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Roundup and Monsanto


Dear Editor,


I remember a conversation years ago where it was mentioned that “RoundUp stops working when it hits the soil (therefore, it was presumed to be ‘safe’)”.

Indeed, that was the major selling point and headline when Monsanto launched RoundUp, what they didn’t advertise was the retraction in the scientific journal three weeks later, on the third page, in font size 8.


No-one reads the retractions on page three, everyone reads the headlines and accepts them as ‘truth’, especially if it’s published and peer reviewed. Give me a break.


So, they knew it didn’t ‘inactivate’ when it entered the soil, it changed composition. The second argument for its safety when it came to human health was that it only destroyed what is known as the Shikimate pathway, which is a pathway not used in animals. Case closed right? Safe as houses. Well, no, because as has been repeated ad nauseum throughout history which we continue to ignore; we don’t operate in isolation, humans are not mechanical, we operate in tandem with our wider environment. The Shikimate pathway is used by bacteria and fungi, the beneficial guys which helps us, and our food, to metabolise numerous components and communicate via cellular expression. RoundUp also changes the way bacterial genes turn ‘on and off’, with the implications being that glyphosate may be contributing to antibiotic resistance, it being an antibiotic in itself. The proponents for RoundUp will continue to support its use, but when you have a recent court case, the first in history which allowed scientific evidence, (yeah I know, how ridiculous), where Monsanto is ordered to pay $289M in compensation, then you can guarantee others will follow. It looks very similar to the cigarette companies fighting for decades in defence of their product. Well, when the WHO comes out (2015) and classes glyphosate as a ‘probable carcinogen’, that’s a welcome death knell for a horrific product which is insidiously destroying our environment and soil health.


What you use in your garden, matters. What you spray around your fruit trees, matters. Pick up a copy of ‘The Secret Life of Plants’ to blow your mind. You can’t continuously poison plants and then expect that we all of a sudden can step away from the cycle of life and remove ourselves from the equation and its after effects. But then, I’m an Herbalist, so I’m biased. Unlike Monsanto.


Sincerely against human hubris, Gab Beaumont BHSc MNHAA.

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Boat People


Dear Sir

 

           Australia paid Cambodia 40 Million to take  Turnballs boat people. Where is Norfolk’s payment for taking Eric and his cronies.

 

Ernie Christian Jnr

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In the words of John Adams - August 30th, 1866


Dear Editor


During the Minister's visit next week, we will no doubt be reminded that our period of self-government was regarded as just an "experiment" that conveniently failed. The letter below, written by John Adams in 1866, reveals that  the relocation of the Pitcairn people to Norfolk Island was also regarded as  an experiment which did not live up to the expectations of the colonial authorities of those days. As a result, our forefathers were subjected to bad press, racial slurs, cultural ignorance and slander. All this came on top of a string of broken promises and commitments. And the Norfolk Island people were still expected to show grovelling gratitude. It all sounds so familiar today.


But the people of this island are not laboratory rats. They are a people, a community that has always sought to sustain itself, to look out for one another, and to care for their island home and its resources. We continue to be subjected to unreasonable and inappropriate expectations, and suffer the imposition of systems and values that have no relevance to life on a small remote island, peopled by a race that had espoused values of equality and fairness while Australia was nothing more than a penal colony.


When you read letters like the one that follows, you cannot help feeling that we cannot allow this sort of thing to continue any longer, with history repeating itself always to the detriment of the Norfolk Islanders.


Yours etc

Mary Christian-Bailey


Norfolk Island, August 30th, 1866.
TO THE EDITOR OF "THE EMPIRE."


Sir, —In the Auckland Daily Southern Cross, of the 15th instant, I notice a paragraph, copied from a leading article in the Sydney Morning Herald, respecting the experiment of removing our community from Pitcairn's Island to this place to better our condition.


