#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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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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Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus

Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus

Words Like Freedom There are words like Freedom Sweet and wonderful to say. On my heart strings freedom sings All day everyday. There are words like Liberty That almost make me cry. If you had known what I know You would know why. Langston Hughes (p. 38 of Poetry For Young People: Langston Hughes) Lectori Salutem of Blak and Black, many will recognise the title of this post as being ...

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Nemo nisi Nomen

Nemo nisi Nomen

…believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments, have determined to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights of man…Men are born and remain free and equal in rights… These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression… Declaration of the Rights of Man and the ...

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Dialogue and spin: genocide on Australia’s doorstep, the West Papuan story

Dialogue and spin: genocide on Australia’s doorstep, the West Papuan story

Athenians: For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences — either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede , or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us — and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did ...

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Anna Elisabeth Schmieg and the narrative structures of society

Anna Elisabeth Schmieg and the narrative structures of society

How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known? Orhan Pamuk, snow Anna Elisabeth Schmieg of Hurden from the old County of Hohenlohe had a bad reputation with her fellow villagers. Anna’s reputation for drinking and brawling in taverns and for ...

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The War on Terror and democracy’s faustian bargain

The War on Terror and democracy’s faustian bargain

FAUSTUS: Ah, Faustus. Now hast thou but one bare hour to live, And then thou must be damn’d perpetually! Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven, That time may cease, and midnight never come; Fair Nature’s eye, rise, rise again, and make Perpetual day; or let this hour be but A year, a month, a week, a natural day, That Faustus may repent and save his soul! O lente, lente ...

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Fred Martens and the AFP – the limits of the rule of law

Fred Martens and the AFP – the limits of the rule of law

…that in America THE LAW IS KING. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other. Thomas Paine, 1776 It seems that at least one of the people I mentioned in my post A lie by any other name does not make a truth, unless you’re the AFP has been affronted by my ...

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The real problem with hypocrisy – it knows no honour

The real problem with hypocrisy – it knows no honour

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Milan Kundera One of the first Communist texts I read, following the French edition of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, also known as, The Little Red Book, was Victor Hugo’s novel Les Miserables. For those purists among my colleagues who may object to me referring to Les Miserables as a Communist text, I offer the following in ...

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Cathal Lyons –V– the Hyenas of Capitalism

Cathal Lyons –V– the Hyenas of Capitalism

To penetrate the basic human predicament is more important than to fly to the moon Friedrich Durrenmatt Swiss-German playwright and novelist I’ve spent the last few days reading through the court documents relating to Mr Cathal Lyons ongoing saga with one of the world’s most powerful Hyenas of Capitalism, Ernst & Young (“E&Y”). Prior to his falling out with E&Y, Mr Lyons was Managing Partner of Operations and Chief Financial ...

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Eat shit: millions of flies can’t be wrong

Eat shit: millions of flies can’t be wrong

The absence of good and evil characterizes the mind itself (hsin-t i) The presence of good and evil characterizes the movement of intention. The knowledge of good and evil is liang-chih. The doing of good and ridding of evil is the investigation of things. Yang-ming – Conversation at T’ien-ch’uan Those aforementioned principles are today expressed as: The mind in-itself, without good and evil, is human nature. From this is aroused ...

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Respect: more than just a word

Respect: more than just a word

Last week, I came across this post by Cate via a mutual friend. I asked if Blak and Black could republish it, to share it with a more diverse audience and she has asked for a response. After discussion with Bakchos, I gratefully accept Cate’s invitation on behalf of Blak and Black, which will be posted simultaneously on our own site. I am a sixth generation Australian of Anglo-Celtic heritage. ...

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“Friends” the new tovarisch in Julia Gillard speak

“Friends” the new tovarisch in Julia Gillard speak

You cannot believe how much you have to deceive a nation in order to govern it Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf Has anybody else noticed how frequently Prime Minister Julia Gillard uses the word friends in her speeches? In fact, she used “friends” twenty-four times during the ALP Campaign Launch in Brisbane on August 16, 2010, coming from the mouth of Julia Gillard the word “friends” rings as hollow as ...

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The Hunger Games, contemporary spin on ancient tale

The Hunger Games, contemporary spin on ancient tale

My mind has been drawn to another of Rilke’s poems – Dreaming: This my labour: crowned by desire to wander the paths of days. Then sturdied, strong, send rootlet streamers down deep into life as I may — and through its pain mature far beyond it, and long past the end of time. I treated myself today to a luxury I rarely allow myself – a trip to the cinema, ...

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Why Australia needs a Royal Commission into the AFP

Why Australia needs a Royal Commission into the AFP

On August 30 last year Blak and Black lodged a petition on the GoPetition website calling for a Royal Commission into the Australian Federal Police (“AFP”). Blak and Black has set out in detail the reasons why we believe a Royal Commission into the AFP is necessary. Without going into the minutiae of the issues raised by Blak and Black in its petition preamble, they all revolve around a core ...

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Silence no longer so golden

Silence no longer so golden

Complicity takes many forms, as discussed in posts by both Bakchos and me. Many believe that silent complicity is the least culpable, but to my mind if the silence enables the perpetrator of the wrongdoing to continue causing harm, then the silence is of a gross kind. An example of such silent complicity allowing continuing harm is described by Steven Miles generating discussion in both the Lancet and via his ...

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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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Australian Constitutional reform

Australian Constitutional reform

Following on from the discussion of belonging and what the Australian flag represents to many Indigenous Australians, this post gives consideration to the current debate about acknowledgement of Australia’s Aborigines in the Constitution. “The Constitution did not attempt to sum up the Australian ethos — just as well, since that has changed considerably over one hundred years. The Constitution is simply a statement of the legal terms on which the ...

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Lost Sovereignty; a disgraced judge and a kidnapped Attorney-General

Lost Sovereignty; a disgraced judge and a kidnapped Attorney-General

Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty is both famous and obscure. A twentieth-century political theory, containing two canonical sentences: “Sovereign is he who decides on the exception” and “All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts.” These statements are regurgitated by contemporary political and legal theorists time and again. Standing alone, Schmitt’s statements are both puzzling and shocking. Schmitt’s ...

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