From Marxist Left Review, Tom Bramble on Australian imperialism and the rise of China. Is there a "right" kind of homelessness? The people sleeping out at Occupy Sydney are making a public statement about inequality and housing affordability. Indonesia's counter-terror unit Detachment 88 is funded and trained by Australia — why are we so involved with a unit whose work includes counter-separatist activities? The government of Western Australia has recently decided that the “fly in; fly out” model of Pilbara employment is inefficient, and that more workers should reside permanently in the region. The Sonorous Roar of Cannons: James Halford on national feeling in Mexico and Australia. Peace Be Upon You: Is Australia a Christian nation? The fracas that engulfed the country's prime minister during Aboriginal protests on Australia Day speaks volumes about a society still coming to terms with its past. From Socialist Alternative, how does the 1 percent rule? The Royal Me: How Australians’ disdain for authority has led to an epidemic of secession. Did early humans ride the waves to Australia?
From Politics and Culture, a special issue on revisiting Thorstein Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class, including Aaron Stuvland (George Mason): Thorstein Veblen and the “Spirit” of Capitalism; Gavin Mueller (George Mason): The Hipster Labor of Conspicuous Leisure; and Andrew Pendakis (Alberta): Poor Plenum: Veblen and The Economics of Philosophy. Eliane Glaser on why people act against their best interests. Meet Eric Hardmeyer, Occupy Wall Street's favorite banker. “Something for all, so that none may escape”: Christian Garland on reworking the critique of consumption. Are straight people born that way? The best scientific argument we have for the innateness of straightness is that evolution would favor it, but a poll of sexologists raises some interesting questions about arousal. Supervolcanoes are one of nature’s most destructive forces, but given that there are no recorded observations of super-eruptions — the last occurred 74,000 years ago in Indonesia — scientists don’t fully understand how they work. A new kind of novel is taking over — is the “hindered narrator” a step forward for fiction?
From Common-place, Kenneth Cohen on the manly sport of American politics or, how we came to call elections "races". From Vanity Fair, a look at how How Aaron Sorkin's West Wing inspired a legion of Lyman wannabes; and in a selection from his biography of Barack Obama, David Maraniss interviews both the president and Genevieve Cook — the “mystery woman” of Obama’s New York days — for a portrait of the leader as a young man. From Gawker, Max Read on a guide to Barack Obama’s coolness for politicians and journalists. A look at how Bill Maher managed to occupy an important place in the national conversation. Dave Weigel on why it pays to play the heretic for pundits. From Jacobin, Belen Fernandez on Tom Friedman’s war on humanity. Bill Ayers tells the remarkable story of hosting dinner for Tucker Carlson and Andrew Breitbart. An interview with Thomas Frank, author of Pity the Billionaire: The Hard Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right. Any way you slice it, to mix metaphors, we are not in Kansas anymore: Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols on political advertising. From Cracked, a look at 5 ways to spot a B.S. political story in under 10 seconds.