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Pearson on Nowra “Facing cultural reality”

Aboriginal custom entrenched a male gerontocracy. Women were commonly treated as though they were chattels and could be lent out in sexual servitude to strangers in exchange for trade goods or to help settle a dispute. Sometimes young girls were offered to white men in payment for food, blankets or axes. Nowra quotes A.W. Howitt on the gang rape of young girls, typified by orgiastic scenes, sometimes including their fathers. He also cites Joan Kim’s finding that “the sexual use of young girls by older men, indeed much older men, was an intrinsic part of Aboriginal culture and is a heritage that cannot be denied”. Nowra is admirably straightforward about traditionally sanctioned sexual relations between men and boys, another taboo subject for most anthropologists. He notes boy-wives in some tribes and the widespread evidence of pederasty. Along with Fred Hollows, he touches on homosexual activity, casual and otherwise, in historic as well as contemporary rituals of initiation. He also remarks on the many gay Aboriginal men in present-day Australia and tells the story of an Aboriginal drag queen he says he became close to after leaving university. “He told me that he had been molested by his father and two brothers when he was young. At the time it seemed far-fetched to me. But it sparked an interest in Aborigines and their cultural conflicts with white society.”(source)

This passage from Christopher Pearson’s column in today’s Australian is of course discussing Louis Nowra new Book which I shall be ordering form my faithful local library as soon as it becomes available.  Every thing that I have seen about Nowra’s work suggests that it is the no bullshit appraisal of the situation that is needed. For far too long it has been forbidden to say the truth about this situation. Thanks to brave souls like Nanette Rodgers and Louis Nowra the pustule of this disgrace may finally be lanced and the young indigenous people may get the same chance at a future that  every Australian is entitled to expect. It is not just a matter of throwing more money at the problem, endless amounts of money has been thrown at it over the years with no improvement.

 The resolve has to be found WITHIN indigenous community to denounce the abusers and to try and break the vicious cycle that sees abused children grow up to become abusers themselves.

Australian Apartheid ?

The importance of Bad Dreaming lies in its documentation of shameful abuses that the perpetrators and their lawyers and other apologists have been able to cover up for decades. One of the strongest arguments Nowra mounts is that the permit system – which excludes journalists, among others, from visiting isolated settlements where women and children often lead lives of quiet desperation – should be abolished.

“The permit system, although useful for protecting sacred sites, is also used to keep dark secrets of domestic violence and sexual abuse from being publicised,” he writes. “People should not be prevented from accessing what are essentially public townships, accessed by public roads.”(source)

Surely the time has come to remove this pernicious Permit system because if there was some justification for it in the past it certainly has well and truly exceeded its use by date in 2007.
Where as the left were as happy to denounce the institutionalised racism of Pre Mandela South Africa as I have been, they have been particularly reticent to denounce the virtual apartheid that we have had here. In fact many “progressives” have actively defended the permit system, hopefully they have done so from a position of ignorance of the abuses , because if they have done so knowing of the abuses that the system has helped hide they would be complicit in a despicable litany of crimes. But since when have the left been backwards about coming forward to support some rather dodgy causes?

Fruit and Veg

It is part of my job in our domestic arrangement to buy the Fruit and Veg. I try very hard to get both quality and value. Fortunately I have found a very good supplier who always comes up to the mark in quality and in price. As a rule I buy what is in season and I avoid any fruit that is not “Produce of Australia”. It has long been my belief that the people who pay a premium for “organic Produce ” are just nuts .and now it seems that the science agrees with my long held belief according to this report. Surely when it comes to produce the best strategy is to buy what is local, fresh and in season.
Perhaps we are loosing some of that delight that we find when a new season for a particular fruit with so much that is freighted around the world to be available when local produce is out of season.

