Archive for June, 2012
There is no excuse for domestic violence of any degree and especially not to the degree suffered by Jeannie Blackburn at the hands of her husband Paul McCuskey. Some might try and wriggle away from the issue and cite how some women seem to be unable to help themselves but go from one wife basher to another in the partner stakes. OK, so it might be true and some women are more likely to follow their mothers and choose bashers as mates… but that neither explains no excuses the behaviour of the basher. Even if the wife nagged incessantly, and I am not suggesting for a moment this was the case with this woman, it does not excuse such violence. Period. In the case of Ms Blackburn she was blinded in one eye and kicked in the stomach when pregnant, causing her to miscarriage. Nothing can excuse such savagery.
The issue here though is that separate to his deplorable and disgusting behaviour at home, he performed acts of merit sufficient for the Royal Humane Society to award him a ‘Certificate of Merit’ for his actions during bushfires some months before he caused the miscarriage and blinding. His former wife has campaigned to have his award revoked. I am not sure that this is right. The two issues are not related. The award recognises his actions in one incident, his prison sentence recognises (and punishes) his actions for other incidents. Should he be allowed to keep his award?
Technically I would say yes but I can see the point of the argument that he is not the sort of person we want to be looked up to as a hero, but do we? Apart from using the word hero incorrectly and overmuch nowadays, he is in prison and his name is forever sullied by his actions. Nobody is looking up to him, I’m sure. Does taking the award off him change the actions that caused the award to be awarded? No. Does revoking the award lessen the evil of what he did to his wife? No. It doesn’t change a thing, or does it?
I bet there were many recipients of bravery awards over the years, in peace and war, who were not the sort of people you would want to be married to, but that wouldn’t change what they did to win the award. That’s my point. I’m still wrestling with Ms Blackburn’s position because I can only see it as revenge, not justice. But I can fully understand why that would be her motive. I don’t care a jot for McCuskey or his ilk, this is not about him, but about the separation of cause and affect, action and consequence. I guess it is like many things in this life, it doesn’t matter if it is just, just if it makes things a bit more even. I guess Ms Blackburn will never really get even. She could pluck out one of McCuskey’s eyes, but he can never be made to miscarriage. At least he can’t put ‘Certificate of Merit’ on his CV when he leaves gaol and goes for his next job.
25 July 2012: Because Comments aren’t always read I have included a comment I received today from Jeannie Blackburn. I feel it is only fair to ensure she has the chance to reply and be read.
Ms Jeannie Blackburn writes:
“I would like to correct some of your comments. I know i am blinded in one eye. Paul plead guilty of that charge. He wasnt found guilty. There is a difference. I asked the question as to how mr mccuskey was accepted without a police check(mandory) as a firefighter. I asked who accepted the award (a junior volunteer). I asked a lot of questions that were too hard to be answered because the cfa did not follow their rules. As for your suggestion of revenge…that is so untrue. I do not believe an eye for an eye is appropriate or accecptable. Perhaps for one week you live my life with one eye. Thats what i focus on.Not revenge.”
Thankyou for that Ms Blackburn and without meaning to trivialise your plight I have spent a week with just one eye (due to an infection) and I fully understand how difficult it is to adjust to monocular vision.
I did not say your motive was revenge, only that I could fully understand if it were and that I saw your position (or the argument that McCuskey lose his award) as one of revenge. I (try to) follow Sandy MacGregor’s example of handling such situations. I served under Sandy in the Army as a young digger and alongside men who had gone to war with him, his story is worth reading.
I am not surprised there were mistakes made (re McCuskey’s police check etc) and of course, hard questions asked and no doubt for the most part, ignored. I am also not surprised what passes for journalism these days failed to mention these matters, no doubt intentionally. I am sure someone knows someone or someone else advertises etc. Pardon my cynicism but after you see this year after year and never changing you tend to become a tad jaded.