The paragraph referred to states that:—"After all this, we regret to learn that the experiment has turned out most miserably; that the people have sunk into a state of utter indolence; that, having had so much done for them, they have declined to do anything for themselves; that their land is unfenced; that the divisions of property are disregarded; that they live in dirt; that they have permitted the dwellings which were handed over to them in excellent repair to fall into dilapidation; and that they are fast sinking into sum of the vices which distinguish their maternal ancestors." Will you kindly allow me space in your valuable columns to say a word or two in our defence, and will you, sir, kindly bear with me if, in endeavouring to refute these statements, I should take this very complimentary paragraph to pieces and analyse it, bit by bit, to ascertain how much of truth it contains?


As to the experiment having turned out most miserably, I, not knowing what was expected of us when we came, shall have nothing to say; we may possibly have fallen far short of the anticipations of the writer of that article. As regards the next item, of having fallen into a state of utter indolence, allow me to ask what meaning did the writer of this article intend to convey by "utter indolence?"


I presume most of the readers of the article in question would infer from this statement that we live on from morning till night doing nothing at all. This is such an absurd statement that I am almost at a loss how and where to grapple with it first. Let those who make it, aye, and those of the industrious labouring class in Sydney, or any of the colonies, come here and chalk out for themselves the same routine of work we have to and do perform, from the beginning to the end of the year, and then see if they would not be in- clined to alter their tune. Just take, for instance, this season of the year, with less than forty working hands all told, between the ages of 10 years and 70 years. We man three boats whaling; and since the commencement of this season (20th of July) we have succeeded in taking 20 tuns of oil, working night and day, and very often after standing night watches over a blazing fire and steaming pots for four and five hours night after night, off again at daylight every suitable morning, and very often striking a whale and killing him some distance off shore, would be all night nearly in towing him ashore. I fancy people sunk into a state of utter indolence would be loath to follow up this sort of work, week after week, and day after day, at times, and would not be able even to get their produce to market in a state fit to be seen; but (and I say it with honest pride) ours always went to the Auckland market in as good a condition as any, and better than some.


Another very good standard to measure our indolence by is the fact that we have had men — Englishmen, mind you, among us, men who bore very good charac- ters for industry, men sent to teach us how to work, and what it is to work — leave the island, declaring that the manual labour performed here is enough to kill horses. In addition to this, we export cheese, butter, pork, and other produce, and since the commencement of this whaling season, we have freighted away four of the New Zealand coasting vessels, with cattle, sheep, oil, potatoes, pork, wool, and whalebone. Does that look like the work of a people sunk in a state of utter indolence?


And now for the next — "That having had so much done for them, they have declined to do anything for themselves." To the first part of this clause, I plead guilty ; and I trust that myself and all of my fellow islanders feel deeply grateful for all that has been done for us. As to the latter part, if we have declined to do anything for ourselves, who does do anything for us? We manage to live very comfortably without asking for a penny subscription from any one; but one thing is certain, we have been done for to the tune of £200 or £300 sterling, by parties in New Zealand and Aus- tralia, who, it seems, have found it harder to got on without us, than we have found it to get on without them.


As to the next clause "That their land is unfenced," is simply such an absurd statement that were it not to show how widely the writer of that article has wan- dered from the truth I would not have noticed it. Let me ask any one, possessing common sense, how, in a small island like this, well stocked with sheep and cattle, horses and pigs, we could raise maize, potatoes, yams, and other garden produce, without having our lands secured; we have quite enough for home consumption, and for customers to take almost at their own price, and that, I am of opinion, would not have been if the cattle, &c, is allowed to run riot over the island.


