• Feature Article

    Jacqui Lambie and wildcard senators are not rogues

    5 Comments
    Tony Kevin |  Jacqui Lambie has resigned from the Palmer United Party, apologising to the nation for weeks of acrimonious sniping and instability in parliament. We can understand the hostility of the major parties, and even the Greens, to independent and PUP senators who took office mid-year. But it is not in their self-interest to try to exploit differences and to weaken and destabilise the newbie senators.
  • Feature Article

    Suitcase crammed with affluence

    Jena Woodhouse |  What they thought could not be read in faces pinched with need. They plodded on, a ragged band of hungry, thirsty refugees, hoping for a crust of bread ... Perhaps tomorrow, there'd be grapes and oranges awaiting them; farmers who would pay in kind for harvesting.
  • Feature Article

    The things you can't get for free

    6 Comments
    Michael Mullins |  Thanks to Senators Jacqui Lambie and Ricky Muir, we can once again trust our financial advisers. There are some things that are worth paying for. If somebody else pays for something, it's likely that we will get what they want, not what we need.
  • Feature Article

    Unauthorised maritime arrivals don't have names

    17 Comments
    Kerry Murphy |  I recently received a letter for Ali in which he was referred to only by his boat number and the term 'illegal maritime arrival (IMA)'. He was worn down by the long process of winning his case and being accepted as a refugee. His self-esteem was destroyed by a long period in immigration detention. His identity is now also gone.
  • Feature Article

    The ABC is not a business

    20 Comments
    Binoy Kampmark |  Governments are tempted to use budgetary accountability as a neat cover for corporatisation of public utilities. As public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS do not inhabit the same philosophical territory as Sky News or Channel 7. The ABC's cuts are based on an efficiency report prepared by a financial officer from the commercial media. It does not seem relevant that balanced budgets do not deliver educated audiences.
  • Feature Article

    Richard Flanagan sorts suffering from virtue

    4 Comments
    Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk |  Winning the prestigious Man Booker prize has given Richard Flanagan's 2013 novelThe Narrow Road to the Deep Northprecious new shelf life.I've long considered Flanagan an alchemist - giving everyday words an unmistakable verve and turning a phrase until it takes flight. But he's also a proud Tasmanian storyteller who now has the world's ear.

Jacqui Lambie and wildcard senators are not rogues

Tony Kevin | 25 November 2014

Jacquie Lambie tells the Senate she is quitting PUP

Jacqui Lambie has resigned from the Palmer United Party, apologising to the nation for weeks of acrimonious sniping and instability in parliament. We can understand the hostility of the major parties, and even the Greens, to independent and PUP senators who took office mid-year. But it is not in their self-interest to try to exploit differences and to weaken and destabilise the newbie senators.

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  • Suitcase crammed with affluence

    Jena Woodhouse | 25 November 2014

    Young woman with suitcaseWhat they thought could not be read in faces pinched with need. They plodded on, a ragged band of hungry, thirsty refugees, hoping for a crust of bread ... Perhaps tomorrow, there'd be grapes and oranges awaiting them; farmers who would pay in kind for harvesting.

  • The things you can't get for free

    6 Comments
    Michael Mullins | 24 November 2014

    Free Lunch signThanks to Senators Jacqui Lambie and Ricky Muir, we can once again trust our financial advisers. There are some things that are worth paying for. If somebody else pays for something, it's likely that we will get what they want, not what we need.

  • Unauthorised maritime arrivals don't have names

    17 Comments
    Kerry Murphy | 24 November 2014

    Asylum seeker silhouetteI recently received a letter for Ali in which he was referred to only by his boat number and the term 'illegal maritime arrival (IMA)'. He was worn down by the long process of winning his case and being accepted as a refugee. His self-esteem was destroyed by a long period in immigration detention. His identity is now also gone. 

  • Richard Flanagan sorts suffering from virtue

    4 Comments
    Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk | 21 November 2014

    Book Cover - The Narrow Road to the Deep NorthWinning the prestigious Man Booker prize has given Richard Flanagan's 2013 novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North precious new shelf life. I've long considered Flanagan an alchemist - giving everyday words an unmistakable verve and turning a phrase until it takes flight. But he's also a proud Tasmanian storyteller who now has the world's ear. 

  • The ABC is not a business

    20 Comments
    Binoy Kampmark | 21 November 2014

    Malcolm Turnbull at the ABCGovernments are  tempted to use budgetary accountability as a neat cover for corporatisation of public utilities. As public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS do not inhabit the same philosophical territory as Sky News or Channel 7. The ABC's cuts are based on an efficiency report prepared by a financial officer from the commercial media. It does not seem relevant that balanced budgets do not deliver educated audiences.

