New push to lower speed limits for SUVs and other high-emission vehicles in Australia to combat climate change

Lowering the speed limit for larger vehicles must seem easy for an academic but would be murder for drivers. A less onerous policy might be to make the registration costs so high that only those who need big vehicles for work would buy them

A top professor has called for Australia to lower motorway speed limits for SUVs and other high-emission vehicles to combat climate change.

Australia's love for dual-cab utes, large SUVs and older vehicles is making the country one of the biggest petrol consumers in the world, a new report by The Australia Institute found.

Professor Lennard Gillman from Auckland University of Technology said one way to drastically reduce petrol consumption and carbon dioxide emissions is to drive slightly slower.

He believes Australia should introduce differential speed limits for high-emission and low-emission vehicles so cars that put out more pollution are forced to drive slower to reduce their environmental impact.

'Lowering the speed limit for high emission vehicles has the double effect of cutting emissions but also incentivises people to buy low-emission cars,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'In a vehicle like the Ford Ranger V6 you'll be expending 260g (of fuel) per kilometre. That's more than twice as much as a Toyota Corolla.'

He believes Australia should introduce differential speed limits for high-emission and low-emission vehicles so cars that put out more pollution are forced to drive slower to reduce their environmental impact.

'Lowering the speed limit for high emission vehicles has the double effect of cutting emissions but also incentivises people to buy low-emission cars,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'In a vehicle like the Ford Ranger V6 you'll be expending 260g (of fuel) per kilometre. That's more than twice as much as a Toyota Corolla.'


Rolf Harris

There are very many articles currently in the media about the late Rolf Harris -- and all of them excoriate him for his pedophilia, which consisted mostly of non-violent sexual relationships with teenage females.

It seems to me however that we should consider that a man who was a beloved entertainer for most of his life was not wholly bad. I myself was no follower of his but I always wondered at his improbable  skill with a large paintbrush.
So what should we  think of him as an artist?  Predictably, his art has been scorned by critics but I disagree.  I just want to make the single point that his portrait of the Queen  was exceptionally good.  I have seen innumerable pictures and portraits of the queen but, in my view, the  Harris portrait best captures her essence, which is the normal goal of portrait painters

The arty-farty establishment will never be able to find in themselves any praise for that picture.  They will probably call it "chocolate-boxy". But that is their problem.  Much that they praise seems moronic to me.  But we are both entitled to our opinions.De gustibus non disputandum est


ABC fears for Indigenous staff as ‘evil’ comments on the rise in lead-up to voice referendum

The abuse that Stan Grant and the ABC copped over their coronation coverage was to be expected. Such hate-filled commentary was totally inappropriate to the occasion and deserved replies in kind. Hate elicits a return of hate but the Left can't take that. Hate should be their sole prerogative, they seem to think

And criticism of the ever-whining Grant is well overdue. As a man who has achieved success and prominence in white society, he does not have much to complain about. And he deserves real ridicule for his heavy use of fake tan these days. He was originally only light brown in skin colour. One wonders how much more of him is fake

image from

Picture from 2016

The ABC is worried about its Indigenous staff in the run-up to the referendum on the voice to parliament, managing director David Anderson has told parliament.

“I’m worried about Stan [Grant] but I’m also worried about our other staff,” Anderson said.

“I’m worried about our First Nations staff as we head towards a referendum on the voice to make sure that they are sufficiently protected.”

Grant recently stood down as Q+A host after receiving racist abuse that worsened after he spoke about the impact of colonialism in the lead-up to King Charles III’s coronation.

The ABC told a Senate estimates committee that Grant had taken eight weeks’ leave.

Anderson said the ABC had protective measures in place for staff, including blocking emails and turning off notifications, but “evil” comments still got through and were increasing.

Radio presenters who were live on air had watched their chat stream – a radio text line – fill up with racial abuse, Anderson said he had been told in recent days.

The ABC’s news director, Justin Stevens, revealed that every time Grant appeared on television there was a “particular spike” in the amount and volume of the racial vitriol received. The volume had increased since he appeared on the pre-coronation panel earlier this month.

Stevens said the ABC wanted to do more to support staff and to champion Indigenous perspectives, and one recent move had been the creation of the Indigenous reporting team led by Suzanne Dredge.

“She’s a fantastic journalist and editor who I’ve also appointed to my executive,” Stevens said.

Anderson and Stevens were asked why they invited journalists from News Corp on ABC shows such as The Drum, Insiders and Q+A when the company was a major critic of the public broadcaster.

They said they would not censor journalists or put a “blanket ban” on anyone who works for News Corp, despite earlier singling out the company out for its “relentless campaign” against the ABC.

On Monday Stevens accused News Corp of targeting the ABC because it was “trying to chip away [at] people’s sense of trust in what we do because we threaten their business model”. News Corp Australia has denied it played a part in Grant’s decision to stand down from hosting Q+A and has accused Stevens of misleading and unsubstantiated claims.

Stevens said the Murdochs employed some good journalists who had gone on to work at the ABC, including political reporter Nour Haydar, RN Breakfast host Patricia Karvelas and Insiders host David Speers.

“It’s not the journalists who work for these businesses who are necessarily making the decisions,” Stevens said.

Anderson confirmed the ABC had received 59 editorial complaints about the coronation coverage which would be investigated by the ABC ombudsman but he stood by the decision to have the discussion panel on the day of the coronation.

Grant along with lawyer and Indigenous writer Teela Reid, Liberal backbencher and monarchist Julian Leeser and co-chair of the Australian Republic Movement Craig Foster were invited to discuss the relevance of the monarchy and the impact of colonialism. The panel discussion lasted 45 minutes in the lead-up to the coronation and was over hours before the event itself.

Anderson said some “good faith” complaints had said it was “not appropriate to have the discussion”.

“It just was not what they were expecting, really reflecting that we hadn’t set the audience expectation about this,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the ABC received 169 “good faith” responses from viewers, 59 of which have been referred to the ABC ombudsman for a possible breach of editorial standards.

However, “hundreds” of others were racist attacks on Grant, he said.

The total number of audience contacts about the eight-hour coronation broadcast was 1,832 but 1,663 of those were discarded because they were comments not requiring a response – such as criticism of a presenter’s outfit – or they were “racist, abusive or insubstantial”, according to ABC figures.


Special report: There has been a modernization of the financial system, which has already satisfied many citizens in Australia

This appears to be the latest scam.  The site looks like it is a legit ABC site but is in fact from a one-page address in Spain. Definitely too good to be true
Aussies call this event a "revolution of their lives", but only 1% of them are familiar with the opportunities that modernization has brought and use it to pay off their debts.

The big banks are concerned, because the government has made a move against them with financial modernization. In addition to monetary reform, the parliament, having broad powers, made drastic changes, they decided to pay attention to the cryptocurrency and launched a project based on blockchain technology called "Immediate Edge". The goal of the launch was to support the economy, but this project also had an impact on the lives of citizens. Many people have "made money" due to the Immediate Edge project.

Immediate Edge is a governmental platform that automatically recoups on the fall of the currency by buying cryptocurrency at the most favorable rates. In simple words, it plays on the "cryptocurrency boom".

According to political experts, all members of parliament unanimously voted FOR this project, it will not only help the economy, but also replenish state reserves. While the project is completely under the control of the state, trial launches are currently underway about reduced requirements for participants for up to 90 days. Then a limited number of people will be able to participate in the project.

The requirements are very simple, the prospective applicant needs to make an initial deposit of A$ 390 to become a full-fledged participant of the project, the government considers it a very reduced tariff, it is assumed that it can grow. After making a deposit, the applicant becomes a full-fledged participant on the Immediate Edge platform

Immediate Edge is a program that has artificial intelligence, it analyzes the markets itself, self-learns, predicts to get to the exact time of the decline of bitcoin for its profitable purchase. It determines when to buy cheaper and sell more expensive. The user, as a third-party observer, observes the transactions and makes a profit from the transactions. 

Financial experts are whispering behind their backs, saying that in Australia everyone can become a millionaire due to the Immediate Edge platform in 4 months, the forecasts are impressive! The banking sector is perplexed, because it may lose its customers. Banks have always known about the project, which the government put on ice, but the times have come when the state and its citizens need financial support.


Prominent Black Poet Laments ‘Ban’ on Her Inaugural Poem by Florida School

One problem with the poet’s claim — it isn’t true. Poems are a dime a dozen anyway. There are fat books full of them. Only one in a million is widely memorable

A prominent American poet, Amanda Gorman, has riled up liberals across the country by falsely claiming that the poem she read at President Biden’s inauguration in 2021 has been banned by an elementary school in Florida.

In a public letter posted to Twitter, the 25-year-old Ms. Gorman — the youngest poet to ever read at a presidential inauguration — claimed that a book that features one of her poems, “The Hill We Climb,” was banned by an elementary school at Miami Lakes, Florida. “I’m gutted,” Ms. Gorman wrote. “Robbing children of the right to find their voices is a violation of their right to free thought and free speech.”

