The rule of law and the democratic process

The rule of law and the democratic process

“No-one ever argues that governments should have less integrity, that elected officials should not be accountable, or that public servants should behave unethically. Broad statements of the value of integrity, transparency, accountability and ethics gain general agreement from all sides of politics and from all participants in public debate. But government integrity demands more than general expressions of goodwill. Enhancing transparency and accountability requires supportive structures as well as declarations ...

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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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Right versus religion

Right versus religion

Last week one comment on twitter to some of the Blak and Black crew resulted in considerable discussion about the underlying intent of this wee blog. The commenter, apparently thinking that Bakchos was proselytizing in his post A Hypocrite for a Prime Minister, a Hypocrite for a Chief Minister, fired off this somewhat surprising reply:   Some of the crew were online at the time and promptly replied to the ...

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Destroy the Joint, schmoozing and the hypocrites

Destroy the Joint, schmoozing and the hypocrites

The announcement of a Royal Commission into child abuse by clergy is as big an issue as was the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption, if not bigger. This is no ordinary review of process or legality, but a direct attack on the primacy of religious and canon law over that of the state. Such a thing would never have happened a century ago, because the place of the church ...

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A hypocrite for a Prime Minister, a hypocrite for a Chief Minister

A hypocrite for a Prime Minister, a hypocrite for a Chief Minister

Each man reaches perfection by doing his own duty; he worships god – from whom all beings come, by whom this universe was stretched forth – by doing his appointed work, with no desire for reward. You must do the work for its own sake and not for anything that it may bring to you. When pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat are the same to you, ...

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Another Whistleblower Drops FMG Mining Deal Bombshell

Another Whistleblower Drops FMG Mining Deal Bombshell

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation—BULLETIN http://yindjibarndi.org.au/ Wednesday 31 October 2012 No amount of corporate spin, bulldust or threats can save Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) from the continuing revelations of whistleblowers and freedom on information documents that show the under-handed tactics and bullying they ply for profit. * Today Solicitor Kerry Savas, who spent more than a year representing the interests of the splinter Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, told The National Indigenous Times that the ...

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Ain't I a woman?

Ain’t I a woman?

If I could share a meal at a table with a small group of people from any time in history, Isabella Baumfree would be one of them. Perhaps, just perhaps, she could tell me how to help find justice for the Indigenous women ignored by the Australian Federal Police in Australia’s capital, Canberra. Isabella was born the daughter of slaves, enslaved herself from the moment of conception. Sold at the ...

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A process of truth and judgement

A process of truth and judgement

Judgement is our oldest belief, our most habitual holding-true or holding un-true, an assertion or denial, a certainty that something is thus not otherwise, a belief that here we really “know” – what is it that is believed true in all judgements? Friedrich Nietzsche – The Will To Power (trans. Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale) P. 288 “Truth”: this, according to my way of thinking, does not necessarily denote 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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Sir Gawain, moral accountability and the UN Security Council

Sir Gawain, moral accountability and the UN Security Council

Make we mery quyl we may, and mynne upon joye,  For the lur may mon lach when-so mon lykes Make we merry while we may, and think about joy,  For a man may have sorrow whenever he likes The Gawain poet Most readers of Blak and Black will be aware that the in March 2008, the then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that Australia would run for a non-permanent ...

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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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OUA and Australia’s culture of corruption

OUA and Australia’s culture of corruption

Before I launch into today’s topic I’d like to offer an apology for my long absence from Blak and Black. I have been helping a friend restore a 19th Century sailing boat. In the process he asked me to paint a mural of Scylla and Charybdis in the main cabin. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Scylla and Charybdis myth, in Greek mythology, Scylla and Charybdis were ...

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YINDJIBARNDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION MEDIA RELEASE

YINDJIBARNDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION MEDIA RELEASE

  FMG ‘DECLASSIFIED’ THEN DESTROYED YINDJIBARNDI HERITAGE SITES Recent reports that, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is pushing ahead with the “low-cost Firetail deposit” at its Solomon Project, while scaling back other operations, have raised fears of a ‘heritage holocaust’ as FMG scrambles for cash flow to weather the freefall in iron ore price. These fears follow confirmation in documents released by the Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA), under the Freedom ...

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Kristallnacht: Why human rights is everyone’s business

Kristallnacht: Why human rights is everyone’s business

Tell me who you are, what you stand for what you mean Tell me what the lines and whirls upon your hand do mean Show me plain the markings of the Jew, the black, the slave Then march in regiment formation ‘til the end of time and days. Mix not the seed of black with white or brown with yellow tones Lest men become confused and think that each is ...

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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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A lie by any other name does not make a truth, unless you’re the AFP

A lie by any other name does not make a truth, unless you’re the AFP

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its adversaries but rather by the fact that these adversaries finally die, and a new generation grows up familiar with the new truth. Max Planck In 2003, the U.N. Secretariat surveyed member states to solicit information on the nature of links between terrorism and other forms of crime. Of the 60 responses received, many states indicated that terrorist groups were often ...

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The good intent of RAMSI is built on the corrupt sub-soil of the AFP

The good intent of RAMSI is built on the corrupt sub-soil of the AFP

Misery is manifold. The wretchedness of earth is multiform. Overreaching the wide horizon like the rainbow, its hues are as various as the hues of that arch, as distinct too, yet as intimately blended. Overreaching the wide horizon like the rainbow! How is it that from Beauty I have derived a type of unloveliness? — from the covenant of Peace, a simile of sorrow? But thus is it. And as, ...

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My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves

My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves

What if you slept? And what if, in your sleep, you dreamed? And what if, in your dream, you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower? And what if, when you awoke, you had the flower in your hand? Ah, what then? Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria Our ability to live together in physical reality depends on the fact that we all perceive reality in somewhat ...

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