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Articles Archive for May 2014

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[31 May 2014 | No Comment | ]

Review of ‘Carrier Attack: Darwin 1942’.
By Tom Lewis and Peter Ingman
Avonmore Books, 368pp, $49.99 (HB)
THE surprise air attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was unforgettably described by then US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt as “a day of infamy. A few weeks later we had a similar brush with infamy. On the morning of February 19, 1942, four days after the surrender of Singapore, 242 Japanese aircraft savagely bombed the isolated, lightly defended port of Darwin and its two airfields, especially targeting more than 60 Allied …

Roundup »

[27 May 2014 | No Comment | ]

HECTOR’S DIARY, ‘Bali Advertiser’ May 28, 2014
by 8 Degrees of Latitude
Bad Burghers
A new Facebook group has appeared in cyberspace, dedicated to curbing crime in Ubud. This is an unpleasant sign of the times. Ubud may be where everyone goes to commune with the fairies, go Vegan, try to find anything that remotely resembles the purported revelations in Elizabeth Gilbert’s bodice-ripper book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, and get in touch with their inner Pilates, but it’s also catching up with the modern world.
Some of the good burghers of Ubud, local and foreign, …

Books »

[25 May 2014 | No Comment | ]

Tony Abbott has remade the $600,000 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in his own image, with a line-up of mostly like-minded judges, including his publisher Louise Adler, conservative columnist Gerard Henderson and former Liberal MP Peter Coleman.
The names were announced by press release after Mr Abbott spoke at the Australian Book Industry Awards dinner on Friday, ending a delay that stirred concern he might drop the awards started by Kevin Rudd. Mr Abbott chose the judges from a list of suggested candidates.

At the dinner in Sydney, Mr Abbott and his Arts …

Books »

[24 May 2014 | No Comment | ]

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has announced a radical shake-up of the judging panels for the nation’s richest book prizes, the $600,000 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
The nonfiction and history panels will be chaired by conservative commentator Gerard Henderson. He will be joined by former politician and editor Peter Coleman, who is Peter Costello’s father-in-law, Ross Fitzgerald, a professor of politics and history, Ida Lichter and Ann Moyal.

The fiction and poetry panels will be chaired by publisher Louise Adler, who published Mr Abbott’s political memoir. She will be joined by Margie Bryant, …

Columns »

[24 May 2014 | No Comment | ]

SOON Queensland will again dominate our political agenda. In the next nine months, Queenslanders will go to the polls in an election that will be a referendum on the performance of Premier Campbell Newman’s first term in office.
Although no one seriously ­expects the Liberal National Party to lose, political interest will focus on just how many seats, out of its record majority, that the Queensland government will retain.
Newman has the advantage of presiding over a traditionally conservative state, but he would do well to study Queensland’s history as he ponders …

Books, Featured »

[18 May 2014 | No Comment | ]
Busy in the Fog

Busy in the Fog is a wildly funny sexual-political romp which will amaze, delight, annoy and almost certainly offend. Grafton Everest is now at his wit’s end facing life in his gluttonous middle age. Forced to deal with unexpected changes in his wife Janet, their allegedly gifted child Lee-Anne, and in his supposedly academic place of work, Grafton passes through episodes of a spiralling, phobic anxiety, Ross Fitzgerald’s Queensland has more than its share of terrorists, religious ratbags, free enterprise maniacs and right and left-wing zealots.
“Utilising a lethal wit, Fitzgerald’s …

Reviews »

[17 May 2014 | No Comment | ]

Stoker’s Submarine: Australia’s Daring Raid on the Dardanelles on the Day of the Gallipoli Landing, Anzac Centenary Edition
By Fred and Elizabeth Brenchley
Australia Teachers of Media, $280pp, $49.95
THE little-known stories of war are an important part of our ongoing fascination with the two global conflicts of the 20th century. The adventures of an Australian submarine in the Dardanelles on the eve of the Gallipoli campaign is one such story, and in Fred and Elizabeth Brench­ley’s hands it is a ripping yarn indeed.
The story begins on the morning of April 25, 1915, …

Columns »

[10 May 2014 | No Comment | ]

AUSTRALIA’S political orthodoxy may be heading for a shake-up, with rising volatility in the electorate combining with a slowing economy to create difficulties for the major political parties.
The declining dominance of our so-called two-party system has been predicted many times, most notably when new parties rise to prominence.
The Australian Democrats, founded by ex-Liberal Don Chipp, once appeared likely to remain a long-term force, based on its platform of “keeping the bastards honest.
Pauline Hanson also exploited cynicism about the major parties when she founded One Nation, which for a short time …

Reviews »

[9 May 2014 | No Comment | ]

P/B, 2012, RRP $35
ISBN: 9781743320068
This fine biography of prominent Australian-born sexologist and ardent campaigner for birth control, Dr Norman Haire, contains a wealth of information.
Born Norman Zions in Sydney in 1892 as the eleventh, and last, child of modestly prosperous Jewish parents, he attended Fort Street Model School where he was a star debater who aspired to being an actor.
Forced by his father to study medicine, Haire who remained a closet homosexual until his premature death in 1952, …