Monthly Archives: February 2013


Council’s case against Homer reaches new depths

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“Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” ― Bertolt Brecht [Broadcast PShift Saturday 2 Mar 2013 4zzz fm 102.1 Friday at Noon] Homer was a busy dog this week, court … Continue reading


Foco Nuevo in March: Our 5th Birthday

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FOCO NUEVO in MARCH Our 5th birthday! Friday, 1 March 2013, 8.00 p.m. Kurilpa Hall 174 Boundary Street West End Aris / YellowBird / Jumping Fences As always Maggie’s delicious cakes tea and coffee will be on sale. $10 / … Continue reading


Stradbroke island sand still being sold unlawfully

Stradbroke island sand still being sold unlawfully – The Supreme Court in 2010 ruled that the company could not sell silica sand under its mining leases for purposes such as mortar and render. The riverside website advertises north Stradbroke … Continue reading


The Wed 6th March meeting of the 17 Group

The next meeting of the 17 Group will take place on Wednesday the 6th of March at 7 pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury St West End for a discussion based on a talk to be given by Dr … Continue reading


Bugger the Bankers

LONDON – Report on Bradley Manning 1,000 days in custody.

Bradley Manning’s 1,000th day in U.S. military custody was marked in solidarity actions in 70 cities around the world on Saturday Feb 23rd.

Video of international solidarity actions

Manning has been detained, tortured and defamed by the U.S. state since his arrest in Iraq in 2010 accused of releasing the footage and other evidence of U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains under police siege in the Ecuadoran embassy in London. An 8+ month daily solidarity vigil (2-5pm) continues outside the embassy, located next to Harrods in Knightsbridge.

On Saturday morning activists moved around central London from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace staging Bradley Manning solidarity vigils and distributing flyers

Saturday afternoon 50+ solidarity activists, including military veterans and former political prisoners, gathered Saturday afternoon at the U.S. embassy for a solidarity speak out


From Feb 26th. to March 1st. Bradley Manning will be brought to the military tribunal at Ft. Meade, Maryland USA for a further pretrial hearing

Veterans for the Peace in the U.K. and others will stage a solidarity with Bradley Manning vigil at the U.S. embassy at 5pm on Friday March 1st. at the U.S. embassy, Grosvenor Square, London.

Closest tube Bond St. More info 079 272 59363

Ciaron O’Reilly

“The poor tell us who we are,
The prophets tell us who we could be,
So we hide the poor,
And kill the prophets.”
Phil Berrigan


Palestinian Detainee tortured and murdered

Minister Qaraqe holds Israel fully responsible for the murdering of detainee Arafat Jaradat, who was martyred on Saturday in the Israeli Prison ‘Majido. He, reiterating that: “States party to the UN Charter and relevant international conventions, including the Fourth Geneva … Continue reading

Imperfect solution

I got a lubbly bit of poetree 4u

Pakistan Refugee confusion grows

As Hazaras are grieving for their families who are being killed daily by militias in Pakistan, the confusion about who said what and who promised what, grows.

The fact is that the Australian government is desperate to stop Hazaras coming by boat. They are talking to groups around Australia and Indonesia urging them to tell their families to wait and “come the right way”.

Trouble is the increase in visas promised as the only positive out of the Expert Panel offshore program, has not materialised. Families who have waited up to 5 years for visas are seeing no hope of ever getting out. Meanwhile a quick trip to the shops for food can result in death. No one is sure that children will come home from sschool or mothers from the market place. Both the Humanitarian visa path and the Sponsored visa pathways are blocked by bureaucratic hurdles such as DNA tests, Health tests and ID can only be done in Islamabad-, a life threatening journey of 900 ks from Quetta by bus.
My informant tells me that often the Pakistan bus companies are refusing to carry Hazaras because they say that they are a risk, that the Taliban will target them if they see two or three Hazaras sitting in the bus. as if this hurdle was not enough now DIAC are demanding that wives travel back to Kabul inorder to get their taskeras stamped by the ministry there. The DNA tests can only be done by DIAC accredited laboratories in Australia. The test which costs an Australia $300, costs an adult Hazara $1500 and a child $750. The test is a simple mouth swab.

Those without family who are in danger have to rely on applying as a refugees.they too have insurmountable hurdles. See below Australia says plan only for refugees but they don’t say that no one can get into the Quetta office of the UNHCR to place an applicction. this office was closed for two years because of security concerns. Now the UN office is open but impossible to get in. Hazaras have to pass through 4 checkpoints showing a letter of invitation, ID documents and or Passport. As we know only too well refugees don’t often have documents. As for the letter of invitation, one man I spoke to said that UNHCR could help by posting this letter out after a phone call invitation. While many live in houses without numbers etc- letters could be sent to local shops. Without a letter they have no hope to get in the door. Until they ghet in the door they cannot get a letter. This man who has come through the system told me that only 2 or 3 out of a hundred are ever accepted- that is 97%. In 2010 there were 700 applications in process- few were accepted.

Meanwhile buses and the market places carry Australian posters telling people not to travel by boat because it is too dangerous.

So when Australia says that they will only accept UNHCR designated refugees – this means that there is no formal pathway to Australia as a refugee.

Australia’s asylum plan ‘only for refugees’

ISLAMABAD, Feb 21: Australia on Thursday denied it had launched any special asylum programme for the Hazaras, the target of the recent terrorist attacks in Quetta.

“Australia is sympathetic to communities affected by sectarian violence and acts of terrorism. While Australia’s offshore Humanitarian Programme has been increased in 2012-13, there are no new arrangements for particular ethnicities or people from a particular part of any country,” the Australian High Commission said in a statement, contradicting a report in Dawn on Thursday headlined “2,500 Hazara families offered asylum”.

Terming the report “incorrect”, it said: “Australia is not introducing a new programme to resettle Hazaras out of Pakistan and Australia’s ongoing resettlement programme is only for refugees.”

Australia’s priority is to assist those refugees who are the most vulnerable. Refugees, including the Afghan Hazaras wanting to be resettled in Australia, must be recognised by the UNHCR as meeting the criteria for refugee status.

To be considered for resettlement, they must be among the most vulnerable, said the statement.

New Drone Base in Niger Builds U.S. Presence in Africa

[Editor’s Note: The French military have become bogged down
in Mali. As a result the US has intervened and provided support using
its superior logistics and use of extra-judicial
assassinations with drones. Thousands of people have been killed in
this way across Africa, the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.]

Eric Schmitt and Scott Sayare in the New York Times:

In a letter to Congress, Mr. Obama said about 40 United States military service members arrived in Niger on Wednesday, bringing the total number of those deployed in the country to about100 American troops had been sent to Niger in West Africa to help set up a new base from which unarmed Predator aircraft would conduct surveillance in the region.

“the greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words.”

The Canyons is the greatest story being told

A movie might save Lindsay Lohan from Hell – no not jail, reality TV.

THE crazy true story of the making of the neo-noir Hollywood film The Canyons for $250,000 will be turned into a film one day and it will make hundreds of millions of dollars one day.
If you have not caught up with the tragi-comedy, which would make Samuel Beckett jealous, get on-board straight away.

This unintentional black comedy of the making of The Canyons stars best-selling author/ Twitter assassin Bret Easton Ellis, screenplay writer of Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader, wild child Lindsay Lohan and a porn star named James Deen.

