August 26 – September 1, 2017

Demonstrators march in Chicago in solidarity with the victims of violence in Charlottesville.


The resurgence of neo-Nazism

“We’re trying to show that folks can stand up for white people. The political correctness has gotten way out of control, and the only way to fight back against it has been to stand up for our own interests. ”

Donald Trump’s response to the events in Charlottesville has emboldened white supremacists everywhere.



How the religious right stall climate action

“The fact is most religious leaders around the world accept the science … It is the big corporates of the fossil fuel industry that are pushing scepticism. The puzzling thing for us is how this isn’t bleedingly obvious to every person of faith.”

While most religious leaders accept climate change, the Christian right in Australia and the US make scepticism a tenet of their politics.

Loy Yang power station, Yallourn, Victoria.


Our unhealthy power stations

A new report into emissions limits applied to Australia’s power stations shows they are less strict than in the US, EU and China, and that state environmental protection agencies are too timid in enforcing them.

Outgoing president of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson.


Peter Thomson’s fight for the oceans

Fijian delegate Peter Thomson leaves the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly decrying the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris agreement, and warning of climate-related threats to the world’s oceans.


Keeping asylum seeker healthcare offshore

“If there was an honest clinical judgement made that the facilities were inadequate, then the patient should be transferred, and if that leads to a different migration outcome, so be it.”

The government’s determination to avoid onshore legal challenges to asylum-seeker detention has endangered detainees requiring serious medical attention.

Image for article: Donald Trump ups the ante on Afghanistan troops


Donald Trump ups the ante on Afghanistan troops

Xi Jinping keeps economy pumped up; South Koreans in favour of going nuclear; Australia under US ‘umbrella’.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Eva Cox
Cashless welfare unsuccessful and unwelcome

“The question of whether cashless welfare card payment programs, which the government claims to be evidence-based, are effective is crucial. Do they work to improve behaviour? There exists a range of reports and official evaluations of the Northern Territory and other income-management programs, as well as some initial data on the cashless debit card trials. These include a major $1 million government-funded evaluation of the NT program that has failed to find any serious evidence of its effectiveness.”


Paul Bongiorno
Echoes of Gillard in citizenship fight

“You know a government is racked by self-doubt when it spends more time back-pedalling after it has thrown the first punch. Junior woodchuck minister Angus Taylor was sent out earlier in the week to demand that Bill Shorten come clean and prove he has renounced his dual British citizenship. By midweek the government’s most senior strategist, Christopher Pyne, was refusing to join the fight. The prime minister never did.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Marriage misguidance

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Past convictions

Stan Grant described Australian history as a “hymn to whiteness”. The outrage at a suggestion that was never made is about making sure that hymn never changes. It is about power in this country – where columnists still deny that government policy ever took Indigenous children away from their parents, that continues a quarrel with the documented massacres of Indigenous people.


Self-interest taking its toll

Your two articles on appalling behaviour by our federal government, Martin McKenzie-Murray’s “Making war with the ABC” and Mike Seccombe’s “Charitable detonation” (August …

Call to vote out Coalition

The federal government’s campaign to silence environmental charities and other community organisations seeking to make our society a better, fairer place is appalling. As always, Mike Seccombe hits …

Read More


Agatha Gothe-Snape


Artist Agatha Gothe-Snape’s textual works

Despite Agatha Gothe-Snape’s claim that she makes art ‘you would roll your eyes at’, public engagement is an important element of her work, which incorporates performance and audience instructions. “There will always be a crisis that precipitates an action. It’s a pretty violent and unsustainable way to work emotionally but it does create otherwise unimagined outcomes.”

Randy Newman


Randy Newman’s ‘Dark Matter’

Randy Newman’s career spans decades of sharp social observations wrapped in songs drawing on the modern American songbook. His latest album suggests comparisons from Elmore Leonard to Rashomon.


Chance encounter

“We met by chance. I had no idea he was a skilled architect, or that he danced the tango, or that his playing of the haunting doina lament on violin was beautiful enough to make you weep.”


Image for article: Please Explain

Anna Broinowski
Please Explain

Image for article: City of Crows

Chris Womersley
City of Crows

Image for article: The History of Bees

Maja Lunde
The History of Bees


Image for article: Lost for words


Lost for words

When the late writer underwent surgery for a tumour in the language centre of her brain, she faced the fear her command of English would be irrevocably damaged.

Image for article: Milk wars in Barrytown, New Zealand


Milk wars in Barrytown, New Zealand

The musician finds himself drawn into trans-Tasman rivalry in the tiny village of Barrytown, as his New Zealand tour mates dismiss Australian milk.

Image for article: Allen’s key: Rebecca Allen, 24, basketballer


Allen’s key: Rebecca Allen, 24, basketballer

WNBA basketballer Rebecca Allen on life, Liberty and refusing to become ‘that negative person in the background’ when things go wrong.

The Quiz

1. Who was the first person to win Emmys for directing, writing and acting on the same television show?
2. Who is the Roman equivalent of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine?
3. Name the two United States presidents who have been impeached.
4. Which three colours comprise the Romanian flag?
5. Analgesia is the absence of a sense of what?
6. What, beginning with ‘b’, is the term for software designed to facilitate searches on the world wide web?
7. The scapula bone is commonly known as the…?
8. Name the founder of the Mongol Empire, who died in 1227.
9. In which year did the First Gulf War begin? (Bonus point for naming the commander of the coalition forces.)
10. Which Australian won Australia’s only swimming gold medal at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest?

Click through for answers.



“I have tried marijuana in the past when I was at university. But it is not something I’m proud of, it is not something I did very often.”

Alan TudgeThe minister for human services explains how his drug testing of welfare recipients is not just needlessly punitive but also personally hypocritical.


“Believe in yourself.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe prime minister encourages same-sex couples and queer people to be proud. The self is easier to believe in than him, his government or an unnecessary postal survey that has all the rigour and purpose of the letters bag on Funniest Home Videos.


“At a later time he received correspondence from the Home Office saying they accepted his renunciation.”

Robert NewlindsThe barrister for Malcolm Roberts explains that his client filled in a form renouncing his British citizenship, despite claiming he never “believed” he was a citizen. The confession brings to zero the number of true things “believed” by this bumbling conspiracy theorist.


“They are taking out coal, they are going to clean it.”

Donald TrumpThe United States president sings the praises of a made-up technology by explaining its made-up process. Which is different from the made-up process described by the “clean coal” industry, but that probably doesn’t matter because it’s made up.


“I don’t want them abrogating to themselves the right to take the most beautiful word in the English language and saying, ‘Oh, now that’s mine.’ ”

Bob KatterThe independent politician complains that “the homosexuals” stole the word gay. These ugly holes in his vocabulary go some way to explain his Dadaist syntax. The other view is that he’s an idiot.


“It is a confronting form of attire and I certainly would be disappointed if any Australian chose to wear it.”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister adds the burqa to the list of things that make him uncomfortable, joining gays, women and good government. In a troubling update: thousands of Australians already chose to wear the burqa, Tony just doesn’t think of them as Australian.