aboriginal, australia, ESSAYS, SOCIAL POLICY, Uncategorized

My Favorite Lezzie.

This is the ultra brief version. It’s true too. And there’s a twist in the tail of the tale.

I’d been posted to Kalgoorlie in the Eastern Goldfields District for the then Department Of Native Welfare as its Employment Officer. It was a long way from home in Perth and even emotionally longer from my wife, Betty, and my new-born son, Andrew. The house promised us would not be vacated by the single woman occupant so I lived in the basement room of one of Kal’s many pubs, along with a few mice and a lot of cockroaches and mossies; not to mention the urine from the drunks which seeped under my door.

The small business community up there in the Wild West was wonderfully magnanimous in assenting to my appeals to preferentially employ Aborigines. Still, there was much frustration when the newly employed couldn’t stick at it. I can tell you, being conjugally separated was an even greater frustration but you don’t want to hear about that or that within the first weeks I had been physically and sexually assaulted. But, one can appreciate why I volunteered readily to manage the newly completed student hostel for Aboriginal kids who lived in remote areas. I had dobbed in my wife who would automatically become the manageress but that was the trade-off to allow us to be together. Being young and green, I never foresaw the threats to the family nor the assaults that were to come.

The first months were exciting, tiring but immensely satisfying since we discovered that Aboriginal kids are a wondrous species, full of innocence, joy and rancourlessness.

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Nindeebai Hostel, Kalgoorlie.

[I can say that now because I subsequently experienced 9 years of managing student hostels of various types]. We were quite relieved, yet a little sad, when the Department found permanent “qualified” managers, [and you can read into those scare quotes what you will]. However, those hostel kids kept petitioning the boss [Superintendant Tomato-Face, George Budge] to re-instate Betty and I.  Short version:  we agreed to return as permanent managers on his promise to hire some assistants and that I have the say in their hiring [none of this BS psychological testing of applicants in the City]. Yeah well, that never happened – not until the second year of operation.

Enter stage left: Megan, the newly-appointed social worker for the area. We had never seen the previous social worker, but Megan visited us at the hostel daily. Ostensibly employed to attend to the well-being of the kids and Aborigines generally, she became concerned about me and my family, recognizing that two people with a baby who worked night and day in caring for 35 kids without a break or assistance were going to burn out rather quickly. She was also worried about the threat that the Warburton people were going to spear me in the leg and we did have several kids from that community. [Short version: I had previously pegged 20 mining claims in Central Australia for that community but Head Office scrapped them and I got the blame].

Megan volunteered, with no extra pay attached, to attend the hostel from mid-day Mondays to mid-day Tuesday, further giving us the key to her house in which to stay to obviate our obligation to fork out for a motel room. Great girl. But then came the Big Argument before we even got to enjoy some time off.

“I’ll arrange for a bulk prescription of the Pill for all the girls”, she announced.

“Don’t bother, Megan”, I replied, “I won’t be handing them out”.

And so, a discussion ensued, which needs no relating, except for the conclusion. I told her she could refer the matter to the boss or to Perth, but as I was the manager, my decision carried or I would leave if I was not given free reign to make such decisions. Though she stormed off then, when she returned it was as if nothing had transpired that day. And she handed us the key to her house.

It was around midnight, when Betty and I were in her bed asleep, that I apparently heard a rustle that woke me. [I have to explain that I had to be a light sleeper, attuned to the slightest squeak of a door hinge, ever ready as I slept in street wear, to jump up to investigate ……… but those particular incidents at the hostel are for another day]. The man standing at the end of the bed was as surprised as I. It was Megan’s boyfriend who had his own key to accommodate himself at his leisure or to do whatever whenever. He suspected Megan of unfaithfulness and I suspected him of burglary, but it was quickly sorted out.

On our return next day to the hostel we found Megan a little shaken. The kids had locked her in the cool room for some time the previous night. As delightful as they were, they could play up when authority was not present. Later on, the same lads involved wanted to take revenge, with knives, on some adults who had jumped me with a bashing. Anyway, we got that all sorted for Megan’s future stays, and I digress.

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Some of the girls, dressed for the school dance.

