Police Sex Scandal • NZ Muslims • LAV3 • Untreated Bone Tumour
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Volume 7, Issue 76, May 2007
FEATURES ANOTHER POLICE MYSTERY
There are fresh claims of sexual impropriety within the police. This time a woman’s come forward claiming she attended a party at a solicitor’s office where a young Courts Department worker wa raped by a police officer. IAN WISHART tracks the story with a series of interviews
THE LAV 3 UPDATE
Investigate’s expose of radical Islam in New Zealand has triggered a backlash. IAN WISHART comments while JONATHAN LAST and JOSHUA BRILLIANT have disturbing new developments internationally
Six years ago Investigate broke the story of New Zealand’s bizarre decision to purchase 105 Light Armoured Vehicles for nearly $700 million. GORDON ARTHUR goes on patrol in an NZLAV and PHIL WEST assesses the ongoing problems with them overseas
WORLDBRIEF: BIG LUST
A chance bruise during a child’s football game discloses a tumourous lump, and begins a mother’s fight with the New Zealand health system on behalf of her son. MELODY TOWNS reports
It had to happen. In a society increasingly obssessed with sexual ‘rights’, polygamists are pushing for law changes in the US. KIRSTEN SCHARNBERG & MANYA BRACHEAR report
EDITORIAL AND OPINION Volume 7, issue 76, ISSN 1175-1290
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INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007,
EDITORIAL Dawn of the undead
here are dumb ideas, and then there are dangerous ideas. We currently have a government that specialises in both. We’ve already seen it with the Left’s pathological fundamentalist crusade against smacking – a prime example of Freudian transference issues if ever there was one. Now we're seeing it with Labour's plans to force taxpayers to cough up at least a dollar per citizen each year to fund the incumbent political parties. Here’s a few words to think about, Helen: “Over my dead body”. I suspect I speak for more than a few New Zealanders when I say that compulsory contributions to political parties is nothing more than the modern equivalent of highway robbery – corruption in the extreme. In an attempt to help “We don’t have to agree, they’ll galvanise and focus pubdo it anyway after striking any lic opposition to the idea, we’ve set up a new website, number of backroom deals with www.NotAnotherCent.org the minor parties” which you can leave a message for the government on. Hopefully, more than a few of you will take up the chance to let the politicians know how you feel about this. It is wrong at so many different levels. For one, Labour’s proposal blatantly attacks the National Party’s private donors and third party advertising support, whilst explicitly exempting trade unions from the same restrictions. If there is a case to be made for more transparent political funding, then simply do that: force all political parties to name donors who give more than $5,000 either directly or as an aggregated amount. But don’t remove the right of parties to seek private funding. After all, it’s one way of keeping a party honest. Under MMP, we’re already having trouble turfing out politicians and parties we don’t like – they keep coming back because the system is designed to deliver us political zombies. One look at Labour’s cadaverous front bench – latter day Munsters the lot of them – is enough to show that. So why, when the public’s fragile grip on democracy is already slipping away, would we be stupid enough to agree to giving these political vampires a permanent blood supply by putting taxpayer funds “on tap” for them? Ah, but...you’re right! We don’t have to agree, they’ll do it anyway after striking any number of backroom deals with the minor parties.
, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
There are other reasons that this plan is a bad one, however. Some argue that state funding of political parties is common overseas. It might be, but that just means they’re further into the abyss than we are. One of the problems, of course, is that state funding of major parties entrenches Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber as parliamentary heavyweights sitting on a guaranteed marketing budget each year, while smaller parties are left with only crumbs or nothing. Worse still, if a fresh political party with genuinely great ideas and people emerges, it has practically no chance of winning because it won't be allowed to raise its own money for election campaigning, and won’t be eligible for state funding either. At the stage where the political parties that have the power to levy taxes are then given power to siphon off that tax money to fund their own party organisations and provide jobs for the girls, that’s the stage where a political monster is unleashed. Political parties should never be allowed near state funding. Giving them taxpayer money for TV advertising was already a huge mistake. Force politicians to grovel to the public every three years. It’s good for them. The alternative is that we end up with the ultimate state beneficiary class – cradle to the grave politicians answerable to no-one and capable of buying votes every election with handouts for the greedy and slick marketing for the stupid and gullible. As anyone who’s read my new book Eve’s Bite will know, there’s been a deliberate dumbing down of our education system so it turns out just the kind of people who’d be vulnerable to Labour’s propaganda. At the very least, fundamental changes to the electoral system should be put to a referendum. So I repeat: visit www.NotAnotherCent.org and make your feelings heard loud and clear. Evil triumphs when good people curl up and suck their thumbs.
NZ’s most politically incorrect book - now on sale!
Journalist Ian Wishart rounds up a herd of sacred cows – demolishing Richard Dawkins, sideswiping the anti-smacking lobbyists, skewering the social engineers and exposing the elites who want your taxes and your children while they laugh all the way to the bank like perverse Pied Pipers...
Eve’s Bite: read it before they pass a law against it Available today from Whitcoulls, Paperplus, Take Note, Dymocks and leading independent booksellers, or online at www.evesbite.com INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007,
COMMUNIQUES OPEN LETTER ON POLICE
Dear Minister [Hon. Annette King] As far back as early 2000, I informed [a top-ranking police Superintendent] that there were many problems within the New Zealand Police that needed to be dealt with immediately and verbally provided him with a list of what these problems were. I also suggested a number of ways to combat these problems, but all to no avail. I also believe that [the Superintendent], occupying a position of great stress, may have been at that, or sometime later, on anti-depressants, which may have unfortunately affected his ability to carry out his duties in a sound and reasonable manner. I informed [the Superintendent] at the time that there were many officers engaging in behaviour that was both inappropriate and unacceptable for an organisation that was there to uphold the law and set a high standard of morality. I listed specific examples of these incidents such as; • Accepting sexual favours from prostitutes in favour of special treatment,� • Participation in drug parties with other serving police officers; i.e. drug taking and dealing,� • Accepting bribes and payments from nightclubs and bars for favourable treatment,� • Providing information to targeted organisations, individuals and groups, relating to any investigations/ operations underway including specifics of such, • Involvement in activities not conducive to good Police practice. � With the New Zealand Police currently under the public spotlight with the “culture” of such being called into question, I expect much more incidents to be highlighted and brought to the public attention over the coming months. I therefore suggest that you adopt a much stronger position on these matters that you have of late and conduct a full and thorough investigation into all aspects of Police practice. Furthermore, I make the suggestion that you undertake drug testing (a blood test being the most effective) of all serving Police Officers in a manner that is swift, unannounced and completed within a time frame of no longer than one week. It would be my guess that you will be both surprised and shocked at just how many Police Officers you have in your ranks, which will fail that test. Furthermore, you may find that you will not have enough serving Police
10, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
Officers left to investigate any serious crime in New Zealand, due to the workload of those investigating the ones you have to dismiss for having illegal substances in their systems. As you should be well aware, there are a great many experienced Police Officers that have left the New Zealand Police through disillusionment, while others have been victimised because they did not accept or condone such inappropriate behaviour and chose to speak out against it. I would also suggest a campaign to try and attract those former officers back into the fold to help clean up the image, reputation and standard of the New Zealand Police that is at one of its lowest points in living memory. I thank you for your time and look forward to swift action on the matters I have raised herein. Kelvyn Alp, Direct Democracy Party – DDP
THE STENCH OF HYPOCRISY
CYFSWATCH were a little bemused at being tagged a “hate site” by implication on page 94 of the April 2007 edition of Investigate. The “controversy” that arose from the first and second CYFSWATCH sites being shut down (a third is now secure with a dedicated domain and ISP at www.cyfswatch.org), was related to the appalling spin that Green MP “smackless” Sue Bradford placed on an anonymous post to the site. The now infamous “death threat” post was found not to be a death threat at all, and found not to be illegal by Police. What we at CYFSWATCH found most interesting is that Bradford had approached the highest echelons of NZ Police and Security protection, which is why the American blog hosts (Google & Wordpress) folded so quickly – the New Zealand Government was apparently whispering the words “possible New Zealand terrorist act” into the ears of the US based hosts – the hosts response was therefore understandable, if not deviously misinformed by Sue Bradford, a supposed proponent of “free speech”, and now a confirmed Labour Party sycophant and coward. CYFSWATCH have noted that a number of blogsites have since been posting very explicit emails from anonymous sources regarding the Anti-Smacking Bill – case in point:
While we at CYFSWATCH got shut down because a commenter made an apparent threat of violence against Green MP Sue Bradford, how is this little gem from a Sue Bradford supporter? A poster by the name of “Millsy” http://norightturn.blogspot. com/2007/03/section-59-debate.html a seemingly staunch supporter of Sue Bradford, comments that the National Party wants to preserve the right to beat people, and posts comments that range from threats of physical violence, racism, and religious hatred: Millsy says: “The fact of the matter is: If parents really loved their kids they would stop hitting them. The National party are a bunch of violent f***heads who don’t care about a kids right to be free of violence. I think they get off on beating their kids, nothing like bashing a child with an iron bar for spilling the milk to make you feel better. Taito Philip Field is a typical child beating coconut ape who, with his race, needs to go back up the trees where they belong, and, we need to push violence out of this country right now! “Hitting children is wrong, and the sooner these coconuts, white trash bogans, scruffy Old-Testamenters and white-middleclass-closet-Nazis realise this, the better. “It’s time we moved into the 21st Century folks. A new order, where violence is frowned upon. Posted by millsy : 3/14/2007 10:30:00” But Millsy isn’t finished, even after a telling-off from Idiot Savant: “That f***ing Garth George is a f***ing ***ker, wanting to protect parents who bash their children. I hope one day that someone bashes him like he bashes his kids. Teach that intolerant bigot a good f***ing lesson. People like him need a good thrashing. And that bitch who used the horse whip on her son, thinks she can use violence to coerce her children with the threat of the stick. It probably turns her on, giving her kids a beating. “New Zealand disgusts me. We seem to be addicted to violence in the home, beating children on a whim. “Posted by millsy : 3/15/2007 08:54:00 AM “ So, it would seem that there is one rule regarding “hate speech and tolerance” for CYFSWATCH, and one rule for “hate speech and tolerance” regarding anyone who supports Sue Bradford. Double standard anyone? On another matter entirely, there will most likely come a time when the authors of CYFSWATCH will decide to make themselves known to the public at large. When we do so, it will be to Investigate magazine that we will “out” ourselves to, thereby providing an “exclusive” to the magazine. CYFSWATCH
AN UNANSWERED QUESTION
In the debate on smacking there seems to be one question that the media should have asked but somehow has missed: How many children has Sue Bradford got, who raised them, and how have they turned out? Brian Taylor, Auckland
SMACKING BAN STRIKES DEEP
Our government is elected democratically, but does it function democratically? They are now going to rapidly push through this highly contentious bill regarding parents’ rights to discipline their children quickly and effectively. (You can’t reason with a
two year old). They obviously realise the incredible and increasing groundswell of opposition from the people. This bill would strike at the very heart of every decent, law abiding family in our nation. Some less-than-decent people who already flout the law by abusing their children will continue to abuse them. Nothing will change, except that there will be fewer decent law abiding citizens in the future as they will have grown up totally undisciplined and with no concept of respect for others, conscious only of their own rights, not of their responsibilities. How does a dictatorship ever get started? By denying the people any rights to live according to their conscience. Why have the whole Labour and Green parties been instructed to obey their leaders instead of being allowed a conscience vote, as representatives of the people who elected them, in such a vital and far reaching decision as this bill of Sue Bradford’s? Pauline Welch, North Shore
I am writing to say “Banning Smacking Doesn’t Stop Bashing”. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Sue Bradford’s bill against smacking your own child becomes law. Where did it all start? When the Labour party came up with the idea that schools could not “use force, by way of correction or punishment, towards any student or child enrolled at or attending the school, institution, or centre” with their Education Act 1989. This literally meant that the days of the strap and cane came to an end. Ever since then we have been on a gradual decline of discipline, standards across the board have lowered and now the NZQA have publicly stated that they will accept TXT language in examinations so long as the answer “clearly shows the required understanding”. CN U BLV IT! HW CRZY IS DAT! Now here we are today in 2007 and our fundamental right to discipline our own children looks set to be taken away from us. While good law-abiding parents may become criminals suddenly overnight, the real criminals will still continue to bash their kids within an inch of their life, regardless of whether the Anti-Smacking bill is passed or not. There is a big difference between a smack on the hand, and giving your child the ‘bash’. Sweden was the first country to ban smacking. The bill was passed in Sweden in 1979. This led to a 489% increase in physical child abuse cases classified as criminal assaults from 1981-1994. The rate of assault by minor on minor had a six-fold increase since they introduced their anti-smacking laws. Hundreds of parents have been prosecuted for smacking their children. Lots of children removed from their parents. In Sweden, 35,950 children are in state care. That is one in every fifty children. Compare that to New Zealand where only 5071 children are in state care – that is one in every two hundred children. Attitudes have not changed in Sweden. In a survey in 1994, only 56% of Swedes were against “all forms of physical punishment”. Last year Sue Bradford said on TVNZ’s Close Up that “The rate of child homicide in Sweden is something like one every four years”. Wrong. The Swedish public health minister, Morgan Johansson, said
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 11
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in 2006 “Every year, eight to ten, sometimes as many as twelve children die in Sweden due to violence. This has been true for several years.” Banning smacking does not lower child abuse death rates. In the UNICEF report (2003) four of the five countries with the lowest child abuse death rates all allowed smacking. Yes, New Zealand’s record for killing children is shocking, but changing the law won’t stop the Once Were Warriors types bashing and killing their kids. Lets face it, in reality it is the Jake ‘The Muss’ Hekes who are killing our children, not the good parents who occasionally smack their child. Rather than introducing this Anti-Smacking law, perhaps the government could deal with the real issues behind the murdering of our children, namely: poverty, young parenthood, drug and alcohol abuse. Fix all of those and voila… magic. Read the opinion piece: Banning Smacking Doesn’t Stop Bashing by Steve Elers as published in The Tribune, Palmerston North, March 18, 2007. Kerry Sharp, Palmerston North
THE HIDDEN AGENDA
The “anti-smacking bill” is simply the Left’s latest ploy in its incremental legislative demolition of this country’s traditional Judeo/Christian values – those very values which from the beginning have underpinned everything that was, and remains, good about NZ. The agenda of course, in keeping with all Leftist ideology since the time of Marx and the original Bolsheviks, is to finally deliver all social power and control, even control of our children and our private lives, into the hands of an all-powerful state and its army of “approved” bureaucrats. The tragic fall of western civilisation into something which is already approaching barbarism, is not, as many seem to believe, an inevitable consequence of modern society’s “changing values”. It is the result of long and careful planning by immensely influential international socialist organisations whose atheistic/pseudo liberal view of world and Man has long since been totally discredited. In short, the cause of the dire predicament in which Western civilisation now finds itself cannot be properly understood except against the background of two closely related and socially lethal ideologies, i.e. atheistic Marxism in its constantly metamorphosing socialistic derivatives, and one particularly evil derivative, ubiquitous in our times, known by the deceptive euphemism of “feminism”. Being quite incapable of understanding the all-important distinction between their emotional need to “do good” and their abstract political/social theories, (which have exactly the opposite effect), the politically correct Left vehemently deny all this and blame the social devastation wrought by their type of thinking since the 1960’s on the comparatively sensible folk, who for the unforgivable crime of opposing Leftist doctrines are labeled “Right Wing”. Colin Rawle, Dunedin
Having just received your newest book (Saturday) I have managed to devour most of it so far. What an amazing over-view of what is going on with our nations/societies right now. It is very relevant for current issues before us – especially the
fight against Sue Bradford’s bill to repeal S59. It is very timely and will empower many with the information we are in need of right now. Sue Reid, Masterton
THE RISE OF ISLAM
The negative stereotyping of New Zealand Muslims was the real content of your 17-page article entitled, “Helen Hoodwinked by Preachers of Hate” written by you in the March 2007 edition of your Investigate magazine. In this article you used the word “extremist” 34 times, “terror”/ ”terrorist”/”terrorism” 52 times, “suicide attacks/bombings” 13 times, “hate” 7 times, “al Qa’ida” 25 times, “Osama bin Laden” 10 times and “Wahhabism” (supposedly an “extreme” form of Islam) 20 times. Alongside these negative labels I feel that you cunningly inserted the names of New Zealand Muslim groups and individuals, like the Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ (33 times), FIANZ president Javed Khan (21 times) and Al Manar (17 times) to create that ‘manufactured link’ in the minds of the readers. I am fully aware that you are trying to shape the reader’s attitude, beliefs, and personality without their knowledge or consent. Your technique of exerting increasing control through a variety of techniques which includes repetition, herding and the negative transference, as an express or implied association with “bad” people, is used to discredit the Muslims of New Zealand. I cannot help but recall Edward Bernay’s words when he helped President Woodrow Wilson organize publicity on behalf of U.S. objectives during World War I, “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it.” He called this scientific technique of opinion moulding the “engineering of consent”. I find that your article lacks factual evidence of the reality on the ground. You have failed to quote the actual ‘hate’ words used by the visiting speakers here and you have no knowledge of the actual programs at the various boys’ camps for the youth. Your article is filled with absurd generalisation where you attempt to link peaceful New Zealand Muslims to violent extremists. In your assertions you also cannot produce any evidence that someone in the New Zealand Muslim community has been charged with any act of “terrorism”, let alone convicted. There is clear evidence that you are ‘manufacturing consent’ with an express purpose of dividing us and also regimenting the masses to become Islamophobic towards their fellow New Zealand counterparts. I feel that your message of suspicion, fear and hate against Muslims is unfair and not representative of basic Kiwi decency. R. Najm, Auckland SAME LETTER ALSO RECIEVED FROM: Salim Siddiqui, Zeyad Swaid, Wasem Alzaher, Ismail Waja, Ali Akil EDITOR RESPONDS:
I also used the word “peace” 14 times. So what? Your form letter appears to have been inspired by Socialist Worker (see Islam article later in this issue), and local Muslims have indeed come to Investigate with details of alleged terrorist plotters in this country, which we are
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 13
actively looking into. The fact that all of you mock the idea that Wahhabism is “extreme” should be a warning to all of our readers that whilst you may claim to be “moderate”, you apparently don’t think like “moderates”. I draw readers’ attention to this comment from a “moderate” Islamic group in the US: “The Prophet established a city state and expanded it through da’wah, defensive wars and preemptive strikes against his enemies. The equivalent of that city state in America would be Islamic organizations and Muslim neighborhoods. We should promote Muslim neighborhoods in all major cities of the U.S. to serve as nuclei and expand them through conversion and migration to the Muslim enclaves. The development of enclaves would give us control over the schools, local politics and help in establishing necessary institutional infrastructure. In time, we will be able to do what we cannot even say at this time.” – excerpt from a “moderate” US Muslim group, The Institute of Islamic Information and Education. The fact that you men are running interference for the Preachers of Hate is evidence that Islam in NZ has reached a crossroads, and needs to decide whether it is part of NZ society, or outside of it.
At the end of your reply to Moslem convert Fiona Lovatt-Davis, you express a hope that our local Islamic schools do not teach the same kind of extremism as some do in Britain. Unfortunately, it may be
taking root here already. I recently came across a copy of “Education Weekly”, Nov 21 2005. The back pages have ads for various teaching positions in private and state schools. Two Islamic schools in Mangere were also advertising. One wanted “a part-time teacher to teach Islamic Studies. A degree in Islamic Shariah or similar qualification is required.” Because Shariah Law is associated with anti-Western extremists (like the Taliban) trying to install oppressive theocratic dictatorships across the Islamic world, we have to ask – what kind of “Islamic Studies” are they teaching in these NZ colleges and why do they need a Shariah qualification? In our democracy, openness and transparency are essential and it’s time these colleges put their teaching practices on view like any other NZ school. Are they teaching their pupils that Islam must eventually replace our Christian based democracy? Some of the visiting Islamic Wahhabist “educators” certainly are and see Shariah Law, with them administering it, as the ultimate form of “submission to the will of Allah”, by whatever means necessary. England and France are paying the price for allowing this kind of Islamic education, so we have every right to ask questions. Even Moslem students coming here, are causing problems. I know of one Auckland college that had a group of stroppy young Moslem women students, supposedly here to learn English. They disrupted class by praying when they felt like it, demanded a separate room to isolate themselves from male students for hours at a time and aggressively tried to convert others to Islam. Other foreign students got fed up with them and went on strike. If we pulled these stunts and forced our beliefs on them in their own country, we would be deported within hours – if we were in a moderate Moslem country like Turkey or Morocco. In Saudi Arabia or Iran, we would be lucky to get out alive. The new Moslem arrivals are pushing old kiwi Moslems around, trying to take over mosques and it looks like some schools as well. This is unfortunate because moderate Moslems can get along with other cultures and religions in many countries. It’s when the extreme Islamists arrive, there is always big trouble. When their numbers increase, they act in an increasingly assertive manner, persecution, terror tactics, forced conversion and marriages are commonplace overseas. The term Islamofascist is entirely appropriate, with their attitude of “Don’t question or challenge us, just submit.” It sounds all too familiar. Like the communists and the fascists, they’re just another bunch of control freak megalomaniacs on a power trip. Our usual Kiwi complacency is no longer an option, there is too much at stake. We must not make the mistake of dropping our guard and letting this poisonous form of Islam to grow here. There’s no mistaking their objectives – radicalize local Moslems and convert the infidels (us). It’s up to our politicians and security agencies to do their job and keep them out. And it’s up to the media and concerned citizens to make sure they do, without turning New Zealand into a police state. R Julian, Papakura
Letters to the editor can be posted to: PO Box 302188, North Harbour, North Shore 0751, or emailed to: email@example.com
14, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
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SISTER R ESORTS • TH E AITUTAKI LAGOON R ESORT & SPA • TH E RAROTONGAN BEAC H R ESORT & SPA INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 15
MIRANDA DEVINE The legend Of Davy Hicks
y pleading guilty to terrorism, Australian David Hicks has plastered egg all over the faces of his supporters – the naive hysterics who believe he is a tortured innocent as well as those glory-seeking civil rights lawyers who have attached themselves to his case. The egg was coming, anyway, as the prosecution finally had an opportunity to lay out its allegations before the United States military commission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But even as they wiped the yolk from their surprised brows, apologists for the 31-year-old Muslim convert, aka Mohammed Dawood, had found another way to spin this piece of bad news to their advantage. “There’s no way that this “But with Hicks pleading guilty to can be seen as a genuine plea,” the Greens the charge of providing material guilty senator Bob Brown told support to a terrorist organisation, reporters, ignoring the we can only hope for some respite fact that an innocent man would do anything to have from the mythology that has his day in court. “[It is] simply a plea for grown around him” release for exit from the inhumane Guantanamo Bay gulag.” Singing from the same songsheet were newspaper letter pages bulging with outrage: “By accepting a plea deal to escape the Guantanamo Bay hellhole, a bit player who hurt nobody becomes a self-confessed war criminal,” wrote Lesley Pople of Cremorne. Thus you see the spin: Hicks only pleaded guilty to get out of the gulag, not because he is guilty. And even if he is a teensy bit guilty he’s not a big scary terrorist, like Osama bin Laden. He’s just a bit player. A small fish. Which is what most terrorists are. You don’t find big fish like bin Laden or Khalid Sheik Mohammed strapping on backpacks full of hydrogen peroxide. But with Hicks pleading guilty to the charge of providing material support to a terrorist organisation, we can only hope for some respite from the mythology that has grown around him. No more “Free David Hicks” posters in cafes across the “intellectual” suburbs. Getup! might stop running ads portraying the self-confessed terrorist with the receding hairline as a cherubic nine-year-old. It might even
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think about returning the $500,000 it received last year in public donations, much of which it spent on salaries and expenses, as Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents reportedly revealed last month. Maybe now Hicks’s supporters might stop referring to him as “gaunt” since courtroom artists in the prison camp have revealed how porky he has grown on meals consumed on the US taxpayer. Maybe now his lawyers might even drop the pretence that Hicks’s hair is long because he needs to wrap it around his eyes to block out an “inhumane” light in his cell 24 hours a day, even though US authorities keep saying the “security light” is so dimmed at night you can’t read a book by it. Maybe now, we can put the American system for dealing with terrorist detainees in perspective, instead of falling for the line that it is the moral equivalent of al-Qaeda. One such line came from Steven Miles, an America bioethicist who appeared on ABC’s Lateline this week complaining about conditions at Guantanamo Bay. One of the techniques was to put “nude pin-ups on the chests of prisoners, having them take them off and then match them up with pin-ups on the floor”. Another interrogation tactic was to make the detainees watch movies such as Die Terrorists, Die. Responding on the program to the allegation that interrogation is designed to manipulate detainees’ emotions and weakness, the US chief prosecutor, Moe Davis, said: “I would certainly hope so. I mean, that’s the purpose of an interrogation is to obtain intelligence information to prevent the next 9/11 or the next Bali bombing.” Maybe now that he has confessed to being a terrorist people might start remembering the real David Hicks. Here are the inconvenient facts: On October 5, 2001, the Australian Government announced it was committing troops to the war against terrorism. By this stage, according to the charge sheet prepared by US prosecutors, Hicks had been at Kandahar airport for about two weeks with other al-Qaeda fighters. He had been issued with an AK-47 rifle and then “on his own armed himself with six ammunition magazines, 300 rounds of ammunition, and three grenades to use in fighting against the US Northern Alliance or other coalition forces”. It was a full two months before Hicks would be captured in Afghanistan.
On October 22, 2001, the first deployment of our Special Forces Task Group left Australia for Afghanistan. This was about the time Hicks “decided to look for another opportunity to fight in Kabul”, where he had heard fighting would be heavy. On or about November 9, 2001, Hicks met a terrorist friend “who requested Hicks go to the front lines in Konduz [in the north] with him”. Hicks joined a group of fighters including the “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, who were “engaged in combat against coalition forces”. After the front line collapsed, Hicks spent the rest of November in Arab safe houses in Konduz, still with his AK-47. By late November, there were reports that an advance party of Special Air Service soldiers was in Afghanistan. On December 3, 2001, Australian SAS troops were confirmed to be in Kandahar. That
was about the time Hicks was arrested, in a taxi heading from Konduz to the Pakistan border. It’s worth remembering that on February 17, 2002, an Australian SAS soldier, Sergeant Andrew Russell, was killed in Afghanistan after an anti-tank mine exploded. While his death occurred two months after Hicks’s capture, it nevertheless highlights Australia’s very real exposure on the front line. Hicks was not a misguided child who only went back to Afghanistan to retrieve his clothes, as some of his supporters maintain. He was a well-trained terrorist, an al-Qaeda “golden boy” who had watched footage of the September 11, 2001, attacks which killed 3000 innocent people, including Australians, on a friend’s TV in Pakistan, who “approved of the attacks” and went back to Afghanistan to fight the US and its allies with his terrorist mates. He was the enemy traitor when Australian troops were on the ground.
