Vol 26 No 22

06 November 2016

Trump pushes America Humpty Dumpty like from a wall. Cartoon by Chris Johnston


DOWNLOAD PDF


ENVIRONMENT

Leaders out of step with their faiths' climate teaching

9 Comments
16 November 2016 | Thea Ormerod

COP22 gathering in MarrakechThe evangelical Christian vote no doubt assisted the climate-denying Trump to his election victory, yet it is remarkable how out-of-step it is with the general view of faith communities globally. This view was made abundantly clear the day after Trump's victory on 10 November, with the release of an Interfaith Statement in Marrakech, Morocco, and it should stand as a challenge to those in public life who continue to block climate action.


Opposition growing to SA nuclear plan

9 Comments
16 November 2016 | Michele Madigan

Protest rallyThe last 30 days have seen some big developments in the ongoing attempts of Premier Weatherill's plan to import high-level and intermediate level radioactive waste. On Sunday 6 November came the surprising decision of the Premier-initiated Citizens Jury. By the end of their six day deliberations, the 350 second round jurists showed a decided shift in opinion. Their 50 page report, presented to a somewhat discomfited Premier, had a strong two thirds majority against the dump.


US goes rogue on climate

5 Comments
16 November 2016 | Greg Foyster

Donald Trump climate cartoon by Greg FoysterHere we go again. Just a few days after the historic Paris Agreement on climate change entered force, another Republican climate denier has snatched the White House. Donald Trump isn't just a closet sceptic, paying lip-service to climate change while doing nothing about it. He's an out-and-proud conspiracy theorist. All signs point to the US returning to its role as international climate saboteur, and for much the same reasons: Republican paranoia over the economic rise of China.


AUSTRALIA

Islamophobic racism is a blunt weapon

6 Comments
14 November 2016 | Rachel Woodlock

Face plastered with Islamophobic labelsIt is an enduring personal tragedy that I can never think of 'zinger' responses to hurled insults until having turned them over in my mind for some time. The white male hoon in his 20-year-old unroadworthy car has long-since roared away from the traffic lights after shouting some unremarkable and unoriginal statement: 'Go back to where you came from you [expletive] terrorist.' Kilometres later I'm ready to shout out: 'I would, but Doncaster East is becoming way too pricey for the likes of me.'


REVIEWS

Finding yourself in the language of the Other

1 Comment
14 November 2016 | Tim Kroenert

In science fiction, stories of first contact typically have as much to say about humanity as they do about the extra-terrestrial creations of the author's imagination. Mary Doria Russell's 1998 novel The Sparrow explores the consequences of a Jesuit-led mission to a planet near Alpha Centauri, which are profound for the planet's sentient inhabitants and devastating for the human travellers. As in The Sparrow, language is central to Quebecois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve's philosophically piquant first contact story Arrival.


Richie Benaud's silent reproach to Trumpism

8 Comments
14 November 2016 | Andrew Hamilton

Benaud by Brian MatthewsClimactic events demand we give an account of ourselves. Where were you when you heard that JFK was assassinated? Where were you when the planes went into the World Trade Centre? If we can't remember, we fear we may convict ourselves of reprehensible levity. In future years when I am asked what I was doing when Donald Trump was elected President, I shall have a ready answer: I was reading Brian Matthews' splendid reflection on Richie Benaud.


INTERNATIONAL

Left doesn't own the fight against racism

8 Comments
14 November 2016 | Irfan Yusuf

Islamic gathering, historic illustrationCultural totalitarianism, embodied in Trump in the US and Hanson in Australia, is a major injustice of our age. To fight it effectively, we have to enter into coalitions with those whose opinions we otherwise find distasteful. An anti-racism rally with only leftwing speakers is not going to make as big an impact as one with speakers across the spectrum. To insist the fight against racism is necessarily a leftwing issue is in some ways its own form of cultural bigotry.


Empathy for Russia after Trump's ascent

6 Comments
14 November 2016 | Justin Glyn

xxxxxIf a failure of empathy marks our understanding of internal politics, its effects are magnified, with even worse results, in the international arena. A classic example is Russia. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the west has failed to take Russian interests seriously. I endorse neither the present Russian government nor its point of view. However, knowing that the other side has a point of view and what it is is vital in avoiding miscalculations. You don't get a second chance with nuclear weapons.