I have been following the saga which is almost too good to be true.
Here is a background account of the juicy story which has the promise of more delights to come.
The latest news is the film has a distributor IFC  Films when no wholesaler seemed keen after the flick was brushed for inclusion in the Sundance Festival and ridiculed in the media.
IFC plans to release it simultaneously in theaters and on the internet (Video On Demand) early in the American summer.
The distributor – the I stands for independent – picked up My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 2002 which had to be a good score.
·        Subsequent ICF releases include
·        Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) – by Michael Moore
·        Land of Plenty (2004) – by Wim Wenders
·        Paranoid Park (2008) – by Gus Van Sant
·        Che (2008) – by Steven Soderbergh
·        My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009) – by Werner Herzog
·        Looking for Eric (2009) – by Ken Loach
·        The Angels’ Share (2012) (as IFC Midnight) – by Ken Loach
 The point is that IFC has given some credibility to overcome the bizarre marketing efforts of The Canyons producers who dissed their own film in three trailers:          
I won’t inflict the other two on you but below are the links

Commenting on the distribution deal, director Paul Schrader said, ‘The Canyons is a visually and tonally precise, acid-etched horror story of souls wandering through a hyper-materialistic hell.’
PLEASE Paul, promise not to do any more promotion from a pen dipped in purple ink.
Meanwhile, the Guardian newspaper, which makes some strange cultural deliberations, has panned the film without seeing it – remember it is out in the American summer.
TheGuardian might like to declare the film a dud, but I would like to go on the record for predicting it will make a huge bundle of moolah. IFC apparently put down $1m on the table to secure the rights which puts the flick in the black already. Thanks go to the Guardian and the New York Times for the “negative” publicity.
I cannot wait to see it and in a cinema. It may be a passable film but I will love it, anyhows. It will be the final chapter in a magnificent evolving narrative.
Paul Schrader says The Canyons is a horror story:


Community Bingo at Jagera

tent embassy community bingo

Another Bahraini youth dies from tear gas canister head injury

Yesterday, Mahmoud Al Jaziri, 20 year old Bahraini youth was pronounced dead after being hospitalized since February 14 when he was shot in the head with a tear gas canister at close range by Government security forces.

To see the incident, visit this youtube video link: February 14 marked the second anniversary of Bahrain’s pro-democracy protests and on this day, Mahmoud’s 16 year-old cousin, Hussain Al Jaziri, was also killed by security forces, shot at close range by a shooting gun.

Since 2011, over 130 pro-democracy supporters have been killed by security forces and all funeral processions have been attacked. Until now, the Government of Bahrain is refusing to give Mahmoud’s body back to his family so they can bury him”, said Abdulelah Al Hubaishi, a Bahraini refugee now in Australia.

There have been hundreds of injuries in the last week and some protesters are in critical conditions. Yesterday two protesters were shot with live ammunition and their lives are in danger”

The Bahraini government announced a national dialogue with the opposition movement in early February, however, this has been widely criticized and labeled hypocritical as they continue the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters.

“If the government is interested in dialogue then it needs to allow Bahraini civilians freedom of speech and political protest. It must heed the demands of the majority who are calling for an end to the repression, the release of all political prisoners, accountability and the democratic election of a new prime minister”

The Bahraini Australian Youth Movement is currently working with Greens leader Christine Milne and Federal MP Laurie Ferguson to present motions to Federal Parliament condemning the ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain.

Media contact: Abdul elah al Hubaishi 0452 211 581



Foco Nuevo in March 2013

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Friday, March 1, 2013 8:00pm Kurilpa Hall, 174 Boundary St, West End 4101 Our 5th Birthday Celebration Aris / YellowBird / Jumping Fences $10/$7 – BYO – Maggies delicious cakes, tea coffee on sale With over 50 concerts presented over … Continue reading


Afghanistan: the rights of Hazaras

22 feb 2013 PShift Australian soldiers have been a force of occupation in Afghanistan on and off since 2001. I say on and off because the Australian contingent left Afghanistan to assist in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. During … Continue reading


RAC: Rally for Hazara rights and other events

Several events are coming up which are not RAC events, but are of interest to refugee supporters and deserve our support. Rally in support of the Hazaras in Pakistan The Hazaras originally come from Afghanistan, but due to war, oppression … Continue reading


