26 June 2015


$300,000 in reward money offered by Australian police over gay Bondi cliff murders

Police are hoping $300,000 in reward money will prompt members of the public to come forward with information about the deaths of three gay men in Sydney who were thrown from cliff tops near Bondi during the 1980’s
24 June 2015 | By Andrew Potts

Photo by WIN TV
Three rewards of $100,000 each have been announced by the New South Wales Police for information relating to the disappearance and suspected deaths of two gay men and the death of another in Sydney's eastern suburbs in the 1980s.

Giles Mattaini, a 27-year-old French national living in Bondi, was last seen walking along the coastal walking track at Tamarama on 15 September 1985 by a neighbor.

Ross Warren, 24, a news presenter from Wollongong, was last seen driving along Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, on 22 July 1989 after socializing with friends. His keys were found two days later on rocks below the cliff top at Marks Park, Tamarama, and his car was located nearby. His body has never been found but the Coroner has ruled he is dead.

John Russell, 31, a barman who worked in the eastern suburbs, was last seen drinking with friends at a hotel in Bondi on 23 November 1989. His body was found the next morning at the bottom of the cliff top at Marks Park, Tamarama, suffering injuries consistent with a fall from a cliff.

Russell’s death was dismissed as a suicide at the time despite being found clutching a tuft of someone else’s hair in his hand but the case was later reopened by the Coroner.

Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Michael Willing said the matters had been reviewed based on the Coroner’s findings that they were suspicious in nature and possibly the result of homophobic hate crimes.

‘We believe there are still people in the community who know what happened to these men and we hope these rewards will be an incentive for those people to come forward,’ Det Supt Willing said.
‘We will follow up each and every piece of information that is provided to us. We are committed to resolving these three cases and being able to provide answers for the families of these three men.’

Speaking on behalf of the families of Mr Warren and Mr Russell, Peter Rolfe from the Survivors After Murder support group said at a press conference on Monday, ‘For the past 26 years we have been haunted by the deaths of Ross, John and Giles, and suspect there are witnesses or others who have information about these matters that are similarly haunted by the knowledge that they hold.'

‘We would implore you to take advantage of the rewards being offered, so that not only may our haunting be resolved but in some small way, your haunting may also be relieved.’

The rewards of up to $100,000 each are for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the deaths of Mr Mattaini, Mr Warren and Mr Russell.

It is known that several youth gangs were targeting gay men in the area around the time and their members may now be in their 40’s and 50’s but police are open to all lines of inquiry.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

Information provided to the police will be treated with the strictest of confidence.

- See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/300000-reward-money-offered-australian-police-over-gay-bondi-cliff-murders240615#sthash.Afhvd0E3.dpuf

25 June 2015


UN Human Rights Council—Report of Independent Commission
Report in CounterPunch

Israel’s Ravagement of Gaza

Gaza 2014, a scene of unsurpassed brutality indicting Israel as a war-criminal nation nonpareil, though here, in the Report, pursuant to HRC resolution S-21/S, this is only hinted at despite the overwhelming evidence presented of systematic destruction, wanton murder of civilians, indiscriminate policies aimed at terrorizing a whole people into submission. Yes, Palestinians, too, come in for criticism—the tunnels, mortar firings, border raids—in a tactful show of impartiality, but the actuality of a disproportion in the conduct of operations in which the Israeli Defense Forces were merciless in acting out a scorched-earth militaristic paradigm (far beyond anything Hamas could even have tried, if in fact it were so inclined) is enough of an indelible moral stain as to warrant Israel’s increasingly pariah status in world opinion. The accommodative—indeed, celebratory–response of global Jewry to Israel’s behavior transmogrifies the very identity and historical significance of a religion whose tradition aligned it with radicalism, humane learning and practice, labor rights, respect for all humankind (including in America, as a fading memory now, fighting in the trenches in civil rights and antiwar activity).
The Report is unusually comprehensive, one reason Israel (which did not allow the Commission into its country or the Occupied Territories, illustrating its contempt for the UN virtually since day one) jumped the gun and published a response before the Report was issued. Cocksure, Israel answers to no-one and acts accordingly. Hence, pummeling with impunity a largely helpless populace, rendered still weaker by an encompassing blockade. Given Israel’s refusal to let the Commission into Gaza, we will never know the full cost of the destruction, especially from interviews and the taking of personal testimony. Yet a surprising amount of information has nevertheless come out, including that from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ((OHCHR), various UN agencies (as when their schools, crowded with Palestinians seeking refuge, were deliberately targeted), and NGOs on the ground.

