Three immediate thoughts arise on reading this article. My first …

Comment on Peace President Obama dispatcher of drones killing innocents by John Bell.

Three immediate thoughts arise on reading this article. My first thought is that the Chinese Embassy in Canberra and the Chinese state interests in the port of Darwin takeover and the Chinese investors in growing commercial ventures in the NT must be cheering the Pine Gap protesters from afar.
My second thought is that I am immensely saddened by the withdrawal of the American community at Pine Gap from Alice community life into “enclaves”, as Alex Nelson has noted. Very sad. Wonderful American friends whom I have known gave so much to Alice communal life through their amazing generosity of spirit down the years. The Bangtail Muster float is a small example.
My third thought is – what the heck are Kenny Rogers and Melanie Safka doing, holding the protest banner at the Pine Gap gate? Or do I need to go to Spec Savers – again? Nope. On second gecko, them thar baby Boomer hippies sure ARE Kenny and Melanie, goldarn it!

Recent Comments by John Bell

Anger mounting over closing of Rock climb
@ Ann Hatzimihail: You have nailed it! “Sad world we live in, so structured and strictured.”
You describe perfectly the new Nanny State everywhere rising now in Australian society.
And the irony is that those who are putting this Nanny State in place are railing against what they say are the old structures and strictures.


Remove religious exemption, says COGSO
Tabby. As you are no doubt aware, Henry Parkes banned religion from public schools before Federation. Made it secular without any democratic vote.
Christian and Jewish religion influence in kids’ lives has always been marginalised by the state, so they had to start and fund their own schools as well as pay public school upkeep taxes for 60 years until Bob Menzies gave them a fair go.
Christian and Jewish schools do not target or bully or expel gay kids who choose to go there. But they do wish to have protected their right to teach Christian and Jewish beliefs.
Christian and Jewish schools copped it in the neck from anti-religious state education authorities for many years but continue to provide a wonderful support service to supplement the government school system.
Be fair, Tabby. We don’t target gay kids. We accept them as equal souls in the eye of God. I am 72 and I was always taught that in Catholic schools.
It is the state secular system that has marginalised us including my Jewish friends.
By the way, what is your position on Muslim schools? Dare to tackle that one publicly?


1 Territory too fixed on opposition to fracking: Lambley
@ Alex Nelson: Your view of the optimism of the McMahon era is appreciated. I went to Alice in 1967 within weeks of Harold Holt’s referendum.
I was there when Whitlam came to power.
There came a different type of optimism that brought with it massive influx of “sit down money”, grog, drugs, a huge human rights push (RDA of 1975) and a push for self-government that grew.
Federal politics radically changed – was reversed – from Holt to McMahon to Whitlam. The “progressive” tide of money and anti-discrimination was unstoppable.
The NT has always been shaped by Federal politics.
Whatever optimism there was once under conservative government, changing politics created serious social issues, demanding responsible self-government in these terribly uncertain times.
Federal or outside interference cannot be trusted.
Historical facts cannot be revisited to change what is in place today.


Happy Birthday, Auntie, and good luck for the next 70.
Brashy is a legend. Gave great air time to the promotion of the Santa Teresa Fun Run 21 Feb 2010 that made the Indigenous Marathon Project a goer.
Brashy even came out and competed on the day. A respectable run performance too. A great positive radio voice for the Alice. Happy birthday Brashy. You don’t look 70!


1 Territory too fixed on opposition to fracking: Lambley
@ Alex Nelson. I believe that the geographical isolation of remote NT communities is a deciding factor in supporting a self government structure with its base in the capital city of Darwin.
It promotes a spirit of community inclusiveness with access to accountable elected decision makers who are homegrown, rather than under the control of interstate forces.
For example, the fast developing NT economy needs local Territory policy.
Another example is the need to understand the inclusion difficulties of isolated communities with different cultural backgrounds. I would not trust control of these areas of community concern to “offshore” states.


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