Deepen the Conversation: A Burning Landscape

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Historian Bill Gammage explodes the myth that pre-European settlement Australia was an untamed wilderness, revealing the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people. Inspired by early European accounts that some of the Australian environment resembled well-groomed English … Continue reading


The People’s Voice – Newman breaks pledge to keep royal children’s hospital

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NEWMAN BREAKS PLEDGE TO KEEP ROYAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL The government has kept the public in the dark about closure of the -Royal Children’s Hospital • Brisbane North will be deprived of the readily accessible and comprehensive paediatric accident & emergency … Continue reading


‘OPERATION SATOUR’: The 1971 Springbok Tour of Queensland

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‘OPERATION SATOUR’: The 1971 Springbok Tour of Queensland Queensland Police Headquarters: Sunday 24 February 2013: 10.30 am to 12.30 pm Inquiries to : Ms Lisa Jones (Police Museum Curator) on 3364 6425 Time Speaker (Participants’ biographical details overleaf) Topic or … Continue reading


The Australian Green Development Forum hosting Cuban Professor

The Australian Green Development Forum is hosting eminent Cuban Professor for their roadshow on April 1st. Follow the hyperlink for more information and registration Professor Fernando Martirena from Santa Clara University in Cuba will be our special guest for the … Continue reading


Black, Red and White Wars

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Most people in the U.S.A. have heard of Crazy Horse that Indian folk hero who demolished Custer’s force ‘Sitting Bull’, the Nez Perce ‘Joseph’ ‘Cochise’ ‘Geronimo’ Indigenous Americans whose deeds of long ago brought a blaze of glory to the … Continue reading


Hazara Genocide continues in Quetta

Another Bomb went off in a Hazara area in Quetta on Saturday (16 Feb 2013). One of the men at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) refugee centre said that his 9 year old neice was injured by the blast … Continue reading


Musgrave Park Heritage Register

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Musgrave Park (incl former South Brisbane Bowls Clubhouse)  SUMMARY Gazetted in 1865, Musgrave Park is one of the oldest public parks in Brisbane. By the turn of the twentieth century, it was host to numerous recreational pursuits including cricket, croquet, … Continue reading

Lazarus Syndrome inspires comic short story

Return from the dead: read a fictional short story about a true-life medical condition

Belinda Janz
DEAR Aunty Jo,
This last fortnight has been such an emotional rollercoaster ride that I have decided to write this letter as we can hardly believe it. Really, it’s too much to relay to the Captain of your ship.
As you know now, Mum passed away Monday two weeks ago while visiting her doctor.

She had been saying for some months she felt it was time to move on and I had taken to passing off her feelings as just old-age thoughts. Mum had been so well for so long that it seemed strange that she should even think she was about to die. Initially, I looked for signs and asked her doctor if there was anything I had not been told about but the doctor only supported my idea that, the older you get, it is natural to think that any day you could die.

At 68-years-old Mum was still well enough to live here at home. She moved into rooms downstairs without any fuss after Dad passed away last year saying she wanted her space and it was her time now; after all, if I wanted her, she was only a walk down the stairs away. Nothing had changed with her daily routines or her pace except her new blood pressure medicines. The specialists assured us this was not the cause of Mum’s sudden death but merely that her heart had given out with age.
We tried to contact you almost straight away even though we knew you were away on the last part of your around-the-world cruise. It wasn’t till Wednesday morning that we were able to speak to the Captain and have the message passed on. At that point the family had decided to have the funeral last Friday knowing that you most likely would not be able to make it.
Allison said she would go in to dress Mum for the burial Wednesday afternoon and there was to be a private viewing after this. I wasn’t sure about the choice of coffin. Both Allison and Tom insisted we should look at environmentally friendly choices in cardboard.

