29 May 2011



We moved from Sydney and Newcastle to Melbourne in January 2001 into what is known as a villa unit. There are only 2 of these at our block in Preston, and ours is number 2 at the back and away from the street, which makes it quieter and more private.

Unit 1 is owned by the Victorian Department of Housing and is managed by North East Housing Inc. as transitional housing.

When we moved in to our house we discovered that Unit 1 had been and was being occupied by young men, some of whom were very suspect and some of whom seemed to border on the criminal element and may have been involved with drug dealers and similar sorts of people.

In mid-2003 a young man moved into unit 1 and straight away those who visited or stayed in the house were a very mixed bunch. However we didn't anticipate the event that happened on the night of 4 September 2003. The young man Daniel - the tenant - had recently acquired a very young kitten whom we had seen on odd occasions and whom we had heard miaowing pitifully when locked in the garage, which seemed a fair amount of the time.

We were watching television and when we turned it off at about 10.30pm we heard strange noises outside and went to investigate. What we found were 3 fire engines, 2 ambulances and a few cars and people gathered outside on the pavement and in the grounds of unit 1.

Those who got there before us told us that Daniel had come home from his place of work as a dj or equivalent, and must have gone to sleep leaving gas and/or a lit cigarette in the kitchen, and the whole kitchen area had caught fire and was raging inside the house. Finally the fire was brought under control, the fire engines departed, and the ambulances took Daniel away with smoke inhalation. The poor petrified kitten was wandering around outside and didn't know what to do with itself, and no one seemed interested in doing anything about it.

I said we can not leave this little thing to fend for itself and we picked it up and put it in our little garden shed at the back of the house with a bowl of milk and locked the shed so it couldn't get out. We had not owned a pet, nor had we any intention of acquiring one, but Daniel's cat had taken over our house and our hearts and we had a pet!

We called him Daniel's Cat because we thought Daniel would return for him, but Daniel returned for what for him were precious possessions and the kitten was NOT one of them! So his name became DeeCee - Daniel's cat.

From then on, until yesterday, 28 May 2011, when he was so ill that he couldn't go on living and we took him to the vet to be put to sleep, he was the third person in our house and our hearts are heavy at his loss.

We took DeeCee to the vet a few months after he came to live here to find out whether he was in good health, which he was, and we were told he was a male and needed to be desexed, so we made arrangement for it to be done and then we had him registered with the Council so he officially became our cat in every way.

A few months after DeeCee came to live with us our neighbours (not unit 1) acquired a beautiful ginger cat who was called Sam, and as Sam's owners were a young working couple without children at that stage, Sam became a regular visitor who arrived for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in between. Sam wanted company and food in equal measure, and although DeeCee made sure that Sam knew who was the boss around here and they had many fights, they almost had a love-hate relationship. Bu they made a very handsome pair as some of our photos show.

DeeCee gradually started being friendly to some of our friends and he quickly formed an attachment to Liz Ross who took this next photo in our garden when DeeCee had been with us for some months and was nearly a year old at that stage.

As DeeCee settled in to life with two old codgers he got used to his environment and started to grow into a substantial and well-fed cat with a beautiful fur which was initially called short hair but which turned into something much more magnificent. His fur was fine in winter, but became very hot in summer and he did shed some of it during those summer months. We started combing and brushing him and he just loved it, purring very loudly as he enjoyed being groomed. He never did take to cat toys but loved playing with pieces of string which were pulled along the ground or held above his head for him to try and catch.

We also made a tube of plastic fencing climber mesh and he loved creeping into it and playing with bits of string enticing him into or out of it.

One of the games DeeCee enjoyed was jumping onto the table in the garden with an umbrella hole in the middle and trying to catch a twig or finger poked up the hole from underneath the table.

When he decided he was tired of that game and had had enough, he let us know that he wasn't going to play any more and got ready to jump off the table!

In his early days with us he found various areas inside the house where he liked to have his daytime sleeps, and at night time we locked him into the laundry with his litter bin and some water, but at times as he grew older he objected to being locked up and kept scratching on the door to be let out, so we decided to get some cat doors put into the outside laundry door. We did feel that at 3 years old he might already be too old to learn how to push the doors from the outside or the inside but the people at the cattery where he boarded when we went away for a week or two every now and then told us he was not too old to learn, and said we have to show him what to do.

It didn't take very long for him to learn how the doors worked and from then on DeeCee led a much more independent life, coming and going as he pleased, and sleeping in his laundry basket when he felt like it, otherwise sleeping in lounge chairs or on the beds in our other two bedrooms. He also found other odd spots where he would climb up and survey the world from his new vantage points.

However, our cat knew certain people in this house would obey his every command, and he learnt very quickly that if he was outside at the front end of the house and he didn't feel like jumping fences to come in around the back of the house through his own door, he could make noises on the screen door at the front door and it would sound like knocking on the door. His claws also sometimes got caught in the mesh of the screen door and we had to help him be released, but he had gained our attention and came in through the front door.

Inside the house he would also let us know that he wanted US to let him out through a door other than his laundry door and he always got his way!

Occasionally when I was working on the computer late at night and DeeCee had come in from outside ramblings and just wanted to relax, he would jump up on the desk and lie down and go to sleep. He could be a wonderful companion much of the time, and certainly wormed his way into our affections!

DeeCee was a wonderful mouser, but this had some dangerous problems when he brought mice into the house to show us what he had caught and which he had not yet killed, so when he opened his mouth they managed to escape and it took us days, sometimes longer, to set traps where DeeCee couldn't go himself and get caught, before we got rid of the mouse - or mice as happened on odd occasions.

The other side of the mouse-catching was of course that, being a cat, birds were his other target, and he brought birds, alive and dead, into the house.

On Monday morning 30 May 2011 we did our load of washing and took it out to hang on the line in the garden. Whenever DeeCee heard us doing the washing and going outside, if he wasn't already there when we took the basket outside, he would soon arrive and squat down and watch us till we had finished. He would then demand a period of play time with the string and the tube or he would come and tell us it was time for us to take him inside for some lunch, after which he would retire for his afternoon sleep.

This is how DeeCee was totally relaxed on our bed, showing us that it was his bed too!

