Monday, July 09, 2007

Violence by blacks was 'sanitised'

In the theory-addled heads of Leftists, Australian Aborigines were prime candidates for being the "noble savages" of Rousseauian myth. Only the Tasaday ever lived up to that myth -- and they were a hoax. Primitive people are in fact characteristically very violent -- and Australian Aborigines are great perpetrators of violence on one-another to this day

PUBLISHERS in the 1980s and 1990s sanitised Aboriginal history by censoring accounts of violence, including sexual abuse and infanticide. Award-winning historical author Susanna de Vries has revealed that her books on early colonial life, based on the memoirs of pioneer women, were allegedly toned down so as not to upset Aboriginal sensibilities. De Vries said the memoirs of one woman, Louisa Meredith, were allegedly censored by Queensland publishing house Michael White Publishers to remove references to infanticide, tribal warfare, and the rape and removal of women.

The memoirs of the first Aboriginal justice of the peace, Ella Simon, were similarly sanitised by Sydney publishers Millennium Books in the late 1990s so that a baby "stuffed head-first down a rabbit hole and left to die after it fell ill on walkabout" was allegedly edited to read "left under a tree to die". Both publishers have since gone out of business but de Vries's revelations have raised questions about how widespread the practice was at the time.

"We don't sanitise anti-Semitism and the Holocaust," said Louis Nowra, author of Bad Dreaming, which documents the use of Aboriginal customary law to legitimise sexual abuse and domestic violence against women and children.

De Vries has written about a dozen books on women in colonial times and was made a member of the Order of Australia for her services to literature. "This kind of benign censorship stemming from guilt over the stolen children question has hidden references to the abuse of part-Aboriginal and Aboriginal children in the past," she said. "Anything to do with the abuse of Aboriginal women and children by their fellow Aborigines has been censored out by editors keen not to offend and raise ghosts of the stolen children stories. Ignoring the other stories of the rape of Aboriginal girls by Aboriginal men; the killing of Aboriginal babies often by leaving them to die in the bush; and the neglect and abuse of Aboriginal and part-Aboriginal children have all been part of a taboo which is based on guilt."

Controversial historian Keith Windschuttle, who came to national prominence for questioning claims by other historians that Tasmanian Aborigines were massacred by white settlers, said the tendency to whitewash Aboriginal culture started in the 1970s. "People thought by flattering pre-modern Aboriginal culture you would assert esteem in Aboriginal culture and make Aboriginal people feel good about themselves," Mr Windschuttle said. "It also continued the belief that the problem with modern Aboriginal culture doesn't lie with Aborigines, it lies with white people instead of seeing that the problem in many ways lies with both."

Nowra said there was a tendency to view Aborigines as "noble savages", which denied part of Aboriginal culture, and overlooked the harsh environment in which they survived. "It was difficult to keep an abundant number of Aboriginal children alive; they were life-and-death decisions we don't have to face," Nowra said. He added that the "small-l" liberals who dominated the conversation always supported the male view of the world. "Aboriginal culture tends to be defined by the male culture ... the thing about customary law is that it always works in favour of men, never women," he said.

Historian Inga Clendinnen said censorship arose from a "very understandable tenderness and concern" towards the Aboriginal community. Australian Publishers Association chief executive officer Maree McCaskill said publishers now fought fiercely to protect their right to free speech and to publish without fear. Sandy Grant of Hardie Grant Books, who published Spycatcher, the memoirs of MI5 agent Peter Wright, said any publisher worth their salt would not censor their authors and that the fact these publishers were no longer in business was telling.


More deliberately distorted Australian history -- "Evil white men" created

Comment by Christopher Pearson

I BEGAN this column by talking about the way people expect the past to suck up to the present. In the June issue of The Monthly Robert Manne provides a particularly egregious example. He was reviewing Sven Lindqvist's book Terra Nullius: A Journey Through No One's Land. Although Manne displays some awareness of "characteristic flaws" in Lindqvist's approach, namely "hyperbolic exaggeration, historical oversimplification and inaccuracy, cavalier carelessness in the mounting of argument, fanciful self-indulgence", he nonetheless insists: "There is no Western society which more needs to hear a local version of the Lindqvist sermon than post-Windschuttle Australia."

Manne himself provides a neat illustration of the pitfalls of this don't-fuss-with-the-facts, get-with-the-moralising style of commentary with the following: "Although he has read extensively on Australia, it is fair criticism of Lindqvist that he has still not read enough to become truly familiar with the country. Because he has discovered in John Mulvaney's Encounters in Place that a massacre occurred at Moorundie, outside Adelaide, Lindqvist is astonished and indignant that no one he meets there seems to have heard anything about it. Lindqvist is unaware that virtually all the massacres that took place in Australia are unknown to the public."

