Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Wild Rivers and Feral Warmongers: Syd Walker responds

Last week Bryan Law attempted to set off a controlled demolition against Syd Walker’s view of the Wild Rivers debate, among other things.

I offered Syd the opportunity for a reply. The publicity-shy rainforest dweller, jumped at the offer.


I've been blogging, commenting and generally contributing to debates via the web for a few years under my own name. Since early 2008, I've had my own online blog. It covers a range of topics of interest to me. To date, I've posted over 500 articles.

Wild Rivers is not a subject I commented on at all until relatively recently. I've never attempted to write an article about it – either for my own blog or any other outlet.
I mention this, because for some reason Bryan Law decided to frame his latest pitch against the Queensland Government's Wild Rivers legislation – Syd Walker’s Wild River - as though I'm a big wheel in this issue. That's giving me way too much credit.

However, just as ordinary people in Australia are entitled to express an opinion about the ongoing military occupation of Afghanistan, whether or not we've visited that far-distant country, so also people are entitled to express an opinion about an issue concerning Cape York, whether or not we have first hand familiarity with the vast peninsula and its varied people.

I became involved in this issue, in a very minor way, mainly by posting comments on articles here in CairnsBlog. I did so once it became apparent to me that there's a systematic attempt underway to malign the Greens Party and large elements of the conservation movement. It has been running for a few years now with no sign of abatement. For reasons best known to yourself, Bryan, you have become a part of it.

I'll be more specific. I have no problem with criticism of The Greens and the conservation movement. I've done a bit of that myself, on occasion, when I've had honest disagreements over policies or approach. That's a healthy part of the process of open debate, which the green side of politics and the conservation movement need as much as everyone else.

What I can't put up with is gross intellectual dishonesty. I won't cop smear campaigns based on distortions and innuendo. In my opinion, that's how nasty the Cape York / Wild Rivers furore has become - and I believe these tactics have come from one side only. I don't mean the Aboriginal people as a whole, of course, nor its leadership as a whole. I'm referring to one relatively small part of the Aboriginal leadership and its tag-alongs.

In this region, Bob Katter is an example of a political being who can say courageous and worthwhile things one moment – then lose the plot by making absurd exaggerations that damage his overall credibility and alienate potential supporters. It's a shame. For instance, I think Katter is quite right to complain about the quasi-duopoly of retail supermarket-chains in Australia and its negative consequences for rural producers. Then he goes and ruins it all by saying something stupid like... “we can't even boil a billy anymore!” - taking a gratuitous, grossly over-hyped swipe at the very Party in Parliament most sympathetic to tackling big business vested interests, winding back over-centralised markets and giving small farmers a better deal.

Why Noel Pearson, a highly intelligent man, should take a similarly irrational approach in his public rhetoric on subjects that interest him is a matter for him. I hope he returns soon to making more effective use of his talents. Being feted by News Corp may have feel-good value, but it's a poor substitute for the general respect of fair-minded people. Noel had that a-plenty in the community not too long ago...

I won't comment further about the Wild Rivers issue here. There'll doubtless be plenty more said over the coming year by all concerned. I do hope the health of rivers that most definitely are NOT wild won't get overlooked in the meanwhile. I live next to one of them: the Barron River. It's still an open drain pouring unmonitored pesticides into the Coral Sea.

To other matters.

In an attempt to ridicule my views in general, Bryan mentionedThe 9-11 charade: Australia’s ABC needs truth-telling, not Kohn-jobs – an article I posted recently on my blog. He made the inaccurate suggestion that I 'outed' ABC Religious Affairs Presenter Raechel Kohn as Jewish. That's silly. As far as I've noticed, Raechel is quite open about her Jewish heritage and not in the least defensive about it. My point was quite different. Anyone interested in finding out what it was can read the article.

It is true that I nag the ABC – and other mass media – to tell the truth about 9-11. The truth, for them, might even be: “we don't really know what happened”. Even that timid admission would be progress.