In February 2011 some changes started happening which didn't quite register initially. It was summertime, and as usually happened every summer, DeeCee shed some fur and looked somewhat thinner. However, during the next few weeks he seemed to have lost a fair amount of weight and was thinner than he should have been.

By mid-March he wasn't eating his normal foods and just didn't seem to have the same voracious appetite he had had since he was with us. In April it became obvious that we would need to take him to the vet to find out what was wrong with him. He still had most of his normal energy and habits but there were subtle changes which didn't register in our minds that something was radically wrong. He seemed no longer interested, or able, to climb fences or jump up and down places which were his comfort zones.

We had our own health problems to contend with but finally got DeeCee to the vet in early May where he was diagnosed initially with a bacterial infection in his mouth which meant his gums were swollen and sore and bleeding which was why he was unable to enjoy his cut-up chicken necks every night. He was put on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories which we had to push into his mouth with droppers, and which he very reluctantly permitted us to do.

However, it was obvious a week later that all was not only not well, but getting worse. The vet gave him a more thorough examination and then did some blood tests which showed that he had very advanced lymphoma of the kidneys and would not live much longer. This was on a Wednesday, and the vet wanted us to bring him to be euthanased the following Monday or Wednesday and no later.

By the following Wednesday we just couldn't bring ourselves to have him put to sleep as he was still responding to us, still able to drink water and did not seem to be in any great pain.

On Saturday morning of 28 May 2011 we faced the inevitable -DeeCee had reached the end of the road and was in an utterly wretched, miserable and unacceptable state. We made an appointment with the vet and at 2pm DeeCee was given his final injection and went to sleep very peacefully, but not before giving us one silent miaow of recognition for the last time. It broke our hearts and the memory of that moment lives on!

This photo was taken in November 2010, one of the last ones we took, and he is buried just behind where Ken is standing with the piece of string, so he was with us when we hung out the washing on 30 May 2011.

12 May 2011


This item was reported in Care2 on 11 May 2011:

13-Year-Old Lesbian Latest Victim of 'Corrective' Rape in South Africa

posted by: Steve Williams

A 13-year-old South African girl who openly self-identifies as a lesbian has become the latest victim of "corrective" rape, that is to say where a woman is sexually violated in a supposed attempt to turn her straight.

The incident occurred in Pretoria last Thursday, and unlike other recent victims she did survive the attack. Reports also indicate that an unnamed transgender person may also have been raped over the weekend.

More from The Guardian:

Officials said the 13-year-old victim's case is being investigated by police and she and her family are receiving support. Tlali Tlali, a government spokesman, said it seemed to be another incident of corrective rape, adding: "Government condemns this senseless and cowardly act of criminality."

Tlali said every South African had the right to express themselves in the sexual orientation of their choice. "Gay and lesbian rights are human and constitutional rights which must be protected and respected at all times."

Ndumie Funda, founder of the Luleki Sizwe Project, a charity that supports survivors of corrective rape in Cape Town, said she had heard reports of a transgender person being raped over the weekend. "It is getting worse and needs to come to an end," she said. "People are not being given a platform to come out of the closet. What about those who are locked in a cage and cannot come out? It's not fair and it's about time we talk."

Funda, 37, became involved in the campaign when she met Nosizwe Nomsa Bizana, who had been raped at gunpoint by five men and infected with HIV. The couple became engaged but Bizana died in 2007. Funda is forced to take a different route home every day to avoid being targeted because of her public activism.

She estimates about 510 women report corrective rape in South Africa each year and warned of a popular backlash. "It is about time we retaliate," she said.

Possible action includes disrupting imminent local elections. "We used to say during the apartheid era we will deal with them the way the enemy deals with us. The retaliation will be legitimated by the reaction of the people. I cannot give further details until I confer with the other comrades."

This is not a unique incident. Just last month Noxolo Nogwaza, 24, was raped and then stoned to death by a gang of men who were heard to shout anti-gay epithets. Nogwaza was open about her sexuality and was a member of a local LGBT rights organization. Advocates noted that Nogwaza's murder was terribly reminiscent of lesbian soccer player Eudy Simelane's murder three years ago.

While South Africa's post-apartheid constitution explicitly protects gay people from discrimination and violence, human rights advocates warn of an "epidemic" of violence against gay and gender nonconforming people in South Africa.

The South African government has set up a panel to deal with hate crimes after an international outcry from LGBT rights advocates and organizations that the murders were not being properly investigated. How the panel will tackle this issue remains to be seen.


2 MARCH 2011

In the "arena" magazine No. 111 under the heading "Correspondence on the Intervention", by Jeff McMullen, two letters were posted, one from Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and a response from Dr Jeff McMullen, CEO (Honorary), Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth.

We contacted Dr McMullen to ask whether we could obtain permission from arena and himself to publish the letters on our web pages. Dr McMullen wrote back kindly giving us his permission, and the two letters follow, Minister Macklin's first and Dr McMullen's reply afterwards.

The correspondence makes very interesting reading.

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services
and Indigenous Affairs

Parliament House Telephone- (02) 6277 756,0

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Facsimile: 102)6273 4122

MCI 1-001815 2MAR2011

DrJeffMcMullen AM

Chief Executive Officer (Honorary)

Ian Thorpe's Foundation for Youth

PO Box 402 MANLY NSW 1655

Dear Dr McMullen

Thank you for your letter of 15 November 2010 to the Minister for Sustainability. Environment. Water, Population and Communities, the Hon Tony Burke MP, about the film "Our Generation". Your letter was referred to me as this matter falls within my portfolio responsibilities. I apologise for the lengthy delay in responding.

While the "Our Generation" film canvasses a range of issues, it is apparent that the primary area of criticism in the film, and in your letter, is the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).

I acknowledge that the instigation of the NTER by the previous government was a major shock to many Aboriginal people and communities in the Northern Territory and was seen as a serious affront. There was no consultation before it was initiated, and the nature of some of the measures and coercive tone utilised undoubtedly caused anger, fear and distrust.