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And the boys who were bold enough to don the glad rags and go to the whities school dance. A few senior lads opted for a quiet night by the TV at the hostel.

I can’t remember how long Megan stayed in Kal, but it wasn’t long enough. Much later we were told that she had gone to live in New Zealand with her female lover. { I suppose you were wondering about the title of this blog]. I will not belabor the point about homosexuality being a choice, I’m just telling a true story. And that, dear reader, is not the sting in the tail of the tale.

Many years later, I discovered in conversation from my best friend of 50 years, a Sri Lankan who was also my best man named Maurice, that his wife was Megan’s half-sister.

May God bless all those people whom He has put in my path.

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ESSAYS, ISLAM, RELIGION

TRINITY. [guest post: D. Marwick]

The First Cause is a Trinity: no more, no less.

Most of us have been exposed to an image of “God” as a stern old man with flowing white hair and beard, sitting in a flash chair in the clouds, presumably tone deaf because of all the naked babies blaring trumpets all around.

How terribly difficult it is to create a visual image to represent an incomprehensible “Isness”. Who can draw a picture of I AM WHO AM? Sure, there are pictures representing God the creator, God the Redeemer, God the Judge…. and all that, still incomprehensible to the worldly-wise who assume that “God” is ‘becoming’ according to their fancies.

I start from pure logic: “A thing that does not exist cannot cause itself to exist”: and its corollary “an effect cannot be greater than its cause(s)”. Things (like you and I) obviously exist and we cannot cause ourselves. The Sun and all the stars do not cause themselves; indeed, they would not be stars if they weren’t dissipating themselves by pumping prodigious amounts of matter and energy into cold Space.

Everything that is changing or is changeable that exists must have an anterior cause that is greater than itself……… except the Uncaused First Cause. Anything else is logically absurd and scientifically impossible according to all the relevant Laws of Nature.

As we well know from bitter experience in the cruel physical world entropy runs the show. Every physical ‘happening’ dissipates energy and order.

For example:
The best (most succinct and precise) definition (description) of entropy is as it occurs in the “Second Law of Thermodynamics”; “All ordered systems, left to themselves, tend toward maximum randomness and lowest energy (potential or differential)”. That means that order naturally tends to degenerate into randomness (disorder) and energy potential tends to dissipate into a uniformity without potential because there’s nowhere of lower potential left to go to…

Because energy must be dissipated in the establishment and maintenance, or sustaining, of an orderly system some con men with an ideology to sell will try to pretend that the energy consumed in the process creates the order. A sly mental trick.

Let’s propose some practical examples to illustrate the process.

Most mothers like to have an orderly home. Order in her home requires:
1. An intellect to conceive the order.
2. The will to want the order.
3. The capacity, or power, to implement or bring about the order.

Now, that poor Mum who has been toiling away for years to install and maintain the order suddenly finds herself confronted by a clever-dick progeny who’s been to school and learned that energy spontaneously creates order. Smarty tries to convince Mum that letting off a bomb (great release of energy) in the middle of her expertly managed domain, will spontaneously create order and she’ll never have to tidy up again. Good luck with that one Smarty.

Or let’s lift great weights to great heights. An intellect comes up with an idea of a crane to do the job. Skilled minds and hands divert energy and materials to make the machine using entropy in every step of the process. Smarty, with the benefit of his recently acquired great insights, comes along and proclaims that –  because the energy to build and operate the crane comes, ultimately, from the Sun then –  the Sun built the crane. Now, I just happen to know for sure that Central Australia gets lots and lots of solar energy but not one giant crane has ever spontaneously appeared in the desert.

“Oh well”, counters Smarty, “that only applies to non-biological systems. Energy applied to biological systems creates an increase in order and complexity opposed to entropy”. Smarty has never heard of the “Law of Morphology” (which is really only entropy applied to biological systems) which says, simply, that “the more complex an organism and the more often it is reproduced, the more likely it is that something will go wrong in the process”.

So, the thousands of generations of drosophila (fruit flies) that have been subjected to every imaginable radiation ‘stimulus’ to produce ‘sped up’ ‘evolution’ have only ever produced some wreckage of their DNA or genome… not one super-human spaceman.