As a self-appointed social commentator I do take issues that are in the news and comment on them. Along the way there is always the risk of causing hurt to the individuals the stories concern. If I ever do that intentionally it would be obvious to one and all that was my aim. Of course even when the issue is used to discuss a philosophical position, there is still the person and their feelings involved. I am glad Jeannie commented and added to the body of knowledge readers have of this matter. I hope she feels she has made a difference to how we think about this issue because she has helped me understand things better.
My point was never about the suffering endured by Jeannie. It was about the right or wrong of taking back something awarded for one thing because of something completely unrelated. But are they unrelated? This goes to the heart of a few matters, including why we have checks and balances int he first place. If McCuskey was ineligible to join the CFA had they followed their own procedures, then this award would never have been made. Moving on, why was it accepted by a ‘junior volunteer’ and not the named recipient unless they knew by then of his previous crimes and wished to distance themselves, yet not far enough to admit they shouldn’t have awarded him the certificate of merit in the first place? Perhaps if someone had shown the same courage and integrity Sandy MacGregor displayed (and no doubt Jeannie Blackburn) on the part of the authorities involved instead of I presume trying to shove it all under the carpet the situation might have been nipped in the bud and not gotten to where it did.
What do you think?
Ok, how about this? A boy in the USA was shot through the head with a spear when a spear gun was being loaded, directly in front of him. What was his friend the spear gun loader thinking? I’ll just point this lethal weapon at the closest 16 year old and… oops! He now has a third eye, apparently. Perhaps it was fortunate to hit him in the head, anywhere else might have done real damage, maybe even killed him. Bottom line, it had to have hurt and it is going to leave a mark.
A man in a rural part of India has beheaded his daughter with a sword because she brought shame on him and his ‘honour’. The marble miner, Oghad Singh, sat in the police station with the sword in one hand and his daughter’s head in the other. Even the police were sickened by this macabre sight.
Meanwhile in the UK the parents of murdered 17 year old Shafilea Ahmad have gone on trial for killing their daughter for being ‘too westernised’. The Pakistani born parents allegedly murdered their UK born daughter because she wanted to be like all her friends in a country she never asked to be born into, but that her parents went to some effort to move to and live in.
No doubt they fared better living in the UK than if they had remained in Pakistan and yet they repaid their adopted country by murdering one of her citizens. She was their daughter but what right did that give them to take her life? Offended their ‘honour’ by assimilating and wanting to be like everyone else in the community? What kind of ‘honour’ is that? Not the kind I value and neither do other decent people in the UK, Australia and even Pakistan and India.
What goes through these people’s heads? How can you take the life of your own children for any reason other than self defence in the heat of the moment? Brutal, premeditated murder is evil at any time but to do it to your own children and for the spurious excuse of them having offended your honour, beggars belief.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone from these countries thinks the same way, though many do. Judge each person individually, not collectively and try and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
I’m pleased to report that the man who killed the individual sexually assaulting his young daughter has been informed there will be no charges laid against him. In a nutshell he was advised a man had taken his 5 year old daughter into some bush and was sexually assaulting her. He beat the man around the head and neck and the man died. No great loss in my book. While I don’t condone excessive violence, one must understand that the punishment may just have matched the crime in this case. That poor girl will forever be changed by this evil act. Flores, the rapist, has had his life forever ended. Sadly the father will also have to live with this and the rest of the family. All those lives affected because of one individual.
Flores may have been mentally ill, how else can you explain such disgusting conduct? No explanation can excuse it, though.
