Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ross Lightfoot

Dear Mr. Lightfoot,

You are on my list. I'm supposed to research you today. The thing is I have no idea who you are. I've been a bit down lately with all this terrorism and breast cancer research. I would greatly appreciate it if you have a happy inspiring life that will put me in a good mood.

Thank you

Sincerely,

Dina


Oh no. Why? Why! Why?

I feel like I'm being tormented here. I know who Ross Lightfoot is now. This is the last thing I want to dive into today. And I know what you smart rational people are thinking. Just skip him! Write about him a different day.

But I can't do that. Why? I'm not rational. I feel it's my destiny to write about him because he was on the list for today. And I'm weird like that. So sue me.

Ross Lightfoot is the one who attacked Kerry Nettle. Now I'm not sure how he attacked her. Verbally? Physically? Tripped her when she was walking by?

I guess I shall find out.

You know with his last name, I kind of was thinking he might be Native American. It SOUNDS like a Native American name. Don't ask me why I thought a Native American had become Australian Well, I guess it COULD be a possibility Right? Are there Native Americans living in Australia? Who knows? Maybe Ross Lightfoot does have Native American origins.

He was born on August 11 1936. He's a bit up there in age. Well, he's 72. I guess that's not too old. It's not the numbers that matter anyway. It's how you feel. How are you feeling, Mr. Lightfoot?

Birthday Website time!

He's a Leo and an 11. I'm not sure that fits him or what I IMAGINE him to be like. I picture an 11 Leo to be pretty damn awesome....important and charismatic. Then again, Hitler was important and charismatic. So, there you go.

Link
Lord Wiki says that Lightfoot was born in Port Lincoln, South Australia. I'm looking at Google Maps now. It's not near the capital city of Adelaide. Lord Wiki says though that he was educated at the Adelaide. What does that mean? At the Adelaide? Maybe it's a mistake.

Anyway, later he was educated at the Kalgoorie School of Mines. It seems they have changed their name. Now they're known as the Western Australian School of Mines. The school focuses on mining (obviously) and related sciences such as geology. Was Lightfoot into mining?

Lord Wiki says he was a weekend soldier with the National Service and that he then joined the Liberal party. I wonder what attracted him to the party?

From 1959-1962, he was a mounted policeman. That's one on a horse, right?

In 1972 (the year I was born!) Lightfoot became a pastoralist and grazier. I think that's farming related. Okay, yes. Lord Wiki says a pastoralist is a farmer that works with animals. This online dictionary says a grazier is one who keeps cow or sheep on grazing land.

Lord Wiki says that in 1986, he became part of Western Australia's Legislative Assembly. And there was some controversy that I can't quite understand. He wanted the United States to dump subsidized wheat in Australia's international wheat markets. What? Huh? I'm totally lost.

Anyway, whatever the deal was....it must have embarrassed him because he later retracted his statement.

This guy is full of controversy.

In 1994 he publicly defended the Australian League of Rights. I guess it's not a good idea to defend this group? Who are they?

Well, Lord Wiki says they're a minor political organization rather than a political party. They don't believe in the Holocaust. They believe the world is run by a secret society of Jews. Hey, that's true, by the way. I'm the leader. So, be nice to me.

They're pro-capitalist and anti-communist. They're pro-monarchy and do not want Australia to be a Republic.

I'm going to look at their website now. It's a bit long-winded. I'm not in the mood to go through it. It does seem like one of their main focuses now is the denial of global warming. They're really into something called social credit. I'm not in the mood to read all that, but you can if you want. I'm trying to read and understand Lord Wiki's explanation. I think it might have something to do with putting the power into the hands of the consumers. We vote with our money. That kind of thing.

Anyway, next Lightfoot stepped into controversy by signing a petition by an American named Lyndon LaRouche. It pissed some Jews off. Why? Let's see.....

Well, I'm not sure what the petition is about. But LaRouche has a reputation for being anti-semitic. I'm not sure if the petition was related to anti-semitism, or if the Jewish groups just thought it was wrong to sign any petition if it was started by an anti-semite.

Wow. Even John Howard himself scolded Lightfoot. Why? When he was a member of the Senate, Lightfoot declared that Aborigines were the lowest color on the civilization spectrum. Silly me. I didn't even realize we had a civilization spectrum. Lightfoot is a fool though. Any educated person knows that violet is the lowest color. So, it's violet people who are the most inferior.

