Monthly Archives: February 2007

Captain Cook, Joseph Banks and smallpox

This article is an oldie but a goodie, I wrote it a few years ago. I thought I had already put it up on Paradigm Oz but I was wrong, so here it is.

This is an article about covert biological warfare, Captain Cook and Joseph Banks, about the deliberate infection of disease which spread like wildfire accross the nation.

The historical context for the discovery of Australia was the defeat and withdrawall of the British forces from America after a protracted war with theFrench, the indigenous and the new white americans in America and Canada as well as the French and spanish and others in the global conflict. . Britain had sustained a tremendously expensive war and the dillemma for its government and royalty was whether to defend their colonies militarily at further expense or allow political independance and attempt to develop trade advantage with the new nation. Cooks voyages of discovery occured during the transition from one to the other.

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Anna Nicole Smith and asylum seekers from Sri Lanka.

The sad demise of Anna Nicole Smith and her son have for some reason have captured the public’s attention. Indeed, my use of her story in this article makes me complicit in the public ghoulishness that has been generated by her tragic situation. Anna will be remembered partly because she was a playboy model and because she married an old man. But what she is really famous for is her pain and suffering in the last part of her life – the death of her son, her drug addictions, her depression and her death, in particular the family arguments being played out in court for custody of her corpse. Today’s news is that her burial has been postponed again by another court action. The public have become obsessed with knowing the intimate details of her suffering and death. No doubt we all feel sorry for her and her daughter, which is all part of her post-humous celebrity identity – another tragic victim of a glamor life.

How is it that Anna’s suffering can be headline news and common knowledge throughout the world, yet the pain and suffering of asylum seekers is denied, repressed and hidden? Continue reading

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Aboriginal Australia, non-Aboriginal Australia

Firstly, for those who have not read a similar disclaimer in other things I have written, I am Irish and English by bloodline. I am the first of my family to be born in Australia.

The now defunct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) defined Aboriginality – a precondition for voting in ATSIC elections – as being born of at least one Aboriginal parent and being recognised and accepted as an Aboriginal person by an Aboriginal corporation. This definition seems to have been widely accepted by Aboriginal people and the mainstream bureaucracy.

The first Aboriginal protection acts that were instituted around Australia at the beginning of the twentieth century identified “full blood”, “half cast”, “quadroon” and “octoroon” as being legally “Aboriginal” but if the Aboriginal bloodline was 1/16th or less then these people were legally white. The ATSIC definition of Aboriginality pays no such attention to what percentage “Aboriginal” a person is, only if a person in holistically Aboriginal based on a bloodline connection, no matter how distant or thin. Indeed the many fair skinned Aboriginal people today and their unrestricted involvement in Aboriginal culture, spirituality and politics indicates that “race” is not a key factor in “Aboriginality”.

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having problems commenting?

Apparently some people have been unable to post comments on this site. I apologise for this, it is a technical hiccup, not censorship. I’ll do my best to find and fix the problem, but in the meantime, if you have trouble commenting, send me an email (details on “about Paradigm Oz) and I will post it.

One such response to my article “can’t see the forest for the trees” from the North Queensland Greens has been included in the comments.

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Shit happens; but so do blessings.

This is a bit of a test post really, running my new laptop through its paces to see what happens, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

A lot of shit has happened in the life of me and my partner Theresa in the last year. We had huge plans about building a sustainable housing resource centre on Palm Island and at Boulia. I won’t go into all the details but shit happened and we have not yet been able to follow through on these plans – yet. So a few months ago I decided to start a blog of my own, after running a quasi-blog on for 12 months. Theresa and I have been a bit house bound but I had a computer and was connected to the internet so a blog seemed like a good thing to do as I very much enjoy writing. Things were settled, apparently, and I could run the blog from Palm Island where we have been planning to move to for some time, making it, I believe, an interesting and unique blog that would also be a primary news source for information about Palm Island. Then two problems hit. 1/ my computor broke down and 2/ the problems mentioned about my nephew and the Qld. adult guardianship regime, throwing significant spanners in the works. The guardianship business is not finished. I have removed the previous article under threat of a contempt of court charge but will write more soon about what I am allowed to say now that I have a computer again.

So, up until a few days ago I was pretty demoralised, and with no computor and still stuck in Brisbane.


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The core issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody

I just posted this on a thread on “The Bush Telegraph” (see blogroll) and I thought I’d put it here too since I was near a computor.

There has been a lot of talk about the Royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody and how its reccomendations have been largely ignored. The police unions present push to implement some reccomendations such as video cameras in watchhouses is in line with the other reccomendations that actually were adhered to – those that provide proffessional protection to police and prison officers. As soon as the RCIADIC had finished, prison and watch house cells around the nation were redesigned to minimise a prisoners capacity to take their own life and of course, the officer’s and state’s liability in such a death. The only other thing other than tinkering with cell design has been the implementation of Aboriginal sentencing courts such as the Murri and Koori courts that can only be accessed by way of a guilty plea. Murri court simply fast tracks people into the criminal system and provides a clear inducement to plead guilty – that is to concur with the police officers version of events surrounding the persons arrest.

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Greenies and Murries

*”Murri” is a term often used by Queensland Aboriginal people to describe themselves and is increasingly making its way into mainstream language (even on T.V.).

The following article is the draft that I have submitted to the Australian Greens “Green Magazine”. One of the editors, Drew Hutton, asked me for such a thing.

I wait anxiously to see what the tyrannical and defensive editorial team will do to it. In a laziness induced lapse of wisdom and under intimidation from Drew’s acedemic stature (and his constant whinging about obscure petty little gripes about proper punctuatio, spelling or grammer) I gave my permission for it to be edited.

Sustainability and Indigenous Policy
by John Tracey

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