Ms. Gorman posted a copy of the complaint that led to her poem being banned, which was filed by an unnamed parent in late March. The handwritten complaint stated in broken English that a book containing the poem was “not educational” and carried “indirect” hate messages.

“Unnecessary bookbans like these are on the rise and we must fight back,” Ms. Gorman said. “And let’s be clear: most of the forbidden works are by authors who have struggled for generations to get on bookshelves. The majority of these censored works are by queer and non-white authors.”

She ended her screed with a plea for people to donate to PEN America, a free-speech nonprofit based in New York that has been fundraising in recent months to fight what it believes to be an epidemic of book bans across the United States. As of Wednesday morning, Ms. Gorman had raised more than $50,000 for PEN America.

The social media post generated howls of protests from very online liberals and spawned dozens of headlines in American media outlets repeating her claim that the poem had been banned by the school. In an appearance on MSNBC, PEN America’s chief executive, Suzanne Nossel, blamed Governor DeSantis for creating an “enabling environment for book bans” in the state of Florida.

“There’s an election on the horizon and there’s a notion that certain people can get energized and motivated by this and they are going to play to that segment and rile them up and it’s up to us to mobilize the rest — the majority,” she said.

The only problem with the narrative being pushed by Ms. Gorman and other activists, however, is that it isn’t true. After the uproar, the Miami-Dade school district released a statement saying that it felt “compelled to clarify that the book titled, ‘The Hill We Climb’ by Amanda Gorman was never banned or removed from one of our schools. The book is available in the media center as part of the middle grades collection.”

The district explained to the Miami Herald, which first reported the incident, that following the parent’s complaint a panel consisting of teachers, administrators, a guidance counselor, and a library media specialist at the Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes decided that Ms. Gorman’s book and a handful of others were more appropriate for middle-school-aged students than elementary ones and were placed on a different shelf in the same library.

On Wednesday morning, the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava, extended an invitation to Ms. Gorman to visit South Florida. “Your poem inspired our youth to become active participants in their government and to help shape the future,” she said in a post on Twitter. “We want you to come to Miami-Dade to do a reading of your poem.”

Following the uproar, Ms. Gorman also attempted to explain the discrepancy between her original complaint and subsequent reports about the ban. “A school book ban is any action taken against a book that leaves access to a book restricted or diminished,” she said. “This decision of moving my book from its original place, taken after one parent complained, diminishes the access elementary schoolers would have previously had to my poem.”


How Climate Change and 'Heat Islands' are Killing Black People

There are some failures of logic here. The author acknowledges several reasons why blacks experience more hot weather but attempts no analyis of the quantum due to climate change. As the temperature change has been minuscle to absent in recent years, the effects of climate change would likely be nil.

If the late Marvin Gaye could add climate change to his ecological masterpiece “Mercy, Mercy Me,” he might ask: Where did all the cool nights go? Heatwaves in the ‘hood, no shade from the sky, no AC to keep grandma from dying.

Why might the late Motown crooner sing that? Because on Wednesday, the World Meteorological Organization announced that Earth will almost assuredly see its warmest average temperature yet over the next five years. To that end, there is a better-than-even chance that one of those next five years will see the planet temporarily breach limits set by the Paris climate accords to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change. The Paris Agreement recommended that nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions to hold Earth’s warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) over preindustrial levels.

The heat is already on this year, with the onset of summer still a month away. Las Vegas had a record day of 93 degrees in April. Seattle and Portland, which broke summer records two years ago with 108 and 116 degrees respectively, set new May records in the 90s. Globally, new spring records up to 114 degrees Fahrenheit were set across Portugal, Spain, Morocco Algeria, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

Temperatures like that mean death. Extreme heat kills more people in the United States annually than any other weather-related event, such as hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes. In North America, the most recent searing evidence of that was the more than 1,400 deaths under the “heat dome” in 2021 that suffocated Oregon, Washington state, and western Canada.

Because of the demographics of that part of North America, most of the victims of that historic heatwave happened to be white. But close attention to the key factors associated with the deaths in Vancouver, British Columbia, Portland and Seattle, reveals threads all too common with the day-in, day-out conditions of many African Americans. Typically, the victim was a socially and materially deprived elder, had underlying health conditions, and possessed no air conditioning in neighborhoods lacking the cooling effects of greenspace.

Black people share those conditions to the level of being disproportionately sealed under the dome of a hotter world, with dire consequences likely if the nation does not fight climate change. According to a 2021 study of the nation’s 175 largest urban areas, people of color in the U.S. were more likely than white people to live on what are called “heat islands.” This is the modern term for the “concrete jungle,” referring to parts of cities where the concentration of buildings, roofs, roads, sidewalks, and parking lots relentlessly absorb and radiate the sun’s heat. Such neighborhoods are often marked by a lack of trees, parks and ponds, creeks, and lakes that naturally cool and moisten the landscape.

Black people, according to the study of 175 cities, have the highest surface urban heat island exposure of any racial or ethnic group, with Hispanics coming in second. It is not an issue of poverty. The nation’s history of redlining and many other forms of housing discrimination in neighborhoods that white interests see as cooler—figuratively, and now, literally—have resulted in Black people being marooned on heat islands regardless of their income.

No one yet knows what that means in actual number of deaths. The federal government says about 700 people die annually in the U.S. from heat-related illnesses, but a 2020 study estimated that number is much closer to approximately 5,600 deaths a year. A Los Angeles Times analysis calculated that California alone suffered 3,900 heat-related deaths from 2010-2019.

What we do know is that Black people are being disproportionately affected. In New York City, where the health department says 370 people die annually from heat-related causes, Black people are twice as likely to die from heat stress than their white counterparts. A 2021 New York Times story found a 35-degree difference on a blazing day in August between the 119-degree sidewalk temperature on a tree-less section of the South Bronx and the 84-degree sidewalk temperature on the thickly-treed Upper West Side near the urban forest of Central Park.

In California, racial disparities have been bubbling up like lava from a volcano. From 2005 to 2015, the rate of emergency room visits for heat-related illnesses soared by 67 percent for African Americans, 63 percent for Latinos, and 53 percent for Asian Americans. It should be noted that the rate of Black emergency room visitors was more than twice the 27 percent increase for white Californians.

Technically, these disparities in heat risk are not new. In the 1995 Chicago heatwave that killed more than 700 people, Black residents had an age-adjusted death rate that was 50 percent higher than white residents. The highest risk was for Black seniors, who had a death rate nearly double that of white seniors.

Worse, it’s not like Black people don’t know they are in the crosshairs of a sizzling climate. A 2020 poll commissioned by the Harlem-based WE ACT for Environmental Justice and the Environmental Defense Fund found that 52 percent of Black respondents were “very concerned” about heatwaves, nearly double the 28 percent of white respondents who were very concerned.

The question is this: Will the part of our nation that enjoys the cooling cross breeze under an oak canopy ever sweat enough to care about climate change? Or even hear the S.O.S. from our blistering heat islands? Mercy, mercy me. Things ain’t what they used to be. What about this overheated land? What more abuse from man can she stand?


Current climate policies will leave more than a FIFTH of humanity exposed to dangerously hot temperatures by 2100, study warns

The prophecies never stop but nothing much ever happens

But the article is an amusing one. Very old-fashioned in its way. It examines -- wait for it -- "numbers of people left outside the ‘human climate niche’—defined as the historically highly conserved distribution of relative human population density with respect to mean annual temperature. We show that climate change has already put ~9% of people (>600 million) outside this niche." --

Fortunately, as a retired academic I can understand academic gobbledegook. More simply put: Heat is bad for you

It can even be regarded as racist to claim that climate has any effect on human beings but they are gaily doing just that. They imply that the tropics are lightly populated because heat is distressing and global warming will put more people into distressingly hot situations.

As someone who grew up in the tropics, I completely reject that. I loved my home in Far North Queensland and dream of going back there. Warmth is comforting and relaxing. You drink a lot of cold beer there but that is pretty good. It is cold that is threatening.

So why are the tropics lightly populated? I know why but dare not say it. Let me simply point out that most of the lightly populated tropical areas are in Africa

Current climate policies will leave more than a fifth of humanity exposed to dangerously hot temperatures by 2100, a study has warned.

Led by scientists at the University of Exeter, the study found that the legally binding measures currently in place will result in global warming of 4.9F (2.7C) by the end of the century.

This means two billion people - around 22 per cent of the projected end-of-century population - will be exposed to dangerous heat, with average temperatures of 84.2F (29C) or more.

At these high temperatures, water resources could become strained, mortality could increase, economic productivity could decrease, animals and crops could no longer flourish, and large numbers of people may migrate.

Globally, there are 60million people already exposed to this heat.

However, the researchers suggest there is 'huge potential' for decisive climate policy to limit the human costs of climate change.

They say the forecasts show that limiting global warming to 2.7F (1.5C), in line with the Paris Agreement, would mean five times fewer people are exposed to extreme heat.

