Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Domestic violence against indigenous women is a big problem

Louise Taylor, writing below, is well meaning and well informed but she has no solution to the problems she describes.  Everything that could be tried has been tried  -- regularly oscillating between paternalism and permissiveness.  The people who did the most good were the missionaries but they are now personae non gratae to "right thinking" people.  The one thing that might help would be vigorous policing in the affected communities but the do-gooders would never accept that.  As it is, they make a great fuss about the high rate of Aboriginal incarceration

Louise claims that Aboriginal violence is "everybody's problem".  I don't accept that at all. I am not responsible for what others do.  That is a basic principle of law.

During my time as family violence prosecutor I met many victims of family violence. The vast majority of them were women, many of them were children. Working at the coalface of the impacts of family violence allows you a small window into the lives that so many women and children are living.

Through that window I have seen unspeakable acts of violence: levels of cruelty and degradation difficult to fathom. No matter the age, background or socio-economic status of the women I worked with, there were some common themes: Fear. Courage. Despair. Survival

But while these similarities can unite us in the struggle, it is the differences among some victims of family violence that we really must confront.

The reality for indigenous women: for me, my tiddas, my aunties is that family violence is more likely to touch our lives at a level so unacceptable that it should shock you.  But I don’t think it does. It should compel you to action. But it doesn’t.  It should make you rethink where symbolic gestures are getting us. But you might prefer not to think too deeply about that and sport your ribbon, wristband or T-shirt instead.

I think you’re almost immune to the appalling statistics that reflect the position of my people that this one is just one more area with a gap.On any available statistical analysis indigenous women are significantly more likely to be a victim of family violence. To be hospitalised because of it.  To die as a result of it.  Some would argue to have their children removed because of it.

Sadly, Indigenous women appear more likely to be criminalised themselves for their engagement with the systems charged with protecting them when they report family violence.

These are complex issues. No one gets that better than I do. There are layers of complexity for indigenous victims of family violence that aren’t at play for non-indigenous women. The imprint of the historically fraught relationship between my mob, the criminal justice system and the state, permeates any interaction indigenous women have with the systems in place charged with keeping them safe (and let’s be frank, those systems struggle to provide safety for non-indigenous women).

Indigenous women are often rightfully cynical of the mainstream remedies available to them when they are the victim of family violence. I know from my own experience there are racist undertones that accompany the way family violence among indigenous people is dealt with by many mainstream services and systems – there’s a ‘‘leave ’em to it, it’s their way’’ mentality that indigenous women work against to be taken seriously as if somehow victimhood is part of our cultural legacy (it isn’t).

And our own specialised services often suffer from acute underfunding.  The situation for indigenous women in some rural and remote areas is so dire that you prefer to avert your gaze. Recent figures out of the Northern Territory suggest that Aboriginal women are 80 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault than non-Aboriginal women. Eighty. Times. More. Likely.

You can imagine the frenzied response if that statistic was being played out among young white men on the streets of  Kings Cross.

Alcohol abuse is often cited as a major contributor in that region which is no doubt the case but what is often left out of the soundbite analysis is the underlying factors that contribute to that abuse and lead to violence, such as limited and overcrowded housing, the ad hoc nature of funding for support services or a  complete absence of  support services.

Continuing to focus on the symptom will see the cause remain and the cycle persist.

Within our own communities we are acutely aware of the appalling rate at which our brothers, husbands, uncles and sons are marching into prison. We want our men to be part of the solution and a great many of our brothers are.

Equally though, we want our women and children safe. We are justifiably wary of what it means for our men when we confront the brutal reality of the lives many of our tiddas and their children are living.

We must come to grips with that tension when we have this conversation and speak about solutions. We must be brave and you must be brave with us. Our politicians must be brave and support proper, long-term funding and community-led solutions recognising a one-size model of solution does not fit all.

Ensuring the full protections and supports, such as they are, available to non-indigenous women are equally available to indigenous women wherever their community, is a start.You have to listen to us - even when you don’t agree with the apparent politics of our message because it’s our lives and the lives of our families on the line.

