Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Taking Andrew Bolt on through the Courts - Part 12: David Barrow's Note on his Court Reports #indigenous #raceissues #courtproceedings


David Barrow has forwarded the following:


VID770/2010 Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt & HWT

I have been attending court in person, writing up some notes and then posting factual summaries of the proceedings on both:

(1) Conservative site:

(2) Progressive site:

If you decide to engage with each other, please be courteous.

[David Barrow of Melbourne] 

Taking Andrew Bolt on through the Courts - Part 11: David Barrow's Court Report No. 8 #indigenous #raceissues #courtproceedings



VID770/2010 Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt & HWT
Wed 30 March 2011

The case resumed after the lunch recess, with senior co-counsel Mr Herman Borenstein SC for the applicant group members continuing to cross-examine Mr Bolt as to what his intention was in making some of the substantive statements in the articles that are the subject of the proceedings.

Mr Borenstein had difficulty in confining Mr Bolt to the questions that were put to him, and Mr Bolt was determined to qualify most of his answers regarding his intentions such that at one stage Mr Borenstein asked a bit exacerbated is there a “vibe” that should be detected by Mr Bolt's readers?

Mr Bolt referred Mr Borenstein back to his response of the previous day, being essentially the point that assuming an Aboriginal identity could be done, in his opinion, for a political reasons and through making this choice certain consequences are available after that.

Mr Borenstein took Mr Bolt to one of his articles where a person was identified as being gay and put it to Mr Bolt that he had included that information on the person’s sexual identity in the article in a gratuitous way and for the purpose of imputing a derogatory meaning about the person.

Mr Bolt exploded in response from the witness box, saying very strongly that in no way did he use the term gay as an insult. Mr Bolt added that the godfather of his children was gay and also he had helped a gay Aboriginal person to secure a column with his HWT employer. To be depicted falsely as a bigot in this way, and in all the newspapers yesterday morning as linked to the Nazi movement and eugenics, was an unforgiveable travesty he said.

Mr Bolt said that he strongly condemned homophobia and had been committed to this position extensively through his columns and blogs.

So incensed was Mr Bolt that his Honour asked if he might like a 10 minute break from the witness box.

Mr Bolt calmed down a bit, and elected to press on, but still looking indignant and fuming said that he did not agree that his use of the term gay in the article was an implied insult.

The cross-examination of Mr Bolt ended on the issue of why he had included the saving-clause or disclaimer, as Mr Borenstein put it, in one of Mr Bolt’s article that “I’m not saying any of those I’ve named chose to be Aboriginal for anything but the most heartfelt and honest of reasons. I certainly don’t accuse them of opportunism, even if full-blood Aborigines may wonder how such fair people can claim to be one of them and in some cases take black jobs”, where Mr Bolt did not then repeat this or something similar in a subsequent article. Mr Bolt answered that it had probably not occurred to him and in any event the articles did not need a disclaimer.

It was planned that the next day the Defence would make its final submissions and closing, with the final submissions and closing of the Applicant group members on the Friday.

...The proceedings were then adjourned by Justice Bromberg for the next day...

[David Barrow of Melbourne] 

Taking Andrew Bolt on through the Courts - Part 10: David Barrow's Court Report No. 7 #indigenous #raceissues #courtproceedings



VID770/2010 Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt & HWT
Wed 30 March 2011

The case resumed this morning with the continued cross-examination of Mr Andrew Bolt by senior co-counsel Mr Herman Borenstein SC for the applicant group members.

Mr Bolt was presented again with the articles that are the subject of the proceedings and was asked to explain his intention in making some of the statements in them.

At times Mr Bolt did not always stay confined to the questions that were put to him by counsel, and substantially repeated some of his testimony of the previous day.

Mr Bolt expressed his personal view that race is a fluid concept that means different things to different people. He agreed that it could be defined as a cultural identity, but certainly not in terms of eugenics. He was of the view that it was not wise for a court to define in a fixed sense what it is to be an Aborigine, although he could see the value in having a definition of Aboriginality in a restricted way for the purpose of determining eligibility to benefits or to stand for election. Mr Bolt also emphasised again that it was his personal view that race was a term he felt uncomfortable with and to make it a generally fixed definition would be divisive.

