"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Tess Lawrence, Independent Australia. Pic*: Joko Widodo and son Gibran
28.04.15 6:48 am
Yesterday morning’‘s explosive revelations about the bribes allegedly being requested by the Indonesian judges hearing the trials of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is part of a wider web of corruption, writes Independent Australia contributing editor-at-large Tess Tawrence. • Mercury: Bali Nine ringleader Andrew Chan marries fiancee in prison ceremony on eve of execution ...
• ABC: Nepal earthquake: Hundreds of thousands spend third night in open as quake toll passes 4,000 • Mercury: Please pray for my missing friend HOW TO HELP Nepal earthquake victims • UNHCR: URGENT, Nepal Earthquake Appeal
• Dr John R Wilson, in Comments: The state sanctioned murders of the priest Chan and artist Sukumaran in Indonesia are barbaric and unforgivable. They mark a new low point in relations between our countries and will define the presidency of Joko Widodo ...
John Powell, Myrtlebank. Pub: April 27
28.04.15 6:00 am
They are mad as hell and they are not going to take it ... anymore ... This is a bit like a Tolkien novel, and the hobbits are winning again ...
… FT suggested a similar approach for the coupe BA388D adjacent to my property, where there were known inhabited rock shelters (according to an inspection by the previous Forestry Commission in 1990), except FT were going to do the inspection “after clearfell logging”. How responsive is that to the aboriginal heritage of Tasmania? This is a disgraceful approach to our State’s First Nation by a state owned GBE, particularly given the statements by Will Hodgman in Parliament last week, and subsequently, re recognition of Aboriginals. I note also that Paul Harriss is of Aboriginal descent. What is his view of this ongoing failure by FT/FPA to recognize his heritage? The area was not named Lapoinya (tree fern) by the Tommeginer because they were surfing at Table Cape! …
• Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader Media Release: Greens Push for Forestry Tasmania Commission of Inquiry ... • Download Summary of Forestry Tasmania Financial Support Received since 1989 to the present ...
• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: On Kim Booth’s reference to subsidies to FT, they have also managed to dip into other funds as well.Back in the late 1980s a program was brought out to identify Rainforest in Australia. The program was called the National Rainforest Conservation Program, well FT were given all up $3.29 million with about half from the Feds and half from the State for this project. Forestry Tasmania used about half of this funding to put in plantations. They were supposedly trials of Blackwood plantations with a nurse crop of Pine trees. The pine has now been sold to private concerns and the blackwood was a total failure. I believe that this was a rort of the funding, how did this in any way help with identifying rainforest or conserving any. It did not.
• ABC: Greens criticism of delays in Forestry Tasmania’s Forest Stewardship Council certification unfounded says environmental auditor The auditor of Forestry Tasmania’s (FT) environmental certification application has rejected the state’s Greens Leader’s comments about a delay in the process. Last month The Greens’ Kim Booth said the state owned forestry company’s failure to achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation by February this year, is a sign of serious problems with its application. But in an email to ABC Rural, FSC auditor Robert Hrubes of SCS Global Services, said this assertion is an “unfounded inference”. “It was never stated by me, the FSC, or FT that a certification decision was to be rendered in February,” he said. “Rather, it was stated (in December) that it was expected that the draft certification report would be conveyed to FT by February. “The reason that the draft report issuance has been delayed has nothing to do with the prospects for FT achieving certification, nor is it attributable to FT in any way. “It is attributable to my schedule and that of the other audit team members (all with many other professional obligations).
• Kim Booth: Cabinet Split Over Forestry Tasmania Review “We all know that if it did not take three attempts to get the Gutwein-Harriss proposal through a split Cabinet, the Premier would have delighted in ruling out and denying that assertion. His refusal to answer, is in fact as good as an answer.” “This clearly raises the serious question over exactly what the Parliament will be provided tomorrow during the expected Ministerial Statement, and how much of the original Review and Cabinet proposal has been altered and revised before Cabinet considered it fit for public consumption.” “Tasmanians also deserve to know why the Review and Cabinet Minute were blocked the first time, the second time, and what changed to get it through the third time? The public also deserves to know whether it was the Premier’s faction responsible for blocking the Gutwein-Harriss co-signed proposal?”