It also needs to be acknowledged, however, that a widespread emergency did exist and continue.s to exist in many remote communities, with high levels of family violence, child neglect, appalling health status, low rates of school attendance, and high levels of crime including violent crime, and widespread drug and substance abuse. Any one of these factors has the potential to permanently damage or destroy a person's life opportunities. Taken together, they constitute a fundamental and endemic threat to the human rights not just of individuals, but of whole communities.

The Australian Government has attempted, with some real success, to acknowledge and span both these realities. We have retained the NTER because we believe action was and is required. We have attempted to progressively reshape it to make it more respectful and effective. In doing this, we have acted in good faith, with determination, and in a genuine attempt to further the best interests of both Aboriginal people and families in the Northern Territory and the Australian nation as a whole.

Clearly, this is an area of public policy where there is a wide variety of views and where community consensus is not easy to find or to forge.

I do not accept the broad criticisms about the Government's significant efforts to address Indigenous disadvantage in the Northern Territory, nor the criticisms about the Government's record in meeting its international human rights obligations.

First and foremost, I wish to take issue with the way you have characterised the Government's actions in relation to the Racial Discrimination Act J975 (RDA) and the NTER.
The Government has fully reinstated people's rights and protections under the RDA in relation to the NTER. Under the legislation that was passed by the Parliament on 21 June 2010, all of the provisions in the NTER legislation that suspended the operation of the RDA are removed. In addition, all of the provisions in the NTER legislation that deemed certain measures to be special measures, such as income management, five-year leases and alcohol and pornography restrictions, have been repealed. This is not a "feigned reinstatement' of the RDA.

Before introducing this legislation, the Government undertook extensive consultations with Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory on future directions for the NTER. The consultation process included over 100 whole-of-community meetings covering all communities and town camps affected by the NTER, 11 workshops with regional leaders and key stakeholder organisations, and over 440 face-to-face discussions between Government Business Managers and individuals and small groups in communities. This was the most comprehensive engagement ever undertaken by government with Indigenous people in Australia.

The Government was influenced significantly by what it heard in the consultations and by the feedback from individuals and communities. A common theme expressed was that children, the elderly and women were now feeling safer, were better fed and clothed, were getting a better night's sleep, and there was less inappropriate pressure on income support recipients for money. People felt that this was due to the combined effects of various NT ER measures, including income management, alcohol restrictions, community stores licensing and an increased police presence in remote communities.

You claim that the NTER is a government takeover of privately-owned land and that people are forced to sign 40-year leases in exchange for housing and other services. This is not correct. Creating tenure arrangements which provide security to land owners, investors and land users. through mechanisms such as voluntary long-term leasing, is a critical step in closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage.

Long-term leasing, based on agreements with land owners, is essential on communal title if we are to secure major public investments. Importantly, it also ensures that governments take responsibility, and are accountable, for housing construction standards, for long-term repairs and maintenance programs and to underpin tenancy management systems. All these issues underpin longer asset life spans and as a consequence contribute to less overcrowding.
Broader reforms to land tenure arrangements are also necessary to allow for the pursuit of home ownership and business opportunities on Indigenous lands. Economic development on Indigenous lands has traditionally been hampered by the communal ownership of land, preventing individuals from raising finances for commercial purposes and home ownership. The Government is working with Indigenous land owners and state and territory governments to make Indigenous lands in remote communities more suitable for economic development and home ownership opportunities.

In relation to the initial acquisition of five-year leases by the previous government, I recognise that the compulsory nature of the acquisition of township lands was counter-productive. The Government has committed that it will seek to replace them with voluntary leases upon their expiry in 2012. The Government has taken action to revise the boundaries and to ensure that rents are paid to landowners.

I agree that we must include Aboriginal people in setting future policy directions that affect them. The Government is committed to a reformed approach to engagement with Indigenous Australians, based on the principles of mutual respect, cooperation and mutual responsibility. In 2011, the Government will implement an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Framework across its agencies to improve how the Australian Public Service engages with Indigenous Australians on the policies, programs and services that affect their lives. The Framework will drive the adoption of effective engagement as an integral part of day -to-day business.

The Government's commitment to improved engagement has been acknowledged by the United Nations Human Rights Council in its recent Universal Periodic Review process. The establishment of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples was welcomed by the Council as a strong gesture of the Government's commitment to engagement with Indigenous Australians.

Australia also received encouraging support from many countries for its efforts to improve the human rights of Indigenous Australians, through its endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, for the National Apology and for our commitment to pursue constitutional reform to recognise Indigenous Australians.

In conclusion, I can assure you that the Government is determined to continue its work in combating Indigenous disadvantage. The independent NTER Review Board found that the situation in remote Northern Territory communities and town camps remained sufficiently acute to be described as a "national emergency*. The Government found this evidence compelling. and continues to be focused on ensuring that the NTER delivers improvements to address the unacceptably high level of disadvantage and social dislocation experienced by Aboriginal people living in remote communities and town camps in the Northern Territory.

Thank you again for writing.

Yours sincerely


21 MARCH 2011

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services

And Indigenous Affairs Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister,

21st March 2011.

The Australian Government has finally admitted that the Northern Territory Emergency Response was a “major shock” and a “serious affront” causing “anger, fear and distrust” in Aboriginal communities. The Government and the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, also now admit that there was “no prior consultation” with Aboriginal people. Mr Abbott adds that, “One of the problems with the Intervention was its ‘top-down’ nature.”

If you seek “a reformed approach to engagement with Indigenous Australians” as you indicate, I urge you and the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to consult soon on their homelands with the overwhelming majority of leaders who oppose the Intervention, including Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM of Galiwinku, Elcho Island and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM of Utopia, because you have not addressed their grievances or indicated how the Australian Government sees a constructive way to move forward.

Your letter to me of 2nd March 2011 arrives after a long Government silence on the anguished protests by people in remote communities and the appeals by Traditional Owners, many eminent Australians and human rights advocates here and around the world who are disturbed by the ongoing, serious violations of Aboriginal rights as a result of the Northern Territory Emergency Response.

Your letter avoids these important facts:

1. The Committee for Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva has judged that the Intervention continues to discriminate on the basis of race and that it reduces people’s rights to land, property, social security welfare, adequate standards of housing, cultural development, work and legal remedies.