Mr Bolt repeatedly said that it was his view that a person identifying as an Aboriginal was making a choice, and that with that choice come consequences.

Mr Bolt also said that because the subject of his articles have a public dimension that he could comment as he liked -- or he had thought he could (presumably before these racial discrimination proceedings were brought against him and HWT). He said this was all part of a public conversation.

Mr Bolt said that his articles were the result of his wide and extensive researches. The sources that Mr Bolt referenced for the articles were said to be listed in an appendix to his witness statement, which was tendered and taken as read at the start of his personal evidence yesterday.

As a reality of writing columns that are restricting to about 1000 words, Mr Bolt said that in the tyranny of that defined space, as he put it, he needed to make the material fit and did so in a concise but always fair and accurate way. He added that he did have some more space for his online writings than he had imposed on him by the newspaper editors for his printed columns, and that his greater readership was trending more towards the online materials he thought.

Mr Bolt said that he wrote his articles in what he intended to be an interesting way, which would provoke thought, and that he covered issues and expressed a view that was not often expressed because people could feel intimidated to do so.

Some aspects of his writing was a joke or satirical he said, and may involve confronting people with their own contradictions which many of those people did not like and so tried to silence.

With respect to the Aboriginality identification issues in his articles that were the subject of these proceedings he said that he felt he needed to make some points of public comment to show the absurdity to which we have descended.

Mr Bolt said that he believed it was wrong that plum jobs (as he put it) are reserved for Aboriginals only.

Mr Bolt referred to the Welcome to Country cultural practice of Aborigines as being a race-based entrenching of division that he was opposed to.

Much of Mr Borenstein’s cross examination focused on putting to Mr Bolt that the intend of Mr Bolt in writing the articles included depicting some of the people therein in (1) a gratuitous or derogatory light (which Mr Bolt denied) and (2) also in a way that Mr Bolt would have apprehended would likely have caused offence or insult to those people (which Mr Bolt admitted in the context of his intent to make some points in a public conversation on the issues raised in the articles).

The proceedings were adjourned by Justice Bromberg for a lunch recess.

[David Barrow of Melbourne] 

Craig Knowles subverts the Murray Darling Basin Authority? A one band? Irrigators to get their own way? #MDBA #irrigators #MDBpolitics


Murray-Darling Basin Authority 
now a one-man show?


30th March 2011
The reported comment by new Chair of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Craig Knowles, that he has “washed his hands of the old Basin Plan”, further promotes the impression that Mr Knowles is single-handedly revising the mission of the Authority, according to Fair Water Use (Australia).

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority currently comprises five members. Fair Water Use has contacted Mr Knowles to ascertain whether his reported comments reflect the stance of the Authority - or merely his personal position on the issue.

In addition, Fair Water Use believes that it is inappropriate for a senior public servant to summarily dismiss a major document which is currently the subject of a comprehensive Senate Inquiry.

National coordinator of Fair Water Use, Ian Douglas, commented today, “Sadly, it appears necessary to remind Mr Knowles that the principal aim of the Authority is “to manage the Basin's water resources in the national interest”, and not to act as an advocate for the irrigation community”. 
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Taking Andrew Bolt on through the courts - Part 9: David Barrow's Court Report No. 6 #aboriginality #indigenous #raceissues #courtproceedings


VID770/2010 Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt & HWT
Tue 29 March 2011

In the later morning and after the lunch recess, cross-examination of Mr Andrew Bolt was commenced and conducted by senior co-counsel Mr Herman Borenstein SC for the applicant group members.

Mr Bolt acknowledged that he had an obligation to check the accuracy of the facts on which his publications were based, and also stated that his research was thorough and diligent.

Mr Bolt said that he did not contact any of the persons featured in the 4 articles that are the subject of these proceedings because he was confident that taking material that these people had already put into the public arena would be accurate.