The study, which was in association with scientists from the Earth Commission and Nanjing University in China, also found that the lifetime emissions of 3.5 average global citizens today would expose one future person to the dangerous conditions.

And in the US, this was even more concerning, as it was found just 1.2 US citizens' emissions would have the same result. This means that for almost every average person in America, their individual contribution to climate change over their lifetime could result in another person living in dangerous heat in the future.


‘Verdict first, trial later’: rule of law under threat, says Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyer Steven Whybrow SC

The disgraceful way feminism can pervert justice. If feminists get a man in their sights, he is in great danger -- innocent or guilty

The presumption of innocence and the right to due process have been dangerously warped by the #MeToo movement, Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyer Steven Whybrow SC has claimed, in his first interview since Mr Lehrmann went on trial over Brittany Higgins’ rape ­allegations.

“This was ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Sentence first or verdict first, trial later,” Mr Whybrow says of the pre-trial publicity around the case.

“There was so much material out there that was just simply ‘he’s guilty’ and we’ve just got to go through this process of a trial. I saw that as a significant undermining of the rule of law and the ­presumption of innocence and due process.

“We all know this happens all the time: this guy’s been accused of this, so therefore it happened. And along the way, anybody who tried to argue the contrary narrative was treated as somehow morally deficient.”

Mr Whybrow said that if there was to be a debate about the presumption of innocence or whether an accused person should not have a right to silence, “those things should actually happen in an ­informed way publicly, rather than this insidious suggestion that ‘that’s what the system is’”.

“But it’s not good. It’s not right,” he added.

Mr Whybrow’s comments came as Mr Lehrmann revealed for the first time that when he tried to get legal assistance for his ­defence, Legal Aid ACT insisted it would not allow Ms Higgins to be challenged in court as a liar, but simply “perhaps mistaken about versions of events”.

Mr Lehrmann told The Weekend Australian he sacked Legal Aid ACT after the agency demanded he adopt a conciliatory defence strategy that was ­completely at odds with his account of the events that occurred in senator Linda Reynolds’ ministerial office in the early hours of March 23, 2019.

Mr Lehrmann said a solicitor at the agency told him “it was up to the CEO of Legal Aid in terms of the broader tactics of the case and he was going to say that she’s not a liar but was mistaken about aspects of the version of events”.

Mr Lehrmann said the agency also rejected Mr Whybrow as “too aggressive” to take on the case.

The solicitor told him the agency would not fund Mr Whybrow as his counsel in the trial because “Legal Aid didn’t like the way Mr Whybrow practices or the way he operates”.

Mr Whybrow ultimately took on the case pro bono after Mr Lehrmann refused to accept the Legal Aid conditions.

A spokesperson for Legal Aid ACT declined to comment.

“Bruce was just horrified that they’re not even going to run his defence, which was: she’s lying, she made it up, this did not happen – and to just say, ‘oh no, you misunderstood, you were mistaken’,” Mr Whybrow said. “So he became very distressed.”

The former Crown prosecutor pursued a forceful approach at the trial, describing Ms Higgins as “unreliable” and someone “who says things to suit her”.

Mr Whybrow told jurors she had lied about seeing a doctor to “make it more believable” she had allegedly been sexually assaulted.

He outlined a number of instances when Ms Higgins was forced to concede she had given wrong evidence, including the length of time a white dress was kept in a plastic bag under her bed and a three-hour panic attack on a day she later conceded she had been having a valedictory lunch for former politician Steven Ciobo.

“The person bringing the allegation is prepared to just say anything,” Mr Whybrow told jurors.

The jury had been deliberating for five days, unable to agree on a verdict, when the trial was abruptly aborted after one of the jurors brought research material into the room.

Mr Whybrow told The Weekend Australian he had been concerned that, because of the pre-trial publicity, the defence would struggle to get 12 unbiased, unaffected jurors.

“In some respects, that was borne out by the number of people in the jury pool who quite properly, when the chief justice asked that anyone who thought they might have some pre-existing bias, either for or against the complainant or the accused, or had attended the March4Justice, or subscribed to particular views about sexual assault, or even had had own experiences, that meant that they could not bring a fair mind to the role of a juror to come forward.

“And a lot of people did, but we were never able to be sure that some of the people who didn’t come forward may have had strongly held views and were going to not come forward because they wanted to ensure justice – as they perceived it – would be done.”

Mr Whybrow expressed strong concerns over the role of ACT Victims of Crime Commissioner Heidi Yates, who often accompanied Ms Higgins to court.

“The problem in this case – and it’s not just my perception, it’s one that I know a lot of people have shared – is that by walking next to Ms Higgins into court every day as the statutory office holder of the position of the Victims of Crime Commissioner – and that would be videoed every morning, it would be in the papers and the news that night – it carried with it a less-than-subtle and a less-than-subconscious inference that Ms Higgins was in fact a victim.

“It was about as subtle as if Ms Yates had walked in wearing a T-shirt, saying ‘Bruce is guilty’, Mr Whybrow said.

“This case has demonstrated, in my view, an insidious and underappreciated issue, which is this conflict and this tension and this slow bracket creep between the presumption of innocence on the one hand, and ‘believe all women’ – or in a sexual assault case, ‘people don’t make anything up’ – that is undermining a presumption of innocence.”

Ms Yates declined to comment on Friday, and a spokeswoman for the ACT Human Rights Commission pointed to a previous statement in which it welcomed the set-up of the Sofronoff inquiry.

Mr Whybrow said he took on the case pro bono after Legal Aid ACT refused to hire him because “I wanted to be part of an attempt to at least give this man a fair trial in the face of what I and many other people had considered was such adverse publicity that he could never actually get a fair trial”.

Mr Lehrmann originally approached Legal Aid for help after his first lawyer, John Korn, was forced to withdraw for medical reasons.

Legal Aid also refused to fund the solicitor Mr Korn had recommended, Kamy Saeedi, saying it would assign an in-house lawyer.

Mr Lehrmann said he was stunned that the agency was demanding he accept a defence strategy that contradicted his account of what occurred in Parliament House after a night out drinking with colleagues in Canberra. Mr Lehrmann has consistently maintained, including in his statement to police, that there was no sexual contact of any kind with Ms Higgins and that after they got to Senator Reynolds’ suite, he went left and Ms Higgins turned right, and he didn’t see her again.

“It was basically Kamy who said to me, right, just fire them – he helped me write a letter firing them,” Mr Lehrmann told The Weekend Australian.

Mr Saeedi agreed to take on the case pro bono.

“This is a winnable case if we just do it how we need to, not how the Legal Aid wants to do it,” Mr Lehrmann recalls his new lawyer saying. “He was concerned that I’m being led up the garden path and that they’ve got no idea, because they’re all so woke in Canberra,” Mr Lehrmann said.

“So he just said, I’m just going to do it pro bono now, let’s not worry about the money.”

Mr Whybrow also then agreed to act for Mr Lehrmann pro bono.

“It was, you know, we’ll keep an account going and you will likely never pay. We know that if you’re in jail we’re never going to get paid,” Mr Whybrow said. “And even if you’re acquitted, unless you win Lotto, we’re never going to get paid. But we will act for you.”


The Nazi boogeyman

The Left are trying to show that anybody who opposes their views is a Nazi-sympathizer. There certanly are in Australia people with antisemitic views. I have good friends with such views, even though I myself am a firm supporter of Israel.

But it has yet to be shown that people with such views have any political influence. They may be among those who support various conservative causes but political causes commonly gain support from a variety of people. What is implied but not shown below is that antisemites influence others to their views.

My intensive studies of neo-Nazis years ago showed them to be thoroughly marginal and I can see no change since. See:

for details

Melbourne’s far-right are agile and adaptive at spreading their message of hate

Though small, they practise a nimble strategy to develop support, concealing their activities in encrypted channels, leapfrogging from issue to issue as they attempt to insert their antisemitism and white supremacist view into conservative movements.

First it was multiculturalism, then the pandemic and vaccine mandates, now trans rights.

Deakin University extremism expert Dr Josh Roose explains it’s a process called “breadcrumbing” – where a person drops nibbles of interest with the aim of engaging with someone else – and it’s effective in both polarising the debate and growing the far-right movement.

On Thursday, Roose joined a confidential meeting of more than 100 council representatives and police, all of them desperate to understand how to manage the hate manifesting at their meetings and drag queen story times.

The briefing was convened to cope with “threatening and unpredictable” behaviour that mayors across Melbourne had seen in the past few months, and Roose was up in the middle of the night on a work trip to Denmark to provide advice and skills to protect democratic norms now under siege.

For the last few years, most prominently since the Reclaim Australia movement emerged in 2015, far-right activists have targeted particular issues in an attempt to surreptitiously introduce their beliefs into public discourse.

These conversations, buried deep in encrypted Telegram channels, happen every day – some explicit, others implicit – and attempt to draw people already in thralls of conspiracy into a community of violence.

Inside the Melbourne boxing gym with a neo-Nazi underbelly
Roose says the far-right members participate in online debates about hot topics and slowly attempt to introduce extreme ideas with the aim of eventually shaping the debate and “increasing the pool of potential recruits”.

“They continue to have a base due to their presence on social media and encrypted messaging apps: skilful tactics to gain media notoriety and anger and alienation amongst at least some of the community,” he says.

Almost 24 hours before the meeting, on Wednesday afternoon, a demonstration petered out against a drag story time celebration at Eltham Library, in Melbourne’s north-east.

Far-right activist Jimeone Roberts posted a message in a Telegram channel called MyPlace, warning people about “medical experiments”, deriding vaccine mandates, and making comments pejorative of rainbow activists campaigning for trans rights, according to screenshots collected by researchers from the White Rose Society, which tracks neo-Nazis online.

MyPlace, a fast-growing anti-government group targeting councils across Victoria, is a forum of mixed purpose.

There are some who use it to sell organic meat and vegetables; others complain about vaccine mandates and plug holistic medicine retreats; and several share their political aspirations, discussing ways to animate and organise voters in Victoria they believe share their views.

There are now more than 100 MyPlace groups throughout Australia, 49 of them in Victoria. Not all MyPlace groups or members are from the far-right or neo-Nazis.

But the rise in the number of MyPlace groups is an example of what researchers and police have been observing for years, the tendency for far-right activists to target groups with strong views on conservative subjects.

Entertainer Dean Arcuri, who dons his alter ego drag queen Frock Hudson for story time at suburban libraries, has been a target of demonstrators this week.

“It’s insane to think that this harassment is happening. And then someone says the word Nazi, and you just think … what? It is absolutely surreal,” Arcuri says.

Felicity Marlowe, the Rainbow Families manager at LGBTQI+ support service Switchboard Victoria, says the group’s Zoom meeting last week was gatecrashed by protesters who posted vulgar comments in the chat.

Roberts, who has a swastika Hakenkreuz tattooed on his chest, wasn’t the first National Socialist Network (NSN) member attempting to steer the conversation inside the MyPlace network. In early April, Stefanos Eracleous, a former Young Liberal and also a member of the NSN, more pointedly asked members to begin exploring the encrypted channels popular among neo-Nazis and the group’s leader, Thomas Sewell.

“Add yourself to an active Aussie chat for Australian patriotic discussion and freedom rally updates,” said a message on April 4. It was forwarded from a group called “Australian Meditations 51?, the 51 being a figure celebrated by the group because it is the number of people killed in the Christchurch massacre.

More recently, the actions of a group of neo-Nazis spilled onto Melbourne’s streets. They gatecrashed a Let Women Speak rally in March and two members were arrested during an anti-immigration protest in the CBD last Saturday, when police used capsicum spray. On both occasions, the group members wore all black and most concealed their identities while doing the Nazi salute.

The topics the far-right use to steer their message has varied depending on the political issue of the day, says Dr Mario Peucker, an associate professor at Victoria University, and depends on what they believe is strategically useful.

Peucker says that during the moral panic around Islam in mid-2010, the far-right organised around anti-Islam messaging. A few years later, it was the “African gang” panic. Then, for a short time, they organised around bushfires and climate crises before the pandemic emerged as their dominant theme.

“Now that this has been exhausted, neo-Nazi groups, probably inspired by white supremacy groups in the US, saw a new opportunity in targeting LGBTIQ+ friendly events,” Peucker says, “and most recently they seem to have moved to the issue of housing crisis in combination with relatively high levels of immigration.”

The Andrews government has announced it will ban the Nazi salute but is unsure how far away the legislation is. Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes said this week it was not a straightforward process as it collides with free speech issues.

Other countries, including Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland – all of whom have far-right movements – have banned the salute.

In the meantime, though, it means police have limited powers to act. Assistant Commissioner David Clayton, who attended the online forum with councillors on behalf of Victoria Police, summarised the dilemma succinctly: “Some of this stuff is awful, but it’s not unlawful.”

Police confirmed they monitor the activities of the far-right but couldn’t comment on operations specifically, except to say that they were appalled by recent events.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe in our community regardless of who they are – hate and prejudice have no place in our society.”

Flanked by two security guards on Wednesday, Arcuri was invited to Parliament House for a short reading with Premier Daniel Andrews before being ferried out to Eltham.

It was a nervous arrival. He didn’t know, of the people attending, who was there in support, or to disrupt. “People were making jokes on Wednesday going, it’s like a Beyonce moment. And I’m like, well, that sounds more fun than the experience I had,” he says.


Robust One-Nation Conservatism Is What Woke Globalist Elites Fear Most, Heritage Foundation President Tells London Conference

Slightly surprising that Roberts did not mention Disraeli.  Dizzy was a great advocate of One-Nation Conservatism and rode it to great electoral victories.  The idea is that an ideal of the nation is put forward that everyone can be proud of.  Trump had the same idea but his unattractive personal manner limited what he could achieve.  

I note also that Roger Scruton saw a large overlap between conservatism and patriotism.  So unashamed praise of the great assets of one's own country should be a large part of the conservative message.  Leftists despise the society they live in so a patriotic message gives a clear and popular alternative to them

Cultural crises and crumbling Western institutions can only be remedied by a broader conservative movement that remains focused on the renewal of national identity and the ultimate ends of its policy means, the president of The Heritage Foundation told a London audience Tuesday. 

Heritage President Kevin Roberts spoke at the National Conservatism Conference in London on what he called “one-nation Burkeanism,” a reference to famed 18th-century conservative British statesman Edmund Burke. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Roberts laid out the case that conservatives in the West must not only stand athwart the increasingly totalitarian globalist Left, but must also promote a positive agenda that strengthens the building blocks of society—family, church, and communities.

That movement begins, but doesn’t end, with protecting the concept of nationhood itself.

“Like the election of Donald Trump in the United States that same year, Brexit lifted the hopes and expanded the horizons of a more nationalist conservatism across the West,” the Heritage Foundation chief said. Brexit (shorthand for “British exit”) was the June 2016 referendum in which the British voted to pull the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

Unfortunately, Roberts explained, despite the momentum created by Brexit and Trump’s election, center-right parties failed to translate those victories into a “reimagined governing agenda.” He said that the failure to come up with a comprehensive policy program is catastrophic for those parties, especially given the single-minded obsession of the Left to impose its ideas on societies.

The “greedy, woke, elitist, and globalist” New Left has forsworn many of the ideas espoused by their predecessors, such as “democracy, equality, diversity, justice,” Roberts said. “Their goal is not to win political contests, but to end them altogether, to sweep away dissent and any subversive institution.”

What most effectively impedes this wokeist nightmare is the kind of conservatism espoused by the likes of “Donald Trump and [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis, Brexit, [Hungarian Prime Minister] Viktor Orban, and this conference,” Roberts said, adding:

The institution of the nation is the source and reservoir of the power globalists need to achieve their goals, and one of the most resistant to elite capture.

Unlike corporations, governments, and even churches, nations have no C-suites to cajole or HR departments to bully. They have cultures, loyalties, and loves prior to mere policy—and [with] these, the power to defeat globalist ambitions.

It’s those traits that make national conservatism a more implacable bulwark than “establishment conservatism,” whose leaders “crave elite approbation” or “blinkered libertarianism,” which is susceptible to the material outlook common on the Left’s home turf, Roberts said.

He said that conservative parties since the Cold War have been adrift, having lost sight of the “permanent things” they were created to preserve.

“Somewhere along the way, conservative leaders forgot that markets, globalization, individualism, [gross domestic product] growth, and foreign alliances were means, not ends,” he said, and this made for ineffectual opposition to the Left, which has no such confusion and works relentlessly to do battle against those who defend “faith, family, flag.”

In that sense, national conservatism isn’t a departure from the ideas of Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher, Roberts said, but an affirmation of what those leaders and the movements that championed them really stood for. And what they stood for were concepts such as “democracy, the rule of law, free speech, religious devotion, marriage and family, ordered liberty, property rights, and yes, the real free market,” he said.

The current ruling class ultimately stands in opposition to those things while despising even the idea of nationhood, he said, and “thus did yesterday’s fruitful one-nation conservatism beget today’s sterile, no-nation globalism.”

So, in the place of national institutions, the “woke industrial complex,” as he called it, creates a kind of elitist totalitarianism through the European Union and the United Nations. He said that the globalist elites seek to destroy the “little platoons” of society, as Burke called them, because they are rivals to that power.

“To the globalist elites, Burke’s ‘little platoons’ are terrorist sleeper cells,” Roberts said.

He returned to his message about how one-nation national conservatism stands athwart the globalist ethos and directly challenges its power.

“Leaving the European Union and formally detaching itself from the EU elites’ masquerade ball was precisely the right thing for the United Kingdom to do,” Roberts said, referring to Brexit. However, that triumph shouldn’t be seen as the ultimate victory, since “wars are not won by evacuations,” he said, referring to Winston Churchill’s famous speech about the Battle of Dunkirk.