CARTOON

Get well soon America

1 Comment
14 November 2016 | Fiona Katauskas

Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas advertises 'Trump cars' with slogans such as 'Grabby Birthday' and 'Wish you weren't here'

This week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.


CREATIVE

Already died

6 Comments
13 November 2016 | John Falzon

Salvador AllendeI talked to no one, let no one catch on, ate nothing, never got wet in the sea, or from the sea in the sky. I did nothing wrong except everything. But even so I never turned away from the poem, even when I shaved off little bits to sharpen my sense of the poem, or the unseen warfare in the world.


AUSTRALIA

Five reasons to welcome US Manus deal

12 Comments
13 November 2016 | Frank Brennan

Manus IslandThe government has struck a deal with the USA which provides hope at last for the 1600 proven refugees on Manus and Nauru. There's still a lot of work to be done before these refugees can get on with their lives after three years of hopeless agony. Gone are the days of presuming that those who arrive without visas are in direct flight from persecution. Gone are the days when they get first option on the available humanitarian places. I welcome the government's decision, and await the detail.


CREATIVE

Children are the yardsticks of our mortality

5 Comments
10 November 2016 | Catherine Marshall

Catherine and familyOne minute you're escorting your five-year-old daughter to the school gate, the next you're popping a bottle of Veuve Cliquot and wondering where the last 17 years went. My grandmother told me children age you. I thought she meant they wore you down, put grey hairs on your head. But I understood after I'd become a parent myself. Children are hour glasses that cannot be laid on their sides for even a moment, but must be turned over as soon as the last grain of sand has fallen through the flue.


AUSTRALIA

Punitive truth behind Dutton's 'sham marriage' furphy

14 Comments
10 November 2016 | Kerry Murphy

Peter Dutton'We're not going to allow people who have sought to come by boat to come to Australia through a backdoor and we are not going to allow sham marriages to facilitate that,' said Peter Dutton. Given all the existing checks and hurdles, why have a ban? It would only affect about 2000 people; the other 35,000 who came by boat before 19 July 2013 or were not sent to Nauru and Manus Island are not affected. The true intention is to further punish the people we dumped on our Pacific neighbours.


INTERNATIONAL

A new generation of remembrance

8 Comments
09 November 2016 | Kate Mani

Group crossing no-man's landIt's 9pm but the setting sun shows no sign of repose as it beams down across the vast wheat fields of Fromelles. The line between land and sky blurs as yellowing crops align with the sun's reach. On the other side of no man's land, a pale moon is just visible. Straight ahead a rough path through the wheat leads to the German lines. It's down this path that I file with the Friends of the 15th Brigade, descendants of the soldiers who fought here 100 years ago in the 59th and 60th AIF battalions.


Progressives must stand firm in Trump's shadow

19 Comments
09 November 2016 | Fatima Measham

Donald TrumpIt didn't take long for me and other Filipino friends to be asked 'How do we Americans deal with this?' There is nothing soothing to say. Trump is not Duterte, of course, and there are differences in governance and law enforcement that (as yet) better protect Americans. But what I know is it is not the office that makes the person presidential. It is a waste of time to expect Trump to change. There will be no post-election unity, despite the conciliatory noises being made. And yet there is no choice but to endure.


Understanding Trump the businessman President

17 Comments
09 November 2016 | David James

Donald TrumpThe first step for a business person is to make the sale, usually by over-promising and tapping into the emotional triggers of the customer. That is what Trump did. Over and over, he assured everyone that electing him would be 'fantastic'; he would deliver; customer-value is in the bag. The next step, once the sale is made, is for a hard financial logic to be applied. Trump's hype will be, at the very least, toned down. Once the customer has coughed up, business people typically become extremely pragmatic.


Trust or bust after shattering US election campaign

21 Comments
08 November 2016 | Andrew Hamilton

Broken eggThe US election, to no one's regret, is now over. It remains to wish Donald Trump well as he prepares to take up the office of president. It is tempting to see Hillary Clinton as Humpty Dumpty and ask how she can pick up the pieces of her life, when tarnished and wearied by a campaign so full of personal abuse, revelations of tawdry behaviour and a lack of grace. Yet it is not Clinton that lies broken at the foot of the wall. It is the polity of the US, shown to be bereft of the trust necessary for national wellbeing.


