I had to smile at Mr Pilbrow’s alarm concerning “the …

Comment on Review, don’t celebrate Pine Gap: Alice peace group by John Bell.

I had to smile at Mr Pilbrow’s alarm concerning “the enormous level of information” collected by Pine Gap on Australian citizens. Too late, Mr Pilbrow!
The Australian Taxation Office, Department of Social Security and Centrelink have been making Pine Gap look like a bunch of pussy cat amateurs for many years when it comes to gathering data on the average Aussie punter.
Between them, every aspect of our daily lives is covered and shared by these Big Brothers.
Mind you, I have had enormous respect for the Yanks ever since they managed to get a satellite spy camera into Colonel Gaddafi’s underground bunker all those years ago – and took revealing pics of the good Colonel sitting on the loo.
On the other hand, the Yanks’ security at Pine Gap was never too flash. Like the time in 1970 on a slow Saturday arvo when a certain Melanka lad and his girlfriend stormed the outer perimeter gate in their trusty Hillman Minx station wagon, with pet cocky in a cage on the back seat.
Got all the way to the second guard gate before confronted by the gendarmes – a swift “U” turn and did a runner, burning rubber all the way back to the Alice.
Took the cops a few hours to find the dastardly Territorists, sipping lemonade in the communal dining room. Ah, those were the days of innocence lost!

Recent Comments by John Bell

Yuendumu murder charge update
@ Libby O’Loughlin: A wonderful, empathetic comment, Libby. I think you have gone to the heart of things.
The automatic resorting to stereotyped adversarial positions of race and law and order dooms us all to lasting bitterness and anger.
That makes it a lose-lose situation for everyone. Two young men. In an awful situation. Both inexorably captured by identity politics and racial stereotyping. Very, very sad.


‘Cop will be labelled for the rest of his life as a blackfeller killer’
Making a split second decision in a volatile situation to “disarm” a violent knife-wielding attacker by “shooting him in the leg” with sharpshooter accuracy is the stuff of NCIS TV heroes.
Real life is much more difficult.
There is a question of police training to look at, of course.
However, a number of the commentators appear to be saying to be automatically assuming that it is incontestable – a man with a gun has no right to shoot a man coming at him with a knife.
I have read a number of forensic articles on the gun v knife / cop v attacker debate.
The articles, written by experienced investigators of police law enforcement situations, conclude that in many scenarios, the knife is just as deadly, if not more deadly, than the gun.
Would it be outside the coroner’s brief to look at this knife v gun issue?
Most of us who would automatically say a gun is deadlier have never been in a scary situation of a crazy coming at us with a knife. Just a thought.


Now that the Rock can’t be climbed, visiting it will cost more
@ Charlie, Alex and Simon. Yes. I was referring to Charlie Perkins and Clyde Cameron.
I was in Canberra at the time. Being in the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation and Aboriginal Affairs and mixing with the mob on Capital Hill, and later ATSIC, and going to Alice with work, I could not help but get info and opinions and political views on the transfer by Hawkey.
Clyde did a deal with Charlie whereby Charlie would get control of the NASF in the negotiations for the handover of the of Rock. Interesting times. Amazing times.


Now that the Rock can’t be climbed, visiting it will cost more
So. Charlie. Cross out coal. Cross out gas. Presumably cross out nuclear. Where to then?


Now that the Rock can’t be climbed, visiting it will cost more
In 1983 the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation had a time trial up the Rock planned.
African athletes, Australian champs and Aboriginal athletes.
Once around the Rock is exactly 10k. From the Olgas to the Rock and once around is exactly the 42.2k distance of a marathon.
The time trial was to be televised and we had international magazine AfroSport and its owner journo Bobby Naidoo based in London on board to promote it.
Then along came Charlie and Clyde and politics. In an eye blink we went from chocolates to boiled lollies. Politics. Very sad.


Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor