Vol 18 No 16

04 August 2008

'China's internet guard dog' by Chris Johnston


REVIEWS

Book of the week

1 Comment
15 August 2008 | Patricia Pak Poy Song for Night by Chris Abani, book cover, cropped 50 by 50How would it feel to be a child soldier in West Africa, forced to rape and kill at the age of 15? And where might you seek redemption amid such horrors?


AUSTRALIA

Olympics a good time to start wars

5 Comments
15 August 2008 | Gillian Bouras OlympicsPolitics is never far from the surface at the Olympics. Even at the so-called friendly Games in Melbourne in 1956, the famous 'Blood in the Water' water-polo match reflected tensions surrounding the Soviet invasion of Hungary ten days before.


RELIGION

Reliving the Church's sexual evolution

20 Comments
14 August 2008 | Andrew Hamilton Humanae VitaeThe year 1968 is usually associated with student protests. In the Catholic Church, it is remembered for Humanae Vitae, the papal document directed against artificial contraception, and for the turmoil that followed it.


REVIEWS

Film of the week

14 August 2008 | Tim Kroenert Garbage Warrior movie poster, cropped 50 by 50What happens when a renegade architect goes head to head with the US government in an effort to gain permission to build houses out of garbage?


AUSTRALIA

'Brilliant' Martin scuppered by party white ants

11 Comments
13 August 2008 | Moira Rayner Clare MartinOn Friday the Northern Territory lost one of too few politicians with integrity and courage. We will not see the like of Clare Martin again for a very long time.


MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

Living with dignity

12 Comments
13 August 2008 | Ruth Limkin Euthanasia advocates often overlook the implication notions of dignity have for those with disabilities. To say some of the processes of dying are undignified passes judgement not upon the death of some, but upon the life of many.


CREATIVE

Uncreation story

3 Comments
12 August 2008 | Val Yule Men DestroyMountains and hills! Men bore, quarry and scalp them .. Fruit trees and cedars! Men spray them and clearfell them .. Beasts and cattle! Men extinguish or factory-farm them .. Creeping things and flying birds! Men wipe them out also.


AUSTRALIA

Poultry parable for homeless youth

21 Comments
12 August 2008 | John Honner Homeless girl faceImagine a young person in State care trying to access the rental market with no money or employment history. Beryl the Chook was last in the pecking order, but through a 'constructive alliance' her strengths began to overcome her defecits.


Games won't tame China's internet guard dog

2 Comments
11 August 2008 | Cat Juan

Beijing Olympics logo and Olympic rings The internet was once touted as a force for democracy. China has successfully turned this threat to its own advantage, and could show the way to other totalitarian nations.


Freedom fries not to Solzhenitsyn's taste

1 Comment
11 August 2008 | Michael Mullins Alexander SolzhenitsynWhile he was best known for his unrelenting criticism of the Soviet system, Alexander Solzhenitsyn also provided a devastating critique of the excesses of Western capitalism.


ENVIRONMENT

Nossal's leaky GM defence

4 Comments
08 August 2008 | Charles Rue Gustav NossalDuring recent media appearances Sir Gustav Nossal has reiterated the same biotech message the pro-GM lobby has peddled for more than a decade. Anti-GM farmers encourage scientific research, but good science should not be equated with GM.


REVIEWS

Book of the week

2 Comments
08 August 2008 | Alexandra Coghlan Enid Lyons — Leading Lady to a Nation, by Anne Henderson, cover image cropped 50 by 50That a woman was elected to the House of Representatives in 1943 is remarkable. Enid Lyons' drive and endeavour led many to cast her as the political force and her husband Joe Lyons, Australia's tenth Prime Minister, as a figurehead.


AUSTRALIA

Congo thrives under Chinese 'invasion'

6 Comments
07 August 2008 | Fernando Franco Congo flag cropped 50 by 50European and US corporations are on the retreat in Africa, while the progress of Chinese and Indian companies is bearing positive results. They stand to fulfill the promise of 'development' that has remained a dream since independence.


REVIEWS

Film of the week

07 August 2008 | Tim Kroenert Female Agents movie poster, cropped 50 by 50Undercover female soldiers are sent into enemy territory during World War II to protect one of the Allies' best-kept secrets. The women must subject themselves to being exploited in order that they might exploit their opponent.


ENVIRONMENT

iPhone junkies fuel 'techsclusivity'

4 Comments
06 August 2008 | Ben O'Mara iPhone touch screen, cropped to 50 by 50The iPhone is sexy and clever, but not everyone will benefit from this new technological drug of choice. Increased reliance on communications technology has emerged as a major issue in health promotion to multicultural Australia.


CREATIVE

Funeral for a marriage

19 Comments
06 August 2008 | Brian Doyle Broken heart on sidewalkDivorce is an incredibly powerful and painful chapter in millions of lives every year. Maybe we should create a public ritual for the end of a marriage by which we honour their brave attempt and mourn the death of love and hope.


Tragedy walks through their doors

2 Comments
05 August 2008 | Jennifer Compton The RoomHe told me it was called the Grievance Room. I looked askance ... He offered me the use of their Spirituality Centre. I declined. But made sure of their Smoke Zone.


AUSTRALIA

Chinese burn for 'political' Games

4 Comments
05 August 2008 | Jeremy Clarke Beijing Olympics logoThe torch relay protests unexpectedly strengthened aggressive nationalism, as the Chinese people swung behind the government and its Olympic aspirations. Sport and politics will combine in weeks to come, making for interesting viewing.


Refugee reform: the next chapter

8 Comments
04 August 2008 | David Holdcroft razor wire - Flickr image by limonadaLast week's changes to Australia's asylum policy remove the worst aspects of a cruel system. The real test is if the Rudd Government is willing to take on the causes of forced migration, rather than continuing to shift the burden elsewhere.


Greedy Australia in a league of its own

2 Comments
04 August 2008 | Michael Mullins

Sonny Bill WilliamsAccusations of greed followed Canterbury Bulldogs star Sonny Bill Williams' decision to break his contract and accept a lucrative deal with a French union club. Greed is surprisingly pervasive in Australia. The reintroduction of death duties might keep it in check.