Lightfoot was a member of the senate for a fairly long time...1997-2008.

I can't see how he could deny being racist.  Although I don't know if he's tried. Not only did he say that stuff about Aborigines, but he also campaigns heavily to help white people in Zimbabwe. That's not bad in itself, but he doesn't want to help the black people as well. Wow.

Okay, here's the Kerry Nettle stuff. Nettle and Bob Brown were trying to give a letter to the visiting George W. Bush. The letter was to Mamdouh Habib from his wife. Lightfoot physically blocked their path. Then he told Nettle to bleep off and die. But he kind of didn't say the word bleep.

In April 2007 he announced he would retire at the end of his term. I guess that came about in 2008.

All right. I'll leave Lord Wiki now and see if I can find anything else exciting.

Lightfoot was accused of smuggling money into Iraq for an American oil company. He denies it and threatens to take legal action towards the people who made such accusations.

He likes the Kurdish people. Well, I'm glad he likes someone.

This website has some more information about the Zimbabwe situation. I don't know much about it because I'm American and we tend to be ignorant about world events. It seems their leader is a bit of a tyrant and does not like white people.

So, is Lightfoot right in targeting the white people for his assistance? Is it because the black people don't need help? Or do they need help as well and Lightfoot is too racist to want to help them?

The other question: If things were reversed...if a country was abusing it's black citizens, would Lightfoot be as interested in rescuing them?

Lightfoot says, Mugabe has claimed that the actions of these wretched squatters is a justified protest against the ownership of productive land by white settlers. In fact, it is racism against the white Zimbabweans and apartheid in reverse, and regardless of what occurred in the past, two wrongs will not make it right.

I sort of agree with that. Well, to a point. Maybe not. It goes along with my thoughts of Israel and Palestine lately; another subject I don't know enough about. Although I know more about that than Zimbabwe. From what I know, it seems a lot of people believe that Israel is more at fault right now. Let's say they're right. The issue is can we ignore the past? I've looked a little bit at the history and it seems to me in the past that a lot of fault lies with the Palestinians. I don't think they were exactly welcoming to the Jewish refugees from the Holocaust. So, if one group mistreats another, do we ignore the past and just say You are wrong. You're the bully. Or do we look at the whole history.

Let's say America decided to invade Australia. We come over and start a war. We win and the country becomes ours. We treat the Australians like crap.

Okay, but what if the Indigenous Australians did the same thing? What if there was a huge civil war and they won? What if they treat the white Australians like crap?

I think both situations are horrible and I would feel bad for Australians. But I think I'd have a little more sympathy and understanding for the Aborigines than I would for my fellow conquering Americans.

Speaking of invading Australia, it did somewhat bother me that John Marsden never revealed who the invaders were in his novels. I guess it's better that he didn't though. The whole mystery added to the story. Plus, if he named the invading group, it would have probably offended someone.

This website says that Lightfoot supports the idea of an independent Kurdish state. Turkey greatly opposed this idea. I wonder why Lightfoot has some a soft spot in his heart for the Kurdish people.

Here's an article about the Kerry Nettle incident. There's actually a photograph of what happened. It seems Lightfoot isn't the only one who tried to block Nettle and Brown. The Prime Minister himself is acting as a barricade.

Bob Brown said he was elbowed by Lightfoot and had his feet stepped on.

Why did Howard and Lightfoot decide they were Bush's bodyguards?

This Australian-Israeli newsletter has an article about Lightfoot. It talks about his racist feelings towards Aboriginal Australians.

Some examples of the lovely things he has said:

We should not turn back the clock and push these people back to the Stone Age, to their superstitions, their killings and their dreadful way of life.... The only answer is assimilation.


I mean. I don't fall for the noble savage thing. I won't say that Aboriginal life was superior to the life of white Europeans. But I definitely don't think it was inferior. Superstitions? I think it's a small minority of people in the world who don't have superstitions of one kind or another. Killings? Yes, of course. White people never kill anyone. Dreadful way of life? Well, I guess that's a matter of opinion.

I hold no guilt for what happened to the Aboriginal people, and black children can hold no guilt for what happened to the early white settlers who were killed or mutilated - I could go on but I will mercifully end now.

I guess that we can be grateful that he didn't go on and on. Lightfoot is ahead of me in that regard. But I do hate that line of thinking. One group invaded another group. I do recognize that some of the white people did good towards the first Australians. They were gentle, open-minded, and as fair as possible. And I do recognize that some of the first Australians might have been extremely unwelcoming in a violent sort of way. But I think it's foolish to believe that blame can be evenly distributed between the two groups. No. It doesn't work that way.