The Heritage president then returned to the main theme of his remarks:

The question since 2016 has not been whether the British people have the power to navigate the 21st century as an independent nation-state. Clearly, they do.

Nor is the question whether global corporate, political, and cultural elites will let them, because in the real world, they have almost no say in the matter.

Rather, the question is whether the Conservative Party—like the Republican Party in the U.S.—can follow through on their 2016 victories and build a new, governing majority out of a new, one-nation conservatism.

That’s the kind of nationalism and populism the elites truly fear, Roberts said. Its principles, he said, boil down to the idea that the United Kingdom belongs to “her people” and that its “political, corporate, spiritual, and civic institutions should serve them and not the other way around.”


Adding Sikhs to the Curriculum

I have had Sikhs around my life since childhood and have always had a good impression of them. I remember in my early teens how a tall dignified brown man in a blue turban gave me a tract about Guru Nanak (founder of Sikhism). It was published by the Gurpurb publishing company, a name which I have never been able to forget. I read the tract. I say more in praise of Sikhs here. See below a picture of some Sikhs in the presence of a well-known Christian gentleman

Despite the large theological, geographic, and observable differences between Sikhism and Islam, Sikh populations in the United States have experienced suspicion, discrimination, and even violence ever since the Islamist terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, an advocacy organization for Sikh Americans—called the Sikh Coalition—formed to combat discrimination and to advocate for religious liberty.

Discrimination and prejudice against Sikhs has persisted in the two decades since then: On Aug. 5, 2012, a lone gunman and known white supremacist opened fire at a Sikh house of worship in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing seven. The next year, on the anniversary of the shooting, the FBI approved a recommendation from its Advisory Policy Board to collect statistics on hate crimes against Sikhs. In 2015, the FBI began tracking anti-Sikh bias motivation in its hate crime statistics, along with bias against Mormons, Orthodox and “other” Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.The FBI released a supplement to its 2021 Hate Crimes Statistics report, its most recent compilation, in March of this year (the report defines hate crimes “as a criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias(es) against a person based on race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity”). 

In a statement announcing the release of the supplement, the FBI said that of the nearly 1,600 hate crimes motivated by religion, 11.6% were anti-Sikh—the second-highest, after anti-Jewish incidents, which accounted for the majority. Indeed, the bureau’s Crime Data Exploration tool shows that the eighth-highest bias behind all hate crimes in 2021 was anti-Sikh motivation (214 incidents)—just below anti-Jewish (324) and anti-Asian hate crime (305), and higher than incidents of the kind of targeted violence that tends to garner more popular attention, such as against transgender (176), Arab (75), and Muslim (96) individuals. According to the CDE data, the number of anti-Sikh hate crimes has roughly doubled year over year since 2019, when 54 reported incidents were recorded, and 2020, which recorded 89.

But as Sikh populations continue to grow in various areas of the country, the Sikh Coalition has had success lobbying states to integrate information about Sikhs into their school curricula, as part of an effort to familiarize their neighbors with both their faith and their contributions to American society.

A five-minute video on the Sikh Coalition’s YouTube channel called “Who are the Sikhs?” is a short primer on how Sikhs are often identifiable by their names (Singh and Kaur are names given to initiated Sikhs, to men and women respectively, to help promote equality), and by visible religious symbols like turbans and beards. The video, produced in collaboration with the Fresno County Office of Education, also includes Sikh history in California, which began over a century ago when Sikhs began immigrating to the developing American West, mostly from the Indian state of Punjab, and eventually emerged as key movers in California’s agriculture and railroad industries.

In December 2022, the Sikh Coalition added Utah and Mississippi to its list of states that have incorporated Sikh awareness into their school curricula, bringing the total to 16 in over a decade-and-a-half of working with policymakers and communities. Their goal is to reach students in all 50 states.

“Sikhism is the fifth-largest major world religion,” said Harman Singh, senior education manager for the Sikh Coalition. “But Sikhs and our historical contributions are largely absent from state educational standards.” The Sikh Coalition, he said, is “16 for 16” in terms of states they have engaged, all of which have subsequently integrated Sikhism into their curricula.

Utah and Mississippi may seem like surprising early adopters of the Sikh social studies curricula. While neither Mississippi’s Department of Education nor Utah’s Board of Education could provide race or ethnicity data reflecting the size of their states’ Sikh student bodies, both states have substantial Sikh populations. Today, the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Mississippi’s Punjabi-speaking population near its capital, Jackson, is as high as in some areas of California’s Central Valley, where the first Sikh house of worship was established in Stockton in 1912. (Punjabi speaking is not a one-to-one correlation with Sikhism, but can serve as an indication of a Sikh population in the absence of census data on religion, which the Census Bureau does not collect.) Today, there are two gurdwaras, Sikh houses of worship, in Jackson, and one in Tupelo, Mississippi. Common estimates put the U.S.-wide Sikh population at about 500,000.

Mississippi’s current social studies educational standards now include in its minority studies elective course objectives: “Examine social and political factors and events that have impacted attitudes and discrimination towards immigrants and religious communities (e.g., American Muslims, Hispanic Americans, West Indian Americans, Sikh Americans, American Hindus, American Jews, etc.).”

According to Sharon Turner, director of public affairs for the Utah State Board of Education, the inclusion of Sikhs in the state’s sixth grade standards of instruction, covering the origins and key tenets of major world religions, reflects the board’s conscientious effort to have a “pretty diverse representation of religions.” Turner said Sikhs are an important—and growing—part of the state’s increasing population. A study by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah found that population growth in the state in 2022 was driven primarily by net migration into the state, which the study authors attributed to the easing of pandemic restrictions and a robust economy within the state.

“These victories in Utah and Mississippi represent years of careful and tireless work by community members and advocates at the Sikh Coalition to ensure that our children see themselves reflected in their curricula,” said Simran Jeet Singh, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Religion & Society Program, and author of The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life, in an email to Tablet. The Aspen Institute’s Religion & Society Program is dedicated to leveraging religion to address social inequities and encourage social cohesion in a pluralistic society. “Sikhs are at once highly visible, in part due to our articles of faith, yet also unknown to so many Americans,” he said. “Starting with more inclusive education earlier should help to combat some prejudices and ignorance in the next generation. Educating our students about all religions in a constitutionally appropriate manner will help combat bullying and bias and will help prepare all kids to grow up and thrive in a diverse society.”

Sikh founder Guru Nanak eschewed the Islam and Hinduism that surrounded him in 15th-century Punjab—where he was born in 1469—and developed his own theological system, in writings that today form the basis of Sikh scripture. Nanak was to be the first of 10 consecutive gurus (a reverential term meaning “enlightener”), who over time developed the canon of Sikh scripture and spiritual disciplines, as well as a rite of initiation into the Sikh community, also known as the Khalsa, for individuals who are committed to strict, orthodox adherence to those disciplines.

Khalsa members make a commitment to the “Five Ks,” or the visible and tangible elements of Sikh adherence. The Sikh Coalition guide says those are: “kesh (unshorn hair), kanga (small comb), kara (steel bracelet), kirpan (religious article resembling a knife), and kachera (soldier-shorts).” Turbans, although perhaps the most easily identifiable external sign of Sikh membership, are not part of the Five Ks. Sikhs who are not members of the Khalsa are free to adopt whichever of the signs they like.

Likening them to wearing a wedding ring, the Sikh Coalition states: “The five articles of faith signify an individual’s commitment to Sikhi and to the highest ideals of love and service to humanity. They serve as an external uniform that unifies Sikhs and binds them to the beliefs of the religion, and they are a daily reminder that Sikhs must live an honest, moral, kind, brave, and loving life.”

The last of the 10 gurus, Guru Bogind Singh, died in 1708, which Sikhs believe marks the end of the faith’s human leaders and established the authority of the Eternal Guru, called the Guru Granth Sahib, which is the teachings found in the Sikh scriptures themselves. The Guru Granth Sahib’s contents are primarily verse poetry written in various languages, which are often sung. Central to many Sikh rituals, it often occupies a throne within a gurdwara.

Harman Singh of the Sikh Coalition said that he finds the most obvious things people have a question about are the outward devotional symbols. “The external and the internal are both the same for the Sikh, in terms of what those articles of faith represent,” he said. He cites unshorn hair and beards as a sign of acceptance of God’s will, that “God made you the way that they did, and that you should accept that, and recognize the light within you, and trust that that is there for a reason,” whether or not you have hair. He also likens the identifiers to a uniform. He said he often uses the example with young people of being able to identify medical professionals in a hospital as individuals who can help you, by their lab coats or scrubs. Wearing the five articles in public, he said, is an outward display of commitment to living out certain values and fulfilling certain responsibilities. “My turban is literally a part of me,” he said, likening its removal to the removal of a limb. “It’s not just a symbol.”

It is outward signs of devotion that have marked Sikhs as targets for discrimination and violence, especially since 9/11.

