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294 responses to “Saturday Salon”

  1. mick

    First!

  2. alfred venison

    further discussion of the “alpha male” myth is best continued in the current Salon thread.
    dear jumpy
    i disagree with what you say about tony abbott & the face he pulled in his car driving off from the tent embassy, but next time you want to reference your remarks to a theory not thoroughly debunked by a dog training site try google scholar, where a search on the term “alpha male” over the 2010-11 period, yields 13,000 hits in biology, life science & environmental science journals, 99 in medicine, pharmacology, & vet science, and 1,230 for journals in arts, humanities & social sciences. it seems there’s some life in that old husband’s tale after all & unless peer reviewed research is only decisive when you want it to be decisive then this should do you next time you want to weight in with reference to that concept & need a link to an article in a scholarly journal.

    but seriously, where do you come up with this totally bogus idea that alpha males grin in a crisis? what a load! i’ve seen every bruce willis movie & he does not grin. he grimaces, he rolls his eyes at the interfering bureaucrat from central casting; he does not grin. chuck norris does not grin. rambo doesn’t grin. where do you get this crap? by the way, there are “alpha females” also referred to in the literature. do they grin, too, when the going gets tough? what other cockamamie notions do you harbor in your pop cult universe of free associations?
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  3. GregM

    chuck norris does not grin

    Chuck Norris is a zombie; one of the living dead.

    As such it is unreasonable to expect him to grin, or to act for that matter.

    Suggesting that Chuck Norris is an Alpha Male is the same as saying that a mushroom is an oak tree.

  4. TerjeP
  5. Fran Barlow

    Terje

    Bob Carr agrees with Tony Abbott.

    Gosh, there’s a surprise.

  6. Fran Barlow

    Since the whimsy thread isn’t up:

    http://www.geekosystem.com/watch-tar-drip/

  7. Katz

    Perhaps Bob Carr would be better employed picking up street litter than bloviating on his vanity blog, but it isn’t any of my business to tell him so.

    So, why are Abbott and Carr so keen to tell Aborigines how to conduct their business?

    In fact, they are deeply embarrassed and disconcerted by the existence of the Tent Embassy. From the viewpoint of Aboriginal aspirations, this is a good thing.

    The Tent Embassy stands as a tangible Aboriginal presence. International media use it as a point of focus of coverage of indigenous issues. World opinion is a factor in Aboriginal struggle.

    Moreover, the fact that Menzies House is outraged by the Embassy proves that the Embassy still has the power to provoke. This is an essential component of consciousness raising.

    It seems to me that the Tent Embassy has achieved a new lease on life.

    And on the subject of the Menzies House petition:

    This petition calls for police action to repress political expression, all in the name of equality. This is a grotesque and bizarre response. These motivations are deeply illiberal. Its methods and language are Orwellian. The fact that opponents of the Tent Embassy resort to Orwellian methods is further proof of the effectiveness of the Tent Embassy in exposing the pervasiveness of racism in Australia.

  8. jumpy

    alfred, I said ” alpha bloke “, it’s an Aussie thing.
    Ever played a contact sport? ( connect 4 doesn’t count ).
    I don’t need peer review literature to validate something i’ve witnessed personally, many, many times on the field, in the ring and (regrettably) in the pub carpark.

    Ooh, and I also try to avoid the word ” cockamamie “, but if your comfortable with using it, go for gold.

  9. akn

    Gawd, is it Satruday already?

  10. TerjeP

    This petition calls for police action to repress political expression, all in the name of equality.

    Perhaps Menzies House were incited to violence by the disgraceful rabble in Canberra banging on windows and burning the flag. The Tent Embassy isn’t a protest it is an unlawful occupation of public land. The government should either grant them land title over the space (they have been there for 40 years) or move them on. The current limbo is a nonsense unbecoming of a nation that supposedly believes in the rule of law.

  11. Katz

    Of course the Embassy is illegal.

    It has stood as a provocation for 40 years. The Howard government funked on their wish to eradicate it in 2005. Now out of power, Howard’s acolytes are attempting to provoke the Gillard government to do what they didn’t have the courage to do in 2005. They are pathetic.

    The point is that the Right is terrified of the moral legitimacy of the Tent Embassy. Against moral legitimacy, mere legality is impotent.

    The proponents of the Tent Embassy have grasped the essential Gandhian point about the power of moral legitimacy. This is excellent politics. I congratulate them.

  12. TerjeP

    Now out of power, Howard’s acolytes are attempting to provoke the Gillard government to do what they didn’t have the courage to do in 2005. They are pathetic.

    Do you mean the Howard acolytes are pathetic of the Gillard Government is pathetic? Maybe you mean both. If you mean both then I would tend to agree.

    That said I think now is a good time to deal with the trespass. Either make the Tent Embassy legitimate with a land grant or move them on. The current situation is a fiasco.

  13. Rock

    Is it even worth bothering about the latest rubbish from ‘their ABC’?
    Headline: ‘Calls for police probe into Gillard adviser leak’.
    Guess who’s ‘Calls’?

  14. TerjeP

    Regarding the rule of law:-

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/illegal-slum-exempt-from-rules/story-fn59niix-1226255765714

    One rule for some people, a different rule for others.

  15. Katz

    To grant title to the Tent Embassy would be very dangerous.

    It would be difficult to explain how such a concession isn’t some form of recognition of Aboriginal sovereignty.

    This is the last thing that a Labor government wants to do. The shriek from the populist right would perforate every eardrum in the Southern Hemisphere.

  16. Katz

    One rule for some people, a different rule for others.

    Why are you surprised? The Australian Constitution empowers the passage of laws allowing discrimination on the basis of race.

  17. TerjeP

    The difficult thing with granting the land is who’s name to put it in. However that can be figured out with a bit of dialogue. If you’re shit scared of the people who will disagree with you then you probably shouldn’t be in politics.

  18. marks

    How many Australians would even have known that there was a tent embassy there had TA not made his comments?

    Whatever one might think of it, because of the publicity I reckon he has given it a new lease of life.

  19. TerjeP

    Why are you surprised? The Australian Constitution empowers the passage of laws allowing discrimination on the basis of race.

    Only in the making of laws, not in their administration. However if your suggesting that thos bit of our constitution should be removed then I agree. However I can’t support what they are pcurrently roposing to replace it with which is essentially the same thing in a worse form.

  20. TerjeP

    How many Australians would even have known that there was a tent embassy there had TA not made his comments?

    I knew it was there. In fact I had a conversation with my father about it a week before Australia day. I was saying that it was a mockery of the rule of law. I suspect lots of people know about it. The recent events have simply got us all talking about it at the same time. As for Tony Abbott he was merely responding to a direct question about the topic.

  21. Katz

    The difficult thing with granting the land is who’s name to put it in. However that can be figured out with a bit of dialogue. If you’re shit scared of the people who will disagree with you then you probably shouldn’t be in politics.

    Well, yes. I’d advise the Tent Embassy folk to accept nothing less than a lease assignment in perpetuity to the “Representatives of the Sovereign Aboriginal Nation”.

    Success in democracies usually entails caving into the demands of opponents. Howard forgot this rule when he passed WorkChoices.

  22. pablo

    Now flag burning. I wonder what calculation is going on within the tent embassy. On the Parliament forecourt too. Provocation seems to be winning. I won’t be surprised if another national symbol isn’t burnt somewhere, but I hope restraint pays. And the PM’s shoe ought to have been returned if there is any sort of Ghandian principal involved here.
    For sheer consistency the tent embassy mob should see it as in keeping with their claim of having staged a peaceful protest.

  23. tigtog

    @alfred, you didn’t need to wait for the fresh Salon thread to bring this up – you could have started in the ongoing one from last week – open threads aren’t just for the weekends!

    Yes, there is a lot of ethological literature about alpha/beta/gamma status etc in various pack/troop animal species. That has, sadly, little to do with popular misunderstandings of what the term means, which tend to be based on that discredited 1940s study of wolves. In the wild, alpha wolves don’t fight or engage in threat displays with the members of their pack – they just choose what they are going to do and the other wolves follow (or not): every young wolf who survives to maturity at some stage leaves their parents’ pack to find a mate and begin being the alpha of its own pack. The threat displays of raised hackles and shoulder charges etc happen between the young beta wolves before they mature enough to found their own packs.

    Now, if you want to look at bonobos? “Males also associate with females for rank acquisition because females dominate the social environment. Females that have strong bonds keep males away from food and often attack males, biting off their fingers and toes (de Waal 1997). If a male is to achieve alpha status in a bonobo group, he must be accepted by the alpha female.” [link] No males combating each other for alpha status there – again, it’s the males who don’t have alpha status who fight each other on the fringes of the stable social group.

    Baboons, chimps and gorillas all have slightly different alpha status patterns, but the point is that it’s rarely the alphas who are doing all the shoving around – they don’t have to. It’s the wannabe alphas who shove each other around, baboons being the most aggressive.

    Now, are humans most like wolves, or baboons, or bonobos in our status behaviours? Is that even a question that makes sense for humans who no longer live in isolated bands? Have we, in civilisations that revolved around specialisation rather than generalisation, evolved a set of novel and overlapping status behaviours which vary situationally according to the different social groups we move through, so that assuming that any one person can be always recognised by others as an alpha in all social situations is simplistic hogwash?

    Sure, competitive hostility and dominance-submission displays are part of human nature in all those overlapping social groups as well, even when they’re camouflaged by business dress. But that doesn’t mean that ostentatious threat-displays like those seen on football fields and pub carparks are necessarily a sign of alpha males competing for territory – most pack/troop aggression is typically beta-beta, beta-gamma, gamma-gamma etc. If humans really are different in that regard, then they’re very different indeed.

  24. Tyro Rex

    Terje the so-called libertarian, decrying flag-burning as a moral outrage. An outrage against what? Symbols. Mere signs.

    Anyway, they didn’t burn the flag; it is not a flag, but an ensign.

  25. akn

    marks @ 17:

    How many Australians would even have known that there was a tent embassy there had TA not made his comments?

    So Abbott was doing them a favour? Like when some genius decided to make all the Jews wear yellow stars as a sign of social respect?

    TerjeP: I agree with you entirely and am truly shocked and appalled at how un-Australian these blackfellas are. And burning the flag too. Like Muslims. There something afoot I tell you mate. Next year I’m going to supply riot shields at my Aussie Pride b-b-q. I haven’t seen a threat to Australian values like this since the Yanks poisoned Phar-Lap. If they get Abbott we’ll have to have him stuffed and mounted in The War Memorial.

  26. TerjeP

    Terje the so-called libertarian, decrying flag-burning as a moral outrage. An outrage against what? Symbols. Mere signs.

    People have a right to burn flags. However if you burn the Australian flag you shouldn’t be surprised if some people get cranky and create petitions (oh the outrage, a petition). What do you think would happen if I burnt the Aboriginal flag in front of parliament house? As a libertarian I feel it is my right to do so. However I also think it would be a dumb ass thing to do. What do you think?

  27. TerjeP

    Akn – you’re stupidity is noted.

  28. TerjeP

    p.s. as is my grammatical error.

  29. akn

    TerjeP:

    Akn – you’re stupidity is noted.

    Good. That means your mob will be prepared to follow me anywhere.

  30. akn

    Pablo @ 22:

    I won’t be surprised if another national symbol isn’t burnt somewhere

    I do hope it is a MacDonalds.

  31. Terangeree

    To burn a flag in protest is, I’d argue, more respectful to that flag and what it symbolises than certain other acts we’ve seen over the past few days.

    Things like:

    Sticking a little flagpole on the car’s side windows and letting the poor little flag cope with 100km/h+ slipstreams, only to eventually be blown off the side of the car and to lie neglected in the street to be driven over by following traffic;

    Using the flag as a tablecloth at a picnic;

    Wearing the flag as a “Superman” cape, allowing it to drag in the ground behind one’s feet.

    At least the flag burners have given some thought to what the flag symbolises — and to them it signifies more than a mere fashion-statement.

  32. Tyro Rex

    People have a right to burn flags. However if you burn the Australian flag you shouldn’t be surprised if some people get cranky and create petitions (oh the outrage, a petition).

    Yeah, Menzies house has a right to their idiotic petition. Still, it’s not a Flag. As an ensign, it’s a symbol of colonialism.

  33. TerjeP

    And you accept I have a right to burn the aboriginal flag?

  34. Tyro Rex

    Also, what’s with these allegations of evil conspiracy that are darkly emanating from that annoying little tosser Chris Pyne, and possibly that bloodsucker Brandis I heard on the radio this morning? Since when has Abbott’s whereabouts been a state secret?

    ”It’s a very grave matter and the Opposition is taking it very seriously,” the Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne told Sky News last night.

    Do these Coalition fuckknuckles not remember this? Several hundred people physically attacking Albo? And with that scum-sucking psychic vampire Sophie Mirrabella in tow?

    If what happened on Thursday was so outrageous, and beyond the pale, then here we have a clear conspiracy to create a violent angry mob to attack a minister of the crown and fully participated in, and endorsed by, an opposition shadow front bencher. Particularly given the overtly violent language employed by the denialists anti-carbon-price rent-a-mob towards the persons of the government, just a few days before, which the Leader of the Opposition fully endorsed by appearing on stage alongside it, I say there is clear evidence here of collusion by leading members of the LNP to deliberately provoke a violent riot and intimidate members of parliament with political bloodshed.

    So, fuck Christopher Pyne and the maggot-laden party of thugs he represents.

  35. Tyro Rex

    Terje, of course you have that “right”. Whether it is morally justified is another thing.

  36. TerjeP

    So you’re no better than Menzies House. All huffy about flag burning. You just like the one with earthy colours more than the blue one.

  37. TerjeP

    p.s. can I presume you might even sign a petition if I burn the aboriginal flag?

  38. tigtog

    Birgitta Jónsdóttir: How the US Justice Department legally hacked my Twitter account

    Few realise that foreign governments gain the right to our personal data when we sign up to social media. This must end.

  39. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    TerjeP: As Terry Pratchett says Going Postal: freedom is nothing without the freedom to take the consequences. IANAL, but I believe you have the legal right to burn the Aboriginal flag. Just, as long you don’t do it somewhere like a gas station that may cause physical harm to others. But the result is that you will get the reputation as a racist, whether you intended this or not.

  40. Tyro Rex

    Terje, how am I “no better than Menzies house” … I did not bring up anything about a petition … moral justification is a different property to an abstract right.

    Menzies house have the right to hold their petition. But they have no moral justification to it other than a tin-pot two minute hysteria whipped up by a thirty-second media report. One the other hand, they are the “think” tank of an organisation that is responsible for pandering to and leading violent attacks on ministers of the crown. I demand a federal police investigation.

  41. Tyro Rex

    Also, about “flag”-burning. I fully support burning the ensigns of the British Empire. I don’t know what “flag” you mean to say was burnt on Thursday – was there a protest outside the American Embassy that I missed?

  42. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    I should modify my last post to “physical or mental harm”. Your neighbors probably won’t notice you burning an Aboriginal flag in your own backyard. Doing the same at an inter-tribal Aussie rules game in the Territory would be “inciting violence”, and doing it in front of a pre-school would be interpreted as terrorism. Context is everything.

    Just to make myself clear. I’d get pretty angry if someone burnt the Australian flag in front of the RSL Care place where my wife works. I don’t care for the symbol myself, but I don’t want the poor ex-diggers (many now suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia) there getting upset.

    But in general I don’t care if someone burns a flag. It just makes me roll my eyes, and think the incenerator’s a bit of a prat.

  43. jumpy

    Tyro, Albo wasn’t violently attacked in your link.

  44. TerjeP

    Down and Out – I think you are right. If I was to burn the aboriginal flag as a political statement of my right to do so I would burn it in conjunction with the Australian flag. That would make the intent pretty clear. However I don’t currently intend burning antibodies sacred symbols. It is a provocative act.

  45. akn

    The terms of the supposed equivalence between the Aboriginal flag and the Australian ensign need to be made explicit by those arguing the right of others to burn flags.

    It reads to me as if TerjeP admits the right of others to burn flags but only as an opportunity, an excuse, to threaten or demand an equivalent right to burn the flag of others. Especially the Aboriginal flag. Why? Why would anyone want to burn the Aboriginal flag except that they have a problem with Aborigines? Aborigines obviously have a problem with Howard’s White Australia and the reasons for that grievance are widely acknowledged as valid. But what problem does TerjeP have with Aboriginal people that he wants to burn their flag?

