The curse of illness and disability - a modern day Boethius

The curse of illness and disability – a modern day Boethius

On 17 June, Cathal Lyons was involved in an accident whilst on business in Russia, resulting in the loss of both part of the foot and shoulder on his right side. He held both an Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D, with a company known as AGF) and a Long Term Disability (LTD, with Colonial) insurance policy at the time under the terms of the accounting business in which he as ...

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True Blue Aussies

True Blue Aussies

There are numerous groups working to assist the homeless in Sydney. Most nights you can find a food van behind St. Mary’s Cathedral or in Wentworth Park. There’s people who beg on the streets daily and others sleeping rough in doorways or alleys, all dependent on the compassion of those more fortunate for a meal each day. Australian Muslim Youth (AMY) are one group trying to address the needs of ...

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Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth

The German artist Daniel Nikolaus Chodwiecki was renowned for his etchings. Born in an age in which critical thought was encouraged and the power of hierarchical institutions such as the Catholic Church were questioned, Chodwiecki expressed his own appreciation of “toleration” through his work “Minerva als Symbol der Toleranz”. Toleration is not quite the same as tolerance. The former requires only that one allow that which he or she disapproves ...

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#WalkTogether to end #racism

#WalkTogether to end #racism

The sign says it all. Since when should people need to rally to welcome others, to offer a helping hand? The annual #Walktogether held in both capital cities and regional locations attracted people of all ages, calling for an end to the marginalization of refugees through policies such as off shore detention, as well as to promote inter-faith and community harmony. All ages of the community were represented, carrying multi-coloured ...

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The "Unsettled" Great Southern Land

The “Unsettled” Great Southern Land

Where to start … where to start … After a protracted hiatus, Blak and Black is back! There’s so much to write about, so much in the news and the world at large. We’ll get to much of it over time, but there’s really only one place to restart for a blog that revolves around discrimination, in particular indigenous racism and that’s Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s most recent foot-in-mouth ...

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A mile in his shoes - learning from Monet

A mile in his shoes – learning from Monet

Chocolate is the panacea of woe, but in more recent years, I’ve found my palette appreciating much more of the citrus tones that cleanse and refresh, even if some do bite. Perhaps orange is a symbol, a marker of age. When glaucoma takes hold, the vision can develop an orange tinge; same too with cataracts. Perception of the world changes and we see with, in the most literal sense, different ...

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Impossible dream and a not so imaginary foe

Impossible dream and a not so imaginary foe

The day began with a comfortably low temperature of 17oC before rising to a high of 28oC. In the crushing crowd outside the Lincoln Memorial, it would seem unbearably hot to many. But fevers were raised by more than the beat of sun and thirsts were quenched by words more invigorating that the water of the Reflecting Pool on August 28, 1963. And on the very day that Martin Luther ...

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Our mystery future

Our mystery future

Mohamed is a friend with whom I have conversed now for several years. As a young Eqyptian, he was living in Europe when the Arab Spring uprisings commenced. In that time, he lost a close friend to the destruction of revolution. today, Mohamed lives in Egypt with his family, still hoping for the promise that the Arab Spring carried. He is a talented footballer and dreams of peace so that ...

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Trayvon Martin: the final insult

Trayvon Martin: the final insult

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy   “Do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened?” the president said. “And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.” Obama: ‘Trayvon Martin ...

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Myall Creek an unlikely symbol of #reconciliation

Myall Creek an unlikely symbol of #reconciliation

  We want neither the classic nor the romantic savage here. We have far too many of the murderous wretches about us already. The whole gang of black animals are not worth the money the colonists will have to pay for printing the silly court documents on which we have already wasted too much time. The Sydney Morning Herald (1838) following the Myall Creek massacre I look on the blacks ...

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Life on the street - no fixed address

Life on the street – no fixed address

I trudged a well worn path from Melbourne’s La Trobe Street to Flinders Street in my youth. Sydney has its fabulous Harbour, but Melbourne had arcades that drew me in and wide streets that seemed full of life, people, buskers, fruit sellers. I could browse the wares and stay under the cover almost the full distance, with never thought for the rain. Melbourne’s arcades still draw me, my favourite being ...

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There is a dream dreaming us

There is a dream dreaming us

Actually, the natural man in Africa is a truly spiritual man. He has so much of the spiritual that he is overflowing with it. He has so much of it that he gets entangled with the outside world. He sees it in things that really cannot contain it. He sees it in the trees, he sees it in all the objects which surround him. The tragedy is that we walked ...

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R. v. Ipeelee: Aboriginal sentencing and overrepresentation in the prison population

R. v. Ipeelee: Aboriginal sentencing and overrepresentation in the prison population

On Friday, The Australian Institute of Criminology (“AIC”) realest its Australian crime: Facts & figures: 2012 report, which provides sober reading for all those concerned about the on-going silent genocide of Indigenous Australia. Among other highlights, the report notes that there have been a further 325 indigenous deaths in custody since The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (“RCIADIC”) released its list of recommendations in 1991. The #RCIADIC, which ...

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Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes

Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes

Whatever you say, don’t say it tice If you find your ideas in anyone else, disown them The man who hasn’t signed anything, who has left no picture Who was not there, who said nothing: How can they catch him? Cover your tracts. (My emphasis) Bertolt Brecht, “Handbook for City-Dwellers” Many readers of Blak and Black will recognise the heading for this post as being the most frequently paraphrased statements ...

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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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Never a number

Never a number

On the ground floor of the Art Gallery of NSW I saw one of the most moving pieces of sculpture I can remember visiting. It did not surpass the sublime La Pieta, Michaelangelo’s masterpiece of sorrow and loss, but its impact was every bit as forceful. In the dimmed light of the large room, a single exhibit comprising twenty evenly spaced figures in ranks spoke such volume that I was ...

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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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#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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