maandag, juni 23, 2008

hoe was de pap,
maakte het ei erg vlekkerig,
is er niet al te hard op je gebeten en was de rabarber verfrissend?
en het douwerideine lepeltje mijn deukje mijn
klein fijn mongooltje, moet jij ook door de molen?

woensdag, juni 18, 2008


Now the Lord commanded Joshua;
"I command you and obey you must;
You just march straight to those city walls
And the walls will turn to dust."

Straight up to the walls of Jericho
He marched with spear in hand,
"Go blow that ram's horn," Joshua cried,
"For the battle is in my hand."

The lamb ram sheep horns began to blow,
And the trumpets began to sound,
And Joshua commanded, "Now children, shout!"
And the walls came tumbling down.

'When you are given something to sign by your superior you just sign it.

'Two kids' bodies found at Jersey care home
The remains of more than one child were found at a former children's home, police said yesterday.
Tests on five teeth found in a cellar at Haut de la Garenne, Jersey, proved "beyond doubt" they were from at least two children.
And they came out AFTER they died, said detectives investigating allegations of abuse.

More teeth found at abuse home

11/06/2008 13:46 - (SA)

London - Police investigating alleged abuse at a former children's home on the Channel island of Jersey have discovered another 14 milk teeth, they said on Wednesday.

It brings the total number found at the Haut de la Garenne site to 27 - all but one of which were found in the cellars. The 14 new teeth have been discovered since Thursday.

Tests on the teeth found earlier revealed that most were "very unlikely to have come out naturally before death", Jersey Police said in a statement, adding that they had come from at least two children.

Police have also found at least 30 charred human bone fragments, indicating that homicide may have taken place, with the victims' bodies possibly cremated in a fireplace.
A massive investigation has discovered widespread allegations of abuse of the home's former residents over three decades until it shut in the 1980s.

Three men have been charged in connection with alleged child abuse at Haut de la Garenne.

A 45-year-old was charged with one count of sodomy against a boy and two counts of indecent assault against two other boys between 1977 and 1980.
A 76-year-old who used to work at the home was charged with indecently assaulting girls under 16 between 1969 and 1979.
Meanwhile a 68-year-old was charged with raping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl between 1971 and 1974.
A fourth man has also been arrested as part of the wider inquiry.

Jersey, off the northern French coast in the English Channel, is not part of the United Kingdom but a dependency of the British crown which has its own administration and jurisdiction.
Fourteen kilometres long and eight kilometres wide, Jersey was predominantly an agricultural island but is now a major offshore banking centre.

Caretaker sues school for £50,000 after fall because he 'was not trained how to use stepladder'
By Daily Mail Reporter
16th June 2008

......He fractured his skull, broke a cheekbone, split a kidney and spent time in intensive care at Southampton General Hospital, Winchester County Court heard.
He is suing Hampshire County Council for liability, claiming his bosses did not train him properly.

'When you are given something to sign by your superior you just sign it.

'I signed to say I had ladder training but the extent of that was not to stand on the top step and not to go above three metres. ....


South Australia. Wereld jongeren? "nothing prepared me for the foul undercurrent of society revealed".

Sex abuse: State says sorry
17/06/2008 12:25 - (SA)

Sydney - An Australian state government and several churches issued a joint apology on Tuesday to children who were sexually abused while in their care.

South Australia Premier Mike Rann told state parliament in Adelaide the findings of a three-year inquiry into claims of abuse involving hundreds of children from the 1930s to the present were "shocking".
The inquiry heard from 792 children who said they had been sexually abused while in state or church care by 1 733 alleged perpetrators from the 1930s onwards.
Rann read an apology signed by the government and the Anglican, Catholic, Uniting and Lutheran churches, the national AAP news agency reported.

"We, the government of South Australia and the churches, recognise that some children and young people who were placed in our care suffered abuse that has impacted their lives," he said.

"We are sorry and we express deep regret for the pain and the hurt that they experienced through no fault of their own.

"To all those who experienced abuse in state care, we are sorry. To those who witnessed these abuses, we say sorry.

"To those who were not believed, when trying to report these abuses, we say sorry."

When former Supreme Court judge Ted Mullighan handed down his inquiry report in April he said "nothing prepared me for the foul undercurrent of society revealed".
"I was not prepared for the horror of the sexual cruelty and exploitation of little children and vulnerable young people in state care by people in positions of trust," he said.

The former judge found the abuse of those in care occurred in every type of environment including church institutions, government and non-government homes for children and youth shelters and foster homes.

Opnieuw: Boys Town Australie 20 child sex charges

Rebecca Woolley
The Manley Dailey
18 June 2008

A FORMER Collaroy Plateau priest engaged in sex acts with seven teenage pupils while he was a teacher at a school for troubled boys, a court has heard.

Paul Raymond Evans, who was a priest at St Rose of Lima church at Collaroy Plateau, has pleaded not guilty to 20 serious child sex charges allegedly committed while he worked at Boys' Town at Engadine, in Sydney's south, between 1977 and 1988.

