Donald Trump’s latest madness goes unreported in Oz media … NSW voters deluged by Coalition drought scam … Police “God Squad” unmasked … Liberals bring back greyhound racing (we pay for it) … It’s a divided world: Saying “Thank you, driver” is good manners on the bus; saying nothing is selfishly bad mannered.
Two of the Trump administration’s decisions this week have failed to find any coverage in the lazy, trivia-obsessed Australian media. Who’s surprised?
- The allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars to celebrate the birthday of America’s first president, the overly-fabled George Washington, in February next year. The cash extravaganza coincided with the release of a new Washington biography irrefutably proving old George, eulogised as “father of his country”, was an American Indian slaughterer of genocidal proportions and a thoroughly nasty human being. If alive today, he would be facing indictment in The Hague as a monstrous war criminal.
- The creation of a “religious liberty task force” to detect and defeat any attempt to turn the US away from its Christian, god-driven mission. “This is no little matter,” said Attorney-General Jeff Sessions at a Justice Department Religious Liberty Summit in Washington DC (named after George). “It must be confronted and defeated.”
The Washington biography, The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, the Birth of the Nation, by historian Colin G Calloway and published by Oxford University Press, is the first major hatchet job on a president who has generated thousands of swooning books and millions of myths.
But Calloway has concluded after years of painstaking research that the great man was “an arrogant prima donna of no real military or political talent”. The mythology surrounding his exploits was self-generated and owed much to his “remarkable capacity for blame-shifting and lies”.
According to book reviewer Frank McLynn, a highly regarded historical novelist, Washington was “intensely money-minded (and) he may well be one of history’s greatest land speculators, and the tale of his relations with Native Americans is a microcosm of the entire story of the United States’ exploitation of native peoples. He spent a lifetime turning Indian land into real estate for himself and his cronies.”
Sound familiar? It will be to Australian Aborigines and Palestinians and many other First Peoples around the world.
Trump makes a worthy celebrant of Washington’s presidency since his own family fortune was made by seizing African Americans’ public housing in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx and turning them into gentrified homes for upwardly mobile white folk working in Manhattan.
By the way, the “religious liberty task force” will be co-chaired by assistant attorney-general Ms Beth Williams, a 39-year-old White House nominee who was confirmed by the US Senate on 3 August 2017 and sworn-in on 21 August.
The Harvard University law graduate was admitted to the Trump regime by Democrat and Republicans politicians, both male and female. She’d broken the glass ceiling, so that’s all right then.
On the other hand, serious-minded groups like NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) established in 1969 condemned Ms Williams’ task force, saying: “Make no mistake – this is another extremist attempt to deny people the care and services that they need. The Trump admin is out to refuse abortion care, birth control access and LGBTQ-inclusive care to the American people.”
NSW Nationals Great Drought scam
According to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, 99% of the NSW land mass, some thousands of square kilometres from the Queensland border to Victoria, is suffering drought and she has chiselled $500 million from Treasury to pay “drought relief” to land thieves, oops, land owners. (“$500m aid as 99% of NSW in drought” by Alexandra Smith, SMH, 31 July 2018).
Does anyone seriously believe that 99% of NSW is suffering drought and that a mere 1% (the SCG?) isn’t? If you are among the “worst drought ever” believers you ought to be reminded of “context”.
On 20 March next year, less than eight months away, the NSW Coalition parties, Liberals and Nationals, face a State Election. At present, they are neck-in-neck with NSW Labor. Following the “Super Saturday” by-elections and Labor victories in Queensland and Tasmania (seats that the Murdoch pundits said the Liberals would win!) the pendulum is swinging further in favour of Labor in NSW.
The big problem for the NSW divisions of the warring Liberal Party and the divided Nationals is that they have little money to run an election campaign. All that they have collected has been grabbed by the federal HQ in Canberra to save Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberals and Barnaby Joyce’s Nationals when the Federal Election is held, also early next year.
While the Coalition parties are being cash-starved, donors from the trade unions, the banks, developers, gambling and sporting industries (they are now indistinguishable) are rushing to Labor fund-raisers to buy influence and become ALP “maaates”.