ENVIRONMENT

Latrobe Valley a litmus test for clean energy transition

4 Comments
08 November 2016 | Jarni Blakkarly

Hazelwood MineThe death-knell was sounding for Hazelwood long before the announced closure last week. The 50 year old power plant is one of the country's oldest and most inefficient, making it extremely vulnerable to the lower electricity price and supply surplus. As the most polluting power plant per unit of energy produced in the industrialised world, many will be glad to see the power station go. But its closure also flags a rising dilemma, over who bears the cost of the transition to clean energy.


CREATIVE

Coffee and birdsong

17 Comments
08 November 2016 | Mary Manning

Woman barista'Pull the levers, scoop the coffee, flatten it, steam fragrant liquid into white cups. My lever-pulling right arm has huge muscles from my coffee ballet. Around me: the buzz of conversations about people's plans for their day. No one knows I am lonely.' Short story by former Eureka Street editorial assistant Mary Manning, who died on Tuesday 8 November 2016.


CARTOON

The fun never stops

07 November 2016 | Fiona Katauskas

Fun park patrons head from the roller-coaster of the US election to the ghost train of the Australian Upper House. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas

This week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.


RELIGION

Redress scheme for abuse victims is a good start

14 Comments
07 November 2016 | Francis Sullivan

Child with teddy bear observed by threatening adultWith all institutions taking part, this scheme will succeed and it will deliver fair, consistent and generous redress for survivors. If some institutions don't take part it will be yet another blow to abuse survivors, with some reaping the scheme's benefits while others are left to suffer further defeats and humiliations. A case in point is the South Australian government. Before the ink was dry on the announcement, SA had already indicated it would not take part. This is appalling, whatever the justification.


AUSTRALIA

Mooted boat ban ignores history and humanity

15 Comments
07 November 2016 | Gillian Bouras

Port Adelaide 1869-1889It would be interesting to know how many of our forbears were illegal immigrants. One of my great-great-grandfathers was. From County Down in Ulster, he was only 16 when he used his thumb print to sign on as a seaman; it was 1847, midway through the Great Famine. Throughout the long journey he was persistently bullied by a petty officer. One morning he snapped, and clobbered the bully with a deckscrubber. Convinced he had killed the man, my ancestor jumped overboard.


RELIGION

New Jesuit General's feeling for the political periphery

6 Comments
06 November 2016 | Andrew Hamilton

Fr Adolfo Nicolas SJ with Fr General Arturo Sosa SJOrdinarily I wouldn't dare to say political leaders have anything to learn from Jesuits. But these are the kind of extraordinary times of anxiety and flux that led ancient rulers to consult oracles, read tea leaves and look at the flight of birds. People fret because their future and pockets rise and fall on the tide of of would-be presidents. In the sour slurry of discontent and puzzlement the election of a Venezuelan political scientist as international leader of the Jesuits provides material for broader reflection.


CREATIVE

A few hot days in the Flinders Ranges

1 Comment
06 November 2016 | John Cranmer

Flinders RangesHave you ever noticed the way that book and reality sometimes entwine and become essentially one? It's happening here and now as we contemplate these few hot days in Hawker and the Flinders. Anita Desai's The Zigzag Way creates a context for living here at this particular ephemeral moment. Altiplano Mexico in all it's barren frugality integrates with these hot and marginal plains hemmed in by the cragginess of surrounding scarplands with their many strong stories


EDUCATION

Jostling for justice on school funding's contested ground

12 Comments
03 November 2016 | Michael Furtado

Kincoppal-Rose Bay in SydneyAmid the furore surrounding Minister Birmingham's disclosure of figures showing massive discrepancies in public funding between some independent schools and low-SES schools, some facts need scrutinising. Systemic Catholic schools draw for their enrolment from lower-SES postcodes than independent schools. Postcodes being an indelible predictor of the educational chances of Australians, balancing systemic school funding against that of independent schools is politically and ethically problematic.


INTERNATIONAL

An ode to speechless Bob Dylan

10 Comments
03 November 2016 | Philip Harvey

Bob Dylan cartoon by Chris JohnstonInitial silence from Dylan after the announcement of his Nobel Prize led one of the Scandinavian officials to complain he was being 'impolite and arrogant'. This prompted even more vitriolic opinion online on all sides, from fans, litterateurs, Dylanologists, and other armchair grenadiers. Just as things were getting completely tangled up in blue Dylan himself broke the silence to explain that news of the award had left him speechless. We shouldn't be surprised. Speechless is a normal state for a poet.