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LAURA WILSON Band aid solutions...
ur two biggest institutions in New Zealand are in the headlines again, accused in various ways of failing us. Health and education are fields that involve us all, and policies around them are those that win or lose elections. In spite of vast budgets and endless overhauls we never seem to get it right. Perhaps this is because the fundamental philosophies of both are not based on reality, but instead on unworkable concepts that lead human beings down a complicated path away from what works. Our concept of healthcare is about diagnosis of a problem, and remedying or suppressing it via drugs or surgery. The concept of tracing diagnoses back to causative factors has all but been abandoned. “In the bad old days, teachers Factors such as diet are topwere entitled, and even expected, ics barely covered in medical school, as the effects of to beat their students into action. food types on an individNowadays, we intellectually terrify ual are considered arbitrary insignificant. them with concepts of a world andChronic asthma has that only opens doors to those blighted my health for who succeed academically” most of my life. While I am grateful to the medical system for the emergency services that have bought me back from the brink many times, I am scathing of the fact that not a single GP or specialist out of the dozens I’ve visited has ever suggested there might be a pathway out of the illness, and that a thorough examination of the way I live, eat and breathe would be a good place to begin searching for that path. Doctors are there to prescribe drugs, end of story. Not to find out why a body such as mine has airways that over-secrete mucus and frequently go into spasm. It is as if they wear an enormous set of blinkers focusing their supposedly intelligent minds on a mountain of pharmaceuticals. Most pharmaceuticals are symptom suppressants. As an illness is our personal Red Card that something regarding our body needs to be changed, suppressing this signal can lead to an illness seeking a new pathway or possibly reappearing years later in a devastating new form. Patients then go from GP to hospital waiting room, requiring drastic action to solve a problem that may have
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been avoided if, years earlier, aspects of lifestyle or bodily function had been corrected. If an entire population fails in this manner to connect illness with individual-specific lifestyle and physiologic attributes, we can expect the continued increase in people seeking bottom-of-the-cliff solutions from our hospitals. New Zealand can’t afford this. Yet as an individual well prepared, and in fact desperately seeking, to take responsibility for my own health management, my search for causes and solutions is actively discouraged by the GP’s I’ve encountered. Their prevailing attitude is that falling prey to illness and disease is due to random factors or unalterable genetic predispositions. We cannot prevent things we have no control over. Fortunately not everyone believes this account of disease. One such individual came to my rescue in my thirties, by teaching me how to breathe. It turned out I was a perpetual hyper-ventilator, inhaling at four times the rate of a normal breather. I will never forget the immense relief I felt as my body was trained how to breathe differently, breaking the pattern that began in infancy. But hyperventilation itself was not the basal cause of asthma but a symptom of stress accumulation that established a pattern of chronic anxiety since childhood. This kind of diagnostic technique takes a little longer to arrive at than the standard eight minute visit to the doctor. It takes careful scrutiny of each patient as an individual, whose causes may be entirely different from another with the same symptoms. Instead, statistics are used to support standardized treatments such as 72% of all asthmatics benefit from a certain steroid. While this may be true, it leads people away from the reality that their health situation is particular and specific, and not best defined by global averages. Most importantly, we have to start believing again in cures, rather than the current model of disease management using drugs with their inevitable side-effects and long-term complications. Education in my view suffers from a similar malady. The teacher is the real key to educational success, as teenagers’ abilities to learn are heavily coloured by how they feel about the person standing at the front of the class. But because we live in an era of devotion to scientific technique, including having all teachers following set curricula using set methods of delivery and assessment in an attempt to achieve controlled outcomes, we make
redundant the key skills a teacher needs to employ. These skills are acute observation of each individual student and a flexible, creative approach to educational content and techniques that will reach and inspire them. Successful teachers need to have huge latitude enabling them to dig deep into their inner resources, conjuring lessons that will reach students disaffected through boredom, dyslexia, personal problems or mere shyness. Because we live in a time of intense distrust, many teachers employing such a degree of creativity have been weeded out. In their place stand ever-revamped systems that we look to, to deliver splendid learning outcomes. Teachers are the mere cogs in the machine, trying desperately to fill out vast multitudes of pupil-assessment, self-assessment, and outcome-assessment forms, not to mention the plethora of pre-planning forms. All time that could be spent sitting down with the kids and really learning who they are. Old School progenitors such as Auckland Grammar’s Headmaster John Morris cling to the need for robust examinations which spell out in black and white every student’s exact level of achievement and failure. NCEA on the other hand attempts to provide more individualspecific learning outcomes, one reason being so less people come away from twelve-plus years of school branded a failure. The current outburst of calls for a return to former clear-cut, ‘rigorous’ exambased assessment, or adopting overseas models like the Baccalaureate and Cambridge exams is a response to students’ canny navigating of the NCEA system to find the route of least resistance. If NCEA was such a good idea, why do so many say it’s not working? Should we return to our former, simpler system? The medical analogy can be applied to both techniques, which focus on systems rather than content. A shuffling of standards and how we are assessing will never solve the problem of low student achievement because it’s related to what we teach primarily, and who we are as individual teachers. In the bad old days, teachers were entitled, and even expected, to beat their students into action. Nowadays, we intellectually terrify them with concepts of a world that only opens doors to those who succeed academically. The unspoken premise behind this urge to control youth is that the teenage years are typically brattish, and unless forced to some degree teens will veer off the path of learning into lost worlds of sexuality, sensation and selfishness. This premise is wrong. At no time in our lives do human beings love learning as much as in the years under twenty. But something else is also a feature of our youth; we respond to our environment in a very physical and instinctual, rather than intellectual, way. Whereas adults have the ability to conceptualize life, often putting up with unpalatable things when their wider concept makes sense, teenagers respond immediately to each individual event. Adults have devised an education that they believe arms children for the future. The main problem is it describes reality in a form palatable to adult minds. It’s a form that can be bereft of meaning for young minds which require specific learning experiences and outlets for self expression. We tend to serve up versions of rationalized fact and analytical thought as if they are definitive explanations of life. This sounds like a tomb door slamming shut to a teenager, who needs to be on a voyage of brave new discovery into a world teeming with mystery and majesty.
Unless teens find a source of passion within education, or strike it lucky with an enigmatic teacher who breathes life, possibility and freedom into our over-planned and unspontaneous curriculum, they will switch off. But their need for exploration imbued with intense sympathies and antipathies cannot be switched off any more than they can choose not to breathe. The need gets rerouted into experiences that will appease the hunger for emotive adventure, unfortunately too often provided by drugs, alcohol and other dangerous pastimes. All over the world teachers nobly wrestle with teenage indifference in often vain attempts to get them to appreciate all the effort directed at their education. But teenagers are unable to acknowledge efforts toward their future as unlike adults they live entirely in the moment. They are involved in the intimate, hourly process of constructing their identity. Only once this is complete can they project their thinking into concepts of their future in the manner we so frequently do as adults. If education doesn’t satisfy their natural appetites, they cannot appreciate it. The most they can do is over-rule their instincts by choosing to be obedient. The obvious cost of this is they can miss the opportunity provided only by the teen years; to develop a completely unique, individual self. Too much of their energy goes into becoming like us. NCEA is probably a brilliant system, as I’m sure DHB’s are. But their problem’s lie not with their structure, organization or delivery so much as their content, and the messages they send us about life.
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MARK STEYN One less chirp
he other day Pakistan’s General Musharraf took time off from his hectic schedule of trying to survive assassination attempts to pay tribute to someone who, alas, had been less successful at dodging the attentions of his killers: during the cricket World Cup, Bob Woolmer, the coach of the Pakistani national cricket team, was murdered in the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica in what Mark Shields (not the American TV pundit but the veteran Scotland Yard man leading the police investigation) called “extraordinary and evil circumstances.” “This nation will always remember him for the joys he brought into the lives of millions of Pakistanis,” said General Musharraf, award“If you had to draw one of those ing Bob Woolmer posthuorganizational charts of the mously the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, or Star of Excellence. world’s problems, Pakistan would “The cricketing world and be at the center of them. We Pakistan, in particular, will find it extremely difficult to speak of the north-western tribal fill the void Bob’s death has lands as some of the most remote left behind.” Unless they’re one of places on earth” America’s many cricket fans – pause for sound of crickets chirping – most of my compatriots probably didn’t even notice this news. When Anna Nicole meets an untimely end in the Caribbean, there’s 24/7 coverage. But in Pakistan, the West Indies, Britain and many other places Bob Woolmer’s death is Anna Nicole multiplied a gazillionfold. I was talking to a prominent London journalist in Chicago at the time when his cell phone rang and he was told to hop on a plane to Kingston and get cracking on the murder. “Whodunnit?” I asked. “Russian Mafia,” he said, already halfway down the corridor. “Russian Mafia?” I echoed in disbelief. “That’s not cricket.” But apparently it is. Whether or not any actual Russians are involved, rumors of a “match-fixing mafia” are running rampant around Jamaica. Just before the coach’s murder, the Pakistani cricket team had lost to Ireland, which is a bit like the New York Yankees losing to my gran’ma. Anyway, I thought of this strange death as I followed
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the rest of the week’s news from Pakistan. General Musharraf has had a good inning but stands at an ever lonelier wicket: he suspended the Chief Justice the other day; the biggest parliamentary faction, the Muslim League, has turned against him; so have the country’s three warring intelligence agencies; and in the badlands up by the Afghan border more and more villages are being annexed by the Taliban, which the General doesn’t mind terribly much but his friends in the White House do. In The Washington Post, Ahmed Rashid called for the General’s retirement and “free and fair elections,” which sounds very nice but would deliver Islam’s only fully functioning nuclear state into the same kind of weak and corrupt administration as Musharraf’s predecessor and be shortly followed by the inevitable coup, or worse. If you had to draw one of those organizational charts of the world’s problems, Pakistan would be at the center of them. We speak of the north-western tribal lands as some of the most remote places on earth. But, in fact, when they wanted to, the Saudis had no problem getting to them, spreading a ton of walking-around money, and utterly transforming those villages: in Waziristan, you’ll find goatherds with GPS systems and a quarter-million dollars in US currency, which is a lot for a goatherd. From the North-West Frontier Province, the Saudi money and Wahhabist ideology seeped through the country, into the mosques of the cities, radicalizing a generation of young Muslim men. From there it moved on to new outposts of the jihad, to Indonesia, Thailand and beyond. The flight routes from Pakistan to the United Kingdom are now the most important ideological conduit for radical Islam. The July 7th London bombers were British subjects of Pakistani origin. Last week, two more were arrested in connection with the Tube bombings at Manchester Airport as they prepared to board a plane to Karachi. Meanwhile, flying back from Karachi and Islamabad to Heathrow and Manchester are cousins, lots and lots of them. Roger Ballard, in a very detailed study of Punjabi marriage, writes that “brothers and sisters now expect to be given right of first refusal in offers of marriage for each others’ children.” In his research of the Mirpur district in Pakistan, he estimates that at least half and maybe up to two-thirds of those living in Britain of Mirpuri descent marry first cousins. This is a critical tool of reverse-assimilation: instead of being diluted over the generations, tribal
identity is reinforced; in effect, Pakistani tribal lands are now being established in parts of northern England – and, like General Musharraf, the authorities have mostly concluded that these communities are so impenetrable and insular that it’s best to keep at a safe distance. Which brings us back to the cricket World Cup, and a freakish murder after a bizarre Ireland victory and stories about a “matchfixing mafia.” The civilized world sometimes forgets how thin the veneer of that civilization is: Many venerable, respectable institutions can be hollowed out from within by predators and opportunists. Outwardly, nothing much has changed. But underneath all kinds of other forces are at play, and, by the time you notice, it requires enormous will to reverse it. Pakistan was never the most placid and stable polity but it’s now riddled from top to toe, its worst pathologies amplified by Arab cash and ideology and the nuclear equivalent of a desktop-publishing boom: mysterious Sino-Pakistani technological transfers have recently been noticed through Kashmir. Pakistan exports the fruit of its radical madrassahs in ideology and personnel to Britain and beyond. The mother country, like an elderly spinster, doesn’t like to think ill of those nice young men in Manchester and Leeds and Oldham. We’re all inclined to be deferential to multiculturalism these days: When imams get turfed off a flight in Minneapolis, it’s easiest to tut-tut and demand sensitivity training for the cabin crew, so that next time round, no matter what they do, we’ll know to look the other way.
“In Waziristan, you’ll find goatherds with GPS systems and a quarter-million dollars in US currency, which is a lot for a goatherd. From the North-West Frontier Province, the Saudi money and Wahhabist ideology seeped through the country, into the mosques of the cities, radicalizing a generation of young Muslim men” The Quebec government, which mandates verifiable picture ID in order to vote, has just waived the requirement for Muslims: show up at the polls in a burqa or niqab and no-one will be so insensitive as to insist on checking whether your face matches that on the driver’s license. And so it goes – creeping sharia, day by day, further insulating communities already prone to selfsegregation, but nothing too big or startling to ruffle the scene. In Britain, the authorities can tell you (roughly) the number of jihadist cells and the support they command in the Muslim community. But doing anything about it is far more problematic. Wouldn’t be cricket, old boy. © Mark Steyn, 2007
Not just water resistant but waterproof
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RICHARD PROSSER Independence Day
nother Waitangi Day has come and gone, and with it, once again, has come protest, controversy, and debate as to its relevance, and indeed, its appropriateness as New Zealand’s National Day. Now that the hooplah has died down for another year, perhaps it is time to reflect on that appropriateness. Some people claim that the Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document, that it serves as our de facto Constitution, or, in the modern interpretation, that it constitutes a partnership between Maori and the Crown. Others contend that the Treaty is divisive, imprecisely translated, too narrow in its purpose and intent, and too simplistic to serve as the constitutional basis for a modern nation. Debate continues “October 6th could serve New over discrepancies between Zealand as Discovery Day, as it not only the English and Maori versions of the text, was on this date in 1769 that but between the various Nicholas Young first sighted the translations from one form the other, and indeed back coastline near the southern end of to again. In addition, there Poverty Bay, from the masthead continue to be doubts as to of the Endeavour” whether the English version of the Treaty as it was signed on the day was, in fact, true to the final draft as intended by Governor Hobson and translated by the Reverend Henry Williams and his son Edward; it may have been altered, unbeknown to Hobson, by last-minute editing on the part of James Busby. The unaltered version, now known as the Littlewood Treaty, which was lost for many years and is still discredited by some Treaty historians, may in fact be the true and correct English text of Te Tiriti. Whatever history may finally record with regard to these questions, it is certain that, in recent years, Waitangi has come to symbolise protest, conflict, and separation, more so than harmony, unity, or any sense of partnership. The Treaty itself is perhaps somewhat contentious as the choice of a starting point for the birth of New Zealand. It was not accepted by a significant number of Maori tribes, never ratified by the British Government, and had no legal recognition in New Zealand until 1975, the year after February 6th was first made a national public holiday. October 6th could serve New Zealand as Discovery Day, as it was on this date in 1769 that Nicholas Young
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first sighted the coastline near the southern end of Poverty Bay, from the masthead of the Endeavour. Still further back in time, and perhaps of even greater significance, on December 13th 1642, Abel Tasman first laid eyes on “a great land, uplifted high” from the deck of the Heemskerck, and New Zealand’s modern history began. There are other days on the calendar which mark milestones in this country’s history, of perhaps greater significance, and in the south, certainly of greater relevance than the Treaty of Waitangi, which, contrary to popular presumption, never applied to the South Island, and nor did Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson, or his superior, Governor George Gipps of New South Wales, intend that it should. In explaining the ramifications of the Treaty to the assembled Chiefs at Waitangi on February 5th 1840, the day before the signing, Hobson stated that acceptance of its terms “must be deemed a full and clear recognition of the sovereign-rights of Her Majesty over the northern parts of this land ….” This explains why he signed the treaty as “Consul and Lieutenant Governor” since the cession concerned the northern territory only. (http://www.teara.govt.nz/1966/W/WaitangiTreatyOf/ Preliminaries/en). The northern part of New Zealand was already an independent country, recognised by the British, by virtue of the Declaration of Independence of the Confederation of United Tribes, signed on October 28th, 1835, and which the Treaty over-rode. This northern part comprised Northland, the greater Auckland area, and the Hauraki district, and the declaration was recognised by the British Resident, James Busby, who both encouraged its creation, and helped to draft it. While it can be argued that Busby, as a Consul with no real power, was acting outside his authority in recognising the Declaration of Independence, some thirteen Northern Chiefs had petitioned King William IV for protection – from the French, the Americans, the growing lawlessness of existing British settlers, and indeed each other – as far back as 1831, and the Declaration was formally acknowledged by the Crown in 1836. The Treaty of Waitangi did not establish grounds for British authority over New Zealand, as this had already been proclaimed in January 1840 – on the 19th, by Gipps in Sydney, and on the 30th, by Hobson himself
at Kororareka. Rather, it allowed for peaceful government, the orderly transfer of lands, and the protection of everyone’s rights and assets. The January proclamations were a deliberate measure to impose British authority on the settlers of the New Zealand Company at Port Nicholson, now Wellington, who were attempting to set up an independent administration, and a pseudoBritish colony outside the rule of the British Crown. Although there was little enthusiasm within the British Government generally, and the Colonial Office in particular, for the acquisition of yet another colonial territory, New Zealand was regarded as being at least a British possession, and a protectorate of sorts. After the signing at Waitangi, copies of the Treaty were sent throughout the North Island, finding some Chiefs who would sign it and some who would not; but the reality was that British rule would be implemented, by force if necessary, irrespective of regional or tribal acceptance of the Treaty. This had been the intention of the British since December 1837, when they had decided, albeit reluctantly, to intervene in New Zealand to ensure that colonisation was regulated. Te Arawa and Ngati Tuwharetoa refused to sign the Treaty. To this day, Tuhoe do not recognise its validity. By no means all the Chiefs of the Waikato were convinced by arguments in favour of a Treaty with the British, and the Kingitanga movement, founded in 1858, which included the powerful and populous Tainui Confederation, was seen by many as being in direct opposition to the authority of a British Crown which they simply did not accept. Indeed when conscription to military service was imposed on Waikato/Tainui in 1917, the Maori King, Te Rata, refused to enforce it. In April 1840, Major Thomas Bunbury brought the Treaty to the South Island, where he experienced difficulty in finding many Maori at all, let alone significant numbers who even wanted to claim Chieftainship, or whose claim to such could be verified, and who could thus be offered the opportunity to sign. On 21st May 1840, even before Bunbury had returned to the Bay of Islands, Hobson declared British sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand; of the North by virtue of both proclamation and the Treaty, and of the South by virtue of discovery. The Maori population of the South Island was so small and so sparse that the island was declared Terra Nullis, a land without people, and Hobson annexed both it, and Stewart Island, on the basis of Cook’s 1769 declaration of possession. Bunbury, unaware of Hobson’s actions, issued his own declarations, for Stewart Island and the South Island, on June 5th and 17th respectively. However, neither this annexation, nor the Treaty or proclamations, were the basis for the establishment of a new and separate colony named New Zealand; rather, they constituted the addition of the New Zealand territories to the colony of New South Wales, through which Britain would govern these islands for another year. Other powers continued to harbour designs on New Zealand. On August 10th 1840, the Royal Navy warship HMS Britomart, despatched by Hobson, reached Akaroa only five days ahead of the French frigate L’Aube – which would have arrived first, had it not spent four of those days anchored off the point waiting for the arrival of the converted whaler Compte de Paris and her complement of 57 eager French colonists – thus averting the estab-
“The history of this country is long and colourful, and contains many dates of great importance in the shaping of a modern democracy”
lishment of a French colony on Bank’s Peninsular, and ensuring that the whole of New Zealand remained British and therefore English-speaking. On the 1st of July 1841 New Zealand was made an independent colony separate from New South Wales, and we gained self-governance with the British Government’s passing of the Constitution Act 1852, on June 30th of that year. Flag Day could be said to be either March 24th or June 12th, the respective days in 1902 when King Edward approved the current New Zealand Ensign, and when the design was gazetted. New Zealand’s status was elevated from colony, to that of dominion with full self-Government on Dominion Day, September 26th 1907, following the Royal proclamation of September 9th. Forty years later, this country became a fully independent nation, when we finally ratified the 1931 Statute of Westminster, taking legal responsibility for our own defence and foreign policy. It is perhaps this date, November 25th 1947, which may serve New Zealand best, as a National Day, a day of unity, and of pride in our Independence. Anzac Day, April 25th, has been suggested as an alternative New Zealand Day more than once, and it is certainly revered by all; but it is a precious day with meaning and memories which need to stand on their own, and besides, we share it with Australia. The final link between New Zealand and our history of British governance ended with the New Zealand Parliament’s passing of the Constitution Act 1986 – on December 13th, the same day, fittingly, that Tasman first sighted these islands – when the British Parliament ceased to have the power to pass legislation for New Zealand on our behalf and at our request. The history of this country is long and colourful, and contains many dates of great importance in the shaping of a modern democracy, from what was once little more than a lawless and vice-ridden whaling outpost. Perhaps it is time for us to choose one of them, and create a New Zealand Day which is inclusive and relevant as we go forward into the 21st century, and which leaves behind the bitterness and division of the past. Since 1840 great changes have swept this country. Maori and Pakeha have become inextricably linked and intertwined through marriage and the development of a unique culture. New migrants have arrived and assimilated, many of them having few links to the Imperial Britain of the past; and technology and the passing of time have melded us into a modern society, ever further removed from our various pioneering origins. For this writer’s money, the Day for our Nation should be November 25th, our existing yet sadly unsung Independence Day. It is a day which represents what we have all become – not something which many of us never were, and to which none of us can ever go back.
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CHRIS CARTER The hidden agendas
guess that one of the things that alarms me the most about our current Clark led Government is the increasing manner in which it is destroying the democratic process. Case in point, as merely the latest example of fascism in full flight would have to be the almost universally reviled “Anti Smacking Legislation”, supposedly set up as a Private Member’s Bill that was put forward by the very convenient Sue Bradford, convenient in the sense that, by advancing this bill, she is simply doing Helen’s will, allowing the great woman herself to put another nail in the coffin of freedom of choice without being seen to be personally responsible for having done so. The actual issues raised by this bill, although certainly having really wound up the “What is important is that it public at large, are in fact near as important appears that at last the vast nowhere as the undeniable fact that majority of very good Kiwi parents around 85% plus of the have suddenly woken up to what public do not want a bar of it. Which brings me to Helen and her crew of rabid the democratic process and Socialists have truly been up to for the apparent desire of this Government to increasall these years; indeed, it’s now ingly rule by decree, and become crystal clear” furthermore in a manner that is becoming very reminiscent of methods employed in the thirties by two other well known Socialist parties. The very father of socialism, Karl Marx, declared as a party dictum, the employment of “useful fools” to do the Party’s dirtier work, together with the use of emotive language to blind the masses as to the true purpose at hand. Plainly these words of wisdom still form a part of the armoury of the Clark Government. Sue Bradford, list MP, and therefore a person with no constituency or indeed anyone at all by whom she may be held to account, was able to fill the role of political stalking horse quite admirably. Well-skilled in the use of powerful rhetoric gained during her previously self-appointed career as a professional far left street rabble-rouser, Helen Clark found an ideal champion in Sue Bradford to advance a cause that, whilst it had the Prime Minister’s finger-prints all over it, was nevertheless sufficiently dangerous to her own political image,
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that a “useful fool” would disguise admirably the identity of the true author. Of course, even the extremely astute Prime Minister did not entirely figure the public outrage as this bill quickly was recognised by the voting population of this country as yet another piece of anti-family legislation, that was now in the offing, and rather like the fabled camel of old, a straw had indeed been finally produced, that not only was about to break the poor beast’s back, but the camel made it very clear that on this occasion it could see it being actually loaded. Matter of fact I heard another old saying broadcast on Newstalk ZB as this whole affair was getting a right old workout amongst plainly enraged members of the public who at last have become aware of the ultra dangerous machinations of these modern-day Marxists: “In a land of sheep, the wolves will always gain ascendancy”. Up until this latest in a string of blatantly obvious attacks on the family had come to the public notice, quite sadly, in New Zealand, this had become, altogether too true. Now it appears that increasingly the veil is being publicly lifted on the true face of Labour, which, not unlike the Mask of Janus, is all smiles on the one side, whilst on the other side, when occasionally revealed, it is ugly in every sense of the word. Consider just some of the many outrages that the Clark Government has perpetrated on the previously trusting and generally compliant NZ electorate. A raft of deviously crafted rules and regulations sold to New Zealanders on the basis of being “Anti Discriminatory,” but that in fact have quite clearly meant legislation more designed to persuade people to no longer be able to discriminate between simple right and wrong, or for that matter even good or evil. Women for instance have been socially re-engineered, even coerced, to now believe, that along with having children, it is a time to dump the kids into the nearest day care or kindergarten as soon as possible, and to re-commence a career. Why? Because these children, if brought up at home by mums and dads in a more traditional way, might well miss the opportunity to be properly indoctrinated and socially re-engineered in the now tightly controlled “right think” environment so central to Marxist thought and practice. Add to the aforementioned need of the far left to get right into our children’s minds at the youngest possible
age and the need to increasingly remove from parents as much possible control as to their offspringâ€™s behaviour and beliefs, then it becomes quite plain to all but the terminally stupid that what we have seen in recent times from the Clark-ites, is nothing at all to do with the rights and needs of women, but rather a doctrinal urge to gain maximum opportunity to brainwash our children. Ask yourselves, how did the National Socialists in Germany brainwash that countryâ€™s children into total compliance as to the type of society that they finally ended up with? Take away a semi lunatics desire to invade and capture the world and simply replace it with an obsession to hold and maintain political power at all costs, then the need for the State to devalue the family unit by taking over the upbringing and education of the young has alarming parallels. The other way of course to total complacency to the family is to, in effect make the family beholden to the state, which also this government has done by so- called Family Assistance Packages, where now, for many families, simply to economically survive it has become necessary to become in essence, a beneficiary. This done because Helen loves you? Yeah Right! How about just another bit of economic chipping away, where mum and dadâ€™s ability to raise a family can only now happen with State intervention, or rather, that nice Aunty Helenâ€™s help. Even seemingly unrelated events like sex education in schools was clearly designed to undermine parental authority, in that mum and dadâ€™s discretion in telling the kids about the birds and the bees was simply removed by decree and the State took over in State schools all such matters, involving say, the finer points of putting a condom on a banana, to our children no less, who in most cases probably still believed in Santa! Funny, incidentally, how these same tossers are absolutely against teaching a child anything at all about loading or using a firearm on the grounds of safety, yet in the very same age group, that they feel the need to show them how to put a condom on. Then again, our children have also been well and truly brainwashed by these same social pariahs that they donâ€™t have to wait for adulthood to make â€œchoicesâ€?, they have â€œrightsâ€?, so just go ahead and do what ever seems right for you...One Government stalwart in just this same area even suggested a while back, dropping the age of consent to 14 to perhaps even further erode the little parental authority that they perhaps had overlooked. Letâ€™s not forget either that this Government has made it possible for youngsters to give Mum and Dad two rude fingers also pretty well any time they please, in that they can secretly go on the pill, and or have abortions, and if Mum and Dad object, leave home and social welfare will give them a flat and the money to live on. So as I said at the outset, the Anti Smacking bill is just the latest of a whole string of outrages, so the bill itself is not in effect the real issue. What is important is that it appears that at last the vast majority of very good Kiwi parents have suddenly woken up to what Helen and her crew of rabid Socialists have truly been up to for all these years; indeed, itâ€™s now become crystal clear...They wish to remove the last vestiges of traditional New Zealand family life and parental control, and to finish remoulding our children to finally inherit the Marxist dream of a brave new socialist world. If the choice available to rectify this frightening situation was somehow limited to the
rope or the ballot box, with the current state of public opinion, this might well prove a very difficult decision to make. Can this Government be trusted by word or deeds to change its approach? Once again, Yeah Right! Labour has become in essence little more than a Marxist cult, and like all cults they are ideologically driven, especially when screwing with young minds and lying in their teeth whilst they do it. In a Party composed almost entirely of control freaks, what better way to exercise that control than by legislating away the competition, and itâ€™s in this area that the Family has always loomed large as the true heart and underlying power of the nation, which is why, the socialists are so busy at work digging the NZ familyâ€™s graveâ€ŚQuestion is, I guess, who deserves to win this battle, the Socialists, or mum, dad, and the kids? Just remember as you work out the answer, not to fall into the trap of examining the individual bits of this latest political pie thatâ€™s been cooked up for us. Some of the ingredients are designed to appear quite delicious. (Not unlike the Snake and the apple some might say) Combined, however, the various ingredients become a dish of much danger, because, not unlike meals laced with an hallucinogenic drug, those who eat it will inevitably end up in Chef Helenâ€™s power. Perhaps a little bit like a lot of us, who have of late made the decision to eat healthier foods, we should all flag away the delights of dining at Helenâ€™s place, nothing on the menu is ever what it seems. Chris Carter appears in association with www.snitch.co.nz, a must-see site.
