Vol 24 No 12

23 June 2014


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hillary Clinton's bloodless memoir

    • Barry Gittins
    • 03 July 2014
    2 Comments

    This was akin to reading a carefully vetted resume. An intelligent and formidable first lady, senator and Secretary of State, and no shrinking violet, the author presents a largely passionless, desiccated record. There's the odd poignant reflection. Absurd depictions of Mel Brooksian secure rooms (and the reading of documents with a blanket over her head in non-secure rooms). But, overall, Clinton draws pictures without drawing blood.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tamils facing new atrocities in Sri Lanka

    • Paul White
    • 03 July 2014
    39 Comments

    On Monday we learned that two boats of Tamil asylum seekers had been intercepted off Christmas Island. Now there are unconfirmed reports that Australia is handing them over to the Sri Lankan navy without assessing their claims for protection. Amnesty warns Tamils face the risk of sexual violence, torture, murder, imprisonment, and enforced disappearance. Since March this year there have been scores of arrests and several deaths.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human relationships and efficiency don't mix

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 July 2014
    5 Comments

    The Victorian Government has started to recommission its community sector programs. To simplify administration of community mental health services, it has awarded tenders to large organisations and withdrawn funding from small specialised innovative programs that were effective because of the quality of the relationships they had built up. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The contours of an extended child abuse royal commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 July 2014
    17 Comments

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses of Child Sexual Abuse has asked the Abbott Government for a two-year extension until December 2017 to complete its task. The good news is that the victims' groups seem to think they can wait that long, as anything sooner would be rushed.  The bad news is that we will all be waiting another three and a half years for answers about how to restructure institutions ensuring the better protection of children.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Good priest walks the ruins of the sex abuse crisis

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 July 2014
    5 Comments

    Ensconced in the anonymity of the confessional, a man who suffered injustice at the hands of the Church informs the priest, Fr Lavelle, that he plans to kill him. The killer's reason for wanting to inflict violence is that he was, as a child, a victim of abuse that went unpunished. Lavelle is not respected by his parishioners, despite the centrality of the Church to their community. Amid the ruins left by the abuse crisis he carries little moral authority.

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  • CARTOON

    Leaners and lifters

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 01 July 2014
    2 Comments

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

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The beautiful game needs better stewards

    • James O'Brien
    • 01 July 2014
    6 Comments

    FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 is in the knockout stages. Brazil’s team is through to the quarter finals, much to the joy and delight of home fans. Yet to what extent can Brazilians actually celebrate? The tournament has come at much social and economic cost.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    As close as we ever came to the Navy

    • Brian Doyle
    • 01 July 2014
    2 Comments

    When I was young, I thought that men and women in the military were violent and foolish. Now I understand that they are braver than I was, brave enough to admit and acknowledge our ancient addiction, and in many cases do astounding things to bring it to an end; the most eloquent and articulate agents for peace I ever met are those who've been in wars, and the most strident agents for wanton butchery are those who never knew it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    An opportunity to invest in Australia's needy

    • Lin Hatfield Dodds
    • 01 July 2014
    9 Comments

    Australia's welfare system was designed for an era where men were the breadwinners and women worked outside the home only until marriage. Australia is a different place now, and the McClure review is an opportunity to update and simplify the system. But it must not confuse short-term cost-cutting with efficiency.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why the excluded are still waiting

    • John Falzon
    • 30 June 2014
    29 Comments

    The Government's McClure interim welfare report is predicated on the big lie that welfare is the problem and the market is the solution. The long wait of the excluded for some of the wealth and resources, for some of the hope to trickle down, is one of the most audacious con jobs in modern history. It is not misfortune. It is not a mistake. It is not the fault of the excluded. It is an attack against ordinary people who are made to bear the burden of inequality.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    'Speak English or die'

    • Jake Dennis
    • 29 June 2014
    5 Comments

    I have to imagine what it would be like to be a refugee, to have fought the sea for safe loam, to starve while salt eats the ship, to thirst for fruit back home, to plea for life and water, to grow sores and wipe blood from our daughter's mouth. But no imagination is needed to witness ice and spit from an ignorant mouth ... I have known and have seen faces contorted like knuckles with hate; feet planted to fight for their version of country.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Emergency relief fall guys for a heartless government

    • Mike Bowden
    • 29 June 2014
    37 Comments

    A week ago I get a phone call from the CEO of Northern Territory Vinnies, for whom I am council secretary. Could I come in and sign a letter about emergency relief before the next council meeting? 'Of course.' The letter is produced and, being conscientious, I actually read it. The Federal Government is offering Darwin Vinnies additional ER funds for the rest of the year. And I stop. I am not comfortable.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abuse and corruption the Australian way

    • John Warhurst
    • 29 June 2014
    15 Comments

    We should open our eyes and take in what multiple government inquiries, among them the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, are telling us about Australian society. It is not enough to focus on just one; we should consider the revelations cumulatively. It is little exaggeration to say that almost no major institution in our society, public or private, has been left untouched. We should join the dots and cry.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's Australia beds American Calvinism

    • Lawrence Cross
    • 26 June 2014
    29 Comments

    While a number of Cabinet ministers are Christian, their policies seem to lack any Christian emphasis on caring for the poor and disadvantaged. America's interpretation of Christianity is heavily influenced by the doctrine of the theologian John Calvin, according to whom the rich who work hard for their wealth are preparing themselves for heaven, while the poor not only deserve their plight, but may well be abandoned by God.