Sikh community members were quick to recognize after the attacks that they would be targets for prejudice, Harman Singh said, and the organization was born after a group of Sikhs got on the phone together the night of Sept. 12, 2001. Early initiatives included pro bono legal services for Sikhs who were victims of hate crimes, discrimination, and bullying at school, and policy advocacy to advance Sikh interests and civil rights for minority groups.

Harman Singh experienced this abrupt cultural sea change firsthand. “I was born and raised in Michigan,” he said, where he and his brother were the only Sikhs at their school. As an eighth grader who wore a turban, “my whole world shifted overnight,” he said. “The experience I had on September 10th was very different than it was on September 12th.” Singh said he experienced bullying and hate for days, months, and years to come. Growing up after 9/11, he said he checked the index in his social studies textbooks every year to see if Sikhs appeared. They never did, and, he noted, “I never had an opportunity to educate my classmates about my religion, about my community.”

In 2009, New Jersey became the first state to include Sikhism in its state social studies standards, after six years of advocacy from both the Sikh Coalition and New Jersey Sikhs.

“The most common problem in covering anti-Sikh violence is the framework of ‘mistaken identity,’” a Sikh Coalition media guide reads. “This framework is problematic because it implies that there is a ‘correct’ identity group that ought to be targeted. No community should be targeted.”

“Ignorance breeds animosity,” Harman Singh said. “And one of the best ways to keep students safe is through developing social studies standards, and teaching about not just the Sikh community, but many diverse communities as early as possible, because when we left children to kind of create and come up with their own understandings of what these different communities represent, they’re all going to default to what they see on social media, popular culture, and on the news. And unfortunately, oftentimes turbans and beards and brown skin, is often associated with terror, and so those are the assumptions that a lot of times people make at a very young age in this country, and that often unfortunately, leads to hate into adulthood.” He said internal surveys conducted by the Sikh Coalition have determined that over two-thirds of turbaned Sikh students report being bullied in school.


What is 'Common Good Capitalism,' and Why Are Some Conservatives So Enamored?

Advocating for the common good has notable German precedents. Hitler shared with the German Left of his day the slogan: "Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz" (Common use before private use). And who preceded Hitler in that? Friedrich Engels at one stage ran a publication called "Gemeinnuetziges Wochenblatt" ("Common-use Weekly")

"Common-good capitalism" is all the rage these days with national conservatives. But what exactly is it, you may ask? That's a good question. As far as I can tell, it's a lovely sounding name for imposing one's preferred economic and social policies on Americans while pretending to be "improving" capitalism. If common-good capitalism's criticisms of the free-market and prescriptions for its improvement were ice cream, it would be identical in all but its serving container to what much of the Left has been dishing up for decades.

The wider adoption of the term Common-Good Capitalism (CGC) can be traced back to a speech given by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at Catholic University in 2019. While there are different strains of common-good capitalism, they all have in common the goal of producing a more balanced and stable economy that better serves the nation and its people.

The common good is, of course, a vague and subjective concept, the details of which are hard to pin down. Its advocates claim it's an alternative form of conservative governance meant to promote things like tradition, workers' dignity, religion, order and families, rather than the singular free-market focus of personal liberties and economic freedom. How exactly government policies will be used to mold capitalism into achieving these goals -- many of which go further than economics -- is unclear. This haziness explains why those defending common-good capitalism usually do so only by listing what they see as wrong with the free market, rather than by giving their audiences specific details.

For instance, common-good advocates' complaints about no-prefix capitalism often include excessive income inequality caused by greedy, cosmopolitan capitalists who heartlessly offshore jobs to low-wage foreign countries, or gripes about corporations somehow simultaneously charging monopolistically high prices that hurt consumers and low prices that threaten small firms and damage local communities. I wouldn't blame you if you thought these complaints were coming from the likes of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

While I don't dismiss some of their complaints about the underperformance of the economy -- specifically the hardships suffered by some workers and families -- common-good capitalists make the same mistakes as their counterparts on the Left. They start by mistaking problems caused by government intervention for problems inherent in the free market. They end by offering up even more government interventions as supposed solutions.

It's striking to listen to CGC advocates act as if today's markets have been freed of all the fetters that I and other advocates of small government have warned about for decades. The size and scope of the government say otherwise. With $31 trillion in debt, more than $6 trillion in annual federal government spending and a future 30-year government shortfall of $114 trillion, it's ludicrous to assert that the dominant governing philosophy in Washington over the past 50 years has been Milton Friedman-style market theory. Also contradicting the common-good capitalists' mythmaking is the well-documented burden imposed by the regulatory state at all levels of government.

But rather than demanding fewer government-erected barriers to exchange, employment and housing affordability, the CGC crowd wants tariffs to obstruct consumers' access to inexpensive imports. They want to line the pockets of the firms they favor while punishing those they dislike. Further, these "capitalists" want to forbid the business practices that they think favor capital over labor, when in reality capital fuels innovation, hiring and higher wages. And they want to make families artificially dependent on government design with policies such as federal mandated paid leave and extended child tax credits. These policies, of course, are favored also by the Left.

In the end, CGC champions the same tired policies that big-government types predictably propose whenever they see something they don't like. Industrial policy, export bans and other forms of protectionism are, based on ample evidence, terrible for both economic resiliency and efficiency -- and thus for workers and families. What's more, research suggests that giving relatively large amounts of money to parents without any strings attached disincentivizes work and makes more child poverty likely.

At every turn, common-good capitalism implies a greater role for government in regulating and directing the market to achieve the fancies of common-good capitalists. Who truly believes that such interventions won't result in more inefficiency, corruption and political capture by special interests? I don't. I also worry that common-good capitalists won't be interested in balancing the rights and the freedoms of those persons who disagree with their economic and social designs.

Nationalization of industry is not dead. It is alive and well in the ACT

Nationalization of industry mostly went out with the Dodo. It is particularly hilarious in the area of hospitals. Government hospitals Australia-wide are not bad but accessing them is the problem -- exactly the problem they were designed to avoid. You can wait half a day to be seen even in an emergency and for non-urgent care you can be waitlisted for weeks and months. There are rarely such problems with private hospitals.

I use both hospital types so know them well. In emergencies I am seen without delay at the Wesley (private) and the service at the radiation oncology section of the PA hospital (government) I cannot fault. But I can access the PA service only via a weeks-long waiting list.

So in Canberra the solution surely is to encourage the hospital board to get in a new boss who will restore the capability that a private hospital should have. Even a subsidy would be cheaper than building a new hospital

But the ACT government is dyed-in-the-wool Leftist so they are being driven by that very Leftist hankering for power. And the idea that organizational problems can be solved by building a new building is classic Leftist simplistic thinking. All govenments tend to have an edifice complex but this is ridiculous

The ACT government is about to make a compulsory acquisition of Calvary Hospital.

In 1979, Calvary Hospital began its good work at the invitation of the commonwealth government. The lease is for 120 years. There is 76 years to run.

Through legislation, the contract for service will be ripped up, land and property expunged. All of this without any consultation. Why?

The Canberra Hospital is the main, government hospital in the city. It has major problems. An independent review in March 2019 was scathing of the culture of TCH.

The Little Company of Mary runs Calvary and they have just finished building a 342-bed hospital in Adelaide for $350m.

After compulsory acquisition, the ACT government is going to build another hospital adjacent to the current Calvary Hospital and then knock the old one down. They estimate the cost to be $1bn for a 500-bed hospital.

The ACT government should simply commission the Little Company of Mary to build them a new hospital at half the cost and hand it over to the government. That would release $500m for other needed government infrastructure.

Is it religious discrimination?

In 2022, the ACT government conducted an inquiry into the availability of abortion in the ACT. The ACT Standing Committee Health Report was released on 10 April 2023.

Astoundingly, the report accuses Calvary of restricting “medical services” “due to an overriding religious ethos”.

Yet that same report notes that neither TCH or Calvary Hospital perform abortions (except in exceptional circumstances). Abortions are day procedures, carried out by other medical providers in the ACT.

Would the NSW government dare claim that St Vincent’s Hospital has an “overriding religious ethos”? Would the Queensland government be so brash as to claim that The Mater in Brisbane operates with an “overriding religious ethos”?

This brings us to the next question. Who is next? What other community groups are under threat in the ACT?

Clare Holland House is one of the most revered institutions in the ACT. It provides superb palliative care under the umbrella of Calvary Hospital.

We know that the ACT government has not taken up the majority of recommendations for palliative care from its End of Life inquiry. It naively thinks VAD is the solution to end of life issues. Those of us with experience in this space respectfully disagree.

The government doesn’t like horse racing. The ACT Race Club should be nervous.

Summernats is burning up too much fuel at its annual event. It will get its marching orders.

The Association of Independent Schools of the ACT must be sweating. Imagine the scenario.

Independent schools decide not to promote gender transitioning, based not on religious grounds, but on compounding scientific evidence. Suddenly, teachers, parents and children lose their rights as ordinary citizens.

Final question.