Yesterday the Sydney District Court heard Mr Evans gave special treatment to several pupils taking one on a trip to Queensland, allowing others to drink alcohol and drive a school vehicle around a national park who he molested, abused and sexually assaulted.

Crown prosecutor Priscilla Adey said one victim, then aged 15, claimed Mr Evans took off his clothes in front him and said: "It's natural, we both have the same things."

One of the victims claims he was abused once a week by Mr Evans, who was in charge of after school activities.

Father Chris Riley, from the Youth Off The Streets program, yesterday told the court he came to Boys' Town as school principal in 1986 and it was "out of control".

"It was a culture shock for me," he said. "Boundaries were being crossed on so many levels."

He said there were many examples of "inappropriate touching" between teachers and pupils while Mr Evans allowed teenage boys to sit on his knee, pull his beard and give him piggy backs in the school yard.

"Any child that's attached to one person puts up red signals for me," Father Riley said. "I find that bizarre."
He said certain students would be difficult, rude and arrogant with other teachers but displayed "loyalty" to Mr Evans.

Father Riley said he raised concerns with the school director about teachers taking a sole student away for the weekend but nothing changed.

He said he fired Mr Evans from the school in 1988 after a complaint was made by a student.

The case continues.

zondag, juni 15, 2008

De zo geliefde belastingbetaler

Sex abuse ruling 'could open floodgates on school claims'
By Tim Healy
Saturday June 14 2008

THE Supreme Court yesterday reserved judgment on a test action to determine if the State is liable for sexual assaults by a national school principal on an eight-year-old girl.

The State could face "extraordinary" claims if it is found vicariously liable for the 20 sexual assaults by school principal Leo Hickey on Louise O'Keeffe when she was a pupil at Dunderrow National School, Co Cork, in 1973, James O'Driscoll, for the Minister for Education and State, argued yesterday.

These could include claims by people that they had not received a proper education because a teacher wasn't good or was incapable due to certain factors, counsel said.

This would be an impossible situation for the State and Ms O'Keeffe was seeking to have the court push "far too wide" the definition of vicarious liability, he said.......

The three-day hearing of the case concluded yesterday before the five-judge court and the Chief Justice, Mr Justice John Murray, said the court would reserve its decision....
rest artikel

State is liable for sex abuse in schools, court told
By Tim Healy
Friday June 13 2008

It is "grossly utilitarian'' to argue that the State should have no liability for the sexual abuse of children in national schools because this would lead to many other claims relating to events in such places, the Supreme Court was told yesterday.
The claim came on day two of a case taken by a woman sexually assaulted by a national school principal as a child.
Louise O'Keeffe has asked the Supreme Court to rule that the Minister for Education and the State are liable for the assaults.
The action is regarded as a test case with over 200 similar cases awaiting its outcome.
A complaint was made in 1971 by another parent about Hickey to the acting school manager and local curate, Fr O Ceallaigh. However, Hickey remained in his post, the court heard. Ms O'Keeffe alleges the State is also vicariously liable for the failure of Fr O Ceallaigh to report the complaint to the Department of Education.
After parents withdrew female children from the school in protest later in 1973, Mr Hickey ultimately resigned in January 1974. He was employed the following month at a boys' school in Ballincollig, Cork and continued to teach until his recognition as a teacher was withdrawn after criminal proceedings in the late 1990s. Hickey was jailed for three years in 1998 after pleading guilty to 21 sample charges of indecent assaults on 21 girls.
Ms O'Keeffe's High Court proceedings against Hickey and the State were heard by judge Eamon de Valera in 2004 with judgment delivered in 2006.

The case is expected to conclude today with judgment reserved.
rest van artikel

Kiss up, kick down.
By Gene Kerrigan
Sunday October 29 2006

WHEN it comes to bullying, this Government picks its targets carefully. Louise O'Keeffe is just the latest in a line of vulnerable people to feel the Government's steel toecaps kicking their shins. Equipped with legal hammers provided by its learned friends (and this Government has a lot of learned friends), the habitual response to a challenge by vulnerable people is to lay about them, beating the defenceless into submission.

At which point, given that the Taoiseach relies on his famous charm, the Government finds it useful to adopt a magnanimous pose.

Confronted by the powerful, on the other hand, the Government simpers and frets - and invites them along to the Fianna Fail tent at the Galway races.
So it is in the O'Keeffe case. When this woman dared raise her head and demand justice from the State, the Government instinctively moved to crush her.

Louise O'Keeffe is 42. In 1973, when she was eight years of age and attending Dunderrow national school in Kinsale, she was sexually assaulted by Leo Hickey, the school principal, suffering catastrophic injuries. Hickey was found guilty, in June 1998, of 21 sample counts of abuse, out of 380, involving 21 girls.

In September of that year, Louise O'Keeffe began legal proceedings against Hickey, the Minister for Education, Ireland and the Attorney General. Hickey didn't defend the case. That left the Minister and the State.