In stating the legal framework, i.e., accountability of the parties, according to international humanitarian law and international human rights law, the Report outlines three principles, violation of which should be presumptive evidence of war crimes (the Report reticent to a fault, does not make the judgment), in each case of which we see why Israel is so uncooperative—to the point of having precious few internal proceedings leading to conviction, and even then, not above the foot-soldiers’ level, for such crimes. The principles are plainly put:

“Firstly, the principle of distinction requires that parties to a conflict distinguish between civilians and civilian objects on one hand and combatants and military objectives on the other. Attacks may only be directed against the latter. Secondly, the principle of proportionality prohibits attacks that are expected to cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. Thirdly, the principle of precautions in attack requires all parties to take all feasible measures to avoid and in any event to minimize incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.”

Distinction, proportionality, precautions: let’s get right down to it. Figures don’t lie; exact numbers since derived from different sources may be a bit off, but the disproportion is self-evident. Thus the Report states: In Gaza “the scale of devastation was unprecedented. The death toll alone speaks volumes: 2,251 Palestinians were killed, including 1,462 Palestinian civilians, of whom 299 women and 551 children, and 11,231 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured, of whom 10 per cent suffered permanent disability as a result.” In contrast, “the death of six civilians in Israel and 67 soldiers and the injury of up to 1,600 others were also the tragic result of the hostilities.” Israel pointed to rockets and mortars “amounting to almost $25 million” in damages and psychological damage to its citizens because of the existence of the tunnels. The context is rather harsher in Gaza: “In Gaza, as Palestinians struggled to find ways to save their own lives and those of their families, they were confronted with intense attacks, with no way of knowing which locations would be hit and which might be considered safe. People began to move from one place to another, only to encounter attacks in the new neighborhood, and they would have to move on. Closed into the [Gaza] Strip, with no possibility to exit, at times, 44 per cent of Gaza was either a no-go area or the object of evacuation warnings. These terrifying circumstances created a sense of entrapment, of having ‘no safe place’ to go.” Disproportion?

Israelis could whine, as they meanwhile pulverized the Gazans, because to them a Palestinian life was of little value; the death of an IDF soldier would result in massive killings, often sadistic in the pain inflicted. The Report goes on: “Alongside the toll on civilian lives, there was enormous destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza: 18,000 housing units were destroyed in whole or in part, much of the electricity network and of the water and sanitation infrastructure were incapacitated, and 73 medical facilities and many ambulances were damaged.” Not in the Report (a serious omission) is the deliberateness of these attacks, requiring pinpoint accuracy, and we learned at the time that hospitals were overcrowded, the injured filling hallways, those on operating tables—when the electricity went out—made to suffer and die. The water-treatment plants were a favorite target as well.

The report continues: “Many Palestinians were uprooted from their homes or temporary shelters multiple times; at the height of the hostilities, the number of internally displaced persons reached 500,000, or 28 per cent of the population. The effects of this devastation had a severe impact on the human rights of Palestinians in Gaza and will do so for generations to come.” “The West Bank,” it adds, “including East Jerusalem, witnessed a period of heightened tensions and widespread human rights violations, including the fundamental right to life,” but largely unnoticed given the events in Gaza. Too, the hostilities in Gaza “cannot be assessed separately from the blockade imposed by Israel.” The further one probes the more one-sided the contest, although the Report refrains from such comments, at least in so many words: “The blockade and the military operation have led to a protection crisis and chronic, widespread and systematic violations of human rights, first and foremost the rights to life and security, but also to health, housing, education and many others.” The “protection crisis,” I surmise, refers to the failure of Israel to protect these rights “in accordance with international human rights law,” i.e., Israel’s obligation, as in the case of any occupying power, to “take concrete steps towards their full realization.”

