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Monday Message Board

March 17th, 2008

It’s time once again for the Monday Message Board. Please post your thoughts on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language, please.

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  1. observa
    March 17th, 2008 at 08:53 | #1

    “I was put in a mission dormitory when I was eight, nine. I cried for two nights, then I was right with the rest of those kids. We weren’t stolen; our family was there. It was a good system. Or a better system than now. At least my generation learnt to read and write properly.”

    Read all about it in the right wing denialist media naturally
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/remove-children-plea-at-aurukun/2008/03/13/1205126111240.html

  2. Peter Wood
    March 17th, 2008 at 10:54 | #2

    The Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN) has made a submission to the Garnaut Review. The role that AIGN has played in undermining good climate change policy is described in considerable detail in Guy Pearse’s book ‘High and Dry’.

    http://aign.net.au/file_download/776/AIGN+Garnaut+Review+Submission_March.pdf

    Many of its recommendations would undermine the fairness, effectiveness, and environmental integrity of an emissions trading scheme. Some of the more inappropriate recommendations include:

    • Until a framework is adopted covering Australia’s major trade competitors in emission intensive industry, the budget or cap would be set exclusive of trade exposed emissions intensive new projects;
    • The value of permits (and offset credits) issued by the Government would be fully underwritten by the ‘just terms’ compensation provisions of the Constitution to support strong property rights;
    • Once-and-for-all allocation of permits to compensate strongly affected assets for the disproportionate loss in values that many firms will suffer upon the introduction of the emissions trading scheme;

    Unsurprisingly, the AIGN is concerned about an Australian target of 60% of 2000 emissions by 2050 with a ‘sweetener’ of 90% as an inducement for a global agreement. The AIGN is also concerned about the “proposed per capita approach to target setting”. The AIGN is also concerned that “shareholders in some assets will bear losses disproportionate to others”.

  3. O6
    March 17th, 2008 at 13:08 | #3

    If the Sydney and the Kormoran have really been found, should they be kept untouched as war graves? This is my view as a son of one of the 645 men killed on the Sydney, but I don’t know what the commentariat thinks.

  4. March 17th, 2008 at 14:29 | #4

    it appears that polar bears will live in zoos soon, like tigers. they get an upside, don’t have to walk so far for dinner, and a downside- probably required to balance rubber balls on their noses like the seals in the next enclosure.

    there’s gonna be too much water by the seaside soon, and not enough in mountain rivers.

    capitalism and oligarchy have got us here, i wonder what will get us out? or should there be an ‘if’ in that sentence.

  5. gianni
    March 17th, 2008 at 15:18 | #5

    If the Sydney and the Kormoran have really been found, should they be kept untouched as war graves? This is my view as a son of one of the 645 men killed on the Sydney, but I don’t know what the commentariat thinks.

    It’s also the view of Kevin Rudd as he (repeatedly) stated in an interview I heard on “The World Today”.

    I’ve not read nor heard anyone suggest that the Sydney and Kormoran should be treated as anything other than war graves.

  6. SJ
    March 17th, 2008 at 16:26 | #6

    John

    Any response to Ross Gittin’s column?

    YOU don’t have to be very bright to pick holes in the arguments Morris Iemma and Michael Costa have been using to sell their plan to privatise electricity.

    But it seems you have to be wiser than some of our brightest economists to comprehend the deeper issues involved…

    arious economists, including Professor John Quiggin of Queensland University and Dr Nicholas Gruen of Lateral Economics, lost no time in blowing these arguments out of the water.

    The NSW Government has surprisingly low levels of debt, they say. Provided the looming electricity investments are likely to be beneficial, there’s no reason the state shouldn’t borrow to finance them…

    Well, yes, of course. But it doesn’t seem to have occurred to my learned friends that they’ve been busy demolishing a straw man. They may be economic geniuses, but they have more to learn about the politics of economics….

  7. Tony G
    March 17th, 2008 at 16:31 | #7

    “It was a good system. Or a better system than now. At least my generation learnt to read and write properly.”

    Someone should ‘APOLOGISE’ for letting this generation of aborigines down.

  8. SJ
    March 17th, 2008 at 16:54 | #8

    Nick’s response to Ross Gittins is here.

  9. MH
    March 17th, 2008 at 17:01 | #9

    Anyone noticed that as the $US goes down the world price of oil goes up?

  10. jquiggin
    March 17th, 2008 at 17:03 | #10

    I agree with Nick, and Joshua Gans has also had a go. I’ll try to cover a couple more points when I get a round tuit.

  11. March 17th, 2008 at 17:09 | #11

    Notice how that line quoted by Observa does not fit most Stolen Generation stories – “I was put in a mission dormitory when I was eight, nine. I cried for two nights, then I was right with the rest of those kids. We weren’t stolen; our family was there. It was a good system. Or a better system than now. At least my generation learnt to read and write properly.â€?

    What does she mean by “family”? If her own blood relations were there, and she kept contact with them, she was doing rather better than a lot of kids tossed about in the system and arbitrarily separated from their siblings.

    The fact that she said she wasn’t stolen doesn’t mean no-one else was. Not all children were thrown screaming into trucks while their mothers shrieked in the dust; some were tricked by stories of going shopping; some may even been given up voluntarily by mothers who felt anything was better than the life of an Aboriginal woman in a Queensland stock camp.

    The story of the United Church missions in Arnhem Land provide significant evidence to provide more complexity to the story. Older people have terrible stories which include beatings and deprivation of affection; by the end the kids were shooting their own home movies with cowboys and Indian stories told in reverse.

