Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
He caused a "silent sadness" and bitterness that devastated an isolated South Australian indigenous community.
Next week, Aboriginal elder Winkie Ingomar, 52, will be sentenced for five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with three teenage girls he plied with petrol in exchange for sex.
Ingomar lived in a caravan parked in a bush camp about 200 metres from the main road near the small Yalata community, 1,000km north-west of Adelaide.
It was there the three girls, aged 13 and 14 when the abuse occurred, went inside the caravan one at a time to have sex or be touched by Ingomar during January and June last year.
The meetings only stopped when another elder overheard the girls talking and he reported Ingomar to police.
At first he denied the charges but last month he pleaded guilty before the South Australian Supreme Court sitting in Port Augusta.
In a community impact statement submitted to the court, Yalata representatives said the abuse had shaken them, caused many to go into denial and created a "silent sadness" that hung over them.
"We felt angry, sad and all we wanted to do was burn his home," they said.
"The community was in shock and it tore our community apart.
"The place felt sad. Even the white members of the community felt like this."
The sentencing of Ingomar means so much for the people of Yalata that the SA Department of Public Prosecutions has granted a special request for a video link from the court to the isolated community.
They will be able to watch the proceedings as Ingomar is sentenced. Another link will be set up in Adelaide.
According to a pre-sentence report, Ingomar is an unqualified mechanic, who was brought up in a traditional way which gave him a purpose and direction early in life.
He attended school in Coober Pedy and later worked on nearby farms as a station hand before moving to Yalata.
He is now separated from his wife and three children.
Ingomar has no previous record of sexual offences but has been convicted of 18 violent crimes and spent three years in jail from 1996 to 1999.
He said he lived in a caravan because he liked to move from place to place "to avoid trouble such as the noise of other people".
In an interview with a court social worker, he did not talk about the abuse of the girls but said he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he had sex with them.
The reports also said he knew the girls would sniff the petrol he gave them.
The only remorse he showed, the social worker noted, was of the pain and suffering that had been caused on himself and the community by the media attention of the case.
He said he had trouble sleeping because of the interest.
Yalata representatives have said they felt compelled to speak out against the abuse of the girls so other children could be spared the trauma.
They said the girls were terrified, shaken and in tears when they told them of the meetings with Ingomar and what he did to them inside the caravan.
"The girls were frightened to the extent that (they were) too afraid to look at men," a community statement said.
"Because he had traumatised our girls we became transients and had to leave the community because of his actions."
A mother of one of the victims told the court she had developed a drinking habit as a way to quell the anger and sadness she felt, but not even the alcohol could help.
One of the 13-year-old girls said she had to leave because there were too many memories.
"I was too scared to stay at Yalata, even with my own family," she said.
"I would shake and I stopped eating properly and got sick.
"Mum didn't want me to leave but she knew I needed to leave so my spirit could heal."
The girl said she didn't want to have a boyfriend and was afraid of men - a feeling all three victims shared.
"I feel like I am hiding away inside myself," she said.
"I am hiding away from people and I don't like to talk to people like I used to.
"I feel shame over what Winkie did to me."
Another victim, aged 14, described the abuse to the court as "like watching a horror movie", saying she felt scared he would come after her and was sometimes too frightened to sleep at night.
"I am frightened he will ask me to go with him, I am worried, I would be too scared to say no to him," the girl said.
"When I look at him I see him like a devil sitting there."
The 300 residents of Yalata say they now want to stand together as a family, as a whole community to fight child sexual abuse and hopefully see the end of what has been a traumatic experience.
"It doesn't matter what colour you are or who you know, abuse can happen," they said.
"We live in a multicultural society and abuse can happen."
This case is just the begining, as HOWARDS intervention gains traction, we will see more and more people charged with sexual abuse of children.
That's the punishment side of things, to satisfy white mans laws. How much leg spearing and bone pointing will these offenders face?
MOST importantly, the white men who have exploited and abused vulnerable aborigines MUST ALSO FACE JUSTICE!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
ANDEAN TIGER HOUND
There is a chance that these dogs came from a breed with double noses that's known in Spain as Pachon Navarro, which were hunting dogs at the time of the Conquistadors.
It's highly likely some of these were taken to South America and they continued to breed.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I found this amazing site about music.
A good place to START if you don't want someone else wiping your arse when you get old
Saturday, July 28, 2007
TWO of Sydney's more desirable waterside areas are contaminated with toxic material that may cause cancer.
A carcinogenic gas has been spewing from the exhaust stacks of a medical supplies company on the northern beaches since 2002, it was revealed yesterday.
