Archive for March, 2012

Robert Fenwick R.N. Star of Courage

Robert Fenwick placed himself between the knives of a mental patient and the young 20 year old nurse he was trying to stab and saved her life. In doing so he gave his own. He has been awarded (posthumously) our Nation’s second highest award for bravery after the Cross of Valor  (other than the Victoria Cross of Australia which is for valor in the face of the enemy) the Star of Courage. Mr Fenwick SC was 63 and a father, dedicated to nursing and mental health. Once again, we forget those who serve us not just on the front line in Afghanistan, but everyday and night here in our own country. He was assisted by a patient, Brett French, who has been awarded the Bravery Medal.

These awards for courage and bravery underline how hazardous just earning your living can be for some of us. I no longer have to fear anything worse than a nasty papercut but there one was a time when going to work did not automatically guarantee returning in the same fit state one left. There are hazardous occupations throughout the community and not just police, fire, ambulance officers. AS we have seen, nurses and doctors and other medical professionals can be at risk. Security officers and bar staff all have their tales of irate punters having to be dealt with and of course bank tellers and shop assistants know the all too possible risk of being robbed at gun point.

Taxi drivers, bus drivers, train drivers, pilots, ferry crews all run risks every day just to do their jobs and serve us. Sales people who may find themselves alone in isolated situations, like real estate agents showing a house to a potential buyer or renter, who knows what that customer may have in mind? Then there are jobs that are inherently dangerous because of the work performed, like crane dog men standing under slung loads weighing many tons or fishermen out to sea in all weathers.

Pause for a moment and remember Mr Robert Fenwick SC. Consider that the nurse he saved had taken defensive wounds to her hands that included almost losing her little finger. Knives are lethal and no matter how well trained you might be, there is always the risk of sustaining injury when you have to disarm a knife attacker. I have done it more than once and never had a scratch but the difference there was the my attackers were trying to stab me, that’s all I’m sure. In this case the mental patient was intending to kill his victim and that makes it a very different thing altogether. Intent is everything when all other factors, like weapon and victim, are the same.

No doubt a microscopic examination of the situation and scene would find Mr Fenwick SC could have done a dozen things differently and perhaps the outcome would have been different however, hindsight is 20/20 and our hero didn’t have the luxury of time and distance to decide on the most likely to succeed course of action. He reacted immediately, instinctively and without hesitation. He took action in the most direct way possible, by placing himself between the attacker and the target. He did what many of us hope we would have the courage and the character to do in a similar situation. Vale Robert Fenwick, SC.


The Rich And The Rest Of Us II

This $300 million yacht belongs to a Russian billionaire. How can one person amass such wealth while so many billions of people suffer poverty, war, disease and whatever else? Would I want his wealth and this yacht? No. I can admit it is tempting but on reflection, no. I would rather enjoy a comfortable but more modest lifestyle and not have to worry about kidnappers and thieves. I’m sure he can afford the best protection available but while his security staff have to be lucky all the time, the kidnapper only has to get lucky once.

Sick, Sad, Depraved. It’s Not Just Charity That Begins At Home

Read this, then shake your head in wonder. How can anyone treat anyone like this, let alone a sibling? Some might say that these people are African and Africans are still pretty savage and primitive and in many ways there is still a lot of primitive and savage behaviour found in Africa… but that isn’t the answer. This is a human thing. All of our ancestors believed in witchcraft and similar supernatural concepts. Many in our so called civilized western world still do. There are many people who do cruel things to people, even their own children and they don’t try to blame witchcraft, so let’s not point the finger, or the bone, at any race. Like I said, this is a human thing.

Run a search using words like ‘boy+tortured+parents’ and see how many articles there are. Just this past week I read two reports of parents torturing their little children. Why? The only reason I can think of is that they are psychotic, brought about by substance abuse or circumstance. By circumstance I mean they were brought up that way and know no different. The cycle of poverty, low IQ, lack of education and abuse creates a class of human who can still create life, they just have no idea how to nurture it.

How we treat each other is a major issue for us all, at grass roots level. It is not confined to any social class but it is more prevalent in low socioeconomic classes. It is not confined to any one race but it is more prevalent in some than others, but not because that race is genetically inferior, so don’t go down that path. That race is that way because of other factors, not genetics. Given a fair run anyone from any race can achieve anything. The reality is that for many, there is no fair run. Even for those where society attempts to level the playing field, too often they or someone influential near them sabotages any chance they have of making worthwhile change.

