. He spent the night darting between the two men, providing physical aid, and whatever comfort and assurance was possible. Turns out he was lucky that he didn't end up laid out alongside them: the next morning he discovered that the entire narrow ridge was riddled with mines. 'That was fairly close,' he admitted. It was an understatement.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Anzac myths beyond the Alan Bond test

    • Ray Cassin
    • 24 April 2014
    14 Comments

    In 1983, when his yacht Australia II won the America's Cup, Alan Bond hailed the feat as the greatest Australian victory since Gallipoli. His ludicrous misspeaking shows that by the 1980s the mythmakers' interpretation of the significance of Gallipoli was dominant. But the notion that the Diggers of Gallipoli and their successors in subsequent wars are somehow the paramount exemplars of Australian virtues does not survive scrutiny.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My brother the silent veteran

    • Julie Kean
    • 23 April 2014
    7 Comments

    I was 13 when he went to Vietnam. There was a kind of perverse status to be derived from having a brother called up for national service, and for him to head north of the equator was a further plus. When I participated in a Moratorium March it remained my secret. What did he see over there? What did he manage to forget over his subsequent 34 years? We'll never know because he never said. And he never participated in Anzac Day.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    A plague of killer robots

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 April 2014
    6 Comments

    Killer robots — drones in an advanced stage of development — are now a daytime reality. They will be autonomous in their operation, able to identify targets, track them down, work out the best way to destroy them, and learn from their failures, all without the need for human direction. These qualities raise serious ethical questions. Obama's use of just war theory to defend such drones was misguided at best, pernicious at worst.

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  • CARTOON

    Abbott's royal gush

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 23 April 2014
    2 Comments

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Furze fires cast a pall over the coast

    • John Kinsella
    • 22 April 2014

    You can see them cover the red sandstone range and spread over bogs from a vantage point high on Clear Island, furze fires that heat winter to spite itself. And leaving the island you catch an old man igniting a hedgerow, fire sucking light and throwing its carpet of smoke — no yellow flowers, just flame against itself.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sympathy for Barry O'Farrell

    • Moira Rayner
    • 22 April 2014
    15 Comments

    Occupants of public office are expected to act in accordance with their oaths. An anti-corruption commissioner, for example, should be someone whose own conduct is not just seen to be, but is demonstrably, judicious, ethical and proper. Even a minor failure in that was the reason that, several years ago, I resigned as an acting corruption and crime commissioner in another state. In my case, it didn't end there. But in O'Farrell's it should.

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  • RELIGION

    In defence of Cardinal Pell

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 April 2014
    30 Comments

    I write to defend Cardinal Pell in the wake of Elizabeth Farrelly's claim in the Fairfax press that Pell, when appearing before Justice McClellan at the Royal Commission, proposed a 'priestly child abuse insurance scheme'. Pell is not one of my fans, and neither am I one of his. But I think Farrelly has unfairly kicked him when he is down, and muddied the waters about what is a critical issue for the victims of child sexual abuse.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Exploitation in gay adoption story

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 17 April 2014
    5 Comments

    Closeted gay lawyer Paul operates under a well-founded fear that his sexuality will imperil his career. He and his partner, drag queen Rudy, find that their status as a gay couple is used against them as they fight to retain custody of Marco, an abandoned teen with Down syndrome. This is a story marked by grave injustice, though we are expected to accept on face value that Marco will be better off with Rudy and Paul than in foster care.

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  • RELIGION

    Easter memory loss makes plastic of the present

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 April 2014
    16 Comments

    Both the Jewish Passover and the Christian Easter are exercises in memory. The Jewish child who asks why this day is remembered is told a story of slavery in Egypt followed by deliverance by God. He stands in line with other children who asked the same question during the Holocaust. The devaluation of history and memory has a deeply corrosive effect on society. In our society we can see this in our treatment of asylum seekers.

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  • CARTOON

    Abbott's political fairytale

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 16 April 2014
    5 Comments

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Wily Harradine delivered for Indigenous Australians

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 April 2014
    18 Comments

    The great Tasmanian Catholic warrior Brian Harradine did wonderful work in the Senate, the chamber Paul Keating described as 'unrepresentative swill'. He successfully negotiated significant improvements to the lamentable Howard Aboriginal land rights package. Seven years after the Wik debate, Democrats deputy leader Andrew Bartlett said: 'The agreement he reached on the Wik legislation was one of the few cases I would point to where John Howard was bested in negotiations'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Second chances for AFL's Indigenous prodigal sons

    • Mike Bowden
    • 16 April 2014
    5 Comments

    Some think AFL football is like a trampoline catapulting young Indigenous footballers into a fairytale life. But the recent resignation of young Indigenous player Dayle Garlett reveals again that success depends on more than talent. The contrasting stories of Liam Jurrah and Xavier Clarke in Darwin offer a salient lesson to players like Garlett and Marley Williams, the young player of Maori descent recently convicted on assault charges.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Push for boycott ban reveals economic double standard

    • Fatima Measham
    • 16 April 2014
    6 Comments

    A review of competition laws is allowing the Government and industry groups to push for a ban on environmental boycotts. It is a strange protectionism that portrays industries as victims, defenceless against the barrage of readily available information. It appears the free flow of information cannot be so free as to disrupt capital, and the only legitimate choices within a free market are ones unimpeded by ethics or conscience.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seeker protest models 'habits of the heart'

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 15 April 2014
    22 Comments

    On Sunday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest the Government's treatment of asylum seekers. This wasn't a group of radicals — it was Grandma and Grandpa, Mum and Dad and the kids, making a statement to a callous political elite. Rather than simply asking how we can become more decent towards asylum seekers, it's time to ask: What reserves do we, as a country, have to resist inhumane forces that besiege us?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    On the way to Golgotha

    • Various
    • 15 April 2014
    2 Comments

    A path of varicose roots rising from sodden ground showed the way to a rock placed upon a rock; a face with random nails stuck like a half-crown of thorns in the roughly groomed clay; the eyes stared out from bulbous sacs, the mouth downturned like any mouth on any face ... I was frightened that he might choose me as a resting place.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Normal' royals are not like us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 14 April 2014
    22 Comments

    By clinging to this notion that the royals are just like us, even as we treat them as anything but, we brush aside the inconvenient fact that their status is a relic of a bygone era in which royal rule was enforced through brutal means. Is it right to forget that the British monarchy presided over colonialist expansion with all its associated genocides? A class system that bestows inherited superiority is a remnant of a more oppressive era best left in the past.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The people power of Game of Thrones pirates

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 April 2014
    3 Comments

    Last week's Game of Thrones series four premiere revealed Melbourne as the pirate capital of the world. The downloaders make a 'people power' claim to moral legitimacy because they think pay TV provider Foxtel's business model undermines the access they believe they are entitled to. Stories are not a cultural form of terra nullius, and human nature will not allow them to be wholly appropriated by business interests.

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