• Paul Harriss: Putting forestry onto a sustainable pathway The Hodgman Liberal Government is rebuilding the forest industry after it was left decimated by Labor and the Greens. It was under the former Government that Forestry Tasmania was hit with a perfect storm of the three Gs - the GFC, the collapse of Gunns, and then finally, the Green-Labor government.
Richard Butler Interviews Parents of Ice-addicted children. ©Richard Butler. Pub: April 27
28.04.15 5:45 am
I met Sebastian* and Helen* in the waiting room of a doctor’s clinic in Drouin, outside Melbourne. The place was alive with the twitching coprolalia of ice, bodies spitting and stammering in imprecise detox. Every ten days, they take their son Peter* there on a six-hour round trip from Melton, hoping the doctor might fix him ...
John Hawkins, Chudleigh. ABC Pic of Geelong Star Pub: April 27
28.04.15 5:20 am
Behind the Geelong Star, alias the Dirk Dirk, alias the Naeraberg, are Dirk Parlevliet and Dirk Van der Plas of the Dutch company Parleviet and Van der Plas.
• Andrew Wilkie: DÉJÀ VU; Huge question mark over Super Trawler quota setting ... The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has revealed concerns about the legitimacy of the Geelong Star fishing in Australian waters that include allegations the freezer factory ship’s operator helped set its catch quota. Mr Wilkie has written to the Commonwealth Ombudsman with the concerns on the eve of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority Commission meeting in Canberra tomorrow to decide the next Small Pelagic Fishery quota that starts this Friday 1 May. Mr Wilkie is aware of a serious complaint to AFMA that contains the conflict of interest allegation, as well as issues with process and possible instances of AFMA ignoring scientific advice from its sub committees. The source of this information is within AFMA and Mr Wilkie has seen a copy of the document this person has put to the Authority. ``I’ve asked the Ombudsman to investigate the allegations that include that a director of Seafish Tasmania – the operator of the Geelong Star – was allowed to participate in the process of setting the recommended Total Allowable Catch for the fishery,’’ Mr Wilkie said. ``If this is correct, it’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house and leaves a huge question mark hanging over the fishing quota and legitimacy of the Geelong Star fishing in Australian waters.’’ Mr Wilkie said the allegations about AFMA’s process in setting quotas were very concerning considering the authority’s recent history and would leave many Australians questioning the management of Australia’s precious fisheries.
• John Biggs, in Comments: Julian Amos’s talking point in today’s Mercury is arrogant and insulting, as if we who disbelieve “the science” are back in the Dark Ages. The science is done on modelling which may well be optimistic, deliberately so. In a complex system like the sea you can’t carry out one line of the modelling and say “there you are, the science is in, so just shut up you ignorant peasants.” I’d rather take real life experience: look what happened to fishing stocks in Africa and Asia after the supertrawlers had been there. Their length isn’t the question: their freezing capacity is.
• Kim Booth: Premier Exposed over Election Double-dealing on Super Trawlers • DOWNLOAD: Copy of pre-election email sent by Mr Hodgman’s Chief of Staff to Super Trawler campaigners, dated 21 February 2014, tabled in the house of Assembly today, Tuesday the 28th of April 2015 ... “Clearly, if the Liberals were standing by the election campaign commitment issued by the Premier’s Chief of Staff, they would have voted in support of our motion to write to the Commonwealth objecting to the Geelong Star’s operation in the Small Pelagic fishery.” “Either Will Hodgman’s Chief of Staff sent that email with his knowledge and authorisation, in which case this is a blatant broken promise by Will Hodgman. Or does he actually want people to believe he is treated as a puppet by his own staff who enter into policy commitments without even bothering to inform him?” “The message to the Tasmanian public is clear, you cannot trust the Hodgman Liberals. This email is proof Will Hodgman has so little integrity he is prepared to promise the world when in Opposition, only to walk away from those commitments once the has gained power,” Mr Booth said.
