Vol 26 No 15

31 July 2016


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Market economics not the solution for human services

    • Roland Manderson
    • 11 August 2016
    14 Comments

    There is a joke about a man looking for a coin under a streetlight: he had dropped it elsewhere, in the dark, but was looking under the streetlight because he could see more clearly there. In the same way, the thinking behind the Productivity Commission inquiry into increasing competition, contestability and informed user choice in human services is fundamentally flawed. The complexity and interconnectedness of human services is too challenging for market economics to properly address.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Food for thought in atheist inspired animation

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 August 2016
    1 Comment

    There's a bagel character, coded as Jewish, and a lavash (Armenian flatbread), coded as Palestinian, who clash because they have to share an aisle. 'Isn't the aisle big enough for both of you?' asks Frank. In this and other ways the film points to the destructive power of religious belief corrupted by self- or socio-political interest. On the other hand it ignores the role religion can play in developing robust ethical thinking about the ways in which we can interact meaningfully with others and the world.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fear and loathing in One Nation's Australia

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 10 August 2016
    10 Comments

    Recently I was discussing the election of Pauline Hanson and One nation senators with some Hazara clients. These clients are Pakistani Hazaras, who speak good English. They told me they are worried about what Hanson says. 'She seems very angry,' said Ali. 'She does not understand Muslims,' added Hussein. Hussein was recently getting his car fixed and was asked if he was a Muslim. He replied that he was. 'I could see the man's face change,' Hussein told me. The man had become angry and fearful.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nauru Files reinforce the need for political grace

    • Fatima Measham
    • 10 August 2016
    11 Comments

    The Guardian has released incident reports that lay bare the details of life on Nauru for people detained under our immigration regime. It is an 8000-page indictment of the ethical and moral character of this country. We've been here before. We already know that the torment of children does not move the political class, nor do the indignities meted out to women. Men have died under circumstances that flow from decisions nominally made on our behalf. What would it take to break the impasse?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don Dale and the failure of arntarnte-areme

    • Mike Bowden
    • 09 August 2016
    11 Comments

    MK rang me after the 4 Corners program on the treatment of children at Don Dale. In western lingo we talk about a 'duty of care', but for my friend MK and the Arrernte people it is more fundamental than that. They talk abou arntanrte-aremele, which means looking after, holding, nurturing or caring for. Altyerre teaches that we must care for everybody, even the people who do wrong. And 'looking after' the children is the primary role of life. This is not about western, whitefella law, it just how it is.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Recent reflections on Iraq War ignore key ethical questions

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 August 2016
    2 Comments

    The recent Chilcot report on British participation in the Iraq War elicited embarrassing responses by British and Australian leaders and apologists of the time. Specious justifications were accompanied by a failure to take responsibility. The defects of the invasion and the moral irresponsibility of those who collaborated in it did not flow solely from its procedural inadequacies. The crudity now attributed to Donald Trump and his obiter dicta on war flourished before him among Washington insiders.

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  • CARTOON

    Introducing Senator Malcolm Roberts

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 09 August 2016
    3 Comments

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Exposed, illegal, adrift

    • Frances Roberts
    • 08 August 2016
    7 Comments

    This cramped corner of the decking planks is all you have on a pelagic wreck, a Medusa raft, splintered, rank ... Part of an interlocking human mat, you lie exposed and frightened, to escape the below deck stench of excrement and illness. Scant hope here of sleep ... The true villains in this outcome bask proudly in their stand firm against illegal entry by the family of man.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The merits of Trump's economic agenda

    • David James
    • 08 August 2016
    15 Comments

    The main legislative catalyst for the GFC was the repeal, in 1999 by Bill Clinton, of the Glass Steagall Act, which had prohibited commercial banks from engaging in the investment business. This allowed the investment banks to indulge in the debauch of financial invention that almost destroyed the world's monetary system. Trump has made the reinstatement of Glass Steagall official policy. Should that happen, it could be the most beneficial development in the global financial system for decades.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Forget conspiracies and own your complicity

    • Ellena Savage
    • 07 August 2016
    4 Comments

    The talking heads say the same things I once heard on Illuminati documentaries. In place of Pharrell Williams making suspicious hand gestures though, the blame for the unpleasant outcomes of a healthy free market is bestowed on the western world's maligned: refugees, Indigenous people, queer people, the working poor. These talking heads, who feel desperate and inferior because they have never contributed anything to anyone other than themselves, are eschewing their complicity in harm.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Corruption and calamity in Rio's Games of exclusion

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 07 August 2016
    4 Comments

    The Rio 2016 Olympics has earned a well-deserved label: the jogos da excludad, the games of exclusion. It is a label that shames a ruling class that got its priorities wrong. In the name of the Games, 77,000 residents of Rio's favelas have been evicted and hundreds of these settlements have been bulldozed. Those favelas that avoided the bulldozers have been hidden behind concrete walls that epitomise what theologian Leonardo Boff has called the 'lack of shame' living deep in the Brazilian soul.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Alfred Hitchcock's Catholic guilt