I wonder how many devoted Greenies think about the energy cost, and the CO2 emissions as they buy Garlic from China or oranges from California? And I wonder how many of them are foolish enough to pay more for “organic” produce…

British Airways sat corpse in first class

Besides the risk of air crashes, Islamic terrorists and Deep Vein thrombosis it seems that we also have the risk of being vividly reminded of our mortality and the nature of grief as this story from the Times reminds us.
Would I be too cruel if I were to suggest that travelers in first class are more in need of reminding than the plebs in economy?

A BRITISH Airways passenger travelling first class has described how he woke up on a long-haul flight to find that cabin crew had placed a corpse in his row.

The body of a woman in her seventies, who died after the plane left Delhi for Heathrow, was carried by cabin staff from economy to first class, where there was more space. Her body was propped up in a seat, using pillows.

The woman’s daughter accompanied the corpse, and spent the rest of the journey wailing in grief.

Paul Trinder, who awoke to see the body at the end of his row, last week described the journey as “deeply disturbing”, and complained that the airline dismissed his concerns by telling him to “get over it”.

“It was a complete mess — they seemed to have no proper plans in place to deal with the situation,” said Trinder, 54, a businessman from Brackley, Northamptonshire.

The woman died during a nine-hour flight on a Boeing 747. Trinder was catching up on sleep when he was woken by a commotion and opened his eyes to see staff manoeuvring the body into a seat.

“I didn’t have a clue what was going on. The stewards just plonked the body down without saying a thing. I remember looking at this frail, sparrow-like woman and thinking she was very ill,” said Trinder.

“She kept slipping under the seatbelt and moving about with the motion of the plane. When I asked what was going on I was shocked to hear she was dead.”(source)

Sun mission shows turbulent magnetic field

This piece in the OZ should be brought to the attention of al AGW true believers because it suggests to me that the sun is much more dynamic and variable in it output of energy and that it is study of our star that may hold more answers about our planets climate than puny computer models based on inadequate data and faulty premises.

  • March 22, 2007

X-ray images taken from a new international spacecraft show that the Sun’s magnetic field is much more turbulent than scientists knew.

Nasa said scientists saw twisting plumes of gas rising from the Sun’s corona and reacting with the star’s magnetic field, a process that releases energy and may power solar storms and coronal mass ejections, which in turn affect the Earth.

A turbulent magnetic field would, in theory, generate more energy than a steady-state field.

“Theorists suggested that twisted, tangled magnetic fields might exist,” Leon Golub, senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, said.

“With the X-Ray Telescope, we can see them clearly for the first time.”(source)

Air dancing, a cure for evil?

SADDAM Hussein’s former deputy was hanged today.Iraqi authorities hanged former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan for crimes against humanity, an official in the Prime Minister’s office said.(source)

Well at least they don’t re-offend…

New Deronda Sports Car Coming to the States

This page is worth checking out if you think that less is more when it comes to the weight of a sports car . Clearly this is an ongoing trend that appeals to the minimalist in us all.

The make up of the Deronda is quite impressive. A steel tubular space frame is at the center of it all with double side impact bars, a front crash structure and rear crash bars. For safety the car has double longitudinally braced rollover hoops, a foam filled gas tank, an external master cutoff switch, and an onboard fire suppression system. Suspension duties are handled by a double wishbone suspension that sports fully adjustable Ohlin springs and dampers. Power for the car comes from an Audi sourced 1.8 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that delivers 250 brake horsepower and 300 pound feet of torque. The Deronda also comes with massive brakes, light weight wheels, performance tires and a fully adjustable pedal box to help tailor the car the specific needs of different sized customers.(source)

“Sun’s pulses point to drenching rain”

The alternative to carbon dioxide as the determining factor for long term trends in our climate postulated in “The Great Global warming Swindle” is variations in the sun’s magnetic field and sunspot activity this article in the OZ discusses research that shows a correlation between variations in the magnetic field of the sun and Southern oscillation index. which is credited with being the engine of the drought and flood cycle in this country.

Robert Baker, from the University of New England, claims to have found a strong relationship between the rhythmic pulsing of the sun’s magnetic field and weather systems, particularly in the southern hemisphere.