I just received this comment in response to one of my posts (The Trifecta of Stupid II)
“you must be on drugs nearly every crime is committed by some black piece of shit , if these non white vermin were deported Australia would be a paradise , whey dont you be a man and stand up , licking the arse of niggers and jews and poofers just shows how gutless you are in wanting to crawl to what is politically correct
what a crawling piece of shit you are you fat piece of nigger loving shit”
I was surprised that the person commenting used what seemed to be his real name, Peter Cxxxxxx (fullname was supplied), and his real email address, <firstname.lastname@example.org>. I suspected someone was using their name and address so before going any further with this, I offered Mr Cxxxxxx the opportunity to confirm or deny he wrote this. As the content of his post may possibly contravene laws in Australia regarding the inciting of racial hatred and so forth, I felt it the responsible thing to do to point this out and give him the chance to withdraw his post. My email to him was:
In under half an hour he replied with this:
“a free e mail address , did u spend all your money on bargirls in Asia has 10 totals after its name and cant afford real e mail address a group of druggies do something and it thinks its something to do with generation y your problem is you cant get a woman and u want to take it out on everyone else you picked the wrong person to threaten ,”
Quickly followed by:
“just as I thought a gutless sniveller, oh im going to publish your e mail and address, look fat boy take your hair receding head and go to the Philippines where you have a chance of buying a woman , ha ha what a joke you snivelling weakling”
I replied with:
“then report me , and while your at it buy a e mail address and some free advice re business , it has been proven in business that people react better to non ugly people , so get rid of your photo ,im not a coward like you that needs to crawl and be politically correct or threaten people with the few readers of his web sitemaybe u should go back to the Philippines where you can be the big white man and they don’t notice you have a free e mail address , strange that u say something is illegal and then u choose to publish it ,,, weird”
“It is not illegal for me to reprint what you wrote, merely for you to utter it. I could be wrong on the legalities and be judged an accessory or something. I do know that such racial hatred and homophobia is often indicative of bigger issues and you should know my tolerance for those suffering mental illnesses is higher than most. I have never considered myself politically correct, except where political correctness is applied to give a fair and even handling to a matter or issue.
Beauty is subjective and I don’t personally rate men by their appearance, not my thing but you are welcome to your idiosyncracies. Very often homophobia is actually a fear of oneself being homosexual and this, of course, explains the anger and hatred displayed towards homosexuals. I will leave my photo there as a way of standing by what I write, my opinions and so forth. I don’t know what the problem is with the ‘free email address’ you seem to have. Do you sell email addresses for a living, perhaps?
I forgive you your trespasses against me and I wish the best. I can tell from the poor standard of your written expression and your word choice you are to be pitied rather than pilloried. I might remove the post and save you the embarrassment etc.
He has just responded with:
“yes fear of having your house being broken into must be a fear of being dishonest as well , I could not stand to be fat and ugly with hair going but u are not alone there , the Philippines is the place for u , they show more attention to the ugly ones as they can get more money out of them ,Embarrassment,, u certainly chose the wrong person ,ive already told u to do what you like free e mail is the certain tip off to poverty no matter how many fake letters after a name”
On the weekend here in Sydney 69 year old Hans Schultz was brutally bashed to deathwhen he attempted to stop a couple breaking into a Wendy’s kiosk at a Broadway mall. The two charmers had two kids with them, aged 3 and 5, who witnessed the whole thing. The offender’s allege they were just trying to get a child’s ball that had rolled into the closed kiosk. OK, so why beat up the security guard? Even if he yelled at them, mistakenly thinking they were trying to break into the kiosk, that is no justification for assaulting him. Stop, explain and leave. If you have a problem with the attitude and behavior of the lone, 69 year old guard, make a complaint like a civilised person. But these people aren’t civilised, are they? They are important!
The man, Gallagher, 32 and his 27 year old bint, Azrashkova are probably typical examples of the angry, I want it all and I want it now mob that taints the good name of GenY. So what if they were after a child’s ball and not breaking in, how does that excuse their violence? Yet in their minds and the mind of the mother of the woman this no doubt makes perfect sense. It is their excuse, to transfer blame and responsibility for something going wrong onto the victim and by extension, the government, society, the world. perhaps in this case, though, the government have a case to answer.
At 69 Hans Schultz should be able to live comfortably enough on his aged pension. He has been in Australia for more than 50 years and worked and paid his taxes and by all accounts was a nice bloke. He was still working at 69 because he couldn’t afford to live on the pension. But few can. It only takes one divorce in your mid forties to clean you out and leave you no chance to recover enough savings and assets to make it to retirement. The NSW government will not allow professional boxers to compete under all the regulations and restrictions of the sport once past 35 years of age, or at least that was the limit when I was a registered professional boxing/kickboxing trainer in the 1990s. Yet it is ok for an unarmed man nearly seventy years of age to be expected to deal with the scum of society on a daily basis and to do so within the law, while they can break every law they can get away with.
