Thursday, July 12, 2007

Students taught to sing an apology for a politically correct myth

Judicial enquiries have found that the "stolen generation" never happened but Leftists prefer a good myth to the truth any day. It's just another part of the anti-white Leftist lies about Australian history

CHILDREN as young as eight are being taught to sing sorry to Aborigines, sparking concerns that NSW students are being "politically indoctrinated". A widely distributed song book, which has been used in NSW for 40 years, has included Sorry Song about the Stolen Generation in its recent editions. Kiama Public School students were taught the song for Naidoc Week. When one eight-year-old boy arrived home confused about the issue, his father labelled the song's inclusion a "political stunt".

Hamish East, of Kiama, said he had to explain the meaning of the song to his son Brian when he believed he had done something wrong. "(He) arrived home from school and asked 'How come I have to say sorry for stealing the Aborigines' children?'," he said. "I have raised each of my children to apologise for their actions ... central to this is an understanding of the nexus between poor behaviour and an apology."

The song by West Australian composer Kerry Fletcher was written in 1998 for Sorry Day festivities and included in the ABC Song Book, distributed to NSW primary schools by Scholastic. It is used by teachers in addition to the official curriculum. The song features the words: "If we can say sorry to the people from this land, sing, sing loud, break through the silence, sing sorry across this land. We cry, we cry, their children were stolen, now no one knows why."

Mr East, a Kiama councillor, said he was not against reconciliation but "these are all emotive, controversial political issues and matters in which personal views should not be forced down the throats of our children". School principal Jenny Maude told Mr East children didn't listen to the words and since Mr East made a complaint they have stopped singing the song.

Australian Council of State School Organisations said teachers needed to be sensitive when it came to teaching values. "When schools get into values they need to talk through with the community what they are proposing to do," projects manager Rupert Macgregor said.

Song author Ms Fletcher, 38, who is not Aboriginal, said she was disappointed people had misread the song. "I believe children under eight could understand how other children their age would feel to be separated from their parents," she said. "I think if more people had first-hand experience of personal friends who were taken away as children we might see this for the personal tragedy that it is."

Teachers Federation deputy president Angelo Gavrielatos defended the song, saying exploitation of Aboriginal culture needed to be recognised. "We have to take some responsibility for our past," he said. [OUR past?? I am responsible for what I do, not what others do]

Opposition education spokesman Andrew Stoner said: "Any discussion of Australia's history must include the indigenous perspective but controversial political issues should be left to parents." Education Minister John Della Bosca defended the school's actions and said although he did not subscribe to the "black armband version" of history he thought it was important to be frank about Australia's history.


The Warmists need to listen to Edmund Burke -- but they won't

Comment from Janet Albrechtsen

PHEW, Live Earth is over. The seven concerts on seven continents featuring a bunch of jet fuel-addicted rock stars summed up the problem with much of the talk about climate change. Hypocrisy aside, the climate change rockers and other zealots would have us believe there is no problem more uniquely modern than climate change. When it comes to mapping out solutions to this most 21st century of problems, history can teach us nothing. We are on our own. Right? Well, actually, no. Wrong. Dead wrong.

Climate change is just a modern twist on a very old debate. The presenting symptom is a new one. But the underlying questions for us are ancient: what tools, what modes of thinking, will deliver the best results? Is climate change a moral issue? Or a question of risk management? Should we start with abstract fundamental principles and proceed to build an edifice based on speculative extrapolation from those first principles? Or do we start with empirical evidence and pragmatic deductions from observable realities? Will the most effective solutions be imposed by governments or from harnessing individual choices?

These are, of course, old questions. And history keeps telling us the answers. They are invariably the same answers. But, unbelievably, we often ignore them. It’s no great surprise that a bunch of climate change rock stars would fall for solutions based on symbolism, moral absolutes, central planning and universal diagnoses and prescriptions. No one would expect them to have digested the lessons of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. But political leaders ought to have learned from those lessons.