  • Grieving women rock immutable Islam

    2 Comments
    Tim Kroenert | 20 November 2014

    The sisters and their mother on a sofa in Rock the CasbahThe three recently reunited sisters are immersed in whispered conversation, during the second day of mourning at the house. In the next room, older men in ceremonial garb chant a mourning ritual. Suddenly, the sisters get the giggles, only to be angrily shushed by one of the men in the next room. But grief can't be stage managed, and it seems only natural that the process should be guided by normal human interaction.

  • Pope Francis celebrates a homeless man's 50th

    27 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 20 November 2014

    Pope Francis in St Peter's SquareLast week the Pope's almsgiver installed showers in St Peter's Square, for people who are homeless. This followed his meeting a homeless man, discovering it was his 50th birthday, and inviting him to dinner in a local restaurant, only for the man to decline on the grounds he smelled. The gesture was seen to have Pope Francis’ finger prints all over it, and it illuminates the differences of perspective between him and other church leaders.

  • Doing good and being happy

    3 Comments
    Shira Sebban | 19 November 2014

    The Pursuit of Happiness in the Declaration of IndependencePeople of faith seem able to find an opportunity for growth, spirituality and meaning in every good deed they do, apparently experiencing true happiness along the way. By way of contrast, emotional happiness is often dismissed as selfish, elusive and unpredictable. But focusing on 'what works for us', and connection through family, friendship and community, also allows us to find purpose, and to savour many happy moments along the way.

  • Why the rich are getting richer

    5 Comments
    David James | 19 November 2014

    Businessman examining moneyInvesting capital in the production of goods and services may create jobs, but it's not the best way to make money. It's more profitable to manipulate the financial system to create more money from money, which is why the finance sector does so well. The polarisation of wealth is less extreme in Australia, but we have our own capital-driven Ponzi scheme - the residential property market, which has become an exercise in making money out of money. 

  • Abbott ready to put G20 behind him

    4 Comments
    Tony Kevin | 18 November 2014

    Tony Abbott at G20Abbott's best G20 moment was his closing media conference, where he gave an outlined the meeting's achievement of a 2.1 per cent global economic growth plan  over the next few years. But on two important matters – climate change and Ebola - the dynamic of the meeting got out of his control and produced outcomes clearly not to his liking. Abbott's counter-strategy – quite successful in retrospect – was to set media hounds running to the side-drama of Vladimir Putin. 

  • Weighing ANU's coal play

    11 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 30 October 2014

    Coal fired power plantWhen the ANU sold its shares in coal companies recently, it received a mixed response. Critics said investment decisions should be made solely on financial grounds. But investing is done by human beings, who should be guided by their effects of their investment on other human beings, not simply by the profit it brings them. 


  • Putting Putin's record into perspective

    13 Comments
    Justin Glyn | 17 November 2014

    Vladimir PutinAmid talk of whether Vladimir Putin would leave the G20 early and numerous reports of frosty encounters between him and other summit leaders, Western media coverage has portrayed him as an erratic and dangerous dictator whose rule damages the once-great country he leads. But it would be foolish to pretend that the West did not take advantage of the weakness of the former Soviet states in the 1990s. Russia was looted of its assets, many of which found their way abroad.

  • Don't let Vlad's side show distract from the G20's purpose

    10 Comments
    Michael Mullins | 17 November 2014

    G20 logoThe Murdoch press was reporting on Friday that Australian warships had been dispatched to 'intercept' the Russian flotilla 'steaming towards the G20 summit in Brisbane'. Serious heads needed to prevail for the G20 to maintain its relevance and Australia its credentials to host important events that do not concern sport. The Brisbane G20 had an opportunity build on the climate change action momentum established at APEC, or yield to the new climate deniers who don't accept that renewable energy is also good for economic growth.

  • A faithful woman visits me weekly

    1 Comment
    Ian C. Smith | 18 November 2014

    Man with female companionSupplying food, whisky, news, loving sex. All this on a pine-scented mountain. I trim my stark white beard, shampoo, sweep, spray, squeegee and swipe. The hour you drive up our steep hill I open our front gates like a greeting.

  • Restorative justice for child sexual abuse victims

    13 Comments
    Vic O'Callaghan | 17 November 2014

    HandsTotal focus on designing the right professional standards policy could be creating a hole, where all that is heard is a droning 'let's move on' message. Where are the stories of people gathering to help mend and heal themselves and the victims of this horrific episode in our history?

  • Hun Sen's Cambodia a mirage on the Mekong

    1 Comment
    Tony Kevin | 14 November 2014

    Cover of Sebastian Strangio's Hun Sen's CambodiaPhnom Penh is a lively, bustling, often happy city of energetic and industrious people, with amazing growth statistics. In 2004 half of Cambodians lived in poverty, and by 2011 the figure had dropped to 20%. But this belies the terrible state of public health, the corruption in education, the abuse of human rights, and much more.


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