Question: how can the Coalition parties in NSW overcome their poverty, fill their election war chests and get ready to cling to office in March next year?
Easy. Declare the “worst drought in living memory”, dole out millions of dollars to rural voters and arrange for them to give 5% back to fight the election.
For example, if a farmer receives a $20,000 hand-out, he only has to return 5%, or $1,000, and he’s still well in front. The donation is too small to be declared and it can be hidden in the official returns (which are normally bogus anyway). If 1,000 NSW farmers give back $1000 from their drought “hand-out” that means a cool $1 million goes into election campaigning.
I have no evidence this scam is underway; I’m just studying the “context” and the shifty expression on the faces of Coalition Ministers at press conferences; they have shame and guilt written all over them.
I watch the highly paid professionals from the “spin doctor” industry sitting in the shadows of press conferences, handing out dodgy statistics and quotes from farmers plus their mobile numbers. Then you realise that this is a “PR production” on behalf of the NSW Coalition. The aim is not to relieve the drought but to milk it for cash and votes.
The metropolitan media falls for this every time: they are trained like greyhounds to never, but never, criticise the bush or bush people. They are taught that “bushies” are the “bedrock” of Australia; they’re what “being Australian” means. It’s a demented myth.
Earlier generations stole the land from indigenous people and tried to kill them off. City people may have “lived off the sheep’s back”, and then mining, but white bush people lived off stolen land.
Through sheer pig-headedness, obstinacy and anti-science they have fucked the rivers, streams, wetlands and native bushland and now they are busy fucking the underground water tables and aquifers. Instead of rewarding these blockheads, many should be arrested for gross vandalism and their land confiscated and given back to Aboriginal people to decide its best use.
For the past century, coastal taxpayers have been subsidising the destruction of Western NSW in the false hope that the settlers would do something intelligent to save water and rescue the grazing and farming land. They haven’t.
Now the farmers and their well-heeled lobbyists from the PR industry have put their heads together and produced a scam to provide election funds.
They are counting on the city press falling into line. And they are right about that. However, I’m happy to argue another line and call this mob out. We are being conned.
Banned greyhounds are racing again
If you wanted any further evidence of the scam, just read the reports of Ms Berejiklian giving a cool $500,000 of taxpayers’ money to provide prize money for a greyhound dog race.
Racing Minister and National MP, Paul Toole (his surname tells you everything you need to know about him), announced that the Wentworth Park final on October 20 – five months from the election – will be called the Million Dollar Chase.
“The Million Dollar Chase will demonstrate the importance of greyhound racing to regional NSW through its series of high-quality events for the whole community (in National & Liberal marginal seats Bathurst, Toole’s seat, Lismore, Maitland, Wagga Wagga, Bulli, Dubbo, Temora, Grafton, Nowra, Richmond and Newcastle).
Three years ago the Coalition banned greyhound racing in the wake of a 4 Corners report, Making a Killing, showing the cruel destruction of thousands of dogs and footage of live piglets, possums and rabbits being used to “blood” greyhounds at secret training sessions.
After a gambling-financed PR campaign, metropolitan public opinion has been shifted in support of greyhound industry “battlers” and now public money is being spent on the industry’s redemption programme.
Berejiklian can’t find cash for school kids crammed in demountables with no air conditioning, but the dish lickers and their owners get a free ride.
Can someone pass me a stiff drink of whisky? I think I need it.
NSW Police “God Squad” unmasked
The NSW Police Force is riddled with factions, just like the cops in every country in the world. It’s the same in the US, the UK, Ireland, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
The factions are different – but similar – all over the world. There are, for example, utterly corrupt factions with close links to organised crime and there are “incorruptibles” trying to clean up crime in society as well as in their own police stations.
Then there are sub-factions which play a significant, if unreported, role. NSW police has always harboured a “god squad”, a group of deeply religious (Christian) cops whose adherence to the faith is guided by ambition as much as moralistic purity.
The “god squad” sits between the Catholic and Protestant factions which are the most powerful.