THE ULTIMATE RECLINER
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INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May1/26/07 2007, 25 1:50:18 PM
IAN WISHART Debating the resurrection
aster has come and gone, and with it the tired old bleatings from liberal churches about how the resurrection of Christ is a symbolic myth rather than a real historical event. If you listen to the liberals, Christ wasn’t really the Son of God, he wasn’t really raised from the dead, but he’s still worth following. The question I ask, however, is “why is Christ worth following if he didn’t really rise from the dead?” Atheists are absolutely right on this: if the resurrection of Christ is genuinely just a myth, then Christianity is utterly meaningless and it’s every person for themselves. There are no half measures, and here’s why: Christ claimed to be God. It’s there in the gospels, and it was clearly there in the “The resurrection is the only way the early Jewish conevent that makes Christ’s verts worshipped Christ as God (we know of this from teachings authoritative. Without it, ancient Roman writings at Christians have nothing to preach” the time). It was in his capacity as God incarnate on Earth that Christ laid out his teachings, a way of life that even many atheists agree was a noble and honest approach to life even if they disbelieve his divinity. Liberal churchleaders, likewise, talk about Christ as being “a wise man”, “a great teacher”. No he wasn’t. If he wasn’t resurrected, then he cannot have been God, and his teachings have no divine weight behind them – they become just another theory of human behaviour. But it’s worse than that. Because Christ claimed to be God, and claimed he would be resurrected, then a failure to do so proves him to be either deranged (our psych wards are full of people who think they are God), or a liar. Either way, none of those options gives any weight to the worth of the rest of his teachings. Liberals who don’t believe in the resurrection ultimately have no reason to follow Christianity at all: how can a deranged lunatic or a deliberate liar offer us anything substantial and worthy enough to build the world’s largest religion on? The ONLY reason for following Christianity, the only reason for Christianity’s existence, is in fact its central message: that Christ was indeed God incarnate, who
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chose to bear the sins of all humans born or yet to be born, and sacrifice his own life in atonement for that sin, only to beat death by rising from the grave on the third day. It’s that resurrection bit that’s the clincher. Any one of us can offer up our own lives on behalf of the sins of the world, but we all simply go to the grave and rot. There is no proof that our noble offering made a blind bit of difference. It is only by pulling off the biggest human miracle in history, rising again in front of hundreds of witnesses, that Christ proved He alone truly was the Messiah, the anointed one, the one who truly could forgive sin and had. It was the resurrection that proved his final authority over life and death, in a way no “wise man” could ever match or ever has. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 15:12, he writes: “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” Paul, in this passage, seems to be taking a swipe at the Jewish Sadducees, who as one of the dominant groups in Judaism did not believe in resurrections. Nor did the Greeks, who formed a substantial part of Paul’s audience. What Paul is really saying is, “Hey, we actually know Christ was raised from the dead, many of you witnessed it, why are you still holding onto the ingrained Sadducaic denial, like Flat Earthers?” As Paul goes on to note, if there is no resurrection of the dead then Christ could not have been raised. But he was, and therefore there must also be a resurrection of the dead. “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” This wasn’t a plaintive wail from Paul. This was an aggressive, tub-thumping crescendo of truth. It was a rhetorical statement to which he already had the answer: Christ was raised on the third day, witnessed by the women and the apostles, and later the 500, many of whom were still alive at the time and could tell the story themselves. For the first time in history, humanity had proof of life after death. Only one person can forgive you for all the mistakes you’ve made in your life. Only one can raise you to eternal life if you choose it. The resurrection is the only event that makes Christ’s teachings authoritative. Without it, Christians have nothing to preach.
White sand curving into a sea of turquoise. Singing voices drifting through leaning palms.
Moonlit dinners over shimmering waters. The body and mind refreshed, sanity restored.
Until you work your magic again
Visit: www.fijime.com or call 0800 3454 463 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 27
The secret policeman’s
Dunedin police officer caught up in alleged sex scandal
It’s a story we wouldn’t run until after the latest court cases had ended, but a former Dunedin woman remains adamant that a young court worker was sexually violated by a policeman at a barrister’s party in the 1990s. Follow the trail for yourself as IAN WISHART runs the gamut of claim and counterclaim. The informant’s name is Christine: FIRST INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTINE:
I was attending a party in a lawyer’s office in Dunedin and a policeman raped a woman – a detective. It was about eight or ten years ago, I would have to sit down very carefully with some of my papers and work out – It was a Christmas winter party in the solicitor’s office in Stuart St, Dunedin. His name was Alistair Patterson, he’s one of the solicitors in this office, there’s four of them in there all together. They’re all separate chambers, they’re barristers. I knew Alistair socially and also my lawyer, who worked for someone else, he attended that party as did the chairman of the Otago Law Society who is now that lawyer’s wife. She’s also a lawyer. There were about 12 lawyers at this party and about six police officers, off duty. And other legal people. I’m not a legal person and neither is my girlfriend, we were just invited because we were single women and would we like to go along. I live in Dunedin, I come from Dunedin. The lawyer that was there that I said is now married to somebody who is now head of the Otago Law Society, he is now a judge. But as a lawyer he was at that party – he was my lawyer at the time as well – but from my point of view what happened was: We were all drinking, some of us more than most, and there was a woman there, she would have been in her mid 20s, I was 28, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
told she was a court registrar from out of town, she was rather sozzled. I don’t know what happened, but one of the lawyers came in and said ‘Oh my God, I’ve just found her (– I can’t remember her name –) locked in one of the other guy’s offices”. He climbed out on a fire escape to get her out of this room. An off duty detective had been in and had sex with her. She was in a stupor, a drunken stupor. She had been vomiting because she was so drunk. He went and had sex with her, unbeknownst to her, he came out of that office and locked the door. But within five or ten minutes a lawyer had discovered her on the way to toilet. She was crying in the office. He climbed in through the fire escape to release her, because she was so distraught, that was the quickest way he could think of doing it. This lawyer got her out and comforted her, and came in and said to all of us ‘Oh my God, that a***hole’s had sex with her, I’m going to call the cops!” So he called the police and the boys in blue arrived. The other guy by this time – this was all in a ten minute frame because we were just around the road from the police station – the detective had taken off. He’d gone, he’d scarpered. I can still see him! And I was amused. I said to one of the policemen that was there, ‘Why are you calling the police on one of your own,” and he said ‘because we can’t stand their attitude and they need
to face the music.’ And that’s the last I heard of it. We left the party and that was it. I don’t believe anything ever happened. My girlfriend, who was there, and I, talked about it for weeks afterward, half expecting a phone call from someone to say ‘could you come along...’ or ‘did this happen?’ Q: Because you would have seen her... A: I saw the woman! She was beside herself, crying, after the event. Q: Did she know she’d been raped? A: Yes! It was all a big hush-up! Q: Was she conscious enough to know? A: Yes, she was conscious enough at that stage to know, it was probably about half an hour after the event. But she was so drunk, she had been sick. Somebody had cleaned up the vomit. We remember all this. The thing that I was thinking about, is what does this detective do now? Where is he now in the hierarchy of the police force? That is the truth, that is what I saw, I was there. Alistair Patterson was the lawyer who invited me to the party. There were lots of other Dunedin lawyers there, there were lots of off duty policemen. My lawyer was there, and I believe he may have left by the stage this all happened. His name is Peter Rollo, he’s now a
judge in Tauranga. He was there, and his partner at the time. Alistair Patterson was there. He practices in the same set of offices as three other solicitors. They share a receptionist and all operate independently. Annis Sommerville [now Judge Sommerville] married Peter Rollo, she was there. My girlfriend, Lynn, she’s still in Dunedin, I rung her this morning and said ‘Do you remember that incident?” She said ‘Yes, wasn’t that terrible?” And I said yes, that man’s still a policeman. After he did what he did, he came out into the room we were in, we didn’t know what he’d done at that time, and he was trying to get Lynn and I – there was only about a dozen of us left – he was trying to get us to dance, being an over the top flirting show off. Then the minute that the lawyer with alopecia came out saying “So and so is so upset...” he took off. That lawyer called the police. Q: So the cop was there right up to the moment? A: Right up to the moment, yes! After he had done his deed and until she was discovered in a locked office! And as soon as he realised that the woman had been discovered, he took off. And that’s when the plain clothes police were rung, and they came. We were still there when they came. I would hope that they wrote something down somewhere. INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 29
It was a midwinter Christmas party, it was nicely set up, the champagne, the crayfish, it was lovely. But this was what happened at the end of it. And she was a court registrar from [deleted for privacy reasons], and she was so drunk. I was even told the detective’s name. He had short dark hair, I can remember the clothes he had on. And I remember his awful attitude. We had decided to leave because of his attitude, but then they discovered her crying in the room around the same time. It’s been in my heart a long time, but the realisation that came to me this morning was, “I hope he’s not still a policeman.”
INTERVIEW WITH ALISTAIR PATTERSON Q: Apparently there was an incident at a midwinter Christmas
Party at your chambers or the lawyers’ chambers a few years back, involving a police officer, do you know if that ever went to trial? A: I haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. Q: A young woman was sexually violated by a police officer in one of the lawyer’s officers? A: I don’t know anything about that. No, I don’t know anything about that. Um, ah, I know there was a door broken at one stage. One cop was a bit drunk. But I don’t know anything about that aspect, no. Q: What year was that? A: Been here for four years. Look, I honestly wouldn’t know, probably six or seven years ago. The party, I can’t remember who it was, some guy broke a door or something... Q: One person’s come forward and said it was a midwinter Christmas party and that an offduty cop had taken a young woman who was a court registrar from [deleted] into an office – she was apparently as drunk as a skunk – and had sexually violated her in there, and the cop had come out and locked the door behind him. A: Oh, ugh, no, I don’t remember anything about that. I’ll tell you whose office it was, and may be best to ring, it was a door broken, I think it was Garth’s office, Garth Cameron.
FIRST INTERVIEW WITH GARTH CAMERON Q: Someone’s come forward with an incident that happened
several years ago in the Stuart St chambers, a midwinter Christmas Party where a young court registrar was apparently raped by an off-duty police officer. Do you know if that incident ever went to trial? A: What? Q: I was speaking to Alistair Patterson a few moments ago who thought an incident might have happened at your office. A: That’s news to me! Q: You don’t remember a midwinter Christmas party – A: I don’t remember any incident involving rape. Q: Do you remember a door being broken? A: Yes, but that wasn’t because of that. There were two people who’d been locked in a room, we think by a drunken policeman, who then hid, or threw the key away, and then he wouldn’t leave. So his two offences were firstly locking somebody in, which is quite a serious offence, equivalent to kidnapping, and secondly being a total prat and not leaving. There was never any suggestion by anyone of any rape by anyone of anyone. 30, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
Q: Because one of the partygoers said to us the young woman was extremely distressed and distraught and that she’d been sexually violated, but that’s not your recollection? A: Well, nobody said it at the time. She was distressed because she’d thrown up. I remember because I had to clean it up afterwards. Q: Ah. Do you remember who she is? A: I can’t think offhand. Probably if I thought long enough I could remember what her name was. Q: Because I’m thinking the easiest way to clear up the misunderstanding is going straight to her. A: Well I don’t know whether there’s been a misunderstanding...people coming out of the woodwork here. Out of curiousity, who is saying rape? Q: One of the partygoers is adamant that this woman had been absolutely drunk, and she also mentioned the woman had thrown up, but she said a police officer had gone in there and had sex with this woman, and he’d come out and locked the door, and he’d taken off when somebody said ‘We’re going to call the police’. And the police arrived and were horrified as well and were looking into it. A: Oh. Oh, right. Q: I must say there’s two people at the party who say that happened. But I just need to clarify the circumstances before I talk to Dunedin police about it. A: Indeed, yes. Well. Uh, there we are. Q: OK, so the police arrived but you don’t have any recollection of any charges being laid? A: No I don’t have any recollection of any charges being laid. My recollection, which is quite clear, is that the only charges that would have been laid that I had anything to do with, were the trespass. Because this cop was just being a drunken prat by sticking around. There was a very strong suspicion that he’d locked the door in the first place. Q: Well how did you get into the office? A: I broke the door down. Q: What did you find in there? A: Two people, a male and a female. Q: And what state were they in? A: The male was a bit irritated at having been locked in, and the female had thrown up and she was a bit irritated at being locked in, but that was about the size of it. Q: Were they in any state of undress at all? A: No, they weren’t. Q: Was the male a lawyer or a police officer? A: He was a lawyer, not a police officer. Q: Do you remember his name? A: Yes I do. Q: And what would his name be? A: Well I’m not prepared to tell you. Q: Well I’m thinking it might clarify things pretty rapidly if I spoke to him. A: Well it might, but I’m not – Q: Because obviously that would rapidly take the heat out of it. Because there are two women at the party who suggest another woman was raped, and I really do have to clarify that. A: Look, it was a good party. And if there’d been any mention of rape at that party I think I’d have got to hear about it, and there wasn’t.
Q: Yep. Was it the lawyer’s office? A: No, it wasn’t his office. Q: Was it your office? A: No it wasn’t my office either. I had an office there [in the
building]. Q: How did you find out that somebody was trapped in the room? A: Because the person in the room rang me on the internal phone. Q: What was he doing in there? A: He was locked in by the policeman. Q: Physically manhandled and taken in? A: No. I think the policeman had been in the room with the man and the woman, had left, had realised there was a key, had closed the door and locked it, and either pocketed the key or threw it away, but certainly wouldn’t produce the key. Q: So... A: Do you know what the name of the policeman is? Q: Do you know the name? A: Yes I do actually. Would you know who it is? Q: No I don’t. A: You don’t? OK. Q: Who is it? A: Look, just because you ring up and ask a question doesn’t mean someone is going to answer it. Q: I appreciate that! A: I think it’s quite extraordinary that you do think that! Q: No, I didn’t think it was a covert operation. It’s just about
shedding some light on it to ascertain the facts – A: What you’re trying to do is get circulation for another tabloid newspaper. Q: I don’t think that’s a fair comment. What I’m trying to do is ascertain whether in fact a woman has been raped at your party as two witnesses have claimed. A: Yes, but you’re doing it for money, you’re not doing it because it is your job. Q: When you go out and defend a client, you do it for money. A: That’s true. Q: A murderer, rapist, whatever. We’re not doing it for money. We print the same number of magazines every month, and the minor up and down fluctuations with these stories make no difference. If I was in the magazine business just to make money I wouldn’t be doing it this way. A: If I wanted a job to make money I wouldn’t be practising law. Q: You’d be the first lawyer I’ve ever heard say that! But it would be very simple if you can tell us the name of the lawyer or the police officer and we can go straight to them and get our facts straight. A: The best thing I can say to you is, I was at a party, at those chambers, nobody said rape. Nobody said rape at the time, nobody said rape ever since. Not the merest hint. Q: When was the last time you saw the woman involved? A: Years ago, but subsequent to that. Q: I know you’re saying no-one said rape, but I have two people who say someone did. We have a conflict of evidence – INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 31
A: That’s fine. You have your methods, and your methods of asking questions, but this interview is at an end, goodbye! [click] SECOND INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTINE: A: I’ve just thought of another name, Garth Cameron. Q: I’ve just spoken to Garth. Here’s his version of events. He
says all that happened was a lawyer and this woman were in an office together, and a policeman was in there and he came out and locked the door and threw the key away, and Garth had to break the door down to let them out. But there was never any suggestion of anyone having sex. What’s your memory of that? A: That’s totally incorrect, what Garth said. No, I remember them all comforting the woman in the room we were in, the party room. She was upset and crying. Q: Was she upset and crying just because she was locked in the room? A: No, because he’d had sex with her, and somebody rang the police. Q: He claims someone rang police simply because the policeman was being a prat, had thrown the key away and was trespassing. A: No. No. He locked her in there. He may have thrown the key away, I don’t know – I never heard that story – but the guy had to climb outside on the wrought iron railings, the fire escape, to get into the office. I don’t know about Garth breaking the door down. Q: He knows the name of the policeman but we won’t tell us. A: It was [name deleted]...something. I can’t really remember. Q: He said he got alerted that a woman and man were trapped in the office by a phone call on the internal phone – A: He rung from the internal phone to say he was in there, that the bastard policeman had been in there, and she was really upset, I remember now, and ‘where’s the keys to unlock the place?’ ‘Don’t know, someone’s gone home!’ – the guy who had the office had gone home, and I think you’re right, Garth had to break the door down with somebody else. It was in the hallway...actually, we were in Garth’s office. We were! That’s where the party was, in Garth’s office! That’s what happened! The guy had climbed out on the fire escape, but the cop must have scarpered by then, when he twigged somebody was in that room comforting that girl. Because he was back in our room [Garth’s office when the call came in]. He was back in the room with us, trying to dance in front of us, and I thought what a jerk and we were going to leave, then all this happened in front of us. The boys in blue arrived. Q: Did you hear what the boys in blue were told? A: They were told that the woman was locked in the room with him, and I remember this statement being made ‘As soon as he realised we’d rung you guys he took off’. Q: Did anyone mention the sex word? A: Oh yeah! I thought it was disgusting at the time because she was so drunk. I think it was Alistair who told me. He was standing there. He was the one who invited me along. He had the flappy jaws and told us. And when I saw him out on the town a few weeks later, we talked about it and he told me the detective’s name. Q: Have you got a number for Lynn. A: Lynn was actually seeing Garth at the time. The receptionist at the lawfirm, Bernadette, was there. It was 1996, I think. Perhaps she doesn’t want to complain, but definitely sex was 32, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
had. I’m not coming at it from the angle of the girl, whether or not she was raped – that’s her choice as to whether she lays a complaint. I’m coming from the angle that here’s a policeman, a detective, who took advantage of a woman in the same circles.
JUDGE PETER ROLLO Q: Casting your memory back to a midwinter Christmas party
at Garth Cameron’s office. There is an allegation that a police officer may have done something illegal. A: I went to quite a few at Garth’s, he was a colleague. Q: A young court registrar from [deleted] was apparently sexually attacked in one of the offices by an off duty police officer who locked her in, and another lawyer heard crying inside and had to climb in through the window to free her. A: I recall something being said about that but I didn’t witness any of that. That didn’t happen while I was there but I heard someone say something of a similar sort, that someone had to go out on the veranda to open the window. I didn’t know the circumstances or who was involved. Q: So you’d left the party by this stage? A: As I recall, yes. Garth used to have these Friday night drinks on a sort of six weekly basis. Q: Do you recall discussion about the woman being attacked? A: I don’t know anything about an attack. All I recall is that there was some talk subsequently about someone going out on the roof to open a window to let someone out. Garth’s chambers at that stage were shared with four other lawyers who had separate rooms, and there was a common waiting room area. David Brett was the principle landlord.
INTERVIEW WITH LYNN: Q: Do you remember the young woman being comforted? A: Yeah vaguely, but I couldn’t tell you what she looked like.
I don’t know whether it was forced or whatever. All I could remember was something about somebody having sex in the room and the woman was drunk. I honestly can’t remember much about it, to be honest. I can vaguely remember someone being comforted...
INTERVIEW WITH DAVID BRETT: Q: There was a woman allegedly sexually assaulted by an offduty police officer. A: I wasn’t here, I wasn’t interested, I can’t help you. Other people rented rooms in the same building. I have a recollection of something that happened, I don’t think it was quite as spectacular as that, but I wasn’t here. Q: What do you recall being told about it? A: I remember somebody elected to push the door open, and I think it needed some forcing. I got the impression it was an over-reaction or something but I honestly don’t know. I couldn’t tell you whose office it was at that time. I wasn’t here and I wasn’t interested.
SECOND INTERVIEW WITH GARTH CAMERON: Q: I’ve been speaking to a number of guests who do recall an
incident. But that lawyer who was in the room when you went in had already gone out on the veranda to assist – A: Oh yeah, because I’d put a ladder out there to get to the female. The lawyer had been inside – he made the phone call to me.
I saw the lights flashing on the internal phone. I got a ring from the lawyer who was the male half of the male and female who were locked inside the room. I went to the room and found the drunken cop standing in the foyer, the main office bit, established that he was drunk and obnoxious and that if he knew anything about the key he certainly wasn’t going to produce it. I put a ladder out the window, got onto the veranda, moved the ladder along, climbed up – this is me – found the window open, I could get the lawyer out that way because he was steady enough on his feet to do it. I didn’t think it was safe for the female to leave that way so I broke the door down to let her out because that was the safest way. Nobody went in to help her – there were two people locked in the room, we think by the policeman. Q: You described him as the male half, were they an item? A: I don’t know. The lawyer just said the cop had locked them in, he was very clear about that. Q: Why were the police called? A: Because the cop wouldn’t leave. Q: You had other police there as guests? A: There was one other policeman who, incidentally, was perfectly well behaved and I don’t know whether he even knew this stuff was going on. Certainly when I saw him a few days later he was very apologetic on behalf of his mate, who’d been a complete a**hole. Q: The mate’s name? A: No.
Q: Because this would really come to a head if I spoke to him. A: No it wouldn’t, it would just take your investigations fur-
Q: Well there’d be nothing to investigate would there? A: Well I don’t know, there might be nothing to investigate
now except a really nice party and a drunken copper. But this is all peripheral to the real thing, which is rape. One thing I am confident of is – I certainly didn’t see anything like that – but I’m pretty confident, in fact I’m sure that nothing happened in that room. What happened in that room was that two people who didn’t want to be locked in were locked in. They were released by me. Q: Is it possible that she was attacked by the policeman first, that she went to that room to escape him, that the other lawyer came to assist her and the policeman locked them in? A: No, I can’t comment on that at all, I simply have no knowledge of any of those events. Q: So that is a possibility? A: No, I’m not saying it’s a possibility. I don’t think it’s a great possibility. When you rang up before you said two people had said there was a rape. Either they only heard about it in which case they didn’t see it, or they saw it and did nothing. Which is it? Q: They saw the woman, and they say that you and others were disgusted that someone had taken advantage of this woman and had sex with her. A: No, I was not disgusted at that, because I didn’t hear anything like that at the time, or after.
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 33
Q: They say you were one of the ones comforting her, and she was in a highly distressed state and there was definitely talk among the lawyers that someone had had sex with this woman. The police were called... A: No, the police were called by me solely because there was a drunken off-duty cop who wouldn’t leave. Q: You said before you were quite confident nothing happened in that room, what I’m putting to you is that it’s quite possible this woman was attacked by the police officer somewhere else, went to that room, lawyer walking past heard her crying went to help her and the cop locked them in. A: Well it’s quite possible there are ten gold bars sitting on the floor of my office that weren’t there yesterday, and I won’t have to practice law anymore. Do you see what I mean? It’s quite possible. All I can say is I don’t recall her being all that distressed. The police were not called about any allegation other than the cop trespassing. He’d been asked to leave, he wouldn’t leave. Q: Did you press charges, because he obviously took your key, caused damage to the door etc, what happened? A: Nothing. Q: You didn’t press for damages at all? A: No. You realise of course that if the cop did anything to the woman the person to lay the complaint there was the woman, I mean, there was nothing for anybody else to do about that. Nobody said rape at the time, and I haven’t heard it later. Q: Look, to put this in perspective, if there’s an issue where a police officer has effectively date-raped a member of the public, and that police officer is still serving on the force, then that may become an issue of public safety. A: Yes, but that’s got to come from the complainant. Q: No, there are two issues. If the complainant wishes to lay a criminal complaint that’s got to come from her. The other issue is whether you can say that a police officer has taken advantage of a situation, then that is an internal police disciplinary matter and it is not required to meet the criminal standard of proof. A: To me, if something bad happened to me, then if I want to take it further I’ll take it further, but if I don’t it would be presumptuous of anybody else to do so. Look, I don’t even like this cop. But I don’t cooperate in tabloid journalism. You can say goodbye or I can say goodbye. Q: If you have an employee who steals from you, and you choose not to press a criminal complaint, and the person goes and steals from somebody else – while you have chosen not to take criminal action on your own behalf you have in effect – A: What you’re saying is that the woman must re-victimise herself in the interests of society. Q: No, all I’m saying is that if the story is as you say and there was no sexual attack – A: I’m not saying there was no sexual attack. I’m saying nobody said to me there was. I didn’t see one, I didn’t hear about one. It’s news to me that there was even any innuendo to that effect. Q: The person who would know that, for a start, is the other lawyer in the room. A: No, not necessarily. Q: Well he’d be able to shed some light I’m sure on the events that transpired leading up to it. 34, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
“I put a ladder out the window, got onto the veranda, moved the ladder along, climbed up – this is me – found the window open, I could get the lawyer out that way because he was steady enough on his feet to do it. I didn’t think it was safe for the female to leave that way so I broke the door down to let her out because that was the safest way. Nobody went in to help her – there were two people locked in the room, we think by the policeman”
A: At most he’d say ‘well the woman said something to me or didn’t say something to me’. Q: Or it may be, why were you in the room, how did that happen, and what was the policeman doing? A: We know what the policeman was doing, he was being an a**hole he was drunk and he locked two people in the room. Q: Yeah, but what’s the backstory, what was he doing before that, why did he lock two people in the room? A: Well if I knew that I’d tell you! Q: Yeah, but somebody else might know that and they might tell me, if you gave me some names. A: I know the names of three people who were at my party and I choose not to tell you who they were. POSTSCRIPT: As we went to press, Investigate discovered the lawyer who initially comforted the woman, and was locked in the room with her, is now a Dunedin District Court judge. Sources close to the judge have confirmed an incident took place earlier between the woman and the police officer in lawyer Alistair Patterson’s office, and when the judge took her to another room to try and comfort her the police officer locked them in. The sources say that police responded to the call and arrived at Garth Cameron’s chambers, but the police backed off when they discovered the identity of the police officer involved. Sources say Garth Cameron was “spooked” at the reaction of the police and did not take it further, leaving it up to the court worker. The police officer has faced other criminal charges on unrelated matters since, but was acquitted and is still believed to be in the police force. If possible, we’ll be updating this story on our magazine archive site, www.thebriefingroom.com
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INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 35
DANGEROUS LIAISONS Muslims, Marxists and NZ Migration
36, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
O There’s more controversy over Investigate’s 18 page special report on Islamic terrorist sympathisers in New Zealand. IAN WISHART analyses the impact of the story, and the latest developments
ne of the extremist Islamic preachers of hate who featured in the March issue of Investigate has been banned from entering Australia, despite being allowed to tour New Zealand giving lectures and inspiration to hundreds of New Zealand Muslims. Bilal Philips, who was named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the plot to blow up a range of New York landmarks, including the World Trade Centre, in 1993, was able to slip into and out of New Zealand because the Minister in charge of the Security Intelligence Service, Helen Clark, has failed to activate a border protection watch list of individuals with known links to terrorism. Although the legislation was passed in 2002, following requests from the United Nations, New Zealand has not named a single individual for Customs and Immigration officers to watch for. As Investigate reported in March (see online at www. thebriefingroom.com) , that oversight has meant dozens of radical extremists, some of them – like Philips – with known links to terrorist organisations, have been able to come and go at will without the New Zealand government evening realising. Over the past few weeks, Investigate has received a series of, largely, form letters, a selection of which you can read in our Letters pages, accusing us essentially of whipping up ‘Islamophobia’ and endangering local Muslims. The allegations are false. Additionally, we were surprised to discover the fingerprints of diehard left-wing Marxists on the whinge campaign, as this extract from a Socialist Worker blog this month reveals: “Our members in the Residents Action Movement (RAM) are currently working with the Muslim community to respond against the despicable Islamophobia of Ian Wishart’s Investigate magazine. We have marched together for Palestine , Lebanon and Iraq, and will be united on the streets if there are any attacks on Iran. We do not look on our Muslim comrades as victims, tokens, demons or others, but our brothers and sisters in the fight for peace and global justice.” Keep taking the pills, boys. Maybe you’ll wake up from your own self-inflicted Matrix one day. Or perhaps you should read my new book, Eve’s Bite. Then you’ll really have something to whinge about. If you read the Socialist Worker post in full, however (http:// unityaotearoa.blogspot.com/2007/04/marxist-muslim-alliance-response-to.html), you’ll find they were responding in faux indignation at suggestions from a local Muslim that Marxists are using Muslims as stooges to foment unrest in New Zealand. I say the indignation is “faux”, because socialism is blatantly atheistic in nature and hostile to religion, so it is obviINVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 37
ous to most rational people that socialists are indeed taking Muslims for a ride, and probably having a right old laugh at their expense.
