A children’s book author faces a possible $55,000 fine after the Aboriginal owners (?) of Ayres Rock ( I know – it’s called Uluru now but I’m making a statement) moved to take legal action to ban his book about a teddy bear who climbs the rock. The author says he actually took the photo in 1986 before restrictions on the rock were introduced. If he is fined then the forces of political correctness have won. I’m sorry. I consider the rock a national asset and as such there should be reasonable access for all Australians and tourists to enjoy it’s wonder. This we own the rock is political correctness writ large. Ancient Aboriginal tribes walk past the rock, consider it sacred in their stone age thought process and we are not allowed to take photos. Give over! I’m quiet happy for them to earn some dosh for their troubles but they can’t have it both ways. The Aboriginal Elders should be saying. We welcome you to Uluru. It features in our ancient beliefs that included Dream Time and mythical serpents. Such were our beliefs in the days before we were educated. Now, of course, we just marvel at it’s magnitude and beauty and wish all of you to enjoy it’s splendour, take photos and show your children and granchildren in America/Germany/France/Britian or Sydney what magnificant scenery we enjoy in our ancient land. Culture. Yes – different things to different people. Two years ago I drove to Cape York and on the journey, stopped at Split Rock, south of the small town of Laura, to view some Aboriginal rock drawings. While people were working on their warm inner glow about the art I coudn’t help but mention to my bride in sotto voice that about the time the Aboriginal artist was blowing white or red ocre through a straw over his hand to leave a stencil impression of his limb, Leonard DeVinca was finishing Mona Lisa. I know what I prefer.
THE Australian Democrats sprang to the defence of Labor’s Mark Latham today and said negative gearing should be reviewed. This quote from an article in the today’s Australian should have Latham worried. If you say something that the Democrats support then you should remember that in itself most probable means +95% of the voters don’t agree! Latham’s statement on negative gearing forced Simon Crean to deny Labor had any plans to change their policy. Peter Costello gets the quote of the week with this one. “After eight hours on the job, Mr Latham proposed a new tax, and after 24 hours on the job he was repudiated by his own leader, and he couldn’t hold a policy from Lateline to lunchtime” I wish Latham well with his exhuberence but echoes of the Bankstown Bovver Boy resound in his intemperate language.
Let us be clear about one thing here. Whether the queue jumpers reach the high water mark, have a picnic in the Port Headland Lions Park or squatt outside Ruddock’s office in Canberra THEY ARE STILL QUEUE JUMPERS. UN groupies, left wing lawyers and wafs (warm and fuzzies) notwithstanding, the elected Government and the vast majority of Australians do not want people just walking/sailing/drifting into this country and using our taxes (Legal Aid) to fight repatriation. Lets be clear about another point; the reason earlier Queue Jumpers are still incarcerated in detention camps is because they choose to be. They and their UN groupies, left wing lawyers and waf supporters are rorting the legal system to appeal against every court decision that says ‘you are here illegally – go home! Further, the reason there are children in detention camps is because their parents chose to take them with them on their search for better social security payouts – in rickety boats across dangerous seas to a land where they are not welcome. Go Home! make application for immigration and if successful you and your family will be welcomed with all the generosity that Australia is known for.
Steve Lewis and Elizabeth Colman writing for the Australian report Simon Crean shooting the breeze with a gold Logie winner on national TV. The Arts and a lot of the media are already on your side, Simon. On Rove Live Simon played a game of Simon Says and finished with an impersonation of John Howard – I bet the audience loved it. And woudn’t the Panel just love to have him there to lend credit to their little Johnny Howard put downs. That part of the media mentioned in the article are already with you Simon. What you need to do is come up with policies that appeal to the Australians who aren’t on your side, which at this stage is most of them.
Israel, inflamed by the BBC and their left wing views of the Middle East crisis have asked the ABC not to air a BBC documentary that claims Israel used nerve gas against the Pallestinians. I thought ‘Good luck’ only to read on that an ABC publicist had already said that the ABC was committed to airing the progam and would not be censored. Well they are censored. Clearly someone makes the decision not to air anything about the conflict that would put the Israeli position in anything but a bad light. How many times have I watched the ABC news to see items of Palestinian leaders being killed in an Israeli attack but no mention of the latest suicide bomber that blew up woman and children. Some balance! Some joke!
The Australian reports a Network of allegedly corrupt officers infiltrated the tax office for 6 years rorting $2 million using fake tax returns and false identities. I’ll remember that when I ponder over the little white lies I tell the tax man every year. TAX Commissioner Michael Carmody today dismissed the need for an inquiry into allegations of fraud on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Hey! You’d do it to us at the drop of a hat
AUSTRALIAN sailors had sex on the beach. AUSTRALIAN sailors had sex on the beach, streaked through military buses and pranced naked with rolled-up burning paper stuck between their buttocks in a wild, drunken romp at a US outpost in the Indian Ocean. And their point is…? An article by Natalie O’Brien, Investigations editor, and Michael McKinnon, FOI editor in this Weekends Australian bemuses me. The sailors have been at war, have been deprived, for months, of any type of civilization that Natalie and Michael would demand as their daily due, they are given leave on a military base and then allowed to cut loose. It would be news and responsible reporting to write an expose of drunken sailors ‘On duty’ but not this. If in a town and civilians are involved maybe yes – if crimes are committed, but please spare me ‘Sailors get drunk on leave” stories. ‘Prancing naked with rolled-up burning paper between the buttocks’ is called the dance of the flaming arseholes and whereas it’s not particularly smart it can be funny if you’re there and as drunk as everyone else. I’ve seen it performed in soldiers messes from Saigon to Sydney, from Hawaii to Bangkok and I bet my Father would have seen it done in the RAN in the Pacific during World War 2. My Grandfather would have seen it performed in Egypt in World War 1 and maybe in South Africa during the Boer War. We just didn’t talk about it. What you do when on leave and drunk never makes for good stories to people who weren’t there. So my point is, it happens and in the past we haven’t gone on about it. Most probably the journalists of the time thought there was a lot more to report on in whatever war they were covering and having some sense, let it be. Young civilians on holidays do the same silly drunken things but I have yet to see any news coverage of this. If the article started with…. AUSTRALIAN sailors, after months at war facing death everyday, had sex on the etc….I might have treated it as a human interest story but the article was presented in such a manner as to make the sailors look bad. And don’t say they were bad unless you can say you never had sex on the beach or got drunk, or did something silly to de-stress after bad days. (If you truly have never done these things then get a life!)