The treatment of the aged was rubbish under Howard and has not improved under Rudd or the ‘Ranga as we affectionately call our red headed first female Prime Minister. While Gina Rinehart whines about wanting to bring in thousands of foreign workers to mine our resources for her $2 million an hour income, the people who made this country worth living in are treated like dross. If you had private income such as super it has been eaten away by the greed of the 1% and their games on the stock markets. If you relied on the government to return a portion of your income taxes paid over decades as a decent, liveable pension, then you are fooling yourself. While the backbenchers of parliament just voted themselves a payrise to some $180K a year, pensioners struggle by in a time of rising costs for everything with just a few hundred a fortnight.
There’s not enough public housing available and what there is goes to drug addicts, parolees and minorities to assuage the PC guilt. Politicians and the big end of town don’t care about the price of petrol as they put it on their expense accounts and leverage it as a tax deduction anyway. The system is set up by the rich for the rich and the rest of us pay for it, one way or another.
Well on the weekend Mr Hans Schultz paid for it with his life. Shame, politicians of every ilk, shame! None of you have done enough and too few have done anything at all except feather your own nests and make sure your six figure salaries are safe. Bastards!
An 80 year old woman in South Carolina was tasered by police when they tried to calm her down. She was naked and quoting passages from the Bible, grounds for excessive force in my book. (kidding) I always give the cop on the spot the benefit of the doubt but in this case I have trouble accepting it was necessary to risk using umpteen million volts on an octogenarian lady swinging a metal topped cane. There were several officers present and it wasn’t like she had a gun. I know how lethal a walking stick can be, I teach the use of one in self defence but that also means I know the limitations of the weapon. Surely she could have been disarmed and wrestled to the ground? Even capsicum spray would be less risky than the Taser.
Many opponents of the stun gun have cited numerous incidences where much younger and seemingly stronger offenders have died after being tasered. Of course they should obey the instructions of the police but if they are mentally disturbed as no doubt this woman was then they wont listen to reason no matter who gives the orders. I accept the Taser is a good substitute for firearms in many situations and it fills the gap between batons, pepper sprays and bullets. But too many may resort to it simply to simplify the situation. What do you think? Should they have zapped the old bible bashing biddy in her birthday suit?
In the UK a young woman was refused a bus ride home from a night out because she was 20p, about thirty cents, short. The bus driver refused to let her ride for less than the full fare and no one on the bus offered to help her out. This was the last bus of the night, just a few weeks before Christmas. As she walked along the road towards a meeting point arranged with her mother via cellphone, she was dragged into a park and raped and beaten by a 19 year old piece of scum called Joseph Moran. When the woman was found by police at 4am they were able to arrest Moran shortly after. The photo clearly shows he didn’t have things all his own way and the brave young woman fought back as best she could. She did not go gently into that good night!
Moran is behind bars and hopefully getting the kind of attention he deserves from some of the other inmates. The woman has not been named but if she ever reads this blog, I hope she takes some comfort in the fact that her bravery and courage to fight back and to pursue her attacker through the courts until some kind of justice has been achieved has not gone unnoticed across the world. Well done young lady.
As for those on the bus who refused to help… It is a sd reflection of our modern society. I offered to chip in a few cents to help a man who was trying to buy a loaf of bread, allegedly for his kids because they hadn’t eaten and he was waiting for his unemployment money to come through. Yet when I offered to buy the loaf he went off at me and stormed out of the shop. I guess his kids went hungry. Would I offer to help someone like him again? Of course I would. None of us know if Life is about to deal us a hand that we find difficult to play. Today at ALDI there was a little 2 year old girl running around looking for her parents. She wasn’t crying yet so I figured they weren’t far. I called out “Anyone lost a little Indian girl?” as she was obviously of Indian/Pakistani heritage. Her father was coming down the aisle and probably had seen her right as I called out. He gave me a withering look but so what? I have had my kids run off on me and I know how frantic you can become just seconds after they disappear. I will never let myself become involved in a James Bulger type situation for fear of speaking up and having people stare at me.
