keywords: Japan

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Malcolm Fraser whacks lackey Australia

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 16 May 2014
    2 Comments

    Fraser was a ruthless, conservative political animal who today is one of our most prominent human rights champions. The elder statesman is quite the angry young man in print. He delights in telegraphing his haymakers and following through with a well-placed elbow or two. Put bluntly, Fraser suggests we need to shed our lackey status. 'We need the United States for defence,' he argues, 'but we only need defence because of the United States.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My pop's Anzac nightmares

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 April 2014

    As a stretcher bearer, he tended to two landmine victims, including one who had lost his leg. He spent the night darting between the two men, providing physical aid, and whatever comfort and assurance was possible. Turns out he was lucky that he didn't end up laid out alongside them: the next morning he discovered that the entire narrow ridge was riddled with mines. 'That was fairly close,' he admitted. It was an understatement.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fawlty thinking about the aftermyth of war

    • Ray Cassin
    • 29 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

    Corrupt cop's crack at redemption

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 28 November 2013

    Police detective Bruce Robertson is corrupt, violent, misogynistic, and a depraved drug addict. But he is not entirely inhuman, and Filth spends much frenetic energy trying to map the ghastly inner wounds that bleed greenly into his outer corruption. But just how do you build sympathy for a character whose near-to-first on-screen act is to sexually assault the underaged girlfriend of a murder suspect?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bushfires demand response-ability

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 23 October 2013
    5 Comments

    Human land practices and increasing temperatures alter the earth, and are influenced by politics, law, philosophy and economics. In Lisbon, Western philosophy sought to sever God from nature; now we pretend that the fusion of humans and nature doesn't exist. The term natural disaster shouldn't be trusted. It is superstitious to think humans and nature aren't locked in a reciprocal relationship with political and ethical responsibility.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tolerating corruption will destroy Australia's brand

    • Michael Mullins
    • 07 October 2013
    6 Comments

    Australia tied with Denmark, Finland and Japan for the title of the world's least bribe-ridden country in 2013. Our cultural resistance to corruption has long been a major contributor to Australia's reputation as a good global citizen, not to mention economic prosperity. Pope Francis said last week that we all have our own idea of good and evil, and each of us fighting against evil as we conceive it makes the world a better place. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's political goldfish bowl from the outside

    • Ray Cassin
    • 09 September 2013
    20 Comments

    The Economist's leader writer and other international international observers including Joseph Stiglitz judged that, by most objective measures, Labor's achievements should be preferred to the Coalition's offerings. The big picture went unacknowledged in Australia's dismal, dispiriting election campaign.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Life and death issues the election campaign missed

    • David James
    • 06 September 2013
    4 Comments

    Two of the most important issues to have been given scant attention in the election campaign are ageing and property. Even less noticed is the inter-relationship between the two. The effect of ageing on property prices will be arguably the most important financial challenge facing Australian governments over the coming decades.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Syria not so far away from our election

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 28 August 2013
    5 Comments

    A source quoted on a TV news report said the forthcoming Liberal Party attack ads would 'make the Somme look like a Sunday afternoon picnic'. Crass and disrespectful of the victims of the First World War killing ground, the remark saw fit to compare our political process to a mindless slaughter. Similarly, in Labor's Grim Reaper style ads, hapless 'victims' of Coalition policies are consigned to oblivion.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The public, the Church, and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 August 2013
    1 Comment

    'Like many Australians, I had hoped that the dastardly plan announced on 19 July would stop the boats in the short term, as a stop-gap measure. It is dismaying to learn that appropriate consultations had not occurred with Indonesia with the result that the very people who were to receive the shock and awe message are yet to receive it. There’s only one thing worse than shock and awe; that’s shock and awe that doesn’t work because you haven’t done your homework.' 43rd Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture, Trinity College Theological School, 14 August 2013.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's human dumping ground Nauru

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 07 August 2013
    13 Comments

    Welcome to Nauru. Land area: 21 square kilometres. Permanent population: around 10,000. Chief economic activity: human dumping ground. Nauru has joined PNG in the Cohort of the Willing — willing, that is, to take dollops of Australian money to hide away an Australian problem. Substitute 'asylum seekers' for 'convicts' and it recalls the way Australia was used by Great Britain in the 18th century to dispose of a British problem.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Corruption and other stumbling blocks to PNG solution

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 26 July 2013
    11 Comments

    A constitutional challenge in PNG to the resettlement agreement could quickly destroy any disincentive value as far as people smugglers are concerned. Under the country's constitution, foreigners may not be detained unless they have broken the law in entering the country. Since the asylum seekers are being sent there against their will they cannot be held to have entered illegally.

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