Which state will be emboldened by this ridiculous behaviour?

This is a serious issue with grave consequences for the Federation. The Prime Minister must get involved. After all, the commonwealth government invited Calvary to Canberra.

Nothing less than the rule of law is at stake. No Australian likes to be dispossessed of their land and property. No Australian likes their contract ripped up unilaterally.

One of the most significant reasons why Australia is a free and fair nation is because of our property rights, which ensure stability.

Property rights are a key “natural mechanism”, ensuring both the creation of wealth and its just distribution.

This move by the ACT government is dangerous, totalitarian in nature. Suddenly, everything is up for grabs.

Every Australian should be deeply concerned. Every Australian should act. Political and civil pressure needs to be applied to force the government to get back to the bargaining table with the legitimate owner – Calvary Hospital.

If not, a free and fair society will no longer be ours.


The Leftist Personality: Left-Wing ideology as a biological phenomenon

I have been noting for many years that the twin studies show political orientation to be highly inheritable genetically but have made only desultory comments about what in detail is inherited. The article below remedies that deficit rather well -- with detailed support from the academic journals

1. Defining “Leftism”

‘Leftism’ is characterized by ideas like equality, fraternity, “progress,” societal reform, and globalism. This manifests politically as support for feminism, homosexuality, wealth redistribution, immigration, and racial egalitarianism, combined with opposition to the family, nationalism, and traditional culture.

The rejection or embrace of hierarchy (i.e. inequality) is the fundamental difference between Left- and Right-Wing worldviews. Right-Wingers believe that hierarchy is inherent to reality and part of the natural order, while Leftists claim to believe that all men are fundamentally “equal” [1] [2].

2. Leftism and Physical Biology

Countless studies have shown that physical characteristics closely align with political orientation. AI facial recognition can accurately predict a person’s political alignment 72% of the time, outperforming chance (50%) and human estimation (55%) [3].

Taller [4] and more attractive [5] people are more likely to identify as Right-Wing and more likely to actively support Right-Wing parties, policies, and politicians. In America, Australia, and Europe, Right-Wing politicians are more likely to be physically attractive than their Left-Wing counterparts [6].

Men who are physically stronger are more likely to oppose wealth redistribution [7] and other forms of sociopolitical egalitarianism, even if they are poor themselves, and opposition to egalitarianism grows as men spend more time in the gym [8]. Similarly, men with more masculine facial features are more likely to support explicitly prejudiced ideas [9], and men who are better fighters are more likely to support warfare and hold “self-favoring” (non-Leftist) political beliefs [10].

In summary: Leftists are shorter and uglier, and Leftist men are weaker, less masculine, and less capable of fighting — characteristics that are not conducive to success in any human civilization.

3. Leftist Psychology 101

Studies on Left- and Right-Wing psychology have consistently found that Leftists are more likely to exhibit manipulative, self-serving, and generally antisocial personality traits. For example, Leftists have abnormally low disgust sensitivity [11]. A person’s political alignment can be predicted with 95% accuracy by observing their brain’s response to one disgusting image [12].

Despite Leftist claims that their ideology is “just being a good person,” support for wealth redistribution is best predicted by the psychological traits of “communal fairness” (egalitarianism), malicious envy, spite, being self-interested, and willingness to inflict “instrumental harm” (hurting innocent people for “the greater good”) [13]. The stereotypically Left-Wing behavior of “victimhood signaling” correlates with personality traits such as narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism (amoral manipulation) [14]. Victimhood signaling is best described as an emotional manipulation technique used to obtain free resources.

On average, Right-Wingers are much happier than Leftists. This phenomenon has been attributed to a variety of factors, including the ideological rationalization of inequality (“inequality is natural” vs “inequality is unfair”) [15]. However, the most logical explanation is that Leftists are predisposed to mental illness [16]. Numerous studies have found that Leftists are far more neurotic than Right-Wingers [17] and that White Far-Leftists are four times more mentally ill than moderate Right-Wingers. It is currently unclear whether Leftism causes mental illness or whether mentally ill people are instinctively drawn to Leftism. Both may be true simultaneously.

The psychological differences between Left- and Right-Wing people can be partially attributed to physical differences in brain structure. For example, Right-Wing views are associated with a larger amygdala [18], which is associated with higher emotional intelligence (e.g. reading facial cues or personal space) [19] and the ability to maintain more complex social networks [20]. The amygdala also plays a causal role in threat detection [21]. This data contradicts studies by Far-Left sociologists, like Alain Van Hiel, which claim that Right-Wing beliefs are defined by low emotional intelligence.

4. Left- and Right-Wing Moral Foundations

The Moral Foundations Theory, originally coined by psychology professor Jonathan Haidt and colleagues, proposes that Left- and Right-Wing people build their worldviews on five major “Moral Foundations.” Leftists are disproportionately high in the individualizing traits of Harm Avoidance and Fairness, but disproportionately low in the group-orientated traits of In-Group Loyalty, Respect for Authority, and Purity/Sanctity. In contrast, Right-Wingers express all five traits equally [22] [23].

Countless studies support the Moral Foundations theory, but one statistic related to in-group preference is particularly significant: White Leftists, who are by far the most mentally ill demographic, have a negative in-group preference, meaning that they genuinely despise their own race and will always prioritize the group interests of foreign races above their own.

A 2019 study investigated the self-reported “moral circle” of Left- and Right-Wing people [24]. Participants were asked to assign 100 “moral units” to 16 categories, ranging from their “(1) immediate family” and “(2) closest friends” to “(15) all natural things in the universe” and “(16) all things in existence.” The categories did not overlap, so points attributed to ‘higher’ categories (e.g. the universe) were not shared with ‘lower’ categories (e.g. the family). Leftists claimed to care more about “all natural things in the universe including inert entities, such as rocks” than they do about their own family and friends.

Leftists may well disdain their family and friends, but the information listed in section 3 of this article casts severe doubt upon the sincerity of their “universal love.” It seems much more likely that an immoral, narcissistic, and manipulative psychopath would use performative virtue signaling to conceal their malevolent and self-serving intentions. This is supported by new data from a 2022 study, which found that self-reported “good moral character” actually predicts moral hypocrisy, rather than good moral character [25].

5. Conclusion: A profile of the average Leftist

Using the data compiled above, we can construct a basic psychological profile of the typical Leftist. This will not apply to every Left-Wing individual, but it can serve as a general framework for understanding and dealing with Leftists. So, generally speaking…

Leftists believe that life is fundamentally unfair, likely due to their undesirable physical characteristics (shortness, ugliness, weakness, etc.).

This causes neuroticism and leads to self-obsession and spiteful envy.

They lose all concern for group interests and focus exclusively on advancing their own standing in society.

As they cannot get ahead in fair competition, they resort to underhanded, manipulative, and psychopathic strategies.

This manifests as behaviors like victimhood/virtue signaling, gaslighting, and other forms of coercion and emotional abuse.

To disguise their nefarious and self-serving aims, they proclaim a universal love for humanity, nature, or the even entire material universe.

They collaborate with other outcasts and potentially dangerous out-groups to exact vengeance on their perceived “oppressors,” by which they mean normal people.

However, they will happily betray (“cancel”) their friends and allies, who they value as little as inert objects like rocks, for social gains.

Leftist ideology can thus be summarized as an attempt to climb the social ladder via underhanded tactics, such as eliminating the competition by promoting “equality,” i.e. dragging everyone down to their level: The gutter. Leftism is a strategy for losers to take power and resources from winners.

The key takeaway is this: When it comes to Leftists, we are not dealing with honest people who want what is best for society but are tragically mistaken about how this can be achieved. Such individuals certainly exist on the Left, but the average Leftist is spiteful, malicious, and vindictive. They cannot be reasoned with or rationally convinced of their “mistakes” because they are driven by deep-rooted biological and psychological issues that, in many cases, cannot be resolved. Use extreme caution when dealing with them. They would think nothing of using the system to destroy your life.

6. Addendum: On Leftist ideological hegemony

Some readers have correctly pointed out that many “Left-Wing” people are simply indoctrinated into Leftism by default because it is the hegemonic ideology of the current Globalist regime. Leftism (or “wokeness”) dominates every facet of Western society: Media, academia, governments, corporations, and so on. Westerners are born into Leftism like fish into water, and many are blissfully unaware that they are under an ideological spell.

Genuine “biological Leftists” (often described as “spiteful mutants”) should be distinguished from the indoctrinated masses who merely repeat and believe what society tells them is right and true. Without the corrosive influence of Leftist hegemony, such individuals would be normal, loyal, and valuable members of society. However, the “true Leftists” would probably be just as vicious, defective, and subversive as they are today.


Slack Qld police again

I am not surprised. When my car was stolen, they THREW AWAY evidence leading to the offender. Officer Turgeon is greatly to blame As in Britain at the time, police policy was apparently not to investigate car theft

A juvenile offender allegedly involved in a terrifying armed hold up of a young woman in her own bedroom has been acquitted after a court heard police “didn’t bother” to collect crucial witness statements or seize a weapon found at the scene.