Instead of that, we have a near-schizophrenic attempt on the part of the ABC to quarantine-off debate on this topic. It allows some comments from the public to its own articles – but never commissions journalists to write about the vast number of anomalies in the official narrative of 9-11. The existence of a huge international movement to establish the truth about 9-11 is never mentioned by the ABC – except perhaps to ridicule so-called 'truthers' with a few banal sneers, rather like Bryan's comments about me. None of the most prominent spokespeople on the topic of 9-11 – people such as Peace Studies Professor Graeme MacQueen – have been interviewed by the Australian mass media on this crucial subject, whether via TV, radio or print. Not once in nine years. That's just outrageous - a plain breach of the ABC's responsibility to report accurately and in an even-handed manner on the crucial topics of our times.

That, incidentally, was the point I was trying to make in the article disparagingly mentioned by Bryan. I've since followed it up with another somewhat related article - Crikey! The sordid state of Australia’s paid Commentariat - and a short poem entitled Hypocrites.

All of which is really by way of introduction to this superb presentation by Dr Graeme MacQueen - A Challenge to the Peace Movement - serialised on YouTube in four segments. The first of them is shown below. It lasts around ten minutes.

Please watch it if you haven't done so already. The rest of the 4-part series are displayed here and here. It is 100% relevant to the current national 'debate' about the military occupation of Afghanistan - an occupation our Prime Minister has just informed us the Government plans to continue at least another decade. That's five times the length of World War One in total.

A brief bio of Dr MacQueen follows the video...






  • Graeme MacQueen's academic specialization is Buddhist Studies, in which he received his doctorate from Harvard University.

    In 1989 Graeme helped found McMaster’s Centre for Peace Studies, of which he became director from 1989 until 1996. He was also a founder and co-director of the Centre's War and Health programme committee and was co-director of the three year Health of Children in War Zones project funded by Health Canada. The project was active in three war zones. He is currently co-director of the project Media and Peace Education in Afghanistan funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. With colleagues, he has expressed some of the principles utilized in the war and health work of the Centre for Peace Studies in Peace and Change (1997), British Medical Journal (1998), Medical Crossfire (2000) and The Lancet (2001).

    Graeme has been active in organizations committed to peace and human rights for many years and has at various times at various times chaired the Hamilton Disarmament Coalition, the Board of Directors of Peace Magazine, and the National Coordinating Committee of Peace Brigades International (Canada). He is also a committed teacher and has been awarded a teaching award for his undergraduate course, Theory and Practice of Nonviolence.

11 comments:

Bilbo Blogss said...

The war is suspicious as in nine years it was never debated in parliament. The patriotic lies about supporting the troops is disgusting. What a lying bunch of racist scum.

Check this out too Richard Dawkins on the pedophile nazi pope?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBHqGHxBJRs

KitchenSlut said...

Anybody who has previously followed Syd's rantings will find a trail of nasty anti-semiticism despite direct denials. The first time i tried to follow with intellectual credibility your arguments I discovered quotes from your favourite linked palestinian journo blaming the GFC on Jews and even if it wasn't them "you don't have to be Jewish to adopt bad Jewish practices"!? What Jews and no Zion?

No it's not just Zionism Syd, it goes deeper. The Jews were responsible for the Armenian genocide in Islamic Turkey? Your links make them responsible for almost all modern history! Voltaire's renowned anti-semiticism is paramount and decisive!

Alomost everything is a Jewish conspiracy in your world. Psychological studies of conspiracy theorists are interesting here!

Faced with a large consequence those prone will always find a larger cause beyond circumstance. Refer to Nassim Taleb's Black Swans.

Psychological studies of conspiracy theorists exibit the same qualities as religious fundamentalists. Desperately seeking a supernatural outcome to explain a normal worldy chaotic event beyong their ken.

There is ample psychological research on this!

Syd Walker said...

@ Kitchenslut

Rubbish. Crime is crime. Criminals are criminals.