This story is disturbing on several levels.
Residents who asked to see the report were told to apply under freedom-of-information laws.
Obviously something to hide.
The report's strong recommendation for exhaustive testing of the whole park has not been followed up, prompting residents to accuse the council of putting children's health at risk. The park contains a playground and sports fields, and is popular with dog walkers.
"Of course, council staff will monitor the site closely and will take appropriate action,"
Sure, "Trust me, I'm from the government!"
This story is the tip of the iceberg. All over Australia there are contaminated sites that were polluted when we knew no better. We are supposed to know better now, but I don't trust the bastards charged with protecting our health when their own arses are their priority.
The pursuit of the dollar being todays god, human sacrifice is common.
We need a map of toxicity, freely available to all, air quality, soil toxicity, salinity and other relevant data. Asbestos is a case in point. it's everywhere!
and these bastards want to mine and sell uranium, sheeshe
UPDATE: 14 aug,
The Sydney Morning Herald says 14 children in and around Mona Vale have developed cancer in the 10 years since Unomedical began discharging the gas, which the World Health Organisation and NSW Health lists as a carcinogen
OK, this is bad enough, albeit localised. However, isn't it funny that this story is filling the Murdoch press while the radiation leak from Australias obsolete nuclear reactor doesn't get a mention. I'm sure the new ones will be just spiffy.
The pipe coughed radioactive gas into the atmosphere and exposed a technician to potentially dangerous radiation. The accident comes as the Federal Government has launched an inquiry into the future of nuclear power in Australia, which is deeply unpopular with the Opposition and environmental groups
the incident was an example of what Australia might face if nuclear power became one of the nation's power sources. "The local community deserves to be told what actually happened at the Lucas Heights reactor last Thursday, and why the release of radioactive gases was not made public,"
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
There are civil wars now raging in the newsrooms of papers like the New York Times and Washington Post. Much is at stake. Rupert Murdoch straddles the globe like a colossus, determined to push his radical pro-business agenda. The old print and TV media empires are disappearing as fast as the business models that fueled their rise. What will rise in their wake?
No more war. No more lies. No more Howard
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Macrophages are the immune cells that literally engulf and destroy deformed cells and attack invaders, like bacteria or viruses.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Article 9 of Japan's constitution renounces the right to wage war and forbids the maintenance of a military. Successive governments have interpreted this as allowing a military solely for self-defence, but banning those forces from aiding an ally.
This about to change, in an astounding use of semantics (spin) Japan, with US prompting, Is about to abandon the 'self defence only' condition imposed after World War 2
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made rewriting Japan's post-World War Two pacifist constitution a key goal.
"Should the United States suffer damage from a ballistic missile, it would seriously influence the defence of our own nation," Abe was quoted as saying.
Japan should be prepared to shoot down ballistic missiles bound for the United States, say 'government advisers'
The women have worked at Pele Curtains in Mitcham for between 11 and 21 years, and are estimated to be owed up to $10,000 each for redundancy pay and long service leave.
But their employer on Monday sacked them with 15 minutes' notice, saying the business had suffered from decreasing orders. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/06/28/1182624080064.html
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Health Minister Tony Abbott says the health checks are not a new thing and he would like every Indigenous child to under go one. (ABC TV)
Health Minister Tony Abbott says health checks for Indigenous children in the Northern Territory will not be compulsory.
The health checks are part of the Commonwealth's strategy to address child sex abuse.
Mr Abbott says the checks are not a new thing and he would like every Indigenous child to under go the check.
"They're not going to be compulsory in the sense that a random breath test is compulsory," he said.
"But we do very strongly encourage parents to get these or permit these for their kids in the same way that we very strongly encourage parents to get their kids immunised."
The Federal Government's intervention plan to prevent child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities initially included compulsory health checks for all Indigenous children.
The health checks were criticised by individuals and community groups, including Indigenous Doctors' Association's president Dr Mark Wenitong.
Dr Wenitong said doctors would not perform a check-up on any child under the age of 16 unless the parent has given consent
Monday, June 25, 2007
Asked if the reforms were a vote grab ahead of the federal election, Mr Howard angrily replied: "That is a ludicrous suggestion and you know it".
Mr Howard also dismissed the suggestion his reforms would not be willingly adopted by Aboriginal people.
