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Latest commentary and opinion

Theatre? It's just a stage I'm sleeping through

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RICHARD GLOVER Is there any feeling quite like trying to fight sleep when sitting through a bad piece of theatre? There's a gravitational pull involved, as if you were being dragged downwards into the underworld. Your partner - OK, it's usually the woman - inserts her elbow sharply into your ribcage, and you pull yourself free from the thickets of sleep. But, lo, the bracing effect of her admonishment lasts one second, no, one millisecond, whereupon whole armies of sleep wardens commence to heave you once more, down, down, into this delicious, dreamy sleep.

Comments 5

Not cut out to be a pedal-pusher

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Monica Dux As a columnist in a major newspaper one is occasionally tempted to misuse one's power.

NSW Ambulance Service CEO Ray Creen has his eye on the bigger picture

NSW Ambulance chief Ray Creen.

Mark Dapin The head of the NSW Ambulance makes a point of going out and getting his gloves bloodied.

There's nothing freakish about our love of horror films

Tilda Swinton

KIM ARLINGTON Film zombies, vampires and psychopaths are very big money-spinners, writes Kim Arlington. Why do we love to be scared?

Age pensions: Later, and less, plans the government

Treasurer Joe Hockey.

GARETH HUTCHENS Joe Hockey wants Australians to work until they're 70.

Grange affair a hard act to swallow

Barry O'Farrell.

Deborah Snow, Sean Nicholls A throw-back to old-fashioned courtesies helps bring down a premier.

ICAC under threat of being silenced

Hand Covering Mouth

MICHAELA WHITBOURN The political attack on ICAC has begun.

Attack on tobacco availability in ACT is wrong and sure to fail

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has defended the delay in the government's response.

Julie Novak Proposals for tobacco control are another instance of paternalistic, yet futile, attempts by political elites to force their preferences upon Canberrans.

Putin to reap whirlwind

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Nicholas Stuart Vladimir Putin is unleashing a force in Ukraine he can't control, it's a gambit that is destined to fail.

Coal: Stop burning it, this is the next asbestos

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Crispin Hull In the 1960s asbestos mining was a very profitable business. And it created a lot of jobs.

Perils of guessing future of technological innovation

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was credited with being

Craig Gamble So why are we all obsessed with predicting the next big thing?

Dirty Secrets book extract: Smashing the state

Pat Campbell's cartoon for Forum cover, April 19, 2014

In this extract from the new book Dirty Secrets, Jack Waterford ponders what secret surveillance got right and wrong about his days as a radical student prankster.

Getting to know Jesus as a man

Easter.

MARTIN FLANAGAN 11:48pm Good Friday is about the universal heart, how it is endlessly injured, how it triumphs because it never stops.

Men must take a zero-tolerance approach to mates' domestic violence

Anna Bligh dinkus

Anna Bligh My first job out of university was working as a child support worker in a women's refuge, working with the children whose mothers were escaping violence in their home.

Comments 26

Comments of the week April 11-17, 2014

Bob Carr is applauded for his honesty over the Jewish lobby.

Rob Ashton Rob Ashton, comment moderator: Whether you’re a Throner, a politics nerd - which involves less sex than Game of Thrones and, usually, less violence - or a grammar tragic, there’s something for everyone in this week’s column.

Bali: centuries in the making, close to breaking

Madeleine Murray The Balinese Hindu culture took 2000 years to evolve but, at this rate, it will be slowly but inexorably ruined in a few decades.

Malala Yousafzai: when a teenage ambition to change the world might actually work

Anne Summers dinkus

Anne Summers However hard it might be for women in senior positions in Australian politics, their rough road pales in significance beside the actual dangers that face women who aspire to the top job in Pakistani politics.

Comments 7

Time for the Catholic church to return to its compassionate core

Frank Brennan I am a Catholic priest, a Jesuit, but I have never been on Cardinal Pell’s Christmas Card list.

The real price of stopping the boats

Illustration: Jim Pavlidis.

MICHAEL GORDON The boats have stopped coming but at some point there will be a reckoning on the price that's been paid.

Barry O'Farrell's true fault was failing to root out corruption in the NSW Liberals

Mike Carlton dinkus

MIKE CARLTON Tasting Notes: The 1959 Chateau d'Icac. Celebrated vigneron Nick Di Girolamo has excelled himself with this rare and striking Premier Grand Cru. Selected from old grapes of wrath vines at the Obeid family's Mt Corruption vineyard in NSW and cellared in Rum Corps oak casks, the wine reveals hidden gifts of subtle complexity.

Comments 38

When good and evil, failure and defeat, come together this Easter

Natasha Moore A quirk of the calendar puts the Easter and Anzac Day long weekends in close proximity this year, but the April school holidays may be the least significant thing they have in common.

Why Barry's bottle couldn't pass the pub test

Jacqueline-Maley

JACQUELINE MALEY Early Wednesday morning, after news had broken of Barry O’Farrell’s denial he had ever received a bottle of Grange from Liberal Party donor Nick Di Girolamo, I overheard two workmen talking on their way out of the local newsagent.

It was the last supper, but who was to know?

The mystery of The Last Supper.

DANNY KATZ Easter and Jewish Passover always happen at the same time of year for a very good reason.

Did Barry O'Farrell pre-fuel on Grange before lockout?

Fairfax Media writer

RICHARD ACKLAND Little did we know Barry O'Farrell, the man responsible for lockouts at Kings Cross was pre-fuelling at home on Grange.

Too shocked to act

Suzy Freeman-Greene A Friday night in town, just after nine. Lights twinkling, tram bells dinging, shop windows blinging. After eating out, I walked towards St Paul’s Cathedral. On the grass outside, a short, weedy guy with a bare torso paced around, twirling a long, leather belt like a helicopter blade. He was taunting someone taller, in a hoodie and jeans. Drawing closer, I saw the drawn face of a thin, long-haired woman. She was about a metre from him, dancing around with fists raised, shouting words that vanished in the wind.

Derek Rielly: Why Australia will never be a republic

Catherine

DEREK RIELLY It was a gloomy day in Sydney but a visit by a certain couple cheered up both royalists and republicans.

Comments 11

Ethics classes teaching children how to behave in a Christian way

Manns

Rose-Anne Manns At Mona Vale Public School, two dozen 12-year-olds are pretending they are officials of the Ligurian government.

Barry O'Farrell's Liberal machine as rotten as Labor's

Waleed Aly dinkus.

WALEED ALY Perhaps the most telling aspect of the now infamous thank-you note that ended Barry O’Farrell’s premiership this week is that it was sent so soon after his bone-crushing election victory.

Comments 297

Hockey's new trick: cutting is really spending

Joe Hockey

MARK KENNY Opinion As the storm clouds gathered in 2008, Labor was told to spend the lot.

Comments 282

Suffer the children, they have no asylum

Philip Freier

Philip Freier Jesus said: “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Australian policy on asylum seekers seems to understand only the first word of that instruction.

Letters to the editor

Readers comment on the burning issues of the day.

Editorials

The voice of The Canberra Times.

David Pope

Cartoons from The Canberra Times editorial artist.

Pat Campbell

A selection of published work from The Canberra Times artist.

Jack Waterford

Jack Waterford is Editor-at-large, The Canberra Times