Tuesday, September 05, 2006

steve irwin had survived media assault Tuesday Rant

steve irwin
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Steve Irwin, conservationist, made the decision to endorse Liberal policy as regards his work .. and was savaged for it. An earlier CNN posting from '04 lists ALP identities who lined up to criticise him. Many in the conservation industry would never endorse conservative policy. Then Steve involved his young son in a show.

The visciousness of the personal attacks would have stopped others.

Et tu stingray?


Weasel said...

You would have thought by now that pedophiles had been scared off using the Internet to trawl for victims, given the repeated warnings by police about their activities and the countless “sting” operations underway, where police pose as young people in chat rooms to trap predators. But it’s not so. In fact just the opposite seems to be the case, with a state crime commission warning of pedophiles wasting no time returning to online chat rooms where they had already been caught once. That same crime commission has now released an Internet survival guide for children and parents on how to avoid predators.

“…we are already seeing some of these offenders back online and active in the chat rooms despite previously being caught and charged with very serious offences,” says the head of the Queensland Crime and Misconducted Commission’s Child Sex Offender investigations Detective Inspector Sue Dawson. “There is a real concern that these people will continue to re-offend, so I can’t stress strongly enough to parents the need for them to take an active role in protecting their children.”

There is also plenty of evidence that these predators are intent on doing more than just chatting. In one CMC case a repeat offender was caught by police posing as children online. A search of his computer revealed he had committed offences against three underage girls. The girls had not made a complaint against the man until they were contacted by police.

Det Insp Dawson’s message to parents and teachers is: “Don’t become complacent.” “Stay vigilant and monitor your children’s online activities and provide them with information on how they can stay safe. These paedophiles hurt real children.”

Queensland has more experience than other states in cyberspace predator hunting, having been the first in Australia to run covert “sting” operations using officers trained to pose as youngsters in chat rooms. The stings are run by Queensland Police’s 14-strong Taskforce Argos, which warns that predators don’t fit any standard profile. They can range in age from 20 to 70, have a variety of occupations and come from a range of backgrounds.

Here’s the CMC’s advice to parents on protecting their children in cyberspace:

• Educate your children about keeping their personal details secret when chatting online.
• Ask your internet service provider about the safety features it offers and use a software package that bans access to unacceptable sites, filters inappropriate content and stops spam.
• Find out what sites interest your children and take an active interest in their online browsing. Make a ‘Favourites’ folder with your children.
• Talk openly with your children about their internet browsing so that they feel they can tell you if anything upsets or puzzles them.
• Keep the computer where you can supervise its use and see the screen easily.
• You don’t need to be an Internet expert to give your children valuable safety advice.
• Expand on the well-known ‘stranger danger’ principles – tell your children if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Reassure your children that nasty things online are not their fault.

And survival tips for children:

• Meeting ‘online’ friends in ‘real life’ is DANGEROUS. You NEVER know who they really are!
• NEVER use your real name, age, where you live or where you go to school. Always use a fictitious name.
• NEVER give out personal information about yourself or your family to anyone you meet online.
• If you receive or see something that makes you uncomfortable – STOP right away. Tell your parents or someone you trust.
• DON’T send scanned pictures, digital photos or other pictures of yourself, or your family, unless you have your parent’s permission.
• NEVER give out your password. The only people that need to know already have it!
• DON’T open email, files, or web pages unless you know who they came from. They may contain a virus or spyware!
• DON’T believe everything that you read on the internet! There is a lot of misleading information on the internet.

There’s more information on net dangers on the Federal Government’s NetAlert website.


Weasel said...

Liberal Senator Brett Mason asks the hard question: If the Greens wants gays to marry and Islamic fascists wants them murdered instead, what cause on earth could still make them such firm allies?

He wonders if a joint hatred of Israel and the US might be one explanation.


My wife taught me that there is not much difference between murder and marriage as what many think, when they are young. Of course, I never married ;)

The point you are drawing out is that Greens and IF fundamentally misrepresent their intent and belief. In fact, Greens care nothing for environmental issues, and IF care nothing for Islam. Both practise hatred. In fact, their practice coincides.

Weasel said...

This makes sense to me:

THE world must be more realistic about the chances of preventing climate change and prepare for the inevitability of global warming, the head of one of Britain’s foremost scientific societies will urge today.

