Vol 23 No 13

01 July 2013


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    It's time to recognise secular same sex marriage

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 July 2013
    97 Comments

    The US Supreme Court and our newly installed Prime Minister have put their weight behind legal recognition of same sex marriage. In California alone there are already 40,000 children who are being brought up by same sex couples. In this debate we need to be mindful of the wellbeing and dignity of these children as well as the unknown number in future who will be created in a test tube.

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    The small-l liberal tradition of brutal border control

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 11 July 2013
    8 Comments

    Many on the left might shudder at the mention of Philip Ruddock or think that his views on migration control were extreme and 'illiberal'. But in fact his views rested on mainstream liberal ideas of limited freedom. In Australia the concepts offered by the liberal tradition have been employed by both sides of politics to give a 'reasonable' varnish to inhumane migration control policies.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Portrait of an empty marriage and absent God

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 10 July 2013
    2 Comments

    The sense of God as absent is almost suffocating, but is relieved by the hope that if God is absent from buildings and institutions he may be present 'outside' and in relationships. Father Quintana comes into his own when he comes into contact with the needs of ordinary people, as he prays in voiceover 'Christ before me … behind me' and so on.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Pope's lessons in boldness for Australian politicians

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 July 2013
    21 Comments

    One of the intriguing features of Pope Francis is the contrast between his earthy and free way with words and the laboured earnestness of those exploring his words for hidden meanings. It is like watching Martians deploy a bomb disposal unit to deal with the football a kid has kicked into their spaceship. The incongruity is humorous but it also points to a sclerosis in public conversations.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lament of the 21st century man

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 09 July 2013
    10 Comments

    His body itself is a symbol of his inherited power and privilege. He hears women talk about being afraid to go out at night alone. He sees the great strides women have made in the workforce, yet sits in management meetings where nine out of ten leaders are men. He sees bikini clad women on his television screen and feels guilty at admiring their bodies.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Continuity in a changing church

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 July 2013
    9 Comments

    In the tension between tradition and change, John Paul II is seen as an emblem of continuity, and Pope John XXIII as a symbol for radical change. In the decision to canonise both former popes, Francis has refocused continuity as a way of honouring different perspectives in the name of a greater common mission.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Democracy reigns in Rudd's participation nation

    • Ray Cassin
    • 09 July 2013
    9 Comments

    Most voters think that when they fill in a ballot paper they are choosing between the prime minister and the opposition leader. And the fact that they think this makes it so, regardless of the niceties of constitutional theory. The system Rudd is proposing would narrow the gap between voter perceptions and the power of parliamentary blocs to ignore them.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Another round of Ramadan lunar-cy

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 08 July 2013
    17 Comments

    Ramadan is supposed to fine tune your soul, weaken the ties binding you to your physical appetites and test your religiosity. This month unites Muslims around the globe in an envelope of piety and mercy. At least that's the theory. In reality, for most of us Muslims Ramadan is the month of massive weight gain.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Moved and confused by church in a tent

    • Brian Doyle
    • 08 July 2013
    6 Comments

    Religions are mesmerised and ruined by power but always pregnant with the possibility of humility. They are so easy to ignore. You'd be wise to sneer, with every reason imaginable for the curl of your knowing lip. Yet here I am, on Sunday morning, in the wedding reception tent, agog; not so much at the earnest idiot of a minister, but at everyone, sweetly, else.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Kevin's bounce

    • John Warhurst
    • 07 July 2013
    17 Comments

    No one knows whether Kevin Rudd's positive impact on Labor's vote will last. While the potential bounce was long predicted by the opinion polls they could never tell us why. But then again he has always been an enigma. His immediate record of popularity after becoming Opposition Leader in 2006 was equally astounding. As the Rudd-Tony Abbott contest begins afresh there is a lot more that we need to know. 

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Inconvenient advice for a business-friendly prime minister

    • Michael Mullins
    • 07 July 2013
    4 Comments

    One of Kevin Rudd's key points of difference with Julia Gillard lies in his determination to project a business-friendly image for himself and the ALP. This may have something to do with his decision to dump former parliamentary secretary Andrew Leigh, who is Australia's leading inequality expert and clearly unsympathetic to the demands of big business on government.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Dusty feet on the road to reconciliation

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 July 2013
    8 Comments

    150 years ago the David McIver entered Hervey Bay carrying 404 immigrants, including my great great grandmother Annie. Some of the crew rowed to shore, where they were met and helped by two Aboriginal men. Who'd have thought that over a century later, one of Annie's great grandchildren would be a judge in the landmark Mabo native title case.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Bob Carr is kidding himself about refugees

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 04 July 2013
    5 Comments

    Senator Carr's comments about 'economic migrants' and asylum seekers from 'majority groups' show a lack of understanding of the separation of powers, the rule of law and the refugee assessment process in Australia. It is remarkable that, when confronted with the fact that the numbers of people meeting the refugee criteria are high, Carr's solution is to change the rules.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Husic feels the chill of Australia's racist winter

    • Ellena Savage
    • 04 July 2013
    11 Comments

    The media response to the racial abuse Ed Husic suffered after the Qur'an affair in Parliament was as troubling as the abuse itself. Labor MP Stephen Jones called Husic an immigration success story. I wonder what an immigration disaster story would look like. Perhaps the British-descendent bullies who spat on a 14-year-old, headscarved girl in 2004.