owever, allow me to explain in greater detail why the Investigate scoop in March is the biggest unreported story of the year so far (although it was picked up by the Christchurch Press and Newstalk ZB’s Larry Williams): We are told local Muslims are “moderate”. Indeed, they self-identify as “moderate” and, as one Islamic acquaintance – Imran – told me this month, the moderateness reflects the fact that New Zealand is not “joining with the US in Iraq and Afghanistan”. The local community, he says, doesn’t feel any inclination to take to the streets because it knows most New Zealanders feel equally dubious about America’s adventures. But here’s the rub – if that is the only reason for moderation, what happens if the wider New Zealand community at some point believe a war against radical Islam is justified? Then there’s the definition of “moderate”. People make the mistake of trying to understand Islam the same way many understand Christianity. In the West, we are familiar with the debates about whether the Bible is fundamentally true (the con38, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
servative wing of Christianity) or fundamentally mythical (the liberal wing of Christianity). In Islam, there is no such polarity: you will not find a “moderate” Muslim willing to suggest that the Qu’ran is mythical. All practicing Muslims, whether extremist or “moderate”, believe the Qu’ran is true down to its last letter. They may disagree on how the Qu’ran and its edicts can be implemented in Dar al Harb (all the countries ruled by non-Islamic governments, literally translated from Arabic as “House of War”), but there is no dispute that the Qu’ran calls for the eventual unification of the entire planet under one Islamic ruler, the new Khalifah (Caliph). As a Christian, I share many concerns that are similar to those of Muslims. Christians and Muslims are generally socially conservative. However, as I told Imran, New Zealand’s tolerance of moderate Islam hinges to a large extent on Islam doing a much better job at self-policing against radicals. Investigate magazine praised Christchurch moderates several years ago who blew the whistle on a move by Saudi terrorist fundraisers Al Haramain group to take over the Christchurch mosque. We saw that whistleblowing as self-policing in action. But it was stunning to find out this year that extremist clerics, bearing large wads of money from extremist Saudi Arabia, have been intimately involved in guiding and helping the New Zealand Islamic community. Extremist preachers have DVDs and books on sale here, and local mosques are working for the introduction of shari’a principles in New Zealand. Saudi Arabia is the home of Wahhabism, the most extreme form of radical Islam and the faction that Osama bin Laden belongs to. We should be very concerned about Saudi Arabia’s influence with NZ mosques, because here’s what the Saudis teach their children in school. Year One (Five year olds): “Every religion other than Islam is false” “Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters .” Now, if it stopped there, I’d have little to object to. You can go into any number of Christian churches of a Sunday and hear a message about Christianity being the only true religion. I have no problems with Islam making its absolute truth claim, even if I disagree with their faith in it. However, it doesn’t stop there, and Islam’s indoctrination of children in Islamic schools gets much worse: Year Four: “True belief means...that you hate the polytheists and infidels but do not treat them unjustly.” Year Five: “Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of Allah cannot maintain a loyal friendship with those who oppose Allah and his Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives.” “It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in Allah and his Prophet, or someone who fights the religion of Islam.” “A Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother in religion. Someone who opposes Allah, even if he is your brother by family tie, is your enemy in religion.” Year Six (Ten year olds): “Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavour to evict the Christian crusad-
WOLVES IN SHEIKH’S CLOTHING Jonathan Last takes a troubling look inside moderate Islam
hen I first met Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, he was a young counterterrorism expert just breaking into print. I had edited some of his work. He seemed like a normal fellow. But as we spoke, he told me a remarkable story. Gartenstein-Ross grew up in Ashland, Oregon, one of the West Coast’s hippie enclaves. His parents were liberal, ecumenical Jews who raised him to believe in the beauty of all faiths. There were pictures of Jesus in his living room and a statue of the Buddha in the backyard. Young Daveed was attracted to various liberal causes and concerned with social justice. He went to college in North Carolina, where he converted to Islam. Upon graduation, Gartenstein-Ross went to work for a religious charity, the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, which was run by a group of radicals. After a year at Al-Haramain, he went to law school, where he eventually left Islam. In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, Gartenstein-Ross learned that the FBI was investigating AlHaramain for ties to terrorism. He reached out to the bureau and helped build its case. Gartenstein-Ross has now told his story in a book, “My Year Inside Radical Islam.” It is an important resource for understanding Islam in America. There are two deep insights in “My Year Inside Radical Islam.” The first is an illumination of one of the pathways to radicalism. When Gartenstein-Ross first converted, he embraced Sufism, a spiritual, moderate sect. He wasn’t looking to become an anti-Western fundamentalist. But the more he interacted with other Muslims, the more he was pushed, in a form of groupthink, to embrace an increasingly restrictive faith. He learned that in Islam, all sorts of things are haram (forbidden). Alcohol, of course. And listening to music. And wearing shorts that expose the thigh. And wearing necklaces. Or gold. Or silk. Or using credit cards. Or shaving. Or shaking hands with women. As Gartenstein-Ross explains, Islam has commandments for every aspect of life, from how to dress to how to wipe yourself after going to the bathroom. And once he joined the Muslim community, he found that the group was self-policing. Members were eager to report and reprimand one another for infractions. It is not hard to imagine how a well-adjusted, intelligent person might get caught up in such a social dynamic. The book also illustrates the troubling state of Islamic organizations in the United States. Nearly every discussion of Islamic radicalism and terrorism is prefaced by a disclaimer that of course the vast majority of Muslims are morally opposed to both. This may well be true. But the problem in the current struggle against Islamic fascism is that the radicals often find succor from moderate Muslims – even “moderates” aren’t always as liberal as one might hope. While Gartenstein-Ross never came into contact with actual terrorists, he was surrounded by people – normal
Muslim citizens – whose worldviews were unsettling. Before 9/11, Al-Haramain’s headquarters in Ashland was seen as a bastion of moderate, friendly Islam. Pete Seda, who ran the office, was publicly chummy with the local rabbi. The group encouraged public schools to bring children to their offices on field trips. All of this was for public consumption. In private, things were somewhat different. One of Gartenstein-Ross’ co-workers, for instance, often complained about the Nation of Islam, whose members he believed were deviants. He said, “Let them choose true Islam or cut off their heads.” Al-Haramain hosted a number of visitors, one of whom was a Saudi cleric named Abdul-Qaadir. He preached that those who leave Islam should be put to death. In defending the execution of apostates, he mused that “religion and politics aren’t separable in Islam the way they are in the West. ... Leaving Islam isn’t just converting from one faith to another. It’s more properly understood as treason.” In warning Gartenstein-Ross about his engagement to a Christian, Abdul-Qaadir said, “As long as your wife isn’t a Muslim, as far as we’re concerned, she is 100 percent evil.” One night at services, a visiting member of the Egyptian branch of Al-Haramain declared that the Torah was “The Jews’ plan to ruin everything.” He continued, “Why is it that Henry Kissinger was the president of the international soccer federation while he was president of the United States? How did he have time to do both? It is because part of the Jews’ plan is to get people throughout the world to play soccer so that they’ll wear shorts that show off the skin of their thighs.” (Former Secretary of State Kissinger was never president of either the United States or FIFA.) The reaction of Seda – the “moderate” who cultivated a public friendship with the local rabbi – was, “Wow, bro, this is amazing. You come to us with this incredible information.” Such discourse seems less than rare at American Islamic organizations. A recent New Yorker profile of another homegrown radical, Adam Gadahn (a.k.a. “Azzam the American” and one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists), recounted Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman’s visit to the Islamic Society in Orange County, Calif. In his lecture, Rahman, later indicted for helping to plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, ridiculed the notion that jihad could be nonviolent and exhorted Muslims to take up fighting against the enemies of Allah. Sitting next to him and translating for the congregation was the local “moderate” imam. The New Yorker reports that “videotapes of the lecture were later offered for sale at the society’s bookstore.” This would likely not surprise Gartenstein-Ross, some of whose Muslim acquaintances even disapproved of his decision to go to law school. Their objection was that, as a lawyer, Gartenstein-Ross would have to swear an oath to defend the Constitution. As one Muslim told him, “There are some things in the Constitution I like, but a lot of things in the Constitution are completely against Islamic principles.” This sentiment – not from an al-Qaeda fighter or a firebreathing radical, but from a normal, devout Muslim – is important. The challenge Islam poses to the West goes beyond mere terrorism. Jonathan V. Last is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 39
This schoolgirl was the only survivor when she and three friends were attacked by machete-wielding Muslims in Indonesia. Her three friends, aged 14 and 15, were beheaded. Local Saudi-backed Muslim groups regularly attack Christian villages in Indonesia in a bid to eradicate rival religious faiths.
ers from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, Allah willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for Allah, for this is within Allah’s power.” Year Eight: “The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus.” Year Nine (13 year olds): “The clash between this [Muslim] community (umma) and the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as Allah wills.” “It is part of Allah’s wisdom that the struggle between the Muslim and the Jews should continue until the hour [of judgement].” “Muslims will triumph because they are right. He who is right is always victorious, even if most people are against him.” Year Ten: [Note: at the age of 14, Muslim students are required to start learning shari’a principles in more detail. These particular textbook quotes deal with “blood money”, which is the fine payable to a victim or their surviving heirs for murder or injury] “Blood money for a free infidel...is half of the blood money 40, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
for a male Muslim, whether or not he is ‘of the book’ [Christian or Jewish] or not ‘of the book’ [pagan, atheist, etc]” “Blood money for a woman: Half of the blood money for a man, in accordance with his religion. The blood money for a Muslim woman is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, and the blood money for an infidel woman is half of the blood money for a male infidel.” Year Eleven (15 year olds): “The greeting ‘Peace be upon you’ is specifically for believers. It cannot be said to others.” “If one comes to a place where there is a mixture of Muslims and infidels, one should offer a greeting intended for the Muslims.” “Do not yield to them [Christians and Jews] on a narrow road, out of honour and respect.” Year Twelve: “Jihad in the path of Allah – which consists of battling against unbelief, oppression, injustice, and those who perpetrate it – is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to Allah, and one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to Allah.”
UPI Intelligence Analysis
THE DOOMSDAY PROPHET
From Muslim hordes to atom bomb...Joshua Brilliant tracks the disturbing endgame of radical Islam
or the third time in its history, Islam is trying to bring the true faith to the rest of the world. However, this time is particularly dangerous, according to one of the world’s leading authorities on Muslim history. In a series of lectures at Israeli academic institutions, Princeton University Professor Bernard Lewis talked of the widespread Muslim-Shiite belief that time has come for a final global struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. “The fact that some of the societies are acquiring, or will soon acquire ... weapons of destructive power beyond Hitler’s wildest dreams ... is something that we should be very concerned about,” he said. Muslim believers consider themselves “the fortunate recipients of God’s final message to humanity and it is their duty not to keep is selfishly to themselves ... (but) to bring it to the rest of mankind,” Lewis noted. “In their first attempt to do so, they emerged from the Arabian Peninsula and conquered vast territories from Iran across North Africa to Spain, Portugal and parts of Italy. Converts conquered Russian lands and established an Islamic regime in Eastern Europe. There are even reports of an Arab raid into Switzerland. But that attempt to conquer Europe failed, and the Crusaders recovered the Christian holy places in Jerusalem. “In the second round, the Ottoman Turks crossed southeastern Europe and reached Vienna. Twice they tried to capture it and failed. Western imperialism halted and reversed the Ottoman push. “The current, third invasion, is not done by armed conquest or with migrating hordes, but by a combination of migration, demography, self denigration and self abasement, totally apologetic,” Lewis said. Nevertheless, it arouses a fair and very alarming possibility that it could lead to a long, dreary race war between different communities in Europe. “Signs of it are already visible in the form of neo-Fascist racist movements. If that is going to be the only response of Europe, apart from self-abasement, the outlook is grim,” he predicted. Meanwhile, among Muslims there is a competition over who should lead their cause. This is one of the keys to understand the present situation, Lewis continued.
“On the one hand stand Osama bin Laden and his movement. He is a Saudi-Wahabi; in other words an ultra-conservative puritan Sunni-Muslim. The Saudi establishment considers him a rebel but they all belong to the same branch of Islam. And then there are Muslim Shiites. They assumed a modern form and new vigor since the Iranian Islamic revolution of 1978. Past friction, for example between the Ottoman Empire and Iran, was due to a rivalry over influence, not over religion. “The current rivalry has acquired, a new acuteness ... It became more violent than in any time in the recorded history of Islam,” Lewis said. “The Iranian revolution is resonating far and wide. It represents a major threat to the West but also to the Sunni establishment. It has led some Sunni leaders to re-evaluate the situation in the Middle East and their attitude towards Israel. “Those leaders may dislike Israel and disapprove of it. However, they consider an uninterrupted line from Shiite Iran, across Iraq to Syria and Lebanon, and the large and growing Shiite populations around the coast of Arabia, to be a truly major threat. “There are signs of ... a willingness on the part of many in the Sunni world to put aside their hostilities to Israelis ... in order to deal with the greater, more immediate and more intimate danger,” he said. “We may see shifts in the policies of some Arab governments at least comparable with the great shift in Egyptian policy, when President Anwar Sadat opted for peace with Israel. “The leaders contemplating such a change are very cautious. One reason is that their populations have been indoctrinated with hatred of Israel for so long that it is difficult to change tunes.” There is another reason: Some uncertainty over how far they can trust the Israelis, Lewis said. “During the summer’s war against the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon, many Sunni Muslim governments discreetly cheered the Israelis, hoping they would finish the job. Some of them could hardly conceal their disappointment that Israel failed to do so,” he said. Western-style anti-Semitism of the crudest type, meanwhile, is spreading and occupying a central role in many Muslim countries. One finds it in textbooks, schoolbooks, and in university doctoral dissertations, he noted. Lewis said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “really believes ... (in) the apocalyptic message that he is bringing. (Israeli experts noted that Ahmadinejad prepared a wide boulevard in Tehran for the return of the Mahdi who disappeared some 1,000 years ago.) “Islam has a scenario for the end of time, a final global struggle between the forces of good, God, and his anointed, and the forces of evil,” Lewis argued. With such beliefs, the strategy that prevented a nuclear war between the West and the Communist blocs, during the Cold War era, may not apply. “Mutually assured destruction, which kept the peace during the Cold War, though both sides had nuclear weapons ... doesn’t work. It is not a deterrent. It is an inducement,” Lewis said. INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 41
Pretty grim reading, huh? Those quotes are all taken from current school textbooks in Saudi Arabia as part of the compulsory “Islamic studies” curriculum, books smuggled out by families with children in Saudi schools and provided to the Institute of Gulf Affairs, a Washington DC think-tank headed by Saudi dissident Ali al-Ahmed. He in turn gave the textbooks to the Washington Post newspaper, to illustrate how millions of Arab children are being indoctrinated to hate the West and prepare for jihad and Armageddon. The textbooks represent Wahhabi doctrine, and the chilling aspect of some of the emails Investigate received from NZ “moderates” was phrases like this one where they criticised us for using the phrase “Wahhabism (supposedly an “extreme” form of Islam) 20 times.” What do they mean, “supposedly”? If New Zealand Islamic “moderates” are questioning our suggestion that Wahhabism is “extreme” – you should be very afraid for your country. Thankfully, the offending phrase is in a chain letter presumably drafted with the help of the communist insurgents over at Socialist Worker, so it may not yet have widespread support within NZ Islam. But that doesn’t negate the reality that it was moderates who invited the Wahhabi hatemongers here in the first place. 42, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
So here’s my take on the Islamic issue for NZ. I believe you should have freedom to worship. I believe you should have the freedom to dress conservatively, including the hijab if you so choose. I believe you should have the right to preach Islam. I believe you should have the same individual rights as other members of the NZ community. I believe you should be free from discrimination and not treated as second class citizens. BUT...there are some particular limits in regard to your religion. Islam is not just a religion – properly understood, it is a complete system of government and a political system that does not tolerate democracy. In that sense, I suspect I speak for many non-Muslim New Zealanders when I say that this country shall never be part of Dar al Islam [an Islamic nation under shari’a law]. If you nurse such fantasies, pack your bags and return whence you came, because you are the problem. You have emigrated to a country which – regardless of the prattle from the New Zealand government – is founded on the Judeo-Christian democratic tradition, not an Islamic theocratic one. If you can live with this reality, then you are welcome here as fellow New Zealanders. And if you can start policing the extremists out of your mosques and lecture halls and bookshops, then the rest of us won’t have to do it and we’ll respect you all the more for your stand.
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GREEN WORKHORSE or WHITE ELEPHANT? Questions remain over LAV 3 purchase 44, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
In early April, six Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan were killed when their LAV 3 armoured vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb. The blast set off a chain reaction involving the LAV’s own ammunition, stored inside the crew quarters. It’s the latest in a string of incidents and tragedies involving the LAVs. Freelance journalist GORDON ARTHUR takes a look at the vehicle’s good points during an NZ Army exercise, while PHIL WEST reviews the LAV’s performance in real war zones INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 45
t Ruapehu shimmers white in the distance against a cobalt blue sky, as giant, green eight-wheeled vehicles storm over metal roads and tussock at the Army’s Waiouru training area. They roar and charge, pause to spit dramatic three-round volleys of 25mm shells, and lurch to a halt for more ammo or fuel. In their fast-moving turrets, the crewmen of Whiskey Company, 1 RNZIR, are clapping their chapped hands and trying to find ways to keep the biting wind off their numb faces. This is how Kiwi soldiers travel in combat zones. Our Army has 105 of these Light Armoured Vehicles (NZLAVs) procured from General Dynamics Land SystemsCanada for $653 million, or about $5.5 million each. The first batch arrived in Auckland in August 2003, while the final vehicles were accepted for service in November 2004. They were unloaded in a withering hail of criticism. Were they an essential weapon or a waste of taxpayers’ money? Several years after their introduction, we were given exclusive access to observe live-fire manoeuvres as these vehicles were put through their paces on the windswept hills of Waiouru in winter. Gestation of the NZLAV began in the late 1990s. The Army had withdrawn its last Scorpion tracked vehicle and was entirely dependent on its M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) of Vietnam War vintage. These were old and decrepit, and there was a limit to what even Kiwi ingenuity could achieve with such mechanical dinosaurs. The Army desperately needed a replacement vehicle. With a regular force totalling just 4,528, NZ Army soldiers are particularly versatile and multi-skilled. They needed versatile vehicles too, and there were just two choices – wheeled or tracked. A wheeled vehicle offers speed but less mobility, while the converse is true of a tracked vehicle. “Tactical mobility of the NZLAV is degraded in the wet,”
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admitted Captain Ed Craw, Senior Instructor at the unit responsible for training NZLAV crewmen. “In the dry it’s comparable to the M113. However, it can go around an obstacle twice as fast as an M113 does going through it!” Indeed – it has a top speed of 109km/h. A wheeled vehicle also appears less aggressive, a plus for peacekeeping missions amidst non-combatants. Mind you, if you see one on the road, you will know the Army is around. The NZLAV is big. It carries seven infantrymen in the air-conditioned rear compartment, but it is more than just a battlefield taxi. In the turret is a combat-proven 25mm Bushmaster chain gun, ideal for spraying enemy softskin vehicles and infantrymen, or for generating respect on peacekeeping patrols. NZLAVs will serve for the next 25 years, and they are fitted with the kind of gadgetry that gets technophiles salivating. The main gun has a thermal imager and computerised fire control system. Navigation is by GPS. A CTIS (Central Tyre Inflation System) allows the driver to inflate or deflate the tyres with a flick of the switch. Punctures are no problem. Even with four flats (evenly spaced) the vehicle will travel up to 40km. There is a height management system that lowers the turbocharged vehicle’s suspension by 23cm so it can fit snugly into an RNZAF Hercules for shorthaul flights. Many vehicles in the fleet are fitted with chemical agent detection kits, and the crew is protected by an NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) overpressure system. The NZDF selected a third-generation vehicle with a solid track record. The LAV transports Australian, Canadian and U.S. troops, and in fact, Canada operates the almost identical LAVIII. (Soldiers “Investigate” rode with joked they had the LAVIII½ – since it boasts a number of technological advances over its Canadian cousin). The U.S. Army recently purchased more than 2,000 Strykers, a vehicle that shares the same hull as the NZLAV. One rea-
son the NZDF pressed ahead with its purchase was, if NZ had delayed further, it would have found itself at the end of a very long waiting list. Procurement of the NZLAV created a perfect political storm at the time. Critics wanted to know why so many? The NZDF countered, saying NZLAVs are likely to be sent on peacekeeping missions. Such missions are usually long term, so troops return home after around six months. Their replacements immediately take over the vehicles in-theatre, but only because they had additional vehicles to train on over the previous six months. The NZDF felt it had to equip two motorised infantry battalions to keep its proficiency up. This also gives it a reserve to meet other contingencies. A lack of trained crewmembers had critics worried. A report released by the Auditor-General on 8 February 2005 stated that the LAV project faced “funding and personnel shortfalls”, and that the Army was two years away from having enough trained crewmembers. The NZLAV is an advanced piece of machinery and it takes time to learn how to drive, operate and fix, particularly when soldiers are making a quantum leap from 1960s M113s to 21st century NZLAVs. Calling this crash training process “zero to hero”, Major Sholto Stephens’ Transitional Training Team (TTT) in Waiouru had trained 188 gunners, 194 drivers and 97 gunners by 16 March 2006. Costs were also roundly criticised, and there is no denying the NZLAV is expensive. Annual fleet running costs alone amount to $48.8 million. Drivers, whose average age is nineteen, complete a five-week tactical driving qualification course and must hold a Class 4 license. Drivers are not allowed to exceed 90km/ h on the road, though this has not prevented accidents on public roads. However, the same is true of the Army’s Unimogs, which have seen eight fatal accidents since 1994. A 2005 investigation into military vehicle accidents found they generally involve less-experienced drivers under the age of 25. Finally, the NZLAV was said to be too big. True, at 14,791kg it is no lightweight, but if you want to see “heavy”, just look overseas. The Canadian Army was set to phase out its Leopard tanks and rely solely on its LAV fleet. But with worsening security, Canada instead upgraded its tanks’ armour and promptly shipped some off to southern Afghanistan to fight against the Taliban. American experience with the bloody counter-insurgency in Iraq has also demonstrated the need for retaining heavy tracked vehicles. Appliqué armour panels can be fitted to the Kiwi vehicle, but for an armoured vehicle, it is in fact relatively light and vulnerable. In an increasingly tumultuous world, New Zealand has dangerous international responsibilities to meet in places like Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan. If we send troops into harm’s way on peacekeeping missions, they need to be protected. To do any less for our servicemen would be culpable and reflect a lack of strategic foresight. Is it the perfect vehicle? No, because no vehicle is perfect. But the commander we’re with, Major James Kaio, is pleased with this new green workhorse. And he should know – he has operated everything from M41 tanks to Scorpions to M113s. After a gruelling day of manoeuvres, the soldiers of Whiskey Company are obviously sold on something that is “light years ahead”. For now, the greatest problem with the NZLAV might just be how to keep one’s face warm while standing in the turret hatch in winter!
THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE
hile many soldiers serving with the NZ LAVs appear relatively happy with the vehicle, there have been reports of problems that didn’t make the news headlines. “What I am surprised has not been mentioned,” wrote one solider on an international military discussion website, “is the fact that NZLAVs have a nasty habit of stalling on steep hill climbs! Which cannot be explained by anyone from the manufacturer.” The soldier, identifying himself as “Kiwitrooper”, says he likes the LAV and “would feel confident deploying on operations...the only thing that would concern me is the ability of the army to support NZLAV on operations, i.e., not enough spares, logistics vehicles etc. “When I was on [Operation] Predator’s Gallop last year we had vehicles that were unserviceable in the field due to not carrying enough spares, i.e., tyres. “I had two flats on my vehicle and another had two as well, two bent tie rods which resulted in a whole section (four vehicles) out of action, with no result of enemy action. “Also, the ECH could not reach us as a Unimog could not get to where we were. Funny thing was, as we were retiring back to the rear we passed 5/7 RAR [Australian regiment] heading for the front in old M113s!” In response to a question about tyre problems, Kiwitrooper says, “NZLAV has the same size tyre as a Stryker, they are not so good in muddy conditions. The vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system that allows you to drop your tyre pressures from the driver’s station. However, many crews are reluctant to do this in muddy conditions as it results in a lot of mud entering the bead of the rim, causing flats.” The issue of the LAV’s limited off-road ability was a big part of the controversy over the initial purchase, especially when Australia opted instead to upgrade to a modern version of the M113 tracked vehicle, the A4 series. “Given that Australia’s programme is costing $300 million for 350 vehicles,” wrote one Australian soldier on the website, “and NZ’s cost $680 million for 105 LAVs, it would at least have made financial sense. “Even with a different turret incorporating the same 25 mm cannon as the LAV 3s operate, NZ could probably have acquired 200 upgraded M113s and still saved $200 million or more over the LAV acquisition.” It sounds like a sensible idea, and another suggested NZ could still opt to purchase 50 of the new M113s, which are fully transportable by Hercules aircraft, unlike the LAVs, and have a rapid response unit capable of going where the eight-wheelers couldn’t. Kiwitrooper, however, says the biggest problem is morale. “Honestly, the biggest problem the NZDF is facing at the moment with LAVS would be that they are struggling to hold onto trained crews, especially ones with previous experience in an armoured background, as a lot of crewmen have left.” n Ian Wishart reporting
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NOT SO HOT? American defence analyst PHIL WEST argues the American LAV 3 does not live up to its hype
he adoption of the General Dynamics/ General Motors LAV Stryker must qualify as one of the US Army’s most controversial vehicle acquisitions. Since adoption by the US has caused many other nations to become interested in this or similar vehicles it is probably useful to examine this topic in some depth. Tactical Finding credible data on the performance of the Stryker in the field is problematic. The Army is very keen that its new acquisition should only be seen in the best of lights. Testimonies of users must be taken in context. Some Soldiers will not criticize the vehicle for career reasons. All of the units converted to Strykers so far were formerly light infantry so their basis of comparison is with the HMMWV, not other armoured vehicles. Also Stryker-equipped troops know they are stuck with the vehicle for some time so psychologically some won’t want to harbour doubts about what they must trust their lives to. Military vehicles are generally judged by the levels of Firepower, Protection and Mobility that they offer so we will start by looking at these aspects for the Stryker.