When Burke wrote that book in 1790, the French Revolution was in the first flush of idealistic success. A new utopia based on abstract principles - in that case, liberty, equality, fraternity - was being built, with those principles imposed from above. Burke thought this was likely to end in tears. He thought history was a better teacher than philosophy, that incremental improvements based on empirical observation worked better than revolutions built on grand utopias.

Burke was decried as a revolution sceptic. Or, even worse, a revolution denier. Sound familiar? Burke was proved right. The French Revolution did end in tears. Unfortunately, the early stages of the climate change debate had all the hallmarks of revolution. It started - badly - with Kyoto. Climate change was a moral issue. Only the sinners did not sign up. The principles were far reaching, imposed from above with little understanding of the realities below. Driven as always, by the best of intentions, Kyoto was an inherently flawed protocol. Sure, 35 developed nations signed up. But none of the developing countries that account for 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions did so.

The Kyoto period was framed around a classic progressive agenda, defined by symbolism and moral absolutes, universal diagnoses and universal solutions. That’s why Kyoto was a joke. And it’s why Al Gore and his Live Earthers, with their impossible goals, will be sidelined in the same way history has sidelined other dreamers.

Now to some reality. John Howard pointed out in a speech last month that during the Kyoto period China and India will build 800 new coal-fired power plants. The combined CO2 emissions from those plants alone will be five times the total reductions in CO2 mandated by the Kyoto accord. These jarring realities explained why countries such as Australia did not sign up. In fact, getting Howard to sign up to Kyoto would be akin to Burke, had he lived another 100 years, joining the Fabian Society. It was never going to happen.

Fortunately, the post-Kyoto period is increasingly heading down a different ideological path. You won’t hear about it from rock stars. That’s because framing a response around risk management rather than symbolic gestures and utopian promises is so damned boring. Suggesting incremental steps based on empirical evidence and observed phenomenon is not sexy compared with Gore’s public pledges for a moratorium of new coal stations. Basing a policy response on pragmatic conservatism - learning from the mistakes of the past, advocating caution and encouraging realistic outcomes - is hardly enthralling enough for rock stars.

Unfortunately, for too long the debate has been hijacked by alluring but meaningless symbolism. Just as, in the early days, those who advocated practical reconciliation for indigenous communities were treated as mean-spirited heretics, those who rejected Kyoto as empty-gesture politics were scoffed at as climate change deniers who did not care about the environment. When global warming debate was hotting up, so to speak, there was an imperative to educate the community about the need to achieve real long-term reductions on greenhouse gas emissions outside the flawed Kyoto Protocol. Instead, it appeared that those who rejected Kyoto had simply chosen irresponsible inaction over action, effectively handing more credibility than they deserve to the advocates of Kyoto.

For too long, the Howard Government failed to craft an alternative message about the virtues of cautious, practical responses to climate change. In short, the case for pragmatic conservatism needed to be carefully mapped out. But it wasn’t. Into that vacuum stepped the zealots. Everyone has heard about Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. But who has heard about the Government’s involvement in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate?

Most people will have no idea that Australia has been working towards closer engagement with non-Kyoto countries - China, India, Japan, South Korea and the US - which account for half the world’s emissions, energy use, gross domestic product and population.

It’s easier to listen to Missy Higgins, Wolfmother and Sneaky Sound System than read a copy of the Government’s report from the Task Group on Emissions Trading.

It’s boring to learn that Australia’s economy and abatement challenges are different from those of many other industrialised nations, particularly those in Europe. And that our natural resources and access to low-cost energy are integral to our international competitiveness. And that any model for long-term emissions reductions must take account of the need to protect that prosperity.

