Friday, November 27, 2015
"Miss Dhu" did NOT die because of unpaid fines
The claim below that she did is totally dishonest. She died from the complications of a bashing she received from her partner. Aboriginal men bashing their women is a sadly common occurrence. I have seen it myself and it can be very severe. Only a greatly enhanced police presence in Aboriginal communities might help the women concerned. The claim below, by contrast, ignores all that, simply making cynical use of her case in order to get fines waived for Aborigines.
And the authorities were not negligent. Seeing that she was ill, they took her to hospital several times. The doctors however had difficulty finding what was wrong, not because of ill-will but because of the characteristic difficulty Aborigines have in communicating with whites. For instance, it is a reflexive custom for Aborigines to say what they think their questioner wants to hear. So a question such as "Are you OK now?" would get a Yes reply even if such a reply were inaccurate.
And it does appear that her repeated unsuccessful visits to hospital had made the guards impatient and suspicious, which is why they were a bit rough with her towards the end but which is also an understandable response in the circumstances.
Clearly, nobody was aware of the difficulties that communication with Aborigines can pose. So if there are any lessons to be learned it is to improve that understanding, either by employing experienced Aboriginal intermediaries or by having all staff trained by people who really know Aborigines and their culture well. It really is an art.
I note in passing that the doctor who saw her was from India. That could well have amplified the communication difficulties. One often hears of problems arising from a "communication breakdown" but this would appear to be a particularly unfortunate example of it
Miss Dhu died in police custody in excruciating pain, all because she couldn’t pay her fines.
IMAGINE this. You’re 22-years-old, and you should have your whole life ahead of you.
Instead, you’re stuck in a violent relationship, using drugs and facing legal troubles. The bills are piling up, and so are the fines you’ve been ordered to pay by the courts — $3622.
That’s the situation a young Yamatji woman, known as Miss Dhu for cultural reasons, found herself in when she paid the ultimate price, a West Australian coronial inquest has heard.
Miss Dhu died in agonising pain in police custody last year — all because she could not afford to pay her fines.
The case has prompted calls for WA laws to be overhauled, so that vulnerable Australians who cannot pay their fines do not meet the same tragic fate.
Family members who filled the courtroom when a two-week inquest into Miss Dhu’s death opened yesterday gasped and cried while watching security footage of her time in custody at South Hedland Police Station, in the Pilbarra.
Security footage showed a male police officer entering Miss Dhu’s cell and trying to lift her up by her arm, before she slumped back and hit her head on the concrete floor.
The footage showed police dragging and carrying her limp body from the cell to a divvy van. One officer was heard telling Miss Dhu to “shut up” as she moaned.
Less than an hour later, she was dead.
A lethal combination of pneumonia and septicaemia killed Miss Dhu, who the court heard had suffered broken ribs at the hands of her violent partner.
The inquest heard she had repeatedly complained in custody of pain and having difficulty breathing. Miss Dhu’s father Robert testified she had told him her boyfriend had “flogged” her and broken her ribs.
She was taken to the Hedland Health Campus hospital twice in two days, and each time doctors deemed her fit to remain in custody after giving her medication, including diazepam and paracetamol.
On the third day, Miss Dhu could not move her legs and her body was numb, so police carried her to the van and took her to hospital again.
But one officer believed she pretended to faint when they placed her in a wheelchair.
Dr Vafa Naderi told the court Miss Dhu kept changing her story, which made it difficult to characterise the nature and location of her pain.
“Dr Naderi’s impression was that she was withdrawing from drugs or had behavioural issues,” counsel assisting the coroner Ilona O’Brien said in her opening address.
Miss Dhu’s mother Della Roe told the coroner her daughter was family-oriented and bubbly, but that changed when she started dating a much older man and using drugs.
On one occasion, Ms Roe noticed her daughter had a black eye, but when she asked whether her partner had hit her, Miss Dhu replied: “Oh mum, don’t worry. It’s an old one, it’s going away.”