    TerjeP: how did you feel when Cathy Freeman wore an Aboriginal flag in a victory lap at the Canadian C’wealth Games. Did you feel like Arthur Tunstall did?

    Funny business, this flag burning. I’m ok with the koories burning the Australian ensign because the flag, along with the Eureka flag, has been captured as a political symbol by the Aussie Pride-ists whose notion of what it is to be Australian is exclusive of me and others with similar values.

    That flag doesn’t represent me at all. I lay claim to sufficiently strong and deep roots as an Aussie to say with confidence that there are far more worthy elements in Australian history and culture than the nasty jingoism, ignorance and selfishness that the Australian ensign has come to represent.

    It ought to be more than a pair of boardies or a hat worn by dangerous drunks but it isn’t any more.

  46. Chris

    I’d much rather people burn flags as a sign of protest than harass or intimidate other people! As long as they don’t end up starting a bushfire anyway :-) But flag burners should be aware that its going to harden a lot of people’s views to what they are protesting about – they’ll stop listening to what the protesters are saying – and in the long term may well be quite counter productive to what they are trying to achieve.

  47. TerjeP

    Akn – you strike me as a bitter person. With regards to Cathy Freeman I think she was a credit to herself and her country. I do find it a bit odd that she chose to carry a race based flag but I didn’t lose sleep over it. It is obviously something meaningful to her. Just as the gold medal was meaningful to her and millions of Aussies.

  48. akn

    Hey, you can find me bitter or you could attempt to justify yourself as to why you would want to burn the Aboriginal flag. Hmmm?

  49. faustusnotes

    TerjeP, you really, really don’t understand anything about Aboriginal dispossession do you?

    The Australia day demonstration and its grubby aftermath are really depressing me. Every aspect of it is completely dispiriting. I really thought Australia was past this juvenile crap.

    Over at my blog, I’m continuing my series of posts on sex work, public health and feminism. Yesterday’s was about feminism and prohibition. I probably won’t be around to stoush but if anyone has opinions they want to share …

  50. Tyro Rex

    Whether flag-burning, or ensign-burning, is a politically astute act is entirely dependent on to whom the political gesture is aimed. It’s quite possible that burning the ensign isn’t aimed at the so-called “middle Australia” that recoils from it. Or, possibly the precise aim, is their very recoil. Why does everything always have to come down to “capturing the middle”? That is may well be the goal of a “mainstream” political party but for an Aboriginal activist? I don’t know, as you would have to ask the people who did it for their reasons, and I can’t speak for them. I do however applaude their burning of the ensign. Not because I support an abstract right to burn flags. Because I support the specific act to burn that symbol at this time.

    The idea that the so-called “liberal moderate” centre of Australian politics should never be confronted with the consequences of their liberal moderation, is in my opinion, is half the reason we’ve ended up where we are now. There are plenty of foul banalities in the mindset of “centrist Australia” that require a direct confrontation in order to effectively challenge them, IMO.

  51. akn

    Ah well faustnotes sometimes it gets a little rough when the subject of Aboriginals comes up because it flushes patriots from cover. Real Aussie patriots. The ones who rejoice at the Hills Hoist and don’t like to talk about Aboriginal people because it’s not nice to upsets the Vicar.

  52. faustusnotes

    On the topic of which, akn, I recall going to the National Museum in Canberra and seeing a hills hoist as an exhibit, and thinking that we really need to work on our own cultural iconography. Or something.

  53. TerjeP

    Akn – I already said I don’t want to burn any flag.

  54. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    On a separate topic (or maybe not?) here’s some more revelations about Ron Paul.

    The Republican presidential candidate has denied writing inflammatory passages in the pamphlets from the 1990s and said recently that he did not read them at the time or for years afterward. Numerous colleagues said he does not hold racist views.

    But people close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.

    “It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,” said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman.

    Ron Paul is very big on “freedom”, I hear. Including the freedom to take the consequences, I presume.

  55. TerjeP

    I do however applaude their burning of the ensign. Not because I support an abstract right to burn flags. Because I support the specific act to burn that symbol at this time.

    I fail to see how it will advance any meaningful cause. It is more likely to provoke a backlash and erode support.

  56. TerjeP

    Down and Out – Ron Paul has accepted moral responsibility for the grubby newsletters. There is not much else he can do. People will forgive him or they won’t.

  57. Tyro Rex

    I fail to see how it will advance any meaningful cause. It is more likely to provoke a backlash and erode support.

    I already addressed such philosophy.

  58. TerjeP

    TerjeP, you really, really don’t understand anything about Aboriginal dispossession do you?

    I’m not sure what makes you say that. I presume it is because I don’t approach the issue with the same “vibe” as you. Personally I think the concerns of aborigines attract too many hangers on. There are legitimate grievances but they are not served by the likes of flag burning or window thumping. I find it hard to believe that people can be both in favour of aborigines burning the Australian flag and abusing the PM and also genuinely seeking “reconciliation”. Violent acts, even if merely symbolic, do nothing to create a sence of unity and closeness. And when the government creates different rules for different people on the basis of race it is divisive. We ought to have laws that are colour blind and governments that treat people as individuals not as groups.

  59. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Maybe we should set a Hills Hoist on fire instead. Or a Victa lawn mower. Or Ken Done (the paintings, not the painter, although you might disagree).

  60. TerjeP

    I already addressed such philosophy.

    Yes and I think you are simply wrong.

  61. Tyro Rex

    Just on Ron Paul, you have to remember the newsletter had that stuff in it consistently for years. It’s not like it was only one aberrant article. Ron Paul had to have known what was in the newsletter that was making him money, at least in a general sense, if not in a specific sense.

    Anyway it doesn’t matter, he won’t get the nomination.

  62. TerjeP

    Down and Out – I have a hills hoist but I’m pretty sure it won’t burn.

  63. Tyro Rex

    Yes and I think you are simply wrong.

    You didn’t advance any argument though.

    Why is the moderate middle always so automatically right, and especially why should it be molly coddled away from confrontational messages?

  64. TerjeP

    Tryo – actually for years the Ron Paul newsletters didn’t have that stuff. The period during which it had racist slurs was in the early 1990s. For decades before and since they have been scrutinised and found to be free of any such material. Clearly though something was very wrong for a period of time because the material in the early 1990s interval is quite toxic. Ron Paul has accepted moral responsibility for what happened and completely disavowed what they said. You can believe him or not, forgive him or not. People will make up their own mind.

  65. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Thermite would do it, TerjeP, especially if it is a rusty hills hoist.

  66. TerjeP

    Why is the moderate middle always so automatically right, and especially why should it be molly coddled away from confrontational messages?

    I’m no stranger to offering confronting messages to the moderate middle. However I don’t think any cause is advanced by needlessly insulting people. The point of the flag burning isn’t even clearly articulated. People are assumed to understand why they are being insulted. It’s a lousy strategy.

  67. TerjeP

    Thermite would do it, TerjeP, especially if it is a rusty hills hoist.

    Okay but how would I dry the clothes?

  68. faustusnotes

    TerjeP, you described the Aboriginal flag as a “race-based flag” and expressed disappointment that Cathy Freeman would fly it. This indicates that you just don’t get it. Aborigines were dispossessed of their land and discriminated against as a race and so, by necessity, their response to that experience and the symbols they use must be race-based. This isn’t their choice – it was the choice of the white invaders who did these things to them. That you can dismiss the flag as a “race-based flag” speaks volumes about how you understand the history of dispossession, the Aboriginal response, and the role that symbols of struggle, resistance or oppression play in that history.

    It’s not about a “vibe.” It’s about how you understand the role race plays in the attempted genocide and colonial dispossession of one race by another.

  69. akn

    TerjeP @ 54:

    I fail to see how it will advance any meaningful cause. It is more likely to provoke a backlash and erode support.

    It’s not about you mate. Lots of Aboriginal people have calculated that the support of people like you isn’t worth the necessary compromise of values and denial of their anger. You expect them to ‘play nice’, do you? Like nice middle class civilized whitefellas perhaps? As if people like you are the arbiters of what is acceptable and are the gate keepers to public participation. Next you’ll be tellin’ me that, like Bolt, whitefellas are competent to determine who’s a blackfella or not.

    If your looking to liberation practice there are many more valuable sources of strategy and philosophy than you’ve heard of. In fact, quite why any Aboriginal would curtail the expression of grievance to suit your needs is a blind alley because no-one in this country ever gave much at all to Aboriginal people because they approved of them. Those who gave did so because of common humanity.

    So you just keep on tut-tutting about Aboriginal behaviour mate because I can see exactly who and what you are.

  70. Paul Norton

    It’s instructive to compare the shocked, censorious response to Thursday’s events in Canberra with the responses to far more serious breaches of public order by non-Aboriginal constituencies.

    In May 1985 I and several other people were inside the Waterside Workers Hall in Sydney, helping to set up the furniture and refreshments for a function marking the 10th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Suddenly the hall and those inside were attacked, and an attempt made to break into the hall, by a gang of young anti-communist Vietnamese men armed with slingshots with metal ammunition, broken-off table and chair legs, sticks, half-bricks and knives, amongst other weapons. All the windows of the hall were smashed, metal missiles were fired at those inside the hall, one of the people defending the door from the mob was stabbed, and an elderly man was knocked unconscious with a half-brick. Order was only preserved and restored after the officials of the WWF called in members of the union to secure the building and protect those inside from the mob. The police could not, to put it mildly, be accused of excessive zeal in their response to the situation.

    In subsequent media coverage and commentary on the event, a number of people on what might be called the Right of politics attempted to excuse or play down what the mob had been done, television reporters inevitably prefaced interviews about the matter with the suggestion that the riot might have been an understandable reaction by Vietnamese refugees to the misdeeds of the Vietnamese communists, and a prominent Liberal Party frontbencher issued a statement implying that the affair could have been the work of Vietnamese government provocateurs. Just imagine what a crescendo of outrage we would now be hearing if any group of Aborigines had behaved as badly as the Vietnamese far right mob that night in 1985, and if anyone on the Left had engaged in the sordid apologetics which that mobs’ mates in and around the Liberal Party and right-wing media engaged in back then.

  71. Paul Norton

    On the topic of flags, the mob in 1985 were flying the RVN flag.

  72. TerjeP

    It’s not about you mate. Lots of Aboriginal people have calculated that the support of people like you isn’t worth the necessary compromise of values and denial of their anger. You expect them to ‘play nice’, do you? Like nice middle class civilized whitefellas perhaps? As if people like you are the arbiters of what is acceptable and are the gate keepers to public participation.

    Clearly it is up to activists within a cause to choose the tactics they see as advancing their cause. I appreciate that my opinion and sympathies on such matters counts essentially for nothing. My comment is more about strategy. My observation is that the strategy seems incoherent and disfunctional. Who’s support or sympathy is it intended to engender? Which opponent is going to be seduced into scoring an own goal? Perhaps there is a game plan but it looks more like self destructive behaviour.

  73. TerjeP

    TerjeP, you described the Aboriginal flag as a “race-based flag” and expressed disappointment that Cathy Freeman would fly it. This indicates that you just don’t get it. Aborigines were dispossessed of their land and discriminated against as a race and so, by necessity, their response to that experience and the symbols they use must be race-based.

    I said it was odd not disappointing. However I take your point about the mode of response. However if the goal is to get beyond race based politics and achieve reconsiliation then at some point in that process we should expect a decline in race based identification. At least the overt sort.

  74. akn

    TerjeP: what I’m saying is that sometimes all struggles have a pointy end. However, the past shows that particular forms of struggle for Aboriginal people have been effective. Sometimes, you just have to be prepared to get on the front foot. Read Australian history – see this linked article on the role of a wharfie called Brian Manning in the fight over Wave Hill http://www.mua.org.au/news/crikey-its-our-heritage/ That’s solid political commitment.

  75. faustusnotes

    Yes TerjeP, but why should we expect the victims of the race-based politics to be the first ones to “get beyond” it? Perhaps they can use their “race-based” flag to assert their desire to restore some pride and dignity to their heritage, and then the race that took that pride and dignity away can move on.

    And note as well that living in a racially egalitarian society does not mean forgetting your race or not being proud of it. The Aboriginal flag (which imo is a really striking flag) will always be around so long as Aboriginal people have a racial identity. Unless your idea of a racially equal society involves everyone losing their race, then you need to accept the flag and its importance to Aborigines.

    What you’re doing here is treating your whiteness as the background against which all “others” need to be judged – and then expecting them to move on from any historical problems that whiteness caused them, rather than asking yourself whether you should come to terms first with the historical benefits you have inherited, and the disadvantages forced on those others in order to support your benefits. And no, at this point you don’t get to whine on about the celts or 1066 and what about your rights as a whitey.

    I suggest you update your understanding of a few concepts important to the struggle for Aboriginal reconciliation: liberation, equality, multi-culturalism, would all be good starting points.

    Also – and I may be mistaken – Australia has a lot of flags (or should that be “ensigns”?) and I remember at the time Freeman flew it, a newspaper article pointing out that the Aboriginal flag is actually one of them.

  76. TerjeP

    Akn – I accept that activism can get pointy. The US war of independence is an example I can identify with. I just don’t see any point getting pointy just for the sake of it. What is the strategy and what is the goal?

  77. Sam

    Paul 69, the late and unlamented Paddy McGuinness wrote, at the time, that you had it coming for provoking the Vietnamese. What a scum bag he was.

    But as one of the people who was attacked said about the attackers, they would just have to suck it up, because “we won, they lost”. This is an excellent way to view such matters.

    Of course your are right about the Right, whose double standards know no bounds.

  78. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    This flag, Paul Norton? A symbol of a country (now as then, dead as Austria-Hungary or the CSA) that was too dictatorial and foolish to negotiate with its insurgents (as Thailand did) and that was incompetent to defend itself when it came to the crunch?

  79. akn

    TerjeP:

    I just don’t see any point getting pointy just for the sake of it.

    Do you mean to say that do not understand why Aboriginal are so angry as to conduct themselves in the way that they did?

    The strategic value of this is to present Aboriginal rights as a unifying and unified democratic project. It is the acid test, in Australia, of who you are as a person.

  80. akn

    Apologies for the manglish above.

  81. Wantok

    The trouble with aboriginal issues is that everyone on the aboriginal side is determined to keep looking backwards for validation and refusing to look forward for inspiration; I think this is what TA was actually saying in a very guarded way about the ‘humpy on the lawn’ outside old parliament house.

  82. akn

    Wantok, Abbott was dog whistling. Every time Abbott opens his mouth decent people cringe for fear of his speech. What’s different this time? Besides, it’s not up to him to declare when anyone has moved on regarding this issue. That’s the exclusive domain of Aboriginal judgement.

  83. jumpy

    Do you mean to say that do not understand why Aboriginal are so angry as to conduct themselves in the way that they did?

    That’s easy, they were lied to by an ALP adviser and a union pig and a Green candidate ( Hodge,Sattler and Shaw) the protesters made the mistake of trusting the untrustable.
    In this instance Abbott is squeaky clean.

  84. TerjeP

    Do you mean to say that do not understand why Aboriginal are so angry as to conduct themselves in the way that they did?

    Anger is a poor basis for activist action. If the key message of aboriginal activists is nothing more than “we are angry” then they won’t get far. They need a more coherent agenda.

    What are aboriginal rights? Are they not simply human rights? And would they not be best expounded in such non racial terms? Perhaps you could enumerate what you see the rights in question to be and we can have a meaningful discussion about them rather than this hollow “they are angry” and they should burn stuff rhetoric.

  85. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    akn: The aim (one of them) is to present Aboriginal rights as a unifying and unified democratic project. A strategy is a plan of how you get there. Don’t confuse the two.

    I don’t object to getting pointy. Sometimes lunches need to be naked, so we can all see what’s at the end of the fork. But flag-burning always struck me as an act of frustration and hopelessness.