Children on both sides “were savagely affected by the events”; however, the Gazan case seems worse off. The UN Children’s Fund reveals that in Gaza “more than 1,500 children were orphaned.” Next, the Report “focuses on areas that reflect new patterns, notably attacks by Israel on residential buildings resulting in the death of entire families; Israel’s ground operations, which leveled urban neighborhoods; and violations by Palestinian armed groups and authorities in Gaza, including their reliance on attack tunnels.” “New patterns,” the old being sufficiently disheartening as not to be worthy of comment: “Other incidents—namely attacks by Israel on United Nations shelters, medical facilities, ambulances, and other critical infrastructure—are considered less thoroughly, because these patterns have been a recurring reality in this and prior conflicts.” Wow, what a record: same old, same old stunning violations of human rights. Meanwhile, as for Palestinians, there were several mortar hits on kibbutzim. IDF also discovered “32 tunnels, 14 of which extended beyond the Green Line into Israel.” I do not apologize for Palestinian actions; children were killed, rockets promiscuously fired (unlike the Israelis, no guidance systems), but again the disproportion, as when the Report notes: “During the 51-day operation, the Israel Defense Forces carried out more than 6,000 airstrikes in Gaza, many of which hit residential buildings.” The details are grisly (no compassion, apologies, only more unrelenting attacks expressed by Israel), as here: ”…at least 142 Palestinian families had three or more members killed in the same incident, amounting to a total of 742 fatalities.” Tawfik Abu Jama, a Gazan father of eight, recalled: “’I was sitting with my family at the table, ready to break the fast. Suddenly we were sucked into the ground. Later that evening, I woke up in the hospital and was told my wife and children had died.’”

Israel denounces the Report before its release and brazenly prides itself on the commission of mass civilian deaths (one recalls the citizens of Siderot sitting on the hillside cheering the explosions as they struck Gaza, munchies in hand, couches dragged out for comfort—a searing image of moral depravity). Airstrikes, just the thing to measure national virility: “The commission investigated 15 cases of strikes on residential buildings across Gaza, in which a total of 216 people were killed, including 115 children and 50 women.” The Commission found that in all cases “precision-guided weapons were used,” a finding “corroborated by satellite imagery analysis,” and “many of the incidents took place in the evening or at dawn, when families gathered for iftar and suhhur, the Ramadan meals, or at night, when people were asleep.” The Report states the obvious: “The timing of the attacks increased the likelihood that many people, often entire families, would be at home.

 Attacking residential buildings rendered women particularly vulnerable to death and injury.” Even the Report has to recur to one of its principles: “With regard to proportionality, given the circumstances, a reasonable commander would have been aware that these attacks would be likely to result in a large number of civilian casualties and the complete or partial destruction of the building.” Why else the attack?

One point emphasized is that knowing the damage inflicted and loss of life by the airstrikes, why did not these attacks come under closer scrutiny, questioned, halted? The Report continues: “Furthermore, the large number of targeted attacks against residential buildings and the fact that such attacks continued throughout the operation, even after the dire impact of these attacks on civilians and civilian objects became apparent, raise concern that the strikes may have constituted military tactics reflective of a broader policy, approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the Government of Israel.” It’s about time the Report stepped outside its comfort zone of caution: residential airstrikes as military policy sanctioned at the highest levels.

Ground operations were equally murderous, especially in Shuja’iya; in the three neighborhoods studied a pattern was seen, “large areas of which were leveled to the ground.” I’m sorry, I haven’t the heart for the coverage of more atrocities, this section speaking, as the boldface heading makes clear, of “Use of artillery and other explosive weapons in densely populated areas.” There is in fact much more (the Report should be required reading, I devoutly wish, for all Israelis, not that I think it will change minds), but let me close with the testimony of Talel Al Helo from Shuja’iya: “’I am not a fighter, I am a civilian and I care about the well-being of my family. The attacks were everywhere. Everything was coming under attack, the roads and the buildings; there was no safe haven in Shuja’iya. We walked as the missiles kept arriving. We saw bodies of people in the streets. We came across the body of an acquaintance and several other bodies, of young and old people, women and children.’”

Today (June 22) Jodi Rudoren’s article in the New York Times, “U.N. Report on Gaza Finds Evidence of War Crimes by Israel and by Palestinian Militants,” appeared, its title—and contents—suggesting equal culpability and destruction. This blatant distortion of the Report and the underlying reality of the Gaza attack prompted my critical detailed Comment in The Times, which was published as number five and then subsequently removed. I protested in an email to the public editor, likely to no avail. So much for NYT’s devotion to honest journalism.

Norman Pollack has written on Populism. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

22 June 2015


My PC has been attacked through a download from what looked to be an avast! support pop-up which offered to scan and clean up items which were causing the computer to run slow. What a disaster - and now I can't get rid of them.

This is what they do:

Where on earth does yahoo come from? I don't use yahoo, and don't have any use for it. I don't use google chrome although it is on my pc, but I do use firefox, and I have tried uninstalling it thinking the virus attackes would go, but when I re-install firefox, the pests return!