Miss Dhu’s father said he was concerned his daughter was treated cruelly and like a dog in custody. “They should not treat anybody like that,” he said.
Outside court, Ms Roe sobbed while describing the depression, grief and sleepless nights she suffered as a result of her daughter’s death. “I still have no answers; I still don’t know how or why she died,” she told the ABC.
“These emotions I go through is like a temperature gauge, the pressure is high and I don’t know where I should stand. I want answers for myself, my family and for friends that knew my daughter.”
Miss Dhu’s family is campaigning for changes to WA laws for people who cannot pay fines, with the help of the Human Rights Law Centre.
In the state, recipients of fines can elect to spend a day in jail for every $250 worth of fines, a policy that has been blamed for the high number of indigenous people in WA jails.
Shadow Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt has called it “a terrible way to operate a justice system, a terrible way to operate the finances of the state”, and unfairly targeted the poor.
Lawyer Ruth Barson said about 1000 people were jailed every year because of unpaid fines. “Miss Dhu was a young woman without any money in a domestic violence situation. She was locked up because she had not paid her fines,” Ms Barson told the ABC.
“Even though Miss Dhu tragically died over 12 months ago, the Western Australian Government is yet to change the laws that allowed such a vulnerable young woman to be locked up ... Western Australia urgently needs a fair and a flexible fines system like that in New South Wales which differentiates between those who will not and those who cannot pay their fines.
“Vulnerable people like Miss Dhu who can’t pay their fines should not be locked up; rather they should be given the opportunity to rebuild their lives. It is time for the Western Australia to take action and rebalance the justice system.”
Back in 1987, NSW teenager Jamie Partlic was attacked and left in a coma for six weeks by another inmate at Long Bay prison, where he had been locked up for refusing to pay a parking fine.
The laws were then changed so that prison was no longer an option; instead, licences can be suspended, the Sheriff’s Office can confiscated belongings to be sold to pay off fines, and community service can be ordered.
Other legal reforms being debated in WA include a custody notification service like in NSW, where the Aboriginal Legal Service must be notified every time an indigenous person is taken into custody.
The WA Deaths in Custody Watch Committee has urged that Miss Dhu’s death ought not be in vain, and is campaigning on Facebook for law reform.
Chairman Marc Newhouse told The Australian the case must not be overlooked as it “goes to the heart of the criminalisation of vulnerable women”.
Premier Colin Barnett fast-tracked the inquest after public outrage, which included rallies across Australia about deaths in custody.
Tolerance of Muslim hostility has gone too far
HANDOUTS and #hashtags haven’t worked, multi-faith kumbaya sessions haven’t cut any ice — the evidence is that the only way to eradicate Islamist terrorism is to kill the terrorists.
Recruit as many imams as you may wish but Muslims admit their faith has no Pope, no central figure with a commanding stature, and no discipline beyond the wildly differing interpretations of the 1400-year-old Koranic verses.
As evidenced by the war that has raged between Shia and Sunni Muslims since the death of Mohammed, the most diligent Koranic scholars offer little hope of peace either.
Multiculturalism certainly isn’t the key. Nations that have opted for the soft-left view that all cultures have equal value are now wondering why they have no-go zones like Belgium’s Molenbeek, which in the week since the atrocities committed in Paris became shorthand for Islamist terrorism in Europe after Molenbeek residents were identified as the brains behind the slaughter.
Writing in the Belgian newspaper La Libre, Belgium Liberal senator Alain Destexhe, the former secretary-general of Doctors Without Borders, expressed his shock at the lawlessness he found. “I was in shock there,” he wrote. “Women covered with a burqa, in contradiction of Belgian law, walk around undisturbed next to policemen. Officials of the electricity and water companies don’t come to check the meters without bodyguards.”