The article says that Lightfoot criticized a church for allowing Aboriginal dancing as part of a welcome ceremony for an African leader. It seems the dance was way to pagan for such a holy building.

He was not happy with the idea of children learning about Aboriginal culture in schools. He said, We will be forced to study a culture that some people find distasteful, in all our schools. I find that preposterous. Oh! The horror!

He doesn't believe in compensation for the Stolen Generations, nor does he agree with an apology. What if his own children were kidnapped? I guess that would be okay then. No apologies or compensation needed.

Oh! Wait. I get it. The Aborigines BENEFITED from having their children kidnapped. Silly me! I had this crazy notion that these parents wanted to raise their own children.

Lightfoot clears things up for me. I have been with Aborigines all my life and they said to me that they would have amounted to nothing had they not been removed from their less than acceptable environment. Yeah. I'm sure most Aborigines like to hang out with a guy who believes they're at the bottom of the rainbow spectrum of civilization--or whatever he says.

No seriously. I'm sure there is a weird minority of Aborigines who believe stuff like that. I'm sure there are gay people out there who think it's wrong to be homosexual. A bigot can be friends with them and then declare. Even gay people know it's wrong to be gay!


The article has some stuff regarding his childhood. He went to Port Lincoln Primary School in South Australia. The school still exists. He dropped out of high school when he was 13. I wonder why he dropped out.

Okay, here is something funny. Lightfoot boasted that he's a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. The reporters of the article investigated and found out anyone can become a member if they pay $115. He's also a Life Fellow of the of the International Biographical Association. Anyone can become a member of this one if they're willing to dish out $795.

Although maybe I shouldn't laugh. Is it wrong to say you're a member of something if all you did to become a member was pay money? I mean I think a lot of us consider ourselves members of some organization simply because we made a donation. Maybe it's just bad if you give off the idea that you were chosen for that honor rather than paying for it.

I paid to have one of my novels published. I think it's kind of like the same thing. The difference is if people applaud me for it, I tell them that I paid to have it published. It's not that it's bad to pay to have your writing published. But I do think it's less of an honor than having it accepted and published by an outside company. I don't like people to get the wrong idea.

There's a lot of financial controversy in the article. I'm not going to read much of it. That kind of stuff doesn't interest me enough.

The soap opera stuff does interest me a bit. It happened in the 1980's. Lightfoot became friends with a woman named Penny Easton. It seems Penny was married and friends with both Lightfoot and his wife. Then Lightfoot and his wife separated, but Lightfoot still remained friends with Penny. Easton then separated from her husband and Lightfoot helped her with that. It seems politics got involved in the situation. It goes a bit over my head though. Penny's ex circulated a petition. I guess whatever it was deeply offended Penny. She ended up committing suicide.

Did Lightfoot have an affair with Easton? He denies it. They were just friends. Do I believe that? Maybe. Maybe not.

Lightfoot wants Western Australia to be its own country. He says, We've got 8 percent of the population providing 25 percent of the export income and there is just no logical reason why we should remain Australia's milking cow.

If Western Australia becomes its own country, would they change the name? I wonder what would be a good name for them? I guess they could keep the name.

Anyway. My eyes are bothering me a bit so I'm going to stop now. I can't think of a good conclusion. Sorry. Just pretend I wrote something very thought-provoking. Use your imaginations......


P.S-you know how I get a lot of keyword inquiries regarding the naked body of Rachel Carpani? Well, now something else has totally beaten that. Tim Costello's salary. I'm getting tons of keyword things about that. It seems there are a lot of people in the world who want to know how much money Costello makes. Interesting....





16 comments:

Jayne said...

Westralia tried to vote itself off the rest of the island back in 1932 with a referendum and everything.
Sadly the British Govt refused to intervene to change the constitution, leaving it up to the Oz Federal Govt who threw up its hands and got busy writing some more dry legislation.
And thus we have the likes of Tosser Lightfoot, Westralian footy clubs and Sandgropers* to contend with LOL.
*Sandgropers are native-born Westralians

Fe said...

Thought provoking.

I have nothing to add. Except that he's an ignorant *$!)~.

xoxoxo

Dina said...