To try and get help from any of the major browsers is like asking the Palestinians and Israelis to combine and live peacefully as one nation, so there I am stuck with these attacks on my pc and my only escape is to stop using microsoft altogether and just use linux which is not subject to such annoyances.

06 June 2015


I submitted my response to the Quarterly Essay as correspondence feedback to Karen Hitchcock. Quarterly Essay told me it was too late to get in to next edition.
Dear Mannie de Saxe,
Thank you for your very interesting and informative letter.
I regret to say it arrives too late for inclusion in our published correspondence section - we have just gone to press with the next issue. However, I have passed in on to Karen Hitchcock, as I am sure she will want to read it.
best wishes
Chris Feik



Correspondence – Quarterly Essay – 27 April 2015

Ken is 92 and I am 88 and we have been together for 22 years. We are gay and were “married” by Kevin Rudd on 1 July 2009 when he refused to grandfather phasing in de facto pensions for newly recorded gay, lesbian, transgender, HIV/AIDS partnerships. As equivalents of married pensioners and now no longer on single pensions, we lost about $200 each fortnightly from our Centrelink pensions.

As gay activists we were known as a partnership and would not have escaped scrutiny from Centrelink if they had started to investigate who were “couples” and who were not.

We moved to Melbourne from Sydney and Newcastle in 2001 after we bought a house in Preston in one of Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs. We are fortunate to have been able to buy a house and not be renting, so that in our very old age we do not have to struggle with our finances every month as so many other people have to, and while we have maintained reasonable health over time, when one of us has health problems, we do our best to keep up with normal activities as much as possible.

I am our webmaster, and I look after two different web sites and a blog. When we were in Sydney we belonged to an activist group called InterSection, and one of our activities was involved with local government areas and discrimination by councils of their gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS (GLTH) residents, where we discovered some appalling homophobia and other mistreatments.

In Preston we found ourselves living in Darebin City Council area, and from about 2003/2004 when we read some council document about inclusion, we decided to see what was going on in relation to the GLTH communities with which we had been active over the years.

Our web sites are:

 and InterSection from Part 3 onwards, details some of our involvements with Darebin, and their responses over time. Eventually we just gave up!

Recently a few events occurred which have shaken us out of any complacency, and one of these being a major health issue relates directly to Karen Hitchcock’s essay concerning our health care-givers and their co-ordination with each other.

First, the other two events.

We live within walking distance of Northland shopping centre and we walk from our house to the centre in less than half-an-hour. If we have heavy shopping to carry home, we are able to catch one of 2 buses which drop us around the corner from our house which is just up from the main road, Murray Road. The footpath is uneven and in parts it has lifted, leaving lips which if you are old and your vision is not the best are easily missed and you can trip and hurt yourself badly. Ken tripped over one of these lips but was able to support himself on the house fence closest to where he tripped. His hand was gashed and bleeding, but he had not fallen on the ground and injured himself worse than the bleeding hand. We protected it with a clean handkerchief which one of us had, and when we arrived at Northland we went to the nearest pharmacy and asked them to put a plaster on it. The woman who dealt with us at the pharmacy didn’t put any disinfectant on the wound, but just covered it up with a plaster.

Ken was shaken up by the episode, but by the time we had sat down at our usual café and had some lunch and coffee he was feeling better, we did our shopping, and caught the bus home.

It has taken more than 3 weeks to stop being painful and it is now almost back to normal. We have not yet written to Darebin about the incident but may still be doing it soon.

The other event concerns a trip into the city about 2 months ago.  W e live 2 corners away from the tram stop which is in Plenty Road, near Murray Road. Our trip takes about 45 minutes and we always take something to read for our trips in both directions. We finished our shopping in Bourke Street Mall in the city and crossed to our tram stop outside the old Post Office at the corner of the Mall and Elizabeth Street. The tram was fairly full and no empty seats were visible, so I was making my way to the rear stair well when a man got up and offered me his seat. As I was making my way there to sit down, the tram started off with a heavy jerk and I fell to the ground in the stair-well and hurt my upper arm. I was helped up and sat down in the seat offered and remained there all the way home. Ken had managed to get a seat as we boarded the tram so he was safe from falling.

At every stop-start on the way home, the tram driver jerked the tram so that we thought maybe the vehicle had problems. However, when I wrote to Yarra trams about the incident, it seems the driver was in the clear, I should hold on better, and it seemed it was probably my fault! My upper arm took at least a month for the pain to subside, which is just as well that it ultimately did because little did I know what lay ahead in the health episode which as followed!

