Vol 18 No 13

23 June 2008

'The Housing Revolution' by Chris Johnston


INTERNATIONAL

Restocking the global pantry

04 July 2008 | James Ingram

Ear of cornIn his keynote message to the World Food Summit Pope Benedict XVI called for new strategies to promote food production. Feeding the world population in the coming decades is as big a challenge as climate change, and no less important.


ARTS AND CULTURE

'Still angry' over Palm Island custody death

4 Comments
04 July 2008 | Pat Mullins Gone For A Song, by Jeff WatersJeff Waters relates the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee on Palm Island and the acquittal of the police officer involved. Mulrunji's death reflects a nationwide context where cherished institutions of western democracy are unavailable to many Indigenous people.


Egyptian musicians' night in limbo

03 July 2008 | Tim Kroenert The Band's VisistFrom its opening scene, The Band's Visit strikes a tone that is at once funny and sad. The film prods cross-cultural disparity for humour and stirs the humanity of its simple story.


RELIGION

Catholic teaching affirms freedom that may annoy pilgrims

50 Comments
03 July 2008 | Frank Brennan World Youth DayThe rights of free speech and assembly should not be curtailed because World Youth Day pilgrims might be annoyed or inconvenienced. The NSW regulation is a dreadful interference with civil liberties, and contrary to the spirit of Catholic Social Teaching on human rights.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Her words' worth

10 Comments
02 July 2008 | Morag Fraser CrosswordWhen we began Eureka Street in 1991, it was a given that we'd publish a cryptic crossword. I like to believe it was divinely ordained that it should be Joan, only and always, who'd keep us gridded, intellectually tempered and clued up.


AUSTRALIA

Paid leave fans the maternal flame

6 Comments
02 July 2008 | Jen Vuk 'Baby Bonus?', by Chris Johnston (cropped)Parenting deserves more than a bonus, it deserves to be exulted and supported in its many and varied forms. With so many women in the workforce a paid maternity leave scheme is the linchpin upon which other 'family-friendly' policies depend.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Saddam's neck

01 July 2008 | Various

saxy lines the noose .. in a loop around his neck .. in a loop on CNN .. over and over again


AUSTRALIA

Guilt edged leaders

4 Comments
01 July 2008 | Gillian Bouras Iguanatate'Iguanagate' pariahs Belinda Neal and John Della Bosca can hardly be compared with Bush, Blair and Howard, but they are arguably on the same continuum. Surely the notion that leadership and responsibility go together still has some meaning.


Zimbabwe needs the ballot, not the bullet

4 Comments
30 June 2008 | Oskar Wermter Robert MugabeGangs of party youth rampage through working class Harare assaulting anyone suspected of voting against Robert Mugabe. When they kill, these youths — uneducated, frustrated, high on Mugabe's ideology of hatred — think they are defending Zimbabwe's sovereignty.


The place of plastic

2 Comments
30 June 2008 | Michael Mullins Plastic BagPlastic is for when when durability is required. The use of plastics in the manufacture of household appliances has enabled them to be priced at a level affordable to most people. But single-use bags and bottles are just too costly to the environment.


Democrats' bastard demise

6 Comments
27 June 2008 | Tony Smith DemocratsAt their best, the Democrats refused legislative trade-offs, viewing compromise as a step towards cynicism. Should deadlocks beset parliament in the months ahead, people may regret the departure of the party that tried to keep the bastards honest.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Aboriginal voices resist colonial history

27 June 2008 | Kevin Brophy The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal LiteratureSince the 18th century, Aboriginal writers have used the English language to make their presence felt in the face of colonisation. This anthology of Aboriginal writing goes beyond 'literature' to suggest a national counter-narrative.


ENVIRONMENT

The truth about coal climate 'solutions'

6 Comments
26 June 2008 | Tony Kevin GarnautPrepare for a lot of powerfully funded special interest lobbying against the Garnaut Report when it is issued next week, particularly from the coal industry. Those inconvenienced by change will always shout louder than the majority who stand to benefit from it.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Life becomes her

26 June 2008 | Tim Kroenert Happy Go LuckyHalf way through Happy-Go-Lucky, effervescent heroine Poppy encounters a homeless man under a bridge. The scene marks the emergence of a serious subtext in the upbeat film, regarding the tension between personal and social expectations about how best to live.


Incivility trumps the empty dance of manners

5 Comments
25 June 2008 | Brian Doyle Swear jarOne time we were in a meeting when a very important person proposed a very stupid idea. We knew our uncivil friend would pop a gasket, and he did, albeit in memorably incisive fashion. The silence that followed was a remarkable sound.


RELIGION

In bed with the secular spirit

4 Comments
25 June 2008 | James McEvoy MadonnaA teacher at a Catholic college joked that students turned to Madonna — the pop icon, not the religious one — for spiritual inspiration. Western society may seem to trivialise religion, but a culture of authenticity has developed in which people seek their own way and deepest fulfilment.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Them blackfellas

1 Comment
24 June 2008 | Chenoah Ellis HEY WHITE GIRL!Sky is gigantic in Cloncurry .. And the sun sets ever so late .. The bars are open all night .. So the drunks can get drunker .. And their anger turn to hate


RELIGION

The terror that ended World War II

9 Comments
24 June 2008 | Frank Brennan Harry TrumanMany Australians still believe US President Harry Truman made the right decision in authorising the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Philosopher Michael Walzer calls it an act of terrorism designed 'to spread fear across a nation and force the surrender of its government'.


AUSTRALIA

Taking housing back from the banks

13 Comments
23 June 2008 | Chris Warren Monopoly house The housing crisis is here, but its effects are just beginning to be realised. A 'common equity' model suggests an alternative means of home ownership that excludes profit-driven banks and lenders, so that housing becomes a right rather than a privilege of the privileged.


The skinny on 'fat' Australia

2 Comments
23 June 2008 | Tim Kroenert and Andrew Hamilton Fat bellyA new report reveals Australia's battle with the bulge is reaching crisis point, suggesting our lives of comfort and consumption are catching up with us. The weight problem is a symptom of general problematic attitdues towards human dignity and wholeness.