When former premier Mike Baird made an official visit to Israel a few years ago – the first premier to do so – he took along Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione. The cops, the public and the press were more than surprised: they were amazed. Why was the police chief going to Israel with the Premier on an all-expenses luxury trip?
Baird is an ardent god-botherer who once considered a fulltime career as a priest. Scipione is a god-botherer too who has attended services at Hillsong, the cash’n’carry outfit which extols the virtue of rich men (and women) getting richer through devotion to god. Out went the old-fashioned view that rich bastards have as much chance of entering the kingdom of heaven as a camel has of passing through the eye of needle. Hillsong congregations were packed with the SUV-driving, negatively geared, tax minimising worshippers militantly praising god to make them even richer.
In Israel, Baird took Scipione to the burial place of Jesus Christ and the two fell on their knees and prayed together. Members of the Israeli security detail were gobsmacked: the “shrine” is a piece of tourism fakery so they just sniggered.
But for Baird and Scipione it was “mission accomplished” because it appears that one of the main purposes of the trip was a private prayer session at the Garden Tomb located near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. There is no body there, of course, since he rose from the dead and disappeared into heaven three days after his execution.
Meanwhile, here on earth, I’m still waiting for a full audit of the Baird-Scipione religious pilgrimage which we, the taxpayers, paid for.
Chief Inspector Gary Raymond is a retired NSW policeman who has benefitted from his long association with the “god squad”.
Ark House Press, a Mona Vale-based Christian publishing house, has produced his biography Top Cop which carries a glowing introduction by Scipione in which he says:
“Many times (in his police career) Gary went further than simply saving a life. He often offered a path to a new life; born again in Christ.”
Raymond’s “ghost” writer, English-born pastor David Nicholas, wrote in the Introduction that when he discussed the contents of his book with Scipione, the police commissioner said: “Give god the glory.”
Ark House is a division of Initiate Media, which publishes a host of hard right Christian magazines, including Christian Woman, Soul Purpose, Inspired Business, Faith Reading and Red Music.
Ark House’s vision is “not only to help gifted authors take their work to the world, but also to get the word of God distributed via one of the most popular and powerful mediums in the world – the humble book.”
Along with the former NSW premier, the current Police Commissioner, and an influential group of state bureaucrats and media influencers, god-bothering remains a major strategy in public life.
Don’t get me wrong, they have a perfect right to express their point of view but, equally, I have a perfect right to criticise what they stand for and call it bunkum.
What’s more, Gary Raymond’s highly commendable police service to NSW was his own and no one else’s. He deserves the highest public praise.
Golden rules of “Good Manners”
People in the Western world are divided into two categories: Those who say “Thank you, driver” when they leave a bus or when he stops to let them on, and those who don’t.
I’ve reached this very rough and ready conclusion after becoming an inveterate bus user.
In semi-retirement I’ve returned to the courtesies taught by my parents. Thus I always say “Thanks” to the bus driver when I arrive at my destination. If I say “Thank you, driver” when I climb aboard with my shopping, the driver will rarely pull out until I’ve safely found a seat. It’s an unspoken bargain; an old fashioned courtesy which is on the way out.
Other things which divide the world into civilised people versus morons:
1) I turn off my mobile in the cinema, they don’t. I would never use my phone during a film, they do.
2) After I reach the top of a queue in a coffee shop, I state my order: “One skinny flat white and a cheese and bacon muffin, please.” The moron says: “I think I’ll have a latte. No, make that a cappuccino. No, I think I’ll have a flat white made with almond milk. Do you have soy milk? So, I’ll have soy milk instead of almond milk. Wait a minute, could you make that a soy milk latte? And I don’t want the cheese and bacon muffin – do you have chocolate chip? Is it dark chocolate? Oho, oho, well, I think I’ll have a strawberry muffin instead, but no cream. I’m watching my weight. How much is that? Can I use my Myer card? Or maybe I have enough cash. Can you wait while I look?”
“Fairfax-Nine merger to fight Facebook-Google”
– Fairfax-owned Australian Financial Review, 27 July 2018