Vol 24 No 1

19 January 2014


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Beware conservative slogans for Indigenous inclusion

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 January 2014
    5 Comments

    The idea of a completed Constitution may be attractive, but it is also dangerous. To complete something is to end, conclude or finish it. Alternatively something which is complete is perfect, full or entire. Such language is inappropriate when discussing a constitution. Advocates for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians should beware of it even if it improves the immediate chances of passing any particular constitutional change.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The baleful life of Stalin's favourite actress

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 January 2014
    7 Comments

    When her husband was arrested and imprisoned indefinitely as an outspoken opponent of Stalin, she became depressed and alcoholic. Film director Grigori Aleksandrov rescued her by choosing her to star in Moscow Laughs. She became his mistress, later his wife, a screen star and, perhaps most important of all, she attracted Stalin's benign attention.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cardinal sins in beautiful Rome

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 January 2014
    5 Comments

    The cardinal is senseless to the libertine Jep's enquiries about faith, and prone to missing ordinary human connections in the midst of his politicking and self-obsession. If this is an unflattering reflection of institutional Catholicism, it finds its counterpoint in an ancient nun known as the Saint, whose humility reveals to Jep the possibility of transcendence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's pointers for Australian welfare review

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 January 2014
    27 Comments

    Pope Francis' message to the World Economic Forum at Davos developed the Catholic understanding that government and business economic actions should be governed not by trust in the workings of the free market, but by care for the good of the whole human community. Coincidentally the Australian Government announced a review of welfare payments.

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  • CARTOON

    What have refugees ever done for us?

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 28 January 2014
    13 Comments

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fawlty thinking about the aftermyth of war

    • Ray Cassin
    • 28 January 2014
    15 Comments

    'Don't mention the war!' admonishes John Cleese as the hapless hotelier Basil Fawlty in the classic television comedy series Fawlty Towers. With a string of war-related anniversaries to take place over the next four years, beginning this year with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, we may soon find ourselves sharing Fawlty's sentiments.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My life as a tourist trap

    • Patrick McCabe
    • 28 January 2014
    5 Comments

    When I have achieved universal fame, they will turn my childhood house into a tourist attraction. My mum and dad's bedroom won't be of much interest to many enthusiasts, but in the lounge room, they will be excited to see the original family lounge suite. It is unlikely my Ikea bookcase will have survived, but visitors will be able to enjoy a faithful reconstruction, built by an artisan specialising in the 'Allen key' method of furniture design.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bleeding hearts alone won't save asylum seekers

    • Fatima Measham
    • 27 January 2014
    21 Comments

    Those who campaign for more humane treatment of asylum seekers cannot keep assuming that the elements of the debate that matter to them most are the most persuasive. The hardest thing to accept may be that the socioeconomic anxieties for which immigration serves as proxy, as well as the insecurity and resentment generated by state impotence and political opportunism, do not necessarily make for 'bad' people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott pays a heavy price to stop the boats

    • Tony Kevin
    • 27 January 2014
    34 Comments

    It is now weeks since any asylum seekers arrived in Australia, and under the Abbott Government there have been no reported deaths at sea involving Australian border protection interception action or failure to act. This is a striking improvement on the high death rate under the Rudd and Gillard governments. Tony Abbott has kept his pre-election promise to stop the boats, but at what huge cost!

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    No Buddhist bullets in Thai turmoil

    • Paul Kay
    • 23 January 2014
    4 Comments

    It's often said in Thailand that the three pillars of Thai society are Buddhism, the monarchy and the nation, or political system. In recent months I've witnessed many noisy anti-government protests in Bangkok where political groups have been very visible. But amid the turmoil, Buddhism and the monarchy are notably absent. The low profile of the monarchy is easily explained. The absence of Buddhism is more puzzling.

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  • MEDIA

    Journalistic ethics in transgender tragedy

    • Ellena Savage
    • 23 January 2014
    4 Comments

    Last week a troubling story broke on sports journalism site Grantland. While investigating the background of Dr V., an avowed physicist who had invented a revolutionary golf putter, journalist Caleb Hannan discovered that Dr V. was a trans-woman. In the course of the investigation, Dr V. committed suicide. This tragic case raises questions about journalistic ethics, not least of which is if journalism is, by its very nature, unethical.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The joke is on Wall Street

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 January 2014
    5 Comments

    If ultimately Belfort's comeuppance for his innumerable evils is modest, and his lessons remain unlearned, it is deeply and frighteningly ironic, in a way that has parallels in the real world. The global financial crisis resulted precisely from the kind of unbridled amorality that the characters in The Wolf of Wall Street gleefully embrace. Money is their morality. Lives are left battered and bruised, but the Wall Street party keeps raging on.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Celebrating diversity on Australia Day

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 January 2014
    20 Comments

    This week began with Australia Day and ends with the Chinese New Year. The juxtaposition suggests pertinent questions about Australian identity, especially the ways in which Australians have alternately included and excluded those seen as outsiders. This is most evident in the relationship between Australian settlers' attitudes to Indigenous Australians, but it is also seen in Australian attitudes to Chinese and other Asian peoples.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The war on asylum seekers

    • Justin Glyn
    • 21 January 2014
    32 Comments

    The current dispute with Indonesia over border incursions by the Australian Navy is symptomatic of a deeper problem — the militarisation of political discourse. Von Clausewitz famously claimed that 'war is politics by other means': in other words, that military force is employed in service of political ends. In Australia, as elsewhere in the West, this is being taken to an extreme not previously seen outside authoritarian societies.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Aboriginal words worth remembering

    • Ailsa Piper
    • 21 January 2014
    17 Comments

    I'm fifth generation Australian, but I don't have a word to describe the emotional malnutrition I feel at our leaders' lack of vision. Maybe there are words for such feelings in Yamatji, or Eora, or Noongar, but most of us wouldn't know. This was a place with more linguistic individuation than Europe, before our boat-people ancestors arrived, but they didn't take the time to learn its words or hear its stories.

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  • CARTOON

    Scott Morrison's war

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 21 January 2014
    4 Comments

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Time to honour Aboriginal frontier warriors

    • Paul Newbury
    • 20 January 2014
    23 Comments

    New Zealand, our partner in the Anzac legend, has no problem commemorating the Maori Wars of 1845–1872. Yet the Australian War Memorial refuses to honour Aboriginal warriors who fought and died defending their lands and their people against white invader settlers in the Frontier Wars of 1788–1928. This is a moral issue, and has the effect of excluding a whole people from commemoration based on a trifle.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In the margins of the Psalms

    • Stephen Oliver
    • 20 January 2014
    2 Comments

    I wondered how to make sense of those patterns, that portcullis of light and shadow there before the beginning, small corners of the world where angels dallied between tasks, taking a break, to toss rings of light onto lengthening poles of shadow from dawn to dusk.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gasploitation in Queensland

    • Lily O'Neill
    • 19 January 2014
    6 Comments

    The WA Government recently acquired 3414 hectares at James Price Point near Broome, in the continuing saga to develop the region's liquefied natural gas reserves. Meanwhile, the building of four LNG processing plants on Curtis Island, off Gladstone, Qld, is proceeding smoothly. While the traditional owners of James Price Point have received international attention, traditional owners in Gladstone have barely been heard.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia is neither Christian nor atheist

    • Michael Mullins
    • 19 January 2014
    34 Comments

    The Greens have called for the dropping of the Lord's Prayer from the opening of each day's sitting of federal parliament. Because Australia is not a Christian country, they are right to question the exclusive use of a Christian prayer. But any change should reflect a multi-faith society, not a no-faith society.

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