Vol 24 No 18

15 September 2014


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    David Walsh's Catholic guilt

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 26 September 2014
    6 Comments

    A Bone of Fact is one part love letter and two parts plea bargain. That’s how Walsh can take a stab at Catholicism one minute and the next admit that in the 'thrall' of Michelangelo’s Pieta he loses all faculties. And for someone who’s gleamed much from betting, gambling gets short shrift.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Kurds as cannon fodder

    • Paul White
    • 26 September 2014
    1 Comment

    Once again the West has found a way to use the Kurds for its own purposes and the biggest losers will be the ordinary Kurdish people. The Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq comprises two rival armed groups. Their struggle to compete with each other for US patronage has left them open to manipulation by unscrupulous Western politicians.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Thinking beyond gender equality etiquette

    • Zac Alstin
    • 26 September 2014
    8 Comments

    The message of a recent VicHealth survey is that changing attitudes to gender equality will have the biggest impact on attitudes to violence against women. But what about those of us who already have positive attitudes to gender equality? We can go beyond a superficial and reactive focus on key outcomes and cultivate a deeper appreciation of a person's individual worth.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The sport of German-baiting during World War I

    • Bruce Pennay
    • 25 September 2014
    4 Comments

    Harry Paech's Great War shows why Australians have been reluctant to give government the authority to arrest on suspicion, even in times of peril. In the midst of talk in 1914 of atrocities committed by the fiendish Huns against Belgian nuns and babies, the president of Hume Shire in southern NSW was determined to show that the district's German settlers were as patriotic as any Australians. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    No one gets you like family

    • Anthony Morris
    • 25 September 2014

    Perhaps the trickiest relationship to show on-screen is the one between siblings, and it’s not just about finding actors who look alike. What The Skeleton Twins tries to tell audiences about damaged people is solid but uninspired: don’t deny your heart, you have to deal with your past rather than bury it… But it’s the chemistry between the two that makes this something special.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Anti-Islam is the new Anti-Catholicism

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 September 2014
    40 Comments

    The justified insistence that Muslims should not constantly be called to account for the vicious behaviour of Islamic State is a reminder of the attitude towards Catholics in an earlier generation. They combined suspicion of anything Irish in the aftermath of the 1915 Uprising and more traditional judgments of Catholics on the basis of their beliefs and practices.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Flawed thinking that allows us to abuse animals

    • Valerie Wangnet
    • 24 September 2014
    14 Comments

    In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates used the term 'hysteria' to account for emotional instability and mental illness in women. This is a diagnosis that survived up until the first sparks of the women's suffrage movement in mid–19th century. In the case of food animals, we are told that they cannot think, suffer or feel pain.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    China calls a halt to dirty coal imports

    • Evan Ellis
    • 24 September 2014
    2 Comments

    From 1 January 2015, China will ban the import of coal with high ash or sulphur content and impose a three per cent tariff on all coal imports. In the muddle of politics and policy, we have a concrete example of worsening environmental conditions forcing policy makers to act. Australia's economy propped up by coal exports, but it's also time to think beyond the specific implications of China’s proposed restrictions. 

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  • CARTOON

    Threats to humanity

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 24 September 2014
    1 Comment

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Concern for Jennifer Aniston

    • Various
    • 23 September 2014
    1 Comment

    Buying coffee. Newspaper reads 'Jennifer Aniston is reportedly spending $20,000 a month on beauty treatments'. Next, the Herald covers her age, her profession and her interests. The girl in front of me cradles her latte as she nudges and tugs a carbon-fibre-framed stroller and purrs with concern for Jennifer.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Kurds: fighting the good fight?

    • William Gourlay
    • 23 September 2014
    6 Comments

    Turkey and Iran, the two major regional powers against whose borders ISIS jostles, have, each for their own reasons, declined to participate militarily in President Obama's action against ISIS. The likelihood or benefits of working in concert with Iran can be debated long and hard, but in the meantime the Kurds clearly emerge as the immediate go-to allies. Positioning them as such, and arming them, will change the dynamics of the region.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Identifying the enemy in confused Iraq and Syria

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 23 September 2014
    4 Comments

    We have adopted the dictum that our enemy's enemy is our friend. But the situation changes so rapidly on the ground, and working out who our 'allies' are is a very difficult and high risk activity. We are not even clear on the Rumsfeldian known unknowns, let alone the unknown unknowns.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sacrificing freedoms in the war against terror

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 September 2014
    7 Comments

    Terrorism is a real threat but it is hardly a killer on the scale of coronary heart disease or accidental falls, both of which far outstrip terrorism as killers on Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Blanket rollbacks of important civil liberties, until recently taken for granted, cannot but provoke the suspicion that terrorism has become a diversion of the public's attention from something much more sinister.