    I don’t know, but I wonder if some Saul Alinsky would help the movement. It’s a long way from the Chicago meat works, but he had flexibility and a genius for shit-stirring’ that got results:

    Alinsky’s tactics were often unorthodox. In Rules for Radicals Alinsky wrote, “[t]he job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy.’” According to Alinsky, “the hysterical instant reaction of the establishment [will] not only validate [the organizer's] credentials of competency but also ensure automatic popular invitation.”[8] After organizing FIGHT (an acronym for Freedom, Independence, God, Honor, Today) in Rochester, New York, Alinsky once threatened to stage a “fart in” to disrupt the sensibilities of the city’s establishment at a Rochester Philharmonic concert. FIGHT members were to consume large quantities of baked beans after which, according to author Nicholas von Hoffman, “FIGHT’s increasingly gaseous music-loving members would hie themselves to the concert hall where they would sit expelling gaseous vapors with such noisy velocity as to compete with the woodwinds.” Satisfied with the reaction to his threat, Alinsky would later threaten a “piss in” at Chicago O’Hare Airport. Alinsky planned to arrange for large numbers of well dressed African Americans to occupy the urinals and toilets at O’Hare for as long as it took to bring the city to the bargaining table. According to Alinsky, the threat alone was sufficient to produce results.

  86. akn

    Oh yeah? You don’t think Martin Luther King ever felt angry? Or Mandela? Or a host of others whole were driven to act even in contravention to the law? I don’t know where the line is between being a moderate and being bloodless but I reckon your pretty close.

  87. Katz

    The Tent Embassy is an embodiment of a “coherent agenda”. Its participants make maximalist demands anchored to a site which has persisted for forty years. During those forty years many victories have been gained.

    Are these demands genuine or are they merely ambit claims. It doesn’t really matter. One day, after enough has been achieved, the Tent Embassy may simply vanish.

  88. TerjeP

    Martin Luther King was careful to target his campaign in areas where there were rash and overtly bigoted police chiefs. He got an over the top reaction which got public sympathy on side. His was a campaign with a clear moral objective and a considered strategy. He wasn’t just angry for the heck of it. The same strategic thinking is also true of Mandella, although the same can’t be said of all his followers.

  89. Craig Mc

    The point is that the Right is terrified of the moral legitimacy of the Tent Embassy. Against moral legitimacy, mere legality is impotent.

    Bwahahaha! Moral legitimacy? It may as well be the Dole Bludgers Embassy.

  90. faustusnotes

    Still doing it, TerjeP. Aborigines have been discriminated against on the basis of their race. Until this race-based discrimination ends, they can’t talk about “human rights.” They need to talk about “racial equality.” In a future, post-racial society then they can talk about shared human rights. But until then they need to overcome the specific abuse of their rights that occurs on the basis of their race.

    Really, Aboriginal dispossession, genocide and land rights – both in Australia and overseas – are one of the areas of political debate where libertarians should be siding with the marginalized very strongly. It’s a straight-out case of theft and abuse of property rights. Aboriginal people routinely have their liberty taken away purely on the basis of race. Yet libertarians, rather than siding with Aborigines, go out of their way to construct elaborate justifications for why it is the Aborigines who are at fault and should just “move on.”

    If anyone ever needs a textbook example of why libertarianism is just a cheap ideological fig-leaf for tax evasion, they need look no further than the intellectual paucity and rank hypocrisy of the movement’s response to indigenous rights around the world.

  91. Katz

    CraigMc, explain why the Howard government failed to remove the Tent embassy in 2005.

    I was unaware that Ratty was so supportive of dole bludgers. The world would be fascinated to read your thoughts on this interesting and important subject.

  92. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Really, Aboriginal dispossession, genocide and land rights – both in Australia and overseas – are one of the areas of political debate where libertarians should be siding with the marginalized very strongly. It’s a straight-out case of theft and abuse of property rights. Aboriginal people routinely have their liberty taken away purely on the basis of race. Yet libertarians, rather than siding with Aborigines, go out of their way to construct elaborate justifications for why it is the Aborigines who are at fault and should just “move on.”

    This.

    TerjeP, have a read.

  93. TerjeP

    Really, Aboriginal dispossession, genocide and land rights – both in Australia and overseas – are one of the areas of political debate where libertarians should be siding with the marginalized very strongly.

    On Mabo and the native title act I’m in complete support. There is a real problem with land rights that are collective and inaliable but the capacity exists to resolve that by the collective granting tradeable 99 year leases to individuals.

    Genocide is a contentious claim. There were certainly masacres of aborigines organised by settlers but they were hardly systematic. And it certainly isn’t happening now. And if you think it is then you’re in kooky land.

    Your claim that libertarians pin fault on aborigines as a group is baseless. What libertarians do routinely is comment on what has failed in some remote aboriginal communities in terms of the social and economic fabric. They note how socialist policies have delivered what we have seen from socialist policies in many other places. Violence, neglected housing, unemployment, social disfunction. The Centre for Independent Studies, an Australian libertarian think tank has done lots of good policy work in this area although it has regrettably been largely ignored by both sides of politics.

    Unfortunately the attitude taken by the hard left in regards to aborigines seems to come in two broad flavours. Either it is paternalistic presuming that aborigines bear no responsibility for their life outcomes which can all be blamed on colonialism and racism. This in spite of the fact that most aborigines living in the mainstream do perfectly well. This view paints aborigines as weak victims in need of special care. The other flavour tries to grant aristocratic status to aborigines on the basis that they have a greater moral claim to reside in Australia and should have elevated recognition in the constitution and law. This is horrendously offensive and racist.

    Unfortunately the conservative right is frequently just as bad.

  94. GregM

    Besides, it’s not up to him to declare when anyone has moved on regarding this issue. That’s the exclusive domain of Aboriginal judgement.

    I do not share your racist views which conflate the opinion of those at the tent embassy, not all of whom are Aboriginal, with the opinion of all Aborigines and which privileges that opinion above the universal human right of freedom of thought and opinion.

    Abbott is entitled to hold an opinion on the matter, and any other, and to express it, as are we all.

    The people at the tent embassy, and they do not represent all Aboriginal opinion, are entitled to hold and express a different point of view and if they don’t agree with him to ignore him or deride him for his opinion.

    That does not extend to them committing the crimes of besetting and assault.

    That is what they did and they are to be condemned for it.

  95. TerjeP

    TerjeP, have a read.

    You think I’m not aware of monumental waste in indigenous affairs. The whole notion that government should be building homes for people is so socialist it makes me want to spew. The fact that it is riddled with waste and mismanagement simple confirms everything I’ve come to expect from socialism.

  96. Katz

    On Mabo and the native title act I’m in complete support. There is a real problem with land rights that are collective and inaliable but the capacity exists to resolve that by the collective granting tradeable 99 year leases to individuals.

    But Terje this negates 40000 years of their history.

    Many Aborigines repudiate the ethical validity of land as a tradable, alien able commodity.

    In essence you would be requiring them to repudiate Aboriginal culture.

  97. Eric Sykes

    TerjeP pretends to be a decent human being. And then he wonders why people get angry.

    “Genocide is a contentious claim.”

    No, it isn’t.

    “There were certainly masacres of aborigines organised by settlers but they were hardly systematic.”

    Yes, they were. And were organised by far more people than just “settlers”.

  98. Sam

    The tent embassy is going nowhere. No government will dare touch it now. But it will become a new front in the culture wars.

    Cue article in Quadrant denouncing its origins and existence …one…two…three

  99. Debbieanne

    (I am sorry if this has been stated some where in the previous 97 comments, haven’t had a chance to read yet) Is anyone else bothered by Julia’s use of the word violence with regard to the kerfuffle involving her and Mr Abbott. I most certainly am. In my opinion, it is akin to her claiming that Julian Assange was’guilty’. Gawd she is a disapointment.

  100. Debbieanne

    I would just like to add, (now that I have read comments) a big thank you to faustusnotes, katz and a few others for their great comments on this, too sad by far, topic.

  101. joseph.carey

    Thanks also to TerjeP for showcasing the “libertarian” right mindset.

    Not a pretty picture.

  102. Craig Mc

    CraigMc, explain why the Howard government failed to remove the Tent embassy in 2005.

    Because, like the vast majority in this country, they thought it was a joke. Because they could achieve the same thing with Work For The Dole. Because it was irrelevant.

    But mainly because it was a great advertisement for voting Liberal.

  103. TerjeP

    TerjeP pretends to be a decent human being. And then he wonders why people get angry.

    Eric pretends to be a jerk. And in the process he is.

  104. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    The whole notion that government should be building homes for people is so socialist it makes me want to spew. The fact that it is riddled with waste and mismanagement simple confirms everything I’ve come to expect from socialism.

    Isn’t its a little sad and pathetic that “government building homes” upsets you more than actual racial discrimination, TerjeP?

    I could be quoting you out of context, but “makes me want to spew” is a pretty clear symbol of your feelings on the issue.

    Two clues for you:

    (a) Government housing is common throughout the first world as well as the former Warsaw Pact countries. The “market” isn’t enough to provide housing for everyone. So what are you going to do about it? If the only actor left to provide housing is the government, then the government must provide housing. It’s better than favelas, isn’t it?

    Given that, discrimination in government housing must be decried as much as discrimination in other things.

    (b) Government is often more efficient and well-managed than private companies. If you deny that, you’re a fool.

  105. TerjeP

    (a) yes it is a common problem.
    (b) the feeling is mutual.

    Government housing is discrimination. It creates misery.

  106. jumpy

    Government is often more efficient and well-managed than private companies. If you deny that, you’re a fool.

    Aaaahahahaha, One of us is a fool, aaahahah

  107. Debbieanne

    “Government housing is discrimination. It creates misery.” Of sourse we should just let the useless bums live on the streets, lazy god for nothings./snark

  108. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Government housing is discrimination. It creates misery.

    You have no idea what you’re talking about, do you?

    I just visited a friend for in government housing for a couple of hours this afternoon. A unit in West End. The only misery we had was identifying all the software his son’s friends had put on the computer to “optimise” it.

    Some government housing is appalling, of course. I’m glad he isn’t in one of the “projects” in NYC, or Cidade de Deus in Rio. But you’re against the principle, aren’t you?

    I actually lived in government housing in my last year and a half in Việt Nam. The buildings were built in the first place to get people out of the shanties around Thị Nghè canal. Later, the inhabitants were allowed to sell their units like in Thatcher’s UK, and so I was there as a rentpayer rather than a subsidised inhabitant.

    But you know what? I’m glad the Vietnamese government actually built the buildings. The shanties were almost gone from the canal by the time I lived there in the 00s, but the slate grey-black of dissolved human excrement remained. The GI’s didn’t call it “shit creek” for nuthin’. I have a low opinion of their government for many things – corruption mostly. But getting the inhabitants out of living over an open sewer is a good thing, isn’t it?

  109. Terangeree

    You’re right, faustus. There is more than one Australian flag — but the ‘defaced blue ensign’ is the official National Flag.

    The Aboriginal flag has, as far as I can see it, equal status to the ATSI flag as well as to the three military ensigns (white ensign, ADF ensign, and RAAF ensign), as well as to the Red Ensign that flutters from the stern of merchant ships.

  110. Ootz

    TerjeP@93,

    Genocide is a contentious claim. There were certainly masacres (sic) of aborigines organised by settlers but they were hardly systematic.

    You obviously have not widely read in Australian History.

    Since a precise definition of genocide varies among genocide scholars you can give me your definition and I’ll fill you in with the relevantgory details in Queensland.

  111. Darin

    Well.. Any chance of getting constitutional change up is gone for the for-seeable future. Instead people are arguing for the removal of the 40 year old tent embassy and indigenous teenagers are burning the national flag on the steps of parliament.

    All started by people in the PM’s office trying to be cute. Can we have some adults to run the country, please?

  112. Ginja

    I grew up in government housing and amoung lots of others in government housing. I think most people in government housing were simply happy not to be out in the rain…..that would probably have created a little misery.

    In European countries lots of middle-class families live in public housing. Sadly, in countries like Australia public housing has largely been replaced by rent assistance (or by nothing at all), making public housing largely the preserve of the truly desperate.

    On the genocide question, many reputable historians – like Henry Reynolds – reject the idea that genocide took place in Tasmania (that didn’t stop the Keith Windschuttles of this world going after him). Massacres and other atrocitities were common in frontier society, but most historians seen reluctant to describe this violence as genocide.

    P.S. Wouldn’t it be nice to dream of a utopia where right-wing politicians like Tony Abbott would simpy refuse to say anything divisive on our national day?

  113. Ginja

    …seem, not seen….

  114. AT

    Most comments here seem to assume that the Aborigines at the Tent Embassy represent Aboriginal Australia. They don’t. They are largely a pretty feral poor-fella-me mob and the local Traditional Owners don’t have much truck with them. Here’s an example of the kind of aggressive vibe that was around on the day: one of them threatened “Aboriginal Law” retribution against Ms Sattler:

    “Mr Anderson said that person would face retribution under Aboriginal law.

    “And whoever it was that really promoted that confrontation, we need to take them through the cleaners.

    “And I’d like them to hand them back when they finish under White Man law, give him under our law so we can put him under our law as well.”

    I’d be interested to know whether any of the above apologists for the Tent Embassy agitators would be happy for this “retribution” to go ahead unhindered.

  115. TerjeP

    You have no idea what you’re talking about, do you?

    I presume from your anecdotes you are suggesting I don’t know anybody who lives in government housing. In which case you are very wrong. As for living on the streets I know somebody intimately who is doing precisely that and has been on and off for a few years. However I’m not inclined to go into detail on a public forum. I am however a little ticked off by your presumption about what I do and do not know. It is quite arrogant.

  116. TerjeP

    Since a precise definition of genocide varies among genocide scholars you can give me your definition and I’ll fill you in with the relevantgory details in Queensland.

    Genocide is a strategy designed to extinquish an entire racial group from existence. As in Hitlers attempt to wipe out the Jews.

  117. Ginja

    amoung?….sorry, I have had 3 beers.

    AT: that would make them about as worked up and angry as your average anti-carbon tax rally……without the UN/world government conspiracy theories.

    As a proud left-wing agitator I have one question to ask: why do right-wingers feel the need to start talking in pidgin English whenever talking about Aboriginal questions? Why not go all the way and finish each sentence with “you savvy?”

  118. akn

    Down and Out @ 85: yes, you’re right. Thanks.

    TerjeP @ 88: if you think that Aboriginal people are angry “for the heck of it” then you’ve not been listening to them. At all.

    You’ve posed too many questions to address all. However your suggestion that libertarians…

    note how socialist policies have delivered what we have seen from socialist policies in many other places…

    Which leads me to conclude that you think the policies of the last say twenty or maybe thirty years were socialist. This error means that you don’t know the difference between socialism and social democratic policies. Moreover, in playing the socialist bogey card you’ve disclosed how right ‘libertarians’ are acting out a fantasy in which they serve as a post cold-war ideological mopping up operation.

    That’s really weird. It’s not about the cold war. It’s not about undermining property rights that were in any event erected by Locke in such a way as to exclude First Nations peoples from recognition of political sovereignty. One of the criteria for which was the erection of fences and tillage of the soil as a sign of individual ownership. It’s not even about that.

    It’s about extending respect and recognition to First Nations peoples here and elsewhere and attempting, as modern democrats, to address the wrongs of the past at least in so far as the conditions of the present can be shown to be determinate of their present conditions. There is very extensive evidence for this.

    As to the role of Aboriginal agency – every breathing Aboriginal, to greater or lesser degree, is a success story in a nation with as vicious and free ranging genocidal history as Australia has. They don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations after what’s happened.

    Besides, activist Aboriginals exercised their agency yesterday with the Tent Embassy celebrations and numerous Survival Day celebrations. But you disapprove of the way they exercised their agency. It’s an Australian heritage that you’re entitled to cause a stink around these sorts of political issues. You’re entitled to be rebellious. This is part of a strong Australian heritage of non-conformism. If your attitudes typify libertarianism it doesn’t have much of a future here in this country.

  119. Ginja

    TerjeP: the strict definition of genocide falls short of exterminating an “entire racial group from existance”. Still, because the word genocide is so associated with the Holocaust it is probably not a good way to describe the violence and atrocities that took place in Australia.

    I would simply ask that people read up on things like the Myall Creek Massacre – and not get too bogged down with abstract words like “genocide”.

  120. marks

    AKN are you serious, or is this just an opportunity for you to get your anger off your chest?

    Terje has made the point that, in his opinion, flag burning is a pretty pointless exercise.