Politicians and environmentalists have failed to understand how difficult it will be to curb global warming and are overlooking the importance of adapting to the hotter world it will bring, according to Frances Cairncross, the President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science


Kyoto will not help the environment, but it will be a political black eye for conservatives in the narrow minds of the greens,

Weasel said...

The caring Left parades its superior compassion on Jon Faine’s show today.

“I’m glad he’s no longer an ambassador for Australia,’’ said one. Others complained he was a mere showman, bad for animals and not worth all this fuss. Another said that others did more for wildlife but didn’t have a PR machine like Irwin’s.

Of course the Left - a resort for the failed, resentful and the broody second son - has a natural antipathy towards success. But this was something else.

Could Irwin’s real sins include having said this about Greens’ leader Bob Brown after he’d heckled George W. Bush:

Oh Crikey mate, he needs to be taken out the back and given a good belting.
Or was it what he said about John Howard, when the Prime Minister visited his wildlife park:

In front of us right now is the greatest leader Australia has ever had and the greatest leader in the world.
Yes, I think that would just about have written him off for Jon Faine’s fans.


Et tu stingray?

Weasel said...

Renowned long-range weather forecaster Haydon Walker forecasts cool future for global warming preachers:

SALLY SARA: And what about the issue of climate change? Can we expect drier times ahead because of the changing climate?

HAYDON WALKER: No, I don’t think so. I mean, like with the global warming and so forth, all these conditions have happened before the Industrial Revolution. If you go back into the 12th, 14th, 15th centuries, all these catastrophes of weather and so forth have happened before the Industrial Revolution. It’s disgusting what goes into our oceans, it’s disgusting what goes into our waterways and what we put into the atmosphere, but I don’t think that the global warming is affecting the weather like the “experts”, so to speak, are saying.


I know one radical lefty philosopher who believes global warming to be a myth. But then, he often makes mythtakes.

Weasel said...

Martin Flanagan in The Age grudgingly concedes I “made ground” in my debate with Robert Manne over the “stolen generations”.

But then the cavalry arrives to save him from this misery:

"The most telling moment in Sunday’s debate came during question time. About the fourth question came from a woman upstairs. I didn’t see her, but I certainly heard her voice as it came booming down. She was Aboriginal, she was from the stolen generation, she was from Victoria. Bolt’s supporters called on her to ask a question, but, of course, she didn’t have one. What she was saying was that I exist and I am here. Unless she was a liar, or entirely mistaken as to her personal history, Bolt was wrong."
Er, I think Manne would have been proved wrong, too.

As I said in response to the woman, and in the speech of which Flanagan has a copy, Manne was on the board of the Bracks Government’s Stolen Generations Taskforce which combed the state looking for truly stolen people and could not find a single, solitary one. It concluded that in Victoria, at least, “there was no formal policy for removing children”. In fact, the Federal Court look at the Norther Territory for proof of what people like Manne said happened there, and likewise concluded: the “evidence does not support a finding that there was any policy of removal of part-Aboriginal children such as that alleged by the applicants”.

Why did Flanagan refuse to mention this in his report?

If the proof is so overwhelming that children were stolen simply because they were Aboriginal, and not because they needed help, why does Flanagan need to rely on the mere word of some woman he’s never met and can’t even see to make him feel this is the “turning point’’ in a debate on the evidence and convince him that I’m wrong, after all?

Did he not consider it more significant that Robert Manne, for eight years our chief theorist of the “stolen generations”, could not name even one single Aborigine that had been stolen simply because he or she was Aboriginal?

I’d asked Manne often enough before and during the debate to produce just 10 names of children clearly stolen for racist reasons, and not from some concern for their welfare. Just 10.

And if he’d done it during the debate he would have destroyed me then and there. End of debate.

Instead, the names he gave me included that of a child dropped off by his indifferent mother to a child’s home when he was just two, a fatherless eight-year-old girl “running wild with the whites” and promised in marriage to a full-blood, a 12-year-old half-caste girl with veneral disease and so on.

In fact, and I said this so often that in the end I was heckled for it, Manne failed to come up with even one case. Not one.

Why not?