Jayne: Westralia sounds a bit like Texas. I think they've wanted to be independent as well. I love your little footnote thing. That's the first time I've seen a footnote in a comment. I've thought of doing footnotes in my blog posts. But that would be a mess. I'd probably end up with thirty footnotes or something. I never know when to shut up as it is.

Fe: Well, that was a pretty good thing to add!

Ariane said...

"It seems their leader is a bit of a tyrant and does not like white people"

You win the understatement of the year award! :)

Mugabe has seized the land and assets of pretty much all the wealthy people in Zimbabwe - most of them white given their British Imperialist history. That might have been marginally defensible if he hadn't then plunged the country into desperate poverty, which is currently resulting in a massive, deadly cholera outbreak. Mugabe was educated in England himself, and I doubt he cares any more for black people than white ones. The only people who have benefited from Mugabe's rule are Mugabe's mates.

No-one in the US cares (present company excepted!) because they have no natural resources the US requires. We only care because we play cricket against them. Oh, and because it gives morons like Lightfoot and excuse to bleat on about those awful black people.

I do hope you have someone wonderful to look into tomorrow. :)

Andrew said...

Never taken much notice of Lightfoot, so it was educative reading. But Penny Easton rings a bell. Some connection to ex WA Premier Carmen Lawrence and a scandal.

Retarius said...

Lightfoot would make an interesting subject for a biography. I can't say he's a very attractive figure but his career provides a connecting thread for many of the big stories of politics in Western Australia.

Seccession is a perennial issue in Western Australia. Depending on how offended we are by the idiocies of Canberra, it rises and falls in the public consciousness.

An interesting fact is that the Constitution allows for the creation of new States but, apart from the eventual granting of Statehood to the Northern Territory it doesn't look very likely. People did petition for a new State to be created in the east a few years ago but the effort was stymied. Of course, any new state there has to be carved out of existing ones.

Michael said...

I met Ross Lightfoot while I was editor of the Kalgoorlie Miner. On a personal level he's a good bloke.

As a journalist I welcome controversial politicians. Too many are clones of each other.

Lightfoot isn't racist, and with respect to Fe, he certainly isn't ignorant.

I had a reporter interview him on the 50th anniversary of the referendum that gave Aborigines the vote in 1967 (the year I was born).

The Kalgoorlie electorate had the highest "No" vote in Australia.

I think Lightfoot was working as a geologist at the time and supported the "Yes" campaign. He explained that many people in Kalgoorlie knew the tribal Aborigines didn't speak English and lived traditional ways, so questioned how they could be made to vote (voting is compulsory in Australia).

I don't know about his connection with the League of Rights. I always regarded the extreme right in Australia as wacky, but guess what? They predicted the global economic collapse!

Dina said...

Ariane: There are probably a lot of Americans who care (and who know more about it than me). But our government. That's a different story. And you're right. If they had a natural resource we needed, suddenly our government would care. Thanks for explaining the situation more. Mugabe sounds like a really nice guy ; )

Andrew: I wonder what the scandal was about. I wonder if I'd understand it even. I didn't quite understand the one about Lightfoot. It went way over my head.

Retarius: The new state thing intrigues me. I'm sure your schoolchildren wouldn't be too happy. You guys have 8 states/territories. We have 50 (51 including DC). 51 is a lot of states and capitals to learn. I'm thinking we (Americans) SHOULD get rid of a few states. Where did the people want the state in the east to be? I'm guessing it would be in Queensland or NSW???? A little of both?

Michael: I think both you and Fe are coming from a personal level here. I still do think he's racist. Or at least he said things that were offensive to me. My feeling is he saw Aborigines as being inferior. I know he defended it as being in their "native state". But I disagree with that as well. I think he has the attitude that Aborigines were nothing until the white people came along. That might not be racist. You're right. It might be more ethnocentric.

But you're right. He might not be ignorant. Just because I have VERY different views than him...it doesn't make me educated and him ignorant.

He might be very educated. We just interpret information differently.

I think with the anti-semitism, there's nothing substantial enough to label him. Most of it is guilt by association. Are you anti-semitic because you associate with an organization that is guilty of anti-semitism. No, not necessarily. You might be associating with them for completely different reasons.

My husband took me to a party held at the house of one of his coworkers. He likes this man and his wife. They're friendly people. But they had this thing on the fridge that I interpreted as being racist. And some other people at the party....TOTALLY not my type of people (politically speaking). If I read about these people online, I'd probably see nothing good about them. But in real life...they're nice.