I initially laughed out loud at the very thought that was conjured up in my mind. When Tom produced a booklet on some styles and designs, I have to say, I was surprised at how they looked just like regular wooden coffins in the photos. I wasn’t into the weird designs but we laughed at the thought of Mum being buried in a present style box that looked like an oversized box of chocolates complete with painted bow design on top. Allison told me that Barbara Cartland had been buried in a cardboard coffin and I had said jokingly, ‘What? Was it made out of her books? She hardly wrote anything that I know that wasn’t worth burying!’
Anyway I gave into my older brother and sister’s choice. After all, it was lined inside with a blue padding and looked presentable enough. I figured Mum wasn’t ever fussy about spending unnecessary money on things.
So Wednesday, after a long day at work, I drove to the funeral home and met up with the rest of the family for the viewing. Uncle Ted and Aunty Jean, on Dad’s side, were also there as they had remained close to Mum after Dad had died. I don’t know how well you know Uncle Ted, but it was no surprise to us kids when, after the viewing, Uncle Ted suddenly produced an Esky from somewhere and announced, ‘Time for a drink! In honour of your mother and a good woman let’s all have a drink to celebrate her good life.’
As he was saying this, he produced shot glasses out of his pockets. He handed us a glass each and then pulled from the Esky several cocktail shakers sitting in ice. With a shake and flick he poured us each a dark amber coloured drink.
‘Ted what on earth is this?’ asked Aunty Jean, as she cautiously sniffed the glass.
‘It’s called a Closed Casket and how appropriate I thought for today. You know how Ann liked a nip of rum every now and then and I think now is an ‘every now and then’ type moment. She would see the funny side to it – you know Closed Casket – get it?’ Uncle Ted poured himself a second oblivious to us all standing there hesitantly holding the cold drink and wondering if here and now was the time for such frivolity. We did drink it though and I was surprised how nice it tasted but then felt guilty with feeling pleasure at such a time. Uncle Ted had begun pouring us all another drink when suddenly the lid of the casket flew off landing with a dull thud to the floor.
Startled, we all turned to see Mum struggling to try and sit up. I bet I wasn’t the only one who wondered what we had just drunk. Aunty Jean screamed so loud the funeral home attendant came in and was just as bewildered as we were to what was going on. By this time Aunty Jean had slumped to the floor dropping her glass which snapped us out of what seemed like a slow moving dream. We didn’t know where to go first – to Aunty Jean or to Mum but it seems we all hung back in shock more than anything until Mum snapped at us to get her out of this box. She proceeded to continue to yell even as the funeral home attendant assisted her into a chair before saying he was going to call for a doctor.
It was later explained to us by the doctor on Wednesday night at the hospital, that Mum appeared to have experienced what is known as Lazarus Syndrome – something bought on by the attempted resuscitation after she had passed away at the doctor’s surgery. Lazarus Syndrome is a rare condition where the heart rate and breathing drop below measurable levels before returning to normal. It is understood that a spontaneous return of circulation happens after attempts to resuscitate fail with times varying with each case.
In all the kerfuffle we didn’t even think to try and contact you to tell you what had happened.
The doctor said he was going to keep Mum in overnight much to her disgust. It seems she was also expressing disgust with the choice of casket or was it just that ‘we had tried to bury her alive’ as that also seemed to be a part of her angry words whenever we tried to speak to her.