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Firepower Compared to many of its peers the Stryker is lightly armed. Most Strykers have a Kongsberg Protech XM151 Remote Weapon Station (RWS) mounting either a .50 Machine gun or a 40mm Automatic Grenade launcher. Unlike some other designs of RWS there is no provision for reloading or feeding ammo to the weapon from within the vehicle. Once the ammo is expended a crewman must expose themselves to enemy fire to reload the weapon. The .50 version holds 200rds of ammo while the 40mm holds only 32 (there are proposals to increase this to 48). The Stryker does not have any firing ports but there are two hatches over the infantry compartment from each of which one man can fire. The Squad leader also has a hatch beside the RWS. The firepower of Stryker companies was supposed to be increased by a Fire Support variant known as the Mobile Protected Gun system. This is essentially a wheeled tank destroyer mounting a 105mm gun in an unmanned turret. This variant has still not been fielded and the development of the system has been beset by numerous delays and technical problems. Critics voiced concerns as to whether such a vehicle could handle the recoil of such a weapon if fired to the side. The manufacturers released a photo of a prototype firing to the side but still visible in the photo was a metal bracket bracing the vehicle! GD claim these are control and monitoring cables, but judge for yourself and make your own mind up about what this appears to be. Whether the MGS will ever enter service is doubtful. Protection Advocates of the Stryker point out that its basic level of protection (against 14.5mm bullets) is higher than that of the basic M113, the vehicle to which the Stryker is most often compared. This is of little interest, however, since the main threat to vehicles is the rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). Interestingly in Vietnam an RPG penetration of an M113 was estimated to have only a 0.8 chance of causing a single casualty. Only one in seven hits managed to penetrate, so the chances of each hit causing a single casualty was less than 12%. RPG rounds have been improved since then but so too has the armour designed to counter them. Strykers deployed to Iraq have been fitted with “Slat armour” to give them greater protection against RPGs. This is the same sort of bird cage armour that has been used with some success in Northern Ireland and Grozny. One of the first RPG attacks against a Stryker was in Mosul on the 28th March 2004 with the vehicle being written off by two hits. At least partially to blame was the equipment stored under the cage which ignited and the cage held the burning items, forming an efficient brazier. Since the Stryker needs Appliqué armour it is worth noting that such systems exist for other vehicles such as the M113 (although the US Army refuses to buy and field them. Some troops have improvised their own). Purposedesigned Appliqué armour can be seen on many Israeli M113s and not only protect against RPGs but increase ballistic protection up to a level to stop 23mm cannon rounds. Critics of the Stryker point to its large exposed wheels as being vulnerable to even relatively light weapons. The metal backing of the wheels behind the tires is not armoured. While these tires are “Run-flats” damage to one or more will still require
the vehicle to return to base rather than continue with its mission. Information on specific attacks against wheels is not easy to come by but this seems to be a legitimate concern. Stryker companies in Iraq seem to be consuming tires at a staggering rate. I’ve seen estimates that this may be as high as at least one $1,000 wheel each day per company. The Stryker is considerably heavier than earlier models of this vehicle such as the Mowag Piranha and it is possible that the load is too much for the wheels. (Jane’s Armour and Artillery 2002-2003 gives the weight of the proposed European MRAV as between 25t and 33t) One field where the Stryker does seem to have performed adequately is in resisting mine-damage. Many Strykers hit by mines have been able to limp home, or at the least the crews have survived with no fatalities. For units that are used to HMMWVs the improvement is obvious. Mine protection is a vehicle feature that has been greatly neglected by Armies in the Northern Hemisphere and many older designs of vehicles such as the Bradley, M113 and HMMWV have virtually no features to counter mine attack. In this article veteran tanker Ralph Zumbro suggests ways that this discrepancy can be addressed for tracked vehicles. While the Stryker is by no means as well-designed to resist mine attack as many Southern African
designs at least some attention seems to have been paid to this problem although some of this capability may just be inherent to the boat-shaped hull and angled armoured wheel arches. A feature often praised by Stryker users is the suite of C4SI electronic and communication systems fitted to the vehicle and intended to increase situational awareness and navigational ability. There have, however been problems with these systems malfunctioning in the non-air conditioned environment inside the Strykers. Opponents of the Stryker make the reasonable argument that if these systems offer troops a combat advantage they should be retrofitted to other models of vehicle already in service. In fact it can be argued that by not adopting such a policy the Army is deliberately risking the lives of men in nonStryker units in order to make the Stryker appear better. Mobility To many of its critics the Stryker’s most controversial feature is the choice of a wheeled vehicle rather than a tracked one. According to established Dogma wheeled armoured vehicles offer several advantages over tracked. These include lower running costs, less maintenance and higher speed. Recent studies suggest that some of these assumptions are wrong or at least not INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 49
so clear cut. Many previous studies have been poorly designed with Heavy Tanks being compared to much lighter trucks or armoured cars. Tracked vehicles tend to spend more time operating on rough terrain while wheeled vehicles are mainly used on roads. It is also true that some studies are simply out of date. Tracked vehicles have seen improvements in suspension and track design and experiments with economical and quieter hybrid electric drives. On the other hand wheeled systems for armoured vehicles seem to have gotten more complicated with systems to improve cross country performance such as centralized tire pressure regulation. More recent studies indicate that for wheeled and tracked vehicles of similar weight there is less difference in running costs and maintenance than is commonly supposed. Wheeled vehicles seem to generally show better fuel economy for road operations but lose this advantage if they must be operated in rough country. For off-road operations tracked vehicles show equal if not superior fuel consumption and have less maintenance-related problems. As has already been noted, Strykers in Iraq are mainly being operated on roads yet wheel changing has become a common occurrence and some estimate that the running cost per mile is about five times higher than for similar tracked vehicle. It is worth pointing out here that tracked vehicles have greatly superior performance off-road both in the types of terrain they can cross and the speed at which they can cross it. Tracked vehicles also have advantages in more urban terrain since they can more easily cross rubble or crush barricades. One advantage of the Stryker that is often touted by supporters is its greater speed. Speed has both tactical and operational benefits. On the operational level a unit that can move faster can reach an objective in a shorter time. On the tactical level moving faster can make you harder to hit. As discussed above, wheeled vehicles usually only show a speed advantage over tracked vehicles if they are operated on roads or good ground. However, roads are a predictable approach route and are likely to be mined or defended in some other manner. In some situations a slower moving unit traveling across country may be more likely to reach an objective than a faster moving one that attempts to use a road. In some parts of the world or for certain missions such as convoy escort there may be no choice but to have a force traveling by road. For such situations having vehicles that can at least keep up with the trucks they are escorting is an advantage. Track advocates point out that with new technologies such as bandtracks and more powerful hybrid electric drives tracked vehicles that can attain a road speed of 100km/h + are only a matter of time. Already in service we have Abrams tanks that can move at 72km/h and the British Warrior IFV which can attain 80km/h. As far as moving faster reduces the chances of being hit goes I think this is somewhat optimistic given that high velocity rounds and guided missiles are potential threats. Speed can only be used in terrain that permits it and on a road the course is easy to predict. Claims that wheeled vehicles are quieter than tracks also need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Although this may be the case neither is likely to allow you to creep up on someone. While in theory the Stryker has a top road speed of 100km/ h in practice this cannot be attained. Several road accidents in Iraq have resulted in the Army forbidding drivers from exceeding 72km/h. The first three casualties in a Stryker occurred 50, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
when two Strykers tumbled into a canal and a crewman forgot to unlock the Slat armour. One crewman could not be reached before he drowned. The basic Stryker design has often been accused of being top heavy and it is possible that the addition of 5,500 pounds of Slat armour above the already high center of gravity has amplified this characteristic. The driving position of the Stryker may also contribute to problems. The driver has the choice of either driving head’s up or under armour and using periscopes and a single forward looking TV screen. Neither of these options sound particularly ideal for high-speed driving and it is notable that many of the other wheeled armoured vehicles that can attain speeds of around 60mph (VAB, Fuchs, BTR, Saxon) have some form of windscreen giving both a forward and lateral view. The actual tactical niche of the Stryker is hard to determine. As I have discussed on this page it is a too aggressive looking vehicle for Peacekeeping operations and too lightly armed and armoured for more major conflicts. Problems with road-handling and the low practical speed make it a poor choice for convoy duty when compared to simpler cheaper options such as Guntrucks. The Army has claimed that it is an idea platform for urban operations but this statement defies logic. It is a large vehicle with a turning radius of 8 metres, making it difficult to maneuver in normal streets. It also lacks the obstacle and barricade crossing capability of a tracked vehicle. In close terrain enemies can easily approach close enough to target the tires and the lack of firing ports and limited number of roof hatches make it difficult to provide all-around defensive fire. While excellent weapons against personnel and soft skin vehicles .50 HMGs and 40mm Grenades are of only limited use against enemies protected by brick and concrete. Strategic The main justification used for the adoption of the Stryker was that the US Army needed to form light/medium armoured brigades that could be deployed anywhere in the world within 96 hours. While this sounds like an admirable goal there are some very reasonable doubts as to whether the USAF has sufficient airlift capability to move a whole brigade within this time frame. The Army estimates this will need the equivalent of 217 C-17 sorties but the Air force only has 120 C-17s worldwide, many of which will be deployed on other duties. Unlike the aircraft of many other nations the majority of the 600 C-130s in USAF service lack an in-flight refueling capability, limiting their range and how much load they can carry. Despite these problems it would be reasonable to expect that the vehicle selected for these Brigades would be capable of operating on a wide range terrain types and capable of being transported by C-130. The choice of the LAV Stryker as the Intermediate Light Armoured Vehicle (ILAV) is therefore quite baffling. Since the vehicle should be capable of operating anywhere in the world the election of a wheeled vehicle is surprising since the superiority of tracks over a wider variation of terrain types is beyond dispute. Although the Intermediate Light Armoured Vehicle (ILAV) was supposed to be an “off the shelf” design the Stryker has undergone an extensive and expensive program of modification and redesign. Manufacturers General Dynamics regard it as a separate generation from the Mowag Piranha and USMC LAV-
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25s on which it is based. While a LAV-25 costs US$880,000 each Stryker costs US$2,800,000. Most surprising ILAV feature of all is the vehicle weight. The first Stryker off the assembly line weighted 38,010 pounds and later vehicles have not got any lighter. The problematic MGS weighs considerably more. The USAF regards 36,500 lbs to be the maximum acceptable weight for a load in a C-130. The large size of the vehicle also causes problems. If fitted inside a C-130 there is insufficient room to allow for a crew-escape gangway past the vehicle so for this and other reasons transport of a LAV on a C-130 requires a special safety waver. For a Congressional test, the Army pulled off all external appurtenances like radio antennae, light brackets, siphoned out most of the fuel and removed everything they could carry like the M2 .50 caliber HMG and ammunition. Only one man was allowed to accompany the 11 man vehicle and the stripped down vehicle had to be rolled onto the C-130 since it had minimal fuel. The flight lasted 15 minutes. The Congressional Committee in attendance stated that the Stryker met its airworthiness test. To carry the weight of the Stryker the C-130 had to reduce its fuel load resulting in an aircraft that could fly less distance than the Stryker can travel on a full tank of gas! Once the real details of another display became public former House speaker Newt Gingrich has bitterly critical of the Army, calling such displays “a cheap stunt” and “a nice piece of public deception. The senior Army deliberately misled the Congress and the Secretary of Defense about air transportability” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/ A63730-2004Aug13.html). In Inside the Army, Sept 30th 2002 Gingrich stated that ‘Stryker simply fails to meet the Army’s self-imposed requirement of deployment via C-130. C-130 compatibility is critical 52, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
for two reasons, he contends. “There is no other airplane available with the total lift and mobility of the C-130,” he states in the message. Furthermore, approximately 1,730 C-130s – including 810 within the U.S. Defense Department and Coast Guard – are owned by 68 countries across the globe; should the United States need assistance, “our allies can really help with theater mobility if it fits into a C-130,” Gingrich says. The C-130 requirement must be “non-negotiable” and, given that Stryker is not C-130 deployable, he states, the program should be terminated. If the department were to let the current contract run its course, it could outfit about one brigade and use it for testing purposes, Gingrich suggests. “It is impossible for this system to be funded in the next budget at levels requested. It has failed in ways which are not, repeat NOT, correctable,” he concludes.’ The same article in Inside the Army notes that during the August Millennium Challenge ‘02 exercise during which five Strykers were flown on C-130s from Southern California to the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin. (Fort Irwin is also in Southern California, 37 miles from Barstow. Assuming that the origin of this flight was either Los Angeles or San Diego Airport this is a flight of around 200 miles). The article states: “An Army summary of Stryker performance during Millennium Challenge noted that the Infantry Carrier Vehicle variant required multiple alterations to fit into a C-130: The crew removed two smoke grenade launchers, all antennas, a left rear bracket that blocked egress over the top of the vehicle, the Remote Weapons System and the third-row wheel’s bump-stop. Reassembly upon landing took as long as 17 minutes, the memo stated (Inside the Army, Sept. 23, p1).” The Strykers that were deployed to Iraq were moved by Sea. Some were flown by C-17 and critics argue that such airlift
capacity would have been better used to deploy more capable and useful vehicles such as Bradleys and MBTs. Political One may wonder how a vehicle that meets so few of the stated requirements entered service. The following points are all public knowledge and the reader is invited to verify them independently. One of the key figures in the formation of the Interim Brigade Combat Teams and the selection of the Stryker for these units was Hawaiian-born then Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki (1999-2003). Facing criticism of the choice of the Stryker as the ILAV the Army organized a series of tests and trials intended to prove the Stryker was superior to other wheeled or tracked alternatives. These tests were widely criticized as being designed to favour the Stryker. A month before it was confirmed that General Dynamics had won the ILAV the director of the Army’s Program Analysis and Evaluation, Major General David K. Heebner retired to work for General Dynamics. General Jack Keane was General Shinseki’s Vice Chief of Staff. Upon retirement General Keane went to work for General Dynamics alongside General Heebner.1 Prior to his retirement some observers expected Shinseki to run for the Senate representing Hawaii. Both the current senators, Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka are in their 80’s and were vocal supporters of Shinseki.2 1
General Dynamics Press Release http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi _ m0WUB/is _ 1999 _ Nov _ 22/ai _ 57758966 http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0107-01.htm 2 http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-babbin030603.asp http://goldsea.com/Air/Issues/Shinseki/shinseki.html
On his retirement Gen Shinseki joined the board of the First Hawaiian Bank and BancWest Corporation. Pacific Business News notes that the appointment “… comes at a time when the military’s impact on Hawaii economy is second only to tourism”. Whether Shinseki will run for Senate when Inouye or Akaka retire in the future remains to be seen. Approval for the Army to buy GD’s Stryker was given by the Appropriations Committee lead by Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. Two of the first units to be converted to Strykers are stationed in Hawaii and Alaska. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania was the Chairman of the Land-Sea Sub-Committee of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. It was this sub-committee that was charged with approving the tests results between the Stryker and the M113. Santorum signed off on the Stryker victory thus costing his state of Pennsylvania 1,500 union jobs at United Defense in York, PA – the maker of the M113 FOV. Those jobs ultimately went to the GD/GMLS plant in London, Toronto, Canada. The Pennsylvania Nation Guard was awarded one Stryker Brigade in Senator Santorum’s former state, the first National Guard unit to receive the Stryker. Senator Santorum was defeated for re-election presumably by the efforts of the workers he idled at York. States where Stryker Brigades are stationed receive Federal grants valued at $700 million each to develop facilities for the Brigades. Each Brigade is estimated to cost the Army $1.5 Billion. My thanks to those who supplied information for this article. My best wishes to the Soldiers placed in unnecessary danger by the greed and arrogance of Politicians and Generals. This article is available online at http://www.angelfire.com/ art/enchanter/stryker.html INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 53
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BAD to the BONE A health system that leaves a child’s bone tumour untreated
An 11-year-old boy has spent the last year waiting on his world to change as his mother battles for his most basic right, good health. MELODY TOWNS reports
magine, your 10 year old son comes home from school after playing football with his mates, a little bit knocked around, bruised as only boys can bruise and complaining of a sore leg. You think nothing of it, boys will be boys, but as he continues to rub at his leg, you decide that one of your motherly duties is to make that trip to emergency, and get an x-ray done, just in case. Ready for the long wait, you sit in the hospital with a hot cup of instant coffee straight from the machine, and catch up with the celebrity gossip in magazines that have been sitting there long enough for the breaking news to be today’s back page history. Your son rests his head on your shoulder, bored and in pain, and neither of you worry too much about the wait, as you assume in the worst case its only a fractured bone or pulled ligament. Once he’s in and the x-ray has been taken, both of you are more than ready to go home. It’s been a long day. What you don’t expect is the small lump on your son’s leg to be anything more than a mendable break, almost a right of passage to being a boy, and you are ready to leave undeterred almost before you have had time to discuss what has been found. What the x-ray reveals, far more than a break, seems to put a distinct halt on your journey home and on your life from this point forward. Instead of revealing a break, they have found a bone tumour. Now 11, Matthew boasts a huge collection of x-rays from his elbows, collarbone, back and even his middle finger. For a boy that loves sports, one would assume that it’s all that football that is causing Matt to become a familiar face in the xray ward. But then you see his wheelchair, his drawn eyes and downward gait and you realise that this a young boy that has been in constant pain for over a year, and is still waiting to have the bone tumour on his leg removed. Matt, already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since an incident when he was only two years old, is now being bullied at school, the other children ignorantly – but as cruel as children can be – teasing him that he is dying. His principal has suggested that Matt cut down his hours at school due to the stress and, to top it all off, the counselling Matt has been receiving has been cut. Struggling to find his smile, the once active “boy’s boy”, Matt longs to be able to play with his friends again, and do what most 11 year old boys love most, to play all
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the sport he now only dreams about from the confinement of his wheelchair. And as for his mother Anne, she has been through hell and back, fighting for what many would describe as a mother’s right, to get her son the treatment that he needs. From the beginning of this journey, Anne has sought what most mothers seek, the best treatment they can receive for their children. From taking the advice of Matthew’s specialist house surgeon and getting more x-rays done to ensure that there were not any other tumours, to fighting a system where the pressure of waiting lists are seeing a whole hospital system buckle, Anne continues to strive for what she considers to be a basic human right, the health of a child.
iagnosed in February 2006, Matthew is only just about to receive surgery on a tumour that was recommended by one doctor as crucial in being removed as soon as possible. Originally told that the waiting list would only be up to nine months and the tumour only having a one percent chance of becoming malignant, Anne was originally relieved to know that her son was booked in with one of New Zealand’s best lower limb surgeons and naturally wanted to know everything she could about the journey that she and her son now faced together. With over 20 years experience as one of Christchurch’s most well known and respected surgeons, Anne felt so lucky to have her son on his list. But after successive appointments, Anne felt that she was receiving conflicting information and although some may suggest that the 1% chance that Matt’s tumour could be malignant should have been a relief, instead Anne didn’t want her son to be that 1% and wanted to know more. By seeking a second opinion from a close family friend who happens to be an orthopaedic specialist based in Taiwan, Anne felt from his diagnosis that her concerns were valid. Stating that the chance of malignancy couldn’t be ruled out this specialist suggested that the tumour should not be delayed in being removed. Feeling that the appointed surgeon didn’t have time to listen to her concerns and answer her questions, Anne wrote a letter to her GP outlining her worries and mentioning that she had lobbied her MP with regards to the long surgery waiting lists due to government financial funding cuts. With more than 35,000 people cut from elective surgery waiting lists in one year and 13,000 patients sent back to their GP after earlier being promised treatment within six months, Anne had a reason to be concerned. What she viewed as an attempt to help the situation for not only her son, but also the thousands on New Zealanders on waiting lists, would instead be the beginning of a long and complicated battle with a system where the health of a child can be gambled away in the hands of bureaucracy. In their next meeting, Anne was relieved when the surgeon said that due to the letter her GP had forwarded on to him, he would be willing to place Matthew on the priority list for surgery which meant that he would not now have to wait the initial eight or nine months, but in saying that wouldn’t receive surgery tomorrow either. But it was his following statement that left her stunned and angry.
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Anne says, “He then stood at my feet where I was seated and said, “Going to your MP was a really dumb and stupid thing to do, and I’ve signed off a letter to you this morning”. That letter beginning on a positive note states, “In view of his (Matthew’s) ongoing symptoms I am happy to increase his priority on my paediatric operating list”, but then goes on to say in the next paragraph, “I would strongly recommend that you do not continue to pursue your local MP to support Matthew’s case. “The politicians in this government are…responsible for the current waiting list fiasco…I therefore have an extremely negative reaction to any letters I receive from MP’s and these patients invariably are returned to the bottom of the list”. Anne says, “ I thought, no, I’m not going to be treated like this and Matt deserves more respect”. Responding with what she describes as a “don’t’ threaten my democratic rights or the rights of my son to surgery”, meant that this family fallout was one that would ultimately affect one person, Matthew. Feeling too intimidated to meet the surgeon in person, Anne again wrote a letter of concern to her GP stating that she felt threatened and intimidated. In response, the surgeon wrote back, this time not to Anne but to the GP stating, “I believe my professional relationship with Matthew’s mother has failed beyond retrieval and the only appropriate course of action would be to transfer him to another consultant’s care”. Following a story aired on Close Up, the surgeon responds to these allegations stating, “������������������������������������� the current waiting list environment is enormously frustrating for surgeons as well as patients… While I regret that any offence was taken by my letter, and understand Anne’s concerns as a loving parent, I feel it is inappropriate for a politician to be approached in order to place pressure on a clinician to bump up a patient on the waiting list – a decision which must be based entirely on clinical need.” Strongly denying that by approaching her MP she was seeking to move her son up the waiting list, Anne instead says that her only intention in doing so was to express her concern that the current government’s funding cuts to the health system results in a long waiting time for surgery fro someone with Matt’s condition. “I felt this approach would be a supportive move by myself towards the surgeon and the hospitals in general. At that time I had no concerns regarding the professionalism or ethical standards of the surgeon in question. It was only after he actually wrote and stated, “I have removed him from my waiting list”, that I complained to the MP’s office. To suggest I want Matt’s surgery to be placed ahead of any other person in need of surgery is just so incorrect – but as a concerned parent who is exhausted from having to fight this battle at a time when Matt needs my constant attention and support – has pushed me to the limit”. It’s now been far longer then the nine months promised for surgery and Matt is still on a waiting list, now with a different surgeon who a year later, says that Matt needs a 3D scan immediately so they can determine the size of the tumour. Not only that but the new surgeon says that it may be the size of the tumour which is affecting the nerve supply to Matt’s foot, something that had been denied by the first surgeon when Anne had questioned Matt’s pain in his leg. But it was in the revelation that if the tumour is removed now it is highly likely it will regrow before Matt reaches maturity that Anne found herself stunned and the fact that the tumour is growing so
“Originally told that the waiting list would only be up to nine months and the tumour only having a one percent chance of becoming malignant, Anne was originally relieved to know that her son was booked in with one of New Zealand’s best lower limb surgeons” fast that it will continue to cause even bigger problems if not removed now. Feeling somewhat vindicated for all the concerns that she has raised and the trouble that she has been through, Anne is relieved that her son’s surgery is now booked in but appalled that he is in so much pain because of a non-medical fallout between her and the original surgeon. Determined not to let other parents and children suffer like she has, Anne has faced a battle since the beginning, with not only the original surgeon, but by lodging complaints with the Health & Disability Commissioner on numerous occasions including a misdiagnosis that was described as a ‘typo’ and her surgeon’s actions
deemed as ‘appropriate’. Yet no action has been taken. “I have battled for a year now to get my son surgery. I have done my very best to follow correct channels to get my complaint satisfactorily dealt with and to get resolution on the matter. I have encountered all along the way what I believe to be corruption on many levels and have a lot of written evidence to support this. I am a single parent, currently unable to work due to my son’s condition – he has been partially confined to a wheelchair since last July and is in constant pain. I feel my son’s story needs to be told because I am sure he will not be the only case of this kind and I feel very strongly that New Zealanders need to know what I have encountered in my battle to get resolution for my son”. INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 57
BIG Lust The growing problem of polygamy
AGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — The neighbourhood looks like any other in the upper-middle-class suburbs: sprawling homes with porch swings and manicured lawns strewn with discarded kids’ bikes. But beneath the all-American veneer, much is different in this upscale subdivision 70 kilometres south of Salt Lake City. “Pretty much everyone who lives here is polygamous,” says Mary – a woman who gave a recent tour of the area and is herself the second wife of a Utah man. She, like other polygamists
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There’s a growing push in America to legalise polygamy as the next frontier in the sexual revolution. KIRSTEN SCHARNBERG and MANYA BRACHEAR discover just how far it is spreading
interviewed for this story, asked to be identified only by her first name for fear of prosecution. “There may be one or two houses that aren’t, but virtually everyone else here is one of ours.” In the months since the arrest of Warren Jeffs, the fundamentalist Mormon leader who made the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list for allegations that he facilitated the rape and marriage of underage girls, there have been constant questions about the real pervasiveness and peril of polygamy in Utah. Mainstream Mormons in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with 12 million members worldwide, have
WORLDBRIEF virtually every other polygamous sect practicing in Utah today has been linked to financial, sexual or spiritual improprieties. Federal grand juries in Arizona and state investigators in Nevada are probing polygamist practices in those states, according to media reports. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), himself a Mormon, asked U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales to create a federal task force to investigate polygamy sects in the Western U.S., particularly Jeffs’ church, a group in which girls as young as 13 are being married and hundreds of boys have been excommunicated and cut off from their parents in an alleged effort to reduce the elders’ competition for wives. Still, in his letter, Reid’s comments made clear he was referring to Utah’s polygamy subculture in general as much as to Jeffs’ community along the Utah-Arizona border. “For too long, this outrageous activity has been disguised in the mask of religious freedom,” he wrote. “But child abuse and human servitude have nothing to do with religious freedom and must not be tolerated.”
Defending their faith
asserted that all polygamous denominations – including Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – are aberrations in a state where the influential Mormon Church suspended the practice of polygamy more than a century ago. But Utah’s attorney general, pro-polygamy activists and other experts estimate there are 40,000 people living in polygamous families or communities like this one across the Western U.S. – with a large portion of them residing in suburban Utah. Although it is rare that allegations of abuse are as systemic or egregious as those reported in the community led by Jeffs,
In the wake of such comments, Utah polygamists have come forward in unprecedented force to defend their faith, values and lifestyle. They say plural marriage fulfills the mission of all Mormons to be fruitful and multiply and to ascend to the highest reaches of heaven. They say it breaks their hearts that the mainstream church in 1890 abandoned polygamy – or what one expert called “the process of polishing the soul” – to appease the federal government and ensure Utah would earn statehood. They point to such communities as Eagle Mountain and Rocky Ridge, where polygamous families appear to be happy and prosperous, often with multiple wives of one husband living in palatial homes with adjoining yards. “We’re really sickeningly boring,” said Jane, another wife to the same husband as Mary. “There is no high drama. We are the people next door – it’s just that there are more of us.” During the 2004 campaign for Utah attorney general, polygamy was called the state’s “dirty little secret,” and candidates for the top law-enforcement position debated how best to deal with it. Mark Shurtleff won and has since implemented a policy to essentially leave polygamists alone unless they are committing other crimes simultaneously. Although the act of having more than one spouse is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison in Utah, authorities long ago stopped actively going after polygamists. “We don’t have the resources, nor do I think that we should use our resources, to convict every polygamist in Utah, put them in jail and put 20,000 kids into foster care,” Shurtleff told a Canadian reporter recently when asked the state’s approach to cracking down on polygamy. “What we’re focusing on are crimes against women and children and tax fraud and other crimes involving misuse of public money.” Indeed, long before Jeffs was arrested on a highway outside Las Vegas, those crimes have been evident. For example: The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days was the subject of much criticism when a young woman fled the community and went to authorities alleging she had been coerced into marrying her stepfather after years of being told she would burn in hell otherwise, according to a INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 59
book detailing the case. Utah’s attorney general chose not to prosecute the man, a charismatic preacher who has claimed to be the reincarnated Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, because the woman was 20 years old and deemed a consenting adult. The Apostolic United Brethren, a polygamous community in Utah with 7,500 members, a beautiful suburban complex with athletic fields, an outdoor dance pavilion and a private school, was found in court to have bilked a wealthy member out of more than $1.5 million, and a judge ruled the sect and its leaders had to return it. In the Davis County Cooperative Society, a polygamous community north of Salt Lake City, the leading family, the Kingstons, has been said by state prosecutors to have assets worth well over $150 million. Yet court testimony in a recent child-abuse and custody case revealed that one of the community’s patriarchs argued he could not pay the monthly child support ordered by a judge for the children of one of his several wives. Another of the family’s leaders was convicted in 1999 of felony incest for taking his 16-year-old niece as his 15th wife. Yet even the most vocal critics are careful not to allege that every polygamist is guilty of such abuses. “Listen,” says John Llewellyn, one of the leading polygamy critics in Utah today. “I’m a former law-enforcement officer, a former polygamist and now someone who’s working against polygamy. I’ve seen this from every side. And the bottom line is that there are a lot of polygamists out there who are good, honest people. There are, unfortunately, that many – or more – who are out there perpetuating every kind of horrible abuse you can’t even imagine.” The Apostolic United Brethren community, whose members are scattered throughout Salt Lake City suburbs such as Eagle Mountain, is largely considered by authorities and even several polygamy critics like Llewellyn to be a group in which abuse is neither rampant nor tolerated.