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  • EDUCATION

    Harvard professor defies Australian class warfare

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 26 June 2014
    13 Comments

    Amidst a whirl of media interviews and meetings, David Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard University and one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world for 2014, paid a visit to his alma mater: a state school in suburban Sydney. State schools aren't the repositories of children too impoverished or unintelligent for the alternative; they're the living manifestation of democracy, egalitarianism, multiculturalism and ecumenism.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Youths burned by the flames of self interest

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 25 June 2014

    When it comes to symbols of destruction and renewal, few are more potent than bushfires. That is particularly true in the Australian context. Galore's poignant coming-of-age story unfolds in the weeks prior to the 2003 Canberra bushfires. It is, in part, a rumination on adolescent self-centredness: its inevitability and inadequacy as a shield protecting the vulnerable, budding self from the flames of experience.

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  • RELIGION

    Ramadan's challenge for all Australians

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 June 2014
    9 Comments

    Ramadan fasting is the symbol of a deeper commitment to focus on what matters. For Muslims it is a time to correct bad habits, mend relationships, read the Quran and pray, give alms to the poor, and meet people. It is serious business, but not a private business. The seriousness of this quest to recognise what matters and to live by it is a challenge to all Australians because it invites us to ask how we deal with these questions ourselves.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's hypocrisy in Greste verdict protest

    • Justin Glyn
    • 24 June 2014
    10 Comments

    Australians are understandably shocked at the sentencing of Peter Greste in Egypt. They may wonder what the Government can do for those caught up in the vagaries of a foreign legal system. The answer is, not much. The international order is still largely based on national sovereignty. We do not need to look to Egypt to see how this can allow a multitude of injustices to go unpunished — we need only ask our neighbours, the Indonesians.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The boy who can move mountains

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 24 June 2014
    9 Comments

    Ignoring the Greek tradition of family names, my son and his Cretan wife called their son Orestes. The name means 'he who can move mountains', and it is almost as if some instinct informed the young parents of 'naming power', and of the possibility that such power might be needed. The first mountain resembled Everest: the operation on the day of his birth, which was necessary to correct a malformed oesophagus.

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  • CARTOON

    Another Coalition own goal

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 24 June 2014

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

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Nailing Indonesia's next president

    • Pat Walsh
    • 23 June 2014
    9 Comments

    On 9 July, Indonesians will vote on their next president by punching a hole in a ballot paper with a large nail. Timor-Leste used the same system for its historic independence ballot in 1999. The issues differ of course but the choices to be made are equally stark. Democratic development and human rights in Indonesia will either advance or regress depending on who is nailed next month.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    This little app

    • Various
    • 23 June 2014
    2 Comments

    This little app drives the car for you while you're texting. This little app pushes the child on the swing while you're tweeting. This little app thanks the bus-driver, the taxi-driver, the butcher. This little app watches the movie and eats the popcorn while you're messaging. This little app talks to the neighbour, the carpenter, the courier. This little app makes eye contact with passers-by.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Cambodia's patchy refugee record

    • Denise Coghlan
    • 23 June 2014
    5 Comments

    In 2009 Cambodia enacted its own laws concerning refugees. If asylum seekers are found to be refugees they are given a prakas that allows them to stay legally in Cambodia but which is not accepted as a proof of identity by most employers, businesses and banks. The sense of insecurity of those seeking asylum is heightened by the memory of the 29 Uighur asylum seekers who in 1995 were deported from Cambodia to China at gun point.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The capitalist and the Pope share a common enemy

    • Michael Mullins
    • 22 June 2014
    6 Comments

    Earlier this month, Pope Francis once again blasted capitalism. But it is not true that all business leaders dismiss those who appear chronically unproductive. Thursday's Vinnies' CEO Sleepout included investment bankers and other capitalist 'true believers', and now venture capitalist Mark Carnegie is proposing a war against growing inequality and disengagement, as if he is on a unity ticket with the Pope.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Iraq needs a local solution, not another intervention

    • Donna Mulhearn
    • 22 June 2014
    9 Comments

    Standing on an overhead bridge in Ramadi on Iraq's main highway to Baghdad just over a year ago, I witnessed the extraordinary sight of about half a million people gathered — as they did every Friday — to peacefully protest the sectarian policies of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. Understanding the context of today's turmoil is the key to any de-escalation of violence and a guide to the type of assistance foreign nations can bring.

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