Who are citizens of ‘Australia’s great democracy?’

Who are citizens of ‘Australia’s great democracy?’

First, democracy implies processes of communication through which individuals come to know as individuals what they want or think is right. Individuals should be the owners of their beliefs and preferences, meaning that beliefs or preferences should not be the result of manipulation or received opinion but rather the result of considered adherence. Second, democracy implies processes of communication through which a collectivity comes to know what it wants or ...

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The genteel art of bullying

The genteel art of bullying

I was recently discussing the genteel art of bullying with a former associate, Paulo Flores, who is a psychologist and mediator and Watershedd, a recent contributor to Blak and Black. During the course of both of these conversations the topic turned to the definition of bullying. This made me stop and think and eventually realise that what I’m actually ‘banging-on’ about to the United Nations and on Blak and Black ...

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Will Australia ever move from Black and White to the Grey that sits between?

Will Australia ever move from Black and White to the Grey that sits between?

I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me. Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man After 220 years of sustained European invasions and occupation ...

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Ambassador Chan speaks about Moti, Sogavare and the Australian Government

Ambassador Chan speaks about Moti, Sogavare and the Australian Government

The following article written by Ednal Palmer appeared in the Solomon Star on Saturday 15th January, 2011. While the article is ostensibly about the tenure of the outgoing Taiwanese (ROC) ambassador to the Solomon Islands Mr. George Chan, it traverses ground which I have covered in a number of posts I have done about Mr Moti and corruption within the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Government. Specifically it covers ...

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The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law. The rule follows logically from the idea that truth, and therefore law, is based upon fundamental principles which can be discovered, but which cannot be created through an act of will. The most important application of the rule of law is the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in ...

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Racism takes many forms

Racism takes many forms

Kevin Spratt, an Aboriginal man from Western Australia, was tasered up to 41 times in a week and went to hospital with fractures, a collapsed lung and a dislocated shoulder after being taken out of his cell by a special ‘cell extraction’ team, a Corruption and Crime Commission inquiry has been told in Western Australia’s Capital, Perth, this week. In one incident tasers are used on him 11 times, including ...

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Justice <strike>Alabama</strike> Queensland style

Justice Alabama Queensland style

Anna Bligh you’re a disgrace, a racist and potentially a war criminal! Yes, you the Premier of the rotten state. You know when I worked in PNG in the 90s the Yanks up there often quipped that: “PNG’s biggest problem is that there are too many Queenslanders here” They weren’t wrong. Now that the Queenslanders have by-in-large replaced with Malaysians all the racists have come back to the roost, the ...

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The Liars Privilege – A Folly

The Liars Privilege – A Folly

Lord, how this world is given to lying. Quite so, Falstaff, but there is lying and lying. No, not another diatribe on police mendaciousness or theft or even racism, but a little folly on two former, but in their own way famous, European heads of state who were rumbled. Kurt Waldheim deliberately obscured details of his career in the German army.  What was he up to in the Second World ...

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The first thing we should learn

The first thing we should learn

The first thing we should learn Epictetus was a stoic and the Enchiridion, from which the following extract is taken, was one of the principal manuals of Stoic philosophy. The science of philosophy of divided into three parts: the utility and importance of the principles established; the proofs or demonstrations by which these are sustained; and the organisation or arrangement of the various parts which constitute such proofs and demonstrations. ...

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The Art of Political Lying

The Art of Political Lying

“We are told the devil is the father of lies, and was a liar from the beginning; so that, beyond contradiction, the invention is old: and, which is more, his first Essay of it was purely political, employed in undermining the authority of his prince, and seducing a third part of the subjects from their obedience: for which he was driven down from heaven, where (as Milton expresses it) he ...

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Angelique, Pat and the ‘rule of law’

Angelique, Pat and the ‘rule of law’

In my post titled Angelique, I noted that she was not the only Aboriginal person to have been discriminated against and forced out of the Australian Capital Territory Revenue Office (ACTRO). I have just received permission to discuss the matter of a former Commissioner of ACT Revenue, a Wiradjuri, member of the Stolen Generations and cousin of Ms. Isabel Coe, whose husband Mr. Billy Craigie was one of the founding ...

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Equality and human dignity

Equality and human dignity

While sitting in my office this morning I received a phone call from a distraught friend, advising me that a mutual friend, an Indigenous Australian Artist, had become the latest victim of a police bashing, a penalty meted out to him for…you guessed it, not grovelling on his hands and knees when confronted by a member of the ‘master race!’ This latest incident made me turn my mind to the ...

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The Cold Joke

The Cold Joke

The Cold Joke has subtle application for the Way Australia’s Indigenous peoples are treated by our own Government. White the torture we are subjected to on a daily basis is not of the same nature described by Jonathan Glover in the following extract of his book A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, the underlying concepts remain the same. Among the strongest expressions of lack of respect is the cold ...

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"Men are respectable only as they respect”

“Men are respectable only as they respect”

So says Ralph Waldo Emerson, but what do the police and bureaucracy say in Australia? Well it’s something like: “If you don’t give us the respect we believe you owe us, we’ll fit you up” Respect is becoming an ever increasing theme on the lips of the police and the bureaucracy. What started out as a whisper is reaching a crescendo. What has changed? To answer this, we need to ...

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Domestic violence

Domestic violence

The abuse of human rights comes in many forms and places. It wears the face of the average neighbour just as easily as it does that of authority or a dictator. Whatever method or excuse it takes, it is wrong. Kristin at Wanderlust speaks out about domestic violence. Note for Australian readers: Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is held in May each year in Queensland. ...

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Tasers and the marganilised

Tasers and the marganilised

Mr. Anand Grover, UN Special Raporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health findings on Australia’s treatment of its Indigenous peoples, (4 December 2009): “Indigenous populations are also vastly overrepresented in the prison population … Basic needs, such as adequate housing, safe drinking water and sanitation and access to education are not being met. Unresolved issue surrounding native titles ...

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To Taser or not to Taser ... is it even a question?

To Taser or not to Taser … is it even a question?

All those who have been following the Australian news in the last few weeks will no doubt be aware that there has been an absolute spate of police taserings right across the country. In the most recent incident a New South Wales man died after being tasered by police. On the police version of events the deceased was involved in a fight and police tasered him in an effort to ...

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Courage Western Australian style

Courage Western Australian style

Police using Tasers for wrong reasons (thewest.com.au 4 October, 2010); the headline screams out from the screen as I stumble onto yet another instance of police brutality against Aboriginal Australians in the west. Yet again the chorus of racists from Yahoo! raise their voices in unison. In the story nine of Western Australia’s finest surround an unarmed Aboriginal man already in custody and taser him thirteen times. Such bravery in ...

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