Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: This Is Not A Complicated Issue

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  • Biobbs, in reply to Sacha,

    Knew I'd seen that poster somewhere. You can see the plaque marking the spot today via Google Streetview.

    The sentence on that Wikipedia article that poleaxed me was:

    For example, between 1935 and 1975, 63,000 people were sterilised on eugenic grounds in Sweden

    1975. In Sweden? Wow. I mean, just....wow.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    That bit of Berlin is fucking creepy. There's von-Karajan-Strasse right next door, which, you know, given von Karajan's fucking Party membership seems almost impossibly tasteless.

    (and a really nice Serra. Which is real nice.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1389 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Biobbs,

    New Zealand was still sterilising some disabled women a lot more recently than that. Our eugenics history us hardly proud either, as Hilary notes. Another reason the shift in stereotypes needs more work.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Biobbs,

    Sweden has a pretty terrible history of eugenics. It was not really talked about until the 1990s when they had to confront it for a variety of reasons including the discovery of collections of body parts taken for eugenic resaons. The dark-haired singer in Abba was a product of a eugenic policy experiment to breed Swedish mothers with German 'Aryan' men, which was quite a shock for her to find out.

    Most western countries have eugenic policies in their past, and the institutionalisation of disabled people and the sterilisation of disabled women still happen in many countries. Many of those Nazi doctors continued to believe they were doing cutting edge science and went on to have research careers for many decades - one proudly used his collection of brains of disabled children until the 1990s.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2128 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    This is how we treat the intellectually disabled in NZ today - with a 19th century lecture on self-betterment.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3597 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The only 2 Swedes I know personally (publisher & translator of 1 of my books) were forthright & ashamed of what *they* called the 'extreme rightwing, like Nazis' disproportionate segment of their population...and, apparently, that grouping has not gone away...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I fear that is not an unusual story. Especially once estranged from family. No proper assessment either. Sad.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2128 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Joe -what are the alternatives for someone like that man? He's having fantasies about school-girls (and if 'they cried' when he held them down, "that'd be okay"?)
    He isnt able to work by what is said in that article. He's basically never worked.
    He is - as far as this feminist is concerned - a sad predator.

    So, with my personal priority being for women to be protected against such, what
    should we do?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    City Council Housing here in Chch has played a significant role in providing accommodation for those with intellectual and 'psychiatric' disabilities. Unfortunately they also regularly evict tenants who repeatedly fall behind with their rent, which seems to happen all too easily. The Richmond Fellowship ran an entire Council complex in Avonside with a live-in supervisor, but that's in the red zone now.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3597 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Islander,

    He is - as far as this feminist is concerned - a sad predator.

    So, with my personal priority being for women to be protected against such, what
    should we do?

    Designate him a 'useless eater', or perhaps the right-wing blogosphere's recent fave, an 'oxygen thief'? And follow it up with a suitably feminist penalty? As I believe that only a woman has the right to claim to be a feminist, it's beyond me to answer that.

    What that article highlights for me is how easily the genuinely disabled - and I've no doubt that his plight is not entirely of his own making - can be damned by the same society that glibly proclaims their rights. We don't seem to have any means of protecting the dangerously vulnerable from society, and often eventually society from them, short of stripping them of all of their civil rights.

    When someone appears to be pleading to be institutionalised, shouldn't there be some means where they could be accorded a measure of human dignity while receiving a degree of protection?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3597 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    The IDCCR Act of about 2003 specifically for people with intellectual impairment who offend was supposed to deal with this sort of situation. Seems not to be happening. Sad about that Richmond Fellowship place too.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2128 posts Report Reply

  • Biobbs, in reply to Sacha,

    New Zealand was still sterilising some disabled women a lot more recently than that. Our eugenics history us hardly proud either, as Hilary notes. Another reason the shift in stereotypes needs more work

    I had no idea, which goes to show my ignorance. And if a lot of other people are as unaware as me, no wonder things haven't got that much better even now...

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Biobbs, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The dark-haired singer in Abba was a product of a eugenic policy experiment to breed Swedish mothers with German 'Aryan' men, which was quite a shock for her to find out.

    Norwegian, I think, in her case, to be fair to Sweden. She was born in occupied Norway to a Norwegian mother and German soldier. Her mother fled from Norway to Sweden with the infant Anna-Frid shortly after the war to escape persecution. Which was another unpleasant example of human behaviour in the western world.

