Vol 25 No 10

25 May 2015


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Roman holiday's graffiti highlight

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 04 June 2015
    1 Comment

    You can never see a city again for the very first time, and so instead I observe my son as the Rome he's heard about comes alive before his own eyes. His greatest fascination is not its stand-alone antiquities, but the graffiti that blooms all around them. To me, these are displays of vandalism; to him they are cultural constructs as important to modern subversives as gladiatorial contests were to the Romans.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The generosity of Joan Kirner

    • Moira Rayner
    • 04 June 2015
    15 Comments

    Joan's outstanding quality was her generosity, which gave her interactions great warmth. She remembered names, faces, and the back-stories of her constituents and supporters as well as her opponents. She stayed politically alert on the issues dearest to her heart, notably public and private respect for the unique perspectives of women and girls. I will miss our great, sometimes squabbling relationship.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Same sex marriage a defeat for humanity?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 June 2015
    60 Comments

    The Vatican Secretary of State's post-Irish referendum comment refers to the Church's understanding of the privilege given by society to lasting heterosexual marriage reflecting the social good of the institution. But the heaviest defeats for humanity come from government policies that focus on the individual, ignore the needs of those raising children, and penalise the disadvantaged.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Child assassin's slow escape from cult corruption

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 June 2015

    The children, their mothers and overseer inhabit a world all their own, morally as well as geographically. They know little but the rustic textures of life inside the compound; where every Friday they paint their faces like jungle animals and sing karaoke as a reward for a good week's killing. Even during their bloody errands, the urban landscape evokes a Martian dereliction. Only Alexander has started to smell danger.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Winter chill has a purpose

    • Megan Graham
    • 02 June 2015
    2 Comments

    I can't hate the season entirely. Perhaps winter gives the sun the due reverence it’s owed - a chance for its power to be known intimately through its absence. Over a book, warmed by the words on the page and the cup of tea in your hand, you can muse about what it all means to be alive. Sometimes a little hibernation is what it takes to heal.

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  • CARTOON

    Captain Australia strikes again

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 02 June 2015
    1 Comment

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

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia wants to know nothing about asylum seekers' torture history

    • Justin Glyn
    • 02 June 2015
    16 Comments

    International law regards torture as a matter of ius cogens, something which can never be justified. If one were serious about finding out about genuine refugee claims, enquiring about any torture at the hands of the people an asylum seeker is fleeing would surely be near the top of the list of cogent questions. But Australia has ceased to ask asylum seekers about any history of torture.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Quake forces Nepalis to walk on water

    • Angela Ford
    • 01 June 2015
    2 Comments

    As a kiwi I had grown up with earthquakes. I remember them large, small and intrusive. Awed by their power, I cherished the still that followed. This is what made Nepal’s second major earthquake so different for me. I will never forget the beginning of the 7.3-magnitude quake, but will never recall the end.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Smells like baked scones

    • Wendy Fleming
    • 01 June 2015
    6 Comments

    I will sit the pot on my desk filled with red geraniums, variegated blue and pink wallflowers I’ll let it breathe devotion, your heart work, imprint your words of love.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fossil fuel divestment economics in line with morality

    • Michael Mullins
    • 31 May 2015
    3 Comments

    The Norwegian Parliament has just ordered its $A1.15 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund to divest from coal. This represents the largest single divestment from fossil fuels in human history, and our biggest sign yet that the age of coal is over and the financial case for investing in fossil fuels is likely to disintegrate. Australia will crash and burn both economically and morally if we do not follow suit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia lags as Shorten leads on same sex marriage

    • John Warhurst
    • 31 May 2015
    71 Comments

    Whatever one's position on the introduction of same sex marriage, it's clear that Australia now lags well behind the Western world, including many comparable countries such as the UK and New Zealand. This contrasts with 120 years ago around the time of Federation, when Australia was a leader on issues such as votes for women, other democratic reforms such as the secret ballot, and a living wage. Our country is now a laggard.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Government chipping away at our liberties

