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Latest commentary and opinion

True confessions of a very bad Jewish boy

Danny Katz

DANNY KATZ 12:15am Being a bad Jew is hard work, it’s exhausting. All my life, I’ve had to deal with endless guilt/shame/angsty dilemmas: should I be eating this prawn? Should I be buying these Christmas presents? Should I be sleeping with this Anglican – and on the Sabbath?

Clover Moore's worm offers a touch of whimsy in another brutal week

Mike Carlton dinkus Dinkus

MIKE CARLTON 12:15am In a grisly week of death and destruction wherever you look, it's been a relief to flit lightly across some of the zany stuff in the news. First up: public art.

The AFL's Peace Team is out of town but in our hearts and minds

Martin Flanagan

MARTIN FLANAGAN 12:15am The Peace Team isn’t coming this year.  The half-Israeli, half-Palestinian Australian football team won’t be attending next month’s AFL International Cup.


Six Degrees: Clover Moore to Madeleine Albright

Peter Munro dinkus

PETER MUNRO 12:15am Is it a ribbon? Dental floss? A demented tapeworm? Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore unveiled plans for a cloud arch that will hover like a deranged paperclip over Sydney.

Creepy thrills won't open doors to understanding

The Old Melbourne Gaol will open its doors to accommodation in the cells.

Suzy Freeman-Greene You’d have to pay me handsomely to spend a night at Old Melbourne Gaol. It’s a grim, stark place, steeped in sadness. With its hangman’s scaffold and mean little cells, the Gaol is a creepily instructive time warp. But the National Trust’s plan to turn these cells into pricey hotel rooms strikes me as a kind of incarceration porn.


Gaza: Law of war needs testing at International Criminal Court

Geoffrey Robertson dinkus

Geoffrey Robertson International law seems eyeless in Gaza. For more than two weeks the world has watched war crimes apparently committed by both sides.

Lest we forget war's brutal opera

World War One soldiers return home.

TONY WRIGHT 12:15am All we might hope, after the world promised itself near a century ago that war would end, is that the remembering might yet inform and warn the future.

Andrews fails the crisis management test

<i>Illustration by Andrew Dyson</i>

MICHAEL GORDON The golden rule of crisis management in politics is summed up succinctly in The Gate Keepers, a new book by Queensland academics R.A.W. Rhodes and Anne Tiernan, that draws on the experience of the chiefs of staff of five of Australia’s recent prime ministers.


Tony Abbott's Coalition making same mistakes as Labor

Peter Hartcher dinkus Dinkus

PETER HARTCHER Some of the native tribes of North America believed that their warriors took on the attributes of enemies they killed in battle. Perhaps they were on to something. How else to explain the fact that the Abbott government seems to be assuming one of the most unimpressive features of the Labor government it defeated?


Fighting piracy needs more than counter measures

Josephine Tovey dinkus Dinkus

JOSEPHINE TOVEY 12:00am Most people pay for their entertainment where it is readily available, affordable and available on a device they want to use, while resorting to streaming or downloading pirated content or getting around geoblocks when the content is difficult or impossible to access.


NSW donations reform a good start but national change needed

Sean Nicholls dinkus Dinkus

SEAN NICHOLLS 12:00am As the ICAC prepares to resume public hearings next week into the allegedly dodgy fund-raising activities of the NSW Liberal Party, its officials have been eager to get on the front foot.

Salvation time again as Aborigines face a new dawn in the west

Tony Abbott arrives to deliver the Closing the Gap report to Parliament in February, 2014.

JACK WATERFORD 12:00am Years Zero come to Aboriginal affairs in ever-decreasing cycles. Under Tony Abbott, we are junking the past again, literally wiping the slate clean.

The nine types of bloke you'll find at a working bee

Richard Glover dinkus

RICHARD GLOVER 11:45pm When it comes to the building working bee, the variety of experts that comes out to play is truly staggering.

Asylum seeker children in detention: Why the church has a duty to speak up

Julia Baird dinkus Dinkus

JULIA BAIRD A quiet, curious insurrection has been happening on the periphery of the public eye in Australia in the past few months. Nuns arrested, priests occupying politician’s offices, bishops slamming government policy as "cruelty". 