The clear implication is that, along with South Australia's early settlers, people living in Adelaide and the public in general are so complacently ignorant and morally obtuse that they neither know nor care that a massacre of Aborigines took place on or near the stolen lands they occupy; hence the needfor a sermon from Lindqvist and indeed from Manne.

Anyone sufficiently concerned to consult Mulvaney's book for further detail will find no account of a massacre at Moorundie. Moorundie is about 120km northeast of Adelaide, just south of where the Sturt Highway crosses the Murray at Blanchetown. According to Mulvaney, a government outpost was established there in 1841 and operated until 1856. From October 1841 it was administered by Edward John Eyre, who was appointed "resident magistrate and protector of Aborigines" by governor George Grey. Eyre was concerned about violent clashes between settlers and Aborigines near Rufus River about 190km farther upstream near Wentworth in southwest NSW. Mulvaney tells us that "within a few weeks of his appointment, Eyre visited the disaffected Rufus country to conciliate and to urge that the white man wished to live with them on terms of amity".

He also says that "Grey and Eyre both wished to save lives on humanitarian grounds and were well intentioned ... Eyre was trusted because he treated Aborigines simply as human beings." Mulvaney's account leaves us in no doubt that Eyre, similar to Charles Sturt and John McLaren, who also recorded early encounters with Aborigines in regions around Adelaide, took great pains to avoid violence. There is ample evidence in their journals that Eyre and Sturt were gravely concerned about the rapid disintegration of Aboriginal society, in particular as a result of the virulence of introduced diseases, in the first decade after the settlement of South Australia.



Junk food, transfats could cause blindness. That's why you see millions of blind people walking around. What rubbish! Just another of the many assertions based on the myth that dietary antioxidants are beneficial. Taking antioxidants can in fact cause premature death

AUSTRALIA faces an epidemic of blindness because young people are eating too much junk food, health experts have warned. Alarming new research has revealed a poor diet can lead to the eye disease macular degeneration, which causes blindness in later life. In recent years, MD numbers have skyrocketed and now the disease affects a staggering one in seven Australians over 50 - about 850,000 people. The disease causes progressive damage to the central part of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye which enables people to see detail clearly.

Poor nutrition reduces the levels of antioxidants in and around the eye's retina and enables waste products caused by fatty foods to damage the eye. Specialists say MD used to only affect people in their 70s, but now they are seeing people as young as 40 suffering from it. Leading optometrist Allan Ared, a Sydney specialist with clients in Queensland, said transfats in processed foods were a significant risk. "Macular degeneration is a modern-day epidemic, but if you look back 100 years, we never had a problem with this disease," he said. "It's only in the last 10 to 15 years that experts even became aware of what MD was.

"What's happened is processed foods have altered our nutritional intake and we are now eating foods every day that our ancestors only ate on special occasions. "That bag of chips you eat today may certainly impair your vision tomorrow." [The guy should be prosecuted for talking such lies]

Experts advise people to eat vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc, as well as foods rich in antioxidants, such as dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, nuts, wholegrains, meat, fish and seafood. Clinical studies [I'd like to see them] show high-dose vitamin and zinc supplements can reduce the progression of MD by 25 per cent. Alison Muir, national education co-ordinator for the Macular Degeneration Foundation, recommends people cut down on junk food. "This disease is increasing and it is partly because we have a lot of processed foods in our diets now," she said.


Sickbeds in public hospital corridors

Mexico, here we come!

HEALTH bosses have been forced to appoint a crisis manager to deal with a severe bed shortage at one of Brisbane's largest hospitals. In recent weeks, growing numbers of patients at the Princess Alexandra Hospital have been put on trolleys and treated in corridors because there are not enough beds available.

Now Queensland Health is copying a policy used by the National Health Service in Britain, in the hope it will speed up the process of finding beds for emergency department patients. The system, which will be in place from July 23, involves a nurse acting as a bed monitor to find beds within the hospital. An emergency department source, who refused to be named because of a Queensland Health ban preventing staff from speaking out, fears the policy will backfire. "Nurses with a full patient load should not be made to leave assigned patients to run up and down the corridors. This is a substandard way of treating patients."

Queensland Health spokeswoman Kirrily Boulton declined to discuss staff concerns. A member of the PA Hospital district executive said patients would be transferred to a bed as "quickly as possible upon arrival in the wards". "This system will help ensure that emergency staff can focus their attention and resources on critically ill patients as they arrive," he said.

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Ross Cartmill, who works at the PA, said the hospital needed an extra 100 beds. He said surgery had been cancelled in past weeks because patients on trolleys were cluttering areas around operating theatres. "There aren't enough staff to look after patients on trolleys as well as beds and it can become dangerous," he said. "As well as the safety issue, it is also an inadequate way to treat patients in terms of privacy."


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