Vol 24 No 15

04 August 2014


 

  • INTERNATIONAL

    I am Gaza, I am bleeding

    • Lyn Bender
    • 14 August 2014
    9 Comments

    In the last month, an estimated 2000 Palestinians including 400 children have been killed and 10,000 injured.  Much of Gaza is reduced to rubble and rendered uninhabitable. It was a 30 degree day in Gaza as our small band of around 20 kept vigil in the cold night rain at Melbourne’s Federation Square. A Muslim girl recited a poem, ‘I am Gaza I have a dagger in my heart. I am bleeding’.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The shock of the news of Kennedy and Nixon

    • Brian Matthews
    • 14 August 2014
    3 Comments

    Last week, when I heard a Margaret Throsby interview with Nixon's White House Counsel John Dean, I immediately remembered in startling detail where I was forty years ago. It was high summer, a beautiful warm day in Oxford. I was strolling along the banks of the Thames through a leafy camping ground; a voice, tragic yet culpable, retrieved from an unseen radio on 8 August 1974 in another country.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mexican border reflections on Australian asylum seeker policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 August 2014
    30 Comments

    We Australians confront none of the complexities of sharing a land border with a poor neighbour. Most Americans, I find, consider our policy morally repulsive and just stupid. They cannot believe that we routinely lock up children, that we recently held 157 people on a ship in the Indian Ocean for almost a month, and that we are now going to send up to 1000 asylum seekers to Cambodia.

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  • MEDIA

    Robin Williams tried to outrun the dog

    • Megan Graham
    • 13 August 2014
    16 Comments

    As human beings we do all kinds of things to avoid suffering. Drink, drugs, hobbies, television, retail therapy. The list is endless. It is our job to survive and avoid suffering: to huddle around our loved ones, to live and thrive and not let the shit of life get us down. For Robin Williams, it seems avoiding suffering was a very hard task.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Government's high fibre diet of legislation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 August 2014
    4 Comments

    Last week's legislative flurry was very messy, with few signs of reflection on what kind of a society we want to create, and how far particular legislation will help do so. The arguments for legislation are based on abstractions such as free speech and terrorism. They are not supported by sustained reflection on the way in which human beings interact.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Sitting in the doors of the powerful

    • James O'Brien
    • 12 August 2014
    18 Comments

    Religious leaders used methods of non-violent protest to respond to the Federal Government's 'No Way' campaign that aimed to discourage Afghan asylum seekers. Calling their movement 'Love Makes a Way', their strategy started to take shape: sit-ins in the electorate offices of federal parliamentarians, asking that justice may 'roll down like waters'. Nonviolent direct action changes hearts.

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  • ECONOMICS

    SMSFs offer 'pension fund socialism'

    • David James
    • 12 August 2014
    1 Comment

    In 1976 management thinker Peter Drucker said the real owners of the stock market were workers, through their pension funds. A similar broadening of ownership has occurred in Australia since the creation of compulsory superannuation. But intermediaries called fund managers still stood between the people and ultimate control of their financial destiny, until the rise of the Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF).

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  • CARTOON

    Driven to distraction

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 12 August 2014

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

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Good Christian morality is better than bad science

    • Matthew Beard
    • 11 August 2014
    5 Comments

    The lesson from the Eric Abetz 'abortion causes breast cancer' debacle is that Christians are fools to engage in scientific arguments  they cannot win. They should instead stick to what they know best, and not be afraid to give an explicitly Christian moral voice to public debate. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The wind blew through us

    • Kevin Gillam
    • 11 August 2014
    2 Comments

    We were song that day, free on the stave, note then note, spume and a whiff and dried weed, lick and boom of waves, nudge of groyne. The wind blew through. We were sand that day, sand and salt and shell and curled.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    We must reconsider our need to fly

    • Thea Ormerod
    • 11 August 2014
    19 Comments

    We're keenly aware of aviation safety in a way we were not just one month ago. But the real concern is not surface to air missiles fired by hostile armies and paramilitaries. It is the huge contribution airlines make to global emissions and the resulting calamitous situation faced by human civilisation. Why do we continue to idolise air travel?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Signs that East Ukraine has averted mass human tragedy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 10 August 2014
    12 Comments

    On Sunday morning Australian time, we learned that the destructive civil war raging in East Ukraine seemed to be drawing to a close, essentially on Kiev’s terms. It appears that the tense test of wills between Russia and the West generated by the crisis, which briefly last week risked a wider war, has ended in a tacit backdown by Moscow.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's Team Australia must include jobless young Muslims