Live Earth was promoted as yet another episode in raising awareness on climate change. We needed that like a hole in the head. Instead of repeating dire predictions about the future, a better goal would have been to educate people about the real world. About the social and economic realities confronting the real world. Realities such as poverty. But poverty is so old hat these days. Live Aid has been replaced by Live Earth. Cool cats talk about climate change. The reality is that if we are to include the world’s main emitters in long-term climate change initiatives, they need to feed their people first. Just don’t expect to hear about it from Snoop Dogg or Madonna.


Your bureaucrats will protect you

The police had to raid a government health department to get it to act!

A MAN accused of spreading HIV allegedly infected two women with the deadly virus after officials twice closed his case file, believing he was not a public health risk. And the Department of Human Services issued an order compelling Solomon Mwale to have safe sex only after police executed a search warrant on its offices.

A woman allegedly infected with HIV by Mr Mwale told Geelong Magistrates Court yesterday that she fell in love with the 38-year-old after a meeting in a video store developed into a passionate, three-year affair. "I trusted him and I believed inhim," the alleged victim - who said she had no idea of the man's HIV status - told the court. "I will take my love for him to the grave." Mr Mwale was committed to stand trial on three counts of engaging in reckless conduct that placed a woman in danger of serious injury between February and November 2004. He pleaded not guilty.

The case follows that of Michael Neal, committed to stand trial earlier this year on charges of intentionally spreading HIV. Evidence of departmental inaction in that case triggered the sacking of the state's chief health officer, Robert Hall.

Evidence heard at the Geelong court yesterday showed public health officials failed to act to curb Mr Mwale's alleged unsafe sex practices, despite repeatedly receiving evidence the accused man was ignoring DHS warnings. DHS nurse Elizabeth Hatch told the court that Mr Mwale first came to the attention of the department's Partner Notification Office - which monitors individuals suspected of recklessly spreading HIV - in December 2003. Mr Mwale was counselled on his obligations not to infect others and his file was closed because he was not considered a health risk. "No further action needed - case closed," said the file notes.

But in January 2005, a doctor notified the department after a newly diagnosed patient told the GP she had been infected with HIV by Mr Mwale. Ms Hatch told the court she interviewed Mr Mwale after the notification, when he admitted to having sex once with a woman outside of his marriage, but insisted he wore a condom. "We thought we really didn't have much evidence to say it was a public health risk if he had used a condom," she said. Ms Hatch said she contacted the doctor who had notified the department to check Mr Mwale's version of events against the time in which the patient had been diagnosed with HIV.

The doctor did not call back, she said, so the file was closed on March 10, 2005, with a note: "We have had no further contact from physician re time frames. No extra information so we will now close this case again." Under cross-examination by Mr Mwale's barrister, David Sexton, Ms Hatch agreed that she would have kept the case file open if she had any concerns that Mr Mwale was continuing to practice unsafe sex. When Mr Sexton asked why she did not continue to investigate the 2005 allegation against Mr Mwale after the GP did not call back, Ms Hatch said she believed the doctor concerned would monitor the accused man. "It was because I knew the doctor and I knew the clinic, and if they had been concerned or worried, they were very good at making sure things were followed up correctly," she said.

The court heard that nine months after closing Mr Mwale's file for the second time, the DHS became aware he had infected a woman other than the alleged victim in yesterday's case. At that point, a letter of warning to Mr Mwale was signed by then chief health officer Robert Hall, but orders restricting his behaviour were not issued until after police seized material during their investigations into the case. Mr Mwale was ordered to appear at the Victorian County Court on August 7.


Police harassment of gun shop

New details have emerged about the seizure of hundreds of guns from a Wagga Wagga address in southern New South Wales last week. A well-placed local source says there were over 500 guns taken from the address, which is a shop called the Wagga Wagga Boat and Sports Centre. The 310 guns were taken as exhibits while 200 other guns were seized for 'safekeeping'. Around 25,000 rounds of ammunition were also taken during the 14-hour operation involving 10 officers.

The source says the man being interviewed by police is actually a licensed gun dealer and had a permit for the guns, and that the shop was raided because authorities were concerned about the storage of the items.


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