Friday, February 27, 2015

Wendy Bacon

I imagine, therefore I belong and am free.
— Lawrence Durrell, born on this date in 1912

“I rate it as the best board for the best road project in Australia," gushed NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay of his own handiwork to the Sydney Morning Herald in November 2013. He was talking of the board for the Westconnex, a $12 billion 33-kilometre loop of motorways, tunnels and tolls that will link Parramatta in Sydney's west with the suburbs in the inner west and back out to south western Sydney Man behind men behind westconnex

Shining a light on injustice and corruption isn’t an easy job, but it’s a critical aspect of journalism and democracy. Walkley award-winning journalist Wendy Bacon has done just that, examining official corruption in NSW, miscarriages of justice, police corruption, indigenous issues, environmental issues and a plethora of other topics in her several decades as an investigative journalist. She’s a Professor of Journalism at UTS in Sydney and involved with its Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at

Resistance Songs: Mobilizing the Law and Politics of Community

Alfieri, Anthony Victor, Resistance Songs: Mobilizing the Law and Politics of Community (February 24, 2015). University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-09; Texas Law Review, Vol. 93, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN:
“In 1925, the City of Miami built a trash incinerator in the de jure segregated Afro-Caribbean-American community of Coconut Grove Village West (“the West Grove”) amid rows of shotgun style houses and Jim Crow schools. Commonly known as Old Smokey, the incinerator discharged airborne carcinogenic chemicals (e.g., arsenic, benzo(a)pyrene, cadmium, and lead) and produced residual toxic waste (e.g., ash, liquefied plastic, and melted glass) for 45 years until Florida courts finally ordered it closed in 1970. In 1978, notwithstanding community opposition, the City of Miami converted the 4.5 acre Old Smokey site and incinerator building into its Fire-Rescue Training Center which continues to operate today. In 2013 and 2014, West Grove residents working in collaboration with faculty and students from the University of Miami School of Law learned from a whistleblower-leaked municipal environmental report that long-term exposure to Old Smokey’s airborne carcinogens and toxic waste dump sites had caused extensive soil and possibly groundwater contamination of homeowner properties and public parks in Coconut Grove and across the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County. This Essay investigates the historical absence of civil rights- and environmental justice-incited legal and political mobilization around Old Smokey in light of Professor Lea VanderVelde’s important new book Redemption Songs: Suing for Freedom before Dred Scott. 

For the record, I strongly believe that bona fide harassers should be chemically castrated, stripped of their property, and hung up by their thumbs in the nearest public square. Let no one think I’m soft on harassment. But I also believe that the myths and fantasies about power perpetuated in these new codes are leaving our students disabled when it comes to the ordinary interpersonal tangles and erotic confusions that pretty much everyone has to deal with at some point in life, because that’s simply part of the human condition. - See more at:

Professors How Paranoia Strikes