As to the divisions of property being disregarded, this is such a monstrous piece of untruth that were it not for the sake of proving the whole thing to be false I should pass it over. To what property had the writer reference. Cattle, horses, pigs, and poultry are all marked and allowed to roam together; and I am free to assert that individual property is as much respected here as in any part of the civilised world. We did not come here to amass — for the strong to oppress the weak — for one neighbour to be grinding another, and saying your flocks shall not come here, and you shall not go there. No ; we came to live peaceably together, and upon our arrival we adopted the plan which we supposed would lead to that end, and, as far as existing circumstances goes, we find it answers best of any. In all probability, as years roll on, and our numbers increase, a different mode of living will be found to answer better; but at present I think those who seem to be most ready to find fault with us, must allow us to be the best judges of ascertaining how and in what way we can live together peaceably. And as to the charge of our living in dirt, our houses and bedding will bear com- parison with those of our own class in either Sydney or Auckland. True there is not an over abundance of furniture, but what there is is clean, and in proof of this assertion I appeal to any impartial visitor who has been among us.


When the writer of the article in question states that we have permitted tho dwellings which were handed over to us in excellent repair to fall into dilapi- dation, was he aware in what state they were handed over to us? Was he aware that when we came the houses all required shingling: that we have roofed all the houses in use from shingles which we cut our- selves. None of us ever saw a shingle before we came here; no one showed us how to make shingles; and yet we have succeeded in doing every house in use on the island, from shingles cut from the largest and best trees to be found on the island. Does that look like being sunk in utter indolence. Tho fact is the houses we occupy are like so many millstones above our necks. Built and kept in repair in former times by convict labour, the occupants in those days did not, I presume, find it very difficult or expensive to keep them in good condition; but to do so now would take up all our time and attention, and more funds than we can afford. Our houses altogether, took on an average £100 of our hard-earned wages yearly to keep even in decent repair.


Government, I allow, has done much for us; but if the experiment of removing us here has turned out to be a miserable failure, I charge it to them : it is they who defeated the ends for which we came. Had we been left to ourselves, as we were led to suppose would be the case, when we left Pitcairn's Island, affairs here would have been in a far different state from what they are now, and none of the discontentment which now prevails, and for which we have cause, would have existed. In order to make this plain, it would be as well to take a retrospective view of the past, and follow it up from the commencement.


When I say we have cause for being discontented, I had reference to the manner in which we were induced to leave Pitcairn's Island. There we were contented and happy, for we were "monarchs of all we sur- veyed." We were "lords of the fowl and the brute;" every inch of land was our own, and no interloper would dare to set his foot on shore against our wills. It is not so here, now. They come, and when we re- monstrate with them for doing so, we are quietly told. "most of the island is Crown property, and I have as much right to it as you." What have we to say, and who have we to appeal to? You must bear in mind that this is our second removal from Pitcairn's Island.


The first being to Tahiti in 1831. When the question of removing us to this place was first mooted, we were quite undecided whether to come or not; the disappointments and misfortunes experienced at Tahiti being still fresh in the minds of the older members of our community, they were afraid lest the same fate would befall them here, and it was not until Sir William Denison wrote to our chief magistrate officially, stating that the whole island, with the exception of seven hundred acres, to be reserved as glebe lands, and all left upon it would belong to us, did we decide upon coming. When we came here there were two sappers and miners here, ready to portion out the land among us, but we having a different plan in view, stated it to Captains Fremantle and Denham, of H.M. ships Juno and Herald, and our ideas meeting with their approval, the sappers were sent off and we were left for a short time in full possession of the island. Had we suffered them to proceed with the division of the island and taken our allotments of 300 acres to each family, as we were told we might do if we chose, would there be any land now on Norfolk Island known as Crown land? It may be as well to mention here that about this time Bishop Selwyn applied to the Imperial Government for leave to establish a Melanesian college here, but the plan not meeting with the approval of our friends in England, and consequently of the majority here, fell through. It was then we first began to have confidence in the promises made to us; but, alas, how soon afterwards were we doomed to dis- appointment, our hopes and plans for the future blighted — and our worst fears realised — gradually were their promises retracted. First the sheep, cattle, and horses, which were not divided, and which were left as common stock for the rising generation were taken and given in charge to a Government agent, as Crown pro- perty; then the houses, not occupied, and everything else were given into his hands, and our chief magis- trate politely told he had nothing to say in the matter; and, as if to convince, us of the fact, 1000 acres of the best part of the island was sold to the Bishop of Melanesia without our being once con- sulted in the matter. Bishop Patteson, in 1864, spoke to us about establishing a branch school of the Melanesian College in Auckland, to which, proposal we agreed, thinking it would aid the Bishop in his good work; but if the branch school requires 1000 acres, how thankful ought we to be that the plan of locating the whole establishment here was frustrated.