Police had alleged the boy was among a group of young armed males who forced their way into the female’s bedroom and demanded money, threatening to smash a television if she didn’t comply.

But he has walked free this month after a botched police investigation and failed prosecution resulted in him being found not guilty after a trial in the Children’s Court of Queensland, with the presiding judge saying she had a reasonable doubt about the boy’s guilt given the lack of evidence put forward by the prosecution.

In her trial judgment, Judge Vicki Loury described the failure to call witnesses to the alleged incident as “entirely unsatisfactory”.

The boy’s defence argued he was not present during the burglary at Redbank Plains and the complainant, who had met him about five or six times prior to the incident, mistakenly identified him.

According to the judgment, witnesses who may have been able to identify the alleged offenders were not asked to give statements or called to give evidence, CCTV collected by police from neighbouring properties was not tendered in evidence, and the weapon the boy allegedly left at the scene was not seized or examined by police.

After the teens fled, the complainant found a steering wheel lock under the sheets in her bed which she assumed the defendant hid when police arrived.

“Photos were taken of the item some days later,” Judge Loury wrote. “It was not seized, nor subject to a forensic examination. “There is no explanation in the evidence for that not having occurred.”

Judge Loury said Senior Constable Eliza Wheeler gave evidence at trial that while she was at the crime scene speaking with a person, the defendant approached and asked her what was going on.

He claimed he had come from a nearby house behind the complainant’s address.

“No effort was made to confirm his account,” Judge Loury wrote, noting no attempt was made to get statements from others at that address who could support or deny his story.

Police also failed to take witness statements from people who may have been able to identify the defendant – including the complainant’s brother who had opened the front door to the alleged offenders and her friend who was in the bedroom at the time of the incident.

Judge Loury said Senior Constable Brook Mair gave evidence she took over the investigation nine months after the incident and collected CCTV footage that was not tendered in evidence.

“In cross examination she confirmed that she spoke to the complainant’s brother to try to get a statement from him,” Judge Loury wrote.

“In the end, she did not bother as it was too hard with her rosters to obtain a statement from him.

“She did not attempt to obtain a statement from the complainant’s friend, … who the complainant said was inside her room during the incident.”

Judge Loury said the officer also “did not bother” to follow up the defendant’s claim that he was visiting a nearby house and was unaware of whether the steering wheel lock found in the complainant’s bed was seized or forensically examined.

Judge Loury said it was likely the complainant’s friend and brother would both have been able to shed some light on the identity of the defendant had police bothered to speak to them.

“I consider the explanations given for the failure to call the complainant’s brother to give evidence or the complainant’s friend, … and the failure to call any of the residents from (the property the defendant claimed to have come from) to be entirely unsatisfactory,” Judge Loury wrote.

“It would be reasonable for a prudent police officer to have obtained statements from each of these material witnesses and for them to be called at the trial of the defendant.

“The prosecutor has conceded that it would be open to draw an inference adverse to the Crown given the state of the evidence before me.”

Judge Loury said the complainant was a careful and honest witness and that there was strength to her evidence that the defendant was one of the intruders in the room.

“In this case where the central issue is one of identification/recognition, and taking into account the special need for caution before convicting in reliance on the correctness of the complainant’s identification, the failure to call material witnesses who could have shed light on this very issue means that I ought to entertain a reasonable doubt about the guilt of the defendant,” she wrote.

The boy was found not guilty of a charge of entering a dwelling with intent to commit an indictable offence armed and in company.


What was Hitler's personality like?

Just about everything we hear about Hitler casts him in a bad light.  But is that all? Did he have a "good" side?  Was he in any way likeable?  We are unlikely to get a full and fair answer to that question, as anything favourable to him would most likely have long ago been censored out of existence. Political censorship is an evil, however, so I have looked for whatever accounts still exist.  And my finding is that he did indeed have a pleasant personality on at least some occasions.

The person who knew Hitler best was undoubtedly Albert Speer, his architect..  So I read right through his "Inside the Third Reich" to see what I could find.  And I did find an account of Hitler being friendly and comradely towards his building workers.  But that was apparently in the 1930s.  What becomes clear in the book is that Hitler's mood steadily deteriorated over time. He steadily became a more difficult companion due to the stresses he was under.

There is however another remaining nugget of information about what Hitler was like in his earlier days. Two short 1936 home movies of him have survived.  One "reveals a remarkably "friendly" and "modest" side of Adolf Hitler at the Bayreuth Festival". It was taken when he was  a welcome guest in the Wagner family.  The scenes show Hitler in conversation with a "beaming" Winifred Wagner. The films show the Nazi leader in civilian clothing, "listening, smiling, an astonishingly modest and even submissive Hitler"   We also read that . "One sees a completely different side of Hitler, not the statesman, but quite a relaxed and friendly person"

I submit that these accounts portray Hitler's basic personality.  To have influence you have to get on with people and his influence was immense.  He came across as a nice guy.  There might be a warning in that.  Famous grinners like Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden have done a lot of damage too

My source for the home movie contents:

I have kept a copy of it and will post it in various places

It might also be of some interest that there is an article by an historian here which looks at the Nazi policies that would be well-regarded today


Scholars Found a Bible with a Different ‘10 Commandments’: The story of the Shapira fragments

Jonathan Poletti is at it again: pushing the story that there are "alternative" Bibles or Bible fragments. He is right. There are, but which ones are canonical is the issue

His latest story below shows that he is no Bible student. He refers to fragments of a scroll that are probably ancient but which have a "different" version of the Ten Comandments (known to Anglicans as the "ten suggestions").

He seems to be unaware that there are actually three different versions of the commandments in the Torah.  Ironically the version usually quoted -- in Exodus 20 -- appears to be a priestly interpolation.  Though the version in Deuteronomy 5 is similar.

One wonders if Poletti has ever read Exodus 34.  It reads quite similarly to the Shapira fragments and no-one has challenged its originality.  The Shapira fragments could be an earlier reading of Exodus 34 and therefore need disturb no-one.  I offer a more extensive discussion of the various commandment sets here

In1883, another version of the Bible’s book of Deuteronomy surfaced. A Jerusalem antiquities dealer named Moses Shapira found it, and brought it to London
This was quite an extraordinary item, and in presenting it to the British Museum he was open to getting a million pounds.

Months later, he would be broke, infamous, and dead.

collage: Moses Shapira by Midjourney (2023); British Museum (vintage postcard); Shapira fragments
In London, Shapira set up viewings of the manuscript.
A viewing on July 26, 1883, before a group of scholars, archaeologists, and journalists, is recalled in the memoir of Walter Besant, a novelist and historian. He writes of Shapira:

“He had with him, he said, a document which would simply make students of the Bible and Hebrew scholars reconsider their ways; it would throw a flood of light upon the Pentateuch; and so on. The man was a good actor; he was a man of handsome presence, tall, with fair hair and blue eyes; not the least like an ordinary Polish Jew, and with an air of modest honesty which carried one away.”

How had Shapira acquired this manuscript?
He told a strange tale. A Bedouin man had found it in a cave on the eastern side of the Dead Sea, among mummies. It was then stolen from him by another man, who’d sold it to Shapira, then disappeared.

A strange story—and a strange manuscript, these leather fragments on whose blackened surface they could just barely see letters in the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet.

1883 illustration of the Shapira scroll (source: Michael Langlois)
There was a Moses story, but it was all different.
There were the Ten Commandments, but they were different too. One could only compare, in bewilderment, the differences between the ‘canonical’ Deuteronomy and this ‘Shapira Deuteronomy’.

The canonical Deuteronomy has: “You shall not murder.”

The Shapira scroll had: “You shall not slay the soul of your brother. I am Elohim, your god.”

The canonical Deuteronomy has: “You shall not steal.

The Shapira scroll had: “You shall not steal the wealth of your brother. I am Elohim, your god.”

And the Shapira scroll had, not Ten Commandments, but eleven. There was a ‘new’ one.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart. I am Elohim, your god.”

While evaluating the Shapira fragments for purchase, the British Museum put them on exhibit.
It was a sensation. Crowds flocked to see this ‘different’ Deuteronomy.

The poet Robert Browning wrote to a friend: “You know about Mr Shapira’s pieces of leather with portions of Deuteronomy thereon?”

Browning thought they were real. “I hope!”

Many scholars were dismissive.
The very idea of a manuscript surviving in Palestine was just unthinkable. Archibald H. Sayce, Professor of Assyriology at Oxford, published a brief dismissal:

“It is really demanding too much of Western credulity to ask us to believe that in a damp climate like that of Palestine any sheepskins could have lasted for nearly 3,000 years…”

Plus, the idea of another Bible was shocking—for scholars as much as Christian laity. As the scholar Frederic G. Kenyon reflects in 1897:

“In these strips of leather there was enough to cast doubt upon the whole of the received text of the Old Testament and to discredit the whole science of textual criticism.”