Just eight months later, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern apologised to the children who had, over decades, been sexually abused in institutions run by the Catholic Church. He accepted that the State had some liability in the matter, since the State sent the kids to suffer the tender mercies of the church. The State began negotiations with the church, to divide up financial responsibility.
Over the next few years, as Louise O'Keeffe's case slowly made its way through the system, the State made a secret deal with the Catholic Church, over financial liability for child abuse by 18 Catholic congregations.

Last week in the Dail, the Taoiseach spoke of Louise O'Keeffe's effort to establish that the State had responsibilities to the children abused, because it employed a child abuser. Mr Ahern said the State had "a strong defence". Depends how you look at it.

The evidence that Louise O'Keeffe was dreadfully sexually assaulted was not opposed. The State put up three purely technical defences. First, that 25 years had passed between the assault in 1973 and the proceedings in 1998. Therefore, the case was barred by the Statute of Limitations.

Second, the passage of time placed an unfair burden on the defence - for instance, the State was deprived of hearing the evidence of the manager of the school, Canon Stritch, who had since died. Therefore the case shouldn't go ahead.

Third, the State didn't employ Leo Hickey, the manager did.

Last January, Mr Justice de Valera shot down the first two technicalities. He upheld the third, based on precedents set in cases heard in 2002 and 2003.

The State immediately applied for its costs, ensuring that Louise O'Keeffe now faces a bill for about half a million euro. O'Keeffe won against Leo Hickey, and was awarded €300,000. It's doubtful if Hickey has any money. O'Keeffe fears she may lose her house.

The judge was entitled to reach such a conclusion and did so fairly and sincerely. One could also fairly and sincerely disagree with that conclusion.
Essentially the judge decided that 1) the State paid Hickey's salary; 2) it was responsible for ensuring he was suitably qualified for the job; but, 3) the State didn't technically employ him. The school manager, the late Canon Stritch, did.

To some of us, the contention that the State does not employ national school teachers flies in the face of reality. The State determines how many teachers are employed in any national school, lays down the conditions of employment, pays their salaries and supervises their performance. But, in the words of the Taoiseach, "they are not State employees".

The State required that O'Keeffe and the other kids attend the school, just as the State required that children be sent to other Catholic institutions for which it accepts liability.

The Government's "strong defence" involved hiding behind legal technicalities. It offered no moral defence of its position - it had none.

The nearest thing to a moral defence came from the Minister for Education, Mary Hanafin: "The State has a responsibility to the taxpayer to fight cases where it knows it has a strong defence", and to demand costs.

Ah, the sainted 'taxpayer'.

This from the Government that without apology squandered millions on the PPARS fiasco, and the electronic voting machines, both of which continue to drain the public purse. This from the Government that wasted tens of millions clearing the way for the Bertie Bowl that was never built.

This from the Government that made a sweetheart deal with the Catholic Church, under which the taxpayer is liable for £1.3 billion, while the Church has to cough up less than a tenth of that.

In that sweetheart deal, the Catholic Church in Ireland is liable for an average of about £9,000 per child abused by 18 Catholic congregations. In comparison, last week the Catholic Church in Los Angeles agreed a settlement with seven victims abused by the Carmelite order that averaged $1.4m each.

The excuse for the sweetheart deal was that the church couldn't afford the compensation. But the Government never audited the wealth of the church, and eventually accepted a settlement involving useless land transfers and other derisory elements.

And the fact that Louise O'Keeffe can't afford half a million didn't stop the State tackling her with its studs showing.

Now comes the spurious magnanimity.
In the Dail, Ahern said the State is approaching O'Keeffe in "a measured and sensitive way", and "there was no question whatsoever of her losing her house".
However, "arrangements would have to be made regarding costs". In short, for eight years, the State has faced down a woman to whom it knew it was morally liable, hiding behind technicalities. In the sainted name of the taxpayer. Even now, it holds over her the threat of 'arrangements' to which she must agree.

This isn't about money - half a million is peanuts in the context of this Government's ability to squander. It's about teaching people like O'Keeffe not to be uppity. Mess with us, we'll put you through the grinder.

This kind of thing isn't unique to Fianna Fail and the PDs. Remember how a Fine Gael government used legal threats to bully a dying woman, Brigid McCole? It's a technique of government. Kiss-up, kick-down.

Proven thieves are welcome, along with the great and the good, in the tents where donations are solicited. The powerful get to rub shoulders, to network and to compound their power, however anti-social or just downright illegal the behaviour of some. At budget time, the powerful have the ear of government.

When the vulnerable dare get uppity, the legal hammers are waved. Hepatitis C victims, haemophiliacs fatally poisoned by the State, elderly nursing home patients who had their pockets picked while the State turned a blind eye to massive tax evasion. Parents of autistic children, desperate to acquire appropriate education for them. Legions of carers, cheap labour, looking after sick and helpless relatives, people whose love and sense of duty is abused so the State can escape its responsibilities.