Because at the end of the day, indigenous women just want the violence to stop too.

So when you think about the position of Australian women on International Women’s Day spare a thought for your sisters whose greatest struggle isn’t getting on a corporate board or ‘‘having it all’’.

Think about the women contemplating their very survival and then think about the position of the indigenous women in that category – they are the litmus test of how far we have to go.


Private schools in Canberra do best but funding is not the crucial factor

The private schools tend to have higher funding but Catholic schools keep their end up despite drastically lower funding.  Better discipline the most likely factor.  The huge funding received by some poorly performing government schools shows that money is not the crucial factor

The Canberra Times' league tables of ACT schools' literacy and numeracy scores continue to show that independent schools dominate their Catholic and government counterparts.

Independent schools fared well in years 7 and 9 in particular, while government and Catholic schools seemed to perform better in the primary years.

Funding remains uneven across the education system: severely disadvantaged government schools continue to receive the biggest share of ACT government funds, followed by independent schools, which draw a substantial portion of their revenue from fees.

Meanwhile, Catholic primary schools operate on less than a third of the funds that the most disadvantaged government schools receive, and less than half the budgets of independent schools.

Last week, the My School website published last year's results for the national assessment program for literacy and numeracy, or NAPLAN.

The scores of the ACT's 111 schools, when ranked against each other, show big improvements in year 3 for schools such as Telopea Park, which had improved on every measure since 2012. It moved from 47th to eighth in numeracy and from 21st to third in reading.

Mawson Primary jumped 71 places to come second in year 3 spelling and 17 places to come first in numeracy.

A small group of Catholic schools also dominated year 3 results: Rosary came fifth in reading, third in writing, fourth in spelling, second in grammar and 11th in maths.

Canberra Girls Grammar School, Canberra Grammar and to a lesser extent Radford College - the ACT schools with the highest fees - all dominated the year 5 results. Garran Primary also posted among the top results across the five subjects.

In year 7, Canberra Girls Grammar and Canberra Grammar vied for top places; Lyneham High School made big gains this year on last, coming fifth in reading, sixth in spelling, fourth in grammar and fourth in numeracy. Trinity Christian School improved its placing in three of the five test areas: it came fifth in writing, up from 13th in 2012.

However, the volatility of school performance from year to year was shown in last year's big improver, Burgmann Anglican School, dropping several places in each of the five areas, while still coming in the top 10.

The gender divide in performance across the country was shown in Canberra Grammar - an all-boy's school - taking out the top place in numeracy in years 5, 7 and 9, while Canberra Girl's Grammar was first in writing in all years.

At the bottom of the table, a small group of government schools catering to disadvantage continued to perform below national benchmarks. These schools also showed a correspondingly low index of community socio-educational advantage (ICSEA) scores.

Government schools with low ICSEA scores all received considerably more funds per student than did schools with higher levels of advantage. For example, Jervis Bay School, which has a high indigenous enrolment, receives $32,678 per student, compared with Garran Primary School, the ACT government school with the highest ICSEA score, which receives just $10,957.

Catholic primary schools receive the least funds per child, ranging from $10,341 at St John Vianney's in Waramanga to $7918 for St Anthony's Parish School in Wanniassa.


All Scientists are Sceptics ~Professor Bob Carter

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the science of climate change is the lack of any real substance in attempts to justify the hypothesis ~Professor Stewart Franks

ICSC Chief Science Advisor Professor Bob Carter discusses the NIPCC report:  "Any human global climate signal is so small as to be embedded within the background variability of the natural climate system"

"Professor Bob Carter, PhD on the latest NIPCC report", radio interview on Truth News radio, Australia.

"In today's show we are joined by Professor Bob Carter for the entire second hour to discuss the findings contained in the latest NIPCC report.

"The NIPCC ("Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change")  is an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change from a sceptical viewpoint, looking at information which is routinely ignored by the official U.N. body, the IPCC.