Mum was only home a little over a day when, in the early hours of Friday morning, I awoke to her yelling from below. I went downstairs to find her doubled over on the floor and appearing to be unconscious. She was clutching at her chest with one hand and I wondered if she had had a heart attack and ran back upstairs to ring for the ambulance. I then rang Allison and Tom and they all seemed to arrive at the same time. I’d left the front door open so that I could stay with Mum and had her head resting on a pillow and a blanket over her as they all filed in downstairs one after the other.
The ambulance officers told us they were sorry to say that Mum had passed away and they offered to contact the doctor for confirmation and the necessary procedures that needed to be followed up on.
Allison looked at me, then at Tom, and we all looked back at Mum lying in a peaceful form on the floor now.
‘Are you sure? I asked, explaining what had just happened over the week.
‘Yes without a pulse after all this time we are sure, sir. The doctor will confirm it all with you.’
So off Mum went back to the same funeral home but this time we chose a wooden casket and lined it with pink so that it didn’t resemble the last one in any way. Then around the time when her first funeral had been set for on the Friday morning, Mum again awakens from this phenomenon which I can’t say I have heard of till now. Can you believe it, Aunty Jo? I was beginning to think Mum had more than one life like a cat! Again she shocked the staff at the funeral home by walking out telling them that they were all in the plot to get rid of her.
I got the call from the home and found Mum walking along the side of the road. In the car I tried to explain to Mum what the doctor had tried to tell us but Mum would have no part of it. She said she was only getting a lift with me so she could go home and ring the police and report us all for what she thought was a plot to bury her alive. Mum seemed to have become quite confused and suddenly very old with all the dying and rising up again that had been going on.
Mum stopped eating over the weekend and spent most of the time in bed either asleep or staring at the ceiling. I was really worried that she seemed to have lost it and wasn’t sure if she knew what was going on. She hadn’t talked to any of us since we had got home Friday afternoon. Uncle Ted tried to offer her a nip of rum telling it would be all right but she just lay on the bed staring at the ceiling and didn’t respond to his attempts at humour like she used too. In fact, if her eyes weren’t open, I would almost say she had passed away again.
And then she did. Aunty Jean while sponging her down noticed that she had no pulse and called the ambulance and then the doctor. This time the doctor had Mum put into a private room in the hospital while we waited for what we thought would just be a repeat of the last times. We took it in turns to stay with Mum but after the third day the doctor declared Mum had indeed passed on this time and wrote up a Final Decease certificate there and then. The funeral home had already been put on notice but this time, given how things had ended up, it somehow was decided that Mum should be cremated immediately putting an end to it. I’m not sure what was being put an end to and didn’t want Mum being burnt alive and said as much. The doctor assured us that there had never been a case yet where a person had come back to life after being dead three days.
So it is with much sadness I write to tell you about Mum’s passing again but relief I guess that she is finally at rest. I know you will receive this letter when you get home – hardly a welcoming home letter but we just wanted you to know how difficult it has been this last fortnight. Can you believe it – this has happened to about 38 people around the world over the last thirty years? None of us had heard about the others but the doctor assures us it is a recognised medical syndrome and not some witchery or trickery or dare I say ‘spirit’ thing. I don’t believe in ghosts even though I know Mum did and always said she would come back to haunt me to see if I was looking after myself.
Well Aunty Jo, I hope you had a lovely cruise and I still plan to fly down and see you at Christmas if that’s alright. But for now I’ll end off here as I’d best go and check out the house again;
I keep getting the smell of smoke or something burning when I sit around too long, so take care,
Love from Anthony.


