Saturday, 9 January 2021

Quote of the Week

“There’s a saying: it’s better for people to think you’re an idiot than to open your mouth and confirm it. Maybe that’s a relevant application for Mr Shelton.”  [Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan on the subject of former managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Lyle Shelton, quoted in, 4 January 2021]

Friday, 8 January 2021

Donald Trump-incited insurrection did not stop the joint sitting of the US Senate & House of Representatives certification and counting of the electoral college votes in the 2020 presidential election


A member of the large Trump-incited mob which forced its way into the U.S. Congress while it was in session on 
6 January 2021. It was this individual who was part of a group which invaded the Senate Chamber and, who 
posed for photographs at the podium. Note the lethal tip to his flag-draped staff.

A little before 8:24am on 7 January 2021 (Sydney, Australia time), outgoing President Donald J. Trump tweeted a one minute video of himself speaking to his political base in which he addressed the armed mob of domestic terrorists - who even then had been violently invading the U.S. Congress for over three hours - in words to the effect that they were good people, patriots. 

Telling them "we love you, you're very special" - as he purported to call for "peace".

By that point on 6 January 2021 (Washington DC time) the scheduled joint sitting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives had been suspended and one person in this violent mob had been fatally shot by police and reportedly another three people in the building had died from other causes.

Finally, the social media platform Twitter reacted to the very real danger Donald Trump presented to the citizens of America and its democratic institutions…..


The Trump-incited insurrection in action on 6 January 2021.....

IMAGE: abc7

Pro-Trump mob invading the Capitol building....

IMAGE: Yahoo! News UK
IMAGE: IrishTimes

Capitol Hill security personnel attempting to keep the rampaging mob out 
of the House of Representatives chamber......

IMAGE: Twitter

People in the House of Representatives chamber gallery sheltering 
from the mob....

IMAGE: abc7

Members of Congress fleeing the House chamber....


Despite the attempt to derail the joint sitting of both Houses convened to confirm the previously recorded electoral college votes (and it is 
rumoured an attempt by those domestic terrorists to steal the original electoral college vote forms) at 7.44pm on 7 January 2021 (Sydney, Australia time) the U.S. Congress confirmed that Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris are respectively President-elect and Vice President-elect of the United States of America with a majority of 306 electoral votes each.

The 46th inauguration of a duly-elected American president will proceed 
as planned on 20 January 2021.

Unless Trump's terrorists take another lethally violent step.


President Trump Save America rally January 6: full comments


As is usual, Facebook was slower to respond to the unfolding danger.

According to The Guardian on 8 January 2021: 

Donald Trump will be suspended from Facebook and Instagram indefinitely and at least until the end of his time in office, Mark Zuckerberg has said, as a consequence of his support for the rioters who stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday

The US president was initially suspended from the social network for 24 hours, as a result of two posts shared to the platform in which he appeared to praise the actions of the rioters. 

In a post to Facebook on Thursday, Zuckerberg said the suspension would last much longer. “The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Facebook’s chief executive wrote. 

“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

Thursday, 7 January 2021

U.S. media mogul Rupert Murdoch's little helpers are at it again - trying to bring down Australia's national public broadcaster

It seems that well-funded and shadowy lobby group the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is relentless in pursuit of its aim to wreck the Australian public broadcaster

Here is one of their latest efforts.

Institute of Public Affairs A Letter to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg Mandatory Media Code by clarencegirl on Scribd

United Kingdom court refuses U.S. request to extradite Julian Assange, 4 January 2021

On 21 December 2017, a federal magistrate judge, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, issued a criminal complaint against Australian national Julian Assange, charging him with conspiracy contrary to Title 18 of the US Code, section 371. The offence alleged to be the object of the conspiracy was computer intrusion.

On 6 March 2018, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Mr. Assange charging him with conspiracy to commit unlawful computer intrusion. The US submitted via diplomatic channels a provisional arrest request to the U.K. in relation to this charge. 

On 23 May 2019, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment containing 18 counts alleging further offences related to the obtaining, receiving and disclosure of “National Defense Information”. 

On the same date, a warrant was issued by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, for the arrest of Mr. Assange for the offences specified in the superseding warrant. 