All vulnerable, all treated with contempt, and ruthlessly pursued should they dare seek legal redress. It's a kiss-up kick-down government, in a kiss-up kick-down world.
- Gene Kerrigan

vrijdag, juni 13, 2008

Ferns priest accused of abusing children defrocked by Vatican

.. John Kinsella, formerly of The Ballagh, Co Wexford, becomes the sixth priest in the Ferns diocese to be dismissed by papal decree.

News of the latest Irish priest to be laicised, following a recent canonical hearing in Rome, comes as the Dublin archdiocese braces itself for a damning report on clerical sex abuse in the country's largest diocese.

The report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation, chaired by Circuit Court Judge Yvonne Murphy, is set to dwarf the Ferns inquiry in the scale of abuse of children and the failure of senior Church officials to prevent it.

The Ferns investigation identified more than 100 allegations of sex abuse made between 1962 and 2002 against 21 priests.

The report will be published months after the former archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Desmond Connell, dropped his controversial High Court action claiming privilege over 5,586 documents submitted to the Dublin inquiry by his successor, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

The Ferns diocese has confirmed to the Irish Independent that six of its priests have now been defrocked, and insisted that all allegations of abuse are handled in line with papal directions received in 2001.

The defrocking of . Kinsella brings to an end a fraught history for the diocese, as he never faced criminal charges arising from allegations of abuse.

Six years ago, . Kinsella stepped down from ministry in The Ballagh, Co Wexford.

He was cleared of any wrongdoing by an inquiry set up by former Bishop of Ferns Brendan Comiskey after the allegations emerged some years earlier.

When the claims resurfaced, caretaker Bishop Eamonn Walsh initiated another inquiry.

After a separate garda inquiry, a file went to the Director of Public Prosecutions, but there was no prosecution.

Last year, . Kinsella was at the centre of a civil case taken by three men who claimed they had been abused by him and that the Ferns diocese was liable. It was struck out mid-hearing at the High Court.

One of the men who took part in the civil action last night welcomed reports of . Kinsella's dismissal.

"The terms of the settlement of the litigation preclude me from discussing the case," said Anthony Doyle.

"But if that is the case [that he has been defrocked], then people can draw their own conclusions.

kennelijk niet alleen een kardinaal

Former priest slams diocese
Wednesday June 11 2008

A PRIEST defrocked by the Pope has accused the Diocese of Ferns of a serious miscarriage of justice'.

Fr. John Kinsella, who served as a curate in Enniscorthy in the ealy 1970s and the Ballagh from 1991, says the first he knew of his defrocking was when he read about it in a newspaper.

Despite overhwhelming evidence against the accusers, the Diocesan Authority callously pursued the path of a kangaroo court to judge me in the harshest way possible,' he claims in a letter sent to this newspaper.

The priest, who was formerly accused of child sex abuse offences against boys from the Enniscorthy area, said allegations were invstigated by the Gardai in 1996, were subsequently investigated by the Garda authorities and dismissed by the DPP.

I devoted the best years of my life to ministry in the Diocese of Ferns. I looked to that institution for due process and the truth. Sadly I got neither,' he says in the letter.

A native of Monamolin, he was ordained in 1974 and remained a priest until earlier this month.
Diocesan spokesman Fr. John Carroll said it was not policy to comment on individual allegations of sex abuse involving priests. Six priests have been dismissed over the past few years.

donderdag, juni 12, 2008

woensdag, juni 11, 2008

PM duwt zijn excuses door de strot

Sorry hoor, hoe krijgt ie het voor mekaar!

PM faces criticism on eve of native schools apology
Updated Tue. Jun. 10 2008 8:42 PM ET News Staff

On the eve of his historic apology to survivors of residential school abuse, the prime minister is fending off criticism for failing to give aboriginal leaders the chance to respond on the House of Commons floor.

Manitoba Liberal MP Tina Keeper, a member of Norway House Cree Nation, led off question period on Tuesday by asking why aboriginal leaders have not been invited to address Parliament following Wednesday's apology.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper responded by accusing Keeper of detracting from the importance of the event with her comments.

"I would urge all parties not to play politics with this (and) simply get behind a sincere apology," he said.

......Prime Minister Stephen Harper is to officially apologize next Wednesday for decades of trauma and cultural losses inflicted by institutions once geared to "kill the Indian in the child.''

But native and opposition critics say haphazard planning and sketchy procedural details expose a Conservative failure to treat a crucial moment in aboriginal relations with the respect required.
Even the time of Harper's statement -- 3 p.m. next Wednesday -- wasn't confirmed until Thursday.

A national spokesman for former students says his group and the Assembly of First Nations have been shut out of final planning as the draft text of the apology is kept under tight wraps.
"I tell you, we're getting a little nervous and concerned when everything is so secretive,'' Ted Quewezance, executive director of the National Residential School Survivors' Society, said Thursday.