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  • RELIGION

    Ian Paisley's no middle ground

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 22 September 2014
    6 Comments

    Somehow Paisley and McGuinness worked well together. The Chuckle Brothers they were called, an attempt to present them as two buffoons out of their depth. But for ordinary people, it was an endearing image, a tribute to a pair who had brought their respective sides with them in an unlikely peace. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    ISIS misusing ancient religious symbols

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 22 September 2014
    21 Comments

    Today the Kalimah Shahada is being used on flags of groups whose mission is to kill Sunni and Shia Muslims. Imagine how it must feel to be a Sunni Kurd or a Shia Iraqi or an Alawi Syrian . Imagine how it must feel to be an ordinary Shia or Alawi or Sunni Australian walking around in a Sydney shopping centre and being treated by one's neighbours as an ISIS fighter.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foster care's future in jeopardy

    • Darrell Cruse
    • 19 September 2014
    15 Comments

    More than forty thousand children are in out of home care in Australia. Yet with a drop in the number of available foster carers, there is a real danger foster care will be non-existent in five years, creating even more problems for already vulnerable children.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kashmir's majestic allure

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 19 September 2014
    2 Comments

    Peace has come to Kashmir, but it’s a tentative, fragile peace. My guide Younis swiftly apprises me of the virtues of his homeland: ‘Pakistan wants Kashmir, China wants Kashmir, India wants Kashmir. It is a very beautiful place and here we have [so much]: electricity grids, land, fruits.’ He pauses, then says, ‘But nobody likes Kashmiris.’

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Navigating the maze of young adulthood

    • Anthony Morris
    • 18 September 2014

    In The Maze Runner, a group of teenage boys find themselves dumped in the middle of a giant maze. Lacking the freedom to do what they like, faced with rules and laws that seem arbitrary while struggling with deep changes on a physical level, teenagers’ personal problems have proven to be ripe material for dystopian novels and films. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Women's lives the front line of conflict

    • Lulu Mitshabu
    • 18 September 2014
    2 Comments

    'It is now more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier in modern conflict', says Major General Patrick Cammaert, a former UN Peacekeeping Operation commander in DRC. Let’s reflect on that for a moment. It has become more dangerous to be a woman collecting firewood or water than to be on the front lines as a fighter.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Liberty and equality's forgotten sibling

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 September 2014
    12 Comments

    The way to a better society does not lie simply in defending either liberty or equality, still less in the victory of one of these values over the other. It lies in bringing together a passion both for liberty and for equality and holding them together.

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  • CARTOON

    Terror Australis

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 17 September 2014
    4 Comments

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Woman from the Provinces

    • Xiao Xiao
    • 16 September 2014
    2 Comments

    The woman from the provinces must have disturbed someone. Listen: the noise from below the Square. Countless faces aslant, breathing heavily. Rusting in the shell of broken words.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Employment solutions can be found close to home

    • Adrienne McGill
    • 16 September 2014
    9 Comments

    Transitioning people with episodic illnesses like bipolar and severe depression from disability support into the workforce is problematic. However, one obvious solution to help some people in this group has been overlooked to date: self-employment.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Scotland's brave quest for self-determination

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 16 September 2014
    31 Comments

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s remarks on the Scottish independence debate were front page news in Great Britain. If Mr Abbott had actually visited Scotland rather than follow the advice of the British PM, he would have seen that the whole debate had centred on the kind of society we wanted – one where social justice is paramount, our National Health Service is not privatised and rights are built into a written constitution.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Shrugging off the robots

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 16 September 2014
    8 Comments

    We created the robots to make our lives easier. Before we knew what was happening the robots had transformed our world. Each day people go about their business, feeling unhappy but unable to name the source of that dissatisfaction. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What are we walking into in Iraq?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 September 2014
    7 Comments

    President Obama's decision to take military action against ISIL forces in Iraq and Syria has been applauded. But it should give us pause that this is the outcome desired and provoked by ISIL itself.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sovereign aspirations and political power games

    • Justin Glyn
    • 15 September 2014
    2 Comments

    The problem of who qualifies as a 'people' and what the content of the right is becomes particularly acute when the right to self-determination bumps up against that bedrock of international law, national sovereignty. In some cases, the problem goes away by agreement. The sad truth is that each side adopts the rhetoric that suits it and the result depends on the balance of political powers which each can muster. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High noon for Government refugee policy

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 12 September 2014
    12 Comments

    There may not be simple solutions to complex issues such as how to reduce the risk of travel by boat without punishing the refugees. However, the High Court's latest decision reminds us there are people involved and they are not ‘outlaws’.

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