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 28 May 2015
    13 Comments

    There have been no violent usurpations. No coup. No acts of massive violence. But data retention laws have been passed. National security legislation protecting ASIO from all operations short of murder while punishing the disclosure of material on secret intelligence operations has been enacted. The stripping of citizenship of dual nationals is on the books. And more.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian citizenship as a political plaything

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 May 2015
    4 Comments

    The Federal Government plans to legislate within weeks to strip certain dual nationals of their Australian citizenship. Extending the already existing draconian ministerial power to overturn review tribunal decisions into the area of citizenship is unwarranted. Such an important determination should require the testing of solid evidence, not merely a minister's assessment of the 'national interest'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Seeking restitution for Nazi art theft

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 May 2015
    4 Comments

    Maria's aunt was the subject of one of Austria's most famous artworks, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, by the painter Gustav Klimt, which was stolen from Maria's family by the Nazis during the Second World War. Maria's story raises questions about the means and consequences of individuals and nations coming to terms with difficult histories, and of what constitutes 'ownership' of cultural artefacts with a high level of national significance.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Education with higher expectations

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 May 2015
    7 Comments

    Tony Abbott's evocation of 'the tyranny of low expectations' invites more general reflection on education and public life. I believe that the Australian approach to education does indeed impose a tyranny of low expectations in the sense that the expectations are defined by economic achievement and its attendant wealth and status, and the goal for schools is success in enabling students to participate economically.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Painful memories of my schooldays

    • Isabella Fels
    • 26 May 2015
    9 Comments

    It was a place of torture, with great physical and mental pain. I remember being hit at with a hockey stick. I was forced to stoop, in all sorts of ways. All my efforts came to nothing, even when I gave the girls money to buy lollies, and lent them my Sweet Dreams teenage romance novels.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Irish Church accepts its teaching jars with the faithful

    • Gerry O'Hanlon
    • 26 May 2015
    56 Comments

    Archbishop Martin voted no in the gay marriage referendum. But after the result, he says the Church needs ‘a reality check across the board’, and that means more than a new language. When Church teaching is invoked to bar women from office, to forbid contraception and condemn homosexual relations as intrinsically disordered in  a way that conflicts with the ‘sense of the faithful’ of so many of the baptised, then the Church, despite the many wise things it has to say, loses credibility.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Submarine Catholic

    • Various
    • 25 May 2015
    4 Comments

    Fifty years ago well after my baptism my first holy communion & my confirmation I would have likely said – practising Catholic. Most friday nights back then I’d find myself with Father kneeling before him on the carpeted step of the confessional box my little red face pressed upwards to the grille.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My personal climate change bind

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 May 2015
    16 Comments

    Most people think that the effects of climate change as dire but far off. I don't have that comfort. My seafarer father plays a role in generating wealth for miners who then use it as a means to influence politicians - coal, industrial salt, iron ore. I am deeply aware that my government is committed to doing as little as possible to address climate change and its lack of a coherent, internationalist policy in Australia costs countries that are climate change-vulnerable, including where my family lives back in the Philippines.

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  • CARTOON

    Labor for and against refugees

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 25 May 2015
    6 Comments

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    PM's super pitch needs solid policy foundation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 24 May 2015
    1 Comment

    Tony Abbott has warned voters that Bill Shorten has his eye on their retirement savings. He once praised the Nationals' Barnaby Joyce as a 'uniquely gifted retail politician'. But more attention to wholesaling - i.e. policy resources - would help to get both pensions and super concessions on to a more sustainable footing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's Operation Sovereign Borders dilemma

    • Tony Kevin
    • 24 May 2015
    19 Comments

    The week’s dreadful Rohingya asylum seeker tragedy prompted an eventual softened response from our neighbours, but not Australia. The current government’s record of stopping boat arrivals and deaths at sea stands in stark contrast to that of Labor during its period of office, when at least 1100 asylum seekers died at sea.

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