If the Japanese had won WW2 we might well be having similar problems with the Yakusa. That wouldn't mean all Japanese are evil people.

Mass murder on 9-11 was absolutely out of line.

Covering up for the real perpetrators - while defaming Muslims everywhere for a crime orchestrated by others - is very evil indeed. The Great Lie needs correction before we can all move foreward.

You don't even provide direct quotes - just make things up. So someone I linked to on my website said something you don't like. Big deal.

As always with 'rebuttals' from people who screech 'anti-Semitism' when the official version of 9-11 is called into question, your response is essentially content-free. You simply make unpleasant accusations of deep-rooted bigotry which i utterly reject.

What makes it OK to smear the Muslim religion over 9-11? If you want to persist with that slander, you'll need to be able to justify it rationally. Just because Your ABC says it's true don't make it so. Those days are over.

Mick Mighell said...

I don't know Syd Walker from a bar of soap. I am not very interested in him. If he's anti-Zionist, that's OK. If he's anti-Jewish, I will cold shoulder him. If he supports the right of Palestinian people to occupy and enjoy their homelands, I'm with him.

I am not sure what gives him authority to comment upon anything, except as a self-appointed pontificator, like Bryan Law. It's his right, but it's no wonder Syd and Bryan fell out.

Sadly, Syd's post came at a bad time. It's a time when we wait with bated breath for Bryan Law to explain why the Cape Alumina mining company's decision to invest in something other than their river-fuck mine on the Cape represents a loss for Indigenous people.

It comes at a time when Gulf Aborigines are enjoying the dozens of jobs Wild Rivers created for them to get out on country looking after country. At a time when Cape Aborigines are wondering how the mine would have benefited them. At a time when everyone is wondering how Bryan Law (who has drifted from anarchy, to Greens, to Coalition, to barking-mad non-accountable independents in his quest to bring down everyone who has ever slighted him personally) comes to speak for them? I have never seen Noel Pearson standing next to Bryan Law.

Syd - hold your fire while Bryan ("is that a short black in your pants?") Law - tells us all how it fits...

Chris Forsberg said...

chris forsberg notes

Any blog-debate between Syd Walker and Bryan Law on a controversial issue like Wild Rivers is bound to be long-on verbosity and short on
reality.....

In terms of the Wild Rivers legislation impacting on Cape York
(the Wenlock River) and the Gulf of
Carpentaria, I would urge all
protagonists to forget the stock-
standard Green wash - and heed
instead the advice of Noel Pearson.

His is the informed and eloquent
voice on behalf of the indigenous
people of North Queensland - and
his opposition to Wild Rivers is
based on the real needs of the
folk he represents...

Mr. Pearson resides on Cape York,
consults widely with the indigenous
population of the region - and as
determined, no doubt correctly, that Wild Rivers substantially
disadvantages Cape York's original
Australians....

Armchair enviromental activists like Syd can blog-away to their
heart's content, whipping in baseless allegations of "Nazi
paedophile popes" if they wish -

but the simple fact is that Wild
Rivers has not 'passed muster'
with the notional leader of the
Cape York indigenous, whom the
Bligh government has chosen to
ignore.

Residents of the Cape, both black
and white, don't want Wild Rivers
- why should it be forced upon them ? It should NOT.

Again, I urge any and every one
who wants to 'buy-in' to this
'debate' to familarize themselves
with Noel Pearson's comprehensively-researched and
totally valid opposition to Wild
Rivers.

The murrays have been inhumanely
marginalized in this country for
over 200 years - surely commonsense
and decency dictates that they
should have a win on Wild Rivers...

The Cape is their 'country' - and
they alone know what's best for it.

chris forsberg bayview heights

Bilbo Blogss said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bilbo Blogss said...

Adolph Hitler was Roman Catholic not an athiest as claimed by pope Ratzinger.

Bart Simpson is not RC as claimed by head pedophile Ratzinger.

Rudd is a big sloppy arse sodomist along with 'Spanky Banky'.

