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Australia Talks Back re ASIO; Children - In the Shadow of Leaves
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Australia Talks Back re ASIO; Children
Fri, 27 Jun 2003 14:16:46 +1000
To: ABC - Australia Talks Back - oztalkback@rn.abc.net.au

(If the SMH link which gives fuller details is gone, perhaps try Google News?)

Girl, 3, starved to death after Chinese police arrest mother
June 26 2003
A three-year-old girl starved to death in China after police arrested her mother and left her locked at home with no food for 18 days, state press reported today.
The incident, in the southwestern city of Chengdu, has sparked public outrage and marks yet another incident of police misconduct, which has led to a nationwide debate about the unchecked power of law enforcers.

Other links:
www.atimes.com/atimes/China/EF28Ad01.html (Child's death turns up heat on China's police, By Miao Ye. Asia Times Online, Jun 28, 2003)
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3023030.stm (China police leave child to starve, BBC News World edition, Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK)
charleston.net/stories/070803/edi_08edit3.shtml (Three strikes on China's leaders, Tuesday, July 8, 2003 ) includes this bit: In the case of Li Siyi, the government reportedly ordered a journalist not to publish her report tying the child's death to police neglect. But, according to the Post, the reporter was so angry about the abusive behavior of the police, she posted the story on the Internet. Within days, it was known throughout China, where it provoked widespread calls for reform.


Before the other comment on children, below, can I just mention something I think other people seem to have also noticed.

Some people seem to have huge concerns about blastocysts, embryos & foetuses (& there are legitimate concerns about experimentation & welfare), but don't seem to have such obssessive, vocal concern for the children & people they develop into (Monty Python's "Every Sperm is Sacred" poked fun at this attitude).

Have a look at the recent film "City of God" about gangs; think of the death squads eliminating unwanted, annoying, street children in countries without contraception. It's not just their suffering, but the damage done to others and to society. Many studies have shown the greatest number of mentally ill, indigent, or violently criminal adults were either neglected or abused children - yes, some groups do try to help with this, but it's mainly picking up the pieces after the damage is done.

One might say that oppressive forces in society prefer this situation as it suits several of their purposes, but that's not the point of this letter.


Although I don't agree with the 'child-free group' which one man spoke for - having heard some of their arguments on other subjects before - neither am I fully in support of the attitude of the woman who said having children makes you fully human.

It was like a slap right across the face.

So anyone who - for whatever reason - doesn't have children is no longer "fully human"?

Like negroes & jews & native tribes perhaps?

Read "The Handmaid's Tale", or " Native Tongue" (by Suzette Haden Elgin). Remember the Nazi attitude to women as 'mothers of the nation'; remember how the Roman Catholic Church and high representatives of Islam got cosy together at a big conference a couple of years back to stop some very useful worldwide progams on health & education for women just because they would also mention contraception.

This is just the sort of attitude that drives 'barren' women (it may actually be their husband who's infertile) to suicide, or sometimes just social ostracism, in quite a few societies today. And leads men to scatter children around, presumably seeing a confirmation of their manliness in them (in western societies tho', having got several by one woman & moved on to get more by another, they do complain about actually paying for their support).

There's still a bit of it lingering on here, by the sound of what that woman said, and by the desperation you sometimes see in child-free couples going through all sorts of things to obtain either a born or adopted child.

And don't get me started on the desperate situation the world - human & non-human - is pushed to by population pressure.

There's nothing necessarily intrinsically bad about having one or two children, and they can have all sorts of good effects, but like so many other things, it's better for them, us, & the rest of the world to behave sensibly about the subject. Difficult tho' this might be, it's being able to do this that might mean you are human, and not like those mice that breed up into insatiable plagues, then die off in huge numbers when conditions change.
(Note: In The Matrix, one character likens such behaviour by humans to that of a virus. Perhaps ironically, that character later multiplies rather like a virus. See this link at Matrix Essays which includes his angry description "You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus.")

Some Links for Suzette Haden Elgin's "Native Tongue"
Linguistics and fiction - lots of examples, including Native Tongue

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Moodiness: grim

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