Earlier I had been in a carpark visiting a friend who was running a sausage sizzle to raise moeny for a literary magazine he is publishing. A young woman who had parked her car diagonally in the bay was reversing, straight into a large, white station wagon stopped by traffic behind her. She came within inches and was clearly not stopping when I yelled out ‘STOP!”. She and everything else in the carpark stopped, then she took fifteen attempts to reverse this tiny car out of the bay and drive off. It was scary to watch as she was not displaying L plates or even P plates, but was supposedly a licensed and experienced driver. Should I have yelled out? I think so. Although she is probably insured and it wasn’t my car she was about to hit, the fact remains it would have caused expense and complications for the owner of the whit car. why should he or she suffer because of this irresponsible and incompetent driver if my intervention might avoid a collision (which it did)?
Of course we have all heard too many accounts of Good Samaritans stepping in and getting beaten up or killed, but like a sailor going to sea, you pick your weather. Exercise some common sense and good judgment and think about what you are about to do. But don’t hesitate if the situation demands action right now. Remember James Bulger, may he rest in peace. If someone had done a little more, perhaps, just perhaps…
The other day in Florida, USA, a man was seen eating the face of another man. All of this took place on a bridge and a passing witness flagged down a police car. The officer ordered the man to stop eating the victim’s face but when he continued to ‘chow down’, as the Americans say, the officer shot him. When the offender then attacked the officer, another four or five rounds did the trick.
The offender was a black male with a history of violence, crime and drug use. No doubt someone along the way expected him to go off at some stage but not by cannibalism. It appears he was on a new, very psychotropic (I guess that’s the term) version of a methamphetamine or similar drug. Some will say well what do you expect, he’s black. The inference is that his offence is racially rooted yet the real cause is not genetic but social, surely? If it were because he was an African-American then how come a Nordic man has cut off the lips of his wife and eaten them specifically so they couldn’t be sewn back on? Not some drug crazed minority victim of a social system that pins down the less fortunate but a respected member of the faculty of one of Sweden’s top institutes of learning. So can we say it is because he is white? No, nor would we even think to apply that explanation. Yet many of us, if only deep in our sub-conscious, are all too willing to claim race as a reason when it comes to ‘minorities’. They may be minorities in our Anglo dominated countries for now, but one day it may be those of European heritage who are the minority. What then?
If we don’t play fair now while we have the whip hand, so to speak and conjuring up all sorts of colonial era imagery, how can we expect a fair go for ourselves and our kids and grand kids when ‘they’ are the most of us? It is similar to how we treat Muslim youth in our country. If we don’t try to accept them as Australians then they will not feel Aussie and so they will find it easier to disassociate themselves with the society in which they grew up and live and behave as the 7/7 Bombers did in the UK and commit the most heinous crimes against their own people. They may be loud, aggressive and speak with a funny accent, but perhaps that is an attempt to establish some kind of identity when they are not considered one thing or the other by the society their family came from or the one they now live in? Home grown terrorists, regardless of the cause or reason for the terror are more of a threat than being invaded by a foreign power or even being the target of a terrorist attack from abroad.
It isn’t easy to put our prejudices aside, especially those based on ethnicity. They are deeply rooted in our survival mechanisms because ever since the beginning of mankind, people from other tribes and places, especially those that looked different to you so you knew they weren’t ‘your people’, were potential threats to your very existence. Today we should be a little more sophisticated and rational, yet many of us aren’t. Put it down to ignorance, poor education, bad parenting and of course, the government, but the fact remains we all have our preferences and our prejudices about everything. The least we can do is identify and accept them, then perhaps we can work out which ones will be justified and keep us alive, and which ones will end up adding to the problem and not being a part of the solution.