The blind juggler: Aboriginal offending and sentencing

The blind juggler: Aboriginal offending and sentencing

Jim Jim where is our party? where all members’re held equal an’vow t’infiltrate that thought among the people it hopes t’serve an’sets a respected road for all those like me. These words were written by Bod Dylan in response to the speech given by John Lewis on behalf of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on the afternoon of August 28, 1963 in Washington D.C. during the 200,000 strong march for ...

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Penny Wong and the Christian lobby – what is prejudice?

Penny Wong and the Christian lobby – what is prejudice?

For myself, earth-bound and fettered to the scene of my activities, I confess that I do feel the differences of mankind, national and individual…I am, in plainer words, a bundle of prejudice – made up of likings and disliking’s – the veriest thrall to sympathies, apathies, antipathies. Charles Lamb Flicking through todays offerings by the ‘free’ press in the world’s two great democracies – #Australia and #Russia – I was ...

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The Bugmy family, Dada and a Quiche in the face

The Bugmy family, Dada and a Quiche in the face

“Dada is a virgin microbe / Dada is against life so dear / Dada / Corporation exploiting ideas / Dada has 391 different attitudes and colours, depending on the President’s sex / It transforms itself – asserts – says exactly the opposite at the same time – no importance – cries – goes fishing / Dada is the chameleon of rapid, self-interested change / Dada is against the future, Dada ...

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#Racism: Time to cease emulating the ostrich

#Racism: Time to cease emulating the ostrich

“He was a remarkably effective prime minister for a while. The most difficult time was in 1997 and, to give credit to the government, they tightened the supervision over the banking system. The thing I recall (however) is the introduction of race and racist attitude into the body politic, especially over refugees.” Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, commenting about one his successors, John Howard, The Australian, 20 April 2013. Malcolm ...

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There are 869 different forms of lying

There are 869 different forms of lying

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmet’s to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours … You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now ...

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A fish rots from the head

A fish rots from the head

The most recent public airing of a racist attack on a Korean man and his aunt visiting from his homeland has prompted another round of self-reflection on the Australian psyche. Waleed Aly published his point of view a few days ago and whilst I agree that all nations battle issues of racism, the difference is that they acknowledge the problem exists, unlike Australia. The Israelis, Palestinians, Americans, Canadians, Kiwis and ...

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West Papua - time we were #idlenomore

West Papua – time we were #idlenomore

“We recognize international law …” Every country that is a member of the United Nations recognizes international law, Bob, at least as far as it serves their purposes. It seems to me that every nation also ignores any aspect of international law that puts some aspect of their own commercial or national value at risk. Every nation has at its heart not the rest of humanity, but it’s own nationalistic ...

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"May it ring for justice and change"

“May it ring for justice and change”

I like to learn how to say people’s names properly. Not that I have a particularly good memory for pairing names with faces, but I believe it is a sign of respect when you pay enough attention to learn to say – and spell – someone’s name correctly. Perhaps it’s a legacy of those elocution lessons at primary school … Mrs. Edie would be amused. I also like to learn ...

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Cradle to grave #racism - it's not just Sydney

Cradle to grave #racism – it’s not just Sydney

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. Desmond Tutu Jeremy Fernandez, I’m sorry your two year old daughter learned, so early, that the colour palette is not always one with which she may paint azure ...

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#Indigenous self determination and alcohol

#Indigenous self determination and alcohol

The news of the week in #Indigenous Affairs is the annual report card on Closing the Gap. Julia Gillard states that she is disappointed with the progress is addressing #indigenous disadvantage; I’m certain that anyone who shares their life with an #indigenous person or organization will disagree with those sentiments. But who is to the blame for this lack of progress? Successive governments have failed to place positive actions in ...

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Statistics, lies and the #AFP

Statistics, lies and the #AFP

Thus Friend comforted me. I took great comfort from his counsel, and it seemed to me, indeed that he knew at least more than Reason did. But before he had finished his argument, which agreed strongly with me, Sweet Thought, and Sweet Talk came back, and from then on they stayed close to me and hardly ever left me afterward. But they did not bring Sweet Looks; I did not ...

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Fatima, Australian of my year

Fatima, Australian of my year

She is a very beautiful young woman, quiet, reserved, cautious and courteous. Her parents have sent her to Australia to undertake tertiary studies, full fee paying tertiary studies. She has no immediate family within these shores, only the family of a cousin more than 1,000 km away where she sometimes visits. Fatima, this industrious young woman with the pale pink head scarf, is isolated in more ways than I care ...

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Magistrate Clisdell v Reality

Magistrate Clisdell v Reality

I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves — this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in ...

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Magistrate Clisdell and the NSW ‘just-us’ system

Magistrate Clisdell and the NSW ‘just-us’ system

It is sillier than the vain futile cawing of a senseless crow to try to talk to others about one’s own deep sorrow! (Wakayama Bakusai (1885-1928) trans. Robert Wood Clack) On Sunday afternoon while painting at Palm Beach, I received an email from my good friend Mr Julian Moti QC, the former Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands. Attached to Julian’s e-mail was one he had received from his friend and former ...

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#IdleNoMore - Transnational Indigenous Solidarity

#IdleNoMore – Transnational Indigenous Solidarity

#IdleNoMore is a growing movement of indigenous activism that started with Canada's First Nations taking a stand against a long history of systematic, institutionalized abuse from the Canadian authorities. ...

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Hypocrisy underscoring the ACT's Bill of Rights

Hypocrisy underscoring the ACT’s Bill of Rights

”Quite often before they get there they have done something quite serious. It becomes quite difficult because the offending behaviour is the first point that you’ve got to address and you can’t say that just because someone is Aboriginal they are excused from any criminal behaviour. Clearly that doesn’t work. You have to go back earlier, to why they are offending in the first place.” Chief Justice Terrence ...

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El-Masri v The Former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia

El-Masri v The Former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia

With the Inauguration of President Obama for his second term fast approaching (20 January, 2013) it is worth considering just how far the United States and indeed the West has fallen from the lofty ideals that underpin the West’s claim to moral, if no longer financial and technological, supremacy. This West’s claim to moral superiority has again been put to the test and has again been found wanting. I’m referring ...

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David Hicks and Lex Wotton – it’s all black and white

David Hicks and Lex Wotton – it’s all black and white

David Hicks and Lex Wotton, two of Australia’s notorious. No I’m not suggesting that they are members of that Sydney based pseudo-outlaw bikie gang allegedly connected with the Ibrahim family, rather I’m suggesting that these men have been outlawed for a very different reason, they challenged Australia’s systemic and entrenched culture of corruption. While Messers Hicks and Wotton may share a certain degree of notoriety based on their past actions, ...

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Liberty, Equality, Fraternity – but, only if you’re white

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity – but, only if you’re white

Liberté, égalité, fraternité; the national motto of France, indeed the emphasis on Fraternité during the French Revolution led Olympe de Gouges, a contemporary French playwright, political activist and journalist, to write the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen shortly after the French constitution of 1791 was created. She was alarmed that the constitution, which was to promote equal suffrage, did not address, nor even consider, women’s ...

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Resistance is futile - like hell it is!

Resistance is futile – like hell it is!

I couldn’t resist writing this post. I just couldn’t. Because since well before the whole Destroy the Joint thing has started, Blak and Black has been fighting to draw attention to the plight of Ms. King, Australia’s most senior Indigenous female banking executive who was indecently assaulted in broad daylight in the political heart of the Australian Capital Territory, also know as Canberra in 2005. What happened to Ms. King ...

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