"I have no doubt that the women and children of indigenous communities will warmly welcome the Federal Government's actions," he said. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21962652-1702,00.html
Former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser has lashed out at the Commonwealth's Indigenous plan, calling it a throw back to paternalism http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/06/25/1960836.htm?section=justin
The federal government's sweeping plans to halt the abuse of Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory are racist and won't work, ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says http://www.worldnewsaustralia.com.au/region.php?id=137900®ion=7
"The two most hated and reviled people in Australia would have to be John Winston Howard by a long chalk and the next in line would be his little jackie-jackie Noel Pearson. Noel Pearson is not an Aboriginal leader … and he is certainly charting a very dangerous course, not only for Aboriginal people but for the entire Australian nation.
"Pearson is spruiking genocidal claptrap that white protectors were spruiking when they forcibly removed Aboriginal children, when they forcibly broke down Aboriginal communities and tried to extinguish all forms of Aboriginal cultural practice, ritual and ceremony http://www.greenleft.org.au/2007/715/37127
The timing of Howard’s announcement is no accident. The June 20 acquittal of senior sergeant Chris Hurley, who faced charges of the manslaughter and assault of Mulrunji Doomadgee in the Palm Island watch-house in November 2004, outraged Indigenous communities and supporters of justice for Indigenous people SEE BATTTLERS ARTICLE "PALM ISLAND" (<-click)
That Howard chose the next day to announce his draconian plan for NT communities says less about his desire to stop child abuse and more about his style of wedge politics. Howard is preparing for a race-based election and, using Pearson’s report as cover, is taking the opportunity to undermine every aspect of Indigenous self-governance in the Northern Territory, while calling for the NSW, Queensland and WA state governments to implement similar policies.
IN DEPTH LINKS CAN BE FOUND HERE. http://www.abc.net.au/news/tag/indigenous/
THE OFFICIAL LINE IS HERE http://www.atsia.gov.au/Media/media07/210607.aspx
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The Commonwealth will ban x-rated pornography (ONLY LEGAL IN CANBERRA) in the affected areas and boost the policing presence.
The Government will also link welfare to school attendance. (FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS) It will quarantine half of the welfare payments to parents for food and other essentials.
The starting point might be to recognise that the
problem starts with us non-Aboriginal Australians. It
begins, I think, with the act of recognition. Recognition
that it was we who did the dispossessing. We took
the traditional lands and smashed the traditional
way of life. We brought the disasters. The alcohol.
We committed the murders. We took the children
from their mothers. We practiced discrimination and
exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice. And
our failure to imagine these things being done to us.
With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the
most basic human response and enter into their hearts
and minds. We failed to ask – how would I feel if this
were done to me?
IT was just after midday on a searing hot Queensland summer's day when a crowd of Aborigines assembled outside the modest Palm Island Council chambers to hear the findings of an autopsy on Mulrunji Doomadgee, 36, who had been found dead in the local police cell a week earlier. On that fateful Friday, November 26, 2004, they were told the pathologist found Doomadgee had suffered four broken ribs, a ruptured liver and punctured portal vein that caused him to bleed to death within an hour. The crowd was told the doctor believed Doomadgee's death was accidental.
They rioted. Up to 200 people walked the short distance to the local police station and burned it to the ground, along with the adjoining courthouse and a police residence. Nobody was injured but more than 26 locals were arrested on charges ranging from destruction of property to arson.
The turmoil attracted national and international attention. When a coronial inquest was held to determine how Doomadgee died, a bevy of lawyers came to the island, representing the Doomadgee family, the police service, police commissioner, Palm Island Council and the Human Rights Commission. The focus of attention was the officer in charge of police on Palm Island for the preceding two years: Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, then 36, a man who stood out in any crowd with his towering 200cm, 115kg frame.
Hurley, a former bank officer who joined the police service in 1987, had spent most of his police career in remote Aboriginal communities in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York Peninsula.
About 10.15am on Friday, November 19, 2004, Hurley was driving the police Toyota Hilux on a back street of Palm Island in the company of Aboriginal resident Lloyd Bengaroo, who was employed as a police liaison officer to act as interpreter, supply local knowledge, solve problems and assist police and Palm Islanders. One of his main duties was to protect the interests of indigenous people and ensure they were treated lawfully: something he failed palpably to do.
While Hurley was arresting Patrick Bramwell (also known as Patrick Nugent), who was drunk and swearing, Doomadgee came walking along the footpath singing a hip-hop song, Who Let the Dogs Out. He stopped and called out to Bengaroo that he should not be arresting black people, as he was black himself. Doomadgee then allegedly swore at Bengaroo. Hurley asked Bengaroo who the man was and what he had said. When told, Hurley arrested Doomadgee and asked if he had a problem with police. Doomadgee objected to being picked up and was heard to ask: "Why are you arresting me? I've done nothing wrong."