'Dieu et mon Droit' 'divine right of their family' the royal families motto is the greatest lie concocted so far and has meant the slaughter and imprisonment of many billions of innocents.

Phillip Windsor is in the same league as nazi pope. Iam so glad I don't have to defend [deleted] Forsburg and his pathetic brainwashed crew of racist patriots.

There's tons of military in my family. Military are crap hit men/women for greedy robbers nothing more.

Austrelians are caught in Joh Bjelke-Petersens timewarp so nothing will ever go well until mass changes in everyones selfish racist actions and thoughts.

Aussies always blame the victims by being big men and kicking poor people while they are down.

Look at all the der brains that believe pot creates baby rapers and violence like the 1930's movie 'Reefer Madness'. Aussies are incredibly ignorant racist Police informers. All connections to their motto of a 'fair go' has been destroyed by lying Govt. and media.

How would anyone know what really happened at 911 but listen to the know all defenders of Julia Gillards pig slop of lies for all the wonderful unbigotted drones called Australians that believe all crap.

How about the Mary MacKillop fantasy dribble, as real as the WMD's and Australia spend Millions on this assault on our sensibilities.

OK suckers you still rule with your desparate lies and guns and informers and backstabbers but the tables will turn.

Shame Aussie for keeping refugee children in detention. Aussies think they are hotshit but recently world opinion is turning and seeing the real Aussie as racist war monger.

The only way to deny this info. is to be ignorant of education and information. Simply google 'NT Intervention and see what lies were perpetuated to instigate this racist Stalinist treatment of Northern Territory aboriginess. Guess what no pedophiles only problems associated with poverty and billions spent on white bureaucrats and not even a house repaired or built and Australia convinced Blacks are child rapists and drug fucked. After 11000 children treated mostly for eye/ear diseases, not one case of abuse found.

So you white ignorant commentators shut the fuck up and get a real perspective on live and the same is said for the Wild River commentators I believe.

Bryan Law said...

Fear not Syd! I don’t see you as “a big wheel” in the Wild Rivers “debate”. Rather I see you as an exemplary voice of ignorance and prejudice. The simplistic nonsense you spout is useful evidence of the whispering campaign being run by TWS, and by their local lackeys in the FNQ Greens (Jon Metcalf and Denis Walls).

I compare the dribble you publish as a 9/11 “truther” with your “opinion” on Wild Rivers because they are the same in factual content and logical reasoning – 0/10 for both.

Why do I bother?

Well, let’s take “peace” as an example. You frequently publish about the disgusting war in Afghanistan, and often about how it’s supported by the evil Murdoch press. In your relentless drive for peace, have you ever actually done anything Syd – except for publishing your opinion on a blog? Didn’t think so.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but opinions don’t count for much. Action is better. Don’t confuse action with opinion old cobber.

For years I’ve watched you write “I’m no friend of the ALP”, “It’s not my purpose to rally votes for the ALP”. Then, of course, you ALWAYS find a way to support the ALP at any election (despite your grave reservations).

Have you even noticed that it’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard pronouncing at the moment that Australia needs to stay involved in this disgusting war for another decade. Is she a Zionist too? (Don’t answer that)

I resent the way you parade bullshit dressed as fact. Controlled demolition, Zionist false-flag operations, Labor is the Party of social justice. From my perspective Syd, your dribble is a (small) part of the the problem. That’s all.

Syd Walker said...

Whatever Bryan.

Now your silly attempt to distract from answering a question by introducing a bunch of other topics has run its course, what is your opinion about bauxite mining on the Wenlock with minimal set-back from water courses?

A fundamental human right? A project so benign that any criticism is tantamount to racism?

I am poorly informed on the topic, but you are apparently an expert. Please explain.

DaveK9999999 said...

