• Feature Article

    Hong Kong not in the mood for love

    3 Comments
    Antonio Castillo |  Over the last 20 years, every time the people of Hong Kong have heard some 'menacing' messages from Beijing, they have responded and become politically active. The menacing message this time is the one I heard two years ago in the office of Leung Kwok-hung – better known as 'Long hair' – in the Legislative Council offices far from the epicentre of the protests: 'Beijing won’t honour its pledge’.
  • Feature Article

    The case for remaining single

    Ellena Savage |  In the few times I have felt distressed by the prospect of some kind of eternal singledom, I have reminded myself of how difficult and suffocating romantic love can be, especially in the belittling shadow of celebrity couplings. My accumulated life data tells me that no-one is a perfect partner, even with 'hard work', and there are many more things to love than some perfect other individual.
  • Feature Article

    An erstwhile pacifist's IS quandary

    5 Comments
    Gillian Bouras |  I used to style myself a pacifist. Or hoped I was one. Or something. But that was before I had children. The minute I clapped eyes on my first-born, I realised that any threat to him would see me transformed into a murderous monster, and I later felt the same about his two brothers.
  • Feature Article

    Self-absorption dressed up as romanticism

    1 Comment
    Tim Kroenert |  It is almost impossible to sympathise with Aidan and his flailing ‘dream’. He decides to take the kids’ education into his own hands. He calls this ‘home schooling’, but it pretty much consists of taking them for trips into the desert or conning the salesman at a luxury car dealership into letting them take a car for a spin, while spouting trite platitudes about life, death and the getting of wisdom.
  • Feature Article

    What IS has to do with evil

    5 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton |  IS - the Islamic State - is getting a bad press. Deservedly so, for its brutality and totalitarian instincts. In the headlines, references to 'evil' and 'pure evil' have been dominant. This characterisation is unhelpful for a number of reasons. We must be careful not to empty the word 'evil' of any meaning.
  • Feature Article

    Just like the original TPV only nastier

    7 Comments
    Kerry Murphy |  Last week, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison proposed migration law changes that he said would speed up processing of the backlog of refugee claims, and allow asylum seekers to 'get on with their lives'. In fact they do nothing of the sort. The new temporary protection visa (TPV) denies family sponsorship, travel to visit family, and more.

Hong Kong not in the mood for love

Antonio Castillo | 03 October 2014

Over the last 20 years, every time the people of Hong Kong have heard some 'menacing' messages from Beijing, they have responded and become politically active. The menacing message this time is the one I heard two years ago in the office of Leung Kwok-hung – better known as 'Long hair' – in the Legislative Council offices far from the epicentre of the protests: 'Beijing won’t honour its pledge’.

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  • What IS has to do with evil

    5 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 02 October 2014

    Hooded IS member with hostageIS - the Islamic State - is getting a bad press. Deservedly so, for its brutality and totalitarian instincts. In the headlines, references to 'evil' and 'pure evil' have been dominant. This characterisation is unhelpful for a number of reasons. We must be careful not to empty the word 'evil' of any meaning.

  • Just like the original TPV only nastier

    7 Comments
    Kerry Murphy | 01 October 2014

    Still from 'Mollie and Mubarak'Last week, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison proposed migration law changes that he said would speed up processing of the backlog of refugee claims, and allow asylum seekers to 'get on with their lives'. In fact they do nothing of the sort. The new temporary protection visa (TPV) denies family sponsorship, travel to visit family, and more.

  • Going to war is a decision for parliament

    10 Comments
    John Warhurst | 30 September 2014

    Tony Abbott in ParliamentThe difference between the approach by the British and Australian governments is striking. In Britain, Prime Minister Cameron, despite having a large majority, made the parliamentary debate in Westminster central, while in Australia Prime Minister Abbott spoke only of 'updating' the Parliament on his return from New York. There should be greater involvement by Parliament in Australia for reasons both of substance and symbolism.

  • Rise of the corporate cowboys

    7 Comments
    Tony Smith | 29 September 2014

    Corporate CowboyUnfortunately, when people pin their hopes for a just and fair society to a corporation, they can be sadly disappointed. A spate of deaths around the country suggests that many corporations have plenty of power to influence governments to produce policies and legislation convenient for their operations, but fail to take responsibility for their bad outcomes, which include deaths in workplaces.

  • Thinking beyond gender equality etiquette

    8 Comments
    Zac Alstin | 26 September 2014

    Report cover 'Australian Attitudes to Violence Against Women'The message of a recent VicHealth survey is that changing attitudes to gender equality will have the biggest impact on attitudes to violence against women. But what about those of us who already have positive attitudes to gender equality? We can go beyond a superficial and reactive focus on key outcomes and cultivate a deeper appreciation of a person's individual worth.

  • Anti-Islam is the new Anti-Catholicism

    33 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 25 September 2014

    'No Popery' bannerThe justified insistence that Muslims should not constantly be called to account for the vicious behaviour of Islamic State is a reminder of the attitude towards Catholics in an earlier generation. They combined suspicion of anything Irish in the aftermath of the 1915 Uprising and more traditional judgments of Catholics on the basis of their beliefs and practices.

  • Flawed thinking that allows us to abuse animals

    11 Comments
    Valerie Wangnet | 24 September 2014

    Pork chopsIn Ancient Greece, Hippocrates used the term 'hysteria' to account for emotional instability and mental illness in women. This is a diagnosis that survived up until the first sparks of the women's suffrage movement in mid–19th century. In the case of food animals, we are told that they cannot think, suffer or feel pain.

  • China calls a halt to dirty coal imports

    2 Comments
    Evan Ellis | 24 September 2014

    Beijing hazeFrom 1 January 2015, China will ban the import of coal with high ash or sulphur content and impose a three per cent tariff on all coal imports. In the muddle of politics and policy, we have a concrete example of worsening environmental conditions forcing policy makers to act. Australia's economy propped up by coal exports, but it's also time to think beyond the specific implications of China’s proposed restrictions. 

  • The Kurds: fighting the good fight?

    5 Comments
    William Gourlay | 23 September 2014

    Illustration from Molla NasreddinTurkey and Iran, the two major regional powers against whose borders ISIS jostles, have, each for their own reasons, declined to participate militarily in President Obama's action against ISIS. The likelihood or benefits of working in concert with Iran can be debated long and hard, but in the meantime the Kurds clearly emerge as the immediate go-to allies. Positioning them as such, and arming them, will change the dynamics of the region.

  • Identifying the enemy in confused Iraq and Syria

    4 Comments
    Kerry Murphy | 23 September 2014

    'We are all ISIS' T shirtWe have adopted the dictum that our enemy's enemy is our friend. But the situation changes so rapidly on the ground, and working out who our 'allies' are is a very difficult and high risk activity. We are not even clear on the Rumsfeldian known unknowns, let alone the unknown unknowns.

  • ISIS misusing ancient religious symbols

    20 Comments
    Irfan Yusuf | 22 September 2014

    Kalima ShahadaToday the Kalimah Shahada is being used on flags of groups whose mission is to kill Sunni and Shia Muslims. Imagine how it must feel to be a Sunni Kurd or a Shia Iraqi or an Alawi Syrian . Imagine how it must feel to be an ordinary Shia or Alawi or Sunni Australian walking around in a Sydney shopping centre and being treated by one's neighbours as an ISIS fighter.


  • A place for women in church leadership

    20 Comments
    Peter Kirkwood | 01 October 2014

    For two weeks from this Sunday, the much anticipated Synod on the Family will take place at the Vatican. Those attending include around 150 bishops, a number of lay experts and 14 married couples. An interested observer from afar is former NSW Labor premier Kristina Keneally, theologically trained and one of the most prominent lay Catholics in Australia.

  • Self-absorption dressed up as romanticism

    1 Comment
    Tim Kroenert | 02 October 2014

    'Wish I Was Here' PosterIt is almost impossible to sympathise with Aidan and his flailing ‘dream’. He decides to take the kids’ education into his own hands. He calls this ‘home schooling’, but it pretty much consists of taking them for trips into the desert or conning the salesman at a luxury car dealership into letting them take a car for a spin, while spouting trite platitudes about life, death and the getting of wisdom.

  • The case for remaining single

    Ellena Savage | 03 October 2014

    Amal Alamuddin and George Clooney from People Magazine coverIn the few times I have felt distressed by the prospect of some kind of eternal singledom, I have reminded myself of how difficult and suffocating romantic love can be, especially in the belittling shadow of celebrity couplings. My accumulated life data tells me that no-one is a perfect partner, even with 'hard work', and there are many more things to love than some perfect other individual. 

  • Society says freak show must go on

    4 Comments
    Michael Mullins | 29 September 2014

    Bethlem scene from William Hogarth's A Rake's ProgressMaking fun of mental illness has a long history that was reflected in plans of the Perth Royal Show to offer an amusement based on the notorious Bethlem Sanatorium in London, where residents were cruelly taunted for the sake of public amusement. The WA Agricultural Society refused to cancel the show in reponse to criticism, instead changing the theme to ‘the outbreak of a deadly contagion’, itself an inappropriate subject for public amusement.

  • An erstwhile pacifist's IS quandary

    5 Comments
    Gillian Bouras | 02 October 2014

    Peace signI used to style myself a pacifist. Or hoped I was one. Or something. But that was before I had children. The minute I clapped eyes on my first-born, I realised that any threat to him would see me transformed into a murderous monster, and I later felt the same about his two brothers.


WEEK IN POLITICS



Taking care of business

Fiona Katauskas

Fiona Katauskas' cartoon Taking Care of Business shows another form of offshore processing in the movement of Australian-generated profits to overseas tax havens

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