When Flanagan says I “made ground” with “tabloid” arguments that handed me “such success as Bolt had”, this is the question he refers to and cannot answer.

Can you?

UPDATE. Darlene Taylor has the pictures of the debate.


I was born in NY. My Australian mum was born in Croydon Park, Sydney, to a Ryder (distant cousin to Aust Cricket Captain Jack Ryder, also part Chinese) and a Shying (mixed race Chinese, Aboriginal and white). The Aboriginal and Chinese ancestry was played down, so that the children were not aware of either until a genealogist told them in their fifties.

My mother's family, from drunkeness and every other related vice lived in a two bedroom house with four adults and four daughters. The daughters were said to be molested by their father. The family were wealthy enough, that they just sold property to survive the depression, and avoided welfare.

What the lefty apologists forget is that welfare predates the 'new deal.' Well meaning folk tried to help the poor and dispossessed. We still want them to. The 'Stolen Generation' debate is not about reality, but current politics.

Weasel said...

Tonight we debate the stolen generations - the claim that between 1910 and 1970 as many as 100,000 aboriginal children were stolen from caring parents for racist reasons.

Robert says the figure is actually lower. He suggests one in 10 Aboriginal children were stolen from 1910, and estimates the total number at up to 25,000.

But what do we mean by “stolen”. Let me tell how Robert has defined it.

Says he: “It was not from harm that the mixed-descent children were rescued but from their Aboriginality.” (1)

And, he said in one essay, this was overseen by authorities who “wished, in part through the child removal policy, to help keep White Australia pure”.

So, he adds: The “stolen generations is for Aboriginal Australians what the term Holocaust was for the Jews’’. (2)

Now I do not deny some children – and not just Aboriginal - were removed from their families for reasons that weren’t good enough, or sent to some homes that weren’t good enough, either. And I have heard many – Lowitja O’Donoghue, for one - tell of the pain of growing up without the love and attention of parents, for whatever reason, and I find them heartbreaking.

So what am I saying? I am saying that Robert, who for perhaps eight years has been the leading advocate of the “stolen generations” theory, has never given the proof that we had here a Holocaust or genocide.

He has never proved that anything like 25,000 children were stolen – and were stolen because they were Aboriginal, rather than because they simply needed help.

In fact the reason I am here is that I challenged Robert in a radio debate - and in writing – to name just some of these 25,000 children he claims were stolen from 1910 to save them from their Aboriginality. To name not, say, 2000 of them, or even just 200 or a mere 20.

No, I asked him to name just 10. Just 10 children truly stolen just to save them from being Aboriginal.

Only 10, Robert.

(Click on title for the full speech.)

It is not a pedantic request. If we could see the real children we could then check the real reasons for their separation to see if the reality matched Robert’s theory. We are entitled to ask for those names, and the evidence, and no one should be too proud or delicate to answer.

Yet Robert – and not only him – has found this job of producing names extremely hard. Over the years he has several times named several people, famous cases, who’d been stolen, only to find they had in fact not been stolen at all.

Then, after my radio challenge, he tried again – searching for those 10 names I wanted. But he had to go back to well before 1910, and when I checked his list I found it in fact comprised names such as that of Topsy, who turned out – the poor girl - to be http://histrsss.anu.edu.au/briscoe/7.html" title="a fatherless 12-year-old with syphilis">a fatherless 12-year-old with syphilis. Dolly, I discovered, was actually a 13-year-old who was seven months pregnant and working for no wages on a station when she was rescued and sent to missionaries for the care she needed.

These were http://histrsss.anu.edu.au/briscoe/7.html" title="children saved from sexual abuse and desperate need">children saved from sexual abuse and desperate need, Robert. Why did you tell me they were stolen – as in saved from their Aboriginality? Or do you think it’s more authentically Aboriginal to be sick and pregnant and poor and abused?

Robert has tried again and now given me another list of 10 names – actually 12 names, as it happens - which I have in my hand. (3)

But I am here tonight not because he at last could name 10 – or 12 - truly stolen children, but because he could not. He has failed again.

Robert may try again in a few minutes and try to surprise me with yet more names. Or some of you may even stand up and say “I’m stolen” and demand I take your story on trust.