"The NIPCC was formed in response to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, released in 2007 with the aim of providing an independent, second opinion on the IPCC's findings. The first full report of the NIPCC was published in 2009. Another report followed in 2011, and the latest report was published in 2013.

"The 2013 NIPCC report contains an Executive Summary and a Summary for Policy Makers which present the findings in an approachable way for general readers. "From the Summary For Policy Makers:

"NIPCC’s conclusion, drawn from its extensive review of the scientific evidence, is that any human global climate signal is so small as to be embedded within the background variability of the natural climate system and is not dangerous. At the same time, global temperature change is occurring, as it always naturally does. A phase of temperature stasis or cooling has succeeded the mild twentieth century warming. It is certain that similar natural climate changes will continue to occur.

"In the show today, Professor Carter goes through some of the key findings in the latest report and addresses some popular misconceptions about polar ice and climate variability over the past ten thousand years."


Perversion Compounded and Children Corrupted

There are several truths you can usually count on when we think about the culture wars. One of them is that perversion tends to generate more perversion. Those pushing a particular vice, immorality or perversion tend to push other ones as well. The more the merrier it seems.

And those into unrighteousness and degradation also seem to want to drag children into their world of filth and perversion as well. It is not enough to let immorality and filth reign supreme amongst adults, but these folks also seek out children, dragging them into their sordid world.

Examples of this are easy to come by, and they demonstrate just how far down the moral drain our Western cultures have gone. It is as if there are moral sinkholes swallowing up entire cultures and societies. Or to alter the metaphor somewhat, all over the West we find examples of moral quicksand engulfing individuals, groups and entire nations.

Two recent examples of what I am talking about are worth examining. The first comes from the US. It involves one perverse group (baby killers) trying to get teens hooked on another perversion (bondage and sado-masochism). Hmmm, birds of a feather obviously.

planned parenthoodOne report on this explains: “Riding the wave of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ — and other pop culture ‘trends’ — Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) has released a video promoting and celebrating bondage and sadomasochism for teens (BDSM).

“In the video, posted on PPNNE’s website, host Laci Green offers ‘rules’ for such activities. The nearly 5-minute clip is titled ‘Getting Kinky—BDSM 101.’ It is just one of many included in PPNNE’s ‘education project’ called ‘A Naked Notion.’ They are all posted to the website’s section titled ‘For Teens’….

“Other videos posted on ‘A Naked Notion’ include one exploring abortion options, and touting abortion as a ‘safe, legal medical procedure.’ In another, she talks about how she lost her virginity at 16, how she doesn’t ‘regret it.’ It’s not about age, she says, it’s whether ‘you want to’ or not.”

Family groups were obviously not too thrilled with all this. Said Jeff Johnston of Focus on the Family, “This is a growing trend, the push to normalize — and even celebrate — deviant sexual behavior. Planned Parenthood should be held accountable for sexualizing and exploiting teenagers and children through the promotion of any and every type of sexual behavior. They’ve fed for too long at the government trough, and should be stripped of any taxpayer monies.”

Brushfires Founder Daniel Weiss said this: “A common-sense approach for Congress when reviewing these kinds of projects is to ask if the program increases or decreases sexual risk-taking among teens. When the tax-payer-funded BDSM apologist emphasizes the need for fail-safe code words because ‘stop’ is insufficient, you know you’ve crossed into the sexual Twilight Zone.

“Planned Parenthood seems only to exist for promoting deviant sexual lifestyles and profiting off those who follow them. As parents and as a nation, we must ask whether we want this kind of creepiness anywhere near anyone’s children.”

My second example comes from here in Australia. It is just as bad, and also involves various types of sexual perversion and degradation – and it also involves deliberately targeting children. Commentator Bernard Gaynor has just written about one NSW school proudly marching in the recent Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney.