Mr Bolt asserted that his blog is dedicated to exposing material that is factually inaccurate on matters of public importance.

Mr Bolt denied that he made any accusations that any of the named group members, such as Bindi Cole, were not genuine about identifying as Aboriginal. Mr Bolt also denied that he was making any accusations that any of them did so to access benefits unfairly such as financial gains or career advancement.

However, Mr Bolt, did say that assuming an Aboriginal identity could be done, in his opinion, for a political reasons or agenda, or due to the person being self-absorbed -- and that through making this choice certain consequences are available after that (without specifying what those consequences might be).

Such movements in society he says he has become aware of through his research of trends or fashions of our times.

Mr Bolt said that he was driven by a sense of injustice that resources available to Aboriginal people should go towards those in poverty or lacking opportunity for such things as a good education.

Mr Bolt also said that he was a person who attacked racial divisiveness as his way of attacking racism.

Mr Bolt also then sought to make his point (offensively many in the gallery intimated) by pointing out Aboriginal activist Mr Geoff Clark in court and saying that he was a racist. Off Mr Borenstein objections, and despite Mr Young for Bolt trying to calm things down, Justice Bromberg urged Mr Bolt to give his evidence directly without seeking to use inadmissible analogies concerning specific individuals in the public gallery who would likely take offence from such comments.

Mr Bolt apologised to Mr Clark of sorts by saying that this point was not personal, and noted, for what record or purpose it is not sure, that he actually liked Mr Clark and had shared a drink with him once. It was an unusual court moment.

Mr Bolt admitted that his articles could cause offence and insult by confronting the people depicted therein with the consequences of their actions, and he added that he hoped that those people would then be remorseful as a result.

Mr Bolt stated that it was his view that if one participates in public debate then one must be prepared to face criticism and that this is something that he is always prepared to do. As Mr Bolt put it, this is the lifeblood of democracy in society. He also added that when entering the public arena one must be prepared for disagreement, which can be bruising.

Mr Bolt said that he did not believe that there is in fact a racial definition that divides us as we are all fundamentally human beings. We are all polyglots he said.

...the trial continues with more personal evidence from Mr Bolt expected to be adduced over the rest of Wednesday...

[David Barrow of Melbourne]

Taking Andrew Bolt on through the courts - Part 8: David Barrow's Court Report No. 5 #aboriginality #indigenous #raceissues #courtproceedings



VID770/2010 Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt & HWT
Tue 29 March 2011

As the proceedings continued in the morning following Larissa Behrendt’s evidence, Mr Young QC for Mr Bolt and HWT opened the case for the Defence.

Mr Young said that the case was adequately set out in the Defence pleadings and it essentially concerned issues as to the application of sections 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act to the publications in question.

Ultimately this is a balance between free speech and publications that may be likely to offend groups, he said.

However he made a forceful submission that this was not a case about the holocaust, Hitler race laws or eugenics.

Such views are unusual and extreme, he said, and are very offensive to be associated incorrectly with his clients – and are irrelevant to the issues in this case.

Mr Young then called Mr Andrew Bolt to the witness stand.

Mr Bolt’s counsel then sought an opportunity for Mr Bolt to respond to some comments made by Mr Ron Merkel QC when Merkel opened the case for the applicant group members yesterday morning.

Mr Merkel, rose to his feet and objected that such an indulgence would see Mr Bolt giving a speech not giving evidence.

Justice Bromberg was a bit troubled by the prospect of Mr Bolt giving a speech, but was persuaded by his counsel Mr Young that the response could be elicited by asking questions of Mr Bolt in the usual way of counsel in adducing evidence.

There was a short recess then for Mr Bolt’s counsel to study the transcript of yesterday morning (a copy of which was lent to them by their opposite counsel as the version for Bolt & HWT had gone astray).