Cape Alumina Ltd have released an 8 page report to the ASX about the Pisolite Hills bauxite project on Cape York.
http://www.capealumina.com.au/documents/20101018_ASX_release_project_updated-FINAL.pdf

They say that the 500 metre High Preservation Area around the river system means:
"As a result of the review, the Cape Alumina Board has concluded that this loss of 45 per cent of dry beneficiated bauxite means that the project is no longer economically viable under forecast economic conditions and that it cannot proceed unless the HPAs are reduced in size.

However, because of the uncertainty surrounding the Wild Rivers laws Cape Alumina will, at this stage, maintain its Mining Lease Applications (MLAs) and will continue the lengthy Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process.
"

So, far from having abandoned the project, they are keeping the leases and continuing with the EIS process, adding pressure to the Federal Opposition's attack on the Queensland legislation.

Although they blame the size of the HPAs, note that they also say "the project is no longer economically viable under forecast economic conditions". The Aurukun bauxite project has also been declared by Chalco to be unviable under the current weak economic conditions, and their project is exempt under the Wild Rivers Act (see Sections 45 and 46). So if demand picks up in the future and prices recover, both Aurukun and Pisolite Hills could well be back in business and the HPAs are not the make-or-break issue after all.

Despite headlining the 45% figure, Cape Alumina later mentions that the resource affected is only 23%, and that the remaining 22% is uneconomical because it is of too low a grade. They include it because it could have been blended with higher grade ore to meet market standards.

They claim that "a large body of robust scientific evidence" supports their position, but the fields of ecology and hydrology are NEVER robust in the way that physics and chemistry are. There is always a great deal of uncertainty in the natural sciences, and where the science is uncertain, the correct approach is to acknowledge the Precautionary Principle and err on the side of caution, which is what has been done.

Cape Alumina says, "... Minister Robertson's continued assertion, first made to the Queensland Parliament last year, that 'nobody has been able to provide details of one project that has been stopped as a result of Wild River declarations. It is time to actually deal with the facts', can no longer be substantiated." This is not true as the Minister hasn't stopped the project at all - he has given it the go ahead under the Wild Rivers Act, with conditions - as is always the case with development applications. Further assessments under other Queensland and Federal legislation await the completion of the EIS, and no doubt will impose further conditions.

What has been shown beyond doubt is that the disinformation being pedalled by Noel Pearson about a 1,000 metre total prohibition zone, that would prevent anyone from even having a veggie garden, is completely untrue. The 1,000 metre zone is an area where environmental impacts have to be assessed and those impacts managed by mitigation options. If you can do strip-mining within the 1,000 metre zone, you can certainly have horticultural developments, so long as the impacts are properly managed.

Dave Kimble

DaveK9999999 said...

continuing

Despite headlining the 45% figure, Cape Alumina later mentions that the resource affected is only 23%, and that the remaining 22% is uneconomical because it is of too low a grade. They include it because it could have been blended with higher grade ore to meet market standards.

They claim that "a large body of robust scientific evidence" supports their position, but the fields of ecology and hydrology are NEVER robust in the way that physics and chemistry are. There is always a great deal of uncertainty in the natural sciences, and where the science is uncertain, the correct approach is to acknowledge the Precautionary Principle and err on the side of caution, which is what has been done.

Cape Alumina says, "... Minister Robertson's continued assertion, first made to the Queensland Parliament last year, that 'nobody has been able to provide details of one project that has been stopped as a result of Wild River declarations. It is time to actually deal with the facts', can no longer be substantiated." This is not true as the Minister hasn't stopped the project at all - he has given it the go ahead under the Wild Rivers Act, with conditions - as is always the case with development applications. Further assessments under other Queensland and Federal legislation await the completion of the EIS, and no doubt will impose further conditions.

What has been shown beyond doubt is that the disinformation being pedalled by Noel Pearson about a 1,000 metre total prohibition zone, that would prevent anyone from even having a veggie garden, is completely untrue. The 1,000 metre zone is an area where environmental impacts have to be assessed and those impacts managed by mitigation options. If you can do strip-mining within the 1,000 metre zone, you can certainly have horticultural developments, so long as the impacts are properly managed.