Living in Texas, I am usually surrounded by people who have very different political viewpoints than me. I've learned that you can like someone personally while totally disliking what they believe in. It does usually help if we avoid talking about politics though.

Michael said...

Dina, there was talk a few years ago about creating a new state in North Queensland.

I believe we should abolish the states and establish regions. Where I live now at Mount Gambier is a classic case where that should happen.

Mount Gambier is the second biggest city in South Australia, but receives little from the government in Adelaide. Our nearest big towns are in Victoria, but we're politically and economically isolated from them because of a line on a map.

Re Lightfoot, I'm extremely wary of labelling people as racist. I met a lot of people like him in Western Australia whose ideas are based on actual experiences.

There was a scandal recently when it was revealed that most Aboriginal children in the north of the state were victims of abuse and neglect. Politicians couldn't get their heads around the fact these children needed to be removed from their families. They were hung up on the racial aspect and the "stolen generation" debate.

Dina said...

Michael,

That's an interesting idea about becoming regions. It makes sense to me. We went to Portland Oregon in October. I didn't realize until we were on the plane that it's so close to Washington. What would really be crazy is to live near the border of a another country. I guess you guys don't have that issue. But here you could live very close to the border of Canada and Mexico. And from Alaska, you can see right into Russia.

I pretty much label everyone as racist. And I also suspect that almost every guy I know is secretly homosexual.

The fear of taking children away from homes because of the Stolen Generation reminds me of stuff I read in the Peter Singer book. It talked about the Euthanasia debate. One country that's incredibly against Euthanasia is Germany. It's like an almost forbidden topic there. Why? Because of the immoral type of Euthanasia that occurred during the Nazi years. They feel so much guilt about it that they refuse to consider the fact that there are ethical types of Euthanasia.

I can't blame the people in the NT for having such conflicting feelings.

I don't think we should outlaw Euthanasia. Nor should we allow children to stay in abusive homes.

But I do think we have to consider what happened in the past and make sure we don't make similar mistakes. Lines have to be drawn.

I think it's horrible for a child to be taken away from its family. I think that should be a last resort. Instead, poverty needs to be reduced. They need to work to help these families so there is less abuse.

As for Lightfoot not being racist because his opinions come from experience. I think that's still racist. Let's say when I go to Australia, all of the people I meet are really rude to me. People give me dirty looks. People ignore me when I say hello. No one returns my phone calls. Would it be right to return to America and declare "Australians are mean people!" No, because my experiences are limited.

I do think that's where prejudice comes from a lot of times. SOMETIMES, it's ignorance. But often times it DOES come from experience.

I have a prejudice against a particular country. I met people from that country and I didn't like them. I know atrocities that the country did and I don't like them for that. It also bothers me that so many people admire this country and give them sympathy. But I guess the thing is I don't excuse myself of being prejudice. I don't deny it. I recognize it in myself and I also realize it's partly irrational. Yes, the country is responsible for some atrocities. But other countries have done equally bad things and I have less grief with them.

I could say that my experiences and knowledge PROVE that this country is bad so I'm not prejudice. But that's not true. I AM prejudice. The country and it's people are probably no worse than a lot of other countries. But there's just some bad blood between me and this particular country.

Back to the Aborigines. Were there stolen children who SHOULD have been stolen? Probably...yeah. Some of the stolen generation probably were better off being taken away from their family. All communities have abusive members. But for the most part, the stolen children thing was not about protecting children from abuse. It was about forced assimilation. It was about "cultural superiority".

Retarius said...

Here's a website I found on the subject of new Australian States:

http://www.newstates.com.au/

I saw a TV programme years ago about that effort to start a new State. I believe it was in NSW or Vic. but I can't remember for sure.

Dina said...

Retarius,

Thanks for sending the website. I read through some of it. Do you think it could ever happen? The reasoning makes some sense to me. I can see how the remote areas are overlooked compared to the cities. I wonder if dividing the areas into smaller bits would help or not.

Andrew said...

I know what you mean about not understanding. I never really grasped the Carmen Lawrence/Penny Easton one.

Michael said...

Dina, does Jack ever win an argument with you?

You're terrific!

Dina said...

Andrew: I think it's why I like children's television. I need things explained to me in very simple terms.

Michael: Jack wins a few ; )

Retarius said...

I think there is too much inertia for new States to be created within the existing ones. There are too many people whose ox would be gored and there would be too much fear over the changes it would bring.