    But yeah, there's a small but disturbing minority of bizarre racial thinking up in this part of the world. Don't even get me started on the Danish People's Party.... grrr.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    The sentence on that Wikipedia article that poleaxed me was:

    For example, between 1935 and 1975, 63,000 people were sterilised on eugenic grounds in Sweden

    1975. In Sweden? Wow. I mean, just….wow.

    Female to male transgenders are forcibly sterilised today in Sweden.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Any thoughts on the Herald's editorial?. It's as odd, rambling, and poorly structured as most Herald op-ed pieces (if Herald editorialists and columnists were my students, they'd have almost every essay they submitted handed back and told to choose one topic and at least attempt something resembling a logical structure), but seems to be trying to apportion blame equally between Lockwood and the Greens. Here I was thinking Parliament should be set up to allow all its members to take a full part in proceedings regardless of dis/ability.

    And do I detect a note of scepticism or reluctance to acknowldege the value of Mojo Mathers' calls for captioning of Parliament TV or sign language interpreters in schools and other such services to help disabled people take a fuller part in public life? Or do I just need a little more caffeine?

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    seems to be trying to apportion blame equally between Lockwood and the Greens

    their idea of 'objectivity'.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Sacha,

    When it comes to climate change, the media does seem to think ‘balance’ means giving the views of a tiny minority composed of many non-experts as well as experts equal weight with the views of the overwhelming majority of experts, so maybe, yes, that’s what they think ‘objectivity’ means. It’s certainly a more charitable explanation than the one I thought of.

    But then again, I find the Herald’s op-ed pieces so poorly edited and incoherent I’m really not sure. For example, I think I just found myself agreeing with Paul Holmes. [shudder] -where’s the petrol? I suddenly feel the need for a very thorough cleansing. Now, do control the urge to scream “No, Paul, we said ‘How dare you be a racist fucktard!’” and scroll down to where he actually seems to say something sensible and reasonable about Mojo Mathers’ predicament. Today is getting weird.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    he actually seems to say something sensible and reasonable about Mojo Mathers’ predicamen

    Very limited, and abnegated by his other fucktard remarks- cease with the petrol Chris!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Islander,

    I s'pose on the balance of probabilities he must manage to come out with something sensible every now and then, no matter how limited. Petrol is back in the car's petrol tank where it belongs.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Biobbs,

    Thanks for the correction - I'm sure the Swedes wouldn't like to be confused for the occupied Norwegians.
    @chris waugh - Holmes was involved with Paralympics as a patron or somesuch for a while. Hence he understands a bit about the social model of disability. But then he also has two part Maori children so why was his last column so racist?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2128 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Sigh of relief.
    Not a single incinerated insect - let alone a human being - is worth an incinerated Paul Holmes & all his words. Save the petrol for journeying (and knowing that Paul Holmes isnt likely to ever put to his body where his imflammatory tongue goes...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    But then he also has two part Maori children so why was his last column so racist?

    Because his erstwhile wife & he dont get along?
    Or, just simply, he's an age-ing publicity-seeking racist who is losing his media cred?
    (Ouch, Laws is in front again- must do worse...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I quote:

    Never mind the child stats, never mind the national truancy stats, never mind the hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children and stop them bashing their babies. No, it's all the Pakeha's fault. It's all about hating whitey. Believe me, that's what it looked like the other day.

    and:

    No, if Maori want Waitangi Day for themselves, let them have it. Let them go and raid a bit more kai moana than they need for the big, and feed themselves silly, speak of the injustices heaped upon them by the greedy Pakeha and work out new ways of bamboozling the Pakeha to come up with a few more millions.

    How he swings from that into a rant agains the La Leche League then into a rant about Russia, China and Syria I don't know.

    But:

    But then he also has two part Maori children

    And? You know how many white supremacists I've met in China? Even married to non-white women? Racists, in my experience, are highly irrational people, even by the usual standards of human irrationality. They also tend to be very good at contorting themselves into all kinds of bizarre knots of logic in either attempting to prove they're not racist, although, of course, their own race is vastly superior to all others, or admitting they are racist and attempting to prove their own race is vastly superior to all others, all the while demonstrating how there are exceptions in the other races.

    But Russel did call for a bit less heat and a little more light, so I don't think we should continue this argument too long.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Islander,

    Oh, I don't burn things lightly, least of all living things, I was just thinking of a thorough scrub with something a little more powerful than mere soap.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I was just thinking of a thorough scrub with something a little more powerful than mere soap.

    Bran. And warm soapy water. Best-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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