Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I'm on the side of the African father in this one:

I never once laid a hand on my own son during his childhood but I did not have a son like this guy does

A TERRITORY father who allegedly held his 12-year-old son captive in dog chains and gave him a "flog" has been banned from seeing the boy.

The father made a nine-minute emotional speech to contest the no-contact order in the Darwin Magistrates Court on Friday, blaming his son's punishment on the "unprofessionalism" of NT police to control the boy. But Magistrate Greg Cavanagh said the African refugee was not to contact his son - who was now in the care of Family and Children Services - without supervision, as the boy had been allegedly found by police "tied by dog chains to his bed with other restraints to his ankles and hands". It was not revealed how long the boy had been tied up for.

The father, raising his voice to the magistrate, said he "did nothing wrong to my son" and was trying to discipline him for "running with gangs". "My son has been misbehaving in a way that you cannot support it," he said. "(He) tried to burn out the house that I'm renting (and) damaged the car of one of our relatives." He said his son was also planning to steal "people's bags" from a nearby supermarket. "What a shame," he told the court.

"We call police several times. They can't do anything. So I tried to discipline him in my own way. "Not to kill him, not to hurt him, not to do anything. I gave him a flog, that's what I do ... And I'm telling you that I use the (dog) chain to chain (him) so that he cannot run away."

The father said he was "a very responsible parent". "I'm not an alcoholic, I don't smoke, I don't take marijuana. I'm a Christian." He said he had been "the target of the Northern Territory police" and begged Mr Cavanagh to help him and his family flee Australia. I didn't come to Australia to get another war. I run from the war (in) my country," he said. "But I found another war in Australia from the NT police."


Want to be as bigoted and as violent as you like? Become a Muslim!

That seems to be the Leftist gospel anyhow -- as we see from the Leftist love-affair with Australian terrorist David Hicks

According to Terry Hicks, his son David has no reason to apologise to anyone about anything. This explains why the anticipated apology was missing from David Hicks's statement, which was read to the media by the lawyer David McLeod after his client's release from Adelaide's Yatala prison last Saturday. The absence of an apology has been welcomed by members of David Hicks's fan club and the civil liberties lobby. Certainly no known supporter of Hicks has argued that he should be contrite for his past statements or deeds.

Yet there is no need to analyse the case against Hicks advanced by the United States and Australian governments and/or other agencies. The case against the self-confessed terrorist supporter is evident in the letters that he wrote to his family in Adelaide shortly before his capture by Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan, who handed him over to US forces.

Some of this correspondence was released by Hicks's family and was cited in the Hicks-friendly documentary The President Versus David Hicks, which was directed by Curtis Levy and Bentley Dean and shown on SBS TV in 2004. Other Hicks letters were presented to the Federal Magistrates Court in December, during the Australian Federal Police's successful application for a control order with respect to Hicks that went into operation after his release from prison.

We know from Hicks's own hand that he (i) joined the Taliban in Afghanistan, (ii) trained with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and personally met its leader, Osama bin Laden, on numerous occasions, (iii) attempted to kill (and maybe did kill) individuals on the Indian side of the Kashmir Line of Control, and (iv) advocated the overthrow of what he termed "Western-Jewish domination". We also know that Hicks expressed the view that "Western society is controlled by the Jews with music, TV, houses, cars [and] free sex". And we know that he praised Islamist beheadings for those who disagree with Muhammad, and proclaimed the benefits of "being martyred" and being "well trained for jihad".

The David Hicks fan club and its allies in the civil liberties lobby are engaged in an unpleasant double standard here. Just imagine what this lot would have said if the Reverend Fred Nile, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party in NSW, had claimed that "the Jews have complete financial and media control" in Australia. Or just imagine what would have been the response had Nile boasted that he had fought on the Indian side of the Line of Control and fired "rocket-propelled grenades 200 metres from a bunker" holding two soldiers of the Muslim faith.

Without question, in such a situation, a Christian like Nile would have been condemned as an anti-Semite and a Muslim killer. But a different standard applies when a Muslim convert like Hicks engages in anti-Semitism or admits to trying to kill Indian soldiers, of whatever faith.

