Friday, March 07, 2014

Stupid abusive boong

"Boong" is an old Australian Aboriginal word for an Aborigine but tends to be derogatory when used by whites.  I use it deliberately to express my contempt for the unwarranted abuse of my ancestors by a stupid and offensive black racist -- JR

Footballer Adam Goodes on the right above

Andrew Bolt

The Swans captain this week denounced "our very dark past, a brutal history of dispossession, theft and slaughter". "Europeans, and the governments that have run our country, have raped, killed and stolen," he wrote in Fairfax newspapers.

Goodes attacked Australians who resisted this lurid characterisation of our past: "The people who benefited most from those rapes, those killings and that theft ... turn away in disgust when someone seeks to expose it."

A word to Goodes, who identifies as a "proud Adnyamathanha man" — an Aboriginal from a Flinders Ranges tribe:

Adam, my grandparents committed no thefts, rapes or murders.  My ancestors were all in Europe when, you claim, our governments were raping and slaughtering Aborigines.

Adam, you yourself have European ancestors. I trust you can vouch they, too, committed no rapes and slaughters.  So why are you on one side of your racial division and I on the guilty other?

And when you attack "the people who benefited most from those rapes, those killings and that theft", do you include yourself?

After all, you’ve benefited more than most from the society built, you claim, by "the people in whose name the oppression was done".

Before British settlement, Aboriginal deaths in tribal warfare rivalled European losses, per capita, in World War I, says historian Geoffrey Blainey in Triumph of the Nomads.

Life for many Aborigines then was brutishly harsh and often included appalling rates of violence against women, as established by paleopathology expert Stephen Webb from the evidence of fractured skulls.

But Goodes now is rich and famous, despite the racism he suffered when young. He has freedom, the best healthcare and a life of luxury unimaginable to his distant ancestors.

"Adam, my grandparents committed no thefts, rapes or murders. My ancestors were all in Europe when, you claim, our governments were raping and slaughtering Aborigines."

So why didn’t he praise the good as well as acknowledge the bad of our past — a bad that he seems to have grossly exaggerated?  Why didn’t Goodes say that to divide us by "race" is a nonsense now, with our tangled genealogies?

But I am not surprised by the divisive rhetoric.  After all, a 13-year-old girl was subjected to national humiliation after she shouted "ape" at the bearded footballer from the sidelines of a tense game.

She was removed from the stands and made to wait two hours after she’d been interviewed by police while it was decided what to do with her.  She was then called the "face" of racism. The girl was named and film of her shown around the country, although she insisted she had not meant "ape" as a racial slur and was sorry.

There was only one way Goodes, a powerful adult, could be seen as the victim in this contest with a schoolgirl.

It reduced these two individuals to the crudest of racial stereotypes — black victim and white oppressor. It was to twist the facts to suit the fiction of a country rived by racism.

For instance, he said his mother, raised by an English family, was "a member of the stolen generations".  But whether the stolen generations exist is a highly contested issue.

She came from South Australia, which the state’s Supreme Court found in 2007 never had a policy of removing children just because they were Aboriginal.

Brian Bennett worked for the Aborigines Department when Goodes’s mother was a girl, and told the court: "I don’t believe that I, at any time during my career as a welfare officer, had the power to remove an Aboriginal child from its parents."

The judge also cited a letter written in 1958 by the Secretary of the Aborigines Protection Board: "Our legislation does not provide that neglected children can be removed from their parents, except by transfer to the Children’s Welfare and Public Relief Board who in any case, will not accept them."

In South Australia, Aboriginal children could only be adopted "with the authority of the parents" but too few got that chance — as Goodes’s mother apparently did.

"Unfortunately, there is a considerable amount of undernourishment, malnutrition and neglect," the secretary mourned.

Our history is not as simple as Goodes claims. Nor is our guilt.


Australia’s top universities still well up in Times Higher Education rankings

3 out of 4 of the universities I have been associated with are in the top 100 worldwide so I think I can live with that

World reputation rankings released this morning by Times Higher Education show Australia’s top five — University of Melbourne, Australian National University, University of Sydney, University of Queensland and University of New South Wales — all dropped down the rankings table in 2014.

The University of Queensland fell from position 71-80 in 2013 to 81-90 in 2014, while the country’s top higher education institution — the University of Melbourne — fell from place 39 to 43. This leaves no Australian institution in the top 40 universities worldwide.

Monash University in Victoria dropped out of the top 100 list entirely between 2013 and 2014.

Times Higher Education world reputation rankings editor Phil Baty said the public debate about higher education cuts in 2013 could have played a part in the fall.

The former Government announced last year that it would use $2.3 billion in savings from the higher education sector to fund the Gonski school reforms. The current Government has indicated it will retain this savings measure.

"It is perhaps significant that major funding cuts were announced by the previous Australian Government in the middle of the survey,’’ Mr Baty said.

"This could have had a negative impact on how academics around the world perceive the Australian higher education sector.’’

The world reputation rankings are based on a survey of more than 10,000 academics in 133 countries, who are asked to nominate the best 15 institutions in their field of expertise.

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Hoj was dismissive of the results, saying the rankings were "subjective’’ and involved a diminishing number of academics.

"It is not easy to reconcile the result with the facts that UQ is one of 32 universities in the edX consortium and that our researchers publish and are cited more than ever,’’ he said.



 *  UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE; 39; 43 (drop)
 *  UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY; 49; 61-70 (drop)
 *  UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND; 71-80; 81-90 (drop)
 *  UNIVERSITY OF NSW; 81-90; 91-100 (drop)


Shark-loving Greenies

Sharks do what Greenies would like to do:  Reduce the human population.  Greenies are would-be super sharks so no wonder they like sharks

SEA Shepherd has failed to secure a court injunction to force the suspension of the West Australian government's shark culling program, with its lawyer saying the "heart" has been ripped from the case.

The marine activists launched the fast-tracked legal challenge on Wednesday last week, seeking to have dozens of baited drumlines off Perth and the South West region removed.

Their argument questioned the validity of an exemption under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, granted by federal environment minister Greg Hunt, which allowed the state government to kill any protected great white, tiger or bull shark bigger than three metres caught in certain zones.

The exemption runs until the end of the trial program on April 30, but Sea Shepherd wanted it stopped immediately.

Their lawyers argued the exemption was not valid as it was not published in an official government gazette.

But on Wednesday, Judge James Edelman disagreed and decided against granting the injunction.

Patrick Pearlman, principal solicitor for WA's Environmental Defender's Office, who led the action for Sea Shepherd, said hopes of a judicial review had been extinguished.

"In ruling on the preliminary question of whether the exemption is valid, he has in essence taken the heart out of the case," Mr Pearlman told reporters.   "We're obviously disappointed. We thought we had a very good argument. It's a very legal, technical argument."

Mr Pearlman maintained the exemption should have been gazetted so parliamentarians had the chance to examine, debate and vote upon it.   "Then, I think, every member of parliament would be able to be on the record and say whether they think this program is a good idea."

He said an appeal would be considered.

There was still a chance the state government could be forced to remove the drumlines before the trial ended, Mr Pearlman said, with the WA Environmental Protection Authority still considering whether to assess the program.

With the WA government's lawyers now seeking to slug Sea Shepherd with court costs, the activist group faces a bill of up to $19,000.  But it was worth it, Mr Hansen said.  "We had to have a shot at this," he said.  "We will continue no matter what because we have right on our side."


Government transport provider launches Facebook page and probably regrets it already

SOUTHEAST Queensland public transport agency TransLink has launched its own Facebook page this week — with disastrous results.

Commuters wasted no time jumping on the page to bag public transport in southeast Queensland, unleashing venomous rants against fares and the reliability and standard of service.

The flood of negative comments even had some Facebook users questioning if the page was a joke.

"This page will be gone after a week or so due to the torrents of abuse it’s about to receive from every unimpressed user of Queensland public transport — that is all users," wrote Ivan Anderson.

Another user "thanked" TransLink for helping her to get fit.  "Your inadequate services and infuriating customer service have forced me to buy a pushbike and never again pay a bloody cent to you," said Mel Sinclar.  "I find it deplorable that I have to pay $4.60 to ride three zones."

Others questioned the point of a page that posts service disruptions and delays after the event, alongside glossy marketing photographs and trivia questions about Translink’s history.

In response to a post about what month the Go Card was launched, Charlie McCook wrote "excuse me TransLink but we don’t need trivia games from you".  "We get enough of it with the "I wonder if my necessary transport to work/uni/school/important appointment will show up today?" game. Thanks though."

However a statement on the Transport and Main Roads site, noted the Facebook page had "already racked up 600 likes".

"TransLink uses social media to share information and to communicate with you when you’re on the go," said the statement.

"We post tweets and updates about service disruptions, travel information for special events, ticketing, fare and go card information, competitions and offers."

As of 10am Thursday the page had scored more than 800 likes.


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