Ultimately, untold thousands of generations of diligent and wise housekeeping Mums are in tune with reality… the Smarties are not.

Order is a product of Intellect, Will, and Life.

So whence come this Life, Intellect and Will? We all know from simple observation that all these metaphysical ‘things’ or ‘stuff’ exist because we all have them and they order dumb physics and chemistry into live bodies, magnificent corals and cathedrals… none of which can create itself out of nothing.

Enter the Uncaused First Cause… that is, the ultimate cause of everything but Himself. He must be eternal because (by definition) He has no cause. He must be unchangeable because there’s nothing “big” enough to cause a change. He must be infinite because, outside, or beyond Him and His Work there is no more of anything.

This great Power (Life) must also be the great Intellect because “things” are carefully crafted to “work” as they do, and He must be the great Will because without the “I want it” there is no action, or result.

Most of us have some “idea” of who and what we are and, for most of us (diabolical narcissists excepted), our “idea” of ourselves bears some resemblance to the “fact” of self.

The infinite Being with the infinite Intellect, however, has an “idea” of Himself that is precisely what He is… no glitch or error. Everything the same. The Second Person; distinct but inseparably integral.
The First Person knows exactly Who He is and that knowledge is the Second Person, or “the Word” as sometimes called in Scripture.

So God “knows” the absolute perfection of everything which is Himself… and He loves that perfection that is the very definition of “goodness”. The greatest act of love is the gift of self. We see it in very muted form here on Earth with the gift of self in spouses and parents, and patriots. A gift must have a receiver of the gift and the receiver must be able to accept the gift. The First Person gifts Himself as does the Second Person and that gift of self to each other with no reservations or glitches or blips is precisely God in every sense. The Third Person.

There can be no more and there can be no less.

Any “God” that is not a Trinity, that is, the “God” of Jews and Muslims is a Satan pretending to be God. There is no possibility that a Supreme Being could not know and love goodness.

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ancestry, australia, CULTURE, ESSAYS

AUSTRALIA OUT-TRUMPS THE TRUMP IMMIGRATION BAN: imposes 40yr. ban

Now, dear reader, that you have fallen for the clickbait headline, let me say that it is quite true, mostly.

For 40 years Catholic priests were not permitted entry to Australia from settlement in 1778 until 1820 when Frs. Therry and Conolly arrived. Let me qualify this.

A Catholic priest, Fr. Dixon, had come to the country around 1802, but he came as a convict having been sentenced for collusion in the Irish rebellion. He did eventually become a freeman and said a public mass. The Governor relented too in 1817 by allowing a Fr. O’Flynn into the country; alas, he was sent packing after a year. Finally, in 1820, 42 years after the First Landing, the first two permanent priests were permitted entry. Thus, for almost half a century tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of left-footers suffered religious persecution. “Persecution” is not too strong-a-word since the practice of that brand of faith centred around the Sacraments which only priests could perform.

Why was it so?

THUMBNAIL VERSION: Simply, the Micks in England and Ireland had been suppressed ever since Fat Henry; and Cromwell had done a job on killing off lots of Micks in the fair isle. Those feisty Irish though wouldn’t go down without kicking up a stink and priests were viewed as leaders or potential leaders of rebellions and sedition. Moreover, they were viewed as loyalists to the Vatican before they would give loyalty to the Crown. To be sure, to be sure, they would surely cause trouble in the new colony.

PERSONAL ASIDE: Cromwell’s genocide necessitated Irish ancestors, such as my own, to adopt the survival measure of having half the family convert to protestantism while the other half remained Catholic. From ancestral enquiries, this occurred in both my and my wife’s family – although my ancestors were Irish gentry, while hers were Scottish criminals deported to the Great Southern Prison [earning their title as Australian Royalty]. As both sets of ancestors wound up in Van Diemen’s Land [Tasmania], they were deprived of the ability to practice their faith fully, having their offspring baptised, married or buried by a Methodist minister, of which there was just one in them there wilds of Northern Tassie.  It is a matter of record that through the descendency the true faith returned to this amalgam of allegiances; none ever took up arms against the colonial gummint, while plenty of them fought – and plenty died – in both World Wars.