On 6 June 2019 the US submitted via diplomatic channels a request for Mr. Assange’s extradition based on the charges in the superseding indictment. 

On 7 September 2020, Mr. Assange was arrested and brought before the court in the United Kingdom. 

If extradited Julian Assange was reportedly facing up to 175 years in jail for the publication of classified information on the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as publication of thousands of US diplomatic cables between 2010 and 2011.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Now is not the time for the NSW North Coast to be complacent about the COVID-19 pandemic

NSW Police, News, 4 January 2021:

A 27-year-old Cronulla woman has received two PINs in three days for failing to self-isolate as required under the Public Health Act. Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District attended a resort at Byron Bay about 8.30pm on Thursday (31 December 2020), after receiving information in relation a possible breach of public health orders. Police were told the woman had been notified she was a close contact of a positive COVID case but was not self-isolating and had not been tested. The woman was provided advice about testing facilities and self-isolation before being given PPE to assist with safe travel to the facility. Officers returned to the resort about 8pm the following day (Friday 1 January 2021), and found the woman was not self-isolating. The woman was issued a $1000 PIN for failing to comply with the direction under S7/8/9 of the Public Health Act. About 3.30pm yesterday (Sunday 3 January 2021), police were again called to resort after reports the woman was not self-isolating, instead swimming in the resort pool. Following inquiries, the woman was issued with another $1000 PIN for failing to comply with the direction under S7/8/9 of the Public Health Act.

Two people have been issued PINs after leaving their Northern Beaches home to holiday on the state’s north coast. On Saturday (3 January 2021), police were notified that a man and woman, both aged 32, had left their Collaroy home the previous day to travel to Yamba for a holiday. Officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District spoke with the pair and determined they didn’t have a lawful excuse for leaving their home and, in doing so, had breached the Public Health (COVID-19 Northern Beaches) Order. Both were issued an $1000 PIN.

Northern NSW Local Health District, media release excerpt, 5 January 2021: 

There have been no new confirmed cases of locally acquired COVID-19 reported in Northern NSW Local Health District residents since 25 July, 165 days ago. 

Two new case have been recorded in Lismore City Council area residents on 3 January who acquired their infection overseas. 

These two people are currently in hotel quarantine and will be released from isolation once health staff confirm that it is safe to do so.

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

US President Donald Trump trying to pressure fellow Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to alter the 2020 presidential election results


"The real truth is that I won by 400,000 votes at least" 
[Donald J. Trump, 2 January 2021]

In a phone call on 2 January 2021, outgoing US President Donald J. Trump insisted he won the state of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election as well as the presidential election itself and, threatened vague legal consequences if votes were not "recalculated" and found for him - specifically 11,780 votes in Georgia

Here are excerpts from the hour-long call, which was obtained by The Washington Post.....

Audio of the full phone call can be found here at 

Perspectives on Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook's one-word change to the 36 year-old* Australian national anthem

Luke Person writing at Indigenous X on 1 January 2021:

Last night the Morrison government announced that they were changing the national anthem, to be more inclusive of Indigenous peoples and of migrants (the not white ones anyways), by changing a single word, ‘young’. It’s now ‘one’.

We are one and free.

We are One Nation.

Pauline must be stoked.

This, from the same political party who every Invasion Day assure us that Indigenous peoples aren’t interested in meaningless symbolic gestures like Australia no longer throwing a party on the anniversary of invasion, are now confident that Indigenous peoples will be so excited about this meaningless symbolic change that presumably we will no longer refuse to sing it at national sporting events.

Changing the anthem from ‘young’ to ‘one’ is not only problematic because it’s symbolic tokenism aimed at silencing dissent that completely misses the nature of the dissent in the first place, but it’s also problematic because it’s the same wrongly labelled ‘one’ as the one made famous by ‘One Nation’.

The original version of ‘we are one’ was a view of multiculturalism which tried to encourage white Australia away from its traditional view of a fair go meaning ‘if your skin ain’t fair, you gots to go’ and to accept instead the notion that we could be ‘one nation with many cultures’.

This was quickly co-opted by racist ideologues who replaced that sentiment with the assimilationist idea that one nation meant ‘one culture with many races’ and that was quickly cemented into the national consciousness by Pauline Hanson who seized the moment and took the name for her political party ‘One Nation’.