But as of right now this list is Robert’s best attempt in eight years of research to name the most undeniable examples of children who were stolen.

Having checked it, I now ask you this:

When the leading advocate of the “stolen generations” still can not - after eight years of looking – name even 10 children stolen for racist reasons, is it because there isn’t actually a “stolen generation” to find? Where are the children?

But before I discuss Robert’s list, I must ask you: How important to you is the truth?

You see, I suspect that no matter what proofs I might present tonight, some of you will refuse to even consider them.

You may think it cruel to even ask for evidence of the “stolen generations”. Or you may just be too frightened for your good name to dare doubt.

I sure understand that, because when I’ve questioned the evidence of the “stolen generations”, I’ve been accused not of being wrong but of being bad.

Robert, for instance, has accused me directly, or implicitly, of playing the race card, of being part of a conspiracy, of being “simplistic, sensationalist, misleading and mischievous”, of being a “terrible simplifier”, of having “little capacity for empathy”, of wanting Aborigines to hold gratitude days for being conquered and so on.

It’s not true and it’s not pleasant. So I need to do one thing before I discuss the evidence – I need to give you permission to believe it.

Here, then, is why it’s right and good and decent and kind to believe that, no, the “stolen generations’’ are in fact, just as the evidence suggest, a myth. It’s moral not to believe this myth, this theory, because it is now causing such terrible harm.

It’s not just that the “stolen generations” theory has robbed children of pride in their country; that this myth has given newcomers less reason to embrace us, that it has made villains of heroes who once saved children abandoned by everyone else, and that it tells Aboriginal children that this is such a genocidal society that they should not even want to join it, even if they dared.
Worst that even all that is that Robert’s theory of the “stolen generations” is actually killing children.

Of course, I need to explain.

By now you must all know there has been an epidemic of child abuse in Aboriginal settlements.

Professor Bonnie Robertson, for instance, warned in a 1999 study of Queensland’s communities that the violence – including against children - was out of control and gave many horrific examples, such as the girl one witness saw being checked for sexual diseases after her arrest for shoplifting.

Just 14, she was, but the witness said: “I have never seen a girl so red raw inside...Turns out she had been sexually assaulted since the age of three. (She) was the first person I have seen that I have thought, ‘There is no hope for you.’”

It’s shocking. We’ve loved arguing about what was allegedly done to Aboriginal children half a century ago, yet we avoid discussing how Aboriginal children are being hurt right now.
In May, a Crown prosecutor in Alice Springs, Nanette Rogers, also tried to warn of the horrific crimes she saw being committed against children in Aboriginal camps.

There was the seven-month old who was raped so badly she needed surgery. There was the 10 year old who was tied to a tree for weeks by a tribal “husband’’ who raped her repeatedly. There was the six year old who drowned when a petrol sniffer raped her anally as he held her down in a lake.

So what has been our response those few times we’ve been forced to take notice?

Here is one example. Five years ago the Victorian government was told that child abuse involving Aboriginal children had soared, and the then Community Services Minister responded: “The solution is not to continue to take disproportionately high numbers of Koori children into care...” (4) That’s right: Don’t remove them so much.

As the then family services coordinator of the Mildura Aboriginal Co-operative angrily noted: “Things have to be a hundred times worse for Kooris before the department will become involved.” (5)
She is right. We consciously leave Aboriginal children in dangers we would never tolerate if these children were of any other race.

Just ask the New South Wales Child Death Review Team, which investigated why Aboriginal children of drug addicts were 10 times more likely to die under the noses of welfare officers than were children of white addicts.

It blamed a fear of the “stolen generations’’, pleading: ``A history of inappropriate intervention with Aboriginal families should not lead now to an equally inappropriate lack of intervention for Aboriginal children at serious risk.’’ (6)

In 2001, Western Australia’s deputy coroner tried again to warn us after investigating the death of a three-year-old Aboriginal boy from malnutrition and pneumonia.

She found the boy had been admitted to hospital three times before for pneumonia, and suffered many other infections as well as scabies, anaemia and impetigo. His mother wouldn’t give him prescribed medicines or feed him properly.