The first Christian Brothers – Bodkin, Lynch and Tracey – didn’t arrive until 1868 to offer Catholic education to young men, 90 years after settlement. They founded CBC Parade in Melbourne, my alma mater.

But the persecution was not quite over. Enter Archbishop Mannix [Melbourne, 1913-1963].

Manic Mannix was a fly in the Gummint ointment throughout, mainly due to his conflicting views of conscription. At one point, due to return to Ireland for a vacation, he was advised that his return would be refused re-entry, – so he didn’t go. In true Irish spirit he found a way to present the Gummint with a middle-finger salute. St. Patrick’s Day Parade was Melbourne’s biggest public event by far and was usually led by the Arch in an open car – as per the picture above. On said occasion, to show the great civic powers that it was He who had the support of the soldiery, not them, his vehicle was preceded by a dozen VC winners on white chargers – again, as this picture shows. That was tellin’ ’em!

There we have it. No Great March on the Sydney Harbour for a Reconcilliation with the Micks. No apology for the suppression and persecution of one religion. No compensation or reverse discrimination. No special benefits. No Sorry Day.

No – we descendants would not even think of it. Demeaning. Perish the thought. FECK OFF THEN AND LET’S GET ON WITH LIFE.

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ESSAYS

A Bird Blog.

I HEADED off for work, three steps from my front door, and felt a strange sensation on my hip. Without looking down I brushed at it. All I felt were feathers. It was a Rainbow Lorikeet which had silently flown from behind me and latched onto my belt.

Bright vivid colors of Rainbow Lorikeets birds native to Australia

I became very fond of him even though he became a demanding pest. Every day for over a year he would appear at some stage, perch on my shoulder, and defy efforts to dislodge him. Some relief came in the form of a mate which avoided me religiously, but still my friend would fly into my  unit, drink whatever I was drinking and not leave until it was ready.

Fussy? Fussy is not the word when it came to food. Initially he gnawed at whatever I was eating, which prompted me to buy him – and later them – some black sunflower seeds which they loved. One day I bought the grey seeds which were a little cheaper. Nope. Wouldn’t touch them. And if looks could kill!

When, as a pair, they flew about the suburb to check out houses for fruit, they would whistle to me as they passed overhead. I know it was directed at me because they mimicked my particular feeble whistle which I had used to originally call them. Eventually they teamed up with a flock which picked my neighbour’s palm tree to nest in. The neighbour objected and put fly-wire around his tree, leaving many eggs within that were just hatching. What a sad time it was to see the lorikeet families trying to get to their chicks. Worse, magpies, ravens and others attacked the wire to get to the hatchlings. A sad end to that episode.

 

AT LEAST a year before, a family of 15 Mudlarks made friends with me. I think I would have to call them my favorite bird.

Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)

I live in Western Australia but in the Eastern States they call this species ‘pee wee’s. The relationship began as it usually does – tentative curiosity, then a building trust. Then food.

I lived opposite a large park bordered by Norfolk Island Pines which was home to several species. Our relationship was of a nature that when I pulled up at home after my workday, no matter the time, the mudlark flock would descend around me with several “designated” scouts tapping my head as they flew past me to wait for me in the back yard. Many would comfortably eat from my hand but there were others which seemed to demand that I throw food in the air so that they could show off their acrobatic skills. Too, I lived adjacent to the ocean in the Perth suburb of City Beach, and that meant many birds of all types were appearing with legs tangled in fishing line. One or two allowed me to free them of the line – except for one fellow who had lost a leg. The mudlarks have the quirk of hanging about amongst magpies which tolerate them as inferior cousins. Males and females are easy to tell apart and there seemed little pecking order according to sex. They seemed pleased to bring their chicks around as though proud of them. The reason that they all disappeared one season remains a mystery

 

MAGPIES HERE are slightly different to the Eastern Magpie.

Magpie

Early morning I would be woken by their melodic song. Magpies are unique in having a double larynx which enables them to sing two tunes at once.