2. The UN Special Rapporteur, Professor James Anaya, one of the world’s most respected human rights authorities, states that the Intervention is clearly discriminatory and puts Australia in breach of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

3. The discrimination of the NTER remains in full force including compulsory leasing to Government of Aboriginal community lands, the loss of the right to dignity by the erection of discriminatory signs outside communities prohibiting alcohol and pornography, the targeting of Aboriginal people for social engineering through Basics Cards and management of half of their money, the authorizing of Government Business Managers to exert extraordinary and sweeping influence over Aboriginal community life and the unjust removal of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal community organisations from control over the destiny of their communities. Each provision puts Australia in breach of its obligations.

4. The UN Special Rapporteur, explicitly warns that the Australian Government “should avoid imposing leasing or other arrangements that would undermine Indigenous people’s control over their lands.”

5. By maintaining compulsory 5 year leases until 2012 the Australian Government is undermining Indigenous people’s control over their lands. Traditional Owners and community members have lost the right to make key decisions in the township area for the period of the lease.

6. The Australian Government’s amendments to the Land Rights Act (Northern
Territory) 1976 and the National Partnership Agreement for Remote Indigenous Housing (COAG 2009) clearly is undermining Indigenous people’s control over their lands by vesting authority in Executive Directors of Township Leasing and insisting on leases shamefully equivalent to the life expectancy of many people in these communities.

7. The Australian Government has not responded to the calls by an overwhelming majority of the Aboriginal leaders in these occupied communities to end the Intervention now.

Your words to me are strikingly different to those you used when the Howard Government made the first dramatic alterations to the Land Rights Act. You will recall that we both attended the National Reconciliation Planning Workshop in Canberra in May 2005 when Prime Minister John Howard declared that Aboriginal land tenure had to be changed. A year later, as Traditional Owners and communities lost direct control over development and township land, you said in Parliament:

“The Aboriginal Land Rights Act of 1976 was the first and strongest legal recognition of the profound connection that Indigenous people have to their country. It recognized the communal nature of land ownership in Aboriginal law and culture through a form of freehold title. The Act, back in 1976, represented the most significant set of rights won by Aboriginal people after two centuries of European settlement.”

Since you became a Minister in the Australian Government, however, we have seen further changes to the Land Rights Act, giving the Executive Directors of Township Leasing greater powers over Aboriginal people through leases over community living areas and subleases of town camps. Furthermore, you are extending this challenge to Indigenous people’s control over their lands by expanding a policy aimed at ending or changing communal ownership of Aboriginal Land.

You bluntly assert that “economic development on Indigenous lands has traditionally been hampered by the communal ownership of land”. This is an ideological view, easily contested by a wider knowledge of Indigenous history both here and around the world. I would refer you to the work of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development (2008) and research by Nobel Laureate economist, Elinor Ostrom, who has shattered the myth of the so called “tragedy of the common” while producing evidence that, for Indigenous people, communal land ownership is so often a key ingredient of successful development.

The Indigenous concepts of custodianship, community and family, not only have guided humanity through countless millennia, they still have lasting value for Australia today.

Custodianship tells us that every one of us has an individual and a collective responsibility to contribute to the wellbeing of family and community. This sense of communal value gives us a longer view, a concern for what we may leave for our children and all of those to come. In this way it shares something with earth science in that it invites us to look past narrow, material self-interest to think of the common good.

It was these values that sustained the Children of the Sunrise and explain why Indigenous people today, as a collective, a people valuing the communal right, are the world’s oldest, continuous Culture. It was these communal values, custodianship, community and family, that gave Indigenous people the resilience to survive the invasion, the theft of their land, the spilling of their blood, the gaoling of their people, the removal of their children and all of the perverse policies that express the relentless assault
on their right to land and Culture.

I ask you, why is Australian Government policy still bent on the assimilation of Indigenous people and the destruction of their communal values, when these have proven to be, through the longer timelines of history, the essence of their identity and their well-being?

The most damaging feature of contemporary Government policy towards Indigenous Australians is your determination to exert far greater control over their lives and their lands. This is evident across the country, from Western Australia to Cape York.

The West Australian State Government of Colin Barnett has compulsorily acquired land at James Price Point on the Dampier Peninsular, trampling Native Title negotiations to allow Woodside to proceed with a 30 billion dollar gas processing facility. This is theft of Aboriginal land.

A Noongar Native Title victory on some land around Perth was blocked at once by an appeal by the State Government. Despite the rulings of our High Court that terra nullius was a lie and the historic rulings on Wik and Mabo, we continue to look right through Aboriginal people who protest that they have never surrendered their sovereign land rights.

Here and there Indigenous people win back a few local rights after years of court battles and the deaths of many of their elders, but this occurs when there is no clash with the dominant settler society. The theft of Aboriginal land continues. Native Title is little more than a legal contest for the scraps and an affirmation that the economic and political forces dictating to the rest of Australian society control the wealth of the land.

There is a widespread and profound misunderstanding about the importance of Indigenous Land Rights. The prevailing policies of the A.L. P. Government and the Coalition in Opposition share a fixation on controlling Aboriginal people and their communities so that there is no impediment to the rapid exploitation of minerals that feeds this so called once in a lifetime commodities boom.

Ironically, it is the wealth of Indigenous lands that could transform the poverty, welfare dependency and that critical gap in life expectancy. While so much has been taken away from Indigenous people, restoring their genuine land rights and control of their lives is one of the few reasonable measures of redress that could lead to social equality. Having denied the Stolen Generations compensation, what compensation does your Government have in mind for the exploitation of mineral wealth and the outright theft of Aboriginal lands?

In 1947, the year I was born, one of Australia’s finest jurists, Justice Dixon ruled that there was a clear difference between “compensation” in the sense of full monetary equivalence and “just terms” that implied “fairness” in dealings with Indigenous claims. Let us apply the fairness test to the current compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal lands and imposition of leases. If a fair and just portion of the mineral wealth flowed to our half a million Indigenous citizens, Australia would have none of those gaps within a generation.

Despite our national mythology about the land of the fair go, we continue to deny “just terms” and
“fairness” in our most important dealings with our most disadvantaged citizens.