    I would add to that, rants are also a pointless exercise. Maybe people getting their own anger off their chests go to bed thinking that they have somehow done some good for aboriginal people by giving all the racists ‘out there’ a good talking to.

    If you think that any flag burning, or ranting about others on a blog helps those women in Todd Mall or at the outpatients of the Alice Springs Hospital, then in this whole thread I have yet to see the connection.

    Terje has made what seems on the face of it to be a reasonable point. If the response to that point is just a load of bluster, I guess all that has been achieved is some time wasting.

  121. Ginja

    ….sorry for all the typos tonight – I’m going to bed.

    In 2012 can’t we all just come together as Australians, united by a common belief that Tony Abbott is a clown?

  122. TerjeP

    The Myall Creek massacre lead to a trial and several men accused of the atrocity were hanged as a result. Clearly it was an awful crime and was indicative of racist bigotry of the worst kind. However the response from the authorities and the testimonial of witnesses is not indicative of a program of genocide.

  123. AT

    Weell Ginja @115, you shouldn’t be telling people who can and can’t use language, when you don’t know whether they are an Aborigine. Anyways, “poor fella” isn’t even pigin.

  124. Ginja

    TerjeP: the Myall Creek massacre did result in convictions – after a false start and thanks to the doggedness of senior officials (which should be celebrated). Still, there is evidence that Myall Creek was merely the tip of the iceberg. And it is the case that much of colonial society was scandalised that white men could be convicted for murdering blacks.

    It is better that people just read up on historical events like this and not get too caught up with words like “genocide” – the historical record speaks for itself. I would encourage people to read about Myall Creek – an episode that shows both sickening depravity and courage.

  125. akn

    Lets get the facts straight. On genocide:

    :

    There are two ways of approaching the issue. One is to use the yardstick of the only extant international legal definition of genocide, namely Article II (a) to (e) of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948:

    In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

    Killing members of the group;
    Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
    Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    Colin Tatz *Genocide in Australia’ (http://www.kooriweb.org/gst/genocide/tatz.html)

    By the UN measure it was genocide. The question is … is it ongoing? Because in NSW at least Aboriginal children are still being ‘forcibly transferred … to another group’.

  126. TerjeP

    It is better that people just read up on historical events like this and not get too caught up with words like “genocide” – the historical record speaks for itself.

    I agree. It is annoying when people try to airbrush that history bit it is just as annoying when people try and make it worse than it was. In my view tossing around words like “genocide” is a case of doing the latter.

    Whatever the horrors of our history there is certainly no program of genocide in Australia today.

  127. Ginja

    I agree TerjeP. I wish more Australians would simply read about our history – the plain, unembellished, historical record is more than enough.

    At the risk of making a motherhood statement, we’d all benefit from less talk about “genocide” on one side or “back-armbands” on the other.

    All historical events should be placed in context, but we should also be honest and admit that very ugly things happened during white settlement of this country.

  128. Ginja

    …black-armbands….I really am getting tired and emotional and it’s time for bed!

  129. paul of albury

    Shorter Terje@93, libertarians believe in property rights unless you want them as a group – if you don’t want to be an individualist you can’t own property.
    Libertarians so respect disadvantaged people that they believe they all have the ability to fairly compete with people who’ve been given head starts. That a small number have succeeded proves this. (And govt welfare provides a greater head start than rich parents anyway)
    ‘The Centre for Independent Studies … has done lots of good policy work’ ROFLMAO

  130. akn

    TerjeP: here’s an exercise – locate the place and the details of the Mount Mackenzie Massacre. South of Myall Creek but North of Stroud. Maybe McKenzie by memory. Another massacre uncovered. It happened all over and included many, many invidual ‘on sight’ killings. No charges laid.

    Sam: I’m that generation who were taught by the state education system that Aboriginal people were ‘stone age’ peoples with no technology, no culture and inadequate capacity to survive the modern world. The South African rulers of apartheid were never so insinuatingly subtle as that. What you find when you look is a history of lie after lie and the most sinister conduct by the state.

    It’s ok to be angry about this especially when it appears that others’ opinions are inadequately informed. Anyway Sam, I know people don’t like being called on their genocide denialism but it is always there; it is a strong tendency in Australian culture and I don’t feel too polite about it.

  131. Ootz

    Terye@114

    Genocide is a strategy designed to extinquish an entire racial group from existence. As in Hitlers attempt to wipe out the Jews.

    If you do read my link@108, there you have the strategy. The strategy, here in Queensland at least, was one big and deadly Real Estate scam, wherein conservatively 48 000 people vanished from the landscape. The new colony was broke and needed cash so they flogged the land and conveniently ‘dispersed’ the encumbrance thereon. That was widely known at the time, hence my reference to the Colonial Office disallowing Queensland to annex New Guinea based on the experience of what happened in the Torres Strait and the quote from The Times. There is evidence that prominent and leading Queensland politicians at the time, as silent partners, ‘claimed’ land on whose ground large scale killings have occurred.

    Well, some may just say “shit happens”. However, while such facts are not acknowledged more widely there is no “time to move on”. And just to make it clear it is not about guilt, it is about recognition. While we are capable of collectively closing our eyes to such gross injustices in the past, we will not be able to see them occurring at present and in future!

    BTW re your genocide definition, would you agree in substituting “racial groups” with “people of a Nation”. There were many and still are different ‘racial groups’ in amongst the ‘First People’ here in Australia. For example, the FNQ rainforest Bama are to Central Desert Pitjantjatjara, as Arabs are to the English.

  132. TerjeP

    Akn – my work takes me through Stroud on a fairly regular basis so if you can post a reference that will show me what to look at I might give it a go.

  133. paul walter

    Never mind Terje, when you regain consciousness next week, you’ll realise that your flurry of imaginary blows aimed at Katz and others was in fact the convulsing, traumatised response of an unconscious Sonny Liston after the master punch delivered at # 11.
    23#, baboons.
    Akn, your efforts are again deeply appreciated by rational readers, but you have clearly not heeded the old adage, “never argue with a rightie”.
    Sighs.
    At least Akn hasn’t committed the final error yet, getting him started on science and climate change, from a Panglossian outlook.
    Thank heavens for small mercies.

  134. TerjeP

    Shorter Terje@93, libertarians believe in property rights unless you want them as a group – if you don’t want to be an individualist you can’t own property.

    Actually that is flat out wrong. Libertarians don’t spend a lot of time protesting the existance of joint stock companies (although they do protest limited liability on occasion). There is nothing in libertarian philosophy that opposes collective ownership. So long as it is private and voluntary. If you want to live in a commune then knock yourself out. That said I do believe that the lack of private individual ownership in many remote aboriginal communities is ineffective at providing pathways out of poverty. It is condescending to suggest that private home ownership isn’t for aborigines. Of course the same results could be achieved if communities granted tradeable 99 year leases over small parcels of land to individuals.

  135. paul of albury

    Actually I thought most Aboriginal communities had incorporated. So granting land to communities and allowing them to self manage should be ok :)

    And I hope land rights (or the poor excuse for them that has survived) don’t preclude those who choose from aspiring to private land ownership. It’s about choice, not forcing everyone to live the libertarian ideal.

    And it’s about dignity and respect. Not ‘here’s some scraps of land we’re not using, go away and be grateful. Oh and by the way we’ll make you beg for those scraps. And we’ll send in the army’.

    I think the hardest part of Tony’s comments to accept was that there is respect.

  136. Ootz

    Much to my dismay, on rechecking my “shit happens” link, I realised that I inserted the wrong link. There are so many tube links to that episode which I had to sort through to get the right one and then managed to copy and paste the wrong link. This is the “shit happens” link I intended to embed, because it highlights that context matters when it comes to evaluating tragic events. Details involved must be evaluated to prevent future occurrences thereof. A casual brush off does not do justice the pain and loss experienced.
    My sincerest apologies if I have offended anyone with the previous link.
    PS. I hope I got the right one now!

    [link has been removed from previous comment ~ moderator]

  137. Curi-Oz

    One of the possibilities that does not seem to have been canvassed regarding the young person setting the Australian flag alight.

    Given that every time I have seen a flag burnt on the television it has been perpetrated by those who are reacting negatively to the perceived “ruling class” – Arabs burning the flag of the USA for example. it just makes me wonder if the idea for burning the Australian flag might be as simple as “that’s what is done when you are angry at the people in charge”.

    Plus a healthy dose of “this will really get up the noses of those white bast*rds who set us up”. And boy, has that worked well … just look at the anger that it has engenered in the MSM this last couple of days!

    I have no idea what the answer could be, but asking and then listening to the answer of all the people who are agrieved might be a start – and finding solutions that come from them and that give them ‘ownership’ of those solutions. We are all more likely to work at something that is ours, after all!

  138. Jacques de Molay

    Of course the same results could be achieved if communities granted tradeable 99 year leases over small parcels of land to individuals.

    Mr Brough, is that you?

    Even shorter TerjeP: Fuck people that need government housing, I’m alright Jack.

  139. GregM

    Fuck people that need government housing, I’m alright Jack.

    Jacques I think Terjes’ point is that government housing is a bad thing because it is tenantry and it results in a loss of freedom.

    The person who occupies the house is its tenant, and therefore on sufferance, and not its owner who, is there by right.

  140. Joe

    Hope you’re all keeping up with rsanimate, this one is brilliant: The Divided Brain

  141. Mercurius

    @137 — Jacques, you are being uncharitable to our libertarian friend. It is not a case of “fuck people that need government housing…” — it is a case of “…their human dignity and freedom are most fully realised out in the park, in the rain; instead of languishing in the sheltered oppression of *gag*, *retch*, government housing. PS. Vote for me, I want to be in government.”

  142. Fran Barlow

    Under the heading of interesting stuff about the brain:

    http://www.newappsblog.com/2012/01/the-man-who-hand-draws-mathematical-fractals.html

  143. TerjeP

    It’s about choice, not forcing everyone to live the libertarian ideal.

    That sentence is hilarious.

    Choice + Not forcing = Libertarian Ideal

  144. TerjeP

    Mr Brough, is that you?

    He wanted aboriginal collectives to lease land to the government. I’m suggesting they grant leases to individuals within their own community and make those leases tradeable and hence open to mortgage finance.

  145. paul of albury

    Terje, I know it’s hilarious, or tragic, but it sounds like you want to give people only the freedom to live how you think they should. This is a natural tendency of people but it makes the libertarian ideal a little unrealistic, it’s only achievable if everyone wants the same prioritisation of individual over community. To be fair every other form of social structure has the same issue of not favouring those who disagree with it. However they don’t have the handicap of having to pretend everyone is free to choose (though they often do anyway for propaganda reasons).

  146. faustusnotes

    TerjeP, child removal was practiced up until the 1970s as a policy in order to “breed out the colour” (this is Neville’s explanation). This is genocide: the extermination of a race. That it was unsuccessful is by the by.

    As for public housing: whatever you might be able to say about the success or otherwise of those programs, the fact remains that remote Aboriginal communities have reduced access to clean water and quality housing than white urban australians. This isn’t because of some socialist scheme that failed in the 90s, but because for a hundred years Aborigines have been denied access to basic services. This includes but is not limited to: salaries; banking; voting; the right to buy or rent land; the right to enter into contracts; and the right to enter shops and public services (such as, famously, swimming pools).

    This means that Aboriginal communities have suffered from chronic under-development for reasons completely out of their control. While urban whites were getting hooked up to the grid either voluntarily or with govt help, rural blacks weren’t.

    Libertarianism has nothing to say about this because libertarianism is comfortable with robbing the poor and the marginalized for the benefit of the wealthy. If you disagree with this statement, try to reconcile your smug attitude to Aboriginal inequality with your “spew” at the thought of redressing their historical denial of access to basic housing.

    Have at it!

  147. TerjeP

    Terje, I know it’s hilarious, or tragic, but it sounds like you want to give people only the freedom to live how you think they should.

    Just because I have an opinion on how aboriginal collectives should create prosperity in their communities by empowering individuals within those communities this does not mean I want to use government power to force it on them. However nor do I want the community at large to be forced to pay for experiments in communal living. And beling libertarian does not mean I need to deny myself the opportunity to give comment on the choices that other people make. You really ought to come to grips with the distinction.

  148. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Jacques I think Terjes’ point is that government housing is a bad thing because it is tenantry and it results in a loss of freedom. The person who occupies the house is its tenant, and therefore on sufferance, and not its owner who, is there by right.

    Renting is also a loss of freedom™, GregM? I never knew that. Maybe I should move back in with my mum. No rent. No mortgate, either. Because we all that living with your parents is FREEDOM!!!©

    [The phrase "loss of freedom" is a trademark of the Ludwig von Mises institute, and can only be used with prior permission. The term "FREEDOM!!!" is copyright Mel Gibson in the US, but not in Australia, so us as you wish until they get PIPA/SOPA through the Houses]

  149. TerjeP

    TerjeP, child removal was practiced up until the 1970s as a policy in order to “breed out the colour” (this is Neville’s explanation). This is genocide: the extermination of a race. That it was unsuccessful is by the by.

    Breeding out the colour was a policy promulgated by regulating inter racial marriage and sex. Not by a program of stealing children from mothers. Obviously this is still an offensive policy but it isn’t genocide.

    The only case of a stolen indigeneous child that I know of that has been proven in court is that of Bruce Trevorrow. And the judge found that his removal was unlawful even by the standards of the time. So it does not amount to a “policy” of removal.

    Many indigenous children were raised by people who were not their biological parents. This was probably much more common for children of mixed race simply because there was more cultural pressure on couples of mixed race. However this is not evidence of children being stolen as a matter of government policy. Although obviously the cultural dislocation, the racial identiy issues and the sheer stress of being raised outside your biological family did no doubt cause emotional scars.

  150. faustusnotes

    No TerjeP, the “breeding out the colour” phrase is a policy statement by AO Neville in direct connection with Aboriginal child removal.

    You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about, and if your opposition to welfare policy is going to be based on historically inaccurate attempts to deny the history of Australian settlement and indigenous policy, well then you have once again (to no one’s surprise) shown why libertarianism is not a serious political philosophy, but a piss-weak justification for upper class entitlement.

  151. Ootz

    …… nor do I want the community at large to be forced to pay for experiments in communal living

    Terje, one of the reasons I was asking whether you’d be ok with substituting racial group with people of Nations, is to acknowledge the spectrum of cultural and social grouping of ‘Aboriginals’ past and present. Just as it is important in context to acknowledge the traumatic past it is also very important to recognise the diversity of needs and aspirations amongst the Koori, Murri, Nungars etc including the urbanised mobs. One size fits all approaches have not worked for that reason. So given the the trauma experienced and the social and cultural complexity, we will be experimenting for a long time. It is a bit like support for war veterans and their families, there are different needs and it takes a long time for some of the repercussions to heal. What is an appropriate civil and humane approach there? Say, when has the larger community payed enough for that experiment in Vietnam?

  152. akn

    TerjeP, because of your comment @ 149 I have no option but to conclude that you really have no idea what you are talking about.

    I did link to Colin Tatz’s article above regarding genocide in Australia but it seems that you are averse to evidence that conflicts with your ideological blinkers. In other places and times you’d have made an excellent Stalinist, the hallmark of which is a willingness, usually at the cost of immense suffering to others, to make reality conform to your ideological program of how reality ought to be. Posties, with some justification, call this sort of thinking totalitarian.

    Anyway, if you’re regularly driving through Stroud you’re driving through very interesting Australian history. The hills immediately to the east of Stroud were where Fred Ward based his bushranging activities with considerable assistance from the local blackfellas who were so fierce that they scared the living daylights out of all of the other local groups from the upper Hinter right across to Port Stephens.

    Further up the valley, to your West as you approach Gloucester, you’re driving through some of the country terrorised by Jimmy Governor. He, by the way, had vivid red hair, which I guess according to Alan Bolt’s prescriptions would exclude him from the category of Aboriginal. Irish Australians and Aboriginal people have always been able to forge close links. I reckon its something about feeling a common enmity to the English.

    As to the Mt McKenzie massacre – you’ll need to look that up for yourself as I no longer think it advisable that people like you be given information about Aboriginal people. Not to be trusted.

  153. akn

    Andrew Bolt. Doh!

  154. Helen

    Breeding out the colour was a policy promulgated by regulating inter racial marriage and sex. Not by a program of stealing children from mothers.