He blamed his country’s socialists, those who “in their youth worshipped Stalin and ignored the gulags, and in their old age have fallen captive to the charms of the Muslim clerics”. He also targeted former socialist mayor Philippe Moreaux, who stands accused of conducting a “social multicultural laboratory experiment” in the suburb during a period of major immigration from the 1970s that saw the north African population grow fourfold.
The suburb now has a population which is one-quarter Muslim, similar to that of metropolitan Brussels, but which has some neighbourhoods where some 80 per cent of the people are descendants of north Africa. Unemployment in Molenbeek is almost 30 per cent, compared with 8.5 per cent for the rest of Brussels.
Belgium’s Socialist Party relied on Muslim votes to hold power on the council and permitted Muslim residents to reject traditional Belgian culture.
Australia has a far smaller percentage of Muslim residents than Belgium but, alarmingly, has provided a disproportionately high number of young jihadis to the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria.
A handful have been zealous converts but the majority have been first- and second-generation Australians who have succumbed to slick terrorist recruiters who lure their pathologically vulnerable targets with claims of religious piety attached to ultimate thrill seeking.
American assets were hit by terrorists long before the 9/11 hijackers murdered 3000 people in their 2001 attacks on the United States.
Australians were targets before the first and second Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005, yet after each major attack the initial Western response has always defaulted to somnolence as the best way to avoid confrontation with the Muslim world, which ultimately must deal with its own millennia-old conflicts instead of blaming convenient external issues.
The chronic weakness in the Western leadership doesn’t give much reason for optimism.
On the world stage, only one person in recent times has provided any leadership in the war against the lawless, and that person was former prime minister Tony Abbott; hailed abroad for his stand against Russian President Vladimir Putin and mocked at home for his honesty — just as he was last month when he presciently warned of the impending catastrophic effects of Europe’s capitulation to the flood of so-called refugees.
It took the horror of last week’s attack to mobilise France, but the US — under its weakest post-WWII leader, President Barack Obama — has failed to offer the world any hope it will fulfil its Western leadership role.
The lessons for Australia are obvious. The same socialism that inflicted cancerous Molenbeek on the Belgian population has long infected popular culture in Australia.
Multiculturalism has been permitted to degrade the core values that underpinned the success Australia enjoyed as a migrant nation once attracting people from diverse cultures who wished to enjoy the freedoms of religion and speech that were once at the core of our national fibre.
Whether taking the pledge or swearing the oath of allegiance, new citizens solemnly undertake to give their loyalty to Australia and its people and their democratic beliefs, respecting their rights and liberties and upholding and obeying their laws.
Yet we see so-called refugee advocates urging foreigners to break our laws, weak-kneed university administrations turning a blind eye to student groups who oppose free speech on campuses, and politicians who have permitted suburbs such as Lakemba to turn into ghettos where English is rarely heard and women who don’t hide themselves in hideous garments are discriminated against.
The national anthem and our national flag are mocked by academics and the bien pensants who run the ABC. Mainstream Australians from both sides of politics feel their parties have let them down.
Our governments at every level must make it clear that they, too, stand for our rights, liberties, and laws and loyalty to our nation, and not for a meaningless degrading melange of inclusiveness, diversity and multiculturalism.
Bible teachings forbidden in Victorian schools
VICTORIAN students can make Christmas decorations and sing carols in class but hymns are forbidden. This is one of the new rules put in place by the Victorian government to tackle how religion is taught in schools.
Students will be allowed to dress up for the Hindu festival, Diwali, or indulge in sweet delights from Muslim’s Eid celebrations. But looking at the Bible, Koran or any other religious text will be strictly banned in class time from next year.
Prayers and instructions on how to live in accordance to a particular faith will also be unacceptable in the classroom.
Under the new government plan, Special Religious Instruction can be taught in schools in the hour before or after school or at lunch times by an accredited instructor approved by the Minister for Education. A teacher must also be present and children must have permission from their parents to attend.