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    Egyptian democracy a long way off

    • Evan Ellis
    • 04 July 2013
    3 Comments

    President Mohamed Morsi did not govern particularly well. Egypt's rating on the Failed State Index has slipped from 45 to 34 since the fall of Mubarak. But the truth is that this crisis was not merely 12 months in the making, and Egypt's democracy was merely grafted on to a structure in which the military was the real power.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bad teacher's classroom voyeurism

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 July 2013
    1 Comment

    'Those who can't do, teach,' declares the unkind truism. Germain is the proverbial failed writer turned English teacher, who has grown jaded and cynical to the point of sociopathy. Education, like art, should enhance humanity, not diminish it — Germain's ultimate failure as a teacher is in neglecting his students' human reality.

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kevin Rudd and Indonesia's Obama

    • Pat Walsh
    • 03 July 2013
    10 Comments

    Rudd's visit to Jakarta this week will be judged on the outcome of asylum seeker discussions. But he needs also to send a clear message about Australia's hopes for next year's presidential elections. Candidates include a former military commander with a dubious human rights record, and a civilian being described as Indonesia's Obama.

    READ MORE
  • CARTOON

    Holy Rudd

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 02 July 2013
    4 Comments

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

    READ MORE
  • ECONOMICS

    Aussie dollar falls to fast money folly

    • David James
    • 02 July 2013
    4 Comments

    A currency's value is supposed to represent the state of the country's underlying economy. Yet very little changed about the Australian economy during a week in which the value of the dollar was substantially altered. It is a small instance of how rapidly change occurs in currency markets, sometimes to devastating effect, and another reason why the capital markets are ruling rather than serving.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Election year open season on refugees

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 July 2013
    16 Comments

    For refugees election years are like duck hunting season. Even dragon flies tremble. So it is not surprising that Bob Carr brought out the big guns that the Rudd Government will use. His claim that most asylum seekers are economic migrants, come from majority religious and tribal groups, and are too easily given protection visas, is a political response to an intractable situation and should be seen us such.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rural prayer

    • Kevin Gillam, Deanne Davies and James Walton
    • 01 July 2013

    There is no balm for the yearning of eucalypts. Candlebarks stretch up this vaulted wanting. Dahlias splash an insane chant over a paddock, a calf nods and backs into a startled wander. One day she might raspily lick the mystery of my supplicant salty palm.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Notes from a boat tragedy inquest

    • Tony Kevin
    • 01 July 2013
    4 Comments

    The WA Coroner's inquest into the sinking of SIEV 358 is shaping up to be the most thorough public examination ever of Australian rescue-at-sea protocols and practice in respect of assisting people on Suspected Irregular Entry Vessels. The Counsel Assisting the Coroner suggested that Australian Maritime Safety Authority's major focus for the first 11 hours of the incident had been to transfer the operation to Indonesia.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Canberra's life of lies

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 01 July 2013
    9 Comments

    Kevin Rudd says he wants to purify politics, and make it kinder and more honest. And yet his own standards when it comes to telling the truth are at least as rubbery as Tony Abbott's. Politicians who tell us they are acting for the higher good or that their brand of dishonesty is less egregious than that of their opponents are deluded and dangerous.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Rudd's shifting moral high ground

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 June 2013
    22 Comments

    Kevin Rudd told colleagues during the week that he would not 'lurch to the left' on asylum seekers. Foreign minister Bob Carr was on message when he said there's been a change and most boat arrivals are now economic migrants rather than genuine asylum seekers. He is boldly asserting that the Rudd Government's moral credentials are intact by framing boat arrivals as a law and order matter and not a moral issue.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Addicted to community

    • Shira Sebban
    • 30 June 2013
    4 Comments

    Since time immemorial, philosophers have argued that we are social animals. Yet it was not until my father's death that my longing for community became urgent. I'd once asked him if he would like to be buried in the same cemetery as his parents in Toronto, or in Melbourne where he'd lived for more than 30 years. 'We should be buried within the community where we live,' he replied.

    READ MORE