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 04 August 2016

    The interviewees regard Vertigo with awe, waxing lyrical about its psychosexual subtext; but not a word is said about the inherent misogyny of a film that is explicitly about a man's objectification of a woman. The film's most interesting segment however concerns the pre-eminence of guilt in Hitchcock's films, and the role it plays in shaping human activity. This, says Martin Scorsese (a filmmaker similarly preoccupied with guilt and sin), may define Hitchcock as an essentially Catholic filmmaker.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The economic case for greater diversity in media

    • Fatima Measham
    • 04 August 2016

    Perhaps what will ultimately convince media and entertainment companies that it is in their interest to be sincere about diversity is that there's money in it. A UCLA study found that in 2014, eight films that had diverse casts (out of 163) also had the highest median global revenues and returns on investment. In addition, TV shows with majority non-white casts rated extremely well, even among white households. This challenges conventions around what media consumers find appealing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The cold wind that blows on the homeless chills us all

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 August 2016
    16 Comments

    National Homelessness Week comes around each year. And each time it is an embarrassment. We pride ourselves that we are a respectful society, but there is no greater sign of disrespect than to allow people to be homeless. Too many people sleep on the streets; too many families sleep in their cars. What must change in us is our tolerance of an economic and political ideology that assumes it is all right for the vulnerable and ill to be neglected in order to protect the entitlements of the wealthy.

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  • EDUCATION

    Homeschooling on the road

    • Sarah Klenbort
    • 03 August 2016

    While snorkelling at Ningaloo, we had an underwater lesson, in Auslan, about tropical fish and coral. On a walk to Manning Gorge on the Gibb River Road, I explained the terms 'first' and 'third-person' narrators. As we strolled past boabs, we discussed the merits and drawbacks of each perspective. Kaitlyn's written four stories on the trip so far and she recalled which point of view she chose for each story, and why. I used to criticise parents who thought their kids too precious for school. Now, I'm not so sure.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Environmentalists' potential allies on the populist right

    • Greg Foyster
    • 02 August 2016
    6 Comments

    The neoliberal right is losing political power to the populist right, which isn't filled with the same ideological zeal for free-market capitalism. Suddenly debates can expand beyond the narrow confines of economic growth. Moral and social arguments won't be relegated to the intellectual fringes anymore. Mainstream parties of the left and right, both of which bought into the neoliberal agenda, will have to break their bipartisan dismissal of discontent with the side effects of globalisation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's 'alien' relations then and now

    • June Factor
    • 02 August 2016
    13 Comments

    In 1940, Prime Minister Robert Menzies received a letter from a woman in Western Australia: 'I have heard on the wireless the news that Australia would be willing to receive internees from England. I beg to protest; we have enough of the scum here already, too many in fact ... I sincerely trust that a U-boat gets every one of them.' The 'scum' she rejected so emphatically were the German and Austrian refugees, predominantly Jewish, soon to travel to Australia as 'enemy alien' prisoners.

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  • CARTOON

    The tip of the iceberg

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 02 August 2016

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Buddhist traffic light

    • Lesley Lebkowicz, Andrew Madigan, Barry Gittins
    • 01 August 2016
    1 Comment

    My friend, new to Mandalay, never before in Asia, sighs as she sees the east- and west-bound cars and rickshaws slow to a ragged fringe across the intersection. The north- and south-bound take their turn in the same gentle, fearless lack of order. Ah, she says, see how aware they are, each of the other. Such harmony: you can tell it's a Buddhist country. Spoilsport, I point to where, so easily ignored, enmeshed in a thicket of wire overhead, lights flicker: green, amber, red.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Turnbull's Senate challenge is about more than numbers

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 August 2016
    6 Comments

    Turnbull had hoped to bring about a new Senate with most of the 'troublemakers' gone. But the new cross-bench seems certain to be both larger and more diverse. Commentary since the election has concentrated primarily on how the numbers in the new Senate will make it difficult for Turnbull. A better focus would be to look back at Senate-government interaction over the past two years for some positive lessons for Turnbull about what actually happened. It was not just a numbers game.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Can leadership change revive the UN?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 31 July 2016
    6 Comments

    The United Nations Security Council is in the process of selecting its next secretary-general. There is intense interest, not least because the General Assembly has made efforts to make it more transparent via an open nomination process and televised debates. The UN is seen in some parts as an edifice to bureaucratic ineptitude. But the internationalism that stitched the world back together after two calamitous wars has frayed. We need the UN as ballast against future instability.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Census scepticism as privacy comes under threat

    • Kate Galloway
    • 31 July 2016
    18 Comments

    Government wishes to capitalise on our data using new data mining technologies. The ABS uses the language of efficiency and public interest in justifying the changes. It even implies that the new online census is environmentally friendly. It may well be that collecting and retaining our names along with our personal information is efficient, but that does not address the foundation question of whether we as citizens retain the privacy that constitutes us as members of a liberal democratic society.

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