Doomadgee, who was very drunk, was placed in the back of the van with Bramwell and they were driven to the back of the police station. When Hurley opened the back door of the cage on the vehicle and grabbed Doomadgee to get him out, Doomadgee struck him across the jaw with what Hurley described as "a backhand punch".
Hurley then grabbed Doomadgee's shirt and shoulders from behind and began to force him through the narrow doorway into the police station.
The court case that began last week hinged on events from that point: crossing the concrete entrance step. The jury was asked to consider closely everything that followed to establish whether Hurley unlawfully killed his prisoner. When the trial began in the Townsville Supreme Court on Tuesday last week, prosecutor Peter Davis SC caused some surprise when he announced the defence had conceded the injuries that resulted in Doomadgee's death occurred within a short period following the fall on the step.
The Crown alleged the two fell on to the floor. Hurley then rose and, with Doomadgee on his back on the concrete floor, "knee-dropped" into Doomadgee's abdomen.
Bengaroo, who was standing near the back of the police vehicle, claimed in statements to police investigators that he did not witness what was going on.
He said: "I can't remember. I just stood there because I was thinking if I see something, I might get into trouble or something. The family might harass me or something, you know." He was not called at the trial because of his unreliability.
Constable Kristopher Steadman, who had arrived on Palm Island only the day before, saw the scuffle and gave evidence that he saw two pairs of feet on the floor at the doorway and it appeared that Hurley was on top of Doomadgee. He said he did not see anything more. Some may think it strange that a young constable, seeing his superior officer struggling on the floor with a prisoner, did not take greater interest or offer assistance.
Hurley's defence counsel relied heavily on Steadman's evidence, saying it was in this stage in the fall, when the "two pairs of feet were together, one on top of the other", that the lethal injuries must have occurred and that they were obviously accidental. The prosecution contended that the knee-drop occurred immediately afterwards. That was the conundrum presented to the jury.
Evidence given by medical experts at the coronial inquest and again at the trial was that it would have required "massive force" to inflict the fatal injuries. All three experts agreed that a knee was the likely "bodily protrusion" that caused it. None could express an opinion on whether such an action was deliberate or accidental.
The key point is how Doomadgee landed when he and Hurley fell. In his recorded statement that afternoon and the following day, Hurley said he fell beside the prisoner, not on him. It was put to the jury that Doomadgee must have fallen on his stomach through the door as Hurley had him from the back, and he could not have sustained the injuries as described from the back.
On this point all three medical experts said the injury was from the front, compressing the liver on to the spine, where it was severed, the portal vein punctured and four ribs broken in a line.
Prosecutor Davis went so far as to say that it would have required Doomadgee to be like a "reincarnated Rudolph Nureyev" to perform the pirouette required for him to suddenly land on his back and for the injuries to then be inflicted, accidentally or otherwise.
When Hurley gave evidence last Friday he conceded that he "must have come into contact" with Doomadgee and caused the fatal injuries but said that was "a grey area" in his memory.
It was pointed out by Davis in his final address to the jury on Tuesday that Hurley had a clear recollection of so much else on that fateful morning: who he spoke to, who was standing where, who said what, where he grabbed Doomadgee and even precisely where the police vehicle was parked.
In explaining the change in his testimony - after he had said on three occasions within 24 hours of the incident that he fell beside Doomadgee - Hurley told the court last Friday: "I would say that if I didn't know the medical evidence that came to light out of the post-mortems, if I hadn't sat in the court for the past week listening to what the witnesses said, I would sit in this box today and say that I still fell beside him."
In his address to the jury, defence counsel Bob Mulholland QC said Hurley would always know that he was the "accidental instrument of another young man dying and that is a cross he will carry for the rest of his life, whatever happens here".
At the coronial inquest last year, the police station security footage was played, showing Doomadgee on the floor of the police cell, sometimes writhing and moaning slightly, then eventually lying still as he died.
Shortly after, Hurley checked Doomadgee and Bramwell, pushing Doomadgee with the toe of his boot. Then, 57 minutes after Doomadgee had been placed in the cell, Sergeant Michael Leafe found him dead.
The video shows Hurley coming in, confirming there was no breathing or pulse, then sliding down the wall of the cell until he sat with his face in his hands. Neither police officer attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Doomadgee.
The police investigation that followed was possibly the most disgraceful part of the tragedy. Hurley was at the airport to pick up the police team that flew in from Townsville; two of its members were close friends of his. He drove the team back to his home, cooked them dinner and they all had a few beers.