    No, Terje, this is just simply historically incorrect. As Faustusnotes has already pointed out, this was the stated aim of the Aboriginal protectorate.

  155. Steve at the Pub

    Breeding out the colour”

    But it is “simply historically incorrect.” to suggest that interracial marriage & sex was anything to do with it?

    Even by the (admittedly low) scholastic standards of this blog, that is a bit of a stretch.

  156. tigtog

    “Breeding out the colour”

    But it is “simply historically incorrect.” to suggest that interracial marriage & sex was anything to do with it?

    Interracial sex obviously had a lot to do with it – the strategy was to get paler-skinned indigenous girls (particularly) away from their families and send them into service with white families, where they were more likely to have children with pale-skinned men. Marriage, indeed any meaningful form of consent to sex at all for these girls, was rarely part of the policy equation.

  157. Chris

    faustusnotes said:

    This isn’t because of some socialist scheme that failed in the 90s, but because for a hundred years Aborigines have been denied access to basic services. This includes but is not limited to: salaries; banking; voting; the right to buy or rent land; the right to enter into contracts; and the right to enter shops and public services (such as, famously, swimming pools).

    Australia has for many years accepted refugees from overseas who come from backgrounds just as bad or worse. They also suffer as bad or worse cultural and language dislocation. But we seem to be much more successful at moving those people from having literally nothing to average members of society within a generation or two. What are we doing wrong? Is the refugee model of compensating for disadvantage better?

  158. Katz

    TerjeP betrays a remarkable level of ignorance about Australian history. There was no regulation of interracial sex or marriage by government in any Australian colony or state.

    Norman’s policy was to take the half castes from their full blood mothers if they were living in a tribal or semi-tribal setting. Children living with their white father and Aboriginal mother were not stolen There were few half caste offspring of white mothers. So far as I know, these children were not stolen.

    Norman’s policy was controversial at the time. Voices were raised to institute anti miscegenation laws. But these demands were refused.

    It was almost universally believed at the time that full blood Aborigines would become extinct and with their demise Aboriginal culture would die. Removal of half castes from the tribal setting, Norman argued, would speed this process.

    This was both genetic and cultural genocide. The weapon of choice was social Darwinism.

  159. faustusnotes

    SATP, it’s historically incorrect to juxtapose management of interracial marriages with child abduction, which is what TerjeP did. Katz points out that Australia didn’t have anti-miscegenation laws, which is consistent with the racial aims of child abduction: changing the ratio of “half-caste” to “full blood” children was the goal of the policy.

    Understanding the relationship between definitions of Aboriginality and genocide in Australia might help people like TerjeP to understand why Bolt’s columns on the supposed “whiteness” of certain people are so offensive.

    But to do that you need to start with an understanding of the facts of Australian history. I’m not holding my breath waiting for TerjeP to sort that out …

  160. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    In other places and times you’d have made an excellent Stalinist, the hallmark of which is a willingness, usually at the cost of immense suffering to others, to make reality conform to your ideological program of how reality ought to be.

    TerjeP: you might be spluttering at this, but I believe akn has hit the nail squarely on the head. Most ideologies distort “reality” to fit the narrative; non-ideologues generally prefer the other way. To distort reality, they distort the language to describe reality.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think it is interesting that Libertarianism and Stalinism have their own distorted ideas of “logic”. All ideologies will make faulty arguments from time to time, but Stalinism and Libertarianism incorporate their own ideas of “reason” into the ideology further to explain their aims. A TerjeP in the 30s may be deploying the dialectic to argue why all the grain should be grabbed from the Ukraine. Our TerjeP in the 10s is using a bastardised Aristolian-Randian logic (which all Libertarians seem to share) to argue that public housing is a loss of freedom.

  161. Katz

    What are we doing wrong? Is the refugee model of compensating for disadvantage better?

    In broad terms it’s quite simple.

    Immigrants and refugees want to buy into the dominant culture of possessive individualism, or at least some variant of that ethos. This impulse has always been much weaker in Aboriginal communities. As I mentioned above, 40000 years of cultural practice ingrains powerful habits.

    I wonder how many Aborigines have emigrated to New Zealand. I bet the number is vanishingly small. I mention this fact because New Zealand would be a convenient destination for any Aborigine who wants to make a break with her past and who wants to buy into possessive individualism. The point is that hardly any Aborigines want anything to do with possessive individualism.

  162. Lefty E

    Ron Barrasi calls for Australia Day to be moved to May 27 http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/call-to-move-australia-day/story-e6frg12c-1111118660285

    Couldnt agree more. Let’s face it: Jan 26 just isnt working out. I dont think it matters much what your personal opinion is, the mere fact that an important group of Australians find it deeply insulting should be reason enough to dump it, and pick another.

  163. G-G

    There was no regulation of interracial sex or marriage by government in any Australian colony or state.

    Well not that I want to buy into the Terje’s nonsense but there were laws as I always understood it, specifically in Qld – a state which went against the grain:

    “Queensland was the first state to pass a law which enabled the Chief Protector to control the marriages of Aboriginal people. The 1901 Act, which amended the Queens land government’s first attempt at protection legislation (the 1897 Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act), contained a clause which made the marriage of Aboriginal women to any person other than an Aboriginal man conditional on written permission from a Protector.”

    http://epress.anu.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/ch1128.pdf

  164. Katz

    GG, the point is that permission could be given for interracial marriage in Qld.

    Anti-miscegenation laws in US states were a blanket prohibition.

    The Qld legislation has to be understood in the context of paternalism, which included sequestering of wages. This latter intrusion never took place in the US.

  165. TerjeP

    TerjeP betrays a remarkable level of ignorance about Australian history. There was no regulation of interracial sex or marriage by government in any Australian colony or state.

    From the Western Australian Aborigines Act 1905:-

    42. No marriage of a female aboriginal with any person other than an aboriginal shall be celebrated without the permission, in writing, of the Chief Protector.

    These seems to me to be designed to regulate inter racial marriage.

    40. Any female aboriginal who, between sunset and sunrise, is found within two miles of any creek or inlet used by the boats of pearlers or other sea boats shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

    41. Any aboriginal who, being the parent or having the custody of any female child apparently under the age of sixteen years, allows that child to be within two miles of any creek or inlet used by the boats of pearlers or other sea boats shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

    This may not have been designed to regulate inter racial sex but my guess is that it was.

    Much early law in Australia seems designed to avoid the creation of half casts and to encourage aboriginal woman to breed only with aboriginal men. Obscene as this is from the vantage point of a modern liberal (or libertarian) concerned with individual rights and freedom the consequence of such policies far from being genocidal seems geared towards ensuring that aborigines remain ethnically and culturally pure.

    The history of race relations in Australia is bad enough without having to muddy the waters with false claims of genocidal policy. Policy was racist and paternalistic not racist and genocidal.

  166. TerjeP

    p.s. current policy is also racist and paternalistic. Not a lot has changed.

  167. G-G

    However, Terje’s contention that child removal was not conducted as part of a suite of practices to erase indigeneity betrays a lack of knowledge on the practice of biological absorption. Terje might want to read this:

    http://www.kooriweb.org/foley/resources/pdfs/52.pdf

  168. Katz

    TerjeP, that legislation is not a prohibition against miscegenation.

    As I said above, there were calls for anti-miscegenation laws in various colonies and states, especially Qld and WA, but they never amounted to anything more than those mild impediments mentioned by you and GG.

  169. faustusnotes

    TerjeP, that legislation is part of the same process as the child removal policies. It’s a eugenics law, not an anti-miscegenation law. The law was passed to ensure that the Protector could check that the marriage was consistent with changing the balance of “half-castes” to “full-bloods.” The only reason the government wanted to keep “full-bloods” “pure” was because they thought (as Katz has pointed out to you) that Aboriginal blood was “weak” and that the race would die out without assistance.

    Did you have your head up your arse between 1995 and 2000, or something? Do you seriously believe that the apology in 2007 was something about “ooh, we were trying to keep the Aboriginal race pure but we stuffed up a bit”? Because you really don’t seem to know about an important part of Aboriginal history, and it would be a good idea to go learn about it before you start constructing an edifice of denialism on such shaky ground.

    And no, when I say “learn” I don’t mean “read Windschuttle.”

  170. Katz

    The other point worth mentioning is that these Australian laws were promulgated decades after first contact with Aborigines. The American colonies had been promulgating blanket anti-miscegenation laws since the 18th century.

    Moreover, TerjeP’s WA law regulated only girls and women. From a racialist point of view the greatest transgression was a black father siring offspring from a white mother. This eventuality appears to be unregulated.

    The driving force here appears to be paternalism rather than horror at mixed race offspring.

  171. John D

    The media likes crisis and scandals but is not particularly interested in good news stories.
    Example 1: In 1964 there were, to the best of my knowledge, there only two Aboriginal graduates. Now the percentage of Aborigines getting tertiary education is higher than it was for whites in 1964.
    Example 2: The Groote Eylandt Aborigines are enterprising people who have achieved a lot of things over the years. Yet all you seem to hear about is their above average contribution to the prison population of the NT.
    What I really don’t like is that any Aborigine reading MSM would get the impression that it is not worth trying instead of realizing what is possible.

  172. G-G

    GG, the point is that permission could be given for interracial marriage in Qld.

    Anti-miscegenation laws in US states were a blanket prohibition.

    Yes of course Katz. You are spot on.

  173. John D

    Katz @131: You say:

    Immigrants and refugees want to buy into the dominant culture of possessive individualism, or at least some variant of that ethos. This impulse has always been much weaker in Aboriginal communities. As I mentioned above, 40000 years of cultural practice ingrains powerful habits.

    Most of our refugees and immigrants come from cultures that, compared with Aboriginal culture, are quite close to ours.
    That is part of the problem. On Groote Eylandt things like avoidance laws, the importance of family obligation, growing up in a society where interactions were determined by relationship (as in cousin) and attachment to the land don’t help. Then there is the issue of cultural priorities (which are quite different from ours.)
    In addition, there are all the things that have happened as a consequence of the Anglo invasion. It is worth remembering that the main thrust of the 1967 referendum was to give the commonwealth government to over-ride the appalling laws of states like Qld and WA. All this is made worse by prejudice.
    As I said @171 the progress that is being made is not being reported or being reported in a way that diverts our mind from progress. For example, you can report that “Aboriginal unemployment is much higher than average” or that “most Aborigines who want work have work.”

  174. TerjeP

    TerjeP, that legislation is not a prohibition against miscegenation.

    No, but that was never my claim. It does however represent regulation of marriage between the races. Which is what I originally claimed. And what you called me ignorant for claiming. I’m quite ready to accept an apology any time.

  175. TerjeP

    Most of our refugees and immigrants come from cultures that, compared with Aboriginal culture, are quite close to ours.

    That would stack up if not for the fact that the majority of aborigines in Australia are not living impoverished lives. The ones living impoverished lives are generally those living in remote communes. The cause of poverty is not cultural. It has more to do with remoteness and communal housing.

  176. TerjeP

    Do you seriously believe that the apology in 2007 was something about “ooh, we were trying to keep the Aboriginal race pure but we stuffed up a bit”?

    Mostly it was about Kevin Rudd posturing. If he had any gumption he would have apologised for his own paternalistic and racist policies instead of apologising for the paternalistic and racist policies of earlier generations. But I’m sure he believed that his paternalistic and racist policies were the right ones.

  177. Katz

    Breeding out the colour was a policy promulgated by regulating inter racial marriage and sex.

    TerjeP, this is the claim in question.

    I read it to mean that you assert that one aim of “regulating inter racial marriage and sex” was “[b]reeding out the colour”.

    In other words, these regulations were passed with the intention of diluting black blood.

    Do you stand by this statement?

  178. jumpy

    @162

    Let’s face it: Jan 26 just isnt working out.

    As Mr Anderson ( tent embassy founder) pointed out ” We don’t recognise the Government or the Courts” , so why do the recognise the Gregorian calendar? The 26 Jan?

    To me, every day is Reconciliation day/ Australia day, with everyone*.

    (* not race based)
    ( ps. i have NO peer-review literature to back my statement ) :)

  179. GregM

    Renting is also a loss of freedom™, GregM? I never knew that. Maybe I should move back in with my mum. No rent. No mortgate, either. Because we all that living with your parents is FREEDOM!!!©

    A particularly silly comment Down and Out.

    The comparison is between owning your house or renting it, not with living with your mum.

    TerjeP’s argument is that aborigines should be able to own the housing that is provided to them and not be required to rent it because of the lack of a freehold option, not that they live with their mums.

    His view may be incorrect but you have done nothing advance discussion about it by wilfully misrepresenting it.

  180. faustusnotes

    TerjeP:

    Mostly it was about Kevin Rudd posturing. If he had any gumption he would have apologised for his own paternalistic and racist policies instead of apologising for the paternalistic and racist policies of earlier generations. But I’m sure he believed that his paternalistic and racist policies were the right ones.

    There is so much wrong with this one paragraph, but it serves as a perfect illustration of so many of the biases and petty idiocies of right-wing politics. Shall we have a look?

    Mostly it was about Kevin Rudd posturing.

    It was an apology. By definition, a symbol: posturing. So yes, it was about Kevin Rudd posturing. The fact that you deride the symbolism of an apology says so much about how you understand morality.

    If he had any gumption he would have apologised for his own paternalistic and racist policies …

    It was the first act of business of Kevin Rudd’s first term in office. That is, at the time that he made the apology, his government had not enacted any paternalistic and racist policies. So it would take rather a lot of gumption for him to apologise for all the policies he had never enacted.

    … instead of apologising for the paternalistic and racist policies of earlier generations.

    The apology was specifically an apology to the stolen generation. Once you’ve got over arguing that they don’t exist, perhaps you’ll recognize that since the practice ended in 1972, any apology for it is by necessary an apology for a historic act.

    But, not necessarily the act only of “earlier generations.” Some of Tony Abbot’s peers entered parliament on or around 1972, and were adults (though very young) when the child abduction policy was still in force.

    But I’m sure he believed that his paternalistic and racist policies were the right ones.

    Putting aside the fact that his policies hadn’t been enacted, this means that your answer to my question does indeed appear to be, “yes! I do seriously believe that the apology in 2007 was something about ‘ooh, we were trying to keep the Aboriginal race pure but we stuffed up a bit.’”

    Your whole comment was, basically, an exercise in frothing right-wing talking points.

  181. TerjeP

    This is my interpretation of what was going on. The laws I quoted were intended to make it harder for aboriginal women to breed with white men or with men of mixed blood. This was to reduce the incidence of mixed blood children. Presumably white women were not seen as the origin of mixed blood children and so the same degree of regulation was not required.

    They were essentially practicing a form of eugenics. Seeking to breed people who were closer to pure black or pure white. People of mixed race complicated attempts at cultural separatism and messed up neat notions of us and them.

    These were paternalistic laws. They were intended to protect people. Clearly they were misguided. However they are not the same as stealing children. And they are not a policy of genocide.

  182. TerjeP

    My comment above is to Katz.

  183. faustusnotes

    Katz at 170:

    Moreover, TerjeP’s WA law regulated only girls and women. From a racialist point of view the greatest transgression was a black father siring offspring from a white mother. This eventuality appears to be unregulated.

    I see this as very consistent with the intention of destroying Aboriginal cultural integrity. The assumption of the time was that children of white women stayed with the mother (or went to the poorhouse) so there was no need to stop white women having children with Aboriginal men – their children would grow up as “half-castes” in white society. On the other hand, Aboriginal mothers would likely return to their tribes with the children, where they would be raised as Aborigines – against the intentions of the Protector of Aborigines, who would then have to send someone there to get them (and did, frequently). So presumably, he would only grant permission to an Aboriginal woman to marry a white man if he could be assured that their white husband would take them to white society and raise their kids as white folks.

    TerjeP, clauses 40 to 41 in your citation are there to prevent prostitution and rape. The practice of white pearlers abducting Aboriginal women, sailing down the coast of WA, and then dumping them when they reached the next port, is described in Katharine Susannah Prichard’s Brumby Innes (or is it Coonardoo?) and was something of a scandal at the time. It would also have led to the creation of numerous “half-castes,” none of which would have been returned to white society. So from a moral and eugenic point of view, this practice – which Prichard refers to as “black velvet” – needed to be ended.