"It's a long time coming and I think it's a responsibility of Canada to really understand how important this apology is to survivors across the country. Everybody's emotional about it, they're angry about it, they're frustrated about it. And we don't understand what's going to come out of it at this point in time.''
Quewezance says neither his group nor the assembly has been consulted on the final text of the apology as they'd expected to be.
Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl says the draft will not be shared before it's delivered..........

Residential school students worried about apology
Updated Sun. Jun. 8 2008 7:15 AM ET
Saira Peesker, News

Native groups are apprehensive this week, as they prepare for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's delivery of a long-awaited apology for abuse at residential schools. Some are wondering why the government hasn't discussed details about the apology -- and what may or may not accompany it.

Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl has promised Harper will deliver what "will be a very meaningful and respectful apology" in front of the House of Commons. But no drafts of the apology have been circulated.

According to the executive director of the National Residential School Survivors' Society, victims are looking for signs Harper plans to help improve their situation.
"When you're actually sorry, you have to do something about it," Ted Quewezance told in a telephone interview on Thursday. "Within seconds we'll know how sincere (his apology) is."

In an open letter to the prime minister last week, Quewezance said he hopes Harper knows his words "will have an intense impact on reconciliation."
"Most in the world would call what was done 'cultural genocide'," wrote the 55-year-old residential school survivor, who was taken from his grandparents at age five to live away from home for 11 years.
"Can you imagine someone coming into your yard and taking you away?" he told in an interview. "I was holding onto my grandfather's leg... If they didn't let us go they were told they would be put in jail."

The government will pay expenses for about 100 people who once attended the federally funded, church-run schools to attend the event in Ottawa on Wednesday, but it appears thousands would like be present for the historic moment.

The federal government started funding the schools -- which were an extension of religious missionary work -- in 1874. About 150,000 native children went through their programs, most of which were closed down by the 1970s.

The National Residential School Survivors' Society wants the government to:
Accept "total" responsibility for what was done to school abuse victims
Make a sincere public expression of sorrow
Confess publicly what was done to each survivor
Make restitution by rebuilding individuals, families and
Ask forgiveness

"The impact on survivors and their families has... resulted in the destruction of our families and communities," wrote Quewezance.

"Children were beaten, humiliated, starved, introduced to contagious diseases like tuberculosis, sexually abused (and) some people died under questionable circumstances in an environment whose goal was to 'take the Indian out of the child.'"

The letter also demands that the government put an end to policies that "re-victimize" native peoples.
"It is Canada's responsibility to look after our people but it isn't happening," said Quewezance. "The conditions we are living in... nothing has changed. It's bad. The effect this legacy has had on our children -- you can see it. The suicides, the drugs, where did this come from?"
'A tremendous gesture'
But not all residential school victims are insisting that Harper introduce sweeping policy changes in Wednesday's speech.

As far as Manitoba's Minister of Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport is concerned, the PM's decision to make a formal apology is "a tremendous gesture."
Eric Robinson, a residential school victim and a member of the provincial NDP government, says Harper's willingness to start a dialogue speaks much louder than the previous Liberal government's muted handling of events.

"I have to commend the national government -- I never thought I would ever see the day," Robinson said in an interview last week. "I think (the apology) should have happened many years ago but it's a bold move all the same."

In 1998, then-Indian affairs minister Jane Stewart admitted that physical and sexual abuse in the once-mandatory schools was rampant. At the time, many of the 90,000 survivors said they wanted a more formal admission of guilt for what is seen as the government's attempt to obliterate aboriginal cultures, religions and languages.

"That didn't really touch anybody," said Robinson. "It didn't have the wide-reaching effect the government at the time hoped it would. This time, it's coming from the head of our national government and I think that makes all the difference in the world."
At the end of 2006, 80,000 members of a residential schools class action lawsuit settled with the government for $5 billion.

The settlement included individual payments of more than $10,000 as well as a $125 million aboriginal healing fund, $60 million for a five-year Truth and Reconciliation Commission, $20 million for commemorative projects and a controversial $100 million for legal fees.

On June 2, the government formally launched the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a panel led by Justice Harry LaForme. ......

UN rights declaration not signed

Despite this week's coming apology, aboriginal groups say the government has yet to put its money where its mouth is on a key aboriginal issue -- the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The document emphasizes "the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions, and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations."
It was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007 without signatures from Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand -- all countries with sizable native populations.

According to Ministry of Indian and Northern Affairs spokesperson Patricia Valladao, Canada did not sign onto the document due to issues with the wording.
"The declaration clearly did not balance rights of indigenous people with rights of other Canadians," she told on Thursday. "Canada will continue to take effective action at home and abroad to protect (native peoples). We did not agree with the way... the text was written."
Ever the politician, Robinson said he prefers to look forward instead of dwell on the past.
"I still hold out hope that Canada will embrace it at some point in the not too distant future," he said.

Harper's apology to victims of residential schools is scheduled for Wednesday, June 11 at 3 p.m. ET in the House of Commons.