• Dave Parsell, in Comments: Incredible how when “the science” supports our beliefs it must not be queried, but when “the science” doesn’t support our beliefs we say it is wrong. Gotta love human behaviour!
Hilary Burden* https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pub: April 27
28.04.15 5:15 am
… Millie, who originally hails from England and is now retired here, is proud to say she’s succeeded showing her visitors everything in the wild except a platypus. But she’s cockatoo mad about the feral cats and can’t understand why she hasn’t seen DPIPWE laying baits for them like she says she’s seen them laying carrot baits for rabbits up the road near her place. She knows her visitors will be disappointed if she can’t show them a bandicoot, a quoll, echidna or wallaby in the wild and Tasmania will lose what makes it different. …
• Robert Middleton, US, in Comments: “What makes Tasmania different…” is certainly a perfect title for this piece. What makes Tasmania different from every other place where I have spent considerable time is that many Tasmanians apparently don’t seem to value the life of any creature - plant or animal, unless it is a human. …
Cameron Brown* Pic: of Bryan Green Pub: April 27
28.04.15 4:06 am
I had a fantastic idea on the weekend … It came to me while I was enjoying an ice cold can of Bundy and a fantastic meal at the end of a long afternoon on the golf course at Oatlands. My mind wandered beyond the pristine fairways and rolling hills, to the top end of town, and to the failure of our taxation system to capture its fair share from many multinationals. And then it came to me. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! ...
Charles Wooley. Pic*
27.04.15 5:30 am
When I grew up in Launceston in the fifties and sixties a remnant Chinese influence was everywhere but rarely celebrated. There was Chung-Gon’s exotic greengrocery and various interesting looking Chinese restaurants, which sadly my family never visited. There was also, to my mind, a creepy old Joss House hidden away in a dark corner of the Queen Victoria Museum. That spooky Chinese Temple always fascinated me, even though visits there often gave me nightmares.
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Mar 13. Satire: Leunig, leunig.com.au , used with permission
27.04.15 4:50 am
A week is a long climb in politics but last week lasted a hundred years. Or so it seemed to most Australians as time warped into an ANZAC wormhole, stopping the nation in its tracks with a heavy bombardment of all things old Digger in a frenzied bout of military nostalgia, myth peddling, sentimentality and falsehood. No expense was spared by a government which had to underfund advocacy groups for poor and needy citizens so desperate was it to find ‘savings.’
• Tess Lawrence, EXCLUSIVE, Independent Australia: Turkey returns Gallipoli tickets as Hockey capitulates on Armenia Despite the Abbott Government doing everything possible to gloss over the horrific crimes, the Turkish Government has returned 150 tickets to yesterday’s Gallipoli ceremony in protest at Australia’s growing recognition of the Armenia genocide, reports contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence.
• Gina McColl, Fairfax: Fighting words: Do Australian jihadis have anything in common with World War I Anzacs? It’s a dangerous idea, drawing parallels between the idealistic recruits who left Australia for Gallipoli and World War I and young jihadis leaving to fight with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq today. And potentially incendiary on Anzac Day in its centenary year. But think for a moment. Young men, many from migrant families who came to Australia seeking a better life, going to the Middle East to fight in a war that shows their fellowship with an international brotherhood, fighting for Empire. Exploited as fodder in battle and put into unwinnable situations. The parallels have their limits but they are compelling.
Marilyn Lake, historian and professorial research fellow at the Melbourne University, agrees the broader politics of World War I is often reduced to a binary of good allies and bad enemies in a simple nation-building narrative, when the reality of the past is more complex. When the Anzacs went to Gallipoli, they were part of a British imperial force invading the Ottoman Empire, because it was an ally of the German Empire. Lake points out: “It was a war between empires.” To occupy Constantinople (now Istanbul) would, among other things, help Britain’s ally Russia “which in 1914-15 was a Tsarist autocracy – and hardly a beacon of freedom and democracy, which is what children today are taught we went to fight for. “Binary oppositions are essential to politics, she says, but they are not useful to understanding history.”