    It’s nice to see that the Protector of Aborigines “Protected” these women by charging them with an offence, rather than charging the men with rape. Oh what great times …

  184. Katz

    But TerjeP your gloss @ 179 appears to contradict the claim in question.

    How can this be?

    What, as precisely as possible, do you mean by “Breeding out the colour”?

  185. Mercurius

    Guys, hey, guys. Guys, listen. Listen, guys.

    The longer this “tete-a-tete” with TerjeP goes on, the more appealing it ain’t.

    Just sayin’ :)

  186. Katz

    Faustusnotes, in general you are correct about the nature of the regulations in question. But to be more precise it is necessary to recall that most of the pearlers in question were Asian.

    These Asian pearlers were reputed to be sexually active and carriers of some nasty diseases.

    Thus the regulations in question were not primarily addressed to black/white relations. They were not primarily directed at Asian/black relations either, but rather at attempting to stem the reputed spread of serious disease.

    http://www.stolengenerations.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=153&Itemid=129

  187. Mercurius

    The Loyal Opposition are still calling for the AFP to investigate who-said-what-to-whom-and-when in the lead-up to the not-riot at Lobby restaurant on Thursday.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-29/union-official-defends-role-in-protest-fiasco/3798704

    Yet no crime is alleged to have taken place, no criminal allegation has been made, by anybody, about anybody…so what, exactly, are the AFP supposed to investigate?

    I was living under the cosy presumption that police are employed to investigate crimes, not to step into he-said she-said pie fights.

    What kind of fascist calls in the AFP to sort out their political stoushes? Oh, wait, I know, our PM-in-waiting. Good times ahead!

  188. faustusnotes

    Ah! I didn’t know that, Katz. Prichard wrote about it as a phenomenon carried out by whites! But maybe that was 15 years later, after the Asians had set up the industry and left?

  189. Katz

    Booted out! WAP.

  190. TerjeP

    But TerjeP your gloss @ 179 appears to contradict the claim in question.

    Then we have a differing view of what the claim in question is.

    It was stated that aborigines had been subjected to a policy of genocide. I refuted this. It was then claimed that as part of this genocide children were stolen to breed out the colour. I pointed out that breeding out the colour was promulgated through the regulation of marriage and sex. You said this never happened and I was ignorant. You now seem to have accepted that it did happen. I said the laws regulating marriage and sex appear to be a paternalistic form eugenics and that they were misguided. You now claim there is some contradiction. I’m not seeing it.

    Anyway this had been a relatively civilised discussion and I’ve learnt a little along the way. I still don’t think we should have different laws for different people on the basis of race. I don’t think aborigines have a superior claim to Australia. I think people should be allowed to burn flags but don’t be surprised it other people get cranky. The tent embassy should be either shut down or formal title over the land where it resides should be granted.

  191. Paul Hennessey

    Always has been, always will be, Aboriginal land. Simple as that

  192. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    His view may be incorrect but you have done nothing advance discussion about it by wilfully misrepresenting it.

    GregM: I was making fun of your paraphasing@139 above.

    Jacques I think Terjes’ point is that government housing is a bad thing because it is tenantry and it results in a loss of freedom. The person who occupies the house is its tenant, and therefore on sufferance, and not its owner who, is there by right.

    It’s dumb on so many levels. I am a tenant and I pay rent: am I any less freer than someone mortgaged up to their eyeballs? At least I have the freedom to move. I also have rights courtesy of the Rental Tenancies Authority, so the landlord cannot pull arbitrary shit out of his hat. [*] Even if I end up owning a property, I’ll have to pay property taxes (or body corp fees), so I don’t have a right to stay there indefinitely.

    Your passage contains the bastardised Aristolian-Randian logic I was making fun of@160. There are two syllogisms in there. The first is generally false, and the second needs a lot of clarification to be true. You can make syllogisms all day until the cows comes home, but until they are acquainted with reality (or even willing to acknowledge it across a crowded restaurant), it’s a bit pointless to trot them out.

    [* He wouldn’t. He’s a nice guy. Not like the last one at all who tried to pull lots of moves and scams on us, and then tried to hold onto the bond when we left. Tried.)

  193. Joe

    The question that Terje must answer is, how do disadvantaged people fit into his ultima ratio?

    But maybe it’s not so important, because his view is so minimalist, so stripped down and skeletal– reminds me of one of my granddad’s favorite sayings:

    for every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong. [ --Mencken]

    And this is not to focus on the apparent falsity of Terje’s thinking, but simply to point out that his mental model cannot be right. Terje, it is simply much, much too simple and I think you will realise this eventually.

  194. TerjeP

    What is “ultima ratio”?

  195. Joe

    Because the internet is still just really a written document, this kind of rhetorical tactic– to start asking questions, is, to be honest, and especially looking at the contributions you have already made to this thread, rude.

    But, assuming you want to know, what I think it is, (and do know how to find things on the internet), ultima ratio is the grounds for war. You are at war, aren’t you Terje? Agitating against the masses?

    At least, if I were a disabled person, old, sick, young, or foreign I might find your arguments war-like!

  196. TerjeP

    So your question is how do disadvantaged people fit into my war. A strange question. Try asking a sensible one. Or at least one that is meaningful.

  197. Quoll

    Kerr’s inept spies revive ASIO’s cold war delusions

    Interesting response from Lee Rhiannon on the fiction posing as a leaked ASIO intelligence report and journalism at the OO, I thought.
    Never let facts get in the way of a good story, that’s the Aus club motto.
    I cant wait to be old enough to ask for my file, it sounds like everything is so much more interesting and the people so much more nefarious in super spy world.

  198. tigtog

    So your question is how do disadvantaged people fit into my war. A strange question. Try asking a sensible one. Or at least one that is meaningful.

    I don’t think he explained it particularly well, but how about you actually look up the term ultima ratio, as suggested? His question then makes plenty of sense. This thread is already long enough without getting further bogged down in tangential quibbles.

  199. TerjeP

    I did look up the term. It made no sense the context used here. So I asked for a definition. It made no sense either. If you know what the question actually means just explain it rather than playing “who can solve the riddle”.

  200. Katz

    Chasing down Quoll’s @ 197 links of Lee Rhiannon’s brush with ASIO in the late 1960s and early 1970s is a wander down Memory Lane for all who were there and an education in incompetent careerism and paranoia for all who weren’t there.

    That the OO stoops to dredging up ASIO’s incompetent dreck exposes that organ for what it is — the mouthpiece of political thuggery.

    Thanks for that, Quoll.

  201. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    The KGB often recruited people at university. Look at the Cambridge Five. However I doubt the KGB were in the habit of recruiting people during their gap year.

    ASIO’s got form in making things up. They also allege Lee Rhiannon studied “motor mechanics” at Uni – a subject one would expect to turn up in a TAFE.

    ASIO: the incompetence of MI5 without even the treason of Sir Roger Hollis to exculpate it.

  202. Katz

    I love this addendum to your linked story, Saigon:

    An ASIO spokeswoman said it was possible to have information contained in a file corrected if a statement was made to the National Archives office.

    This is inviting the greatest feat of historical revisionism since Winston Smith laboured in the Ministry of Truth!

  203. akn

    It’s an interesting business – the information gathered about you. When Carr allowed it I applied for and received my own Special Branch file. A meagre three pages but I didn’t suffer to much from file envy. Others were given very substantial files. What we discovered, through a weekend spent cross referencing the contents of our files, was that there was significantly accurate personal data mixed up with verbatim reports of what we had been heard to say at meetings, copies of telegrams sent and the sometimes florid, paranoid invention. The extent of what had been gathered indicated successful ‘penetration’ of numerous organisations.

    As an aside to this I’d reckon that this hasn’t stopped and that young environmental activists ought to be very alert as to who might be a spook.

    For what it is worth, here’s my list of things to be aware of:
    * the provocateur – anyone who suggests or urges criminal action outside of the rules of engagement of non-violent direct action;
    * the person who just turns up but is known to no-one;
    * blondes with pony tails in plain clothes tending toward the sporty (coppers for sure);
    * your best friends in the movement.

    The best strategy is to act in ways such that it doesn’t matter who knows what because none of it is illegal anyway. However, misconstruing available information, otherwise known as framing, is an old establishment tradition in Australia so it is best to be aware.

  204. Ootz

    No Terje you have NOT “refuted the genocide claim”. You simply conflated Holocaust with genocide per your definition thereof above, which is a hallmark of Windscuttlian idiology. It starkly highlights your lack of having widely read and understood the facts of the matter, including the UN definition of and Law on genocide. Worse you are displaying your utter lack of decency or immaturity by continuing to bring that sorry issue up without ANY serious effort to examine the facts nor decency to accept, even acknowledge them when presented to you. Read up the facts and then comment on such grave and sensitive matters please!

    Look it is extremely sad business and I do not particularly enjoy discussing it. However, if anyone is spruiking vile lies like you do, then these need to be challenged and exposed for the contemptible and dangerous ideology they are. You have a choice here, either you read up on the relevant facts and apologise here on this thread for your statement above or I will expose the historical and ethical fraud on which your thinking is based and needless to say, your utter lack of rectitude displayed here will render any of your arguments baseless.

    I need to stress, it is not my wish to engage in polemics and haggle over truth, nor do I intend to remove your input on this blog. Serious issues relating to the People of the First Nations and the progress of this Nation in reconciliation, need frank and open discussion with diverse input like yours, as long they are historically valid and display the moral gravitas some aspects therein deserve.

    Yours sincerely Ootz

  205. Steve at the Pub

    So how does one get to be the subject of an Asio file?

    I’ll wager not only do I not “have” one, but that I’ll never have one.

    The only people with files on me would be; Banks, Law firms, the ATO, Insurance brokers, etc.

    Waste of time me seeking out & dealing with Asio, they can’t do anything for me, not directly.

  206. akn

    @Ootz: Seconded.

  207. Ambigulous

    The Australian Federal Police says it will not investigate the disclosure of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s location before the Australia Day tent embassy protest, despite an official request by the federal opposition.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/no-evidence-of-criminal-act-afp-will-not-investigate-disclosure-of-abbotts-location-20120130-1qoky.html#ixzz1ktdvHDP3

  208. akn

    A disaster that the coppers won’t investigate because by golly there are serious issues here like how did a whitefella who speaks to Aboriginals get to work in the PM’s office. Hmmmm? Land rights one day and a sense of entitlement the next. And then there’s the trots all mixed up in it as well. My view is that there were two or even three trots fomenting trouble. There was one on the grassy knoll up the back of the car park entrance. I saw the puff of smoke go up when he inhaled. Rudd organised all of this including the attempted assassination on Gillard. Or Arbib.

  209. akn

    satp @ 205: thinking independently usually gets you a file.

  210. Chris

    akn @ 209 – I think anyone who needs to get security clearance for their job would also get a file. Quite common if you work in the defence industries or for an employer that does defence related work.

  211. Paul Norton

    Isi Leibler, the prominent Australian Jewish leader who is now resident in Israel and a commentator identified with the conservative wing of Israeli politics, had a file opened on him because he had discussions with Laurie Aarons about the possibility of Communist Party support for the human rights of Soviet Jews.

  212. akn

    Chris: I’m sure you are correct. Some bureaucrats though are so free of independent thought that, by my standard of what deserves a file, they are no risk. Personally I’d like to feel assured that dangerous right wing idiots who don’t understand or don’t care about maintaining democratic practices would get files but traditionally these people tend to get jobs or seats and are regarded as not an issue.

  213. Sam

    Paul 211, as an ex-CPA member, you must have an ASIO file. Do you think it has ever held you back? Unsuccessful job application? Bank loan refused? Etc.

  214. tssk

    Gillard government about to fall.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/wilkie-set-to-vote-against-pm-in-no-confidence-vote-20120130-1qp43.html

    Beginning of the end folks. (Or as some of my right wing aquaintances are saying ‘a return to democracy.’)

    Seriously not looking forward to a continuation of the Howard years under Abbott, but hey, the majority of Aussies want it.

  215. Paul Norton

    Sam, I’m certain I have an ASIO file, and not just relatng to my erstwhile CPA membership. I’m not aware of any specific instances where it might have set me back professionally or financially in some way. For reasons which I can’t go into in a public forum I actually think that on one occasion, a long time ago, it might have obliquely helped me.

  216. Fine

    Please tssk, you’ve been saying this since the election. Give it a rest.

  217. Fran Barlow

    Please tssk, you’ve been saying this since the election. Give it a rest.

    Seconded. I think I get what you are trying tssk, but the world doesn’t work that way. I’m finding it as tiresome as Fine does.

  218. pablo

    Wilkie’s support for an investigation suggests he doubts that Gillard had no prior knowledge of the Hodge/Sattler communication on tactics following Abbott’s comments on Australia Day. Hodge’s superiors did know but apparently failed to tell the PM until the following (Friday 27) evening. It puts the prime minister’s reported expressed concern about the safety of Mr Abbott during the 20 minute restaurant fracas in another light. Did she suddenly realise that the routine political points scoring against the Opposition could turn violent or was it a genuine concern as widely reported? We may never know.

  219. Chris

    Much like Keen on how the property market is going to crash, eventually tssk will be correct :-)

    From Wilkie’s point of view supporting an investigation is a reasonable way to cause the government a bit of pain without actually causing it to fail.

  220. Ambigulous

    tssk @214
    There’s a difference between voting to support the debating of a no-confidence motion, and voting for the motion of no confidence.

  221. Fran Barlow

    Pablo

    There’s not, IMO, anything to investigate. The incident was classic overreaction by APS. Nor does it seem that Hodges told anyone, and it seemns that if there is an issue, it’s tyhat Gillard’s staff didn’t report Hodge’s admission of his part in the communication flow to Gillard for 24 hours.

    I’m no fan of Gillard, but I find it utterly inconceivable that she would have been involved in such an incident on of all days, Australia Day. This is a day for ‘consensus’ and feel good announcements. She had absolutely no public relations interest in blowing that up.

    Gillard’s real mistake was political — not simply wandering outside to confront the demonstrators, perhaps with a local indigenous person at her side, assuring them that the story about the tent embassy was a beat-up, and reiterating the ‘welcome to country’ that one assumes prefigured the ceremony .

    It should be astonishing that an exercise in hamfisted policing has been characterised by the media, including #theirABC‘s Grattan as ‘a riot or near riot’. Needless to say, George Brandis was right onto that one, wrong as it was.

  222. Mindy

    Can we please move past this meme that ‘Gillard should simply have gone outside’? Her personal security were never going to allow that to happen because if someone, not necessarily connected to the Tent Embassy just someone there on the day, had had a go at her they would have been derelict in their duty. They did exactly what they are paid to do and kept her safe.

  223. Chris

    Fran said:

    I’m no fan of Gillard, but I find it utterly inconceivable that she would have been involved in such an incident on of all days, Australia Day. This is a day for ‘consensus’ and feel good announcements. She had absolutely no public relations interest in blowing that up.

    You have a lot more respect for politicians than I do then! Besides whoever was involved didn’t want it turn out the way it did. They were probably hoping for a bit of heckling from the crowd against Abbott with the spin being it was all his fault anyway for making the comments in the first place. So he’d be the one disrupting Australia day.

    They forgot that Gillard isn’t exactly very popular amongst the tent embassy protesters either and how hard it is to control a crowd.

  224. Ootz

    In relation to the flag burning issue, which I don’t condone btw, how can we take ‘the outrage’ serious when at the same time thousand of visitors trample onto Uluru, some even defecate on it.

    And taking about significant national and cultural symbols under thread, dare I mention Murujuga. Imagine the national uproar if there would be a development consent granted for a highrise development overviewing Stone Henge or an oil refinery ontop of the Lascaux Caves!

    And I already apologise in advance for not being able to express differences in cultural value judgments along the lines of cricket commentary.

  225. Ootz

    And taking talking about …

  226. Fran Barlow

    Mindy said:

    Can we please move past this meme that ‘Gillard should simply have gone outside’? Her personal security were never going to allow that to happen

    Her personal security is at her disposal. They work for her. Yes there was a rough chance it might not have gone brilliantly well, but there was huge potential upside in choosing that moment to posture as someone pouring oil on troubled waters.

    of my remark:

    I find it utterly inconceivable that she would have been involved in such an incident on of all days, Australia Day.