When the matter resumed Mr Bolt was asked a question artfully by Mr Young such that he was able to give a response which referenced certain extracts of the transcript which read (approx):
* Mr Bolt has taken us back to that eugenics then [of Nazi Germany] of aborigines
* Mr Bolt is a man living in a mindset frozen in a point in time [controlled breeding eugenics of Nazi Germany]
* this kind of thinking led to the Nuremburg [Race] Laws

* the holocaust started with words and ended in violence
Mr Merkel submitted that such comments were not directed at Mr Bolt but rather the process that is reflected in the types of articles that Mr Bolt published.

Mr Bolt was given an opportunity to enter his response, and said that the references were false, grossly offensive and that he had been a vigorous opponent against eugenics is columns all of his life.

...Cross-examination then ensued...

[David Barrow of Melbourne]

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Taking Andrew Bolt through the courts Part 7: Bolt boils with anger... #andrewbolt #aboriginality #indigenous #raceissues


Taking Andrew Bolt on through the courts - Part 6: David Barrow's Court Report No. 4 #aboriginality #indigenous #raceissues #courtproceedings


VID770/2010 Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt & HWT
Tue 29 March 2011

The case resumed in the Federal Court this morning with Larissa Behrendt (a law professor amongst her other roles) giving her personal evidence.

As per the practice yesterday, Mr Ron Merkel QC for the group members read out Larissa's entire witness statement on behalf of her before she entered the witness box.

Larissa made distinction between what is apparently known as the 3-Part-Test of aboriginality and other personal identification as an aboriginal person.

The 3-Part-Test was said to consist of assessment of a person's (1) ancestry, (2) acceptance in the aboriginal community and (3) self-assessment as an aboriginal person. It is a common assessment, apparently, for various forms of benefits such as special assistance admission programmes to universities, where Larissa said that she was familiar with the practice. Further, Larissa said that she supports the use of this assessment for the practicalities of providing benefits, and also thought it may be appropriate for issues such as treaties.

Larissa was adamant, however, that beyond consideration for membership of a group where that group was being defined for some purpose such as access to benefits, that she felt that questions of identity are a very personal matter for the individual concerned.

This was brought out through 30 minutes or so of cross-examination by Mr Nigel Young QC who is representing Mr Bolt and HWT in the proceedings.

[David Barrow of Melbourne]

Monday, 28 March 2011

Pauline Hanson - do not want. #racism #indigenous #phanson


Denis of The Nature of Robertson has been given a big fright by the last post.  He has written back:

God, I hope not.

Everybody had written her off yesterday, but I do recall that last time someone else nearly scraped in with not much more than Pauline's mob got.

It all depends on preferences (as you know, of course).  If there are lots of "spare votes" from the Shooters and the Christians, she will score well from them, after their quotas are full.
Of course, it also depends on how well their voters follow the HTV cards.
That's what lets the Greens down, by the way. Their naive people think that putting 1 somewhere is enough.
Optional Preferential sounds good, but it has hidden traps for the less well organised and less "rigorous".
The "Right" are good at that stuff. The Left are hopeless.

Here are the group votes and % figures and importantly, the quotas
This is rough because I copied it  from the web, and it lost the formatting.
Refer back to the website, to check the % votes and quotas.
Taken from earlier in the afternoon.
It will change over the days, so you can track it yourself.

First Preference Group Votes Group Group/Party Name
Election Night          Declaration                     Total              %          Quota Ratio
A LIBERAL/NATIONALS 1,400,249   141,474   1,541,723      48.50%   9.77
B NO PARKING METERS PARTY 33,1682,37435,5421.120.23
C (John Hatton group) 33,3044 2469 35773   1.12%   0.23
D OUTDOOR RECREATION PARTY 20,9911,88022,871   0.72%   0.14
E SAVE OUR STATE 9,49989210,391  0.33%  0.07
F CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY (FRED NILE GROUP) 90,5657,30797,872  3.08%      0.62
G FAMILY FIRST 41,0213,33844,359   1.40%   0.28
H LABOR/COUNTRY LABOR 711,092  61,266  772,358  24.30%   4.90
I THE GREENS 324,42322,987347,410       10.93%      2.20
J (Pauline Hanson is in here) 53,444  5,655   59,099   1.86%    0.37
K SOCIALIST ALLIANCE 7,2125347,746       0.24   0.05
L AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS 23,0022,20625,208   0.79              0.16
M BUILDING AUSTRALIA 6,3565116,8670.220.04
N RESTORE THE WORKERS' RIGHTS PARTY 11,9901,11813,108   0.41   0.08
O THE FISHING PARTY 37,9913,39341,384    1.30    0.26
P SHOOTERS AND FISHERS 108,1349,201117,335   3.69%      0.74
Total Formal Votes 2,912,439 266,524 3,178,963
Other (including informal) 141,478 141,478
Blank Votes131,148 131,148
Total Votes3,185,065 266,524 3,451,589