• A girl walks into a bookstore: Review: Trooper to the Southern Cross, by Angela Thirkell Set just after WWI, Trooper to the Southern Cross is narrated by Major Bowen, a former military doctor. He and his wife Celia book passage on a trooper ship, the Rudolstadt, from England to Australia. On board are former military personnel, diggers, prisoners, and others, and this novel is the story of their voyage. The novel is based on personal experience. Angela Thirkell came from an illustrious family; her grandfather was the painter Edward Burne-Jones, her father was the first biographer of William Morris, her brother was Denis Mackail (author of Greenery Street, published by Persephone), Rudyard Kipling and Stanley Baldwin were first cousins, her son was Colin MacInnes, and JM Barrie was her godfather. Thirkell’s second husband was George Thirkell, one of the first Australians to enlist in WWI. In January 1920, the couple, newly married and with Thirkell’s children from her previous marriage in tow, set sail for Australia on the troopship SS Friedrichsruh.
27.04.15 4:44 am
Mike Bolan. Pic*
27.04.15 4:31 am
As an experienced complex systems consultant, I cannot help but notice that our governments appear unable to achieve the objectives that they set for themselves. It’s also clear that the approaches they use to their task are slow, expensive and ponderous; and they frequently fail because by the time that they’ve formed committees and held public hearings with teams of lawyers, everything has changed around them.
Boohoo. Pic: of good Leo (Schofield ...)
27.04.15 4:29 am
… Meanwhile in other political news the summary offence of LS Swear Jar has been introduced to the penal code. Under this provision, anyone making a complimentary remark about Leo Schofield will be fined up to $10,000 and/or three months’ imprisonment for a first offence. …
Isla MacGregor. Pub: April 20
27.04.15 4:20 am
From Ta Ann to Vedanta and Copper Mines of Tasmania (or Vedanta) ... During the forestry debate in Tasmania, environmental organisations and the Greens have exposed appalling corruption allegations and human rights abuses in Sarawak by Malaysian timber company Ta Ann Holdings.
Peter Patmore, Bob Phillips, Tim Holmes
27.04.15 4:20 am
Transcript of launch speeches for Discover the Spirit of Tasmania - and western civilisation by Shannon Davey
• Peter Patmore When I first looked at this book I was a bit worried about my thoughts. What were they going to be?
• Bob Phillips I think it is a fascinating book in that it explores the history of Tasmania from its geological, geographical and biological history through to human occupation and history of ideas that have influenced our culture and community.
• Tim Holmes I was not so sure about the cover when I first saw the book. But having read the book, I can say with confidence that you can judge this book by its cover. However you won’t understand the cover until you have read the book.
LAUNCHED LAST WEEK on Tasmanian Times ...
• John Biggs, in Comments: Another my kind of book is the hyperlink to this page for Tim Thorne’s erudite review of Robbed of Every Blessing, which reveals a much darker view of Tasmania. Robbed of Every Blessing is one of the grimmest books I have read. It is as Tim says a damned good read, with chapters told in different voices, which provide a different perspective to the ongoing action that is gripping.
Carol Altmann, Bluestone Magazine, South-West Victoria
27.04.15 4:15 am
A tale of two ferries: as the century-old Tasmanian wooden steamer, the Cartela, is restored at Franklin, its even older sister-ship, the Rowitta, is being chainsawed apart by a Victorian maritime museum that can no longer afford to keep her. How did it come to this?
Stan. Pub: April 27. ABC pic
27.04.15 4:00 am
Reflecting upon the arrival of another Winter in Tasmania, this question troubled me: Will the Homeless be again struggling to find adequate protection from hypothermia this year?
Standpoint. Guardian etc
27.04.15 3:45 am
If you want to see the future of online news and entertainment, look at the Mail and see a future neither the Mail nor its enemies want.