    Chris said:

    You have a lot more respect for politicians than I do then

    Respect has little to do with it. Everyone knows the script, and Gillard repeated it later. However disgusted I am at the regime, its politics isn’t random. There’s a pattern to it. Such a move would have been radically at odds with the government’s preferred organisation for the day. Also, if they had done it, they’d have built in far more layers of deniability. They’d have had some pseudonymous bot use twitter to do it.

  227. Katz

    I’ll wager not only do I not “have” one, but that I’ll never have one.

    You say that like it is a good thing.

    I’m rather proud of my very modest shelf space in the ASIO archives. I got noticed for a minor role in organising opposition to conscription and a stupid war in Vietnam. History proved me right in both instances. And those ASIO records are a permanent, if comically garbled, account of my acuity and commitment despite the hamfisted repressive was of the state and the hysteria of Tory politicians.

    Some older folks may recall that the Billie Sneddon opined that we were “political bikies pack r*ping democracy.”

    I wonder if Billie’s ASIO files accurately record his sexual partner in his fatal knee-trembler.

  228. Chris

    Fran @ 226 – if she’d managed to calm the crowd she would have looked like a hero……. until it came out that her staffer organised it in the first place. But I do think it was the prudent decision not to address the crowd. If for no other reason that you don’t reward protesters who are willing to disrupt an awards ceremony for emergency services workers on Australia day.

    Also, if they had done it, they’d have built in far more layers of deniability. They’d have had some pseudonymous bot use twitter to do it.

    Never underestimate the power of incompetence! Like bragging about it on facebook like Sattler allegedly did :-)

    Ootz @ 224 – hey we eat the animals on our coat of arms!

  229. akn

    “PUT THAT SPEAR AWAY.” Cops tells Aboriginal bloke in the wake of the free ranging Canberra consultation between people and pollies; footage at National Indigenous Times site and pretty typical of what happens on the ground.

    http://www.nit.com.au/

  230. David Irving (no relation)

    Katz, I don’t think our various ASIO records have actually had much impact in later life. (I’m sure I have one, as I was also involved the the conscription and Vietnam protests, and shared a house with a draft-evader the Commonwealth coppers were anxious to interview. I must get around to asking to see it.)

    The thing is, I later spent 26 years in the army, and at one point was cleared to Top Secret. I don’t know how extensive my file is, but I’m sure it had the dust blown off it while I was being cleared.

  231. Fran Barlow

    Chris said:

    if she’d managed to calm the crowd she would have looked like a hero……. until it came out that her staffer organised it in the first place

    .

    That’s just it though — he didn’t organise it in the first place. He advised someone who told someone else of Abbott’s whereabouts. The idea was apparently that if Abbott was at a presser later, someone could call him on it. There’s also no evidence at all that Gillard even knew this was afoot.

    Personally, I think Hodge’s behaviour was ill-advised, but really not all that bad. Politically, Gillard probably had to accept him falling on his sword. Appearance is reality and all that.

    In a more rational world, he’d have got a figurative boot up the rear end and that would have been the end of it. That sort of behaviour however is way beyond this utterly craven lot. If they can’t even defend the worthy things they do, they are scarcely going to stand behind some minor functionary.

  232. Chris

    Fran – Hodges told Sattler who was attending the protest that Abbott was right next door. Doesn’t take a genius to work out what could happen.

  233. faustusnotes

    Fran there’s no upside in Gillard talking to the crowd. She gets filmed doing one fo the following: a) calming them down, b) being assaulted, c) failing to calm them down. Without a very very very good confidence that she was going to achieve c vs. a or b, she’s really staking a huge amount on such an act.

    I also find the idea she set this up as political point-scoring ridiculous. The risk to her if her role in it leaked makes such an act absolutely beyond consideration for even a politician much less cautious than her. That’s not about faith in politicians’ morals: it’s about having faith in their self-interest.

  234. Fran Barlow

    Faustusnotes said:

    Fran there’s no upside in Gillard talking to the crowd. She gets filmed doing one fo the following: a) calming them down, b) being assaulted, c) failing to calm them down.

    Well a) is a clear win; c) makes them look bad and her courageous, but if the security team sneaks Abbott out the back that is even better than a). If Abbott tries to join her, ignoring advice and they heckle him, he looks silly for stirring them up.

    b) would be bad obviously, but the reality was that it was utterly improbable, and even then Gillard gets sympathy. Everyone has to condemn it then. So that’s a qualified win.

    Chris suggested:

    Fran – Hodges told Sattler who was attending the protest that Abbott was right next door. Doesn’t take a genius to work out what could happen.

    You’re either suggesting Hodges was recklessly stupid, or he saw some point in having the crowd disrupt his boss’s event. Neither is credible. I don’t think he foresaw the cops making out the noisy protest was a dangerous situation which would require an undignified exit. I think he thought it might have been handy to get a verbal response to Abbott’s remarks. He failed to consider the APS context.

  235. Chris

    Fran – he could have thought that the crowd would be more civil – eg wait until Abbott was leaving the event rather than disrupt it, as well as expecting it only to be hostile to Abbott, not Gillard.

    faustusnotes – I think that political staffers of all flavours do this sort of thing – attempting to manipulate the sections of the public and media – a lot of the time. So I’d agree that its highly unlikely that Gillard actually directed this, but politicians would know it goes on.

  236. Fran Barlow

    Chris said:

    he could have thought that the crowd would be more civil – eg wait until Abbott was leaving the event rather than disrupt it, as well as expecting it only to be hostile to Abbott, not Gillard.

    So perhaps a genius was required to fathom the consequences after all? Rather than “organising” the disruption as you suggested, the disruption was the result of people deciding for themselves how they’d like to respond, in ways not foreseen by Hodges.

    As noted though, the principal problem was with the behaviour of APS, which was one remove further from the people who got Hodges relayed information. If there is to be an investigation, I’d like APS‘s responses and management of the situation evaluated. What made them think that the situation warranted roughing up the PM on camera? Why are they implying that the crowd posed a clear and present danger to the PM?

  237. akn

    Because there were blackfellas there Fran. Pure panic from the coppers (‘put that spear down’) followed by hysteria from everywhere else.

    I haven’t enjoyed Australia Day so much for years. Looking forward to next year’s with relish. More spears, I say!

  238. Paul Norton

    akn @237, you got it. The reactions last Thursday and since to a boisterous crowd which included a large proportion of Aborigines have been way beyond any reaction I can recall to a comparable protest by (mostly) white people. There’s a word for this sort of thing which starts with the same letter as “reaction”.

  239. Terangeree

    Fran @ 236:

    … and if they thought the crowd posed a ‘clear and present danger’ to the PM, then why did they put the PM in the most vulnerable position to be attacked when leaving the venue?

    From the reports I’ve seen, those people at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy already knew that Abbott was at the event before the news was relayed to them (some of them had seen him through the windows when they went to the cafe next-door to the restaurant to get a take-away coffee).

  240. Fine

    akn and Paul Norton are correct about this. The whole issue being completely obscured here by all the phoney fuss about who-knew-what-when, is the racism which caused this protest and the racism which is the basis of the way its being discussed.

  241. Ootz

    There is a precedent of spearing a leading government official and misunderstanding.

    The First Reconciliation. Can we do it again for the ‘The Lodge’ debacle. With all participants, I am looking at you too Tony, to show the grace and attend. Could you all just sit down and make up in good faith, please. It would be a Nation building gesture and setting the path for the future.

    Show us the real character of leaders in this country today!

  242. akn

    Thanks Paul and Fine. I also think that this incident represents a realignment of symbolic politics whereby the the flag waving jingoes have thoroughly exposed their trashy politics and the shallowness of their Australian values. It has created space for Australians with a greater understanding and knowledge to contest the ground. It’s as if the history wars have slipped their leash and are now being fought out in broader domains.

  243. Chris

    Fran – If it takes a genius to foresee what happened the threshold for genius is pretty low!

    Akn – did you see the video footage of the guy raising his spear over his shoulder like he was getting ready to throw it at the police? I don’t know if it’s the same person you are referring to and I know people do silly things under pressure, but it seemed to be a rather unwise thing to do to police.

  244. akn

    Oh I don’t know Chris. I think the spear carrier was making a direct and sophisticated argument for the validity of traditional law. There isn’t a copper in NSW who couldn’t benefit from a spearing in their fat bums.

  245. Helen
  246. Helen

    And boo to Mr Baillieu. You’re doing it for the votes, Ted, and you know it. As Phil Ingamells said in the first article, your trumped-up “trial” will never pass scientific muster. Mr Burke’s given you an out. Take it with dignity, if you can.

  247. Helen

    Going back to the AFP/Tent Embassy snafu – I loved this letter in the AGE today from Jane Thomas.

    ON AUSTRALIA Day in 2008, an indigenous man, Mr Ward, was arrested in Western Australia and transported 360 kilometres in a prison van with no working airconditioner. With temperatures in the van reaching 50 degrees, he collapsed and died. The WA coroner found that Mr Ward died a “ghastly” death and essentially was “cooked”.

    Did the people who have written letters to newspapers and called talkback radio over the past few days to express outrage over the “violent” demonstrations by Aboriginal people feel equally outraged over what happened to Mr Ward? Did they express that for such an horrendous event to happen on our “national day” was unacceptable? Was it the front page headline in our national papers for three days running?

    I am sick of the fact that so many people in our society are always so much more offended by the protests about social problems than the social problems themselves. Tony Abbott may think we’ve come a long way in 40 years, but many Australians, both indigenous and non-indigenous, would vehemently disagree with him.

  248. Fran Barlow

    Chris observed:

    If it takes a genius to foresee what happened the threshold for genius is pretty low!

    I’m not so sure. Foreseeing the conduct of the APS at the end of the events set in motion by what appears to have been a routine disclosure of non-secret information does call for some lateral thinking. The interpretation of Hodges’ reporting of Abbott’s remarks is obviously key. Reading some reports, they may have been accurate (albeit ambiguous) although if he was unambiguously saying that Abbott favoured coercive removal, then the scope for him to not consider the possibility of a vocal protest seems narrower.

    It seems to me that what was really wrong with Hodges’ action was that this wasn’t on his ‘to do’ list. In normal workplaces, you do only those things that fall within your job description, and much of that as a consequence of some specific mandate. Unless it was his job to ‘stir the possum’ one wonders why he thought it apt to do so. As understand it, he was a junior staffer, mainly concerned with vetting and proofing releases. That he had to come forward and put his hand up suggests that he’d gone off the reservation and decided to have some fun.

  249. Fran Barlow

    Terangeree asked:

    and if they thought the crowd posed a ‘clear and present danger’ to the PM, then why did they put the PM in the most vulnerable position to be attacked when leaving the venue?

    Precisely. You get some cops to come down and settle down or move on those making a noise — which is really all they were doing. The ceremony then goes on.

  250. Chris

    Fran @ 248 said:

    It seems to me that what was really wrong with Hodges’ action was that this wasn’t on his ‘to do’ list. In normal workplaces, you do only those things that fall within your job description, and much of that as a consequence of some specific mandate. Unless it was his job to ‘stir the possum’ one wonders why he thought it apt to do so.

    Also on his “to do” list would have been “don’t get caught”. Failed badly in that regard!

    Helen @ 247 – Look over there! That’s much worse! And it was. But its also standard spin methodology used to distract.

    There’s little doubt that a coalition staffer will be caught doing similarly embarrassing stuff in the future. I wonder if people here who have defended Hodges and Gillard will be as forgiving towards them and the MP they work for?

  251. Fran Barlow

    Chris said:

    Also on his “to do” list would have been “don’t get caught”. Failed badly in that regard!

    Asserts facts not in evidence. Nobody has shown that he wasn’t acting on his own initiative. You don’t know what his to do list was. If you do have something more than speculation, you should cite it.

  252. Chris

    Asserts facts not in evidence. Nobody has shown that he wasn’t acting on his own initiative.

    Huh. Something like that won’t come out for years (if ever). Its not like this sort of thing in politics is ever written down unless someone is spectacularly stupid. And people who take the fall for their boss are looked after. Have a look in 6 months to a year and see where Hodges is working.

    It is speculation, but given past history of what staffers get up to, either MPs have a lot of trouble getting employees to stick to their “to do list” or they get up to a lot of stuff with the tacit but plausible deniability of their employers. Only occasionally do they get caught.

  253. Quoll

    SATP – So how does one get to be the subject of an Asio file?

    You don’t think in this digital age anyone who posts comments and engages with others on a blog providing pretty open critical debate on a whole array of political, economic and social events or issues would be of interest? Particularly when contentious issues and commentary of security services themselves might be covered?
    Particularly if so many of those others hanging around have form, err, files?
    It’s not what you know, it’s who you know and associate with. Facts about your opinion, motivation or circumstance for being there really don’t seem to matter a lot of the time.

    What does it take to archive and search a public forum for comment and personal information these days? Cross reference with other data, map relationships? Become a friend on facebook? or follow on twitter?
    What does it take to keep a folder on almost anyone? (it’s Mb not paper pages these days I’d guess)
    In a surveilance state everyone has a file on them, somewhere.
    Google and no doubt others are doing much the archiving already.

  254. David Irving (no relation)

    So SATP has an ASIO file courtesy of LP, Quoll? Sweet!

  255. Fran Barlow

    Chris said:

    Have a look in 6 months to a year and see where Hodges is working.

    How’s Godwin Grech doing right now?

  256. Chris

    Fran @ 255 –

    How’s Godwin Grech doing right now?

    No idea. The press seem to have finally left him alone after he resigned (surprisingly pleasant!). Not sure how its really relevant though – he wasn’t a staffer, though apparently he wanted to be. And I wonder if he has anything on the libs that isn’t already in public.

  257. Fran Barlow

    So basically Chris, you have nothing but baseless speculation? That’s pretty sad. You should stop. You’re not as silly as you have presented in the posts above.

    If some actual evidence buttressing your fancy arises, by all means let’s hear it.

  258. Ootz

    I have been reflecting and rereading this thread, had a few thoughts which I very much would like to share. I will use some of your contributions above to put some light on issues which I consider extremely important in order to enable common pathways to ‘move forward’ together. Please do not take it personal if I use your comment as an example to illustrate the complexity of the wilderness that stops reconciliation with our past and gain integrity as a Nation.

    Wantok@81

    The trouble with aboriginal issues is that everyone on the aboriginal side is determined to keep looking backwards for validation and refusing to look forward for inspiration; …

    Wantok, given our close proximity in location, I can assure you within short driving distance there is more than a handful of places where, lead by state sanctioned para military troops, large scale killings have occurred. I’ll give you some hints, Skull Pocket, Bones Knob, Skeleton Creek; checkp 217 here. I hate to ‘rate’ these sorry events, but it is easy to imagine, they individually would have had an impact to the people in the Nation on the receiving end as the Port Arthur massacre had in more recent years. There are primary sources of horrendous eyewitness accounts of these massacres and also examples of how these events are still in living memory within the community here in the district. I know of an Elder who has been told by his great uncle of how he saw with his own eyes, as a boy hiding away, how his people were caught, chained and marched to a killing field, placed in lines of men, women and children. The adults were shot, the children got their skull smashed in. Some of the illegal poisonings and mass killings that went on just in this region were akin to the Bali bombing in psychological impact. Across the G. Divide in the Herberton District, the Mbabaram Nation (akin to a small European Country, with its own unique language) vanished without a trace. Closer to Cairns, People of the different language groups of Bama Nation, have survived, Djabugay is taught at school. Most of them could tell you detailed stories that have been passed on if you demonstrate good faith and sincerity.

    Now I put it to you, in view of ‘Lest We Forget’ and the annual remembrance of it in each township and city, as well as on the shores of Gallipoli; where can the Murris lay their ghosts to rest and why are we not participating in it to acknowledge the broader legacy these events have left. To learn, progress and ‘move on’ with much more ethical integrity and cultural richness as a nation – together we have nothing to loose and much to gain.

    Get to know your local history, warts and all, it is still there lurking, acknowledge it, celebrate and honour it. The history of each district and state is different in many ways and leaves therefore different legacies in the indigenous communities, that is why there is no silver bullet to resolve the Aboriginal issue. More of that perhaps later.

    Apologies for the long post, difficult to squeeze it all into 500 words. Also as my energy levels are dropping again(health wise), there might be the odd slip due to my ‘sluggish brain’. Please, do tell me if I should give it a rest.