And now for the last clause of the paragraph— "They are sinking fast into some of those vices which distinguish their maternal ancestors." What are the vices that distinguish the race of our paternal ances- tors? Let Christian and civilised Sydney answer me. Let the author of that statement come here and see for himself, and I will be bound to say that, when visitors from Auckland, Sydney, or any of the colonies happen to be here, aye, and visitors, too, who in this enlightened age would call themselves gentlemen; he would see and hear more of the vices which distinguish our paternal ancestors in one week, than he would those that distinguish our maternal ancestors in a twelve month. Let me assure the writer of that article, that when I compare the two races from which I sprung, and view them, both from a moral and physical point of view — the one hospitable, gentle, and unassuming, the other haughty, grasping, and domi- neering — I blush not to own it, I am infinitely more proud of my maternal than I am of my paternal race. I was born and bred on Pitcairn's Island, and had never left it until I did so to come here, and did I know then, as well as I do now, how little confidence is to be placed in the promises of the race of my paternal ancestors, nothing whatever would have induced me to leave it.


When I noticed those remarks in the Southern Cross, stigmatising our community so undeservedly, I confess I could not content myself silent, incompetent as I felt myself to write on the subject. My maternal grand- mother was a Tahitian, and what I know of her claims my highest respect and esteem; and, all untutored as she was, she could put to shame many a Christian bishop, even of the present day. I can assert of her what could be said of few others—"When her enemy smote her on the right cheek, she turned to him the other also."


If we are fast sinking into some of the vices which distinguish our maternal ancestors, may God preserve us from falling into some of those which distinguish the race of our paternal ones, is the sincere prayer of yours, &c.,


JOHN ADAMS.Norfolk Island, August 30th, 1866.



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Update from Snobbles


“To All Myse Norfolk Family”

Wael I car side fe start? Moosa kill me but we se ya! Doctors had a look on myse latest x-ray photo and yorlye nor gwen belewe et but he had the cheek fe tull wuthing any yorlye would tull, “Ooney es horse se daed”. But he nort know the half. Ef wasn’t fe the likes of all yorlye orn Norfolk, I gut no bout a doubt et, I se plunt et by now.

We like a thank all dem bin pray fe ucklun. We do belewe een God and he surely bin part of myse life da much time I car starn fe larn, es jus I nor high up ar ladder as plenty, but thank you gain fe yorlyes thoughts and prayers. And as for the many yorlye that ‘se time had some manners’, ketching Beck and me at uckluns weakest by shuwen a money  lorngfa card een uckluns harn…..we se jes lors fe words. En fact, dar thing f Shankie, “that’s unbeleweable”. 

Thank you jes nor cut et, fact I still ya poodlen…I did tulla Beck, fuddet, we’ll beat de thing and keep gwen roun da werld! I nor mean et, but truly many, many thanks. We nor moosa deserwe dea. God bless en luw all yorlye from uckluns heart. 

Snobbles en Beck

In Tijuana

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1800Respect


Sexual assault, domestic and family violence can happen to anyone — that is, any person from any country, religion, sexuality, gender, social background or culture can experience sexual, domestic or family violence.

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1800RESPECT understands that everyone's experience of sexual, domestic or family violence is different. So too is the kind of help and support each person needs. You can contact 1800RESPECT by phone or via online chat if you:

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If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au for more information. In an emergency, call 000.

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