They too would come into my yard regularly, but while some fed from my hand, they were not as personable as other species. Apparently they have a repertoire of 400 face-recognitions. When notorious attacks happen, we locals were never bothered when walking through the park, but beachgoers certainly got attacked since they were unfamiliar to the maggies. They certainly brought up their chicks rough – chicks were pushed aside when food was around and often pecked.

 

TWO PAIRS of doves hung around me.

Love Doves

One pair was of African origin and the other pair were Indian. Reportedly, this species of  birds had been imported by the Perth Zoo, but were set free in the 1950’s. Since they were not prolific breeders they never became pests. They were quite shy but eventually two fed from my hand. Both breeds were a flat brown color and hard to tell apart. But Fight!! My goodness, they gave the lie to being a bird of peace. My only bird funeral was one of the doves.

 

NOBODY COULD dislike Fantails.

Grey fantail Rhipidura albiscapa

They are the bravest of tiny things and were always around. Not personable, but not intimidated either.

I once had to chase a Dugite [snake] from my back gate and down the side path to the park across the road. Actually, I did less chasing than my wagtail friend who gave that metre-long snake a very hard time.

I have to claim a unique experience concerning wagtails – and possibly a world record [which conveniently cannot be corroberated]. It is said that they never keep their tail still for more than around 25 seconds [a world record according to the books]. Well, I once had occasion to sit in a park in Busselton to wait for someone. I spied a Willy Wagtail but 2 metres away, intent on the ground ahead of him – obviously detecting the presence of a sub-terainean insect. Noticing its tail was still, I began counting. I reached 110 seconds before his tail moved. There!…..my only world record.

 

CROWS?…..We don’t have them. Our “crows” are technically  Ravens.

Common Ravens

Pests in a way, but admirable for their intelligence. They were always around, but never became personable – nearly but not quite. They are said to be the only species of birds which deliberately recreate, as in R&R. They do, but I’ve seen other breeds enjoy play time.

Their squark is annoying. They are intimidated by other smaller birds [mainly wagtails and lorikeets] and they robbed my fig tree every season.

 

BUTCHER BIRDS are wonderful.

Butcher Bird

They came close but never too close; they are always just too busy finding food. They are such devoted parents I used to watch in awe as they trained their young. They are the robbers I discovered which used to rip out the hairy stuff from my hanging baskets. Their most notable feature though, for me, was their song. Just exquisite. [Apparently they gained the name because they tended to hang their prey in a tree before consuming]. Too they are sleek and masters of flight.

 

FINALLY………. A SPECTACULAR INCIDENT: and it involved nearly all the breeds above.

One hot morning, my back yard was a veritable bird park. The Lorikeets were at my feet. Some mudlarks were waiting for me, perched on a chair. Several magpies were on the lawn trying to eat but were getting annoyed by a crow trying to steal their food – he had one eye out for the lorikeets since they do not take kindly to other breeds. A  lone dove was perched well away on the roof gutter, watching and waiting for everyone to leave. High summer is the time for birds of prey. I have no picture here, as I don’t know what sort of bird it was that I saw far, far up in the sky, hovering as eagles, hawks, falcons and others do. It may have been a sea eagle, being white. Suddenly it dived. Really, it came from such a height and at such speed, vertically down, that I thought it was a Kamikaze suicide. It headed straight for the crow and there seemed no possibility , at that speed, of pulling out. But it did, totally defying the huge G forces. It clipped the crow nicely and veered at right angles just inches from the ground, missing my shed by a whisker. The most amazing thing was its targeting of the crow – not for the kill, but as though the crow was an annoyance, and it had nothing better to do.

 

There were many other species, both in my yard regularly and in the park: kookaburras, ibis, Carnaby cockatoos, galahs and of course the ubiquitous sea gulls. Since I moved house, I have not yet made many avian friends. I do miss those I left behind.

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ESSAYS, Uncategorized

What’s Old Is Not New Again.

Commenting on my short O.P. of exactly two years ago. First: The Original……

BOUQETS:  Yes,to a Greens MP, Dickie DiNatale who went to West Africa to inspect efforts to fight ebola. Very brave,…Bon Natale, Dick, if you don’t mind the word-play and my poor Italian. [Sorry to hear that you came back]..