In advance of Wednesday's event, The Assembly of First Nations has announced that it is providing support this week for residential school survivors who may need to talk:
The 24 hour toll-free crisis line is available to provide immediate emotional assistance and can be reached 24-hours a day, seven days a week: 1-866-925-4419.
Other support services and information for survivors is available on the
AFN website.

dinsdag, juni 10, 2008

Another lesson in apology politics

Are the Tories getting too good at grovelling?
Don Martin, National Post

Published: Monday, June 09, 2008

Tuesday's half-hour statement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to a hushed House of Commons will be the greatest grovel in Canadian history, completing a ten-year process of parliamentary remorse for the residential schools tragedy and starting another five years of reconciliation.

On a Commons floor filled with dignitaries, native leaders and survivors of the notorious school system, a formal apology will drag on for thousands of words, every syllable agonized over to ensure it was sufficiently contrite and conveying suitable gravitas.

The government, Parliament, indeed every Canadian will be apologizing without exception for every student's experience, be it positive, negative or abusive.

But there are still high-level concerns it won't be enough and, while unlikely, could be rejected by native leaders as a political stunt that isn't sufficiently sincere. One senior government official involved in drafting the apology acknowledged in mid-gulp on an Ottawa beer patio: "Of course, we're still not sure they'll accept it."

Beverage splattered. Excuse me?

Native leaders have not been allowed to view an advance draft of the statement and Assembly of First Nations chief Phil Fontaine was not involved, as he requested, in authoring the apology.

Now, I'm not sure how involving the victims in writing their own apology adds to the sincerity of the script, but this remorse-filled statement will dramatically dwarf other acts of regret that have gone before.

Still, Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl allows there is "nervousness" at the potential reaction. "There's a lot of anxiety because people are asking themselves the ‘what if?' questions. What if he backs off or doesn't say the right expressions?"

That seems unfathomable given the unprecedented attention it's been given. The Commons will shut down for the entire day to focus all political attention on speeches by all political parties before native leaders participate in ceremonies in nearby rooms.

Compared to the Chinese head tax or Japanese internment camp apologies, this will elevate grovelling to an art form by a Parliament that has already had plenty of experience pleading for forgiveness on this file.

It's been 10 years since Parliament first heard a government minister apologize for the residential schools debacle. "To those of you who suffered this tragedy at residential schools, we are deeply sorry," said Jane Stewart, Indian Affairs minister in 1998.

The RCMP apologized for its role in the federally funded program in May, 2004.

The United Church of Canada weighed in as well, describing the students as "victims of evil acts that cannot under any circumstances be justified or excused."

The federal government apologized in every manner possible to some B.C. First Nations in 2000.

Finally, last year the House of Commons voted unanimously to apologize for the federal role in establishing and funding the schools.

And yet, Wednesday's televised ceremonies will be doomed to disappoint in some quarters.

Ted Quewezance of the National Residential School Survivors Society, for example, insists the government describe the students as "kidnapped" and "imprisoned" while being "beaten, humiliated, starved, introduced to contagious diseases like tuberculosis and sexually abused." Sorry, that's not expected to happen.

There's also (always) the demand for more money. "The Settlement Agreement does not compensate the pain and suffering, but it is only a small token to acknowledge this travesty," Mr. Quewezance says.

At $2-billion-plus, that's some "token." And that doesn't include the $60-million to launch a five-year search for tragic recollections by the truth and reconciliation commission or the $400-million total for aboriginal healing approved in 1998 and 2005.

There are whispers the Harper Cabinet is sick of saying it's sorry for ancient events and feels if it starts saying it often enough, apologies will be debased to the point there's no compensation liability or political risk attached.

That might explain why the Conservatives unexpectedly supported an official apology for turning away 376 Sikh passengers aboard the steamer Komagata Maru in 1914, pushed through by Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla last month.

One fed-up Liberal MP is quietly musing about proposing a Day of Apology so MPs can rise in the House to seek forgiveness from the victim of their choice.

Polling suggests the public hasn't quite reached the point of being flippant or fed up with the government response to the residential schools tragedy.

But if money doesn't talk and tomorrow's glitzy apology doesn't work, the mood may sour. Sincerity can't be bought, but cynicism can.

National Post

Rodney A. Clifton: For many aboriginal children, residential schools were a positive experience

........Finally, some aboriginal children had been physically and sexually
abused in their home communities, and residential schools actually saved some of
them from continued abuse.Even though this evidence has been available for some
time, it is obvious that Michael Ignatieff did not consider it before saying:
“Another illusion is that the intentions behind the [residential] schools were

....In Stringer Hall, for example, I was responsible for 85 senior boys
between the ages of 12 and 21 for 22 hours a day, six days a week. The work was
difficult, even for a strong 21-year-old. Yet today, the reward for former
residential school employees is denigration in the national press by people such
as Mr. Ignatieff — and, more surprisingly, by the churches they served. I pray
that the Commission will hear a variety of perspectives. Unfortunately, I do not
think this will happen because of the hostile climate that now exists.