Like I always say; if you can’t be a part of the solution, don’t be a part of the problem. How do you treat other people? Start with your loved ones, then move to your friends and work outwards to neighbours and colleagues and then consider strangers and people of other classes and races. Do you give them all a fair go or lump them all into the same pile because of the actions of some? If we are going to change the way we as a society think and interact, then we need to start with the person we have the most influence and control over. Ourselves.


Congratulations, It’s A Girl. Would You Like To Kill Her Now Or Leave It To Her Inlaws?

Perhaps the longest title I have ever had, while not recommended as good SEO, it just might get some attention. I was sent an email from today focusing on this despicable habit of murdering girls simply because the culture they are born into has beliefs that boys are more important. How does one communicate one’s opinion without judging, condemning, abusing and basically running the all too ever present risk of being labelled ‘racist’? Frankly, I don’t care what people think of me. Here is what I think of this misogyny.

There is no place in our world in 2012 for any culture or society that believes boys are more important than girls. People who will terminate the pregnancy because the foetus is a girl when they want a boy are not civilized people. They are murderers. While I support a woman’s right to choose abortion over giving birth, I do so reservedly. If the woman was raped, has no fair chance of supporting the child and giving it a fair chance at life within its community or there is a risk to the life of the mother or child should the pregnancy go ahead, then let the mother decide. It doesn’t change the fact the foetus has been terminated or killed as you prefer, but I don’t see that as murder. Terminating the foetus because you want a boy is malicious and thus, murder. Where does this go on?

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are three countries well known for this practise, as is China thanks to the ‘one child’ policy implemented to keep the population growth in step with resources and so on. Many Asian societies place boys over girls and so too, African, American and European societies. Until fairly recently women in the USA, UK and elsewhere were chattels, property of their fathers, husbands and brothers. They had no voting rights and personal property rights were limited also, as was their movements, associations and other basic human rights. But these societies have changed. The ones where women are so horribly treated just for being women haven’t. They have remained in the past and many claim their religion permits these beliefs, even sanctions them and some claim their god told them to do it.

It’s not right. I don’t care why or who or how. It is not right. There is plenty of information on this disgusting behaviour all over the web, just look at stories about women being set on fire so the husband can remarry and get another wife with another dowry. Read how these societies make it hugely expensive to find a husband for their daughter so she can give the husband an heir, yet if she only produces girls they die, she dies and her family is disgraced.

I know, this is their way and it has been that way for eons and who am I to say anything about it. Well I am one man and I say it is wrong. These people who no doubt in many ways, if not every other way, are good people, extinguish all the good in their lives by this one thing. That is my belief. That is my opinion. I have friends from these countries who have all daughters and no sons, just like myself and they abhor the practise also. They are educated, intelligent and kind people. One can only hope the practitioners of this cultural aberration are ignorant peasants but sadly that is not so. There is an argument that this is a beat up and a hoax, read the other side of the topic, here.

Speak out, take a stand, discuss this amongst your friends and family; don’t sweep it under the carpet and ignore it because you are not one of these people. We need to make it known that we don’t approve. If these people migrate to Australia they need to know we do not tolerate medieval misogynistic mindsets. We do not accept their attitudes to women, often expressed in how we ‘allow’ our women to parade like ‘hoori’s’ (virgins or prostitutes, depends on the context and dialect) because we don’t hide them under hijabs, niquabs and burkas. No, we control our impulses and our lust because we are civilized men who respect the 50% of our community called women and girls.

Women are half of the population. They are half of the procreation and creation of future humans. It is the male, I believe, who is responsible for the gender of the foetus as we carry the X and Y chromosomes, women only have Y. All these men who torture and kill their wives for failing to give them boys should get an education and realise they are as much ‘at fault’ in the Life Lottery as the female, if not more so. And if their god made them that way as they claim, then why? If he is all powerful and perfect then there is a reason why and that is not the fault of the women. But none of this will make any sense to these bigots and misogynists, will it?

We can change the status quo, even if it is simply more of us saying no, we don’t accept this. No, if you want to live here with us then you must change your thinking. No, we don’t want to spend our money visiting your country on vacation or business because we do not want to support your society while it continues to do this. When the governments of these countries take action, then by all means vacation there and show your support for their efforts. This post is not about inciting racial hatred but addressing a very serious issue of human rights. Whatever you do, don’t gang up on some poor individual just because you think they are from one of these societies and that maybe they also think boys are better than girls.  You just might be beating up my mate, and I won’t like that.

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