Re: columnists on the Bush Fires, a caution

To: "'Robert Inglis'" <>, "'Birding-Aus'" <>
Subject: Re: columnists on the Bush Fires, a caution
From: "Bob Cook" <>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 12:17:44 +1100

Well observed!!  I am sure the frustration that many on this list feel is
that the points of view, such as Ms Devine's, seem to get a much bigger
airing than the alternative or balanced views.

Yes, we can all write letters to the papers but they never get the audience
that front page "journalistic" articles get - or that the television
unbalanced "grabs" get.

I think that some journalists who may like to put the alternatives up are
currently keeping their heads down, just because they realize the emotion
that is out there.

One hopes that the Royal Commission will look at all these issues fully and
carefully - that's what is being promised.

To me the fundamental issue is the clash between us (western human)
latecomers wanting to go and live (safely) among the natural habitat that
has been the preserve of our fauna and indigenous people for millennia.  The
two are fundamentally incompatible, so any solution is always going to be a

I live halfway between the Bendigo fire location and the Redesdale fire
location and am counting my blessings.  If I am ever affected by such an
event I would accept that it was my decision to live in a protected natural
habitat, made my decision on what protection I established and I took the
risk.  PS: I would get out very early!!!

Bob Cook
Axedale VIC

I say:


So much for:
- freedom of expression;
- freedom of speech:
- freedom of the press;
- listening to "the other point of view";
- listening to a diversity of opinion.

So much:
- vitriol in some members of this group;
- bias of thought;
- bigotry;
- intolerance of others opinions;
- narrow-mindedness.

I read Miranda Devine's original article (I was curious to see what was 
upsetting so many people in this group) and found it quite interesting and 
intriguing. Subsequent events and comments aired on radio and TV have 
indicated to me that many citizens of Australia have views similar to the 
ones stated by Devine in that article. Therefore it seems to me that she was

justified in writing that article. I am sure she did not originate the topic

but was simply reacting, as a journalist, to comments she had heard 
(possible not first-hand and therefore possibly not accurate) from some, at 
least, of those people directly affected by the fires.
It is quite understandable that people affected by the fires will be looking

for someone or something to blame and the environment-protection groups are 
the obvious choice. That is not to say that those groups are really to blame

but they are, at the moment, the easiest and the most obvious ones to which 
to attach the blame.
It will do no good what so ever to vigorously implore members of this group 
to ignore what people such as Miranda Devine are saying on this topic. 
People like her have a much wider audience than BirdingAus.
It would be far better to encourage people to read those articles and to 
listen to the people saying the things Devine writes about and then 
examining why those views are prevalent.

Listen to what is being said and produce valid arguments as to the "correct"

point of view and then publically state them.
Write to the papers and put forward your arguments to counter Devine's 
comments; tell the world what the "answer" is but don't encourage other 
people to maintain their ignorance.

What happened on "Black Saturday" this year has been monumental and will 
continue to affect the fabric of the Australian society for a long time to 
come. What we want now is reasonable thought on the topic; we need to listen

to all sorts of opinions on remedies for the factors which contributed to 
the disaster; we need to know how different people think about what has 
happened and we need to be open-minded. We don't need to close our minds, 
our eyes and our ears to what people are saying and thinking.

If any of the BirdingAus members mentioned above have different points of 
view to Miranda Devine and the hundreds of people directly affected by the 
fires I would be glad to hear or read them so I can judge if they are any 
more sensible on this topic than that "accursed" journalist.

Incidentally, I am not related to Miranda Devine (or Andrew Bolt) and I 
don't normally read the SMH.
But I am glad to see that Devine has stirred up some emotions in this group 
but I wait now to see if sensible, reasoned argument will emanate from those

so stirred.

Note: Feel free to respond to what I have written above, but please note 
that I will not answer anything that I consider abusive, childish, 
ill-considered, frivolous, mean-spirited, etc.
I am likely to respond to what I consider to be reasonable and sensible 
comments, provided it doesn't offend my own bigoted, biased, narrow-minded 
way of thinking.


Bob Inglis
Sandstone Point

It has been claimed that Confucius said "Learning without thought is labour 
lost; thought without learning is perilous." Think about it.


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