    • Michael Mullins
    • 10 August 2014
    18 Comments

    The Prime Minister's Team Australia campaign will only work with policies of social inclusion. The Budget’s harsh and divisive welfare rules will drive young Muslim unemployed into the hands Islamic radicals. Church welfare agencies have suggested a solution by way of an independent entitlements commission to ensure welfare payments are fair. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The unjustified secrecy of the Abbott Government

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 10 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Liberal democracies keep secrecy in check. Where secrecy is justified, this justification should itself be public. The Abbott Government has withheld important information from the public on questionable grounds, and it has shielded itself from criticism by stifling debate on whether that secrecy is justified.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott’s temporary reprieve for hate speech prohibition

    • Moira Rayner
    • 07 August 2014
    4 Comments

    Quite rightly the Section 18C repeal bill was seen to remove all limits on ‘freedom of speech’ without regard to the vulnerability of those targeted. Andrew Bolt was infuriated, Senator Brandis lost face and his new Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson was ‘disturbed’ by the bill being shelved. But the PM is a pragmatist.

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  • EDUCATION

    Australians don't need to speak proper English

    • Ellena Savage
    • 07 August 2014
    12 Comments

    There's a view that most Australians, including the Prime Minister, still have poor speech skills, and that there ought to be some kind of standardised verbal communication skill-level as a prerequisite for politicians, educators and advocates. Personally I'm quite content with an Australia that is accepting of vocal particularities, the flexibility of meanings, and often humorous miscommunications.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The beauty of hard-won hope

    • Megan Graham
    • 06 August 2014
    2 Comments

    Broken and bruised by their respective journeys, Gretta and Dan seize the chance for solidarity. For both, their sense of compassion and resilience allows them to navigate a cold and indifferent New York City that threatens to swallow them whole. They use the creation of music as a mirror to reflect back a version of themselves – and NYC – that they can love. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The return of the Jesuits

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 August 2014
    31 Comments

    Everyone knows the Jesuits have had a rocky history. They were fabulously successful in educating the European elite for quite some time. But things went off the rails badly in the eighteenth century, and in 1773 Pope Clement XIV issued a decree to 'abolish and suppress the oft-mentioned Society'. Eventually his successor Pope Pius VII issued a papal bull restoring the Society, two hundred years ago this week.

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  • RELIGION

    Learning from the homeless

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 August 2014
    9 Comments

    Contrary to the message of this year's Federal Budget, there is much more to people than their ability to work. When we come to know the disadvantaged well we are often impressed as much by their resilience as by their great need and their fragility. Their worth is not defined by their economic contribution.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Assessing the Catholic Church's child abuse culpability

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 05 August 2014
    5 Comments

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Mixed messages undermine western solidarity with Gaza

    • Raff Piccolo
    • 05 August 2014
    16 Comments

    There are messages of support for Palestinians suffering in Gaza. But for every 'condemnation' that is directed at Israel by the President of the United States, the same speech always refers to the 'inherent right of Israel to defend itself'. However well intentioned, the sentiments are being used by Israel to justify all its actions in Gaza.

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  • CARTOON

    Spitting the dummy

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 05 August 2014
    1 Comment

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

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Low fat food products are a con

    • Mike Foale
    • 04 August 2014
    15 Comments

    The medical researcher who developed the saturated fat theory was Ancel Keys, who had cherry-picked data. He achieved celebrity status in the media through aggressive promotion of his theory. Credible science journals have lately been publishing robust reports that saturated fat is not implicated in heart disease, much to the chagrin of manufacturers of low fat processed food products. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Writing a poem is hard work

    • Various
    • 04 August 2014
    3 Comments

    It never looks like hard work. I’ve just rolled my sleeves up while I stare at an old shoe in the corner of the room for hours. I’ve sweated a day in my life as I skewer a stare right through the Friday morning waitress – the brick wall behind her.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Scott Morrison's conflict of interest

    • Michael Mullins
    • 03 August 2014
    13 Comments

    The majority of Australians voted for a government strong on border protection. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is delivering in spades, so it seems they're prepared to turn a blind eye to disputed claims of child neglect, even if he is their legal guardian. Their only hope is that accounts of their suffering will gain the kind of exposure and momentum that led to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Norfolk Island solution

    • Andra Jackson
    • 03 August 2014
    25 Comments

    While the Federal Government continues to cast around for other Pacific nations and Cambodia to take in refugees held on Manus Island and Nauru, it has one ready solution right on its own doorstep. It is a place that has been calling out for help to counter its falling population and its prolonged economic crisis. It is an Australian territory and one that is already receiving Australia's financial support.

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