A doctor testified that she’d begged the Aboriginal case worker to at least remove the boy’s even more sickly twin sister, but had been told she didn’t understand Aboriginal ways of child-rearing.
The coroner concluded: ``Experience has shown that in the long term taking Aboriginal children from their communities is not an effective solution socially, although in this case it may have been medically advisable. We have a dead child . . . ‘’ (7)

We have a dead child, she said. How many others must die in our homage to the ``stolen generations’’?

Aboriginal leaders are now asking that very question, even those who believe , more or less, Robert’s theory.

Listen to Warren Mundine, Labor’s past president, who said: ``I understand why some governments and also the white Australian community ... like to back off, because they don’t want to be accused of being racist or creating a stolen generation.”

But, said Mundine: “I’m saying to them, ‘No, you need to get your hands dirty if you’re going to fix this.’’’

Or listen to the National Indigenous Council’s chairwoman, Sue Gordon, who tells us that Aboriginal leaders in Halls Creek, and elsewhere, are demanding we again build hostels to save children there.

But, she says: ``The same old argument arises in so-called progressive circles: we will somehow be creating another stolen generation.’’

Listen to other Aboriginal leaders such as Wesley Aird, Mick Gooda and New South Wales MP Linda Burney (8), who all have said a fear of the “stolen generations” has made us too scared to save Aboriginal children right now.

And why? Because, I believe, we don’t want to admit that Aboriginal children were once rescued not from their Aboriginality, but from harm just like this.

We refuse to remove them from harm today, to avoid admitting this may be why we removed them yesterday.

I repeat: Robert, your “stolen generation” theory is killing Aboriginal children – and there is only one excuse for you to still push it. That it is true, and you can prove it. That you can produce the names and say - see, these children were stolen and this is why.

But here is Robert’s problem.

It’s often forgotten that anthropologists and historians from both the Left and the so-called Right – Bain Attwood (9) and Ken Maddock, for instance – noted that even in Aboriginal communities before, say, 1980, there was very little talk, or awareness, of children being stolen.

So I wasn’t surprised that Robert had enormous trouble once he tried to identify these stolen children he claimed were rescued just from their Aboriginality.
Look at the names of the children he once claimed were stolen, but which fail to make his latest list.

There was Lowitja O’Donoghue, a co-patron of the national Sorry Day Committtee, who in fact turned out to have been sent with four of her five siblings by her white father - with her mother’s consent, she says - to South Australia’s Colebrook Home because he no longer wanted to be saddled with his Aboriginal family. (11)

Colebrook, incidentally, also took in a sick young girl from the same station as O’Donoghue. That girl, Nancy Barnes, later became an admired educator and activist, and her autobiography starts: “We are referred to as the ‘Stolen Generation’. I consider myself saved.’’ (12)

Also named as stolen by Robert was Malcolm Smith, one of the only four cases – just four - he discusses in his book In Denial.

In fact, Malcolm in 1965 was an 11 year old son of a drunk widower who’d let his six sons run wild, wagging school, going hungry and stealing. His dad agreed in a court hearing that he’d could not look after Malcolm , and Malcolm was sent to a boys home. Are these really examples of what you mean by “stolen” for racist reasons, Robert?

Then there was Lorna Cubillo, another of those four cases in In Denial.

Cubillo - and Peter Gunner, another “stolen child’’, said Robert – later had compensation claims heard by the Federal Court in the most famous test case of the “stolen generations”, one which investigated the history of child removals in the Northern Territory.

Robert - before the verdict – said this: “Nowhere was child removal conducted more systematically and tenaciously than in the Northern Territory’’ (13), and “we are never likely to have a more probing investigation”.

So what did this probing investigation into the worst area of child removals find? That, said the judge, the “evidence does not support a finding that there was any policy of removal of part-Aboriginal children”. Or, to use Robert’s phrase, there was no policy of stealing children just to rescue them from their Aboriginality.

Nor were Gunner and Cubillo found to be stolen.

Lorna Cubillo, it turned out, had been taken from a remote mission and ration depot in 1947 when she was just eight, with her father gone, mother dead, grandmother dead and a debate over whether her auntie was around much to look after her. Would you have left a little girl out there?
As for Peter Gunner, he’d been sent to Alice Springs to get an education with the express agreement of his mother.

That’s not the first time a hunt for victims came up empty for Robert.