The sun’s magnetic emissions are known to peak every 11 years, a phenomenon demonstrated by increased sunspot activity. The sun also switches poles every 11 years. It last flipped in 2001.

Associate Professor Baker said modelling of the sun’s magnetic activity showed high rainfall during times of high activity and drought when the sun was stable.

This suggested the fluctuations impacted on the upper atmosphere, which was in turn reflected in changes in the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), the measure of air pressure over the Pacific Ocean used as a reliable indicator of drought and flood.

Dr Baker said the most intense droughts in eastern Australia, including the Federation drought, tended to occur every 22 years, about a year after the southern pole of the sun flipped and became positively charged. (source)

Dr Baker had better watch out the Green true believers will soon be denouncing him as a heretic if he says things like this; clearly suggesting that it is the sun and not minute changes in the gas profile of our atmosphere that drive long term climate trends.

“The sun drives the whole system,” he said. “There is a natural impact that the sun has in terms of weather patterns maybe over a century.”

Dr Baker said the sun appeared to follow a longer-term magnetic cycle of about 80 years, meaning it might be possible to predict floods and droughts for the next 30 years based on historical records from the mid-1920s.

Dr Baker said the SOI was currently following a similar pattern to that recorded after 1924 when eastern Australia enjoyed heavy falls after a period of prolonged drought.

Dr Baker’s model puts a more scientific and transparent theory to the concepts first developed by long-range weather forecasters Lennox Walker and Inigo Jones.

It also suggests there may be a longer 500-year solar cycle, which may help explain climate variability over the past centuries, including periods of unexplained climate variability such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age (source)

Food for thought about what is (if you can pardon the intended pun) the hot issue of our time.

Good News; Petrol sniffing in serious decline

There are not enough good news stories about the substance abuse by indigenous people in the outback, but I think the very substantial decline in the sniffing of petrol is one that we can all celebrate .Of all of the way’s to get of your face, sniffing hydrocarbon solvents like petrol is worse than  Ice or meth amphetamine(which is ver bad indeed)    because of the irreparable damage it does to the brains of sniffers.

But this is not a case of “job over” but one of a very good start. Other substances like Alcohol and Cannabis will be much harder though because for mainstream Australia both of these drugs are largely considered acceptable in moderation and there can be no roll out of grog or ganja that won’t get you high. It is with these intoxicants that work has to be done on developing a culture of moderation and a social context that sees the aim of a drink (or what ever) is to mellow out rather than getting totally shit faced…

The near-elimination of petrol sniffing is a great achievementAUSTRALIA’s remote indigenous communities too often make headlines for all the wrong reasons: alcohol abuse, bashings and murders, the misapplication of tribal law to protect sexual predators, and the all-too-frequent failure of authorities to provide the same protections to Aborigines as are taken for granted in the rest of the country. But amid the horror stories there are causes for hope. Take petrol sniffing, once the scourge of many outback Aboriginal communities. As The Weekend Australian exclusively reported, this epidemic has all but ceased to exist in much of central Australia. A combination of community action and Opal fuel, which has fewer aromatics and is therefore much more difficult to get a high from by sniffing, have delivered a one-two punch to an epidemic that only a few years ago left some young Aborigines so debilitated they spent their days being pushed around in wheelchairs and shopping trolleys sucking fuel from parked cars. Things were so bad that in 2005, Northern Territory coroner Greg Cavanagh had to interrupt a bush hearing at Mutitjulu near Uluru into the deaths of three petrol sniffers the previous year when a young man present was found to be sniffing from a can hidden in his shirt. Now, with the BP-designed non-sniffable petrol being pumped around central Australia, thanks in part to a $42 million grant from the federal Government, the problem has largely abated. Today social workers and community leaders estimate there are just 20 petrol sniffers left in central Australia above the Northern Territory border, compared with about 600 a year and a half ago. In some indigenous communities south of the border, petrol sniffing is estimated to have fallen by 60 per cent.


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