Happy Hunting.
PS You have ruined my night!
Hope you're satisfied!!!


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Pauline Hanson may be back. Would you like a little racism with your Aboriginal demarcation?. #racism #indigenous #phanson


For those of you have been following the Aboriginality saga with regard to Andrew Bolt and the Herald and Weekly Times, word is coming through on Twitter (haven't found original source in print) that Pauline Hanson may scrape enough to pick up the last seat in the NSW Upper House.

Would you like a little racism with your racial demarcation?

Taking Andrew Bolt on through the courts - Part 5: David Barrow's Court Report No. 3 #aboriginality #indigenous #raceissues #courtproceedings



VID770/2010 Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt & HWT
Mon 28 March 2011
In the afternoon session personal evidence was given by Pat Eatock and Bindi Cole.

Mr Merkel QC for the group members read out a witness statement on behalf of each lady before they entered the witness box.

In my opinion, the witness statements were compelling personal narratives and I understand that they will be available as public documents through the Court Registry.

There was not much time devoted to cross-examination of the two witnesses by Mr Young QC for Bolt and HWT.

The case resumes tomorrow morning when it is planned that Larissa Behrendt will provide her personal evidence.

[David Barrow of Melbourne] 
Further reading:

Taking Andrew Bolt on through the courts - Part 4: David Barrow's Court Report No. 2 #andrewbolt #aboriginality #indigenous issues #raceissues #courtproceedings



VID770/2010 Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt & HWT
Mon 28 March 2011
As it was the group members turn to first open their case this morning, Mr Neil Young QC representing Mr Bolt and HWT did not have much to say other than:

(1) An objection to witnesses having an opportunity to read out a statement to the court, on the grounds that it may waste court time and resources. However, Justice Bromberg granted leave for the 3 witnesses that were being called to give personal evidence, given the case has some public interest, the issues are of a personal nature, and Mr Merkel persuaded his Honour that it would be appropriate in the circumstances that the witnesses have an opportunity to put forward the full context of their versions of the situation.

(2) Mr Young also made a strong objection to a possible change in the scope of the remedies sought by the group members. The original Application of 7 Sep 2010 by the group members was for a declaration that the Bolt Articles was unlawful under s 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act; a restraining order against republication; and an apology, as well as the usual recovery of legal costs. It is the usual practice that a general claim is also made in pleadings for ”such further or other relief as the Court deems fit”.

It was mentioned in open court this morning that there had been correspondence between the parties in the past week as to the intention of group members to apply for a broader set of remedies if the common claims were decided in their favour in the class action. Such further claims were said by Mr Merkel to be consistent with the general claim of ”such further or other relief as the Court deems fit” and it was anticipated that this would include individual claims that could include monetary compensation.

Justice Bromberg was not aware of this development.

Mr Young claimed that this was unfair and unjust as Bolt & HWT had prepared the case on the understanding that there was no monetary claim and also it may effect the whole class action procedures where aggrieved persons could have otherwise been better informed for their decision not to opt-out, if they knew of this development.

Neither side pressed for a ruling from his Honour at this time on whether monetary compensation could be claimed by individuals following the class action trial on the common issues.

