keywords: Ubi

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abuse and corruption the Australian way

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 June 2014
    16 Comments

    We should open our eyes and take in what multiple government inquiries, among them the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, are telling us about Australian society. It is not enough to focus on just one; we should consider the revelations cumulatively. It is little exaggeration to say that almost no major institution in our society, public or private, has been left untouched. We should join the dots and cry.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Nailing Indonesia's next president

    • Pat Walsh
    • 24 June 2014
    9 Comments

    On 9 July, Indonesians will vote on their next president by punching a hole in a ballot paper with a large nail. Timor-Leste used the same system for its historic independence ballot in 1999. The issues differ of course but the choices to be made are equally stark. Democratic development and human rights in Indonesia will either advance or regress depending on who is nailed next month.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Law disorder in Campbell Newman's Queensland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 June 2014
    11 Comments

    All is not well in the Sunshine State, where Premier Newman is running a strong 'law and order' line. Judges are used to politicians running 'law and order' lines, but enjoy independence from the executive government once appointed. The risky part is the sequence of events associated with the appointment. The naming of Tim Carmody as the state's chief justice has made a mockery of the transparency and openness of this process.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My intersex wake-up call

    • Barry Gittins
    • 16 June 2014
    10 Comments

    Friends of mine had their first child recently and my first, 'obvious' question — 'Is it a boy or a girl?' — was answered by a jubilant father: 'It's a girl!' Life is complex, however, and our all-too-human desires for normalcy and 'simplicity' (embodied in my automatic query) are sometimes revealed to gleam in the light of unintended prejudice. The reality for some Australians is that my question isn't always as easily answered.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cancer teens in love and death

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 June 2014
    1 Comment

    Augustus and Hazel meet in a support group for cancer sufferers. During the course of their ensuing romance they both prove to be pragmatic about their own mortality. They share frank discussions about God and the afterlife, and gain little comfort from them. It's an inherently sad story, but to parallel the individual horror of their cancer with the experiences of Anne Frank during the Holocaust is a step to far.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Veteran muckraker wrestles with God

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 06 June 2014
    2 Comments

    When journalist and activist Barbara Ehrenreich was a young woman she came face to face 'with something vast, terrifying and unknowable'. We mustn't take for granted the courage this admission took coming from such a committed atheist. While noting science can 'dismiss anomalous 'mystical' experiences', she wrestles her discontent into submission by boldly declaring that it 'is not unscientific to search for what may not be there'.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thai coup more of the same

    • Michael Kelly
    • 26 May 2014
    3 Comments

    The cycle of election, opposition protest, social and political instability that provokes a royal approved military intervention underlies how immature democracy is in Thailand. Unfortunately, in the medium term — the next five years — it will be 'same, same' unless there is a circuit breaker. That may come with the next trigger to instability which has to be set off sooner rather than later: the death of a very frail royal person.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Waiting room blues

    • Brian Matthews
    • 23 May 2014
    6 Comments

    In the specialist’s waiting room, I usually while away the hours with quality BYO literary fare. But one day I had left my book in the car, and I searched the reading rack for reading matter on subjects more interesting than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Australian holiday. Succumbing at last to extreme boredom I got up, slid Soap World from under its ragtag competitors, and all was revealed.

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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

    Seeing double in Hockey's dystopia

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 May 2014
    2 Comments

    The Double proffers a nightmare vision in which the human spirit is no match for the corrupt and corrupting power of a society obsessed with productivity and material achievement. In a week where we have seen an Australian Budget that gives favour to economic rationalism and the wellbeing of the wealthy, over that of some of our society's most needy citizens, such cynicism resonates powerfully. That is a tragedy.

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  • MEDIA

    Lady legend of Jesuit Publications

    • Morag Fraser
    • 14 May 2014
    2 Comments

    Jesuit Publications was a robust workplace, with characters enough to fill a Trollope novel. Geraldine was one of the characters, but she was also an essential ingredient in the glue that kept us together. One morning she arrived, a little overheated from the long tram ride in, and checked herself in one of the mirrored pillars. I heard the shriek from upstairs. 'I've come all the way to work, in the tram, in my black petticoat. I forgot to put on my skirt!'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Punk's holy fools still putting it to Putin

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 11 April 2014

    Journalist Masha Gessen describes the members of Pussy Riot as 'Putin's ideal enemies'. In recent months, their nemesis has hosted the Olympics, taken control of Crimea and clamped down on media. For a group born out of 'the repressions of a corporate political system that directs its power against basic human rights', Pussy Riot still has much to roar about, even if its signature 'punk prayer' sounds more than ever like a plea.

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