The ABC bias debate. Dr Martin Hirst from the School of Journalism & Communication UQ writes to the Australian and proves the bias of the ABC by trying to prove there isn’t any. I find his letter as a case in point about what is wrong with the ABC. If you watch the ABC, particularly the news and current affairs programmes and find yourself generally agreeing with what you see and hear then you are most probably in the political range of centre to left – if you disagree, you are most probably centre to right. It isn’t “juvenile” to comment on this, it is simply a matter of fact and has ever been thus. The point thousands of people previously, and Senator Alston recently, are trying to make, is that it is simply unprofessional to show a bias one way or the other when reporting the events of the day and to then claim it is a balanced opinion. Calling a government “juvenile” indicates the type of bias we conservative types are talking about. Martin Hirst teaches at UQ’s School of Journalism – can’t you just see him lecturing and shaping the minds of undergrads with key phrases like ‘juvenile government’, ‘propaganda….a lie’, ‘Alston’s half-arsed whingeing’, ‘gung-ho patriotism’ and ‘the Government’s ridiculous panic-inducing anti-terrorism publicity campaign’? Good fodder for a balanced diet! The quote from Max Uechtritz that annoyed Senator Alston:
“We now know for certain that only three things in life are certain – death, taxes and the fact that the military are lying bastards,” Mr Uechtritz is reported to have said during a forum on war reporting in Afghanistan”.Martins letter:
Senator’s dossier is meaningless WELL done Max Uechtritz for getting up Richard Alston’s nose again. It just goes to show how juvenile this Government can be. The 14-page “dossier” Alston’s office compiled is ridiculous and so out of context that it’s meaningless. This is a blatant case of political interference and Alston’s motive, in my view, is no more than trying to distract attention from the mounting problems of the Howard Government.
There is no substance in the minister’s allegations of bias. The situation on the ground in Iraq was very fluid and many things were said by reporters that later proved false. Let’s not forget that in the last 24 hours, the US has admitted they found no weapons of mass destruction and that they probably never existed. So the propaganda that the coalition had to invade Iraq to get rid of the WMDs was a lie.No! The coalition invaded Iraq as part of the War against Terror – WMDs was one of several reasons – there were a lot more. The fact that Hussein has tortured and murdered hundreds of thousand of his citizens is one. Another is that we know his form – he has fired missiles at Israel; he has chemical weapons and has used them against the Iranians and his own people, he has atomic research programs for the stated purpose of creating atom/nuclear weapons and is altogether an unsavoury person. It is the duty of independent journalists to question everything. The Senator seems to think the media’s duty in time of war is to fall meekly into line with the Government. This is not the media’s role and it is not what the public would expect. As a former journalist and now as a lecturer at the University of Queensland, I know that journalists must report without fear or favour. The requirement is not to ‘fall in line’ but to report the facts in an unbiased manner. Leave editorials to editors and snide political comments to political commentators – we expect an opinion from these people and can allocate a loading left or right depending on their background. But the everyday journalist who fills in a line on TV or contributes to an article in the newspaper should indeed ‘question’ everything in the pursuit of professional accuracy and then when satisfied he or she has the story correct, submit for broadcast. Just the facts mate! Martin adds
I have read upwards of 40 student essays on the Australian television news media’s coverage of the Iraq War and in each of them the conclusion drawn by the students is that the ABC did a better job than everyone else.Besides stating the obvious that if taught by you ‘they would say that wouldn’t they’ you are hardly comparing apples with apples here. Commercial TV exists on 30 second grabs to get their story over – something to do with the attention span of the viewers maybe? Try tasking your students to compare the ABC with some major broadcasters – BBC, NBC, CNN, Fox, ABC (US) to name a few. I’m not so much concerned about the ABC’s or Martin’s left wing sentiment as I am about the fact that he feels he has to abuse people who call it for what it is. Senator Alston penned an article in the Age about the issue. Judge for yourself. Now interested in Martin Hirst I googled his name and found him billed with Margo Kingston at a symposium on the Language of War organized by Just Peace – People for Peace through Justice – in response to what it called was the “unilateral, pre-emptive and illegal military response by the US with the aim of imposing its views and authority on the nations of the world”. It was all faithfully recorded by the ABC but, strangely enough, try as I might, I couldn’t get a response for “right wing symposiums” the ABC might have recorded. Finally an invite for Max Uechtritz. I am going to a Regimental Reunion in Wagga Wagga in August – you might like to drop in and explain to the blokes of my Infantry Battalion what you mean by ‘lying bastards’. For details visit the website.