Few former school employees — both non-aboriginal and aboriginal — will acknowledge that they worked in residential schools, and even fewer will appear before the Commission. They already know that the “truth” has been pre-determined, and that “reconciliation” means financial compensation, which is already being distributed in any event. Few people will praise the residential schools — their administrators, their teachers or their supervisors. Fewer still will dare publicly admit that their residential-school experiences were

by Rodney A. Clifton

Robinson tour stirs comment

Cath News Australia
Published: June 10, 2008
Retired Sydney Bishop Geoffrey Robinson is continuing his US tour despite accusations that his positions are "not in keeping with the Church" and that he is spreading "misinformation" about the Church's efforts to combat abuse.

The Los Angeles Times reports four of California's leading Catholic bishops, including Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, have taken the extraordinary step of urging the Australian bishop to cancel a month long tour of the United States to promote his controversial new book about clergy sexual abuse.

But Bishop Robinson, 70, said he has no intention of canceling any part of a trip that began May 16 in Philadelphia and brings him to California this week.

"I'm not looking for any confrontation," Robinson said in a telephone interview. "I'm saying, 'Let's start from abuse and follow that where it leads. If we find that obligatory celibacy has contributed to abuse, we must put that on the table.' "

Robinson's sponsors - led by the Catholic reform group Voice of the Faithful - say his tour will press ahead despite what they believe is a campaign to silence him.

"Is this the way American bishops respond to Pope Benedict's call to do everything possible to heal the Church?" asked Dan Bartley, president of Voice of the Faithful, which pushes for doctrinal change in the Church.

"In light of the pope's comments, we believe that blocking an open and honest discussion about what caused the crisis is appalling."

Robinson said he came to the "unshakable conviction" that the Church needed to undergo "profound and enduring change," particularly as it related to issues of power and sex.

He openly questioned its monopoly on definitive truth. And he criticised Benedict and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, saying their unwillingness to reexamine obligatory celibacy for priests has undercut the Church's credibility.

Robinson said he ultimately concluded that he could not continue to serve as a bishop of a Church that left him with such "profound reservations." He resigned and began to write his book, which was published last year.

Spokesmen for the California dioceses said the Church cannot stop Robinson from speaking, particularly at secular sites. In California, he will give talks at two universities, a hotel and a community centre.

The dioceses said they are not trying to silence Robinson, who notified each of his plans, but to guard against what they believe is his misinformation.

"It's not circle the wagons," said Tod M. Tamberg, a spokesman for Cardinal Mahony.

"If Bishop Robinson knew what we were doing to protect kids in this archdiocese, he would probably say that's great. The controversy over his theological positions should not be allowed to obscure the lay oversight and openness that are cornerstones of our child-protection efforts."

But Robinson remains undaunted.

"I was invited to speak. I said I would," he replied. "I intend to keep to that. There are questions on people's minds that will not simply go away."

Meanwhile, the Seattle Times reports Seattle Archbishop Alex Brunett was among several American bishops who sent a letter asking Robinson not to appear. A cardinal at the Vatican requested he cancel his trip.

In Seattle, Robinson's public appearance last week at Roosevelt High School was hosted by Call to Action Western Washington, an organisation of lay Catholics advocating reforms such as ordaining women and married people.

Robinson's book, "Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus," fit into many of the group's goals, said co-chair Betty Hill.

Call to Action had requested an ad in the Catholic Northwest Progress, the archdiocesan newspaper, to publicise Robinson's visit. That request was denied.

"I think it's a shame that [a bishop] of the Catholic Church cannot be welcomed into our diocese simply because the message he has to give is one that they don't want to hear," said retired King County Superior Court Judge Terrence Carroll.

Carroll served as chairman of a Seattle Archdiocese board that reviewed the cases of 13 priests accused of sexual abuse, and has subsequently been critical of the archdiocese for not releasing files related to abuse, among other things.

Carroll, who is not a member of Call to Action, hosted a lunch for Robinson.

"The clergy abuse issue brought front and centre for many Catholics the whole issue of the structure of the Church hierarchy and the various parts of the faith that need to be open for discussion beyond the handling of this specific issue," Carroll said. "All of these things need to be talked about. That's all [Robinson] is asking to do."

Seattle Archdiocese spokesman Greg Magnoni said he was unaware of letters between Call to Action and Brunett about a meeting of the two bishops. He said the archdiocesan newspaper turned down the group's request for an ad because there was no official church agency that sponsored the event.

"I don't think anybody's opposed to open discussion," Magnoni said. But Robinson has "assumed positions that are problematic" because they are not in keeping with the Church.

Leading California Catholics urge Australian bishop to cancel tour promoting book on clergy sexual abuse (Los Angeles Times, 7/6/08)
Australian bishop calls on Catholic Church to take a serious look at sensitive issues (Seattle Times, 7/6/08)

The ANGLICAN diocese of Adelaide paid out over £342,000 last year in sexual abuse claims, delegates to a special meeting of synod heard on May 31. However, it may be further liable for up to £1 million, and it is “uncertain whether any part of these paid claims or the future potential claims paid may be covered by insurance,” diocesan reports note.

