Mob rule and the ‘gentle’ nations of the West

Mob rule and the ‘gentle’ nations of the West

You can talk a mob into anything; its feelings may be – usually are – on the whole generous and right; but it has no foundation for them; you may tease or tickle it into any, at your pleasure; it thinks by infection, for the most part, catching an opinion like a cold, and there is nothing so little that it will not roar itself wild about, when the fit ...

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West Papua and the United Nations

West Papua and the United Nations

July of 1969 was a big month. Whilst the ‘civilized’ world was focused on the deployment of three men to the moon, Indonesia was finalizing steps to wrest control of the territory of West Papua from the United Nations, the former Dutch protectorate. I do not say wrest lightly, for it was in the so-called Act of Free Choice that in fact the people of West Papua were robbed of ...

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Aboriginal and White Australia: How The Cultures Clashed

Aboriginal and White Australia: How The Cultures Clashed

This post has been proferred by Imogen, a reader of Blak and Black. When the members of the First Fleet stepped off their cruise ships and on to Australian soil back in 1788, things changed forever. A group of Brits, convicts, sailors and officers, stepped off those ships after their arduous eight-month journey, and into the unknown. There were 1000 of them, plus animals, and each one of them was entirely alien ...

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Human dignity and the idea of justice, part 1

Human dignity and the idea of justice, part 1

The idea of human dignity consists in recognizing that man is a being that has ends proper to himself, his own ends, to be freely complied with by himself. Or putting it in other words, maybe clearer, man ought not to be treated as a mere means for ends which are not his own, which are strange or alien to him for ends which do not belong to him. Although ...

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Racism in Australia's criminal justice system

Racism in Australia’s criminal justice system

The clock has been turned back on racial progress in America, though scarcely anyone seems to notice. All eyes are fixed on people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey who have defied the odds and achieved great power, wealth and fame Michelle Alexander Michelle Alexander former director of the Racial Justice Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argues persuasively in her recent book The New Jim Crow: Mass ...

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Am I not a man and a brother: A campaign for someone else’s rights

Am I not a man and a brother: A campaign for someone else’s rights

In the late afternoon of May 22, 1787, a group of a dozen men officially assembled at James Phillips’ bookstore and printing shop located at 2 George Yard, London. While the bookstore and printing shop have been replaced by a modern glass and steel building, home of Adelphi Capital, the idea that 2 George Yard gave birth to lives on. ‘Lives on’ is perhaps not the right phrase for the ...

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West Papua and the vote of no choice!

West Papua and the vote of no choice!

These feelings which we Cubans have already acquired will have to be shared by someday. Today it hurts us if a Cuban is hungry, if a Cuban has no doctor, if a Cuban child suffers or is uneducated, or if a family has no housing. It hurts us even though it’s not our brother, our son, or our father. Why shouldn’t we feel hurt if we see an Angolan child ...

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The symbol of belonging

The symbol of belonging

On the request of a friend, this post offers some insights as to why someone would wish to burn the Australian flag as an act of protest. The events in Canberra on the day commemorating the arrival of the first European settlers in Australia widely known as Australia Day have provided the media with no end of racial and political fodder. I spent some time reading comments on Yahoo!7, including: ...

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Ernst & Young, the silence is deafening!

Ernst & Young, the silence is deafening!

Following is a response to the statement published by Ernst & Young. People with things to hide generally sneak around, aiming to placate those who can advance their situation. They avoid speaking to the victim of their wrong doings, unless it is to inflict further hurt and they certainly never admit to having been wrong in the first place. These are the hallmarks of a narcissist. They are also the ...

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Marx as a catalyst for change in a world centered on self

Marx as a catalyst for change in a world centered on self

Oedipus Tyrannus is perhaps the most famous of all Greek tragedies, primarily because in the fourth century BCE it was held by Aristotle in his Poetics to be a paragon of tragedy and then in the twentieth century CE to have entered the psychoanalytical vocabulary of Sigmund Freud in his Interpretation of Dreams. We all know the story about a young child condemned by fate to marry his mother and ...