The cell was never declared a crime scene and Hurley continued to work on the island for the next few days.
He was moved off when it became obvious the islanders were not going to accept the declaration of accidental death.
In her findings, coroner Christine Clements said some of the investigating officers were "wilfully blind" and that Hurley's treatment of Doomadgee was "callous and deficient". She found Hurley had lied and that his actions were responsible for Doomadgee's death. Clements's findings were rejected by Queensland's Director of Public Prosecutions Leanne Clare, who declared on reading the evidence that Doomadgee had died in a "tragic accident".
That was overruled by state Attorney-General Kerry Shine, who ordered a review of Clare's decision by former NSW chief justice Laurence Street, who recommended manslaughter charges be laid against Hurley.
As Clare had already said nobody from her office would prosecute Hurley despite any independent review, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie appointed Davis from the private bar.
Last week's prosecution of Hurley for manslaughter was conducted under excruciating circumstances. Davis received precious little help from authorities vested with the obligation to deliver law and order in Queensland.
As Townsville-based activist Gracelyn Smallwood said after yesterday's verdict: "We have to accept the decision of an all-white jury and we will do so with dignity but with the knowledge that the whole world is watching any future incident where a cop in this state even thinks about bashing a black or white boy or girl in their custody.
"This has not ended the way we wanted it to, but it has been a win on our slow climb up the Everest of justice."
Doomadgee's partner Tracey Twaddle says she is "tired of fighting", adding: "I didn't expect anything different."
Andrew Bartlett has a view on this matter also. http://andrewbartlett.com/faq.php?id=14&category=4
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Hicks has been held in detention for more than five years after being captured in Afghanistan.
On Monday, Terry Hicks and the Australian's lawyers will be in Guantanamo Bay for the arraignment hearing and brief meetings with David Hicks.
Before leaving Adelaide airport this morning, Terry Hicks said he was anxious about meeting his son.
"You know, the last time I saw David was three years ago and he will be changed," he said.
"He's going to look a lot older I'd say, he'd probably look older than I am at the moment, but it would be good to catch up with him."
He says he hopes to have two meetings with Hicks.
"At this point in time, we don't know what questions we'll ask him because things change and circumstances change when we get there," he said.
Terry Hicks says Prime Minister John Howard has shot himself in the foot over the handling of his son's detention by the United States.
He says Mr Howard was warned that his son's long detention would become a political issue.
"John Howard was told two years ago that this will be a major a political issue but he said it wouldn't be, but I think he's shot himself in the foot over it at the moment because it has become a major issue," he said.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
US personnel killed to March 2007 -- 3,209.
Iraqi security forces killed to March 2007 -- 6,294.
How long a new Iraqi police officer spends in training -- 10 weeks. Average salary -- around $360 per month.
Journalists killed to March 2007 -- 95; Number of these killed by US Forces – 14.
Amount US military spouses pay for their first Flat Daddy or Flat Mommy -- $0. Amount other affected relatives pay for Flat Daddy or Flat Mommy -- $US40 plus $US9.50 postage and handling.
The cost of the US adventure in Iraq has reached $US505 billion. President Bush is expected to request another $US100 billion for 2007 and $US140 billion for 2008.
Estimated number of Iraqi insurgents in November 2003 -- 5,000; October 2006 -- 20,000-30,000.
Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reports the Iraqi luggage industry is booming, with good reason. "Since the conflict began, 2 million Iraqis have fled the country, and 1.8 million more have been displaced within its borders, according to figures compiled by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Every month 50,000 more Iraqis leave for foreign lands in what has become the biggest exodus in the Middle East since Palestinians left the new country of Israel in 1948 to become stateless refugees."
Amount the Pentagon paid per article to Iraqi newspapers for running "favourable reports" on the progress of the war -- up to $US2,000.
Number of leaflets dropped on Iraq before the invasion urging Iraqi soldiers to avoid confronting the invading force and "go home instead" --more than one billion.
According to the Pentagon, trained Iraqi Security Forces now total 328,700. Sort of. As MSNBC pointed out: "A disclaimer noted that ‘the actual number of those present-for-duty soldiers is about one-half to two-thirds of the total due to scheduled leave, absence without leave, and attrition’."
Iraq consumer price inflation in 2006 -- 50%.
Average daily hours Iraqi homes have electricity -- 9.6. Baghdad -- 5.7.
Number of weeks George Bush waited after the Iraq invasion before standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier in front of a "Mission Accomplished" sign to declare hostilities over -- 6. Number of weeks since then -- 202.