[David Barrow of Melbourne] 

Taking Andrew Bolt on through the courts - Part 3: David Barrow's Court Report No. 1 #andrewbolt #aboriginality #indigenous #raceissues #courtproceedings



VID770/2010 Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt & HWT
Mon 28 March 2011
Mr Ron Merkel QC opened the case for the class action group members this morning before Justice Bromberg of the Federal Court in Melbourne.

Mr Andrew Bolt was in attendance in the public gallery flanked by his legal team. Another 70 or so members of the public attended the proceeding.

Mr Merkel opened the case by stressing that this was not a case about freedom of speech, as the applicants did not seek to interfere with Mr Bolt putting forward a theory to be test, even if it is wrong. He is welcome to contend that the earth is flat, for instance.

He said, however, that comments were made by Mr Bolt which identified particular individuals and caused them hurt in a wide public arena through publication of false allegations that those people with fairer-skin that identified themselves as aboriginals were not actually genuine in that identification and that they did so for some unfair gain.

Mr Merkel also said that Mr Bolt’s comments in the 4 articles identified for the trial were gratuitous and designed to denigrate the people mentioned, and used selective journalism in a systematic and misleading way.

Witnesses planned to be called this afternoon for the applicant’s side are Bindi Cole and Larissa Behrendt, with Pat Eatock planned to be called Tuesday morning. The defence will have an opportunity to cross-examine each of these witnesses when they appear.

In a departure from the usual court practice, the witnesses called for the applicant’s side will have an opportunity to read out a statement to the court. Leave was granted for this by Justice Bromberg given the case has some public interest, the issues are of a personal nature, and Mr Merkel persuaded his Honour that it would be appropriate in the circumstances that the witnesses have an opportunity to put forward the full context of their versions of the situation.

Another 6 witness statements were also tendered into evidence this morning but the defence elected not to cross-examine these witnesses.

[David Barrow of Melbourne]
Please note that links in this report have been placed there by Miss Eagle to assist people who may not be familiar with the people mentioned in the report 

Taking Andrew Bolt on through the courts - Part 2 #andrewbolt #aboriginality #indigenous #raceissues



For Part 1 of this topic on this blog, please go here
Warning: if you wish to follow the comments on Part 1 please do so - but it appears that the majority of these comments come from people who share the views of Andrew Bolt and some people might find them unattractive to say the least.

Dear Networkers,

As those of you who visit regularly will know, this blog is not some slick, splashy professional creation - although I wouldn't mind if I could make it that way.  It is a humble Blogger blog focussing, in the main, on matters of social justice with a little politics thrown in and a bit of spiritual stuff here and there.  I try to inform, educate, with likeminded people.  At this point in time, my blog attracts about 650 people a week which in blogging terms is neither here nor there.  On Saturday, my blog received approximately 6,500 visits.  Excepting approximately 200-300 visits, the majority came there from a link placed by Andrew Bolt on his blog.  Below is a picture of Bolt's site and the words in the first line appearing blue when clicked upon come directly to my original post on Aboriginality which I refer to as Part 1.

Click to enlarge on a separate tab

You will note that Bolt refers to "my courtroom".  Didn't know that individual citizens could possess a courtroom.  Thought they were the property of the Crown. You will also note that he withdrew comments from his blog, closed comments, and apologised to the Court for "not having closed comments in the first place".  

Networkers, if anyone with business before the Court relating to this particular case has only to go over to the Comments on Part 1 and you can see the sort of readership to which Bolt is catering.  If this was not clear from the column on 26 March 2011, it certainly became clear on 27 March when one of his readers (I am not 100% certain of this - it could have been Bolt himself), it would appear, linked to my blog.  This resulted in a few hundred more readers descending on the post.  See  below:

Click to enlarge in new tab.

The words in blue, "whiteaboriginalagainstbolt", link directly to my site.  You may have heard of Mark Textor and his famous push polling.  This is push blogging - when you are fairly certain your masses of readers will follow your links.