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This ephemeral thing we call democracy

This ephemeral thing we call democracy

“The essence of the demand for freedom is the need of conditions which will enable an individual to make his own special contribution to a group interest, and to partake of its activities in such ways that social guidance shall be a matter of his own mental attitude, and not a mere authoritative dictation of his acts.” John Dewey Democracy and Education In the West at least the “demand for ...

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Good Christian Souls

Good Christian Souls

Best of the Season. This post is a little delayed, but hey, it is the Yuletide! “Does this discrepancy between reality and altruistic morality yield the positive effects which are conventionally claimed? Do exhortations to self-sacrifice for other people and lofty goals make the world any better?” (Tullman J., Tullman J.,  Natural Ethics – A Confrontation with Altruism.) Over the past couple of years Channel Ten has aired the CBS ...

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Ernst & Young, bastions of corporate responsibility

Ernst & Young, bastions of corporate responsibility

There’s been significant debate in the past year about the introduction of ethics classes in public schools in New South Wales. The St James Ethics Centre was tasked with developing and implementing a curriculum, including sourcing volunteers to teach the program. The St James Ethics Centre has a strong history of developing and assessing ethics. In 2003, it undertook the first Australian Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI), which it has conducted ...

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Anti-Aboriginal racism rife in the Australian Community

Anti-Aboriginal racism rife in the Australian Community

The National Tertiary Education Union (“NTEU”) has released the findings from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander member survey ‘I’m Not Racist But … Report on Cultural Respect, Racial Discrimination, Lateral Violence and related Policy at Australia’s Universities’. The survey findings indicate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academic and general/professional staff continue to experience racial discrimination and a general lack of cultural respect in Australian universities. Following the numerous ...

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Canberra Corrupt: Aboriginal Australians Not Welcome

Canberra Corrupt: Aboriginal Australians Not Welcome

The ACT Government isn’t so much corrupt as it is immoral – Senior ACT Public Servant I had lunch in Canberra yesterday with Paul, a former colleague from my public service days, who had naively made the transition from the Australian Public Service (APS) to the ACT Public Service (ACTPS) a few years ago. Over the course of an extended and convivial lunch we happened upon the topic of the ...

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Aborigines and the Australian Justice System

Aborigines and the Australian Justice System

For very many Aboriginal Australians the phrase ‘Australian justice system’ is an oxymoron. There are any number of reasons, many of which are justified, why we as Aboriginal Australians think of the Australian ‘just-us’ system as being exactly as it says, a system that is just for us, which if you are an Aboriginal only serves to further entrench your marginalization. The following exchange between a Canberra based public prosecutor ...

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Why Australia should not be rewarded with a seat on the UN Security Council

Why Australia should not be rewarded with a seat on the UN Security Council

My apologies for my tardiness in updating Blak and Black over the last week or so, I’ve been reviewing evidence with a former colleague and equally concerned citizen relating to the alleged theft of $130,000,000.00 from the ACT Home Loan Portfolio (“Portfolio”) and its laundering through a Sydney ‘massage parlour’. Also, this will be the last post for a few days as Blak and Black is migrating to a more ...

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In Praise of Nostos

In Praise of Nostos

In my travels over the last week drumming up support for a Royal Commission into the Australian Federal Police I found myself in the pub at Bribbaree. While sitting barracking for the ‘Pies’ over a beer or more I was joined at the table by a former client, a Native American, a Cherokee to be precise who lives on a small farm nearby with his beloved horse and motorbike, avoiding ...

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Complicity, obligation and mutual respect

Complicity, obligation and mutual respect

When we look at a map of the world’s major trouble spots we see or at least I see, a white footprint superimposed over each and every one of these trouble spots. Via this process it is possible to trace the path of European avarice, imperialism and religious bigotry. The ‘gifts’ white man has left along this path are murder, rape, theft and ultimately genocide. These have given rise to ...

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Ernst & Young: A vehicle for hiding corruption in Canberra

Ernst & Young: A vehicle for hiding corruption in Canberra

There is no question about racism being a profound form of ignorance, but when it becomes something that informs employment decisions by one of the world’s biggest accounting firms, Ernst & Young, and a Australian Government Department ACT Treasury, then it becomes something more than simply abhorrent – it becomes a point of view which can be openly expressed in boardrooms and in official government correspondence. It’s at this point ...

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