In this sense, the new assimilation is the same as the old assimilation, reeking of injustice, paternalism and discrimination. Indigenous Australians are the only whole social group whose freehold land and communities have been taken over by Australian Government.

Aboriginal communities have always had the option of approving investment and development on their terms. For a very long time, Governments simply shirked their responsibility to make such an investment. The Australian Nation has failed to invest fairly in the wellbeing of all of its children.

My direct experience over many years in the First Nations of the United States reinforces the historical evidence that the carving up of Indigenous communal lands does not miraculously create private home ownership. Instead it often leads to debt traps, where low-income people are forced into foreclosure, eventually losing their home and their land. Over time this degrades the collective value of their land.

Impoverished Aboriginal people are so easily exploited. Since Indigenous unemployment over the years of your Government has grown from 13.8% to 18.1% there is little prospect of people in remote communities realising your dream of privatisation. Even the World Bank after researching the global pattern of Indigenous development concluded that “eliminating or replacing customary tenure is often neither necessary nor desirable.”

Your letter omits any recognition that if Australia is to live up to its stated support of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (even with your Government’s hesitancy to enforce this with a legal framework here in Australia) our nation must acknowledge the rights of Indigenous people to control their lands and to practice their Culture.

The NTER legislation (s 91) is glaringly inconsistent with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act. This is not addressed in your letter.

Only Indigenous Australians have been discriminated against through this loss of a fundamental legal right to have their Customary Law and Cultural practices considered by a judge during legal proceedings.

In the Northern Territory Supreme Court in January 2011, Justice Steven Southwood, lamented the fact that the NTER Act prevented a sentencing court “from taking into account information highly relevant to determining the true gravity of an offence and the moral culpability of the offender”. You would be aware that this case involved the desecration of a Sacred Site at Numbulwar in the NT Gulf Country by an Intervention building crew. If this had happened in St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney there would be outrage and the legal judgement would reflect the grave slight this caused to people of Christian

Australia is denying Indigenous people full justice and recognition of an important legal precedent in Australia’s Common Law system. Why not listen to the Supreme Court Judge? Acknowledge that this right must be restored to Indigenous people by repeal of the NTER Act (s 91).

I am surprised that you do now acknowledge that the “instigation of the NTER by the previous government was a major shock to many Aboriginal people and communities in the Northern Territory and was seen as a serious affront. There was no consultation before it was initiated, and the nature of some of the measures and coercive tone utilised undoubtedly caused anger, fear and distrust.”

Given the haste of the A.L.P. to support the NTER legislation while you were in Opposition, it would have been wise to establish an open, transparent process of genuine consultation. Instead you have choreographed meetings and expected Aboriginal people to rubber stamp the policy paper you presented. Your own review of these consultations revealed the widespread opposition as the bitterness and sense of betrayal of Aboriginal people deepened.

There was and is no “prior, informed consent” to the Intervention. This policy, as Tony Abbott now admits, has been imposed by Government, “top-down” against the will of the majority of Aboriginal people in these communities undermining any claim to its legitimacy and underscoring its unlawfulness in the judgement of International human rights authorities.

While you refuse to meet the Traditional Owners whom reject your policy you continue the “serious affront” that you attribute to the manner in which the Intervention was launched in 2007. By refusing to enter a genuine partnership with these communities you undermine the trust and goodwill that was in the air after the National Apology to Indigenous people.

Aboriginal people are still waiting for a Government Apology after the ruling by the Australian Crime Commission that there were no paedophile rings in the 73 remote communities targeted by this state of emergency. Have we forgotten the shame and the lasting damage done by this dangerous slander of all Indigenous people? It is not fair for you to attribute this “serious affront” only to the Howard Government as your political party supported the NTER from the outset.

Much of your letter is a defensive and dubious argument about the good you claim to have delivered through this Intervention. You show no willingness to acknowledge that by the Northern Territory Government’s reckoning the number of Aboriginal children at risk of neglect has more than doubled during the years of the Emergency. The Intervention has caused a sharp and painful increase in stress on Aboriginal people. School attendance in many of these communities targeted by the Intervention has worsened. Most disturbingly, suicides have increased.

A consequence of the shock and awe in Indigenous policy-making is that the political discourse has become hysterical. The Australian newspaper recently carried a front page story in which Mal Brough, former Minister for Indigenous Affairs and one of the architects of the Intervention, says the NTER has become too soft under your Government and that he supports the call for more desert detention camps to sweep up the fallen and the forgotten from the streets of Alice Springs.

In his latest foray into Indigenous politics, Tony Abbott calls for a “new Intervention” in the larger towns in the Northern Territory including Alice Springs, Katherine and Tennant Creek. Mr Abbott states bluntly that the Intervention has caused many Aboriginal people to move from the remote settlements increasing social dysfunction in the larger towns where they have largely unrestricted access to alcohol, inadequate accommodation and few support services.

This worsening crisis is a direct consequence of the NTER and the Government policy of concentrating funding in twenty so called “Growth Towns” in the Northern Territory. The hard drinking in the long grass on the fringes of many of the larger towns has confirmed the expected pattern of family disintegration and social drift.

The Intervention is social engineering at its worst and the most damaging policy inflicted on
Indigenous people since the Stolen Generation.

A reasonable discussion of the alcohol problems in Alice Springs, which both you and Mr Abbott say that you seek, would begin by admitting that Australia has a drinking problem. Stop stereotyping Indigenous people and targeting them with calls for “behavioural change”. Address alcoholism and unrestricted use of alcohol as a national, social problem.

The Northern Territory is Australia’s binge-drinking frontier. We all must face up to this honestly. Global estimates show that in Ireland people consume 13.7 litres of pure alcohol per annum, 13.0 litres in the Czech Republic, but, think about this, 14.9 litres per person in the Northern Territory as a whole and in Alice Springs, 20.38 litres per person. Australia’s average as a whole is 9.8 litres. We lose track of these facts in the relentless stereotyping of Aboriginal people, forgetting that if you walk the main streets of Darwin or Alice Springs you will see a huge cross section of Australian society drinking to violent excess.