So to-day is the big day in Court.  
  • Crikey have a write-up here
  • The Age has written it here with a picture of Geoff Clark in his possum skin cloak.
  • David Barrow has sent a report of this morning's Court proceedings on the Part 1 site. It is printed below in a later post than this. Links in David's court report have been placed there by Miss Eagle.
  • I've checked the Herald Sun and News websites. If there is any mention it is tucked away somewhere a bit hard to get to quickly.  Certainly, not front and centre headlines.  Only to be expected.

So, Networkers, stay tuned.
In the meantime, you might like to consider your verdict.

Death of Donny George #iraqwar #archaeology #antiquities #looting #civilisation


I was against the US invasion of Iraq: the first one and second time around under George Bush Junior even more so.  I was one of 100,000 Australian citizens who marched, thronged, crowded the streets of Sydney and were ignored by the Australian Government under John Howard.  

What particularly enraged - not just angered but enraged - me was the unfettered, unimpeded looting that occurred in Baghdad.  Looting in time of catastrophe is a function of dehumanisation of community, of fellow-feeling.  

In Baghdad, hospitals were looted - just how low can someone go but to take the means of healing away from the healers and the suffering.  The other looting venue which angered me was the looting of antiquities at the National Museum of Iraq.  In war and other catastrophes, looting is always a distinct possibility.  Were USA military forces unable to recognise this and so prepare and provide for this contingency?  Some suggest that looting was not prevented but permitted.

Iraq is the cradle of urban human civilisation.  As such the Iraq National Museum is important to the citizens of the world who value the human story.

To-day, there is news of the sudden death in Canada of Donny George. Go here to learn more of Donny George as he became the international face of the plight of ancient sites and artefacts in Iraq.  Many of us who didn't know Donny will want to mark his passing in gratitude for his work and his efforts in time of war and great insecurity.
(Donny's picture is from here)

Another reason for highlighting Donny and his work is to alert modern human communities of the ravages of war and other forms of human and communal disturbance.  

Looting occurred at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo during the recent demonstrations for democracy. The well-organised protestors had not forgotten the museum and provided security around the museum.  The looters evaded their best efforts and entered from above.  Such people are no more than opportunistic cannibals, in my view.  They are deserving of severe punishment by their community.

Further reading:

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Victorian Climate Change Action #Calendar 26 March - 19May 2011 #events #diary


The NSW Elections - Part 2: Tim Duddy, Independent candidate, seat of Upper Hunter


Tim Duddy on the stump

Tim Duddy is running as an Independent candidate in the seat of Upper Hunter which includes the great NSW food bowl of the Liverpool Plains.  Tim has played a significant role in the Caroona Coal Action Group and the maintenance for a year or more of the community blockade by the group as they took on major national and international coal corporates threatening the food bowl.  See more on this here and here.  You may have seen him on the Four Corners program about the blockade.  Tim is active in his own community as demonstrated by his position as Councillor on the Gunnedah Council.  

You can read more of Tim and the activities of the Caroona Coal Action Group at Denis Wilson's blog, The Nature of Robertson.  

The seat of Upper Hunter is National Party country through and through.  One would think that Tim would be a true green and gold National Party man. But Tim is standing, standing up to be counted on the issue of food security and the intrusion of the mining corporates into our lives and the lives and business of those who provide our food.  Tim is clearly a community minded man but also a man who can deliver as his active involvement in the maintenance of the blockade proves.  Please consider him strongly when deciding your voting intention.
Click to enlarge



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The NSW Elections - Part 1: Paul Cockram, Greens candidate, seat of Monaro


I am not a resident of New South Wales but will follow a couple of seats very closely to-night.  My friend, Paul Cockram is running in the seat of Monaro.  Paul is a talented man - a writer, an IT and video person.  He is also a dedicated environmentalist with his own natural wonderland in Mongarlowe.  He is active in his community particularly as a councillor on the Palerang Council.  I have known Paul since my NT days back in the 1990s.  Paul would be a good representative so please consider him when casting a vote in Monaro.  Thx.
Click to enlarge

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