Yet the response to Hicks from his supporters is a combination of gush and denial. Writing in the Adelaide Independent Weekly, Hendrik Gout described Hicks as an "idealistic and foolish would-be mercenary". Since when did support for the terrorist bin Laden and the murderous al-Qaeda group amount to idealism? Moreover, Hicks has never denied fighting with Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Nor has Hicks denied crossing back into Afghanistan from Pakistan after al-Qaeda's attacks on the US on September 11, 2001.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph last weekend, the Democrat senator Natasha Stott Despoja criticised the Australian Federal Police for outlining "in excruciating detail everything they had on file about Hicks" to the Federal Magistrates Court. It seems she is in denial about his evident anti-Semitism and his past support for terrorism. Stott Despoja also criticised the fact that the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, supported the AFP's application for a control order over Hicks - maintaining that the Rudd Labor Government "failed its first test on national security and has shown itself to be little more than a clone of its predecessor". In fact, the control order does little to inhibit Hicks's freedoms and makes sense in view of what he himself has said about his past association with terrorism.

Certainly, as the former foreign minister, Alexander Downer, has acknowledged, the US mishandled the Hicks case and was too slow in placing him before a military commission. I argued this, both publicly and privately, in the lead-up to Hicks's military commission last year. But the fact is that Hicks's legal team, in the US and Australia, erred in refusing to accept a plea bargain when it was available.

As Leigh Sales documented in her book Detainee 002: The Case Of David Hicks, "Hicks could have been back in Australia years ago, instead of sitting in Guantanamo Bay for several years" but for the stance taken by his friends. Sales was criticised in The Age by the academic lawyer Gerry Simpson for her "distracting insistence on balance and pragmatism". It was yet another example of a Hicks supporter wanting to avoid the facts.

In his statement Hicks maintained that his "readjustment will be a slow process and should involve a gentle transition away from the media spotlight". Right. Yet the David Hicks fan club is already talking up the prospect of his selling his story to the media. Many of its members are well-off professionals. If 500 of them contributed $1000 each to his rehabilitation, there would be a $500,000 fund for Hicks and no need for him to risk his health by moving back into the media spotlight. A good idea, to be sure. But don't bet on it. It's a lot easier to endorse moral stances than, as the saying goes, to tap the mat with hard cash.


Opposition says rights fights 'to clog courts'

The Victorian Charter of Human Rights, which comes into force today, will allow disgruntled residents to bog down the Supreme Court, according to Opposition justice spokesman Robert Clark. He said the laws would be used by people trying to overturn the decisions of democratically elected bodies on policy issues, such as homework being imposed on children.

"It will be unlawful for any public authority to act in a way incompatible with a human right, as defined in the charter," he said. "As well, whenever an issue arises in a court about whether an existing law is compatible with a 'human right', either party can ask to have the issue referred to the Supreme Court. "Every time such an issue arises in Supreme Court or County Court proceedings, the parties must notify the Attorney-General, who has the right to intervene.

"However, the charter gives no rights to better services from the Brumby Government to citizens waiting months for pain-relieving surgery or those unable to squeeze on to overcrowded trains, or those struggling to get early intervention or respite care for their special-needs child."

Attorney-General Rob Hulls rejected the claims. "It is simply common sense that basic human rights such as freedom of expression, protection from torture, the right to vote and freedom from forced work be enshrined in a single piece of legislation," he said.


Wicked waste because of "security" craziness

The bitch concerned needs to be found less demanding employment. Grange is virtually holy to most Australian wine-drinkers

A brewery executive was on the verge of tears when he had to smash two bottles of Australia's best known wine, worth $3000, at the airport. Neil Grant, the southern region general manager with Fosters Australia, ran foul of the tough security rules at Melbourne's Tullmarine airport as he was about to board an Emirates flight to the UK. "I was going to conferences in Scotland and Ireland, and grabbed a 1980 and an '82 Grange from my personal cellar," Mr Grant said. He estimated the two bottles were probably worth about $3000.

But he'd forgotten about the 100ml liquid rule applying to carry-on luggage, and although the precious Grange slipped through Customs he came unstuck at the final security check. "I had the lady from hell, who said 'No sir, this is going to be bloody destroyed' even though the Emirates people were happy to find my baggage and pack it for me," he said.

"I said 'this is like a work of art, it's irreplaceable, do you know what you're doing here'. "She had them in her office and I said I wanted to put them in the wheelie bin myself. "I was worried that they'd just go downstairs and someone would open the bin and there's two bottles of Grange, so I smashed them. "I thought if I'm not going to be able to drink them, nobody is. "I'm still in mourning over it."

Mr Grant said he wanted to take the Grange overseas to share with others at the conferences and show off some of Australia's best produce. "They were just totally inflexible about anything we suggested to get it fixed," he said. "I offered to open it there and then and let everyone have some, but they said 'No sir, you can't do that here'."


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