Comments 28

A mother's preference for child care

The simple fact is some women like staying home to look after their own children.

KAREN HARDY 7:00pm Buried deep inside the Productivity Commissions draft report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning is a little subtitle: "Mothers' preferences".

We are slowly killing the Great Barrier Reef

Lizard Island.

CRISPIN HULL 7:00pm Australia will not miss another coal mine but Australia without the Great Barrier Reef is unimaginable.

Economic models often biased by vested interests


RICHARD DENNISS 6:00pm Economic modelling is like The Wizard of Oz. Behind a impressive facade of power and omnipotence lies an underwhelming array of bizarre assumptions, confused theory, inadequate data, and a desire to please the customer.

Click go the fears of embarrassment

In this day and age, the opportunities to embarrass oneself or view the embarrassment of others are legion.

Craig Gamble 4:00pm In this day and age, the opportunities to embarrass oneself or view the embarrassment of others are legion (an ill-considered tweet, a rash moment in front of a phone camera). And others are only too eager to share these indiscretions with the world.

It's called asymmetry, stupid

Nicholas Stuart

NICHOLAS STUART 2:48pm How do you choose to fly overseas? It’s tight on Air Vietnam, but Saigon’s interesting and you’re in Paris after just one (uncomfortable) night. And it’s cheap. Qantas might be the unthinking option, but it’s none the worse for that. Or maybe you decide to splurge: business class, cheaper airline. The point is; your decision’s informed. Cost is a factor in the equation.

Exporting bush from the Bush Capital threatens biodiversity

Biodiversity offsets have been criticised.

Philip Gibbons 11:58am Bushland will be “moved” from the ACT to neighbouring NSW.

A battleground of mutual self-destruction

Dennis Altman, Professorial Fellow in Human Security at La Trobe University

Dennis Altman Neither side in the bloody Gaza conflict appears motivated by rational assessment, and the people are paying the price.

Comments 23

Enough with the entertainment, we're here to see the game

Hawthorn supporters Jordan (7) and Kodi Fisher (5) of Geelong, pictured at the 2013 AFL Grand Final.

Brendan O'Reilly AFL crowds are being turned off the footy and there's a reason for that.


MPs in cardigans might make fewer woolly decisions

Clare Coburn

Clare Coburn It's time for leaders to mothball the power suit to make way for a softer mode of attire.

Comments 8

War of words stokes furnace of Middle East

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

Danny Ben-Moshe This week's chants about gas chambers and Hitler mark a shocking new low in hateful attacks on Jewish people.

Comments 246

Clash of the policy titans

John Garnaut.

JOHN GARNAUT Australia's domestic political and foreign interests are at last being moulded in unison.

Comments 38

In the Herald: August 1, 1846


Note: To protect against computer viruses, e-mail programs may prevent sending or receiving certain types of file attachments.  Check your e-mail security settings to determine how attachments are handled.

Brian Yatman "We are informed that letters have been received stating that Lieutenant-Colonel Barney, R.E., had been appointed Superintendent of the new colony to be established to the northward."

Why the tension in north-western NSW has turned toxic

Christopher Harris dinkus

Christopher Harris The killing of 51-year old Glendon Turner, an environment and heritage officer, is the latest event to mark the lines being drawn between environmentalists and their opposition.

Comments 57

The day seven of my family died in Gaza

Heavy smoke billows following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City.

Mohammed El Halabi On Thursday July 10, I was watching our local news in Gaza and heard there had been a missile attack which resulted in several deaths in the El Halabi family. Seven of my family members had been killed. In that moment the day’s news instantly shocked me to the core.

Comments 154

Till de-glitching do us part

Victoria Lambert The young have re-booted marriage for the modern generation, to be beta-tested, learnt from and discarded. But isn’t permanence the whole point, asks Victoria Lambert.


A plea to save the children in Gaza and Israel

Karl Schembri The world is watching in horror as the conflict between Israel and Gaza enters a new and terrifying phase with no end in sight to the appalling loss of life.As rockets and bombs rain down on Israel and Gaza, and as plumes of smoke and fire bellow from shattered buildings, it is easy to forget that the lives of children, hundreds of innocent children, are being lost or changed forever in the horrific violence. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a war on children.


Letters to the editor

Readers comment on the burning issues of the day.


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