Courageous Aboriginal community leaders like June Oscar and Maureen Carter from Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley, have demonstrated that black and white people can work together to stop this poisoning of the human spirit. Are we willing as a society to curb the profits from grog, tax the liquor industry in a targeted way, treat addiction with care and compassion, while at the same time building the other community resources that are essential for well being? Social problems will get worse until we recognize the solution means acting responsibly together within the framework of custodianship, community and family. This is the antithesis of the discriminatory policies aimed at Aboriginal people.

Finally Minister, your letter bristles with indignation at my observation that the legislation that came into effect on January 1 2011 was a “feigned reinstatement” of the protection afforded to Indigenous people by the Racial Discrimination Act. Aboriginal elders and many other eminent Australians including Church leaders, barristers and former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, have characterised this action by your Government as seeking a “veneer” of non-discrimination or respectability.

Your letters to Australians concerned about discrimination may mislead some into believing that you have actually repealed the NTER policies, when in fact, as I have stated here at considerable length, the policy approaches essentially remain the same.

No amount of Ministerial spin can hide this fact. Your Government and its predecessor knew the Intervention was loaded with discrimination against Aboriginal people. That is why the Racial Discrimination Act had to be suspended from applying to the NTER. For over three years Australians, officially, have lived with discrimination. The discrimination remains.

Only Aboriginal people in Australia have ever suffered this humiliation of losing the right and the protection of the Racial Discrimination Act. Without a Charter or Bill of Rights, without changes to the race power in the constitution, without a commitment never to use the means of discrimination to justify the end, without such a commitment Indigenous Australians are without their most fundamental human rights.

I have saved some very personal words until last.

I am sorry to inform you today that one of the powerful, truthful voices you listened to in the film, Our Generation, the courageous woman who invited Australians to look at the overcrowding of her home and the poverty her family was left to endure, has died of chronic illness. This beautiful human being reminds us that the real emergency, the epidemic of chronic illness, is scything through another generation of Aboriginal people. She gave her every breath to end the Intervention.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Jeff McMullen AM



11 May 2011


9 MAY 2011

The following two items were received from the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) on 9 May 2011. The video mentioned in the article is too upsetting to be put on this web page, but if anyone wants to see it, it can probably be found on the web.

Beating of transgender woman caught on tape

in UNITED STATES, 28/04/2011

A video of a vicious beating at a Baltimore County McDonald's restaurant went viral Friday, garnering hundreds of thousands of views on websites and prompting the fast-food giant to issue a statement condemning the incident.

The video shows two women — one of them a 14-year-old girl — repeatedly kicking and punching the 22-year-old victim in the head, as an employee of the Rosedale restaurant and a patron try to intervene. Others can be heard laughing, and men are seen standing idly by.
Toward the end of the video, one of the suspects lands a punishing blow to the victim's head, and she appears to have a seizure. A man's voice tells the women to run because police are coming.

The three-minute clip was apparently first posted on YouTube, then taken down by administrators who said it violated the site's policies. But it popped back up on other sites and was ultimately linked from the popular Drudge Report, which gave it top billing for much of the day.

By early evening, the video had received more than 500,000 views on one site alone.
County police confirmed that the attack occurred April 18 in the 6300 block of Kenwood Ave. Police said the 14-year-old girl has been charged as a juvenile, while charges were pending against an 18-year-old woman.

Equality Maryland said the victim is a transgender woman and called on state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler to step in and investigate the case as a hate crime. Police and prosecutors said they did not know whether the victim is a transgender woman.

"It does appear that the victim was a transgender woman, and she was brutalized while people stood by and watched," said Lisa Polyak, vice president of the board of directors for Equality Maryland, an advocacy organization that fought unsuccessfully in the past legislative session for greater protections for transgender individuals. "There's no excuse for that violence under any circumstances, but we would encourage police to investigate as a hate crime."

The police report does not provide a motive, but quotes one of the suspects saying that the fight was "over using a bathroom."

As the video spread online, McDonald's acknowledged that the attack had occurred in a Baltimore-area restaurant and said it was working with local police.

"We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable, disturbing and troubling," the company said in a statement posted on its website. "Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees in our restaurants. We are working with the franchisee and the local authorities to investigate this matter."

The video received widespread attention part because of the racial dynamics of the attack – the attackers were black, and the victim is white. State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger, who said he was unaware of the gender-related issues, said the racial dynamics of the incident could result in hate-crime charges.

"We just received this case, and the Police Department is continuing their investigation," Shellenberger said. "If there is evidence that the crime was racially motivated, we will take a look at those charges and see if we meet those elements. We have the ability, if the facts are there, to upgrade the charges at a later date."

The victim suffered cuts to her mouth and face, and a police report said she had been taken to Franklin Square Hospital Center in fair condition. Police said Friday they had no update on her status.

The video begins with two women near a bathroom door kicking and hitting a woman who is lying on the ground.

An employee repeatedly tries to separate them, but the attackers continue to stomp and kick the victim's head. People yell, "Stop! Stop!" to no avail, though others can be heard laughing. An older woman at one point also attempts to pull the attackers away and is shoved.

About halfway through the three-minute clip, the attackers rip a wig off the victim and drag her by her hair to the front door. That is where the victim is sitting before another blow to the head causes an apparent seizure.

Throughout the attack, a man is filming and does not intervene. But when the victim appears to have a seizure, he yells, "She having a seizure, yo. … Police on their way. Y'all better get out of here."

Through a McDonald's spokesman, the owner of the Rosedale restaurant released a statement. The chain said the owner and employees would not be made available for comment, including an update on possible discipline of the employees.

"I'm as shocked and disturbed by this incident as anyone would be. The behavior displayed in the video is unfathomable and reprehensible," said the franchise owner, Mitchell McPherson. "The safety of our customers is a top priority. We know the police were called immediately, and we are thoroughly investigating this matter.

9 MAY 2011

Teonna Monae Brown - 18-year-old charged in McDonald's beating

in UNITED STATES, 28/04/2011

Baltimore County police have named the 18-year-old charged with beating a transgender woman at Rosedale McDonald's, amid demands from some community members that the incident be investigated as a hate crime. As charges formally filed vs. teen, transgender community plans rally at restaurant.

