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'


NINE long-serving employees of a Melbourne curtain factory have been sacked without redundancy pay by their employer for "operational reasons".
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.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


CHILD EXAMS BACKPEDAL ALREADY. The article below shows just how little thought and planning has gone in to Howards Megalomaniac attempt to make his mark on history.
Emasculating original Australians so uranium can be mined and PERMANENTLY TOXIC RADIOACTIVE WASTE can be stored.
That's what Howard is about!

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


I'm feeling sick to my stomach to be witnessing Howards manipulations. As analysts and pundits offer their opinions, the sheer scale of Howards plan is emerging.

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.,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

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

"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

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.



Thursday, June 21, 2007


After nearly 11 years in office, a few months out from his hardest election ever, Howard discovers the privations being suffered by Original Australians. See the article from the A.B.C. here:

Mr Howard has announced (COMPULSORY) medical examinations for all NT Indigenous children under 16 and widespread bans on alcohol sales on Aboriginal land for six months. (TO GET PAST THE ELECTION)
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.

Under the guise of concern for the desperate plight of the aboriginals, Howard is implementing sweeping ad hoc changes to welfare laws. Once in place, Australia will look even MORE like USA with an army of homeless people forced to live by crime. This is NOT the compassionate Australia I want. The full transcript of Howards proposal is here:
Richard Farmer wrote to Crikey:
With one short press conference he removed discussion of things like the misuse of official residences for Liberal Party fund-raising from the radio and television news. Dirt units and dirty tricks involving Liberal pollsters and anti-Labor advertising campaigns were relegated from the newspaper headlines. Now the news is about a Prime Minister who is actually dealing with a serious problem.
At his initial press conference, in the Parliament shortly afterwards and on various television and radio programs since, Mr Howard was the very model of a serious and concerned Prime Minister. He looked and sounded like a man who really believes that it is duty to solve the problems of Aboriginal disadvantage that two centuries of white rulers before him have found insoluble. Yet it is the very lack of detail in the plans he announced that creates the impression that his current electoral situation was a major factor in his decision to act so decisively.
A final solution may not be what Mr Howard thinks he needs. His advantage from this issue will come from looking Prime Ministerial for the next six months. Some other leader than he will be in charge when the judgment is made years from now on whether the initiatives of 2007 really worked or whether they amounted to nothing more than another lot of white man’s words.
The starting point..................................................

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?


An Aboriginal man dies in custody of internal injuries. His son and cellmate commit suicide. The arresting officer walks free........ Article by Tony Koch, lifted from The Australian.
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.

Monday, June 11, 2007


There is quite an involved story of how this dog became mine, I will disclose it all soon, meanwhile, here is a picture of him. I would love to hear suggestions of a new name for him. It doesn't seem likely I will find his original name, or owner, but I am still trying. Any Byford people who can tell me more please email me or leave a comment.

Saturday, June 09, 2007