Despite One Nation tainting the concept of ‘one nation,’ both meanings have persisted in Australia without much national discourse or reflection on which one we should have, but it’s been pretty clear from a Liberal Party standpoint since the days of John Howard that they aren’t huge fans of the multiculturalism actually meaning multiple cultures.

They are generally more on the side of white/western supremacy, which many liberals have hinted at, and which Tony Abbott flat out stated on multiple occasions when he was PM.

Their views on Indigenous assimilation are much the same.

This can be seen by their political insistence that reconciliation can only be achieved by ‘closing the gap’ rather than by recognising Indigenous Rights as defined by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Having an ambiguous working definition of multiculturalism began as a contest between the two, which the nation should have chosen between by now. Instead, both definitions have been left unchallenged to ensure that politicians can conveniently dog whistle to both sides whenever they talk about us being the ‘most successful multicultural country on Earth’.

This change plays right into that blurring of the lines between the two definitions.

We are one. And we are free. And from all the lands on earth we come.

You’d have thought they would have just straight up changed the anthem to ‘I am Australian’ by the Seekers, but I guess it has too much brand association with QANTAS these days, and because you don’t want to be seen as caving in to the politically correct demands of the slightly left of centrists who were presumably campaigning for this change.

Yesterday, on the last day of 2020, IndigenousX published a powerful piece from Gregory Phillips called ‘Can We Breathe?’ talking staunchly about truth telling, and about Indigenous empowerment.

Today, on the first day of 2021, we are talking about the anthem, or at least we are meant to be.

Instead of continuing to explain why the new anthem is just as shit as the old one though, I’m going to remind people of what some of our Indigenous Rights are:

Article 3: Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 4: Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

Article 5: Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.

Article 8.1: Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.

That’s only four of them, there are 46.  Read them. There will be a test.

This is the test, and Australia is failing at it.

These are what needs to be informing our discussions around change.

Australia has worked hard for decades now to poison the well of Indigenous Rights discourse by reframing any such discussion as ‘Indigenous people want special treatment and free handouts’.

We need to move beyond the fear of being shown in this light and embrace the reality that being the Indigenous peoples of these lands and waters is special, and it brings with it special rights and responsibilities.

This is not us wanting something for nothing. This is us demanding our rights, and we have already paid far more than we should ever have had to for them.

Adjunct associate professor at the School of Psychology, University of Queensland, and proud Wiradjuri man, Joe Williams, writing in The Guardian on 1 January 2021:

I was made aware on Thursday by a friend of the incoming changes to the national anthem. My reply was an “eye roll” emoji with the words: “But we aren’t all one, we certainly aren’t treated as one; and many, sure as hell, aren’t free”.

I put out a tweet on Friday with my thoughts:

For we are one and free, is like a present from yr nerd uncle, who tries to be cool, but fails hard. I mean, is that line trying to convince us, or you? Cos’ we definitely aren’t treated as one, & many sure as hell aren’t free”

Prime minister Scott Morrison was quoted as saying the change “takes away nothing … but adds much”.

'We are one and free': Australia's national anthem to change in attempt to recognise Indigenous history

Is it supposed to hit the “warm and fuzzies”, taking away the notion of “us and them” by pretending that all people who live on this continent are one big happy family?

Let’s be brutally honest, we aren’t.

You all know the rates of incarceration when it comes to First Nations v non-Indigenous Australians, deaths in custody, the drastic health disparity and the difference in life expectancy between First Nations and non-Indigenous Australians. You know of the negative profiling when it comes to mainstream media between the two (if you don’t, it’s not hard to Google). Why on earth would anyone think that the changing of just one word would encourage First Nations people to feel as “ONE” with any Australian?

To me, changing just one word with the view of inclusion does very little for actual inclusion, and does next to nothing for the hope of uniting a nation......

The song I believe is a beautiful representation of a united, multicultural Australia is the one written by Judith Durham, Uncle Kutcha Edwards, Lou Bennett, Camilla Chance and Bill Hauritz. It’s time for a fresh start and to get a new song. And if we are genuine about this word “reconciliation”, we need to start a relationship before we try to heal one that never existed. 


* Advance Australia Fair became the national anthem on 19 April 1984.