Fairness in Religions in School chief executive Lara Wood has been fighting to eliminate Special Religious Instruction from state schools and while she welcomed the changes, she still had her concerns.
“We are worried about the lunchtime classes because we know from past experience the volunteers do try to convert the kids and don’t stick to the curriculum,” she said. “We are concerned that could happen.”
Principals get to decide whether they want Special Religious Instruction within their school at all and Ms Wood commended the government for giving them more power.
“If a school did decide to take it on, it would mean a lot more work for schools because they will have to closely monitor the program to make sure the rules are being followed,” she said.
In Victorian state schools previously, children were being split up to learn about their religion during class time.
Ms Wood said school work was impacted and children were segregated. “The new guidelines will remove this problem altogether though and I think it’s fantastic,” she said.
It will now be the teacher’s responsibility to educate children generally about religion and the main holidays and celebrations.
On occasion, guest speakers who are representatives of a particular faith can explain their religion further to students but they must not promote it.
Ms Wood said teaching children about all religions would make them more tolerant, respectful and accepting. “We hope Victoria will now lead the way for other states,” she said.
Australia Post: Muslim favouritism?
This story has been circulating for some time but seems to be totally factual. A story in the Left-leaning SMH confirms most of it, including the size of Ahmed Fahour's salary package. The salary is undoubtedly disproportionate, signaling at a minimum that Mr Fahour has friends in all the right places. Recent rises in the price of stamps make the whole matter particularly galling
Recently Australia Post which is totally government owned and has been for 200 years, announced the loss of 900 jobs, being part of a cut back program.
This is due to the decline in letters beings sent and that's true as email has further reduced letter writing and in many ways understandably.
The CEO of Australia Post is Ahmed Fahour who was born in Lebanon and came to Australia in 1970.
In 2009 he was made Managing Director and CEO of Australia Post.
His salary package was estimated to be worth $4.8 million last year. Of this he donated about $2 million to the Islamic Museum of Australia located in Melbourne.
I have a big problem with this fellow's salary package and so let's get some perspective here.
The top ten executives in Australia Post combined earn around $20 million each year.
That's simply immoral and clearly the CEO can afford to give away nearly half his takings to an Islamic Museum as he doesn't need it, and surprise, surprise .... it's tax deductable.
The founder and director of the Museum is former Macquarie Bank executive ..., Moustafa Fahour - Ahmed Fahour's brother. Moustafa's wife, Maysaa, is the chairwoman and Director. The Fahours' sister, Samira El Khafir, is Head Chef and manages the restaurant on site.
How can the CEO of the Post Office earn so much, especially when the postal service is bleeding money from letter delivery. No employee is worth 5 million a year and especially not from a government owned business.
The top Federal Public Servants in Australia have salaries of between $665,600 and $844,800 so how does the bloke in charge of the Post Office received $4.8 million? The Prime Minister of Australia earns a modest $507,000 considering the real burdens of office, while the CEO of the Gold Coast Council earning slightly less and that's patently out of kilter with the PM's package. The Mayor of GCCC brings in $225,000 so how on earth can the Post Office justify the massive pay of their CEO?.
Let's look further. The head of the US Postal Service with 19 times more staff and 11 times more revenue than Australia Post receives $550,000.
In France the head of their post office was paid $1.1 million with a staff compliment of 268,000 employees.
What a country full of mugs are we to sit by and let all this happen?? I would have run the big game of Post Office for a lot less and still done a reasonable job and in fact, if the best of we seniors applied ourselves we could run the damn Post Office better and accept a normal salary and a free lunch now and again.
You had better believe it too.
There is an unpleasant and some would say 'sinister' unbalanced agenda in Australia, which in the end preys on the average citizen, we the people.
We are no longer the lucky country and we are no longer wealthy and this particular game of Post Office reveals major fractures and faults on a number fronts in our society and culture.
Who is running the Country, who is pulling the levers and who is going to win? We the Mugs need to know.