• Taxing times for Channel Nine as News Corp bites back Media reports about Rupert Murdoch’s tax arrangements for News Corp Australia have not pleased the company. Last week Nine’s A Current Affair ran an eight-minute story off the back of Michael West’s Fairfax media report about the amount of tax the company pays.
• The Independent: If Rupert Murdoch can’t swing it for the Tories, he will lose his grip over Britain Only now are the fruits of Ed Miliband’s laceration of News International four years ago fully ripening
Henni Aaltonen, Journalist, Finland
27.04.15 3:15 am
I am a journalist from Finland, currently travelling in Tasmania. I am deeply impressed by this island and its people. I stayed a couple of weeks at a farm called Cherrytopia, in Lilydale. These people, farmers John and Lesley, have a beautiful lifestyle, sharing organic growing and permaculture ideology for guests and visitors in a farm/ farmstay. They are, as well, creative personalities and interesting people, participate to Bahai faith and Esperanto community. Both are originally from England ... their story of coming together and moving to Tasmania is so interesting ...
• Karl Stevens, in Comments: I think organic farming is very important in the big picture. All the hardware outlets concentrate on selling corporate herbicides rather than items like ‘blow torch’ weed killers. ‘Buzzies’ spread by wallabies are hard to remove manually and glysophate leaves toxic residues. It also poisons wallabies. I’m not surprised somebody from Finland feels at home in Tas.
A man called ‘Linus Torvalds’ from Finland is arguably one of the biggest influences on modern computing. He has already left a fantastic legacy that is the foundation of a lot of the internet. Much of the web is delivered from Apache servers running the Linux operating systems. These free systems reduced the cost of propriety systems like Windows and Apple. Linus pioneered online software development that spawned code repositories such as GitHub.
Charles Eisenstein. Image*
27.04.15 3:00 am
Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new.
• Chris Harries, in Comments: The author if this tremendously empowering article shows astonishing wisdom and maturity for person so young. I’m sure that the picture he paints here can be held up as a mirror to many people who feel conflicted by the state of the world and how this affects their head space and informs them how they can and should engage with the world. I don’t think his thesis competes at all with clinical diagnosis and / or medical treatment of depression, rather if offers complementary insight into the reasons for prevalence of depression in modern society and also offers the sufferer a way of looking at it from a perspective that empowers them and helps them rise above being a hapless victim.
Kosmos Samaras, Deputy Campaign Director @ Vic Labor, cyclist, cat enthusiast
27.04.15 2:25 am
Before I go on. Whilst I am commenting on all matters relating to psephology, in this case the rise of the Greens, I must make one thing very clear. It’s my strong opinion that Australia no longer has a 2 party system. For far too long now those in the political ‘commentariat’ have explained away the Greens Political Party support as a protest, a flash in the pan, and a product of temporary voter disillusionment. And they are still doing it without any data to substantiate their claim.
• John Day, in Comments: #1 - I know of 17 young qualified Tasmanian’s many with families who have"taken retrenchment” from a single government department:with relatively low levels of settlement packages ( 5 to 10$K including statutory entitlements),who have all bar one moved to the mainland - and all have found jobs .All are fed up with the climate that they have to work in, the standard of our elected representatives and the likely future facing them and their families. The majority of our elected representatives, the management of government departments and what the media serve up - are in a different world and archaic in their thinking and output. Youngsters are connect like no other group and have completely different ways of looking at things, and completely different values of justifications and concerns. They also have a lot to say but do not connect with the media or government organisation as older Tasmanian’s might.The Greens Party and Independents are nearer to youngsters than any other party, and that where the change will come from. I have some issues with the Greens and no regard for the Liberals and Labor parties and their governments.But until they and the media recognize and speak objectively about each other and particularly the Greens and Independents - then Tasmania will not change and we will stay as we are.
Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp
26.04.15 6:00 am
These companion pieces reflect the horror of war and the effect of chance on our lives. The first, by Evan Whitton’s daughter Margaret, is a poem about her response to a 1918 photograph of wounded soldiers nursed by her grandmother, Bernice Margaret Collopy. Margaret is a clinical nurse consultant at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Her poem was first published in the April 2015 issue of The Lamp, the journal of the NSW Nurses’ and Midwives’ Association (membership c. 59,000). The second is about the war experiences of Evan Whitton’s father, Thomas Evan Whitton. He was nursed by Bernice Margaret Collopy and they later married. The piece originally appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on 26 April 1983.