As one newspaper report states, “There is again only one school joining in Sydney’s mardi gras parade but Macquarie Grammar principal Darryl Gauld almost said no to participating this year. He changed his mind when he heard the parade was going to be televised.

“’This is Sydney’s largest parade and the biggest of its kind in the world,’ Dr Gauld said. ‘Three million people will be watching it on television.’ The 10-year-old independent school has 120 students and has joined in the parade for four years. Dr Gauld said he wanted more people to know about his city school.”

Gaynor spends some time describing the perversion these school children would have been exposed to: “Then there’s the Sydney Leather Pride Association. Its 2013 official parade description reads: ‘an organisation for fetish or esoteric sexual practice individuals of all sexual orientations. Their float will send the message of “we exist and enjoy what we do”. Most people don’t understand what the SLPA do but they are ‘sane, fun loving, responsible perverts!’

“This followed up the 2012 description that read: ‘Sydney Leather Pride Association Proud to be a sadist? Proud to be a pervert? Proud to be a master… Whatever you are proud to be, wear leather with pride.’ For those who are interested, the 2014 descriptions were cut down in size. We just don’t know what kind of perverts were marching this year.

“But we do know from the website of the Sydney Leather Pride Association that it runs courses on things like ‘dungeon safety’ and interactive workshops on pain and smacking. It also has a page that helpfully explains how you can signal your sexual desire.

“Dr Darryl Gauld and the staff at the Macquarie Grammar School might be interested to know that this page includes signals on how to have yourself urinated on, and, much more seriously, how to signal your intent to engage in pederasty. For those who don’t know, pederasty means sex between a man and a boy.

“Now, just in case anyone jumps to the conclusion that the Sydney Leather Pride Association are some random bunch of no-hoper loners that every other group at the Mardi Gras avoids, I hate to burst your bubble. It’s clear that they run parties and that other groups that parade at the Mardi Gras, including Dykes on Bikes, Harbour City Bears and Femme Guild, are given discounted entry to them.

“These are all groups that marched in the same parade as the Macquarie Grammar School. Now, I’m prepared to accept that Dr Darryl Gauld and the staff at the Macquarie Grammar School did not know about the fact that the Sydney Leather Pride Association webpage explains how one can signal their interest in pederasty. In fact, I’m even prepared to accept that Dr Darryl Gauld did not even know about the Sydney Leather Pride Association until I wrote about it today.

“But I’m not prepared to accept that this is a good excuse. It would simply mean that Dr Gauld and his team did not do their homework and that, as a result, the students under his care were unwittingly exposed to immorality, rather than by deliberate design. And, if that’s the case, then I’m more than happy to print any statement that Dr Gauld and the Macquarie Grammar School might care to release, distancing themselves from the Sydney Leather Pride Association and the organisers of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, who welcome them into the parade every year. If Dr Gauld does not release such a statement, I will, of course, want to know why he is not prepared to make any public comment.”

That is simply perversion multiplied, compounded, and amplified. And some schools think it is just fine to drag their poor students along to such affairs. No wonder we are going down the tubes so fast. No wonder we may be witnessing the last days of once great nations like America and Australia.

No wonder we may be the last generation to live in a free and prosperous West. When Barry McGuire sang in 1965 that we are living on the “Eve of Destruction” he may not have known just how accurate he was. It does not look good for the West. And it is certainly looking rather horrible as to the fate of our children and grandchildren.

But don’t take my word for it. Lesbian Tammy Bruce, former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, put it this way: “During my activism in the feminist and gay communities, the conditioning was nonstop. The effort, using the mass media primarily, was and is to brainwash the public into believing that certain sexual practices are merely ‘alternative lifestyles’… I was told that my describing S&M as a sickness put gay people at risk. Why? Because if any ‘alternative’ sexual practice was condemned, there would be the slippery slope, and no gays would be safe from those maniacal Christian fundamentalists. By default, it was argued, we had a responsibility to embrace and support anyone who challenged the sexual and social status quo.”

And we are seeing the bitter fruit of this on full display today.


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