Saturday, December 21, 2002


Americans might be able to understand Australia�s current �Black Armband� controversy but I doubt that many others would. I have some difficulty understanding it myself.

The controversy is about the fact that the Commonwealth of Australia (like the United States of America) is the result of conquest by the British. Unlike the USA, however, the early British settlers of Australia met only feeble and sporadic resistance from the indigenous population (Aborigines). And, for some reason that quite escapes me, many white Australians seem to take comfort from the fact that their ancestors met only feeble resistance.

Australian Leftist historians, however, do the usual disruptive thing that one expects from Leftists and try to undermine that comfort by claiming that Aboriginal resistance was in fact fierce and that the slaughter of them was great. They also claim that white Australians owe black Australians an �apology� for the suffering inflicted on their ancestors -- with �reparations� being the obvious next step after that.

Our Prime Minister has dismissed what he calls the �black armband� version of Australian history put forward by Leftists and resolutely rejects the need for an �apology�.

The Leftist version of Australian settlement has not however gone unchallenged and Keith Windschuttle, a reformed Marxist, has just published a large scholarly book called The fabrication of Aboriginal history in which he points out all the distortions in Leftist histories of the events concerned. Some of his arguments are given here

This has raised quite a storm in the Australian press with �get Windschuttle� being the agenda. Some of the criticisms are pretty desperate -- e.g. that he wrote his book �too quickly� and that he did not get it published through a conventional Left-leaning academic publisher -- but he has also been accused of �plagiarism�, even though it is only a similarity to another author that has been paraded rather than true plagiarism (i.e. outright copying). But this too is nonsense as both Windschuttle and the author he supposedly semi-copied were in fact both paraphrasing yet an earlier source and both footnoted that fact.

So why are the Leftists so frantic to get Windschuttle? An unspoken reason is that the Leftist historians are afraid of Windschuttle�s really BIG challenge to them. Windschuttle has also publicized the now generally forgotten fact that the Aborigines are NOT Australia�s original inhabitants. They too were invaders and wiped out or absorbed most of their predecessors. And pictorial evidence of that is freely available!

One of the predecessor groups was a pygmy race -- a pocket of whom survived into modern times by living in Australia�s densest rainforest. And striking early photographs of them are still available and were once widely circulated. Despite the photographs and extensive early Anthropological descriptions of them, however, Australia�s pygmies have been unmentioned in the textbooks and popular histories of Aboriginal Australia for roughly the last 30 years! And Windschuttle has broken the silence! So if THAT gets widely known, the Leftist case for apologies and reparations will get completely wiped out!



An Ontario priest convicted of sexually assaulting a teenager is suing the victim's parents, claiming they had a duty to protect and provide counselling for their son and were negligent in allowing him to spend time with the Roman Catholic priest.

More here

A convicted rapist has sued the hospital where he raped a patient in her bed, saying the hospital failed to protect visitors and patients.

In the lawsuit, filed Monday in Erie County Common Pleas Court, Edward Brewer said the former Providence Hospital�s "inadequate security in protecting visitors as well as their patients" caused him pain and suffering. Brewer, 47, was found guilty in October of rape and sexual battery for attacking a 44-year-old woman in June, 1998

More here

Both these cases reflect the current Leftist obsession with victimhood and are perfectly consistent with the Leftist�s constant theme of trying to shift responsibility off the individual and on to �society�.



Marc Miyake wrote recently of the way he that he, as a Japanese American, feels neither Japanese nor American. He was obviously coping with it but not without some regrets. I thought therefore that I should reproduce something that an older Scottish-born woman who has spent most of her adult life in Australia wrote to me recently:

We are all indeed Scots to the core and to the end. I wrote a letter to the editor about that the other day. Some Asian immigrant had said that they did not feel that they belonged. In one sense no immigrant feels that they belong .... I also want my remains to be in Scotland�

The cases are not directly comparable as my correspondent loves Scotland whereas Marc clearly does not love Japan but it may be some reassurance to Marc to realize that there is nothing that he personally could have done to prevent the problem that he has encountered.



The death penalty is available in 38 states and the federal system, yet only 66 convicted killers were executed in the United States last year.

But whatever else might be said about these numbers, they are eclipsed by a far larger and more heartbreaking number, one not mentioned in the Justice Department's report: the number of murder victims. In 2001,
15,980* Americans lost their lives to murder -- a death toll hundreds of times greater than the small body count of executed murderers.

Year after year, the number of inmates put to death by the state -- usually painlessly and after years of due process -- adds up to a minuscule fraction of the number of Americans purposely shot, beaten, strangled, knifed, poisoned, burned, drowned, hanged, and tortured to death by murderers. And yet which set of deaths elicits more public outrage, more media attention, more demands for reform, more cries to protect the innocent? Which occasions more debates, more candlelight vigils, more international protest?

If those who pour so much passion, effort, and money into wiping out the death penalty would pour themselves instead into wiping out homicide, who knows how many thousands of innocent lives they might save? But for reasons I have never been able to fathom, they would rather save the lives of the guilty.

Jeff Jacoby



There are some links in yesterday�s IQ & PC about the disgraceful affair in England where local social workers falsely accused some nursery nurses of paedophilia. It took them years to clear their name because no-one would admit that local-government officials could have got it wrong!


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