    ‘Garu’ Ootz

  259. akn

    No apologies necessary Ootz and no evidence of ‘sluggish brain’. To build on your discussion of the recency and depth of the trauma of violent dispossession I’d add that every suspicious death in custody, every bashing by the copers, every unredressed murder by a whitefella goes immediately to restimulus of trauma. Each contemporary assault is also a political message delivered to blackfellas that what happened in the past can happen again.

    Addressing this by finding out local history is a simple method that brings the issues home. I’m doing that in my neck of the woods and can name Blacks Camp Creek, Hungry Head and Mt Purgatory as sites where Aboriginals lived. I’ve been in touch with two local Aboriginal groups with a view to doing some research and have received a warm welcome from both.

  260. Ootz

    Actually it was ‘foggy brain’, that is how the specialist called the well recognised symptom. But what is in a word – which brings me back to genocide.

    I tend to agree with Tony Barta in his review of one of Dirk Moses’ work, an eminent scholar on the topic. Focus on the issues is more important than agreement..

    I think it was Raymond Evans more than anyone, that lined up all the evidence with primary sources for the Queensland case. The issuing and selling of land titles to fill the coffers. The establishment of the ‘Native Mounted Police’ paramilitary forces. The arming thereof with shipments of 1000 breach loading Snyder guns and 500 000 round of ammunition, of which the Colonial Office was aware that it was not intended for rabbit shooting, but nevertheless approved and supplied the fledgling colony. The official accounts of directing the campaigns, the reports back thereof and much more such as, the fact that leaders of these troops later being promoted into local magistrate positions, hence in a capacity to stifle any claims of wrongful killings, etc etc. Put it this way, it is pretty clear where the verdict would come down, were Geoffrey Robertson to run a ‘Hypothetical’ on the case. But what to make of it? More, what to make of the silence on it? What does it say about us as a Nation haggling over ‘the truth’ whether systematic wholesale slaughter with criminal intent were conducted, when there is oodles of evidence if one dares to look? What is it, guilt, a conspiracy of silence, collective amnesia or a collective blindspot that hollows out the foundation of the Australian Nation?

    There is much to gain in questioning what is in a word like genocide. To face it squarely, in the Australian context, allows us to identify and explore it’s issues at length and breath to alevel they deserve. However, given its delicate and emotionally laden nature, it needs to be addressed with compassion for all involved at the time. For example, to ‘move on’ on this issue would also deny the many voices at the time which recognised and decried the inhumanity of the proceedings. Should we not recognise the capacity within us and honour it? In contrast, should we not look at the tragic role of the ‘Black Trooper’, not to shift the blame, but to recognise that all humans are capable of committing heinous acts in certain circumstances and situations. Should we not investigate the role of the establishment eg. political leadership, media, et al. and the common aspirations in the whole sordid affair, so we may avoid falling into that particular heinous trap again? Thus it would appear, once we go past the ghosts of ‘the word’ itself and unpack it, it is almost impossible to put the stuffing back into it again. Searching together a new place/word/deed for all that ‘stuffing’ to honour therein maybe an excellent opportunity for a Nation building exercise.

    Once again, apologies for the length of the comment. As it is, it feels that I did not do the delicate topic justice and recognise that this could cause some grieve. I may add the disclaimer, I am not a professional historian, thus encourage everyone to do their own research on the historical details mentioned above, it is easier than you may think.

  261. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    No problem at all with your comments, Ootz. They deserve wider dissemination. We have minature Babi Yars up and down the land.

    Alas, we live in an Australia where – if you are indigenous or not directly involved – it is too easy to remain ignorant of such things. Those who are aware self-select to become aware.

  262. Ootz

    Thanks, one can never be too sure Down and Out. Few weeks ago I did upset sisters over on the WeekWhim thread something terrible, cos of one of my mental radar failures!

    Interesting your observation above, “.. – it is too easy to remain ignorant of such things.”Raymond Evans believes it was the education that held him back. There might be many reasons. What do others think what held them back or what enabled them to ” ….. self-select to become aware.”

  263. Eric Sykes

    Ootz, thanks very much, great links.

  264. Ootz

    Archibald Meston, a Queenslander of note, past Editor of The Cairns Post and Townsville Herald, represented Rosewood in the Queensland Legislative Assembly and prolific writer. He wrote the following on 4. October 1890, p.654. in The Queenslander

    The records of those unhappy years are unspeakably ghastly in their accounts of murders of white men and slaughter of the blacks. The whites were killed in dozens, the blacks in hundreds. The history of the early blacks can advantageously be consigned to the same speedy and merciful oblivion that ought to hide for ever the convict period of this colony.

  265. jumpy

    I would be amazed if anyone here has an entire family tree that all died of old age. My focus is on my childrens future,I choose not to fill their heads with tails of ancestors foul unjust deaths and give them targets to hate, that’s counterproductive and unhealthy. I have at least 4 racial bloodlines (all whitish ) in me ( back only 4 generations) and they all have terrible stories to tell if I go back far enough.
    The ” moving forward ” is easy,we do that every day, it’s the “looking forward” that’s important to navigate the best way.
    Very dangerous if your stuck only looking over the stern.

  266. tigtog

    The only people in seven known generations worth of my father’s family tree who didn’t die of old age died from disease (infectious, chronic or malignant), motor vehicle crashes, and in one case from a shell on the Somme. My mother’s family tree is not so well documented, but what I do know records premature deaths from disease and crashes only there as well.

    My family has been bloody lucky. I’m not so insensitive as to tell other families who haven’t been so lucky that they shouldn’t make a principle of remembering their lost ones and their tragedies, or warning their children of what might happen to them just because they look different, or engaging in activism for recognition of protections that failed to be given when they should have been.

  267. Ootz

    In a review of Associate Professor Tony Taylor’s Book Denial: History Betrayed

    Denial is also now a major online industry: hate/denial/conspiracy sites have proliferated in the past ten years, a development complicated by new technological developments such as blogging, the strategic diversion of readers from apparently legitimate sites to racist sites, and the jamming of mainstream sites with denial messages.

    Many of those involved in debates about denial take the view that it is a legitimate alternative set of opinions about the past, rather than a politically and/or racially motivated distortion of events. Or, they believe that, notwithstanding the loopy parts, deniers have something valuable to say. Denial challenges that view.

  268. Mercurius

    @265…err, OK this needs fisking…

    Let’s calibrate the BS checklist and see how we go…

    I would be amazed if anyone here has an entire family tree that all died of old age.

    An unattainable, unrealistic and irrelevant standard…check.

    My focus is on my childrens future…

    Unfair and unjust implication that Other People’s focus is not on their children’s future…check.

    I choose not to fill their heads with tails of ancestors foul unjust deaths and give them targets to hate, that’s counterproductive and unhealthy.

    …unfair and unjust assumption that this is what Other People ‘choose’ to do…check.

    I have at least 4 racial bloodlines (all whitish ) in me ( back only 4 generations) and they all have terrible stories to tell if I go back far enough.

    Me, me, me, is there an echo in here? …check.

    The ” moving forward ” is easy, we do that every day…

    Classic solipsist assumption that because it’s ‘easy’ for me, the easiness is universal and applicable to everybody, and an objective property of the phenomenon…check.

    …it’s the “looking forward” that’s important to navigate the best way.

    More unfair and unjust assumptions that Other People aren’t also attempting to navigate in the same way…check.

    Very dangerous if your (sic) stuck only looking over the stern.

    Or, in your case, up it.

  269. Ootz

    From the good man himself

    A composite picture now begins to emerge of deniers as individuals or groups who, in making false claims, frequently display behaviour and opinions consistent with deep-seated prejudice, including: belief in the wickedness of others, the infallibility of the self and the supremacy of right-minded authority; vindictive attacks on supporters of opposing points of view; obsessive fear, to the point of neuroticism, of attack, while attacking others; stubborn refusal to believe widely accepted rational explanations for past events; defence of their position through actions that, at worst, may include violence, and, at least, may include a vexatious form of litigation; re-emphasis on the strength of their beliefs while rationalising away rebuttals in order to cope with contradictions in their own convictions; and overweening egotism combined with an inability to see themselves as others see them.

    In Denial : History Betrayed (2008) Associate Professor Tony Taylor is Director of the National Centre for History Education at Monash University.

  270. Ootz

    Btw Jumpy, how is that recycling sewerage system of yours going that the two of us discussed whileback.

  271. jumpy

    My mother’s family tree is not so well documented,

    As is, all too often, the case.The fashionable demise of registered marriages( except with gays) will only compound the problem.

    Good luck to a family tree enthusiasts in 40 years two generations.

  272. jumpy

    Ootz,@270, still on the drawing board. Can’t find anything better than my Polish friends method( stick a 75mm pvc pipe into the septic tank, cap, withdraw, release on fruit trees, once a year) would like any better suggestions though.

  273. Mercurius

    @271 Oh gawd, the bilge just keeps coming.

    Of course a documented family tree based on registered marriages may bear little resemblance to the actual family tree, in pre-DNA testing generations…

    Not to mention the fact that there’s an awful lot of DENIAL of people’s actual ancestry…like the number of rather beautiful people around my neck of the woods who have very “olive” skin and very “distinctive” features, but oh, no, not a drop of Aboriginal blood in them, oh, no, sir, jet-black frizzy hair and caramel complexion are well-known Scottish traits…

  274. Ootz

    I’d suggest you do something pronto about that lingering stench, or are you going to tell me you can’t smell either?

  275. jumpy

    Ootz , Manure is manure, got something against humans?

    BTW ,how’s the chooks?

  276. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    I actually know my mother’s side fairly well: Quebecois Irish, settlers of the Gatineau valley, north of Ottawa. But that’s because a lot of her relatives are deadly serious about their genealogy, and most of the relatives kept in touch with each other (more or less). They commissioned a big honking leather-bound family tree that goes back to the mid-1800s.

    One question that never seems to come up in this geneaology: who settled the Gatineau before the Irish? The French? The Cree? The Algonquin? I might ask my mum when I see her on Saturday. It’s not only Australia that plays the forgetting game.

    But generally Canada is better on indigenous issues than here. It doesn’t stop it coming up with a few Teresa Gambaros of its own.

  277. Lefty E

    QANTAS announces ‘carbon tax surcharge’. No mention of the fact the carbon price means they now WONT pay surcharges for all flights to Europe

  278. tigtog

    tigtog: My mother’s family tree is not so well documented,

    jumpy: As is, all too often, the case.The fashionable demise of registered marriages( except with gays) will only compound the problem.

    Good luck to a family tree enthusiasts in 40 years two generations.

    Wow, it’s rarely that I’m gobsmacked, but this takes the biscuit. My mother’s 4 generations of documented genealogy actually matches very well with what you claimed for your own family, it just doesn’t quite match up to my father’s 7 documented generations (which is down to enthusiasts of the pre-internet era, as it happens). Oh wow, my mother’s family are apparently such a bunch of sluts, thank you so very much. Do you even think for half a second before engaging shock-jock culture warrior talking points? I was starting to think there was some hope for you, obviously I was mistaken.

    Besides, given modern systems for the registration of births, deaths and marriages? Marriages are entirely irrelevant for genealogy (not so much for inheritance).

  279. furious balancing

    Ootz, I really admire your posts here. Thanks.

  280. Mercurius

    @278, yup fb, seconded and thirded…

    Do you even think for half a second before engaging shock-jock culture warrior talking points?

    Of course he dunnent. The interest in recycling sewage and sexist/racist/homophobic talking points is synergistic. Which end they come out of is interchangeable…

    DNA testing is all the genealogists now and in the future will require, and if they’re serious, would insist upon! And it will make all that paper-chasing look very quaint…not to mention riddled with errors and omissions, both deliberate and, er…accidental.

    Family trees are a bit like history in general…written by the victors.

  281. Ootz

    Some humble acknowledgements. I’d like to thank the resilience and fortitude of my maternal ancestors, who were persecuted and driven of their land around two centuries ago in Europe. I’d like to pay tribute to my paternal ancestor Ootz, who 12 centuries ago was noted for his wit and skills. Foremost, I am in debt to the Bama Bulmba who lend me the voice of the timeless landscape on which I pitched my camp, as well as to Dr Timothy Bottoms for his insights and meticulous research.

  282. Helen

    Oi! Paging Chris Wallace! When is Breakfast Politics starting up again?

    Having gone back to work, I’m hearing the Toxic Twins Fran Kelly and Michelle Grattan in the morning again. How I missed them. Not.

  283. Fine

    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/animals/animal-activist-rescues-dog-from-illegal-abattoir-20120202-1qvpc.html

    What the hell is wrong with people and why won’t we take animal cruelty seriously?

  284. Chris

    DNA testing is all the genealogists now and in the future will require, and if they’re serious, would insist upon! And it will make all that paper-chasing look very quaint…not to mention riddled with errors and omissions, both deliberate and, er…accidental.

    Might be worth the government considering adding areas on a birth certificate for genetic mother/father as well as the parents that can only be filled out with a genetic test. Perhaps not public until the child turns 18, but its getting more important these days and the child has a right to know about this sort of thing for health reasons.

  285. Eric Sykes

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-01/young-abbott-misses-the-point-of-ndis/3804576

    On Abbott and the NDIS, excellent article, well worth the effort.

    “The thing is, Mr Abbott, fixing the broken disability system we have in this country isn’t like saving all your pocket money until you could finally afford that CD player you desperately wanted when you were 12. It’s not a luxury item that we can simply do without until there’s some spare cash floating around.”

  286. Helen

    Fine
    Heartbreaking picture of that lovely girl in such an inadequately sized cage. Deborah Tranter should get an AO.

    (SOTBO: Concern for non-human lives and suffering does not mean I don’t care about human suffering, just in case someone was going to helpfully point that out.)

  287. asrian

    Very good Mecurius @ 268, but you missed a particularly good ‘sic’: I choose not to fill their heads with tails of ancestors

    No doubt a wise decision.

  288. Fine

    Deborah Tranter is certainly an amazing person. And yes to your second paragraph.

  289. Chris

    Wow, the SMH seems to be running a lot of stories about Gillard’s leadership at the moment. More than even the Australian does.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/gillard-backers-fear-seismic-shift-in-support-for-pm-20120203-1qw8m.html

    Someone there must be annoyed at her!

  290. akn

    Yes, well said Ootz on the necessity of facing the truth for a life lived without that is worthless. Anyone wanting to pursue the massacres and small scale killings and murders that accompanied the dispossession around Australia couldn’t do better than Monticone, Judith. Healing the Land. Vol 1. Judith Monticone 1999 (out of print, not available online but widely held in libraries). The author, a Christian, states that she knew next to nothing about the real history prior to 1988. After that, the more she read the more she became determined to record the facts. The result is a meticulously prepared record of killings all over Australia with a citation for each incident. Impeccable research from a non-historian.

    One record pertinent to my own region shows that two local tribes decided to kill “the bad whites”, ie, those who had been doing the casual killings. They went to huts and homesteads demanding the killers by name; if present, they were killed; if not present those doling out justice left others present at the time unharmed.

    Reports like this are numerous in the 500 odd pages of this book. These accounts contrast starkly with the Hills Hoist version of Australian history in which the First Nations peoples gave Australia away because they realised they hadn’t made very good use of it, Dame Daisy Bates was a nice person and the state agencies that stole the kids just made a mistake.

  291. adrian

    Speaking of sics, apologies for spelling your name incorrectly, but then I can’t even get my own right today.

    Yes, well said Ootz.

  292. Mercurius

    @283 — yes good point Chris, the right to know genetic parentage is especially important for health reasons. Even if the identity(ies) remain concealed (eg. in donation or adoption scenarios), the child still needs access to information about true family medical histories and genetic predispositions — and society as a whole benefits from the preventative health dividends.

    Shouldn’t be controversial, unless you happen to believe that adults aren’t responsible for what becomes of their gametes…

  293. Fran Barlow

    Helen said:

    Concern for non-human lives and suffering does not mean I don’t care about human suffering, (just in case someone was going to helpfully point that out.)

    I regard a consistent concern for non-human lives and suffering as very likely to predict a concern for human well-being, and in any event, rather more likely to predict it than the reverse. Moreover, those with an express indifference for the well-being of animals are not the sort of people from whom one expects concern for the well-being of humans.

  294. Katz

    Fruit for the sideboard for family law professionals.