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Keywords: United States

  • AUSTRALIA

    The shadow of responsibility: Australian war crimes allegations in Afghanistan

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 November 2020
    21 Comments

    The discussion in Australia as to how such atrocities are to be approached is telling. The call for responsibility has varied by degrees. Most tend to some variant of the rotten apple theory: a few particularly fruits that may be isolated and extruded from the barrel. Culpability can thereby be confined, preserving the integrity of other military personnel and, importantly, political decision makers.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Biden's middle class in a divided America

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 November 2020
    9 Comments

    The priority given to the middle class was not new — Biden stressed it in speeches through the primaries and again as a candidate. And it is no doubt important. But when seen in the light of the passionate polarisation of the campaign, the closeness of the results, and the continuing mutual antipathy of the supporters of each party, rebuilding the middle class seems an unlikely source of healing.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholics and the future of American politics

    • Robert Christian
    • 12 November 2020
    31 Comments

    Now the question is: will the Republican Party revert back to its pre-Trump days, continue down the path of Trumpian populism, or seek an alternative to both? No matter which path is pursued, American Catholics will likely play a key role in shaping the party’s future direction.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Profitless prognostications

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 November 2020
    8 Comments

    One of the minor annoyances of the United States election was how unreliable the polls turned out to be, particularly in some key swing states. Unsurprising, but still annoying for those hoping for a massive repudiation of the Trump presidency. In the large scheme of affairs the failure of the polls to predict is insignificant, but it does raise interesting questions about its implications for public life in the United States and in Australia.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The US presidential election: democracy, threats and transition

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 10 November 2020
    7 Comments

    With Joe Biden securing the electoral college votes necessary to win the White House, the concern is whether the transition of power will be one marked by paroxysms of rage and disruption. Donald Trump is promising not to go quietly.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    If life were a walk in the park

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 November 2020
    17 Comments

    These last weeks the possible re-election of Donald Trump has been one of the dark birds that visit many of us in the night. As with other such epochal events, of course, how we might react internally to it is of vastly less weight than its effect on the world. Neither early morning wandering nor anything else we can do will change that. But it might shape our response.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugees are the canaries in the mine

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 October 2020
    8 Comments

    If society were a mine, refugees would be the canaries in it. Their condition reveals whether the currents of public air are pure or toxic. By that standard the present currents in Australia are noxious. They mark a change from the first generous response to the coronavirus to the meaner reconstruction of the economy.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The sometimes United Nations

    • Barry Gittins
    • 22 October 2020
    1 Comment

    The UN describes itself as ‘a global forum where countries can raise and discuss the most difficult issues, including problems of war and peace’. Saving lives that would otherwise be taken in wars is the big-ticket item; the reason the body was formed. So, 75 years on, how would the UN be graded in terms of achieving those five tasks?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Don’t blame 2020, blame pragmatism

    • Cristy Clark
    • 01 October 2020
    5 Comments

    It’s tempting at this point to blame 2020 for the almost comically bad situation we are facing right. But here’s the thing: this isn’t bad luck or even some kind of testament to the power of numerology. This dire situation was entirely predictable and even, sadly, entirely preventable. We walked right into it — or, at least, we allowed ourselves to be led here.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Out of the hothouse, into the garden

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 September 2020
    5 Comments

    An everyday exercise in planning and humility is gardening. For amateur gardeners, at least, planning, planting, pruning, watering and placing all have their place. But ultimately the plants make their way and take their individual shape.

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  • RELIGION

    The Catholic Church and modern science

    • Bill Uren
    • 15 September 2020
    250 Comments

    Whereas the Vatican II document sought to engage with, and to respect, the autonomy of the modern world and its science, only too many of the Vatican’s official statements over the past fifty years have effectively resiled from that commitment.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    It is what it is

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 August 2020
    9 Comments

    When watching a news clip recently I was taken by a young woman’s attitude to the coronavirus restrictions. When asked how they had affected her, she said simply, ‘It is what it is’. The answer suggested an impressive acceptance far from the outrage, frustration and resentment that in the circumstances would not have been surprising.

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