The highest heaven Charles, 41, a computer programmer with three wives and 14 children, lives in central Utah and says he simply wants to carry out God’s plan. He and his first wife joined the Apostolic United Brethren, or AUB, and later he took second and third wives, Jeni and Alorah. “We believe the purpose of plural marriage is to bring spirits here waiting to be born into good families that will teach them the gospel,” he said. “A lot of people around here want to live plural marriage so they make it to the highest heaven. When I see what the saviour has done for me, you just want to pay him back and do what he says.” But it’s not for every fundamentalist Mormon. Charles’ third wife, Alorah, said her mother was the third of four wives and still her decision to enter into plural marriage required intense prayer. “There’s a saying that is kind of common among the girls in this group, that if you can have 10 percent of a 100 percent man, instead of 100 percent of a 10 percent man, then what would you choose?” Over the decades, polygamous communities have burgeoned statewide – and continue to do so because polygamists have such large families. Mary and Jane are both married to one AUB community member, a middle-age man who is something of a real-life 60, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007
equivalent of Bill Henrickson, the character in HBO’s series “Big Love” who lives in the Salt Lake City suburbs with his three wives, seven kids and ever-mounting bills. Over dinner at a suburban seafood restaurant, Jane and Mary jointly make fun of their husband while he good-naturedly laughs at their quips. The women brush off questions about jealousy between them by saying he isn’t worth fighting over, but they later expound on the Mormon principle of building large families on Earth that later can be replicated in heaven. The family explains the mechanics of their lives: The two wives have houses next door to one another. (Jane jokingly complains that Mary has the better lawn.) The husband, who asked not to be identified, spends three nights each week with each wife and family; they rotate every other week on who gets the fourth night. The family grows somber when they discuss allegations that abuses are inexorably linked to polygamy. They go to pains to say their community strongly discourages marrying before the age of 18. Mary is visibly proud when she tells that one of her sons discovered a man in the community was abusing an underage girl and went to police with the information. “Bottom line,” she says, “if you wake up a 13-year-old girl in the middle of the night and marry her off to a man 20 years older than her, that’s abuse. Absolutely.” It’s families like these that polygamy advocates hold up when they make their most frequent argument: decriminalization. They say that if the fear of prosecution is removed, polygamous groups could stop living in seclusion and secrecy, the very conditions that often enable many of the alleged abuses. Even more, they would then feel less fear about going to authorities to turn in abusers within their ranks. “It would be all about going after the crimes, not the culture,” said Anne Wilde, a former plural wife who now is widowed and the co-director of Principle Voices, a pro-polygamy group. Yet anti-polygamy activists are equally adamant that the culture invariably leads to problems. At minimum, they say, women are marginalized by a religious doctrine that turns them into a modern harem for their husbands. They tell of marriages in which the husband had more children than he could ever hope to support, thus leaving wives to scrape by as best they could on welfare. But worse, they say, is that the culture has a long tradition of physical abuse, rape, incest and underage marriage that endures. “I’ve lived that life,” says Vicky Prunty, a co-director of Tapestry Against Polygamy, the state’s most vocal anti-polygamy group. “Anyone who tells you women are not being hurt there – forced into allowing their husbands to take on other wives in the name of religion, getting married too young to men much older, being hit or worse – [is] not being truthful.” Elaine Tyler, a volunteer at The HOPE Organization, a group geared toward helping those who have left polygamous communities, has seen firsthand the effects a polygamous lifestyle has on some of its members. Tyler has met dozens of women, many of whom were forcibly married to much older men long before their 16th birthday, the legal age for marriage in Utah. Many also said they were abused by family members in the Jeffs communities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, where incest has become so widespread that the group has what are believed to be the world’s
“The women brush off questions about jealousy between them by saying he isn’t worth fighting over, but they later expound on the Mormon principle of building large families on Earth that later can be replicated in heaven” highest rates of fumarase deficiency, a rare genetic disease that causes profound mental retardation. “The abuses are shocking,” Tyler says. “Most of the women to emerge from these communities have no idea how unacceptable what has happened to them is. If all they’ve ever seen is their sister in bed next to them getting molested, then when it starts happening to them they don’t think, `Hey, this is wrong.’ They think, `Now it’s my turn.’”
Reluctant witnesses In fact, getting witnesses to testify to abuses is always the hardest part of polygamy prosecutions. Llewellyn, a former lieutenant in the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office who secretly took three wives himself before becoming an outspoken polygamy author and critic, said one of the key reasons he disavowed the lifestyle was seeing how polygamous communities routinely refused to testify against those within their fold who were committing crimes. “I guess what I hope now is that I can pay back for some of the things I’ve done and been a part of,” says Llewellyn, who wrote “Polygamy’s Rape of Rachel Strong,” a book that chronicled the life of a young woman who left a heavy-handed polygamous community, but only after being pressured into
marrying her middle-age stepfather. Llewellyn argues in the book that Strong’s stepfather, well-known Utah polygamist James Harmston, forced her into marriage and sex through a campaign of spiritual coercion as “effective as putting a gun to her head.” Harmston has called Strong mentally ill and denied having forced her into the marriage. On a recent Friday evening, as the chill began to creep into the mountain air, teenagers from a polygamous community on the outskirts of Salt Lake City gathered for a barn dance. Erin Thompson, 15, typified the youth of the community who were there: bright, polite, optimistic. She spoke of her plans to attend college, perhaps become a dentist. Looking further ahead, she spoke of marriage and children, and, without hesitation, said she hoped to be a plural wife. She said she felt a religious calling to do so and believed that having to share a husband would teach her about sacrifice and prevent her from making him the center of her universe. “Bad things happen in every community, whether they are polygamous or not,” she said. “I know that. But I believe that this lifestyle can bring more blessings than you can imagine if it is lived correctly, and I understand that if it is lived wrongly it can bring that same amount of pain.” INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 61
Baby Boomers about to go Bang
Peter Hensley smells a financial Armageddon in the wind...
im remembered it well. It was in the early part of the 1980s. His accountant suggested that he could reduce the amount he paid in mortgage interest by borrowing the funds offshore. The memory sent shivers down his spine. The argument was that the interest rate was lower. Why should he borrow from a New Zealand bank at interest rates of 21% pa plus when he could borrow from a bank in Switzerland and only pay 10% pa. It looked tremendous. Then the election happened in 1984 and Roger Douglas floated the New Zealand dollar. Jim vividly recalls that whilst the interest rate didn’t move, the decline in the
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NZ$ meant that he suddenly owed twice as much. He did not send Mr Douglas a Christmas card that year. Jim’s memory was jogged as he listened to his favourite financial adviser explaining the Yen carry trade. Imagine being a client of a large investment bank in New York and you had $10,000 to invest. The bank suggested investing in New Zealand Government bonds as they could get 6% pa. But instead of investing $10,000 why not borrow $90,000 from the Bank of Japan as they are only charging 1% on loans. The client does a quick calculation. In round figures, in one year the interest he
would collect would be $6,000. It would cost $900 to pay the interest in Japan, take a little off for fees, the annual profit would $4,500 or 45% return on their initial investment of $10,000. Wow, he says, I’ll have some of this. And indeed the Yen carry trade, as it is known in the business has proven extremely popular for currency traders, hedge funds and now the average Joe investor in the US for the past several years. It is one reason why the New Zealand dollar has been able to defy gravity over that same time frame. The currency has been extremely popular with traders, and currency traders account for 90% of daily volume. Recently the US$ has been declining in value, especially against the yen. This movement has been the cause of more than several sleepless nights amongst investors in the Yen carry trade. The Yen has been strengthening and overall has gone up by about 5%. Jim knew exactly what this would mean to the US investors. Instead of owing the Bank of Japan $90,000, the change in the value of the currency meant they would owe about $94,500. The annual profit has been wiped out in a matter of days. Should the US$ keep declining in value, the investor’s $10,000 would also quickly disappear and it would be followed by more sleeplessness. There are no official figures on the size of the Yen carry trade, however it is estimated to be in the trillions. With the USA continuing to run record breaking budget – and trade deficits, the long term direction of the US$ can only be down. This means that at some stage the carry trade has to stop. Many commentators are suggesting that we are almost there. Jim remembered when the currency turned against them. Every day cost thousands and his mortgage was only $40,000. Imagine what could happen to currency markets if everyone wanted to head for the exits at the same time. Jim was becoming aware of yet another problem in the financial universe. Sub prime mortgages in the US were in trouble. His adviser went on to explain what they were. The past seven years have seen house prices skyrocket and this real estate gold rush has been a global phenomenon. The petrol or fuel that has kept this market alive has been debt. The thirst for real estate has been quenched only by bankers with increasingly creative novel approaches to lending.
To help people get into the market, they made loans which had ridiculous parameters. Interest rates of only 2% for the first two or three years, no proof of income and no principal repayments. Punters were queuing up. Also because houses were appreciating in value so quickly, they frequently made the loan larger than the current value of the property so that they could spend some of the expected added value on upgrading the family car. After the introductory period the interest only loan would adjust to market interest and repayments would start to include principal. The new home owners did not see this as an issue, because they expected to sell the home for a profit and end up with cash in their pocket. The honeymoon period is now over, the mortgages are being reset, millions of them. Mortgage delinquencies and bankruptcy rates are on the increase. Jim thought that whilst this was interesting, what effect could it have on his investments in New Zealand? In order to fund these mortgages the US has borrowed money from around the world. The money has been lent out on US real estate. The loans have then been repackaged and sold in a variety of structures. Some have been called mortgage backed securities, others as structured credit. Some have been insured and the insurance packages themselves have been sliced and diced and resold as CDOs and even new generation CDOs known as CPDOs. Some of these packages have been given investment grade credit ratings and non US based fund managers in a search for anything that will give a positive investment return have been buying them up, even leveraging (borrowing to buy â€“ exactly the same as the carry trade example outlined earlier in this essay) themselves to increase the return. Now Jimâ€™s financial adviser has a very long memory. He recalled that Warren Buffet once described CDOs and synthetic derivatives as financial weapons of mass destruction. He went on to clarify that not all derivatives are the same and in his recent annual letter to investors he revealed that he has a small number of only 64 derivatives, in his billion dollar portfolio. He manages them on a daily basis and he is quick to point out that none have related party risk. The ones sold to non US based fund managers do. Now Jimâ€™s adviser went on to outline that, in addition to the potential unwinding of the Yen carry trade, the likely longer lasting effect of the mortgage fiasco associated with the real estate boom in the United States and the ripple effects relating to the products the mortgages have been packaged into, the United States share market remains critically overvalued based on historic averages. In a desperate bid to keep the game alive, central banks around the world have, over the past decade flooded investment markets with liquidity in the form of cheap money. They have pretended to talk about keeping a lid on inflation whilst at the same time been priming the very pump that creates inflation. As a direct result of their actions, share markets have floated higher, real estate values have soared, and personal debt levels have simultaneously exploded. All this on the eve of the baby boomerâ€™s retirement. At some stage the system will self correct. When and how that might occur is unknown. Letâ€™s hope that it happens in long drawn out stages.
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The game is up for the education bureaucracy, says Amy Brooke
t has taken long enough – and the damage is incalculable. We all know it by now. A colleague marking papers for university law students tells me she’s shocked and horrified by their almost complete ignorance of grammar, syntax, and spelling – that they lack anything like the standards of an educated adult. She’s right of course. The scandal is – So what’s new? This dumbing down has, culpably, been going on for decades. It’s more than time for educationists to be called to account. I recall the wife of an English professor at Canterbury University writing to me years ago, expressing dismay at what they were inheriting from the schools. Even her left-wing colleagues, she said, were growing concerned that their worst graduates were going back into the schools as English teachers. Others wrote that they were having to fail students, because their competence in their first language was so inadequate that they couldn’t perform satisfactorily in specialty areas. The education apparatchiks took no notice. We’ve known all about this – the takeover of the arts subjects in particular by agenda-driven activists within the education ministry and NZQA who managed to persuade gullible colleagues and unquestioning teachers that their new theories were the ones that best served our children. This of course was untrue. As far back as 1982, the black American teacher, Marva Collins, achieving outstanding success with disadvantaged and disturbed children from inner-city slums, said: “New methods and theories are not the solution. In fact they’ve been the primary
We have recently been boasting about New Zealanders being well-educated, when the reality is far different. All this of course has suited a left-wing education establishment very well
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cause of mis-education. Teachers need to stop looking for excuses, and teach.” We now know that the State can’t be trusted with education. These last decades, our education “experts” have been turning out not hundreds, but thousands of young New Zealanders who can’t read, or who have been switched off reading by the trashy replacements for worthwhile literature foisted off on them. Remedial reading classes cater for thousands of young children who should have been taught properly in the first place. Graduates entering university from secondary schools can’t spell, can’t do simple arithmetic without the help of a calculator, and can’t think. Adult literacy classes have become an industry catering for the large sub-literate proportion of our population. A survey I recall, incredibly enough, put the average intellectual age of a newspaper reader at eight years old. We have recently been boasting about New Zealanders being well-educated, when the reality is far different. All this of course has suited a left-wing education establishment very well. Let’s state this bluntly: educationists themselves are, by and large, quite demonstrably not the intellectual cream of the country. There are soft university options, and education has been one of them, long captured by the neo-Marxist theorists – a far cry from the 1920s and 1930s when the teacher training colleges were regarded as being on a par with the universities. They then commanded respect because of the intellectual discipline of their programmes. However, in recent decades, top undergraduates have gone towards far more intellectually demanding degrees, to medicine, chemistry, physics, and other speciality sciences, to mathematics, engineering and law. It has been the latter, demanding precision in language, where the decline in the schools’ competence became so very noticeable. In essence, rocket scientists aren’t to be found in educational circles, with, of course, honorable exceptions. However, why is it apparently acceptable to put in charge of curriculum and qualifications standards those who, academically, were merely average at school? At any rate, the writing is on the wall. Parents beginning to smell a large decaying rat – the obfuscation and jargon with which the ideologically motivated, dumbed down and tedious NCEA courses are defended – are demanding
better. The NCEA was dead in the water from the beginning, designed primarily as a vocational-only course to ensure that no students or courses were regarded as academically superior to others. But public scepticism has grown about ministers of education and their “experts”- the former obviously either ignorant in themselves or simply captured by their own departments, programmed in their public utterances. They’re now being regarded as the problem, rather than the solution. So where did it all start to go wrong? Basically it was under the disastrous stewardship of Dr Clarence Beeby, whom good teachers and principals regarded with loathing, because of new directions set in dumbing down the whole education system. His was the initial thinking, too, behind depressing the prospects for Maori education, by seemingly well-meant proposals to confine Maori towards mainly vocational courses – a move rejected by intelligent chiefs of the time – but paralleled today by proposals to make Maori education “relevant” to the environment in which Maori are apparently envisaged as primarily confined. Their loss and its consequences are obvious. The crucial sea change occurred in 1961, when the New Zealand Department of Education published the new English syllabus with the title “Language in the Primary School”. It followed on from a syllabus on reading published in 1951. Emeritus professor Dr Margaret Dalziel, a lecturer in English at Otago University, previously at the University of Canterbury, was an extraordinary woman, a lifelong friend of Karl Popper. With considerable concern about the quality and competence of the English teachers she herself was encountering at this stage, she knew that the new syllabus would more than compound this problem. She described it as “a disaster in the making”. It replaced the primary syllabus of 1904, devised by the greatly respected George Hogben, Inspector-General of Schools and later New Zealand’s first Director of Education. His syllabus was called “the great syllabus”. So, naturally in the tramp of the Marxist Left through our institutions to gain control of the thinking of our young, and so, ultimately, of the country itself, it had to go. With the subversive 60s the attack on the West accelerated. The full force of relativism – that whole disastrous attack on
Adult literacy classes have become an industry catering for the large sub-literate proportion of our population. A survey I recall, incredibly enough, put the average intellectual age of a newspaper reader at eight years old
thinking, on reason itself, delivered by the mad French existentialist Foucault and his fellow fools – impacted on the community, via leftwing academics who infiltrated our institutions. Its insidious effects are still with us, like those lost competencies withheld from our young – the ability to speak and write well, to be informed about and take pride in those great intellectual traditions brought here by the constantly maligned British colonists. They were for all, Maori and European alike, to share in the heritage of the Old World – derived from the accumulated wisdom, knowledge and culture of many races – so that New Zealanders could hold their own internationally as educated individuals. That crucial loss of areas of learning, of excellence, once made available to children in our state schools, can be traced to that time – that and the whole fudged, manipulative concept of “child-centered education” with its exaggerated, feminist emphasis on feeling, rather than thinking. It has taken half a century – and wasted opportunities for so many of our young – for the country to begin to realize how cheapened our education system is – in spite of all the typical bureaucratic hype we are exposed to. The determination and persistence of informed parents is going to be needed to replace an entrenched bureaucracy. But at least, now, the writing is on the wall. www.amybrooke.co.nz www.summersounds..co.nz http://www.livejournal.com/users/brookeonline/
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 65
Gender-bending river water Hormonal chemicals may be imperiling fish, write Warren Cornwall and Keith Ervin
EATTLE – As they swim deep beneath Seattle’s Elliott Bay, male English sole carry something in their bodies that’s not supposed to be there: a protein usually found only in female fish with developing eggs. These so-called “feminized” fish, first found in the late 1990s, are thought to be victims of human hormones and hormone-mimicking chemicals – flushed into the water from sewage-treatment plants, factories, storm-water drains and runoff from roads – that had made their reproductive systems go haywire. Now a King County, Washington, study has found that those chemicals, which come from sources as varied as birth-control pills and plastic bottles, detergent and makeup, are more widespread in the region’s water than previously known. The chemicals were found at very low levels, but some scientists worry that even in tiny amounts, they could mess with the sensitive reproductive systems of animals that already have plenty of challenges. “We don’t know very much about what these low-level exposures might do to the fish,” says Lyndal Johnson, a biologist for the federal Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. Scientists for King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks, which conducted the recent survey, said that a synthetic female hormone used in birthcontrol pills and hormone-replacement therapy has been found in streams and lakes, upstream from any sewage-treatment plants. That suggests that the prescription drugs are getting into the water from septic tanks or leaking sewer pipes. The hormone, called ethynylestradiol or EE2, is one of many chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system, which regulates animals’ growth and development. The county scientists found EE2 in 22 percent of lake samples and 26 percent of stream samples. It was also found in every sample of storm water that flows into the
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Sammamish River in Redmond. The county scientists also found endocrine-disrupting chemicals in storm water from Redmond and in runoff from the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge across Lake Washington. “The things we detected were real low levels,” said King County ecotoxicologist Deb Lester. “We did detect things, but they’re ubiquitous compounds. It wasn’t a surprise to detect them.” The Seattle area isn’t alone. In the Potomac River, male bass and sunfish have turned up with immature eggs in their testes. Scientists there have wondered whether similar chemicals also played a role in a string of fish kills. In Nevada’s Lake Mead, male carp that live near a pipe that spills treated Las Vegas wastewater had depressed levels of male sex hormone and smaller-than-normal testes. In California, “feminized” male fish have turned up in the Pacific Ocean off Los Angeles and Orange counties, with either the female protein or, in some cases, ovary tissue in their testes. In Western Washington, there’s concern the chemicals could hurt the reproductive success of fish, including salmon, which are already threatened by pollution, habitat loss and historic overfishing. On the Pacific coast, the male sole that had the female protein were mostly concentrated in areas that get a lot of sewage outflow. Young chinook salmon in the Columbia River near Portland have been found with the same female enzyme as in the male English sole. That chemical usually appears only in mature female salmon getting ready to spawn. It’s not just the males showing signs of sexual changes. Females in the most industrialized areas of Elliott Bay and the Duwamish tend to have eggs several months after their usual spawning seasons. And they tend to reach sexual maturity at a younger age, according to researchers at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.
Those changes are consistent with exposure to sex-related hormones. While it’s unknown whether the changes have hurt the fish in the wild, scientists are worried. In one experiment in a lab on the Olympic Peninsula, rainbow trout exposed for two months to very low levels of EE2 had eggs with half the survival rate of their counterparts in hormone-free water. “I think it just raises questions” about whether fish in the wild are being affected, says Irv Schultz, a scientist at the Battelle Marine Sciences Laboratory who conducted the experiment. The levels found in lakes and streams are too low to pose a health risk to swimmers, says Paul Foster, a deputy director of the Center for Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. But there is concern that endocrine disruptors in the environment could affect humans, especially developing fetuses that are undergoing critical changes choreographed by natural sex hormones, Foster says. So the chemicals, which are often present at levels that couldn’t be detected before recently developed lab techniques, have become the subject of intense research. King County looked for endocrine-disrupting chemicals at more than 90 “sites of opportunity” where water has been tested regularly for other pollutants for years, says marine scientist Betsy Cooper. The chemicals pose a particular challenge for sewage-treatment plants. Many of the plants aren’t designed to remove them. Scientists are testing whether new sewage-treatment technology can screen out endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals and other pollutants. THE CHEMICAL LINEUP Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, substances that act like human hormones: Bis (2-ethylhexyl) adipate: an ingredient in plastics, hydraulic fluid, bath oils, eye shadow and nail polish Bisphenol A: used in some plastic food containers, as a liner in metal food containers, and in some dental sealants Estradiol: an estrogen compound produced by women’s ovaries Ethynylestradiol, or EE2: synthetic estrogen used in birth-control pills and hormone-replacement therapy 4-nonylphenol: part of a class of chemicals used in detergents, pesticides and plastics
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Investments with a track record that withstands the scrutiny of prudent investors are why investing with Bridgecorp makes such good financial sense today – just as it has done for over a decade. INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, MayWORK277 2007, 67
Wiping out hard drive needs some software, suggests James Coates
I am planning to sell my laptop (Toshiba Satellite 2800 series, about five years old) and want to know how I go about wiping out my hard drive of any personal information. I’ve been told that just reloading the operating software (Windows XP) will do this, but I want to know for sure. Here’s your answer in a nutshell A.A.: yes and no. By hauling out the original CDs for system recovery and then following the directions to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system will cover a good chunk of the hard drive. That will make it difficult for a techno crook to eke out any information left by your first go-around. I would do just that and sleep like a baby. But if you told me that a bunch of guys wearing Geek Squad white shirts and narrow black ties were seen dragging that lap-
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top out of my garbage bin, I would wake up from my baby sleep and have a cow. The only way to be 100 percent sure that nobody with computer talents can ferret out some stuff from a hard drive is to use software that writes a 0 or a 1 to each spot on the drive. Even then, Pentagon standards call for repeating the write-over several times. The problem is that somebody with an electron microscope could scan the metal plate where hard drive data was recorded to detect what had been written over by looking deep inside the surface. Unless you’ve made enemies with somebody who owns an electron microscope and a parallel array of supercomputers, the write-over will surely suffice. So the fix is to buy a data wipeout program like the US$29.95 Drive Scrubber by Iolo Technologies (www.iolo.com) or
by acquiring a freeware or shareware program. Because peace of mind is the issue, Iolo, an established Windows utility program maker, is probably the way to go. But if you’d like to explore the shareware/freeware option, check out the Tucows Web site (www.tucows.com) where you can search out software using terms such as “data wipe” and “drive clean.” These tend to be fairly complex affairs, like BCWipe from Jetco Inc., that use text-based commands to do a full drive wipe. I am at the end of my wick, so to speak, with the following problems: When Windows boots on my computer, it used to play a melody during start-up and the same one when it shut down. I have purchased a new sound card, and now it only makes a loud thud rather than playing the melody. How do I get the music back? By
the way, music CDs and DVDs play without any problem. Also, when logged onto the Amazon.com music section, and I try to play a sample selection, the Windows Media Player (Version 9) does not work and displays the following message: Unable to perform the request. However, the Real Audio player works fine. What can I do to make the Windows player work? Your Windows sound has sputtered out like a wet wick because the thud file was written to the same folder where Windows stores all its system sounds, including those orchestral ta-dahs at boot up and shutdown. You can restore the out-of-the-box sound effects by clicking on Start and then opening the Control Panel icon where you will find an entry called Sounds and Audio Devices. When you open this control panel you will find a tabbed menu. Open the one called Sounds and there will be a list of all of the actions that Windows accompanies with sound effects – such as
folder openings, e-mail notifications and, of course, start-up and shutdown tunes. When you select an action, the display will show the name of the actual sound file that gets played when that action occurs. A browse button nearby lets users scroll through the list of sound files in the Windows directory for the file in question. You need to select Windows Exit to find and restore that shutdown sound and Windows XP Log On for the start-up. Second: Amazon.com samples don’t play when you click Media Player because Windows isn’t set to use Media Player when the Amazon format is found. So right click on a sample and then select Save Target As and save it to the desktop. There, give this file with the ending of .asx a right click and select Open With. In the next pop-up, use another browse icon to select Windows Media Player and click the check box to make the change permanent. NEXT MONTH: We review Windows Vista and new PDF software
The only way to be 100 percent sure that nobody with computer talents can ferret out some stuff from a hard drive is to use software that writes a 0 or a 1 to each spot on the drive. Even then, Pentagon standards call for repeating the write-over several times
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 69
In A-league of his own
Investigate sports columnist Chris Forster chronicles the resuscitation of a sporting franchise that was officially dead in the water
t’s a sporting saga to match the most protracted of soap operas, with more sequels and hand-wringing than a Coronation Street script writer would dare to create. But the teetering bid to replace the chronically unsuccessful Knights in Australian football’s professional showpiece, the A-League, somehow managed to conjure up a happy ending. The capital is the proud new home of a football franchise dubbed the Wellington Phoenix. A brilliantly appropriate name for the saviour of the game in this country – a multimillionaire property developer by the name of Terry Serepisos. The good guy is an ambitious entrepreneur born in Greece; raised and made in Wellington, with a real vision for the city.
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He’s got a penchant for swanky clothes and fast cars, and a passion for the global game. You could describe Serepisos as a rival for flashy Warriors owner Eric Watson. He owns landmarks like the ASB Bank Tower and his company, Century City Developments, is building a sprawling apartment and retail complex near the city waterfront. The 43 year old father’s got a Lamborghini and Ferrari in his garage and has a personal fortune estimated at more than $200 million. He’s guaranteed a wealth of publicity – good and bad – when his revived franchise launches into Australasia’s football showpiece in August. It’s a calculated risk, and Serepisos claims it’s a case of heart ruling his mind.
This fairytale ending to a sporting nightmare’s captured Wellington’s imagination. The Dominion-Post launched a competition to find a catchy, appropriate name for the re-born franchise, and came up with Phoenix. “The Wellington public has decided what they wanted from a list including names like the Cook Strait Ferries. the Wasps and the Centurions. But from the list Phoenix is the most appropriate – rising from the Ashes – a new beginning”. Serepisos is clearly enthused by the way his game plan is panning out. It’s also a promising start after the illfated monikers of the Kingz and the Knights from the Auckland-driven excursions into the A-League and its predeces-
A Phoenix to the rescue: new franchise owner Terry Serepisos. NZPA / Ross Setford
The fact a revered figure could be killed in cold blood, and that someone had plotted and carried out the murderous deed, makes life seem very fragile indeed
sor, the National Soccer League. These pleasant formalities are an eternity away from the angst and doom surrounding New Zealand’s lone A -League license in early March. Football Federation Australia had stripped the malfunctioning Knights franchise of their license, but they again offered their trans-Tasman counterparts, New Zealand Soccer, the chance to find a new backer. An up front investment of $2 million proved to be a terminal problem for Auckland, and the only realistic option in Wellington, driven by local promoters John Dow and Ian Wells, couldn’t find the magic backer. The media had written them off by March the 13th. The Australians were losing patience and it seemed New Zealand was true to form in its time honoured tradition of shooting itself in the foot. All Whites coach Ricki Herbert who worked miracles with the doomed Knights during the last throes of their doomed A League season wasn’t keen to shift to the Capital, and the clock was ticking down. A rival bid loomed from Queensland’s Far North, coached by our greatest ever player, Wynton Rufer, but for some reason they seemed grounded on the old funding issue too. The D-days came and went with monotonous regularity. The Aussies were showing extraordinary patience with their 8th slot in the A-League puzzle, possibly a reflection of the huge costs, and risks involved. An ultimatum was delivered and New Zealand Soccer CEO Graham Seatter pleaded for more time, hoped for a solution. It turns out the “White Knight” was having a haircut when he twigged to the plight of the game in this country, and what his millions could do to clear the ball off the line. Terry Serepisos was soon in contact with bid heads Dow and Wells, and nearly three weeks after Wellington was offered the A-League license, almost in hope rather than reality – the city took on the huge responsibility. The 43 year old commercial realty developer was suddenly hot property. His act of generosity knocked the capital’s Super 14 treasures the Hurricanes off the back pages of the daily papers. “I’m confident Wellington will embrace this”, Serepisos enthused to the almost disbelieving media. “This is a clean slate. The Wellington
guys have put their heart and soul into it, and we have to capitalise”. The telling words of a true capitalist, whose commitment and megabucks have given a minority sport a last chance to impress in a world class competition.