The Lion Who Didn't Roar

Why hasn't Nelson Mandela spoken out against Robert Mugabe?
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, June 9, 2008, at 12:27 PM ET

The scale of state-sponsored crime and terror in Zimbabwe has now escalated to the point where we are compelled to watch not just the systematic demolition of democracy and human rights in that country but something not very far removed from slow-motion mass murder a la Burma. The order from the Mugabe regime that
closes down all international aid groups and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations is significant in two ways. It expresses the ambition for total control by the state, and it represents a direct threat—"vote for us or starve"—to the already desperate civilian population. The organization CARE, for example, which reaches half a million impoverished Zimbabweans, has been ordered to suspend operations. And here's a little paragraph, almost buried in a larger report of more comprehensive atrocities but somehow speaking volumes:

The United Nations Children's Fund said Monday that 10,000 children had been
displaced by the violence, scores had been beaten and some schools had been
taken over by pro-government forces and turned into centers of torture.

While this politicization of the food situation in "his" country was being completed, President Robert Mugabe benefited from two things: the indulgence of the government of South Africa and the lenience of the authorities in Rome, who allowed him to attend a U.N. conference on the world food crisis—of all things—despite a five-year-old ban on his travel to any member of the European Union.

This, in turn, seems to me to implicate two of the supposed sources of moral authority on the planet: Nelson Mandela and the Vatican.

By his silence about what is happening in Zimbabwe, Mandela is making himself complicit in the pillage and murder of an entire nation, as well as the strangulation of an important African democracy. ........

As for the revolting spectacle of Mugabe flying in to a Food and Agricultural Organization conference in Rome last week, there were quibbling FAO officials who claimed that the ban on his travel to the European Union did not cover meeting places of U.N. organizations. This would not cover the luxury hotel on the Via Veneto where Mugabe and his wife stayed. And it seems he bears a charmed life in Rome. He was there only recently as a guest at the
funeral of Pope John Paul II and was able to claim that he was on Vatican soil rather than Italian territory. Which in turn raises an interesting question: What is it going to take before the Roman Catholic Church has anything to say about the conduct of this member of its flock? Mugabe has been a devout Catholic ever since his days in a mission school in what was then colonial Rhodesia, and one is forced to wonder what he tells his priest when he is asked if he has anything he'd like to confess.

By way of contrast, look what happened to
Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo. This Catholic churchman in Zimbabwe's second city was a pillar of opposition to the regime and a great defender of its numberless victims.
After a long campaign of defiance, and after surviving many threats to his life, the archbishop was caught on video last year having some fairly vigorous sex with a woman not his wife. Indeed, she was someone else's wife, which made it adultery as well as fornication. You might think the church would have been glad of a bit of heterosexual transgression for a change, but a dim view was taken of the whole thing, in spite of the fact that it bore all the marks of a setup and was immediately given wide publicity by the police agencies of the Mugabe state.
Ncube is no longer the Roman Catholic archbishop of Bulawayo.

Very well, I do understand that he broke his vows and that the rules are the rules. But he didn't starve or torture any children, he didn't send death squads to silence his critics, he didn't force millions of his fellow countrymen into penury and/or exile, and he didn't openly try to steal an election. Mugabe has done and is doing all these things, and I haven't heard a squeak from the papacy.
A man of his age is perhaps unlikely to be caught using a condom, but one still has to hope that Mugabe will be found red-handed in this way because it seems that nothing less is going to bring the condemnation of the church down upon his sinful head.

It is the silence of Mandela, much more than anything else, that bruises the soul.....

rest van artikel

maandag, juni 09, 2008

Avé, Avé Avé Maria theologien: Strontgooiers en Heilige Honden

niet elke duif met een pondje veren kan vliegen!

A. J. Winehouse: nou nou wat ontzettend grappig maar niet heus.

L.Wibberley: Kwek, Kwek, Kwek, sissy

de Mokum tv ridder van het "vrije" woord : Help, een muis die niet alleen brult.
En A. J Winehouse?
Druk bezig met haar volgende excuus als commerciele "soul"sistah, met stinkende liedjes, over mannen, vrouwen, joden, homo's en negers. En chinezen.

"Amy Winehouse heeft zich maandag verontschuldigd voor het racistische
filmpje dat zondag opdook. Dat meldt de Britse krant The Daily Mail. Fotografen
waren naar haar huis gekomen, waar ze in de deurpost verscheen en haar spijt

In het internetfilmpje liet de souldiva zich van haar slechtste kant zien door samen met een vriendin een racistisch liedje te zingen. In hun variant op het kinderliedje 'Hoofd, schouders, knie en teen' halen de dames onder meer negers, homo's en Chinezen door de mangel. "

poepluiers en gehuil

Tja, niet elke vrouw is een Maria.
En commerciele heilige honden zijn gek op zelfhaat van het produkt vrouw én
dát vrije woord natuurlijk.