Vol 26 No 18

12 September 2016


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My life with dwarfism

    • Julie Guirgis
    • 22 September 2016
    5 Comments

    Being unique has its pros. It has made me a compassionate person able to see past the differences in people. And although I am a dwarf by birth I don't identify as that. Being the creative free-spirit that I am I have come to reject any labels put on me. I haven't let my medical condition define me; instead I have created my own identity. As the writer Helen Keller once said, 'Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.'

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  • MEDIA

    History will pardon Snowden even if Obama won't

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 22 September 2016
    9 Comments

    The relationship between the whistleblower and journalism has not always been a neat one. The tendency for symbiosis to become positively vengeful is evidenced in the Washington Post stance on Edward Snowden's whistleblowing activities. Having scooped up a Pulitzer working on the Snowden findings, the paper got nasty. There was little need for the paper to wade into these waters, but the editors obviously felt so strongly about Snowden it went for the jugular with seething conviction.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Refugee children process trauma through drama

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 21 September 2016
    1 Comment

    At a Sydney school, a group of teenage refugees come together to share their stories, first with each other, and then with their friends and families via a live theatrical performance. Treehouse Theatre is run by three dedicated teachers, who facilitate the sharing, and help transform the children's stories into scripts that can be performed. Their stories are yet another reminder of the human cost of conflict, and of policies that exclude and further traumatise those who are fleeing from it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Indecent asylum policy damages us all

    • Samuel Dariol
    • 21 September 2016
    10 Comments

    In the last week Turnbull has lauded, as the world's best refugee policy, a system that has resettled no refugees over three years. Dutton has stated that asylum seekers will continue to be processed in Nauru for decades, and described the Australian policy, of which detention on Nauru is part, as compassionate and effective. These comments follow recent reports by NGOs Save the Children and UNICEF, as well as the Australian Human Rights Commission, on offshore detention. Both urge an end to it.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Morality is back on the economic agenda

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 September 2016
    4 Comments

    It is a welcome change to see budgets spoken of in moral terms. The government recently insisted on a moral responsibility to future generations to fix the deficit. And the Australian Catholic bishops welcomed on moral grounds the compromise that saw dropped from the budget measures which would further disadvantage vulnerable people. The difference was that the government's argument was focused on the budget, whereas the bishops' focused on particular groups of people.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Time to put an end to slavery in Australia

    • Sarah Puls
    • 20 September 2016
    3 Comments

    Labour exploitation in Australia is a massive problem and becoming worse. And it's not like our parliamentarians are unaware of the facts. In March a senate report, titled 'A National Disgrace: Exploitation of Working Visa Holders', provided evidence of significant exploitation of vulnerable workers and made 33 recommendations to address these issues and work towards change. Yet, not one of these recommendations has been taken up and there is no sign yet that they will be.

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  • CARTOON

    Dutton's show stopper

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 20 September 2016
    4 Comments

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

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  • EDUCATION

    Social justice in an ageing society

    • Peter Hosking
    • 19 September 2016
    3 Comments

    Australia is now planning for an economy that has more elderly people. Death rates are declining and life expectancy is increasing. Our population should reach 36 to 40 million by 2050; the number of Australians aged 65 and over will go from 3.5 million to 9 million. In 1970 we had 29 per cent of the population under 15 and 8 per cent over 65. In 2050 we will have about 17 per cent under 15 and 23 per cent over 65. We need to plan to help the next generation care for the generation above them.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Count the cost of Apple's September sell

    • Megan Graham
    • 19 September 2016
    5 Comments

    Apple has been in hot water for years about the ethics of the manufacture of their devices. Yet iPhone fans gleefully fork out more money every September when the next version is ceremoniously revealed. This circus has become so normalised, most of us hardly blink an eye. How many people ask themselves whether the upgrades in the technology are worth getting a new phone every year? More importantly, how many people question the real-world costs that their purchase entails?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hoarding and its discontents

    • Brian Matthews
    • 19 September 2016
    7 Comments

    When the skip arrived and a young bloke named Troy backed it into our driveway with insolent ease, I knew the game was up. Months of sporadic, amiable discussions had now reached a suddenly irrevocable conclusion. Our agenda - what to do with 'hoarded' papers and notes, drawers of never-to-be-worn-again clothes, children's picture books and abandoned Lego, decades old back copies of magazines - was called to order by a higher power and my filibustering and equivocations abruptly ended.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Battling the Pauline Hanson battler myth

    • Osmond Chiu
    • 16 September 2016
    12 Comments

    It is ironic that Hanson thrives on the perception that she is an authentic outsider against 'the system' when in fact she is part of that system. Think about how she is constantly given paid platforms by television networks. She hasn't been silenced by 'the system', her voice is heard and has been amplified. She is also no amateur, she is a professional and knows exactly what she is doing. She is not some 'battler' being picked on, and that needs to be emphasised.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pauline's peddling the hate again

    • Rachel Woodlock
    • 16 September 2016
    24 Comments

    Invisible to Hanson and her ilk are the hundreds of thousands of Aussies whose understanding of Islam allows them to enjoy and promote the separation of religion and state, live happily and peacefully alongside their non-Muslim neighbours, and have no long-term plans to impose their beliefs on anyone. Why should anyone delegitimise their Islam? Pauline Hanson may do it for the votes, but if we listen to her and follow her suggestions, we run the risk of destroying the very social cohesion she mistakenly thinks is threatened by multiculturalism.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fat facts lay waste to sugar's sins

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 15 September 2016
    3 Comments

    According to the New York Times, historical documents show that in the 1960s the sugar industry paid scientists to downplay the link between heart disease and sugar consumption, and to pin the blame on saturated fat instead. The consequences of this unethical behaviour are scandalous: five decades of nutrition research tainted by the sugar industry's interference. I'd already reached my own conclusion about the dangers of sugar when my then-17-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hope, not nihilism, is the antidote to bleak times

    • Fatima Measham
    • 15 September 2016
    3 Comments

    In Mexico, a 12-year old boy walked onto the road to stare down an 11,000-strong anti-LGBTQ protest. In Italy, a small town has been revived by the arrival of refugees and migrants. In the US, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has pulled the issue of police brutality into apolitical spaces, using symbolic gestures to draw out the history of racialised oppression. As Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine puts it, 'If you want to be right, be a pessimist, if you want to do right, be an optimist.'

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis among other disruptive leaders

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 September 2016
    17 Comments

    Is Francis' style of political engagement effective? It has certainly gained him a favourable hearing within church and society. His message and his personality suit the times. Whether it will be lastingly effective will depend on whether he changes attitudes, particularly those of people who will be responsible for governance in church and state. But at the very least he has stressed the ethical and religious urgency of treating refugees, the environment, and the economy with respect.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Heroes and humanity in Hudson River plane miracle

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 September 2016
    1 Comment

    On 15 January 2009, US Airways pilot Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger successfully executed an emergency water landing on the Hudson River in New York, after both engines on the passenger jet he was flying were disabled following a collision with a flock of geese shortly after takeoff. Miraculously, and thanks largely to the veteran pilot's razor instincts and resourcefulness, all 155 passengers and crew on board escaped the ordeal all but unscathed. In Sully the incident itself is portrayed in near forensic detail (aviophobics might best stay away). But it is the human touches that really make it soar.

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  • CARTOON

    Unprincipled plebiscite

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 14 September 2016
    5 Comments

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Growing up with Baryulgil's asbestos genocide

    • Dani Larkin
    • 14 September 2016
    9 Comments

    On 8 September the ABC's 7:30 revealed yet another heartbreaking story of just another person who has contracted an asbestos-related disease. Ffloyd Laurie is a Bunjalung man from the Aboriginal community of Baryulgil, NSW - my home town. Like the rest of the Baryulgil community, including my mother, uncles, nan and pop, Ffloyde worked and lived with no idea of the consequences and health risks caused by that asbestos. Those consequences have proven to be fatal already for my pop.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    A walk with the ghosts of Chile's September 11

    • Tony Thompson
    • 14 September 2016
    6 Comments

    I don't speak Spanish but I knew I had to try to ask someone. It wasn't an appealing idea. The crowds of people roaming here were the bereaved. They were here to visit their loved ones, not help me tick a box on my tourist adventure. However, I had little choice. I stopped a friendly looking middle aged man. 'Victor Jara,' I said. 'Donde?' He smiled and said a lot of things in Spanish while gesturing in a particular direction. I thanked him and headed the way he had pointed.

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  • ECONOMICS

    The bad business of privatisation

    • David James
    • 13 September 2016
    18 Comments

    The argument that putting government operations into private hands ensures that things will run better and society will benefit is not merely a stretch; it is in many respects patently false. The argument is based on the claim that the market always produces superior price signals. Yet one area where private enterprise definitely fails is long term stability. If there is an expectation that a privatised service should last in the long term, and usually there is, then selling it to business is a bad choice.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The sound of black

    • Kevin Gillam
    • 13 September 2016
    1 Comment

    I understand the meaning of her silence but don't have a word for it so I scour night sky for a term for the sound of black between stars and moon and meteorites and planets and us and come up with 'evol' and write it down and then show it to her and she says 'is that the root of evolve like before stuff moves or morphs?' and I say 'no, it's love backwards' and she stares at me and says nothing

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fighting the ancient urge to kill a free fire

    • Brian Doyle
    • 12 September 2016
    5 Comments

    One time when I was about 12 my friends and I found a smouldering fire in the little woods behind our town's fire station. So we pulled it apart, and stomped it out, and threw dirt over the embers, and cleared brush away from the site, and then, dusty and sooty and inordinately proud of ourselves, we trooped into the fire station to report our feat. The fireman who met us listened carefully, and then he told us grimly that if ever we did such a thing again he would report us to the police.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Treaty holds the key to robust environmental law

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 09 September 2016
    17 Comments

    When I read this week that Tony Abbott and John Howard will hear no talk of a Treaty with Aboriginal Australia, my first thought was 'Who listens to these blokes from ancient political history?' Abbott conceded that it is important to recognise Indigenous Australians were here first, 'But once it goes beyond that I think you open up all sorts of other things.' That is true, and those other things to be opened up are incredibly legally exciting and relevant to our times.

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