Bob Woolmer’s brutal murder in Kingston, Jamaica, during the early stages of the Cricket World Cup, will forever cast a pall over the tournament. Long after the champions have been found our cruel planet will remember how a highly respected and likeable coach met an untimely death. Initially the 58 year old’s death following Pakistan’s ignominious defeat to lowly Ireland on March the 12th was described as a heart attack. The post-mortem confirmed a more violent death, with sinister overtones. Cricket’s long been rife with corruption and dodgy bookmakers and the conspiracy theorists could be right on the money. When the news broke of a murder investigation and the nature of Woolmer’s death, it sent a shiver down the spine of even the most hardened journalist. The fact a revered figure could be killed in cold blood, and that someone had plotted and carried out the murderous deed, makes life seem very fragile indeed. Ralph Dellor is a London-based colleague who covers cricket and sports events in Europe for Radio Live’s New Zealand audience. He’s also a damned decent Englishman who loves his cricket and has the job of coaching the Norwegian national team. Yes cricket is played in wintry Norway, Woolmer’s death has hit him hard. He describes it as unimaginable. ”We had come into contact several times as coaches and the last time I met him was at a dinner in London after the Oval fiasco (involving Pakistan’s walkout and the infamous abandoned test). He came over to me and after the usual pleasantries he said ‘congratulations on Norway, what a fantastic achievement’. Despite all that he had going on his world, he had time to say that about the Norwegians winning the biggest tournament they had played. What a man”. Ralph’s words ring true, and genial Bob Woolmer’s chilling end will always be remembered as a dark moment in cricket’s history.
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 71
Then the boys light up...
Claire Morrow on: ‘Just say NO...sex please, I’m a... what was the question again? Oh yeah, a stoner’.
f a bong on the coffee table does not say “this is a house of achievement”, what does a share house with carpets reeking of bong-water and old ash say? Probably it says day-time TV and unemployment cheques. Not that all recreational marijuana smokers are thus. Doubtless plenty of otherwise sane and successful individuals might, especially in their youth, light the occasional spliff on a Friday night and show more restraint than many truly successful well-adjusted folk show toward the legal neuron-nobbler alcohol. But of course, there is always the exception to the rule. That an occasional writer or 5star chef can maintain a heroin habit and a successful career does nothing to change the fact that most junkies destroy their lives and sometimes take their families’ with them. There is not much in the way of controversy about the effects of booze, either. But since it became clear that cannabis doesn’t cause the “reefer madness” of the propaganda film era, it has become considered to be a “safe” drug that causes no problems. But this is not the case; research conducted in the last decade has shown links between cannabis use and respiratory problems, fertility problems, sexual dysfunction, social problems and especially mental illness. I will do the honest thing and say now that there is little totally conclusive evidence that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that marijuana alone causes the specific harms I am about to outline,
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because pot smoking usually goes along with other factors that are difficult to control for. Marijuana users are more likely to eat poor diets and drink alcohol and watch children’s quiz shows with rapt attention than – say for example – the Amish. It may be that the many studies demonstrating that heavy long term marijuana use causes a noticeable deterioration in cognitive function are unable to control for all other marijuana-lifestyle factors, and that only some of the brain damage is caused by the pot itself. Perhaps the rest is caused by watching children’s quiz shows on daytime TV and eating two- day-old pizza. But certainly being a stoner is very, very highly correlated with a whole host of harm, and it is fair to suspect that much – if not all – of that effect is related to the drug itself. It shouldn’t take a Yale research team to show that marijuana causes respiratory complaints (assuming you’re inhaling it). But in case you were wondering, a Yale research team did show that smoking weed causes chest complaints, as does smoking tobacco. It’s a common sense finding. But many people seem to doubt that Marijuana can profoundly affect other body systems. Yet this is likely because a cannabinoid substance in cannabis (THC) binds to cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 and these receptors are found in the brain and other organs including sperm, eggs, and newly formed embryos. We should therefore expect to see effects
in those departments. And we do. There is always the possibility that in the acute stage of intoxication one may do foolish things that will be regretted later, and for social reasons one does not really want teenagers to lose their inhibitions. But contrary to the guess of many people, studies have shown that amongst frequent marijuana users, there is a far higher than average prevalence of sexual dysfunction. This is related to the effect of marijuana on hormone secretion – subtly altering hormone levels in both genders, and particularly affecting testosterone. The hormonal change is thought to play a large part in reduced desire, performance and satisfaction although some researchers have considered that the effect of cannabis on neurochemistry, interfering with the brain’s pleasure/reward systems, may play a considerable part. A bigger concern is that heavy marijuana use by adolescent males may alter their development and prevent them from ever having a normal level of sexual functioning as adult men. This is not conclusively proven, but there is some evidence there and it’s not something most young men would want to risk, is it? But then, if it does happen, it may not readily lead to a family (selective breeding, perhaps?). In a study conduced by the University of Buffalo, pot smoking men were found to have significantly reduced sperm counts – with what sperm there were swimming in a strange style less likely to result in conception. Not without parallels in its male human vessel, the little tadpoles swam quickly at first but then got tired and unmotivated. The study did not relate whether or not they were found watching children’s TV and eating old pizza, when they were supposed to be ovum-bound. A study of the pot-sperms’ structure did show abnormal structural changes It is not clear how this occurs. Several studies have further shown that very early pregnancy failure is more likely in a marijuana using mother – the active ingredient (THC) causes implantation to fail. A miscarriage at this stage will usually go unnoticed, but if conceptions are occurring and failing to implant in the womb there is an increased risk for ectopic pregnancy – a life threatening condition that can damage future fertility. Studies of babies who were exposed to marijuana in the womb have not been conclusive, ranging from very good evi-
dence that there is an increased risk of prematurity and a tired, grizzly baby at birth to some limited evidence that babies exposed in utero go on to have difficulties with mental processes during childhood. It is not clear if there is any safe level of use but the research focus has been on mothers with relatively heavy marijuana use in pregnancy. Ironically, then, it is difficult to tell whether childhood problems might be related to foetal exposure, because those effects can’t be easily separated from the effects of having parents who smoke a lot of dope. The amnesiac hippie with the slow speech and poor memory is not a myth. It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that memory, speed of thinking and other cognitive abilities deteriorate with marijuana use. The March 2006 issue of Neurology published a study comparing people who have smoked cannabis less than 20 times with those who had smoked 4 or more joints a week for 5 years or for 10 years of their lives. Importantly multidrug users were excluded. By way of example of the extent of the impairment, on a test measuring the ability to make decisions, 10-year users were 70 percent impaired performance, and 5-year users 55 percent impaired – contrasting with the control group at 8 percent. When recalling 15 words on a list the control group averaged 12 words correctly remembered. The 5-year use group averaged 9 words, the ten year group averaged 7. The neurologists doing the study confirmed that the extent of cognitive deficits were sufficient to be considered truly impaired. It is not known if functioning can be improved with therapy in these cases, but certainly it is not spontaneously restored – the damage is permanent. And as for the mental health issues that have been in the news lately, it was shown in 2001 that marijuana users are around four times more likely to develop depressive symptoms, especially suicidal thoughts and anhedonia – the ability to feel pleasure. Fun. And there have been a number of studies showing a strong causal relationship between marijuana use and the onset of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. It is not clear whether the marijuana causes the illness or some other factor causes both marijuana use and schizophrenia, nor is it possible to predict with much accuracy which people are at higher risk of developing a severe mental health problem if they smoke pot, and how much they have to smoke to trigger a permanent mental illness. Having a family member with a mental illness raises the risk, and the risk is much higher if the joint is lit during adolescence, perhaps because the brain is still developing. Of course, people do use marijuana on an occasional basis with no ill effects, as not all smokers get lung cancer. But at least a nicotine fiend knows the risks – it’s not a wise choice but it is an informed one. The risks of marijuana use, on the other hand, are not just uncertain but serious – they are truly awful. One can’t compare, of course, but mental illness is a special kind of hell. For some individuals the “safe drug” could turn into the bad trip that lasts a lifetime. Which is, like, heavy, man.
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Study calls for Tamiflu alternatives
Kawanza Newson covers the emergence of Tamiflu-resistant influenza
amiflu-resistant strains of flu have been found in patients who haven’t taken the drug, suggesting the mutated virus is capable of spreading between humans, according to an international team of researchers. Experts say the study, which showed anti-viral resistance in the milder influenza B viruses, means that Tamiflu-resistant strains of other flu viruses, such as the more fatal avian flu, could spread between humans, too. “This is a yellow caution light,” says William Schaffner, a flu expert and head of the preventive medicine department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, who was not involved in the study. “We need to continue to be prudent in how we use these anti-viral drugs.” Schaffner says that overuse of anti-virals
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causes the viruses to mutate and become resistant to current medications. If the resistant viruses become more common, then new drugs will have to be developed to fight the flu, he says. Influenza remains a major health problem, and each year, health officials encourage patients – especially those in high-risk categories – to get flu shots for protection against the illness. But in January 2006, the CDC alerted doctors that the influenza A strain H3N2 was resistant to two commonly prescribed anti-virals – rimantadine and amantadine. For the first time, the agency urged them not to prescribe the drugs to their patients who had flu. In the study, Madison virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka and colleagues from the University of Tokyo obtained flu virus samples from 74 children who’d been treated with Tamiflu and 348 children
and adults who were not treated during the 2004-`05 flu season in Japan. They were trying to determine if influenza B viruses were associated with Tamiflu resistance. Japan is known for its high use of anti-virals, though Kawaoka has said previously that use of the drugs is declining. The researchers did identify a resistant virus in one child from the treated group. In addition, they also found seven people from the untreated group who also showed resistance, despite not ever taking Tamiflu. Although three patients likely became infected through sibling contact, the remaining four patients were likely infected elsewhere in the community. “We don’t know how extensive that transmission is because we don’t know the history of those patients,” Kawaoka said in a statement. “But we do know that some of the patients in the study were not treated with Tamiflu, but shed Tamifluresistant viruses. If you find Tamiflu-resistant viruses in patients not treated with Tamiflu, and there is no animal reservoir for the virus, where else could they get it?” If flu viruses manage to continually develop resistance, key lines of defense will have been effectively removed. More worrisome, says Kawaoka, is that the same resistance will emerge in influenza A viruses, which include highly pathogenic strains such as H5N1 avian influenza. In a previous study, Kawaoka and colleagues had reported the discovery of a Vietnamese girl with a Tamiflu-resistant strain of the avian flu, raising concern about sole reliance on stockpiling the drug globally to fight a possible pandemic. “There is an urgent need to develop new kinds of anti-virals,” he says. Since 2003, the H5N1 strain has infected about 290 people, of those 170 have died. Most human cases have been linked to contact with sick birds, though the World Health Organization and others have warned that the virus could mutate into a form that spreads easily among humans, possibly triggering a global pandemic. Experts have two concerns: the lack of a sufficient supply of vaccine and an increasing resistance to anti-virals used to treat a person infected with influenza. “This reaffirms the importance of continuing the research to find vaccines for prevention,” Schaffner says. “If you have vaccines, then you limit the disease and you don’t need to treat as many people.”
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Back to the Balkans
Historic Dubrovnik plays to the crowds, as Robert Cross discovers
UBROVNIK, Croatia – On my first day, thunderstorms exposed the town’s true nature. In good warm weather, Dubrovnik can feel like a museum specimen, filled with visitors eager to experience its beauty and marvel at the intricacy of its historic buildings. Trouble is, the admirers obscure some vistas and crowd through interiors that otherwise would transport them back through the centuries. All those flip-flops, cruise-ship caps and digital cameras play havoc with the imagination and keep reminding us that the Renaissance has come and gone. And yet here I am spending more ink on the place, drawing more attention to it. Obviously, this no longer can be considered one of Europe’s delicious secrets. But it should be on everyone’s must-see list, throngs or no throngs. Ideally, Dubrovnik is absorbed, savored over many days. Still, even a glimpse is better than nothing. No other city on the Continent quite compares.
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The frequent whump of seaside thunder and the bouts of heavy rain made umbrellas blossom on the main street – the Stradun, or Placa. Its marble surface turned slippery, while the sudden bath revealed it as a handsome, glistening pedestrian thoroughfare with the famous Onofrio Fountain on its western end and the 15th century Orlando’s Column on the east – and a handsome clock tower for punctuation. Only a few strollers braved the downpour. Clusters of visitors found shelter under the 15th Century portico of the Rector’s Palace, where the rector and his staff once reviewed parades. Now the spectators could see fellow visitors running for cover, joining them under the portico or ducking into the baroque embrace of St. Blaise Church. Dubrovnik is an al fresco sort of town in the warm seasons and during the dry days, so the storm provided an occasion to see the interior of the Gradska Kavana, a cafe where townspeople gather for cof-
fee early in the morning. Most customers choose to sit outside on the terrace facing Luza Square and Orlando’s Column, or take a table on the harbor-side veranda, where the armory used to be. Inside, the cafe boasts two floors of tables surrounded by handsome Art Deco paneling and murals. It’s a good place to get one’s bearings after a stroll from Pile (PEE la) Gate, the western opening in the massive wall that surrounds the old city, or Stari Grad. When the weather clears, the wall is a wonderful place to gain an overall impression of Dubrovnik, no matter how thick the crowds on the streets below. Built between the 13th and 15th Centuries to repel enemy sieges, it’s a wide and lofty barricade, 80 feet tall and fully intact. It has all the turrets, forts, towers and casemates with cannons that a Hollywood scenic designer could wish for. The wall covers slightly more than a mile, uninterrupted, with fine views –
sea, harbor, the orange-tiled rooftops of dwellings within the old city and modern Dubrovnik clinging to the foothills just outside the gates. Strolling the Dubrovnik wall has to be one of the best walks in Europe. The wall bridges the two most distinct aspects of Stari Grad. Visitors typically come for the wonderfully preserved or restored historic sites, most of them at ground level. That’s where the tour guides hold up their umbrellas and explain the palaces, the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries (built for further protection), the churches and the odd artifacts like Orlando’s Column. (Sculpted in 1417, its statue of Roland, the legendary medieval knight, is a symbol denoting benevolent powers protecting the city.) The guides never fail to mention St. Blaise, the city’s patron, usually depicted holding a model of Dubrovnik as it looked before the devastating earthquake of 1667. Up on the wall, down along its base and along the sides of V-shaped Stari Grad, visitors with time can get a look at homes and the villagers who occupy them. They represent only a small percentage of Dubrovnik’s 45,000 citizens, but they serve as excellent ambassadors for all the rest. It’s fascinating to see children at play and adults going about their daily chores in a place so thoroughly tied to its long history that even the satellite dishes appear ready to grow moss. No wonder the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared the Stari Grad a World Heritage site. Tourism is the main engine driving the Dalmatian Coast economy these days, so visitors receive welcoming smiles. One morning, a member of the wait staff at the Orlando Cafe had me pegged immediately as an American. She brought me, unbidden, an International Herald Tribune someone had discarded on another table. “Something to read with your cappuccino,” she said. I was trying to build some energy for the climbing required for a walk around the wall followed by more climbing up the residential tiers on either side of the main streets. When I did reach the wall, I heard somebody remark, “Not a lot of privacy here. I don’t think I’d like thousands of people walking above my house.” But residents of Stari Grad apparently have learned to humor the visitors, entertain
them or make a few kuna – the Croatian dollar – by selling them things. Atop the wall, strollers find refreshment stands and women selling their crochet work and souvenirs. Down below, pots of flowers decorate scores of front stoops, as if to enhance the enjoyment of anyone peering down at them. Along the wall’s base – which stands on a steep bluff – I saw a wooden sign, in English: “Cold Drinks With The Most Beautiful View.” An arrow on the sign pointed toward an opening in the wall. I entered to find a drink stand called Cafe Buza and several tiny umbrella-shaded tables clustered on stone ledges. The beautiful view took in blue Adriatic Sea, the greenery of Lokrum Island and passing pleasure boats. Italy was out there beyond the horizon, but on a day like that, in a place like this, the boot lost some of its allure. Frank Sinatra serenaded the Cafe Buza patrons. As I sipped a Coke and listened to Sinatra’s rendition of The Summer Wind, it occurred to me that all over Dubrovnik and neighboring Lapad I had been hearing music from the Cold War America songbook. Sinatra in this charming little cafe, Bob Dylan in a souvenir shop, Frankie Laine at a pizza place, even the McGuire sisters in a resort-area shopping mall. It appeared as if I’d be listening to these familiar refrains all through my stay. But then, farther along the wall, I heard a beautiful contralto coming from a church school, where someone was rehearsing for a recital or a solo in the choir. On the Stradun one afternoon, men and women in costume paraded toward Pile Gate. Some of the men played guitars and mandolins – even a full-size bass viol. And everyone sang. The parade drew scores of spectators, of course. They squinted into their digital camera screens and at one point formed a circle around a group of singing women – all in costume. Not everyone was a tourist. Here and there, I could see lips moving in the crowd and hear the voices of other women, softly joining in. It wasn’t clear to me which period of Dubrovnik’s and Croatia’s history the marchers represented. Clearly they were dressed as country folk, courtiers and wandering troubadours, not the nobility and traders of the 14th and 15th centuries, when the town still was called Ragusa. Through the centuries the city endured
It’s fascinating to see children at play and adults going about their daily chores in a place so thoroughly tied to its long history that even the satellite dishes appear ready to grow moss. No wonder the UNESCO has declared the Stari Grad a World Heritage site
many shifts in power and allegiance: Romans, Turks, Venetians, the CroatianHungarian kingdom, all had their moments. The 1667 earthquake leveled the city-state, which had been an important seat of Renaissance enlightenment. Citizens rebuilt, but trade declined. The artistic treasures and cultural riches were destroyed. At the turn of the 19th century, Napoleon’s forces ruled. Then came the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg Empire. Croatia tried and failed to break away from its Austrian rulers. In 1867, Hungary ruled Croatia but Dalmatia, including Ragusa, stayed in Austria’s grip. Fast-forward to post World War I when an uneasy bundle of Croats, Serbs and Slovenes were gathered together as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (i.e. southern – yugo – Slav). Around that time, Ragusa became Dubrovnik, named after the dubrava, the holm oaks, or holly trees, that grew on the hillsides. The area fell under fascist rule during most of World War II. Afterward, it was part of Tito’s Yugoslavia and his independent-minded Communist regime. Tito forcefully rejected Croatia’s bid for independence, but his break with Stalin in 1948 did allow for more tourism and a slightly freer spirit than in most parts of the Soviet sphere. When Communism collapsed in the late 1980s, Croatia again declared independence and its leaders removed Serbs from public office. The Yugoslavian army stepped in, beginning in June of 1991. That fall,
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the city and all of the southern Dalmatian coast fell under attack by the Yugoslav army, navy and Montenegrin militia. On Dec. 6 shells pounded Dubrovnik’s old town, killing 19 people and wrecking several buildings. With the help of a shocked world community, especially the European Union, Croatia did gain its independence and gathered the strength to repair and rebuild after the siege finally ended in 1992. The work has been done so skillfully and with such an eye for authenticity that it’s hard to comprehend how extensive the damage really was. In the Sponza Palace, which survived both the recent war and the 1667 earthquake, a room on the ground floor is devoted to the events of 1991 and `92. Walls hold photographs of the men who died resisting the attacks. A continuous film shows collapsing rooftops, doorways belching flames, plumes of smoke rising from broken windows, people running for their lives. “So many of our friends died,” a tour guide told a group just outside the door. “There was so much damage 15 years ago.” Sponza Palace once served as a customs house, a bonded warehouse and a bank. Now it holds state archives, including manuscripts dating back centuries. Most visitors prize its exquisitely carved and be-columned Renaissance-era portico and its graceful Gothic and Renaissance windows. The Rector’s Palace – the only other building to survive the earthquake – is equally ornate. Those two structures hint at what an artistic and handsome city Ragusa/Dubrovnik was. Of course, the artisans and engineers of post-Renaissance years filled the sturdy walls with delights of their own. The exteriors along the Stradun display a sort of baroque uniformity, an eye-pleasing arrangement that’s anything but austere. Just past Pile Gate, the domed, 15th century Onofrio Fountain greets visitors with a ring of waterspouting sculpted faces. A few yards away, the Church of the Holy Redeemer is a favorite venue for evening concerts. A doorway cut into a virtually blank wall leads to the beautiful cloister of the Franciscan monastery, where a small group of monks prayed and lived even during the Communist era. The complex includes a working pharmacy founded in 1317, an apothecary museum, and galleries of religious artifacts and paintings.
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There are other churches, a cathedral and a Dominican monastery, which stands near the eastern Ploce Gate. People tour those, too, for the fine ecclesiastical art and that ephemeral thrill of supposing how it was to live in another time. But it’s satisfying just to experience Dubrovnik simply as a community with a design for living. That climb to the tightly condensed neighborhoods on the northern side reveals cozy streets – alleys, really – lined with restaurant tables, little shops selling everyday things and baubles the visitors might like. A hike up the terraces is rewarded with close looks at tucked-in apartments and the cozy Hotel Stari Grad, one of only two hotels within the walls. The other, the exclusive Pucic Palace, shares a terrace with the morning market, where farmers and artisans sell their goods. The Ethnographic Museum up in the
GETTING AROUND: A bus is all you really need to get from an outlying hotel to the old city. Within the walls, it’s walking or bicycling only; no vehicles allowed. And biking is impractical there because of the crowds. Bus fares are 8 kuna if purchased at a kiosk or newsstand and 10 kuna when paying on the bus. The kuna at this writing is equivalent to about 17 cents U.S. SLEEPING THERE: Only two hotels operate within the old city. At the small (eight rooms) but charming Hotel Stari Grad (Od Sigurate 4; 00385-20-322-244; www.hotelstarigrad.com), doubles start at US$238 in summer, including breakfast. The 19-unit Pucic Palace (Ulica Od Puca 1; 00-385-20-326-222; www.thepucicpalace.com) overlooks Gundulic Square and charges for its elegance, comfort and central location with rates that start at more than $550 a night in high season. Outside the walls, the city and its suburbs offer a wide choice of hotels and resorts. To stay within walking distance, you could book a room at the Hilton Imperial (Marijana Blazica 2; 00-385-20320320; www.hilton.com), a totally refurbished 1897 landmark just a short walk from Pile Gate. Rates start at about $300. In Lapad, I stayed at the plain but modern and comfortable Hotel Kompas (Setaliste Kralja Zvonimira 56; 00-385 20 352 000; www.hotel-kompas. hr), one of many resorts in the area with superb Adriatic views. Doubles start at about $240. Also, it might be worthwhile to consider apartments and rooms rented out by families. Look for signs that say “Sobe,” which indicates accommodations are available. Or ask at one of the tourist offices.
south side residential sector sits atop a former granary. Mannequins wear clothing similar to those I saw on the paraders. Artfully mounted housewares, tools and farm implements grace the rooms. I looked out a window at the rooftops of the Stari Grad, a bowl of small wonders, and it hit me that I had scheduled far too little time. Back down at harbor level, I walked past the Pucic Palace behind a couple taking in the sights. The woman said to the man, “You’re in Dubrovnik. Why do you always have to be somewhere else? Be where you are.” When I saw her mild rebuke in my notes, I felt a blush coming on. I do that so often: “This place reminds me of ...” Just the other day, I compared Dubrovnik to a town in Tuscany. A mistake. Dubrovnik is Dubrovnik, and that’s all it needs to be.
Prices quoted are subject to change and do not include tax. Always ask about discounts and specials. EATING THERE: My personal culinary highlight was a lingering afternoon repast at Proto (00385-020-323-234; www.esculap-teo.hr) in the heart of the old town. I chose to sit on the terrace upstairs, instead of at a street-level table. It was the perfect tranquil setting for a meal of seafood salad, fresh and lightly seasoned. It went well with the local white wine, Posip. The bill: US$28. A sister restaurant of Proto, Atlas Club Nautika (00-385-020-442-526; www.esculap-teo.hr) has a fine reputation, but the salad I ordered there couldn’t match Proto’s. I was told the gourmet treasures are in the dining rooms – rather formal and dressy compared to the seaside terrace. But outside, selecting from a very limited menu, you still get to pay gourmet prices (cash only). With a glass of red wine, my tab came to US$30. In general, seafood is almost a sure bet anywhere along the Dalmatian Coast. But the beef and pork dishes I tried in Dubrovnik tended to have sauces and gravies laid on with a heavy hand. Italian cooking is widespread – including pizza, of course – and most of it meets the Italian standard. INFORMATION: The Dubrovnik Tourist Board, www.tzdubrovnik.hr. Republic of Croatia, www. hr/index.en.shtml. www.croatia.hr. Useful guidebooks include Frommer’s Croatia by Karen Torme Olson and Sanja Bazulic Olson; Lonely Planet’s Croatia by Jeanne Oliver; and the Berlitz Dubrovnik Pocket Guide by Roger Williams.
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Bad to the bone Eli Jameson takes an unfortunate trip down memory lane
o recipes this month, only reminiscences. On the menu today is not the usual fare of ingredients and techniques that might, in some small way, put the reader in touch with the sacred, but rather those meals that leave us all thinking (and sometimes uttering) thoughts that are quite profane. I’m talking, of course, about terrible meals. To paraphrase Tolstoy, every great meal is great, but every inedible one is awful in its own way. It is a discovery I made early on in my abortive career as a restaurant critic some years ago for a metropolitan weekly in the US. There I had so much fun seeking out the terrible masquerading as terrific and taking it all down in print that I achieved not just a minor cult status but eventually a martyrdom as I finally picked the wrong advertiser to annoy and was shown the door. But all that is so much coconut-mango salsa nestled on a bed of truffle-infused rhubarb coulis topped with a deep fried quail’s egg gently draped with a slice of Jamon de Serrano under the bridge. Looking back, I can recall three meals in my life that were so spectacularly awful that they remain permanently seared in my memory. The first involved what was supposed to be a special birthday treat when I was a kid: a trip to a high-profile chain of Teppanyaki restaurants where the Japanese chefs engage in all sorts of knife and fire play for an audience of rapt round-eyes. This sort of showmanship, which is basically the Harlem Globetrotters approach to Japanese cuisine, is a lot of fun to watch. Eating can be
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another story. Unfortunately I was given something to eat that was so rancid that I spent the rest of the night in the toilet. Happy birthday indeed. One of the more amusingly awful meals I ever enjoyed – and in a perverse sort of way I did – was taken at an Italian restaurant in the far western suburbs of Sydney where Mrs Jameson and I found ourselves one night after a bizarre course of events. This suburb, I was led to understand, was once home to a venerable Italian immigrant community though today it is home
to a venerable Asian community. While anyone else with a curious palate and a half a brain would have delighted in the various noodle and dumpling shops lining the high street. Presumably all I can lay claim to is a curious palate, for we decided to go to the one Italian restaurant around – only to discover that it had years ago been taken over by a Chinese family that was still earnestly pressing on with the old menu despite not having a clue what Italian food should look like. But in Jameson family lore one meal is still regularly talked about years after the fact– a dinner at an Indian restaurant in a small, cosmopolitan resort town in the mountains of America’s New England. Now I love Indian food, and in fact this
particular town supports three of them, two of which are quite good. I asked a relative present to help fill out the contours of my memory of the event, and his e-mail is too good not to share: “The restaurant did not so much cook its food as napalm it. The “meat” (I forget what animal it was supposed to have come from) looked and tasted as if the owners had rounded up every alleycat in town and given it a new identity on the menu. The food looked and tasted as if it had been cooked sometime during the administration of Morarji Desai (who if I am not mistaken was famous for drinking his own urine daily) and stored in a dumpster before being fished out and served to us. I forget what we had – I recollect the napalmed meat – stringy blackened flesh on exiguous bones, something like that blackened napalmed pigeon they serve
in little cafes beside the Nile. There must have been some sort of chicken curry or somesuch. The water glasses were smudged with fingerprints. The food was, how shall I put it, Untouchable.” Of course it’s not just at dives that one can have a terrible meal. Six months ago former Australian federal Labor minister Barry Cohen wrote in The Australian of a meal he experienced at one of Sydney’s finest restaurants, which was put on in honour of a star international columnist. The name of the restaurant is not that important as Cohen’s experience is the sort of thing that anyone who has ever lashed out several hundred dollars for a grand meal at a haute cuisine temple only to be disappointed can relate to. Though he originally mistook it for a “plate ... emblazoned with a coat of arms”, his entrée, he wrote, was “a walnut-sized slice of raw fish surrounded by three smears of green slime”. The main course, described by his waiter as “rack of lamb”, was instead “four 50csized pieces of meat, thinner than the coin ... accompanied by beans in something brown, which I preferred not to know about, and a creamy substance that looked like toothpaste but that I was to discover was potato”. The bill for all this, before wine (“smooth, full-bodied and with just a hint of army socks”), was over two hundred dollars. All of this has ramifications for the home chef – specifically, they should be heartened when they don’t get things right that very often the professionals don’t either. Take Gordon Ramsay, the incredibly profane British celebrity chef who has perfected the art of trading on angry, obscene outbursts in a way the world has not seen since the days of American tennis great John McEnroe. His new restaurant has opened to less-than-stellar reviews; more interestingly, a behind the scenes account by Bill Buford in a recent issue of The New Yorker shows that even top chefs make mistakes that make it to the dining room. In one particular incident Buford recounts how Ramsay just barely stopped a plate of essentially raw pigeon from making it to the dining room (“It’s cold! This will make vegetarians out of the whole table!” are about the only printable Ramsay comments on the matter). Which should give heart to us mere mortals when our mayonnaises separate, our sauces don’t come together, and despite our best efforts the soufflé just fails to rise.