To Pope Frank for postulating that pets can go to heaven. [Good, but what next? Gays? Bikies? Bank managers? And what about my pet venus fly trap?] .                                                                                To Facebook for giving consideration to a “dislike” button. [Better idea: a hate button…or damn disgraceful….revolting…cancel-this-post…really boring button?] Just saying!

BRICKBATS: To ISIS for beheading four Christian children for not converting.                                   To Waleed Aly for leaving ABC shows that nobody watches and joining The Project to bore us to death on that. [not me, I won’t be watching].                                                                                             To THE MONTHLY rag for claiming that there is no such beast as the political LEFT, only the RIGHT, which is always wrong. Confused? Me too, but the rag does have some very funny sardonic articles [ if you are of the Left….which doesn’t exist].                                                                             To the Pope for letting pet snakes into heaven…

HERE WE ARE, EXACTLY TWO YEARS AFTER THE NONSENSE FOREGOING O.P. WAS PENNED. What’s changed?

Not a lot.

Dick H. Natali is even moreso as the new Bwana of the Green Jungle Dwellers who have become increasingly feral and gone “native” from such a long stint in that verdant environment of solar panels and wind turbines. [But Dick H. conquered Ebola single-handedly in that time].

Pope Frank? Well, he has been a little too frank with his throw-away lines in these two years. That’s all down to his pastoral zeal to get all souls to Heaven, along with their pets, including adulterers, non-Christians, Islamic terrorists and Barak Obama.

Facebook read my blog and now have multiple response buttons for those who never caught on to written language.

ISIS is still going strong and doing its best to deal with the world’s overpopulation problem. It has convinced most of the World’s Leaders that, while their tools of trade are a little primitive, their principles are as culturally valid as any other philosophy coming, as they do, from a profound desire for peace based on the saintly life of Mohammed.

Finally: Wally Aly. The Wally did eventually take up the reins at the Project, except on those nights following a terrorist attack. He has become the Shepherd of the “Flock For Love, Peace & Joy”, the Voice of Snowflakes & Pollyannas who block their ears whenever reality is discussed, fearing they will be triggered. He is their proxy voice. And he plays the guitar.

Oh, and the rag called “The Monthly”? I can’t even recall it now. Apparently I have moved on intellectually to those fine disseminators of truth: The Guardian, Huff Post, Matilda, SMH, The Conversation and all such rags that do such a fine job of refuting such ideals as absolute truths, grace, beauty, tradition, sovereignty, Divinity and other quaint ideas that are anathema to ‘progress’.

MAY YOU BE TOUCHED BY THE DIVINE THIS CHRISTMAS.

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ESSAYS

THE JOKE’S ON ME

Some time ago I self-invented a genre of jokes [to annoy my family], none of which are remotely funny. They run along the lines of ” blah blah walked into a bar” and “there was an Irishman, a Kiwi and an Australian…” Remember those? My new genre asked: “What’s black and white and red all over”? The original from my primary school days, 50 years ago had the answer…. a newspaper [ which then was without colour, and was ‘read’ all over] See!, not funny!

Thus, I progressed my new genre with the same question: “What’s  black and white and red all over”?  The new answers had to be thought out by any interlocutor: example…”A Collingwood footballer shirt-fronted by John Worsfold” or “A sunburnt nun” or “A road-killed magpie” or even “Adam Goodes” [blackfella playing in red and white strip]. See, not funny!

Where do I come in?

I just moved into a new unit in Beeliar, a suburb of Perth, about 4 or 5 kms from Cockburn Cement works. When a sou-wester blows [which is most of the year] lots of white ash covers my car [and those of other tenants], while alternately on other days my front balcony gets a dose of soot-like paricles; sometimes these deposits happen at the same time! SO, yesterday I cleaned both house and car. This morning, on venturing outdoors, I find white flecks over the car and black flecks over the balcony…… I was red-faced with frustrated anger. Getting it? “What’s black and white and red all over”? New answer: ME.   Told you…..not funny!

Footnote: The cement works provides a free car wash facility 24/7. Nice of them.

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