    But even at this end of the era, kids were still waiting for letters from parents who didn’t know where they were, or believed their parents were dead when they weren’t.

    And you can never take away the implications of a system in which the “read and write” stuff was not to prepare children to participate fully in the society but to become the servants of White families.

    This current story is not an attack on the Stolen Generations narrative. The issue is intention, safeguard and control. After all, the entire British ruling class sent its kids to boarding school, but Eton resembles Palm Island like the Savoy resembles Hell.

  12. Jill Rush
    March 17th, 2008 at 17:13 | #12

    Observa,
    What you point out is that there are often complex situations which require proper responses.

    There were stolen children who were denied contact with their families – but if children have a choice between boarding school and borstal then the boarding option is better – if the children are looked after properly. There are excellent schools where board children today.

    The shame is that children under 10 have to be sent away because of the predatory behaviour of adults of any colour.

    We have a culture which is toxic for young girls where the whore is presented as the only way for girls to be successful. It is no wonder that it translates into action in communities such as Arakun but it is also prevalent in many suburbs in the city where it is more easily hidden. Attitudes to children and the images that they and adults are exposed to every day in various media are linked.

    Exploitation and abuse are not new – but the epidemic of child abuse doesn’t stop in Cape York. There needs to be far stronger regulation of the Advertising industry which normalises images which leads to abusive behaviour by individuals with warped standards.

    If a way of dealing with the results of this for Arakun children is boarding schools then it must be considered. However the systems of the past where young girls were put into domestic and sexual servitude in not the answer. Helping children into a safe place where they can grow up strong needs to be the goal – not removing them from their families.

    The problems in the wider communities for children to grow up safely needs a broader response.

  13. Ian Gould
    March 17th, 2008 at 21:46 | #13

    “What you point out is that there are often complex situations which require proper responses.”

    No, no, no. what eh said for about the five thousandth time is that Aborigines are too stupid to look after themselves and the best they can ever hope for is to be sold to kindly white masters who know what’s best for them.

  14. Ian Gould
    March 17th, 2008 at 21:51 | #14

    Funny how Obser5va thought the one paragraph supportign his bigotry was worth repeating but not the rest of the article exposing the total failure of the Queensland government and the former Federal government.

    “Justice, education and child safety standards in Aurukun, Cape York, have collapsed. Last financial year, 763 defendants — including repeat offenders — from the township of 1000, faced court.”

    “Jonathon Korkaktain, an Aurukun shire councillor, said his community had been abandoned “to run itself into a hole”.”

  15. albert
    March 17th, 2008 at 22:09 | #15

    Surely the Hon. Member for Lalor has tied her mind all up in knots by suggesting that government money be allocated to public schools on the basis of socioeconomic status. Surely deliberately damaging the quality of public schooling in wealthier areas can only accelerate the move towards private schooling. Does Julia honestly believe that the average Australian child in a rich area will be better off when the local public school closes down because all of their peers have gone private? Does she honestly believe that the average Australian child living in a poor area will be better off when the local public school contains only the kids of poor families? Surely this poor=public, rich=private education policy is the death knell for public education as we know it? Can I dare suggest that the way to make the public system better is to add more resources for all of our kids in public schools?

  16. Peter Wood
    March 17th, 2008 at 22:35 | #16

    albert,

    Having better funding for schools in lower socioeconomic areas address the very real barriers the prevent children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds from having the same opportunities as others. Improving funding to education in remote Aboriginal communities would be a good start.

  17. Tony G
    March 18th, 2008 at 00:03 | #17

    Albert,

    Privatising public schools is the way to go, they would be ran better on less money.

  18. observa
    March 18th, 2008 at 00:39 | #18

    To the elders and “Several members of Aurukun’s community justice group, led by Martha Koowarta, widow of a local land rights hero..”, can I say a deep and abiding thank you on behalf of my poor dead mother and fading father and their generation for your magnanimous gesture of reconciliation. As for their offspring, my generation, I can only say how deeply sorry I am for them and your continual Rainbow Dreaming.

  19. observa
    March 18th, 2008 at 07:54 | #19

    Still Martha, if you can’t have the rainbow, you can always settle for their pot of gold, although under current circumstances, I would strongly suggest you don’t get waylaid by an offer of dodgy dollars.

  20. Ian Gould
    March 19th, 2008 at 02:07 | #20

    It’s interesting how when Aborigines report being abused in custody, Observa dismissed such claims out of hand. But when a single Aborigine reports a relatively positive experience in custody, he accepts her statements as absolute and irrefutable statements of fact.

    Oh, and Observa,you may be ashamed of you parents but as I’ve already pointed out, I’m proud of tha fact that MY parents were amongst the many people of their generation who opposed the monstrous and abominable policies of forced separation – the same people who you’re slandered and insulting.

  21. gandhi
    March 19th, 2008 at 15:35 | #21

    Hey, I was looking at Prof Q’s oldest blog posts from 2002… Remember how John Howard was made chairman of the International Democratic Union? He will be chairing the next meeting of the IDU Executive, to be held in Sydney on 21 April. Might be good for another laugh.

    More here.

  22. March 20th, 2008 at 19:26 | #22

    Snx for you job!
    It has very much helped me!

  23. Randolph
    March 30th, 2008 at 16:44 | #24

    Series of videos entirely demolishing the global warming racket.

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