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What makes a woman tick...
And other stories...Michael Morrissey’s autumn discoveries THE FEMALE BRAIN By Louann Brizendine Bantam Press, $37.99
his book is strongly reminiscent in design to an earlier book entitled Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. It has crystal-clear almost baby talk language text much in the style you might read in women’s magazines, but at the back of the book is an encyclopaedic follow up in the form of almost line by line references and a bibliography of mammoth proportions. As much of the references are very recent, it seems childish or stubborn to occasionally resist their conclusions, though it is well to remember that however up to date the research is now, it will be revised in the future. The former book had a distinctly patronisingly anti-male tone while The Female Brain deals principally with the female perspective, so has a cast-iron excuse for any seeming “bias”. In the main, both books tend to reinforce a lot of the timehonoured perceptions about the differences between men and women and militate strongly against the view which
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peaked in the 1970s that the principal differences between men and women were all socially and environmentally produced. The Blank Slate approach is gone and the Previously Coloured Slate is back. Actually, it’s not that simple because the current view – which makes perfect sense to the reviewer, is “that the fundamentally misconceived nature versus nurture debate should be abandoned: child development is inextricably both”. One of the important areas that Brizendine clarifies is why fewer women succeed in the sciences – it is not due to lack of mathematical ability but because at the crucial stage of adolescence, estrogen floods the girl’s body compelling her to focus on emotions and communication whereas boys find it easier to withdraw and be alone. Curiously, I still find myself at odds with the characterisation of the reluctant-to-talk male either in adolescence or in adulthood. I was a non-stop talker throughout and all the truly marathon talkers I know are male. Maybe there is a special geek/intellectual hormone as yet undetected? The general impression gained from
Brizendine’s writing is that we are as hormone-driven as surely as a motor car is driven by fuel. On page 55 it is admitted, “a hormone alone does not cause a behaviour”. Nonetheless, it is the former rather than the latter view that comes through most strongly. Thus, for women, talking or telephoning brings up pleasure-reinforcing amounts of dopamine and oxytocin – the latter being especially stimulated by intimacy. Men on the other hand seek independence rather than intimacy. Though she doesn’t say so, I would assume what is labeled bonding is often more important to men – bonding with each other. I also find it hard to square off the assertion that women will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid conflict against the sassy feminists and women I know. Despite my resistance to some of its points, this book is crammed with revelation and affirmation of traditional gender different perceptions. Chapter three informs us that only 5 per cent of mammals are monogamous – and so you must be wondering are humans (and in particular males) part of that five per cent? The
answer seems to be kind of. From observations of prairie and montane voles, the critical factor (so we are told) is the length of one’s vasopressin receptor. The prairie voles with the longer version are more faithful. So in future women may be in quest of mates with long vasopressin receptors. This is of course if men are like voles. My general take on this book is that everyone should read it – for it rings a lot of bells at the biological level. And yet curiously I find some of its assertions contradicted by my own experiences. Also, if all its views are accepted as stated, it seems to deny human beings the capacity to make decisions contrary to their hormonal promptings – in other words it denies us free will. Which one of my hormones, I wonder, prompted that remark?
THINGS I DIDN’T KNOW By Robert Hughes Knopf, $65
ore than a generation ago, I saw a picture of Robert Hughes that aroused deep envy. He was young
(relatively), good looking, had a powerful-looking motorcycle and was Time magazine’s new art critic – presumably at a princely salary. I was a little published writer mail-sorting in the Sydney Post Office and did not own a motorcycle – and was not earning all that much. Now, some thirty years down the track, I have published a fair amount but still have no motorcycle – and no princely salary. Hughes is moderately famous and I am relatively unknown. Apart from that, what else is in common? Surprisingly, quite a bit. Irish background, both raised as Catholics, destined for the law (but dropping the bench for more literary pursuits) plus jaffas, Minties, harbour ferries, trams, flying boats, the strap, Dad & Dave and Mandrake the dapper Magician gesturing hypnotically. And both were maturing as young men when our respective countries had scant confidence in local art – when the only way to view the grand masterpieces of European art was to go to Europe and see them – and there was little informed art criticism or art history. But since that time (1950s/1960s), both have developed enormously and large scale exhibitions from overseas are relatively common. Despite having five times the population, Australia had much the same colonial cringe as its smaller younger brother across the Tasman. Hughes slid rather casually into the role of art critic in a way that is hard to imagine now. “I’ve just fired the art critic,” announced the Observer’s editor Donald Horne, “Anyone know anything about art?” Hughes, the cartoonist, became an overnight art critic. Since that fortuitous beginning, Hughes has done his homework. Over the ensuing decades, it is clear from his richly detailed account that he has made himself at home with western art throughout England, Europe and America – the range of references is impressive. Included among his cultural formative icons are George Orwell, drama critic Kenneth Tynan, Kenneth (“Civilisation”) Clark; heavyweight Australian painters like Sydney Nolan and Arthur Streeton and writer Alan Moorehead. Reading of Hughes’ cultural life – the major part of the book – is in stark contrast to the opening sequences where the unlucky art critic was recently involved in a hellish car crash and wound up having dream-hallucinations that suggested the
pins needed to hold the shattered bones of his arm together were a medieval torture device. Born into a rich and privileged family, Hughes has made good use of the flying start his background gave him. At times, Hughes is in almost in danger of overdoing the litany of great art that has subsequently kissed his privileged eyeballs but what saves his account from any nuance of showing off or the tedium of experiencing unrelenting excellence, is his marvelously rich essayist’s style which – despite its arcane vocabulary – remains lucid. Orwell crossed with Ruskin, one might say. The still sneakingly conservative Hughes has little time for hippies and New Age goofiness, though he likes the outrageous satirist Robert Crumb whose art he acutely analyses. If one imagines the life of an art critic as an endless browse through art galleries clutching a glass of wine – surely not too distant from the truth – Hughes was fortunate enough (so to speak) to be sent over to capture the great flood of Florence in 1966 which damaged countless works of art. Here Hughes’s prose rises to fresh heights of descriptive power and leads him to this startling conclusion: “What the Florence flood drowned in me was a belief in the potency of the avant garde”. I would have thought the destruction wrought would have hammered home the fact that all art is vulnerable. Surprisingly, I find myself increasingly in agreement with him – whether creeping middle-aged conservatism or due respect for the past, I leave readers to decide.
THE SMELL OF POWDER: A History of Dueling in New Zealand By Donald Kerr Random House New Zealand, $ 29.99
he time is dawn. The place a little visited locale. Two gentlemen stand sideways to each other and fire pistols at one another. Assistants called seconds hover, making sure that everything is run according to the “rules”. Rules? Believe it or not dueling has rules. Twenty six commandments were drawn up by an interested group of fellows at Clommel, Ireland in 1777. However, in the heat of the moment – though dueling is by nature generally a “cool” practice ie one done after the
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moment of provocation – sometimes seconds and the rules are forgotten. Dueling was and is an illegal activity indulged in by “gentlemen” (though one or two women have tried it) who should be of equal social status. Kerr notes that in the forty plus one years of George 111’s reign (1760-1801), there were 172 reported duels and 91 deaths. In New Zealand, on the other hand, there were but 31 duels from 1809 to 1935 with only two deaths. Since, prior to reading Kerr’s beautifully produced book, I didn’t know there had been any, the unexpected number is sufficient to merit the period-charming history that Kerr has compiled. My surmise is that New Zealand’s “Jack is good as his master” attitude – the desire to create a democratic rather than a tiered society with a small number of “gentlemen” – has helped work against the importation of this practice to Aotearoa. Possibly the rise of boxing as a sport and meeting behind the shed for a punch up as a way of settling differences has also played a part. Kerr’s elegantly written accounts are an intriguing visit to a bygone era. Remarks that seemed provocative back then have lost their sting by now. Dudley Sinclair called Bendigo Mack an “adventurer” resulting in a thrashing with a pickled whip and a challenge to duel which, like several listed here, was called off at the last minute. Another insult that aroused ire was “ranker” i.e. someone who had risen up through the ranks of the army. Another gent was hit by “a rebounding orange”, and demanded satisfaction. Accusations of cheating at cards and impugning a lady’s reputation were also prominent among the causes to call for pistols at dawn. On occasion, swords were the order of the day – such was the case in the last recorded duel in New Zealand in 1935 when an insult launched at King George V by a Russian officer resulted in a stabbing by an outraged loyalist. One can’t imagine any sleight upon a royal provoking such a reaction today. Failure to respond to challenge could result in the passive party being “posted’’ – being publicly denounced as a dastardly coward, unprincipled villain, black guard, scoundrel etc. Reading between the lines, I can’t help wondering if wounded pride demanded the challenge and speculate there was relief when the injured par-
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ties were talked out of it – in one case by their own mothers arriving at the scene of pending combat. If only, one might wish, all occasions of violence were so easily defused, what a peaceful place the world would be. This is a delightful and elegantly produced book which would make an ideal gift especially for a “gentleman” who presumably now will not “call one out” even for a sleight. And it appears that very soon even the smack across the cheek, that Hollywood has taught us is a prelude to a challenge, will also itself be illegal.
FROM THE WRITER’S NOTEBOOK By Lydia Monin Reed Publishing, $29.99
ot so long ago when prominent overseas visitors arrived in New Zealand, they were anxiously approached for their impressions of New Zealand. If the often almost forcibly solicited response was favourable, well and good, and if not – well, that was something to worry and fret about. In other words, we had a bad case of colonial cringe and were eager for approval – especially from the Overseas Expert – an attitude satirised in Allen Curnow’s play of the same name. At this time in our history, such writers as Trollope, Twain, Conan Doyle and Shaw were to some extent world cultural gurus and their visitations to these shores were hugely prominent events. Hence, the terrific attention paid to their observations. Nowadays – thanks to writers’ festivals – famous writers have become more commonplace. Besides, in the prewar and Victorian era – when psychology, sociology and anthropology were infant sciences – writers were expected to have opinions on everything under heaven. In the case of Twain and Shaw, in particular, this was a role in which they appeared to cheerfully revel. Twain had good reason to be publicly loquacious – he was in debt and his world tour was a way of making badly needed cash. J.B. Priestley, who visited in 1973, was probably the last writer to be feted as a general guru of our culture and society – thereafter, we have haltingly inched our way to a greater sophistication though we have lapses into “Overseasure” and colonial cringe from time to time. Like Kerr’s account on dueling, Monin’s book is chap-
tered in accordance with New Zealand geography – from north to south – and the book’s inner front and back pages offer a charming map of these noted literary travellers’ itineraries. The scenic reputation which New Zealand justifiably enjoys to this day was in no small measure due to the praise heaped on our Pink and White Terraces (now sadly destroyed), Bay of Island fishing, Waitomo glow worm caves, Rotorua thermal area, Lake Taupo and Milford Sound and walk, by these visiting literary giants. We all appreciate praise and when a tough and sardonic critic like Shaw described the Waitomo glow worm caves as “sufficient to blot out all memories of ordinary scenery”, the whole country must have blushed with pride. Shaw was to prove a most prescient observer. Whereas Trollope ventured to suggest Auckland might one day rival London (we are still awaiting this eventuality), Shaw accurately predicted that we would one day harness geysers for power. He also suggested that we should found our own film industry to help develop national identity, distribute milk freely, and cut the economic strings with mother England – and all of these ideas came to pass. Among the past writer-celebrities, Monin has sprinkled a goodly number of more contemporary visiting scribes eg Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, Robert Creeley and the sad case of Chinese poet Gu Cheng who murdered his wife on Waiheke Island in 1993, then committed suicide. For the reader who may not even be aware that such eminences as D.H Lawrence, Rupert Brooke, Rudyard Kipling, John Galsworthy, and Noel Coward touched down on our shores however briefly, this book is a goldmine of critical comment, whether for or against. Wellington, Lawrence declared, was “a cold, snobbish, middle-class colony of pretentious nobodies” which makes me wonder if he spent his time in parliament. And the last word – and a surprisingly sweet utterance from so trenchant a critic – quoted by Monin, is from redoubtable old sage Shaw, who said on his departure, “If I showed my true feelings I would cry. It’s the best country I’ve been in.” The carpet laid out before the old cynic must have been very red and very thick indeed. But now, who’s being cynical?
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www.mistralsoftware.co.nz INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 85
Chris Philpott finds Hayley Westenra’s latest offering majestic, but uninspiring MIKA Life in Cartoon Motion
rom the ‘out-of-leftfield’ files this month comes Mika, the latest British pop sensation. Evidently Mika’s mixed upbringing (born in Beirut before moving to Paris, then London) has had an effect on his musical style, with a stint under a Russian opera professional and work at London’s Royal Opera House and British Airways forming a fairly unorthodox background for the type of catchy pop music he’s writing now. Based on piano and more traditional live drumming and instrument work, Mika has an undeniable knack for writing the kind of song which becomes instantly stuck in your head. Perfect example: chart-topping single “Grace Kelly” – a song which I only listened to once before I found myself humming it incessantly. Fortunately Life in Cartoon Motion manages to back up that success well. Packed with great songs like “Big Girl (You are Beautiful)” and “Stuck in the Middle” provide a welcome, albeit short, departure from reality. Cartoon Motion’s unique pop sound, reminiscent of Sgt Peppers-era Beatles, and showcasing Mika’s incredible vocal range and inane lyrical style, should appeal to as wide an audience as any release this year. However, be warned: you may find yourself humming Mika tunes for the rest of the year!
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HAYLEY WESTENRA Treasure
he latest release from New Zealand born Westenra finds her embracing a new culture, for better or worse. Obviously influenced by her time with Irish juggernaut Celtic Woman, Treasure is mostly based around a traditional Celtic sound incorporating thick, sweeping orchestral movements and quieter piano, harp and pan pipe moments. It is an undeniably beautiful sound when it’s done well, as it is for the majority of the tracks here. Westenra herself has reached another level, with her amazing, multi-dimensional voice adding to this mix of traditional folk tracks like “Shenandoah”, “Danny Boy” and “Whispering Hope”, and more modern numbers like “Summer Fly”. That said, this re-imagining of Westenra just doesn’t work for me. Essentially sounding like something Celine Dion might release if she worked with Enya or Clannad, I found the Celtic aspect became a bit tiresome towards the end of the album. The later songs began to fade into one another and I found the last few tracks dragging along. This is undoubtedly a must-have album for admirers of the Celtic sound, and Westenra fans will find themselves satisfied, however it is probably not going to find a home in the hearts of more casual listeners.
GEORGE BENSON & AL JARREAU Givin’ It Up
s there anything I can say about these two legends that hasn’t already been written? Jammed with quite simply mindblowing performances from guitar wizard George Benson, combined with the legendary, unique style of singer Al Jarreau, Givin It Up is an classic that will instantly please any fan of the more traditional jazz sound. Among the highlights on this veritable feast of tunes are the Grammy-nominated album opener “Breezin”, a feel-good piece peppered with Benson licks and enough of Jarreau’s signature smooth vocals and scat to put a smile on the face of even the most-hardened listener. Elsewhere Jill Scott makes an appearance on the Grammy-winning track “God Bless The Child”, combining with Jarreau on what might be his best work since early-80s release Breakin Away. Other highlights include the brilliant “Summer Breeze”, gospel infused “Givin It Up For Love”, and album closer “Bring It On Home To Me”, featuring Sir Paul McCartney. Givin It Up is a marathon effort in comparison to much of today’s work, both in terms of the length of the album and the effort required to listen to and enjoy such musical work, however it is ultimately, undeniably worth it. Highly recommended.
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Thrills all around
Colin Covert and Roger Moore find action and suspense Shooter Rated: R16 (Contains graphic violence and occasional strong language) Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Mara, Michael Pe’a, Danny Glover, Ned Beatty, Levon Helm Directed by: Antoine Fuqua 125 minutes
n terms of Hollywood machismo, there aren’t many bigger shoes to fill than those that Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood wore in the Death Wish and Dirty Harry films. Yet Mark Wahlberg slips into those steel-toed stompers confidently in Shooter, a high-caliber action movie that gives `70s revenge fantasies a contemporary spin. Wahlberg plays Bob Lee Swagger, a military marksman in embittered retirement after an off-the-books African mission backfires. He remains a patriot, but after being abandoned in the field by his superiors, he keeps the world at arm’s length, living in a mountain cabin with his rifles and his dog for company. When an envoy from Washington (Danny Glover) informs him that an assassin is stalking the president, and asks for help
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to pinpoint sites the sniper might use, the veteran reluctantly agrees. Before you can say “grassy knoll,” Swagger is framed for murder and running from the law. With the help of his best friend’s widow (Kate Mara) and an FBI agent (Michael Pe’a) just hatched from the academy, Swagger hunts the real killers – professionals who are as deadly, resourceful and relentless as he. Almost. The result is a film with a frothy head of political paranoia, thrill-a-minute pacing and an 11 on the scale-of-10 Destruct-O-Meter. Shooter is a guy movie par excellence, one straight-ahead action scene clicking smoothly into the next. The film looks great, with rugged locations, high-tech artillery and helicopters buzzing like wasps. There’s no love story, very little joking around, lots of tutorials on dressing a gut wound with household supplies and camo-painting weapons. It’s no surprise the film feels as wellmachined as a Robinson Armament M96 Expeditionary rifle. It’s loosely based on a novel by Stephen Hunter, a Pulitzer Prizewinning Washington Post movie critic who knows just where the suspense scenes, complications, explosions and twists need to go. And it’s brought to the screen by director Antoine Fuqua, a skilled hand at
adrenaline-pumping adventure and manly emotion (he guided Denzel Washington to a best-actor Oscar as a rogue cop in 2001’s Training Day). Wahlberg’s performance bristles with self-confidence. With his beefy weightlifter’s build he looks like the man to bet on in a brawl. His sidekicks are afterthoughts. Damsel-in-distress Mara seems to matter about as much as his beloved dog. And Pe’a’s green FBI agent is on hand mostly to repeat plot points so viewers don’t lose track. The most-colorful supporting player is former Band drummer/ singer Levon Helm, as an old coot conspiracy buff who brings the house down with a gag about a 44-year-old shovel. The distinctive aspect of Shooter is how forcefully it hits the theme of government corruption. The villains are crafty Washington types (including Ned Beatty as a fork-tongued U.S. senator) who turn to political subterfuge when they realize they can’t outgun the avenging everyman. By the finale, Swagger is a full-fledged folk hero, on the road to new adventures (there are several more books prime for film adaptations). It looks as if Wahlberg has found an action franchise that fits him like a pair of Calvin Kleins. Reviewed by Colin Covert
Disturbia Rated: M Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss Directed by: D. J. Caruso 100 minutes
isturbia is a savagely efficient eyewitness-to-murder thriller, a Rear Window for the YouTube generation. It’s an occasionally comic high school romance wrapped in grief and violence. Those shifts in tone may give you whiplash, but the third act’s by-the-book payoff does what it’s designed to do – pay off. This film from the writer of Red Eye and the director of Two for the Money takes Alfred Hitchcock’s great Rear Window conceit, that we’re all voyeurs when we go to the movies, and ratchets it up for a more plugged-in age. What is privacy to kids who reveal their deepest secrets, or dishonest versions of them, to MySpace, kids growing up in a world of security cameras and Internet security breaches? A father-son fishing trip ends in tragedy, and Kale (Shia LaBeouf) has to carry around grief and guilt for the rest of his
life, or at least for the rest of high school. Cut to a year later, and he manages to punch a teacher out in the last days of a semester. He earns house arrest – an electronic ankle bracelet – for the summer. Kale goes through a sugar-buzz/video game/isolation-induced stir craziness. Then, hot hot Ashley (Sarah Roemer of The Grudge 2) moves in next door, and Kale watches her. A lot. Is she teasing him? She seems to be watching him, too. Wouldn’t you know it, that’s when a missing person makes the news. Kale sees coincidences from the case that connect to a mysterious neighbor. He lets himself be distracted from Job One – pursuing Ashley. Kale, his pal Ronnie (Aaron Yoo, a scene-stealer) and eventually Ashley work themselves into a tizzy over the guy who may be a serial killer, living right next door. Smart casting move: David Morse is the mysterious Turner. He can be spooky and dangerous, or sad and misunderstood. A blunder: The script doesn’t let him play those shades. We believe the kids, that he’s one bad hombre, from the get-go. The movie plays around with the electronic bracelet idea, foreshadowing how
Kale might make an asset out of his “spatially limited” existence. Routine ticking clock scenes put the kids in jeopardy. Cell phones and all manner of surveillance and home video gear give Disturbia a Blair Witch Project feel. Experiencing violence – or a taste of it – through a camcorder boosts the fear factor. LaBeouf, of The Greatest Game Ever Played and Holes, captures the caffeinejag awkwardness of his character’s age and makes for a believably paranoid gearhead. His reasons for questioning Turner betray a teenager’s understanding of privacy. “Why does he want his privacy? What’s he hiding?” Where the movie stumbles is in its lack of a poker face. We know director D.J. Caruso’s hand before he plays it – too many “tells,” too many obvious bits of foreshadowing. But the chills are genuine. And there’s something very rewarding about sitting through a new version of a movie any film buff knows by heart. The years may change the technology of how we spy on our neighbors, but not our desire to do it. Reviewed by Roger Moore INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM, May 2007, 89
The name is...
Bond. He’s back and ready for action in your home theatre Casino Royale PG-13 (discreet nudity, violence, profanity) 140 minutes
ou who carped that the 007 films had devolved into a catalog of fresh gadgets and stale puns, eat crow. You who said that the Austin Powers superspy spoofs made James Bond irrelevant, behave. And you who thought that the Bourne Identity was a nervier political thriller than any recent Bond, understand that Casino Royale is the kickiest of reboots. Most significant, you who thought Hugh Jackman or Clive Owen would be a hotter, sleeker, faster 007 than Daniel Craig (and I was rooting hard for Hugh), listen up: James Blond may be the definitive James Bond. With his radioactive blue eyes and sprinter’s sinew, Craig (you saw him in Munich and Road to Perdition) can beat any other double-O in a staredown or running game. Good thing he possesses such stamina, because at 140 minutes, Casino Royale is a marathon. There’s a great 100-minute film inside Martin Campbell’s prolonged movie based on the Ian Fleming novel that started it all. My advice: Use the protracted poker match at midpoint as an opportunity to visit the concession stand and catch up on your e-mail. When Sean Connery slipped into Bond’s mod serge suit in Dr. No (1962), 007 defined a new kind of masculinity – hard, fast and hunky. Much as I enjoyed elements of the subsequent Bonds – Roger Moore’s winks, Timothy Dalton’s brood-
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ings, Pierce Brosnan’s suits – none of them possessed the distinctive mix of macho, menace and magnetism that Craig so effortlessly displays. Like Connery – but in different proportions – Craig is earthy and erotic, holding himself like a smoking gun. Unlike the no-sweat actor who created 007, Craig reconstructs Bond as inscrutable and vulnerable, a secret agent just as likely to wear an untucked shirt as a bespoke suit, one who sweats stuff big and small. His eyes are diamond-hard, but his heart is soft when it comes to brunette stunner Vesper Lynd (Eva Green, from The Dreamers and Kingdom of Heaven). Craig is not your father’s James Bond, but he is almost certainly your daughter’s. Lynd is a treasury officer who finances Bond in a high-stakes poker match in which the mission is to bankrupt Le Chiffre (Danish heartthrob Mads Mikkelsen, whose character literally weeps blood from his left eye), financier to international terrorists. Le Chiffre owns the film’s most quotable line: “I don’t believe in God, but in a reasonable rate of return.” In a grainy, black-and-white prologue, we see 007 earn his license to kill. Then the image bleeds to color into a retrokitsch credits sequence that uses playingcard suits as an overture of the themes to come: Spades are bullets emanating from a stylized Glock, hearts are tears falling from a throbbing chest. Director Campbell (Vertical Limit, Goldeneye) front-loads the action sequences and they are literally breathtaking, as Bond runs from Mbale, Uganda, to Madagascar to Miami to Montenegro
and other far-flung places beginning with M. (Speaking of that letter, Judi Dench reprises her role as Bond’s boss lady, and their chemistry is palpable.) Without gadgetry or gags, Campbell masterfully choreographs these sequences. The scene where Bond chases a suicide bomber up a steel-framed construction site and down cranes effectively says, Take that, Spider-Man! Take that, Bourne! Too bad the film loses this momentum in its final act. When Timothy Dalton was crowned Bond in the 1980s, he noted diplomatically that half the world thought Connery the best Bond ever and the other half preferred Moore. My guess is that those two camps will agree that Craig is a worthy successor to both. Reviewed by Carrie Rickey
COMING SOON I DREAM OF JEANNIE, G, 4 disc box set
ith the blink of her eyes and a nod of her head, Barbara Eden will make all your wishes come true. Everybody’s favourite genie is back in this 4 disc set that captures all 26 funfilled episodes from the third season of the comedy favourite about Capt. Anthony “Tony” Nelson (Larry Hagman) and his well-meaning magical ‘Jeannie’ (Eden). Newly re-coloured and packed with bonus features, I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Third Season is the beloved must-own comedy series that will have you dreaming of TV’s Golden Age
MAD ABOUT YOU: SEASON ONE PG, 462 minutes
et ready for romance and hilarious bickering in the Big Apple with television’s favourite couple; Jaime and Paul Buchman (Academy Award®-winner Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser). Join them as they try their hardest to keep love alive in the midst of all the madness that modern marriage can bring! Winner of 12 Emmy® awards, Mad About You: The Complete First Season is available on DVD and features all 22 episodes from the first hilarious season of this sitcom classic and is a must own for everyone who’s mad about Mad About You!
UNDING PR OBLEM O R G S WI CIN N E I TH YO R S E o e l h u t t s P i a UR CU o h n. %X o RR ENT C i s a ASH R EGISTER C