Teonna Monae Brown of the 2000 block of Kelbourne Road in Rosedale was charged in the attack on Chrissy Lee Polis. The incident was videotaped and went viral online late last week, with hundreds of thousands of views on various websites. The video shows Polis, 22, being kicked and punched in the head by two people until she appears to have a seizure. While one employee and a patron try to intervene, others can be seen standing and watching, and some are laughing.

Brown, who was arrested Friday, has been charged with one count of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault. She remains at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $150,000 bond.

A 14-year-old girl has also been charged in the attack, but her name has not been released because the charges were filed in juvenile court.

Scott Shellenberger, the state's attorney for Baltimore County, has said his office plans to gather additional evidence to determine whether the April 18 attack on Polis can be prosecuted as a hate crime.

Another woman filed assault charges against Brown in July, which prosecutors dropped three months later.

Sandy Rawls, founding director of Trans-United, a Baltimore-based group that fights discrimination against transgender people, said people hate what they do not understand.
"When people see us, they don't understand us. So it's an educational problem," said Rawls, a transsexual woman who lives about a mile from the McDonald's. She also blamed "a violent culture."

"'Love thy neighbor' is fading," she said.

Rawls is helping to organize a rally for 7 p.m. Monday at the McDonald's in Rosedale, to raise awareness of hate crimes against the transgendered.

Andrew I. Alperstein, a defense attorney and a former Baltimore County prosecutor, said it is possible to add hate crime accusations after the initial charges are filed. He said the 14-year-old girl could be charged as an adult, but the state's attorney's office must see whether she has a previous record and evaluate her role in the attack, adding that "it was a horrible assault."

"A picture is worth a thousand words," he said.

McDonald's issued a statement condemning the beating, and the owner of the Rosedale restaurant announced Saturday afternoon that the employee who taped the beating had been fired.

While Alperstein said the employee who taped the incident faces little liability for not stopping the fight, he could be held criminally liable if found to have encouraged the fight.

Alperstein predicted that McDonald's would likely face a civil lawsuit because it has a duty to protect its customers.

By Sunday evening, a Facebook page titled "Chrissy Lee Polis" with a picture of the McDonald's arches had more than 800 people who "liked" the page. Many of the posters on the page pledged their support and provided words of comfort, and several identified themselves as transgender.

One poster, Robyn Webb, has a teleconferencing company, TG Works, that is collecting funds to help pay for Polis' medical bills and help her relocate. Polis, who has not had a job or a stable place to stay for the past two years, has said she has been living with friends in the area.

Webb thought the incident should be prosecuted as a hate crime.

The police report does not provide a motive, but it quotes one of the suspects saying that the fight was "over using a bathroom." In the report, officers said the teens accused Polis of going into the wrong one.

Many transgender individuals face public accommodation issues, Webb said.

Donna Plamondon, who is transgender, plans to attend the rally for Polis. "It does my heart good to see the outpouring of support" for the community, she said.

She too called the incident an apparent hate crime.

"People are waking up that this is what life is like for a transgender," she said. "Why would you choose to put yourself in this position every day?"

05 May 2011


The following items were in Mondoweiss on 5 May 2011 and need as much publicity as possible in view of the ongoing zionist hatred of Jews who are anti-zionist and speak the truth about racist apartheid police state Israel.

Tony Kushner denied CUNY honorary degree over views on Israel

May 04, 2011 05:22 pm | Adam Horowitz

The City University of New York has rejected a honorary degree for playwright Tony Kushner after a member of its board of trustees, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, objected to Kushner's criticism of Israel. The Jewish Week reports on the board of trustees meeting this week where the decision was made:

But Wiesenfeld, a board member of several Jewish organizations and an activist in conservative circles, spoke out against plans to honor Kushner, who, like others receiving honorary degrees, may have spoken at the graduation ceremony.

Wiesenfeld cited what he believed were some of Kushner's anti-Israel statements, all of which he said he found on the website of Norman Finkelstein, another figure known for his vehemently anti-Israel views.

When people identify themselves with "these types of viewpoints," Wiesenfeld told his fellow trustees, "it's up to all of us to look at fairness and consider these things," especially when Israel sits in such a hostile neighborhood. "There's a lot of disingenuousness and non-intellectual activity directed against the State of Israel on campuses across the country," he said, adding that CUNY has had its share of such activity, although it's far better than most universities.

Following Wiesenfeld's comments, a majority of CUNY board members voted to remove Kushner's name from the list of this year's honorees, and then voted unanimously to table, or put off, the honor to the playwright, according to CUNY spokesman Michael Arena. The move, though, effectively kills the honor, because the next scheduled board meeting is at the end of June, after John Jay's June 3 commencement ceremony.

Wiesenfeld evidently also worked with Brooklyn Assemblyman (and settler supporter) Dov Hikind to try to get Brooklyn College adjunct professor Kristopher Peterson-Overton fired over critical views of Israel. That effort failed.

Kushner's response to the CUNY board of trustees is below and deserves to be read in full:

Tony Kushner
c/o Heat & Light Co., Inc.
119 West 72nd Street #193 New York,
NY 10023

The Board of Trustees of the City University of New York
535 East 80th Street New York,
NY 10075
cc: President Jeremy TravisThe faculty and students of John Jay College of Criminal Justice
899 Tenth Avenue New York,
NY, 10019May 4, 2011

To Chairperson Benno Schmidt and the Board of Trustees:

At the May 2 public meeting of the CUNY Board of Trustees, which was broadcast on CUNY television and radio, Trustee Jeffrey S. Weisenfeld delivered a grotesque caricature of my political beliefs regarding the state of Israel, concocted out of three carefully cropped, contextless quotes taken from interviews I’ve given, the mention of my name on the blog of someone with whom I have no connection whatsoever, and the fact that I serve on the advisory board of a political organization with which Mr.Weisenfeld strongly disagrees. As far as I’m able to conclude from the podcast of this meeting, Mr. Weisenfeld spoke for about four minutes, the first half of which was devoted to a recounting of the politics of former President of Ireland and UN Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson that was as false as his description of mine.

Ms. Robinson, however, was not on public trial; I was, apparently, and at the conclusion of Mr. Weisenfeld’s vicious attack on me, eight members voted to approve all the honorary degree candidates, including me, and four voted to oppose the slate if my name remained on it. Lacking the requisite nine votes to approve the entire slate, the Board, in what sounds on the podcast like a scramble to dispense with the whole business, tabled my nomination, approved the other candidates, and adjourned.