• John Martinkus, Mercury’s Tasweekend: Hidden Horror of War ( this is a brilliant essay ... do yourself the immense favour of reading it ... ) … I can write this because I’ve seen it, lived it and felt it. I’ve lost hearing permanently from working in a helicopter in Afghanistan, I’ve lost a marriage and I’ve lost and left jobs, and I live with constant recurring nightmares of being kidnapped and blown up in Iraq. Sometimes the dreams are about Timor, hiding in the roof of a burning building with militia waving machetes outside. Sometimes it is the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Iraq when the blood was dripping off the awning of a building onto my notebook as I tried to write the number of the dead whose corpses I was trying to not step on. Sometimes it is just the sheer animal fear of being stuck in the last slow-moving Humvee in a convoy on a dirt road strewn with improvised explosive devices. But, unlike many other Australians who served in Vietnam, Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, I have my legs, my arms, my feet, my life and (although I know some would debate this) my sanity. The wars to which Australia has committed itself in the past 50 years have taken a huge toll, emotionally and physically, on a very small proportion of our population. And it is that we should reflect upon on this 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. …
• Claire Gilmour, in Comments: What a harrowing story from John Martinkus. When will that sort of thing be taught as part of history in schools? Makes one think that instead of all the ‘glory’ attributed to war, and those young people considering such a military career, should also be given the ‘warning’ signs (in no uncertain terms) prior to enlisting. Makes one really wonder about just who are behind the scenes of the so called Isis ‘war’ …. The creation of a so-called common enemy and all … to keep the ‘war’ efforts up. I watched the Gallipoli movie about the true story of some journalists in the war. I didn’t know Rupert Murdochs father had been one of the main characters to help get the truth out. Makes one wonder why he (Rupert) doesn’t do the same ? Instead seems to want to pander to big government and the big end of town … yay what a hero he is, not! Also makes me wonder about Nikolic, and his seeming penchant for attacking some of those who want to get the truth out … Ultimately the government continues to create PTSD in sooo many ways, but they, especially at the moment, are saying YOU, the individual are not worthy … you do not deserve help and consideration … you are just a pawn to be sacrificed on the table of naughts and crosses. Check mate ! to the government of the day … !
Peter Jones, Mercury Talking Point Feb 28. Pub: April 20
26.04.15 4:00 am
As we approach the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and then the shift of focus to the Western Front, it is worth reflecting that there is another side to the story.
• Chris Harries, in Comments: ANZAC is Australia’s only real spiritual day in the calendar year. Whereas Christmas now almost totally revolves around shopping and the retail industry and Easter to the fortunes of the chocolate industry, ANZAC is sacred. So sacred that it should not be commercialised. That’s our national sentiment. A sizeable minority is offended by this religiosity, it is the status quo. Pointing arrows at this was the media and public’s reaction to the SBS reporter, Scott McIntyre, who blasphemed by tweet. He blasphemed simply by pointing out that war crimes are committed in all wars and our wonderful diggers did some of that too. He blasphemed because he said that on our most holy of holy days. Now we could ask: what’s the difference between Scott McIntyre’s tweet and Charlie Hebdo magazine’s offensive cartoon that caused so much consternation. The answer is: not much. Both equally offended the sensibilities of deeply religious people. The ironic thing is that depending on where their politics lies, Australian will tend to back Charlie Hebdo and criticise Scott McIntyre for being irreverent and stupid – or vice versa. In fact, they were as brave as each other, the only real difference being that one was conveyed by cartoon and the other by tweet. Both had tried to make a point about mindless belief and they paid the price for their blasphemy.
“#1 The ‘priest’ Chan and ‘artist’ Sukumaran?” Are they related to the The drug smugglers Chan and Sukumaran?…