Towards the end of 2014 my eyesight had deteriorated sufficiently for me to know that it was time to get my cataracts attended to after years developing but not rapidly. We have both been patients at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, and Ken had both his cataracts attended to within 3 months of each other about 5 or 6 years ago, and I had been told about 4 years ago that I still had to wait awhile.
 We went to emergency at the eye and ear and they said to me that waiting time for cataracts was now about 2 years and I should get myself a private ophthalmologist (and thereby hangs another tale for another time!). So we went to our GP and he arranged a referral to an eye doctor who practises not far from where we live, which is of course very convenient for us. She said the first eye was more than ready to be operated on and the cataract was removed in the middle of December 2014. We arranged for the second one to be done in March 2015 and the date was set. Operations are still done by the private doctor at the eye and ear, but of course not on the public health system and I have to pay for them privately.

A week or two before my operation was due, all sorts of other episodes occurred with my health and I started to get very worried – headaches across both sides of my head and across the top, and I felt peculiar and without energy all the time.

The eye doctor said to me when I spoke to her on the Friday, a few days after having had some treatment from my GP that if I was having problems with my reading I was to go in to emergency at the Eye and Ear during the weekend and not waste any time. By the Sunday afternoon we managed to go to emergency, getting there at 2pm and leaving at 7pm, having been attended to almost immediately because the problem was deemed to be very urgent – the proof of which was confirmed a few days later!

I have been treated by our rheumatologist for a few years for a disease of elderly or old people called Polymyalgia Rheumatica and treatment is cortisone-based and I was already down to a maintenance dose which keeps pains away, but does no harm to the system.

What transpired at the Eye and Ear was that there is a possible side effect from Polymyalgia Rheumatica which one in 10 patients may develop, and I was one of them – Temporal Arteritis or Giant Cell Arteritis.

Second cataract operation postponed (sine diem as they used to say in Latin) and full-on treatment for this disease from which one can go blind, have a stroke, have an aneurism and other nasties! My eye doctor and the one that we saw after my biopsy at the E&E said they had caught it in time!

Now we get down to the crux of the story and Karen Hitchcock’s items in her essay relating to this – we are living in an advance technological age where means of communication are as they have never been before. I am in the hands of a GP, an Opthalmologist, a Rheumatologist, the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and various Pathology laboratories around the city.


Nobody, but nobody told me about what would happen when my maintenance dose of 2mg per day of Predisolone was suddenly increased to 60mg per day to ward off this new disease with its frightening consequences. The dosage is gradually being reduced to manageable limits a few weeks at a time, but I am suffering the consequences of corticosteroid overdose! And nobody has explained to me what side-effects Prednisolone has on the body!

Ken and I manage to keep going as best we can – at home, trying not to be a burden on limited resources in all these organisations and going into them only when we really feel we need some assistance, and doing things around the house as normal, but it is interesting to not that councils such as Darebin do not bother to find out how their old citizens are doing or whether they would like a little help now and then. Darebin is but one council in Victoria – what is happening in all the others?

In conclusion I would like to say that in a Quarterly Essay such as this one which Karen Hitchcock has written so graphically, she was able to cover a fair amount of ground within her space limitations for the article.

This is what I would like to know – “we are two white Anglo English-speaking, middle class, educated, articulate home owners, living in a culture we both grew up with. What about all the other minority groups such as GLTH, Aboriginal, Cultural and Linguistically  Diverse (CALD), African, Asian and others being demonised in our communities such as Muslims? Who is going to help and support them as they are thrown into environments for their aged care which are so often hostile as some any gay and lesbian couples in aged care have discovered over time?

As for financing of institutions for the forthcoming generations of geriatrics, Australia is a wealthy country and the resources are there, but governments wilfully use them for issues of no relevance to our communities, such as military adventures.

We will not be around to know what happens then, but it won’t be pretty for our older people unless they do some strenuous politicking over time.

A thesis and/or a book needs to be written – and urgently!

Reference: Dr Jo Harrison - PhD in Health Sciences. The thesis “Towards the Recognition of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and Intersex Ageing in Australian Gerontology” online at http://www.library.unisa.edu.au/adt-root/public/adt-SUSA-01042005-134827/

Avast logo
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.


Welcome to my blog and let me know what you think about my postings.

My web pages also have a wide range of topics which are added to when possible. Look for them in any search engine under


I hope you find items of interest!

Search This Blog


Blog Archive

Total Pageviews

About Me

My photo
Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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