He’s also been on the board of Victoria’s Aboriginal-led Stolen Generations Taskforce, which even hired consultants to find stolen children in this state. It could find no Victorian Aboriginal who had been truly stolen, and concluded that in Victoria “there was no formal policy for removing children’’.

Even Western Australia produces no real names for him, even though he’s accused the former Protector of Aborigines there, AO Neville, of having had “genocidal thoughts”. On ABC Radio National in 2002, Robert conceded: “I think that kind of thinking didn’t have much effect on the victims of the policy.’’

So to his latest list, which I hope to talk about more fully in our discussion if I run out of time.

Robert includes Molly Craig, 14, and her cousins Daisy and Gracie, apparently because he saw the film Rabbit Proof Fence. But when Molly as an adult saw the film she declared “That’s not my story’’, and if Robert had checked the book on which it is based he’d know why.

The girls were not stolen by racists, but were taken with the consent at least of the tribe’s head man, Molly’s so-called step-father, and only after warnings to AO Neville that the fatherless girls at that harsh Depression-era camp were running wild with whites (men, presumably) and were badly treated by full-bloods. What’s more, the eight-year-old Daisy was now promised in marriage to a tribal man.

Are you really saying, Robert, that these children should NOT have been sent to safety and school? Did you see what became of Molly after she ran back to the camp, and was allowed to stay?

Robert also lists as stolen the late Robert Riley, citing as his source the biography by Quentin Beresford.

Did you actually read that book, Robert? Beresford says he in fact doesn’t know why Riley went to Sister Kate’s home as a two year old, although a file letter to the Minister of Child Welfare at the time records he was simply “left at this home, by his mother’’. A later report from a welfare officer notes that his mother “showed no interest at all in her son”. (14) And those who knew Riley later said his mother actually sent him to Sister Kate’s because her then boyfriend said he’d kill him if she didn’t. (15)

Is this really what you mean by stolen, Robert?

Then you list Rosalie Fraser, who writes that she was made a ward of the state at two in 1961 – but why, Robert? What’s your evidence she was in fact just saved from her Aboriginality? She was in fact removed by child welfare officers (16), not Aboriginal welfare, and sent with one of her sisters to live with her father’s relatives.

Margaret Tucker, now, was 13 in 1917, when she was sent to a girls’ home. If this was to save her from Aboriginality, why was it done so late? Could it be that the authorities were worried that Tucker’s father had in fact left, her mother had gone to Sydney and some auntie was looking after her - or kind of? (17)

Then Robert lists John Moriarty, a successful designer whose single mother one day brought him to Roper River, from where he was sent south to go to a boarding school with, he says, aunties and uncles. Stolen? Or sent away?

I could go on. Bob Randall, for instance, is another interesting case on your list.

But Robert, you don’t have here 10 names of truly stolen children. Not even close.

Yes, you have stories of great loss, stories of betrayal and pain, and also stories of lives saved – of children rescued from great need to become artists, businessmen and writers.
But what you don’t have are stories of children stolen by racists from caring families simply because they were Aboriginal.

And while you can’t put faces to your theory of this “stolen generations”, I think we’re entitled to doubt its truth.

In fact, given the devastation your theory is causing to real children right now, we have a moral obligation not to believe in your “stolen generations”. Not, at least, until you can show us those victims, and prove their stories.

Start with just 10.

1. The Age, 27 February, 1999

2. In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right, by Robert Manne. Page 82.

3. Robert Manne’s latest list of 12 truly stolen children, as sent by him to the Melbourne Writers’ Festival as, he wrote, a “condition’ of this debate, is:

(1) ‘Walter’ see Robert Manne In Denial and Anna Haebich Broken Circles

(2) Margaret Tucker see Margaret Tucker If Everyone Cared

(3) John Moriarty see John Moriarty Salwater Fella

(4)and (5) Trish Hill-Keddie and Sandra Hill see Quentin Beresford and Paul Omaji Our State of Mind

(6) Bob Randall see Songman: The story of an Aboriginal Elder

(7)(8) and (9) Molly Craig, Gracey [actually Gracie - and Manne meant also to include Daisy] Fields see Doris Pilkington Rabbit-Proof Fence

(10) Donna Meehan see Donna Meehan It’s no Secret

(11) Rosalie Fraser and her 4 brothers and sisters see Rosalie Fraser Shadow Child

(12) Rob Riley see Quentin Beresford Rob Riley

(4) The Age, 9 May, 2001

(5) Herald Sun, 14 May, 2001

(6) Sydney Morning Herald, 15 March, 2000

(7) Herald Sun, 14 May, 2001

(8) The Australian, 21 Semptember, 2005

(9) ‘Learning about the truth’, The stolen generations narrative, by Bain Attwood, included in In Telling Stories: Indigenous History and Memory in Australia and New Zealand. Edited by Bain Attwood & Fiona Magowan, Allen & Unwin, 2001

Except: In the telling of such stories over several decades some of the factual content has remained constant but the forms in which they have been told and their relative importance have varied enormously. Between the late 1930s and the late 1970s, the removal of children was, as far as we know, neither the subject of many stories told in Aboriginal communities nor central to their historical consciousness7 —for example, in an Aboriginal history of Cummeragunja published in the 1950s there was no reference to the removal of children8 —and it was certainly seldom a part of narratives heard by non-Aboriginal people

(10) Genocide and the Silence of the Anthropologists, by Kenneth Maddock, in Quadrant, November 2000

Excerpt: What I find fascinating, given the passions aroused, is that the contemporaneous anthropological record contains nothing about genocide and little about removals. Did anthropologists doing fieldwork in various parts of Australia between, say, 1925 and 1975 miss what went on, or did they take the practice so much for granted that it aroused neither curiosity nor condemnation, or did it occur mainly in their absence?

That anthropologists would have ignored genocide by child removal, assuming it was happening, seems unlikely, since it was commonly held during those years that the future of Aborigines posed a problem for well-meaning Australians, that contact with other races could cause harm to full-blood Aborigines, and that the offspring of mixed unions were unenviably placed. A number of anthropologists shared these views. Some, who worked in regions where fullbloods predominated, put forward policies which would have nipped the “half-caste problem” in the bud had they been successfully implemented. Others, who did their fieldwork in communities consisting mainly of people of mixed descent where such proposals could have had no application, took an interest in how these communities had come into being, what their characteristics were and what the future might hold for their members.

If removals took place on a genocidal scale, why did anthropologists say nothing?

(11) “I wasn’t stolen”, Herald Sun, 23 February, 2001

(12) Munyi’s Daughter: A spirited brumby, by Nancy Barnes. Seaview Press, Henley Beach, SA.

(13) The Age, 27 February, 1999

(14) , by Quentin Beresford. Aboriginal Studies Press. Pages 37-38

(15) Hansard, 2 June, 1997

(16) Fraser later told a Senate committee that child welfare officials were in fact responding to concerns that she and her siblings had been neglected. Her parents broke up and her father was jailed, not seeing his daughter again. See Hansard of Legal and Constitutional References committee, 9 August, 2000.

(17) As recounted by Tucker’s mother, Theresa Clements, in From Old Maloga: (The Memoirs of an Aboriginal Woman)

(For Robert Manne’s speech: go to http://www.theage.com.au/ed_docs/manne1.pdf)


I feel very strongly about these issues.

The stolen generation is a political nonsence

Weasel said...

Germaine Greer draws some comfort from Steve Irwin’s death:

What Irwin never seemed to understand was that animals need space. The one lesson any conservationist must labour to drive home is that habitat loss is the principal cause of species loss. There was no habitat, no matter how fragile or finely balanced, that Irwin hesitated to barge into, trumpeting his wonder and amazement to the skies. There was not an animal he was not prepared to manhandle. Every creature he brandished at the camera was in distress. Every snake badgered by Irwin was at a huge disadvantage, with only a single possible reaction to its terrifying situation, which was to strike. Easy enough to avoid, if you know what’s coming. Even my cat knew that much. Those of us who live with snakes, as I do with no fewer than 12 front-fanged venomous snake species in my bit of Queensland rainforest, know that they will get out of our way if we leave them a choice. Some snakes are described as aggressive, but, if you’re a snake, unprovoked aggression doesn’t make sense. Snakes on a plane only want to get off. But Irwin was an entertainer, a 21st-century version of a lion-tamer, with crocodiles instead of lions.

In 2004, Irwin was accused of illegally encroaching on the space of penguins, seals and humpback whales in Antarctica, where he was filming a documentary called Ice Breaker. An investigation by the Australian Environmental Department resulted in no action being taken, which is not surprising seeing that John Howard, the prime minister, made sure that Irwin was one of the guests invited to a “gala barbecue” for George Bush a few months before. Howard is now Irwin’s chief mourner, which is only fair, seeing that Irwin announced that Howard is the greatest leader the world has ever seen.

The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing 10 times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire animal-loving zoo-owners in their turn.


In supporting Howard's enviromental policy, when other activists would rather the environment die, Irwin got enemies. He was a decent man, who stood for himself. His mixture of honesty and decency would be difficult for the shrewlike Greer to accept. He was a family man.

Weasel said...

Julian Burnside is a QC. Which should mean he knows a lot about the law and has a huge respect for evidence and logic.

Yet here is how he writes to The Australian about the control order on Jihad Jack Thomas:

What is implicit in the control order and in Kelly’s article is this: “We think Thomas is a traitor who might lend himself to an attack on Australia."
Actually, Julian, the control order says nothing about whether Thomas is or is not a traitor. It is purely concerned about whether Thomas represents a potential threat to the lives of others.

Unless that assumption is made, the fact that he trained with al-Qaida nearly six years ago tells you nothing about Thomas now, except that he probably has some skills relevant to terrorist attacks.
Actually, Julian, Thomas was still with al-Qaida in 2002 - just four years ago, not six. And that tells us considerably more than that he simply has “some skills relevant to terrorist attacks”. It also suggests whom he might wish to use those skills against, given that al-Qaida has publicly declared that the US and its allies, specifically Australia, are its enemies - and given it has actually inspired and helped to finance and organise attacks in which more than 100 Australians so far have died.

The control order would make sense if it alleged that today, nearly six years later and post-September 11, Thomas is a traitor.
Again, Julian, control orders are not issued against “traitors” but against people who represent a potential terrorist risk. Thomas was with al-Qaida as recently as four years ago. And Thomas was with al-Qaida long after September 11.

It is a dramatic shift in the operation of our legal system if it is now possible for a person’s liberty to be curtailed by a secret hearing on secret evidence because of an unstated doubt about a person’s loyalty to Australia.
Yet again, Julian, see above. And there will be a court review of this evidence against Thomas, none of which is secret, and a lot of which Thomas himself has disclosed freely on ABC television.

In this context, it is simply not enough to allege that a person trained with a terrorist organisation. If the training had been recent, its significance would be different. Thomas has said repeatedly that the attack on the US horrified him, and changed his view of al-Qaida’s methods.
Well, Julian, the word now of a bloke who has spent nearly two years with al Qaida, met Osama bin Laden, received al Qaida money to prepare for a terrorist attack here and tried to get back here on a doctored passport, only to be arrested, is good enough for you. Some of the rest of us might want something more substantial.

And you ignore a key point when you blithely claim “the attack on the US horrified (Thomas), and changed his view of al-Qaida’s methods”. In fact, after hearing of that attack Thomas volunteered to help al Qaida, staying with them, or in their guest houses, for more than a year.

As he told ABC TV, months after the September 11 attacks and soon after the Coalition’s invasion of Taliban-led Afghanistan, he approached a senior al-Qaida operative: “ I asked Abu Zubaida if there was any possibility of somebody that I could possibly do to help because of what I’d heard and been told by personal friends about what had happened in Kabul.”

Other than that, Julian, your letter seems to make a good point.

A point about Julian Burnside QC, that is.


We have an adversarial justice system in Australia. Thomas' aversary is his lawyer, and the judge is the people's adversary.

Weasel said...

This sounds big - and good news for free Afghanistan:

NATO and Afghan forces used artillery and air strikes overnight to keep up pressure on an estimated 700 Taliban trapped by an offensive that the alliance claims has killed at least 200 militants in southern Afghanistan, NATO said Tuesday.
I guess that’s why we don’t read much about it.


I don't know what you'll make of this, but I did this with another artist
I suspect that commander is in communication with the former Iraqi communications minister who famously declared the US were being defeated outside Baghdad.