Buy it HERE

Face to face with Fukushima

As the Qld government makes motions to open an uranium mining industry in this state, the anniversary of the ongoing disaster at Fukushima serves as a timely reminder of the dangers of the nuclear industry… BRISBANE TUESDAY MARCH 12, 2013: … Continue reading


Community Bingo at Jagera


WOMADelaide takes money from Israeli Embassy in Canberra

WOMADelaide 2013 has taken money from the Israeli Embassy and ignored the call of Palestinian civil society for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel until it respects human rights and complies with International law. We have written to the … Continue reading


Refugee homestay initiative fails

Another positive initiative killed off before it could really begin. “THE federal government’s much-heralded “homestay” program for asylum seekers has collapsed, with just four people who have arrived on boats currently staying with Australian families. ” From Homestay boat billet … Continue reading

Autistic boy teaches colorful magic

Enjoy this illsutrated short story from the anthology

Kay Curran
THERE are many ways of experiencing colour! The artist and the poet express the colours around them in amazing ways. Some people see their feelings in colour from the golden joy of a parent when they hold their child for the first time to the red of frustration and tiredness as their special child grows up.
My grandson, who is 6-years-old, going on a hundred, was taught about the meaning of colour for him when he was only 3-years-old. His mother realised he was different, special, and a friend suggested he could be Asperger’s when she heard one of his meltdowns over the phone.
The meltdown comes with a blood curdling sound, very red and frustrated. Not just a tantrum that the average child will throw but different, signalling absolute anxiety, fear or terror of whatever makes his world almost unliveable at the time. It can be something as simple as a decision to walk down the steps that day.
We were fortunate enough to find a very good psychologist who worked wonders with him. However it caused all our families’ bank balances to turn red! You can believe that!
‘Doc’, as he called her, taught him that if he had red thoughts he would have red feelings and he had to learn to turn them into green thoughts and feelings. It was fascinating to see how this came about. One day, he came for his session, and, hardly able to pronounce the words, told Doc that he had white thoughts and feelings. ‘Mmmm, tell me about it,’ was her amazed reply. It was not something you heard at a psychologists’ conference or found in any research books.  He explained patiently that ‘angry, cranky and scared were very red feelings’ and he understood he had to make them green. ‘But,’ he said, ‘there is a different feeling altogether and it is white.’ Well the psychologists of Queensland have learnt something new and colourful.

At home with me one day he announced our dog Dove was very sad. I dismissed it by saying, ‘Oh go and give her a hug.’ Then I heard chattering coming from behind my chair, and there was my little man explaining gently to the dog, ‘Now Dove, your white feelings are coming from your white thoughts and you need to make them green.’ Can you believe it?
It has been, and I am sure will continue to be, a fascinating journey with this young man who has been on this earth a mere six years. Doc calls him her ‘little old Einstein!’ He has now been diagnosed with autism “officially” and like other special children we are given to nurture, he will make his own special mark on the world. We are blessed that he is classified as a “high functioning autistic”. He is able to talk and has a habit of doing so constantly. This can cause the listener to have feelings tingeing on the red! You can believe that!
When he started Prep School last year his grandfather asked him if he liked school, and he replied ‘Of course!’  His thinking was that if you go to school you like it – a green thought or rule he has set up?
He may be a book critic in the making.  Given a Prep book to read he said it was silly as they only changed one word in the whole book. The Year 1 book received a similar critique. The Year 2 book was considered ‘not bad’ but, when they took him back to advanced Year 1, he had comments coming from feelings bordering on the red. He said, ‘This book is rather silly; do you think I am a child?’ spoken politely but definitely.
As part of his therapy he gets to go horse riding each week and I am sure his horse Sugar, has been given the ‘white thoughts’ lecture in his own special gentle green way.
His twin sister has now been diagnosed with Asperger’s but, just to keep the teachers hopping, girls with Asperger’s present differently.  I pray every night for their teachers because their big brother who is 14 months older than the twins is also on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum.
I think the difficulties they have, and will continue to have, probably make them even more wonderful. Their proud grandparents spruik about them constantly. Don’t ever ask grandma and granddad about the kids or you could end up with tired ears and red thoughts. You can believe it!
The latest is that when his mother told him the hug he gave her was ‘a real hug’ she was asked, ‘What are the elements of a real hug, Mummy?’ The next day when he was giving granddad his new real big hug I noticed he was also patting him on the back.  I leaned over and quietly asked, ‘Is the patting part of a real hug?’ In his own special way he grinned and answered, ‘Of course!’
He had said a year or so before that he had ‘blue’ thoughts for ‘special circumstances’ and I gather the ‘real hugs’ come under that colour. 
However they are very ‘normal’ children and drive their mum and dad often to ‘red thoughts’ each day.  But at night, when they are asleep you cannot stop smiling at them with loving golden thoughts. Many thanks to God for lending them to us in all their brilliant colours of red, green, white and the occasional blue.

Bahrain: no hope for the Al Khalifa regime

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Bahraini nurse calls on international support after police kill 16 yr old during crackdown on anniversary of democracy protests. Hussain Al Jaziri, 16 years old, was killed by Bahraini security forces yesterday as the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters intensifies around … Continue reading