Not a word was spoken in my defense.I wasn’t told in advance that my willingness to accept an honorary doctorate from John Jay would require my presence at a meeting to defend myself. As far as I know, no one who might have spoken on my behalf was notified in advance. I’m not a difficult person to find, nor am I lacking in articulate colleagues and friends who would have responded. For all his posturing as a street-tough scrapper for causes he believes in, Mr.Weisenfeld, like most bullies, prefers an unfair fight.But far more dismaying than Mr. Weisenfeld’s diatribe is the silence of the other eleven board members.

Did any of you feel that your responsibilities as trustees of an august institution of higher learning included even briefly discussing the appropriateness of Mr. Weisenfeld’s using a public board meeting as a platform for deriding the political opinions of someone with whom he disagrees? Did none of you feel any responsibility towards me, whose name was before you, and hence available as a target for Mr.Weisenfeld’s slander, entirely because I’d been nominated for an honor by the faculty and administration of one of your colleges?

I can’t adequately describe my dismay at the fact that none of you felt stirred enough by ordinary fairness to demand of one of your members that, if he was going to mount a vicious attack, he ought to adhere to standards higher than those of internet gossip.

Mr. Weisenfeld declared to you that, rather than turn to “pro-Israel” websites, he’d gleaned his insights into my politics from the website of Norman Finkelstein. I find it appalling that he failed to consider a third option:familiarizing himself with any of the work I’ve done, my plays, screenplays, essays and speeches, for which, I assume, the faculty and administration of John Jay nominated me for an honor.It would have taken very little effort to learn that my politics regarding the state of Israel do not resemble Mr. Weisenfeld’s account.

I don’t intend to mount a full defense of myself or my opinions in this letter, an effort on my part which an honorary degree ought not to require. But I can’t allow myself to be publicly defamed without responding:-

My questions and reservations regarding the founding of the state of Israel are connected to my conviction, drawn from my reading of American history, that democratic government must be free of ethnic or religious affiliation, and that the solution to the problems of oppressed minorities are to be found in pluralist democracy and in legal instruments like the 14th Amendment; these solutions are,like all solutions, imperfect, but they seem to me more rational, and have had a far better record of success in terms of minorities being protected from majoritarian tyranny, than have national or tribal solutions.

I am very proud of being Jewish,and discussing this issue publicly has been hard; but I believe in the absolute good of public debate, and I feel that silence on the part of Jews who have questions is injurious to the life of the Jewish people. My opinion about the wisdom of the creation of a Jewish state has never been expressed in any form without a strong statement of support for Israel’s right to exist, and my ardent wish that it continue to do so, something Mr. Weisenfeld conveniently left out of his remarks.-

I believe that the historical record shows, incontrovertibly, that the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes as part of the creation of the state of Israel was ethnic cleansing, a conclusion I reached mainly by reading the work of Benny Morris, an acclaimed and conservative Israeli historian whose political opinions are much more in accord with Mr. Weisenfeld’s than with mine; Mr.Morris differs from Mr. Weisenfeld in bringing to his examination of history a scholar’s rigor, integrity, seriousness of purpose and commitment to telling the truth.-

I won’t enter into arguments about Israeli policy towards the Palestinian people since 1948, about the security fence or the conduct of the IDF, except to say that my feelings and opinions – my outrage, my grief, my terror, my moments of despair - regarding the ongoing horror in the middle east, the brunt of which has been born by the Palestinian people, but which has also cost Israelis dearly and which endangers their existence, are shared by many Jews, in Israel, in the US and around the world.

My despair is kept in check by my ongoing belief in andcommitment to a negotiated conclusion to the Palestinian-Israeli crisis.- I have never supported a boycott of the state of Israel. I don’t believe it will accomplish anything positive in terms of resolving the crisis. I believe that the call for a boycott is predicated on an equation of this crisis with other situations,contemporary and historical, that is fundamentally false, the consequence of a failure of political understanding of a full and compassionate engagement with Jewish history and Jewish existence.-

I am on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace, and have remained there even though I disagree with the organization about a number of issues, including the boycott. I remain affiliated because the women and men of JVP are courageous, committed people who work very hard serving the interests of peace and justice and the Jewish people, and I’m honored by my association with them.I have a capacity Mr. Weisenfeld lacks, namely the ability to tolerate and even value disagreement.

Furthermore, resigning from the advisory board of JVP, or any organization, to escape the noisy censure of likes of Mr. Weisenfeld is repellent to me.- Mr. Weisenfeld attempts to cast me as a marginal extremist, a familiar tactic on this particular issue. It’s a matter of public record that this is not the case.

I’m co-editor of a volume of essays on the crisis in the middle east, which includes among its 58 contributing authors many rabbis, two US Poet Laureates and two recipients of the Jerusalem Prize. I’ve had a long and happy affiliation with such organizations as the 92nd Street Y, The Jewish Museum and the Upper West Side JCC.

My work has been recognized by such groups as The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, The Shofar Center, The Central Synagogue and Brandeis University (one of fifteen honorary degrees I’ve received). I state this not to present credentials, but because I refuse to allow Mr. Weisenfeld or any other self-appointed spokesman/guardian to diminish the depth or meaningfulness of my connection to the Jewish community.I accepted the kind offer of a degree from John Jay College not because I need another award, but because I was impressed with the students and teachers there – as I have always been impressed with CUNY teachers and students - and I wanted to participate in celebrating their accomplishment.

I did not expect to be publicly defamed as a result, and I believe I am owed an apology for the careless way in which my name and reputation were handled at your meeting.I decided long ago that my job as a playwright is to try to speak and write honestly about what I believe to be true. I am interested in history and politics, and long ago I realized that people uninterested in a meaningful exchange of opinion and ideas would selectively appropriate my words to suit their purposes. It’s been my experience that truth eventually triumphs over soundbites, spin and defamation, and that reason,honest inquiry, and courage, which are more appealing and more persuasive than demagoguery, will carry the day.


Tony Kushner


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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm