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Democratic heartland of D.C. shows huge turnout in support of their new Republican leader. By General Maddox. The media has been doing its best to downplay Trumps popularity as the new US president. The narrative was in place before he was elected and it continues even now. It certainly does appear that attendance was higher […]
Islam could reign supreme in the US according to these statistics compiled by an astute American reader from Illinois. Obama has long been accused of being a closet Muslim and Trump’s inauguration speech certainly left the US people in no doubt he will deal with crazed Islamics across the world. His immediate problem will be eradicating IS operatives in the US. Germany has more then one million imported Islamics and the German identity and culture according to German researchers, will be lost within 20 years. France is in the same boat. With this startling evidence staring the Australian duopoly government in the face, Prime Minister Turnbull vows to bring in another 15,000 refugees from Islamic countries.
Member for Mt Isa, Robbie Katter has questioned a plan for a reduction of seats in Queensland Parliament, which would give people in the bush even less representation.
The State Leader of the Katter’s Australian Party said the proposal would result in further neglect of rural and regional communities, robbing constituents of their opportunity for face-to-face conversations with their local MP.
“It’s vitally important that MPs are able to get out on the ground in their electorates and talk to their constituents face-to-face,” Mr Katter said.
“The suggestion that MPs could spend less time out in their electorates and replace handshakes with emails simply doesn’t work in Western Queensland.”
“The Mount Isa electorate is more than twice the size of the state of Victoria and it’s already hard enough to get around to meet people fac...
Sydney: The ship involved in the recently halted hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 returned to port in western Australia on Monday, where officials from the countries that funded the fruitless search gathered to thank them and to defend their decision to end the hunt despite recommendations from investigators that it continue.
Transport officials from Australia, Malaysia and China met in the Western Australia state capital of Perth to greet the crew of Fugro Equator, who were ordered to return last week after the countries officially suspended the nearly three-year search for the plane in the Indian Ocean.
The $160 million deep-sea sonar search off Australia’s west coast failed to find any trace of the plane, which vanished March 8, 2014, on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. But Australian transport minister Darren Chester denied that the effort had been a failure, saying crews had managed to eliminate the 120,000-square kms search zone as a possible crash site.
Several relatives of the 239 people on board the plane have fiercely criticised the decision to end the search before finding their loved ones, and called on officials to scour a new 25,000-square kms area immediately to the north of the old search zone that a group of international investigators recently identified as the likeliest resting place of the wreckage.
The investigators calculated the possible new crash site by re-analysing satellite data that tracked the plane’s movements and looking at a new drift analysis of debris that has washed ashore on coastlines throughout the Indian Ocean. The experts recomme...
The PNG Electoral Commission said, there is no law
stopping it from printing ballot papers overseas.
Chief Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato said this in defence of the commission going across the border to have Papua New Guinea's 10-million ballot papers for the 2017 National Elections printed in Indonesia.
Mr Gamato said its decision to print overseas, was because it was quoted a hefty K23 million by the Government Printing Office for the job, whereas, it would only cost K6.6 million with Indonesia's Pura Group of Companies, an overseas partner of local printing company, Treid Pacific Limited.
Mr Gamato said a thorough process of assessment and evaluation was done, and the approval was given by Central Supply and Tenders Board.
Meantime, Patilias Gamato said, he's confident the ballot papers will not be duplicated because he's visited the factory and held talks with the management of Pura Group of Companies.
Mr Gamato further said the facility is a high-level security company that also prints ballot papers for Indonesia, including features of some currencies.
NBC News/ PNG Today
PORT MORESBY: Electoral
Commissioner Patilias Gamato has come again under fire from the
Opposition about the ownership of the Indonesian printing company
engaged to print election ballot papers.
This time its leader Don Pomb Polye calling on Gamato to reveal more facts about the ownership of the Pura Group which is responsible for the printing.
Mr Polye said there was more to the printing deal than what meets the eye.
“I ask Mr Gamato to continue to reveal who owns the PNG agent company of the ballot papers printing in Indonesia.
“I have reliable information that the agent is owned by an MP who is aligned to the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s PNC party,” said Polye.
He added what he said about printing ballot papers overseas, especially Indonesia was TRUE as confirmed by Gamato, asking the Electoral Commissioner to reveal more truth in response to his allegations in his statement.
“His admission of the printing of ballot papers in Indonesia only proves my point that the rigging of 2017 National Election has just begun. The Elec...
The Australian newspaper airbrushes history and completely ignores the fact St Barbara was condemned as ‘immoral’ by the Solomon Islands Environment Ministry for selling its abandoned ‘disaster’ mine to traditional landowners for A$100.
The West Australian via The National aka The Loggers Times | January 20, 2017...
Pine Gap, a secret US installation in Australia by Mary W Maxwell, LLB What if you want to tell the truth, or “spill the beans”’ about something that you feel should be public knowledge, but are worried that you might be acting disloyally toward your employer? I am writing this article in the context of […]
Acting national secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) Michael Tull has asked the Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge to meet with union members employed at the Department of Human Services (DHS), to discuss why Centrelink's automated debt recovery process is causing "extraordinary" stress in staff.
"The debt crisis is a manifestation of a bigger issue for DHS -- systemic understaffing, under resourcing, and a failure to listen to staff and to draw on their expertise when designing systems," Tull said. "Our members tell us that these issues will not be solved until there is an increase in permanent and well-trained staff."
Speaking on behalf of the union representing public sector staff, Tull explained that DHS staff workload is now so unmanageable thanks to the error rate in the letters, that they do not feel they can serve their fundamental role of helping those in need.
"People work at Centrelink because they want to help -- but the systems work so badly, and DHS is so understaffed, that they simply cannot," he said. "The resulting reduction in safety for DHS workers and the public must be addressed without delay."
"There's no way this can be said to be working well."
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Wednesday that the letters welfare recipients have been receiving were actually "quite appropriate", and said the government has an obligation to ensure that Australia's "very extensive and generous" social welfare system is allocated correctly.
"Centrelink has always sought to find explanations from recipients of Centrelink payments in circumstances where there is a discrepancy ... and it's quite appropriate," he said.
The National Government has fulfilled its commitment gifting the people of Western Province shares in Ok Tedi Mine
Sounds great, but will the people actually see any improvement in their lives?
Charles Yapumi | LOOP PNG | January 23, 2017
The historic benefit sharing agreement (BSA) signing happened in Alotau on the weekend between the six mine area villages and the 152 villages from the Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) regions will share the 33 per cent direct equity interest in OTML.
The National Executive Council’s (NEC) decision relating to the granting of the free equity was made in 2014.
The benefit sharing Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) took over two years of negotiation amongst landowners, the Fly River Provincial Government and the State.
The breakup of the shares will see CMCA group owning 12 per cent, the Mine Area Villages 9 per cent while the Fly River Provincial Government (FRPG) will own 12 per cent....
Weekend protest marches around the globe have ignited and inspired millions. But something is still missing, writes Cat Moir.
Sydney women’s march on Saturday saw thousands of people take to the streets to protest against sexism, racism, homophobia and bigotry in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s inauguration. It was one of 600 marches around the world held in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington D.C.
The huge crowd united people of all ages, genders, sexualities, and cultural backgrounds. The common cause: feminism, and it was so encouraging to hear speakers and marchers recognise how the experience of being female is affected by race, sexuality, and disability.
Loud and proud feminism is back, in a new intersectional guise, and that is something that can only be welcomed. As the MC said at one point: women today are no longer ashamed to say the F-word.
But there was another word that was missing for me on Saturday’s podium, and that was the C-word: class. Growing up in an ex-mining family in the UK, I know how much a lack of resources restricts your opportunities.The Women’s March staged in Oakland California, one of hundreds staged around the world.
As a kid I was bullied at my state school for being too keen to learn, so aged 12, I enrolled in a grammar school on a part-scholarship. It was often a struggle for my single working mum to find money for the rest of the fees, but we thought that education would be a route to a better life.
In some ways it was, and I was no longer bullied for being smart. But instead I, like other scholarship kids, was looked down on for being poor. When I couldn’t afford to go on a school trip, one boy (the son of a wealthy businessman), who until that point I had thought was my friend, took money out of his wallet and threw it at me, jeering.
That’s when I first understood what being working class meant: fewer chances, and sometimes scorn from those with more.
Class isn’t a very fashionable word these days, and it’s little wonder. After all, it is produced by economic inequality, and to get rid of that would mean redistributing wealth throughout society. Today that sounds radical, even if not so long ago it was a mainstream political demand.
The welfare measures and progressive taxation systems most rich countries had adopted by the mid-twentieth century might be the minimum a fair society should provide for its citizens (all of whose labour is of equal value in creating wealth). But today we are struggling to protect those things from deregulation and dism...
Collingwood was one of Victoria's busier police stations when I worked there 1986-88 odd. And every single copper there knew John Hose JP. Mr Hose (as everyone called him) was one of the most frequent visitors to the police station. He owned a pub in Carlton which made him popular,...
Centrelink has been fraudulently issuing debt notices to people who owe no money. Persons so identified are then harassed and threatened to the point that they pay this un-owed debt rather than being penalised by a system, which they already know actively disparages them.
Some 20,000 people a week receive notices of debts — allegedly to recoup incorrect welfare payments. Said notices are triggered by a controversial automated debt recovery system, now under intense criticism because of what is essentially (or intentionally?) the flawed logic of its computer algorithm.
An inherent incompatibility exists between Centrelink’s financial information and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) records. It’s a matter of timing. Centrelink has information about its payments made fortnightly, and possibly data relevant to jobs that clients were offered and accepted. Centrelink is unlikely to be aware of the continuing circumstances of that job or subsequent ones found independently in the course of any given financial year. The ATO has only an annual summary of income. There is no breakdown into weeks, fortnights or months. There is also no breakdown of pay rates, when it was specifically known they earned it, or what changes to income streams occurred in the course of the year.
The ATO data is, therefore, incompatible with Centrelink’s data. The Government is comparing apples with oranges.
The Commonwealth public service is trying to "bully" Centrelink workers into staying silent on the government's "robo-debt" debacle, according to an independent federal MP.
Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie says the "data-matching" debt recovery effort had reached the point of "high farce" and that Centrelink workers were following their consciences and speaking out about the internal workings of the system.
Mr Wilkie's comments came as another key independent politician, South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, pledged to attempt to decriminalise whistleblowing in the public service.
Public servants at Centrelink have been threatened with disciplinary action or even criminal prosecution as their bosses at the welfare agency try to stem the flow of internal leaks about the agency's robo-debt campaign.
A public campaign backing the use of photos of Muslim children on an Australia Day billboard has received widespread support. Somayra Ismailjee explains why it shouldn’t.
A campaign to reinstate ‘Australia Day’ billboards featuring a photograph of two Muslim girls wearing the hijab has raised over $165,000. The initiative has been hailed as an act against racism, but not all Muslims agree.
By now, most are familiar with the story: the controversial billboard was removed after garnering threats and negative attention due to its representation of two visibly Muslim children, photographed at an ‘Australia Day’ celebration a year prior. While many have been in favour of reinstating the billboard as a statement of Muslim belonging, the issue of ‘Australia Day’ itself being advertised has rightfully attracted criticism.
Organisers and proponents of the campaign argue that reinstating the billboard is a gesture against the Islamophobia which saw it removed in the first place – that the 12 billboards and half a dozen newspaper ads to bear the image this week are a defiant move against the climate of racism targeting Muslims in Australia. This wholly skips over the underlying dynamic.
Islamophobia cannot be fought without undermining white supremacy, and white supremacy in Australia is contingent on the oppression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – of which ‘Australia Day’ is a significant marker.
There is no ‘anti-racism’ in an act which further entrenches the systemic oppression of one group, for the sake of token inclusions of another.
Vicious attacks directed at the two young children featured in the campaign have also shown that even Muslims participating in public displays of patriotism are rarely accepted in mainstream society, so why is the image of Muslims still co-opted to perpetuate the myth of an inclusive state?
Muslim communities are fed the i...
Brisbane jangle pop merchants Babaganouj certainly were busy in 2016, recording three EPs that showcase their warm, ever-evolving sound.
The third of these creations, ‘Clarity Restored’, will be out in February, but until then you can enjoy lead single ‘Star’ – a song which echoes great Australian pop bands from the ’90s like The Hummingbirds and The Clouds.
We are premiering the clip below, which inter-cuts footage of the band playing with the exploits of a cute cardboard box-headed character. The video was created by young director Thomas Evans.
Centrelink has admitted its review system to dispute debts is too slow to save people from false debts, taking an average of 49 days to resolve despite debts being due within 28 days.
The welfare agency's controversial automated debt recovery data-matching system has come under fire for months, with countless claims from clients that debts levelled are too high or just plain false. However, as we've reported, clients are still being told to pay their debts -- which can be in the many thousands of dollars -- even if they know them to be false to avoid extra debt recovery fees to be added to their bill.
Centrelink clients can ask for their debt to be reviewed as part of an internal dispute process, but that is unlikely to give them any immediate relief as the debt recovery process is not paused (with some exceptions) while the review is conducted. Debts are due within 28 days of the debt notice being received, and anecdotal reports have previously stated the dispute process can take up to six weeks.
Now, in response to questions from The Huffington Post Australia, the Department of Human Services admitted Centrelink's dispute process takes a full three weeks longer than the time limit to pay back that debt.
Watch the Video online
No picnic at Hanging Rock: Campaign to recognise Aboriginal past
rather than 'white myth' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting
Corporation): It is 50 years since the publication of Joan
Lindsay's novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, and more than 40 years
since Peter Weir's iconic film, told the story of school girls and
their teacher going missing during a picnic at Hanging Rock on
Valentine's Day in 1900, and never being seen again.
The Miranda Must Go campaign has been created by PhD student Amy Spiers, who argues that while many Australians are familiar with the story Picnic at Hanging Rock — and the character of missing school girl Miranda — hardly anyone was familiar with the Indigenous history of the area.
"The main goal of the campaign is to make people think about how obsessively we retell the story of Picnic at Hanging Rock, which is essentially a fiction of vanished white school girls," she said.
"While on the other hand we actively ignore the removal and displacement of Aboriginal people that actually took place at Hanging Rock."
This "debt" was incurred whilst I was a 78 year old worker. I reported all my earned wages to Centrelink by phone as required. I received a letter in October 2016 asking me to confirm income information online (I have never had a computer and never used one). I am forced to repay $136.80 per fortnight out of my Age pension. There was no negotiation about this amount and now I now have to watch what I spend. I was forced to retire for health reasons. I am extremely uncomfortable about this "debt" because I have always complied with the rules and because it feels as though my honesty and integrity...
BYRON TAU Updated Jan. 22, 2017 4:56 p.m. ET 305 COMMENTS WASHINGTON—One day after protesters denouncing President Donald Trump flooded city streets around the U.S., Democrats faced the prospect of turning the freewheeling day of protest into sustained popular opposition to the new president’s agenda. Democrats, out of power and...
|PNG Government steps up APEC security preparedness Photo credit: EMTV|
Women’s rights forms another frontier in war-torn Yemen, writes Pat Griffiths in this special New Matilda feature.
BOMBS fall on Yemen. They have done so since the conflict there escalated in March 2015. In the memories of Yemenis however, they have fallen for much longer.
“In certain situations people date births and deaths and graduations and jobs and the purchase and sale of land in terms of dates of war,” said Sarah Jamal Ahmed.
Sarah is a sociologist, gender scholar and producer with the media collective Support Yemen.
Her country is the biblical and koranic home of Queen Sheba. It is an ancient exporter of coffee and the modern address of Al-Qaeda’s most active franchise, AQAP.Yemeni sociologist Sarah Jamal Ahmed.
It is torn between two factions claiming legitimate government. One, an alliance of Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The other, the government in exile of president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
President Hadi’s forces fled the capital Sana’a in February 2015. In March a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Gulf States imposed a naval blockade and commenced air strikes against the Houthis. There are sharks, not just big fish circling this little pond.
More than 10 000 people have been killed in the conflict since then. That includes nearly 4000 civilians, and close to 800 children.
Yet 19 months of life under airstrike, in conflict, and blockaded have exerted significant pressure on one section of Yemeni society more than any other.
Yemen ranks last in the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Report. The rights of women forms another front to this forgotten war.
“I’m just a person who wants to tell a story and understand that story because this will enable me to understand myself as a Yemeni,” said Sarah.
The women of Yemen are far from voiceless, and can speak out against a militant Houthi as much as against a militant Saudi. But amid a weave of turbulent politics, age-old tradition, male machismo and international intrigue, they struggle to be heard.
“I’m not a nationalist, let me begin this way,” Sarah said.
So that’s how we began.
Yemeni documentary maker Sara Ishaq.
For Sara Ishaq, b......
Well it started out at $12,485.31. And I sorted it all out over the phone before xmas, and the person from centrelink admitted there was a huge mistake by there part and I no need to worry. Thinking it was all done and dusted, I received a letter today saying the amount is now $6,497.10. The system is wrong the government is corrupt and I will not conform and pay this debt that is not mine. I am trying to save money to travel overseas and teach English. So this has caused a huge amount of stress and anxiety. Everyone needs to get together wake up work as a team and say no to this crime....
This is what Klein would call a ‘race toward weightlessness’, a key tenet of contemporary corporatism, which holds that the real work of companies is marketing, not manufacturing – that they are in the business of creating images rather than things. Howie’s claim that ‘lamb is the nation’s favourite meat’ is demonstrably false, but it is the idea itself that matters, framed as it is by language that is both inclusive (‘lamb stands for unity’) and nationalistic (‘Australia is the greatest country on earth’).
‘If you look at the PNG LNG project, and the Papua LNG project, you have two world class operators and it is important for PNG that they can share synergies and pursue integration to reduce costs. So you could have TOTAL operating the upstream and Exxon Mobil the downstream.
‘This is good for all stakeholders and in particular the State.’ The challenge, he adds is to build relationships between different operators and he believes this is happening.
‘They are looking at the best way of doing things in an efficient way.’
Aopi says the last two years have been a ‘roller coaster ride’ for the resource industry. He believes the situation ‘remains challenging’ but he is optimistic about the future.
‘You have to look at the best way of distributing the costs. We are all affected by the low oil price so people are looking at ways to reduce costs.
‘They are talking to the service providers: in bad times you have to share the pain. They are also looking at better and more innovative ways of doing things, and looking at the best way of doing things in an efficient way.’
Aopi says the distribution of benefits to landowners has been ‘agreed at the macro level’. The next steps are more problematic, however.
‘It is really getting down to the next level as to how the benefits are distributed, within the licence areas, between the different clan groups and between families?
‘It is going to be there for a long time and you have to have that relationship on a good footing from day one.’
Very busy time of year, compounded by a death in the family, but the point is that it should not have happened. Centrelink asked if ATO provided data was correct for 2010/11 financial year, I responded yes it was (of course) so that income was then distributed evenly across the full year including the part of the year that we received some parenting payment, resulting in a debt of over $3000. Worse than that is the amount of time and effort to get this corrected, and the short system-imposed time-lines and pressure to start repaying debt - really, after seven years, wouldn't a few more week...
The draft same-sex marriage bill would ‘erode fundamental principles of non-discrimination and represent a disproportionate extension of existing exemptions to discrimination laws,’ according to the Law Council.
The legal profession has recommended a series of changes to the ‘exposure draft’ of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill during a parliamentary inquiry hearing in Melbourne today.
President of the Law Council of Australia, Fiona McLeod SC, said the exposure draft was an opportunity for parliament to consider and balance the protection of freedom of religion while removing discrimination for same-sex, intersex, transgender and non-gender conforming couples.
‘The Law Council has long supported allowing same-sex couples the opportunity to marry in this country,’ Ms McLeod said.
‘The exclusion of same-sex couples from the Marriage Act denies them a right afforded to all other Australians and is inconsistent with the right to be free from discrimination,’ she added.
Ms McLeod said the legal sector supports the protection of freedom of religion and considers it reasonable to allow ministers of religion to conduct religious marriage ceremonies in accordance with the tenets and doctrines of their religion.
‘These protections already exist and are appropriate. But extending this exemption to civil celebrants discriminates against same-sex couples without any proper basis. The marriage ceremonies that civil celebrants perform are secular, not religious. They do not merit the same protection of freedom of religion and have no other proper basis for exemption.’
Ms McLeod also expressed the legal profession’s objection to the proposed exemption for ‘religious bodies and organisations’ in the provision of facilities, goods or services for the purpose of solemnisation of a same-sex marriage.
‘This proposed exemption would erode fundamental principles of non-discrimination and represent a disproportionate extension of existing exemptions to discrimination...
“Today I’m going to talk a lot about the US Army,” says the guide in his thick Vietnamese accent, “I want you to remember that I’m not talking about all American people, I’m talking about the American army and what they did during the Vietnam War.” Then, with a totally deadpan expression, he adds, “If you’re American and you get offended by what I’m saying, please don’t kill me.”
It’s meant to be a joke but no one laughs. My girlfriend and I exchange awkward glances as the bus rattles up one of the highways out of Ho Chi Minh City. We’re on a guided tour to the Cu Chi tunnels, which are an underground network of burrows that the South Vietnamese guerrillas built during the war.
The Cu Chi tunnels are a multi-levelled subterranean ecosystem that once spanned 250 kilometres. Civilians lived, ate and hid from bombs down there, while Vietnamese soldiers used the network for covert warfare. According to one of the brochures, the tunnels are “a symbol of revolutionary heroism for the Vietnamese people”. And for tourists, they’re a major attraction, ranked fourth of on tripadvisor’s list of things to do in Vietnam.
And while it seems like a fascinating place to visit, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something inherently weird about war tourism.
Despite my reservations, the jokes continue. Our guide, who tells us to call him ‘Jimmy’ because it’s easier to pronounce, shows us a range of different booby traps that the Vietnamese soldiers set for the Americans. “This one’s called the souvenir,” says Jimmy, motioning toward a trapdoor that opens out to a framework of steel spikes that are welded together in a sphere. The sharp bits point downward and inward with a single spear as the centrepiece. It resembles a fish trap, but is designed to catch a downward stepping foot.
“You know why they call it the souvenir?” The crowd
of tourists offers blank looks, dutifully granting Jimmy his punch
“Why?” someone asks.
“Because when the American soldier gets his leg caught in here, he has to cut it off in order to get away.”
Eyebrows are raised and there are a few smirks but no one laughs. Jimmy’s facial expression makes me think that he was making a funny, but it’s too heavy to treat as a “joke”. Jimmy wants us to lighten up and enjoy ourselves; it’s a tour after all, and he’s the guide, so he’s responsible for making it interesting and engaging and fun. But we’re talking about war and death...
Indigenous suicide: Struggling communities get $10 million funding
boost - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): The
project, trialled in Western Australia last year, will be expanded
into the Northern Territory and South Australia this year, with the
rest of the country to follow in 2018.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion will announce the funding on the remote Groote Eyelandt in the Northern Territory today.
"Every suicide is a tragedy and the effects on tight-knit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are often more profound, contributing to the clusters of suicide and self-harm that we see," he said in a statement.
Thalia Hakin had her whole life in front of her, but the schoolgirl was robbed of her future in the Bourke Street massacre.
The 10-year-old died on Friday after Dimitrious Gargasoulas, 26, allegedly drove a car into lunchtime crowds both in the Bourke Street Mall and further up the road.
Her Jewish community held a service for her and all the other victims on Sunday evening, to pray for the five dead and a speedy recovery for the injured.
Her family was not there, her sister Maggie, nine and her mum, Nathalie, were also injured. Her father Tony is believed to be by their hospital bedsides.
Ahead of the prayer service federal MP Michael Danby and Caulfield MP David Southwick said the community was deeply shocked by the tragedy.
Thalia should have been going back to Beth Rivkah Ladies College in a few weeks, they said.
‘I think all Victorians can identify… with a girl who was going into grade five, her life all in front of her, robbed by some crazed person,’ Mr Danby said.
‘It is very important at this function to pray for all the recovery of all Victorians.’
Gargasoulas remains under police guard in hospital and is expected to face mulitple charges including murder over the five deaths and injury to more than 30 people.
Thalia, a three-month-old baby, a 25-year-old man, Jess Mudie, 22, and Matthew Si, 33, have died in the CBD tragedy. Some of the injured are still fighting for life.
Rabbi Daniel Rabin, president of Rabbinical Council of Victoria...
Lisa Blair has sailed out of Albany at the bottom of WA to try to break two records: become the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica and do it in the fastest time ever.
The 32-year-old Sydney-based Queenslander will at times face waves nearly the height of a 10-storey building, wild storms and ‘psychotic’ 80-knot winds, below freezing temperatures, icebergs and whales.
She says the Southern Ocean is the most dangerous on the planet but also beautiful.
‘Even with its perceived risk factor, I’ve always just been so fascinated with the Southern Ocean,’ she told AAP before embarking on the 16,400 nautical mile voyage on Sunday morning.
‘It is so beautiful down there, so raw and rough.’
Ms Blair has been sailing professionally for a decade and but it was participating in the gruelling Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 2011 and 2012 that she says ‘really opened my eyes to what I was capable of’.
There is a set racetrack for the ‘Antarctica Cup Ocean Race’ that Ms Blair has begun, in which she will head east aiming to pass Cape Leeuwin at the bottom of WA, Chile’s Cape Horn and South Africa’s Cape Agulhuss.
But only two people have completed it: Russian Fedor Konyukhov whose 102-day record in 2008 she is trying to break and the only other person to circumnavigate solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica, Australian Jon Sanders.
She believes she will start to enjoy it and relax once she has negotiated her first big storm with her 15-metre fibreglass yacht, which is forecast in about one week and will occur at least once or twice a week during what is hopefully a three-month voyage.
‘Once I know the boat is happy...
A parliamentary inquiry is set to examine same-sex marriage draft laws this week.
The hearings, starting Monday, come despite Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and Derryn Hinch killing off the coalition’s proposed plebiscite on the issue in parliament last November.
The latest inquiry does not deal with the plebiscite itself but rather the bill which would be introduced should the plebiscite pass.
The committee chair, Liberal senator David Fawcett, told ABC radio he saw value in people with alternative views on the issue having the opportunity to put their stance on the public record.
Senator Fawcett does not support same sex marriage.
The draft bill covers exemptions for ministers of religion, marriage celebrants and religious bodies and organisations to refuse to conduct or solemnise marriage, the impact on sex discrimination laws and what consequential amendments would be needed to other laws.
The committee won’t be re-examining the debate for and against same-sex marriage.
Labor senator Louise Pratt, who is deputy chair of the committee, is hopeful of making progress on the issue.
‘The fact we have this inquiry really demonstrates there is an ongoing willingness… to find a way forward,’ Senator Pratt told ABC radio.
The post Inquiry into draft same-sex laws appeared first on...
Bainimarama said the new agreement 'marks a new era for the MSG and will lay a solid economic foundation suited to address a number of emerging issues' faced by the four MSG countries - Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the FLNKS in New Caledonia.
The new MSG Trade Agreement was re-negotiated over two years. "Our re-negotiated agreement is stronger, clearer, more accommodating and more co-operative than ever before."
"This new agreement will be the first time that Fiji is making commitments in services and investment under a regional trade agreement. This is because we believe in the citizens of each of our countries and we believe in our collective potential, said Bainimarama.
He said the 'trust and faith we place on our fellow MSG countries is unrivalled.'
'Though we are small nations, we are seizing the opportunity to control our own collective destiny as much as we can - to advance by our own efforts, by the strength of our own will, and by the power and ingenuity of our own people.
Bainimarama told the visiting MSG Chair that member countries have the right to be extremely proud of their commitments to the revised trade agreement.
He urged Solomon Islands to sign up to the trade agreement and offered Fiji's assistance with the transition to implement provisions of the new trade agreement.
"We look forward to the Solomon Islands joining us as well, so that goods can flow freely across our borders and our people can all enjoy competitive pricing, greater exports and greater selection of goods and services within our economies.
The Fijian leader said the historic signing of the trade agreement is a clear reflection of the unity and strength of the MSG sub regional group.
"We can never be certain of what is to come, but united behind this agreement, I can say confidently that the MSG will be ready for whatever challenges we have yet to face, said Bainimarama.
PAPUA New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has
congratulated President of the United States Donald Trump on his
More than 30.6 million people tuned in to watch Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America as he delivered his 16-minute, 12 seconds speech in front of a million people and viewers on Friday (PNG time and Saturday US time).
"On behalf of the people and Government of Papua New Guinea, I congratulate Donald Trump on his historic inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America," Mr O’Neill said.
"The United States is a strong friend of Papua New Guinea, and we will continue to build our relationship in the months and years ahead.
"At the bilateral level, Papua New Guinea and the United States co-operate on a wide number of areas of mutual interest. This includes increasing trade and investment, as well as other areas that include fisheries, education and healthcare," Mr O’Neill said.
"I will soon formally invite President Trump to attend the APEC Summit in Port Moresby in November 2018.
"As Papua New Guinea prepares to host APEC, we appreciate the ongoing co-operation we are receiving from the United States, and look to further enhance this engagement.
"The United States has long been a beacon of democracy for the world, and it is heartwarming to once again see the transition of authority between elected administrations in Washington DC," O’Neill said.
Essays, Stories and Poetry
by Papua New Guinean Women edited by Rashmii Amoah Bell
With forewords by Tanya Zeriga-Alone and Elvina Ogil
"Embraces and challenges traditional perspectives of
equality" - Dame Carol Kidu
"Outstanding, inspiring, groundbreaking" - Andrea Williams
"A remarkable achievement: fresh & authentic" - Trish Nicholson
"To be avoided at all costs. Millions agree with me. Sad" - Fake Donald Trump
And when you Tweet about this splendid book, use the hashtag #LetUsWalk
The latest State of the States report from CommSec highlights the current importance of residential construction to the health of the Queensland economy. As reported by John McCarthy in today’s Courier-Mail:
QUEENSLAND’S economy is starting to emerge from the mining downturn and is creeping back up the national rankings, according to CommSec.
The state sits in fifth spot, behind Tasmania in fourth, but CommSec said people were starting to move to Queensland, driving up the population and creating housing demand…
…Population growth in Queensland was running at 1.3 per cent, its best for two years and that is helping the jump in home starts, which is 36 per cent above the decade average….
… “The strong level of home building will support the job market, as well as consumer and business spending,’’ the CommSec report said.
While the residential construction sector is currently performing strongly, I am concerned about how long this will last, particularly given the huge increases in supply, most notably of apartments, that we are seeing. The very large amount of residential construction work in the pipeline most likely peaked toward the end of last year (see first chart below) and building approvals, particularly for apartments, declined over 2016 (see second chart below). Peter Faulkner noted in a recent post that “we continue to see the dramatic impact of the decline in unit approvals being felt disproportionately in Greater Brisbane.”
My Walk to Equality, edited by Rashmii Amoah Bell, Pukpuk Publications, 278 pages. Paperback $US10.53 or Kindle $US1.00. ISBN-10: 1542429242. ISBN-13: 978-1542429245. Available here from Amazon through Pukpuk Publications
MY Walk to Equality, a first ever collection of women’s writing from Papua New Guinea edited by Rashmii Amoah Bell, is outstanding. It is inspiring, engaging, groundbreaking and important.
Given an excerpt of 80 pages to review, accounting for 14 of the more than 80 pieces in the book, I am impressed.
Through these excerpts we can smell the village fires, be astonished at the intuitiveness of these women and gasp at the ease with which they can flit between western ideology and village traditions, comfortable in both societies - yet we can also feel their patriotism and need to be valued.
This journey is explored through four key themes - relationships, self- awareness, challenging gender roles and legacy.
The courageous women who collaborated to share these diverse personal accounts open their hearts, painting vivid pictures. The content is sensitive, constructive and offers more than the title suggests. Their stories reflect an era of change whilst retaining their cultural identity.
Emma Wakpi writes with passion about her family and her country, taking the reader on powerful journeys from traditional cultural life to contemporary Papua New Guinea.
Drum beat by Vanessa Gordon pulses through the reader- the crescendo of drumbeat echoing the explosion of voices wanting, collaborating, to be heard and acknowledged.
Leila Parina's A Paradigm Shift reflects an extraordinarily mature outlook. It is a contemporary and profound take on conciliation, traversing custom and mo...
An Australian diver was lucky to survive a shark attack off the coast of Queensland on Saturday after he was forced to wait eight hours to receive treatment. The diver, who was said by the Cairns Post to be experienced, was eventually admitted to Cairns Hospital on Sunday afternoon. The 55-year-old was attacked near the Great Barrier Reef by a large Bull shark - an aggressive breed, according to experts - at around 12:40pm local time on Saturday. The bull shark, apparently four metres long, repeatedly bit the diver causing "serious lacerations" to his left arm and abdomen, the newspaper said.
THE only profession for which I hold even the basic tertiary qualification is history.
A cynic might say that history is not even a profession, merely a distracting hobby through which deluded practitioners attempt to make sense of the past in the forlorn hope of understanding the present.
The idea that history offers any guidance as to what might happen in future is hotly contested, even amongst historians.
I belong to that group which believes it can offer useful guidance about the probable future, at least in some circumstances.
Predicting the future is a highly fraught business at the best of times because so many futures are possible at any given moment.
Basically no-one can, or ever will, fully understand how the complex interplay of social, economic, political, geographic, ecological and personal factors in human societies is going to influence events.
For this reason, the wise historian or futurist refrains from doing more than identifying general trends and offering cautious suggestions about how things might develop. Very rarely is it blindingly obvious how events are going to play out.
The idea that history can be studied and understood using scientific methods, which then allow accurate predictions to be made about the future, is regarded by most historians as a ludicrous proposition.
I was therefore more than faintly surprised to discover that an intrepid bunch of academics have banded together to create a new, multidisciplinary approach to history called Cliodynamics.
Cliodynamics treats history as science. Its practitioners develop theories that explain such dynamic processes as the rise and fall of empires, population booms and busts, and the spread and disappearance of religions.
A very strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.9 hit Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea at 04:30 UTC on January 22, 2017. The agency is reporting a depth of 136 km (84.5 miles). Geoscience Australia is reporting M7.9 at a depth of 200 km (124 miles)....... Read more »
SAD news has reached me of the death of Sir Henry Chow, 83, the patriarch of the Chow family - a long-established and respected line whose roots in Papua New Guinea go back to the latter part of the nineteenth century.
Sir Henry, a member of the fourth generation in PNG, was born in Rabaul in 1933 and educated in Rabaul and Australia, After World War II he served an apprenticeship and trained as a boat designer and builder in Australia.
The Chow family’s forefathers were peasant farmers of Guangdong Province in southern China.
In 1895, the colonial government of German New Guinea recruited a family member as a personal servant for one of its administration officers and the young man arrived in Rabaul to be soon followed by two younger brothers.
Over time, the family became part of the history and development of East New Britain and New Ireland and now has its sixth generation in PNG. Members of each generation have been active in community affairs and contributed much to the development and advancement of the areas where they lived.
Sir Henry married in Australia and returned to Rabaul in 1958, establishing the Toboi Shipbuilding Company. The business grew quickly, expanded and prospered. Starting with eight local employees in 1958 over the next 14 years it built 170 vessels and increased its workforce to 120.
During that period, Sir Henry formed a joint venture with the Kambara Kisen (Shipping) Company to build steel ships for the coastal trade in PNG and the South Pacific. But after building six vessels, the venture collapsed in 1971 due to lack of orders for steel ships.
In 1972 the shipbuilding side of the business was phased out but the Toboi Shipbuilding Company is still active in providing services to the coastal shipping industry and the fishing industry.
These days Sir Henry’s family owns, operates...
USGS Event Page
41km WNW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
2017-01-22 04:30:23 UTC
136.0 km depth
USGS Tectonic Summary:
The January 22nd, 2017, M 7.9 earthquake west of Panguna, Papua New Guinea, occurred as the result of reverse faulting at an intermediate depth (~150 km) beneath the island of Bougainville (North Solomons). At the location of the earthquake, the Australia plate is converging with and subducting beneath the Pacific plate in an east-northeast direction at a rate of approximately 103 mm/yr.
Women marching for women- blacks marching for blacks- cops marching for cops- but NOT ONE MOTHERFUCKER marching for children. I guess THEY don’t matter as much as everyone else. And these protesters wonder why no one gives a fuck about their problems. Maybe if you all marched for each other- but right now- you all just look like entitled asshole victims- who don-t care about anything or anyone BUT yourselves. See how far you get with that…
The 7.9 M earthquake event occurred on Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, near the Panguna, Solomon Islands Region (population 130,000). M 7.9 – 41km WNW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea Time: 2017-01-22 04:30:23 UTC Location: 6°12’50.4″S 155°07’19.2″E Depth: 136.00 km (84.51 mi) – very deep 7.9 M earthquake event near Panguna, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea USGS […]
Originally posted on
? We are all grieved over the car attack in the Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne. Debate has raged on my Facebook page about whether it is terrorism related or not. I have not entered into the debate as I have one simple question that I think AustralianâŹ"s deserve to have…
Tasmania's Liberal Government wants the Commonwealth to delay the expansion of Centrelink's troubled debt recovery program.
Earlier this week it was revealed the program would be expanded later in the year to focus on aged pensions and disability support payments.
Tasmania's Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma said in a statement she called on her federal counterpart Alan Tudge to proceed with the expansion only when he was confident the process was correct.
"We are concerned about the issuing of incorrect debt notices and the impact this is having on vulnerable Tasmanians, and their families, who have been inadvertently caught up in this process," she said.
"The recent announcement that families, pensioners and people living with disability will be added to the debt recovery program adds to the concern given the high percentage of Tasmanians who are in receipt of such payments.
Firm stops short of committing to legal action, saying it is ‘reviewing Centrelink’s conduct’
The law firm Slater and Gordon says it is investigating whether Centrelink’s controversial debt recovery system is in breach of the law. But the firm has stopped short of committing to legal action, saying it is only in preliminary stages.
“Slater and Gordon is currently reviewing Centrelink’s conduct for the purpose of confirming whether it has engaged in any contraventions of applicable laws,” Slater and Gordon’s practice group leader, Tim Finney told Guardian Australia. “This investigation is still in its formative stages and it is too early to say what form any possible legal action against Centrelink would take.”
The Australian Lawyers Association has said it believes those wrongly targeted with debts could sue the government but said those billed for lesser amounts would need to mount a class action for a civil case to be viable.
The human services minister, Alan Tudge, continued to defend the automated debt recovery system on Friday. The system, which has been the subject of repeated complaints, relies on a messy data-matching process to identify discrepancies between Centrelink and Australian taxation office records.
Where humans would previously have weeded out errors, the system now automatically sends letters demanding an explanation of years-old income discrepancies within 21 days. More than 170,000 letters have been sent since July.
If the letter is not received, or a person is unable to respond with sufficient evidence, the debt is imposed and individuals are forced to begin paying the money back....
The US faces a major problem with prescription drug prices. Even as the prices of most goods and services have barely budged in recent years, the cost of drugs has surged.
During the presidential campaign, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump cited the high cost of prescription drugs as an issue that needed to be addressed. Most recently, the president-elect took direct aim at the pharmaceutical industry, saying it’s “getting away with murder” and arguing “new bidding procedures” are necessary to lower drug prices.
Trump didn’t get into specifics about what that would mean, but the most often suggested way to lower drug prices has been to expand the ability of major government buyers, such as Medicare, to negotiate prices.
While such negotiations could result in lower prices, we believe, based on our experience as economists and public policy experts, an alternative using public utility pricing would work better and ensure the discovery and distribution of important new medications.
The recent drug price data are indeed frightening.
In 2015 spending on prescription drugs rose by 8.5% to US$309.5 billion, compared with a rise of just 1.1% for consumer goods and services. Spending for specialty drugs increased by an even heftier 15%, on average. Individual examples that made big headlines, such as Turing Pharmaceuticals...
Originally posted on
Facial recognition to replace passports in airports. Photo: NEC Australia’s Customs and Border Protection will install 92 facial recognition terminals in international airports as part of an $18 million deal to replace passports with a “contactless” biometric identification system. The program will see all international passengers processed by biometric recognition…
You could get drunk this Australia Day, or try something different… learn about the real history of this nation. Amy McQuire helps you dip your toe in the water.
It’s one of the greatest myths about Aboriginal people: that before European invasion, Aboriginal people were simply living off the land, with no civilization and a culture that didn’t make it out of the ‘stone age’ despite tens of thousands of years of human habitation.
If you believe this trope, you would be one of those arguing that the invasion and the massacres and small pox and stolen children that came along with it, was all for the ‘greater good’.
You would be one of those on Twitter recently messaging me rubbish like “What have the Aboriginals invented? A throwing stick?” Or “Civilisation would have never progressed in this country”.
You would be one of those people who believes that Aboriginal people should be thankful and rather than whinge about ‘Australia Day’, instead start assimilating into society, and maybe bring along with you a side of lamb chops to throw on the barbie, mate.
But if you are one of those people, you really are regurgitating 19th century propaganda and after 200 years, I thought you might have advanced, just a little.
As you celebrate ‘Australia Day’ this year, maybe start to think not just of the massacres on the frontier, but also the strength of Aboriginal civilization, and how it has survived despite the repeated attempts to extinguish it.
Here is a handy guide to get you started:
If you have ever sweltered in the Queensland heat or shivered in the Canberra cold, you might have wondered what shelter Aboriginal people used over tens of thousands of years?
The myth that Aboriginal people didn’t have towns or villages was used by European colonists to paint blackfellas as primitive, a view that has still persisted to this day.
But different Aboriginal tribes had a diverse architecture that varied according to the climate and season. In some areas, campsites and villages were occupied all year round, while other camps were impermanent, and occupied depending seasonal patterns.
Professor Paul Memmott from the University of Queensland has documented the complexity of Aboriginal architecture extensively in his book ‘Gunyah, Goondie + Wurley: The Aboriginal Architecture of Australia’.
“The modest nature of ‘Aboriginal architecture’ poses numerous questions concerning the role of the built form in Australian Indigenous cultures… (it) was misconstrued by colonial imm...
She’s a powerful and passionate writer and activist, writes Geoff Russell. But she’s missed the mark on the causes of cancer and dispossession.
Almost since the beginning there was “the left” and “the right”. We are talking politics here, not handedness. “The left” was always defined roughly as being of the workers while “the right” belonged to the bosses.
The workers inhabited the dark satanic mills of William Blake’s industrial revolution; they lived in poverty and had short filthy wretched lives. The bosses of the industrial revolution were in some sense a new group historically. They were, as they still are, the middle class; their job was traditionally to generate wealth for the idle rich.
“Environmentalism” has also been around for a very long time but was mostly the domain of the idle rich. Royalty, frequently claiming a divine mandate, shut the peasants out of hunting grounds to preserve what they revealingly called game.
This kind of environmentalism goes back over a thousand years. It’s based on a clear understanding that the natural increase in bears, stags, lions or even swans or ducks is always low in comparison to the food needs of the masses. Let them eat bread!
In Australia, a few thousand hunters can bag 2-4 kilos of duck meat each year without wiping out the species, but do the math on 23 million people trying to consume ducks like they do chickens, about 5 to 7 times a week.
Put simply, hunting is only ever sustainable when hardly anybody does it. Royalty has always known this and can be counted among the first environmentalists.
The concept of “green-left” is a somewhat strange modern hybrid. Environmentalism has always been about prohibiting or restricting the exploitation of natural resources while the left has been about sharing them equitably. A consistent green-left ethos requires simultaneous restrictions on exploitation while ensuring the fruits of what little exploitation is allowed are shared equitably.
The place of animals in this picture is highly ambiguous. The Royals love a heath or forest replete with animals, but mainly so they can either shoot them or have their dogs rip them to pieces. The similarity of the words peasant and pheasant is perhaps no coincidence. The idea that animals might be more than mere resources is alien to early environmentalism and still to many greens; whether with or without a capital ‘G’.
by Paul Craig Roberts Editor’s note: This first appeared on Paul Craig Roberts’ website President Trump’s brief inaugural speech was a declaration of war against the entirety of the American Ruling Establishment. All of it. Trump made it abundantly clear that Americans’ enemies are right here at home: globalists, neoliberal economists, neoconservatives and other unilateralists accustomed to […]
In his attack on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for not supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is playing into the hands of isolationists and protectionists, writes Ian McAuley.
Earlier this week the Prime Minister tried to resurrect the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade and investment deal involving 12 Pacific rim countries including the US, Japan and Australia.
While countries such as Mexico, Chile and Vietnam have been reasonably enthusiastic about the TPP, it has had a difficult run in the US. Even though most analysts believe it would be advantageous to big American businesses, including the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, it has been stalled in Congress, and its scrapping has been one of Donald Trump’s few consistent election promises.
In Australia, in spite of campaigns by the Greens, Getup and others warning about its adverse consequences it has received little public attention. A 2014 survey by the Australia Institute found that only 11 per cent of Australians had heard anything about the TPP. Now that Trump has raised the issue, a few more people may know there is some proposal floating around, but there is still little public awareness of what is meant by the “TPP”.US president Donald Trump. (IMAGE: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)
This lack of awareness can be put down to the secrecy around the TPP negotiations, its lack of immediacy (it’s been seven years in the making), and the mainstream media’s general inability to address serious issues of economic policy – stories about ministers’ travel rorts and supposedly ruinous budget deficits are much easier to cover.
When the TPP – or as much of it as can be seen through the veil of secrecy – is explained to people, the response is generally negative, because the TPP is no ordinary trade deal of the type that sees countries reduce their tariffs and associated barriers against imports.
Australia has been through that process of trade liberalisation: average tariff support for manufacturing is now a trivial 2.2 per cent, way down from the 30 to 40 per cent rates in the 1960s.
Rather, at the core of the TPP is liberalisation of foreign investment. Of main concern to analysts and the informed public are Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, which legally privilege the interests of investors o...
Australia’s angriest white man has taken aim at childcare. And so Nelly Thomas has taken aim at him.
In case you missed it, Senator Leyonhjelm shat all over another important thing recently: childcare. (Sorry, I know that’s an impolite opening sentence, but it does match the tone of Leyonhjelm’s mutterings, so I ran with it.)
In short, Senator Leyonhjelm has got a bee is his bonnet about childcare which, he thinks, simply amounts to wiping noses and making sure kids don’t die.
Leyonhjelm thinks that the only reason childcare educators (and yes, they do prefer that description Senator) are now “over-educated” (that is, qualified) is because,
“[P]arents seeking to justify the decision to place their children in childcare are demanding standards that allow them to believe their little darlings are receiving a better start in life than if they stayed at home.”
I’ll translate: if middle class mothers are going to be crazy enough to have kids, they should be home with them instead of pursuing silly things like careers and paying bills. And because they feel guilty about it, they have made the work of childcare (which is easy and should be done by grannies and aunties) all professional n’ stuff. Now it costs too much.
Of course, Senator Leyonhjelm’s real concern* is not money or an anti-feminist agenda, it’s The Kids and working-class women who, he suggests, would dearly love to stay home with their children but can’t because the lure of childcare subsidies is just too much to resist! Working class and poor women apparently don’t enjoy work or gain any benefit from it; they only do it because the government will pay some of their childcare costs.
Some of the Senator’s best friends are working class mothers, so he’d know (as an aside, for a man who so often calls for “common sense”, the idea that anyone would consider putting small children in childcare a way to make money is wackadoodle, even by Leyonhjelm standards.)
If Leyonhjelm’s remarks weren’t just the ravings of an apparently very angry man – his Facebook entry is so full of contempt – it would do well to ignore them. However, the man is a Senator and his views are indicative of a wider undervaluing of childcare educators, care-work in general and frankly, women’s work.
First things first, childcare educators do a bloody important job. Regardless of your views on why and whether or not kids should be in care, they are and while the “little darlings” (his words – but he means them pejorativ...
This blog post introduces something new to Stumbling Through the Past. I want to help authors at the start of their book-writing careers but I can’t possibly review every debut history or biography that is published. So I hope to post … Continue reading
The language used around mental illness – and the stigma attached to it – needs serious review, writes Brooke Murphy.
Recent media coverage of Carrie Fisher’s death has been dominated by outpouring of love from friends, fans, and fellow stars. Fisher was most famous for playing Princess Leia, the doughnut-bunned heroine of the Star Wars franchise. Just like her mother, she was a triple threat. But she wasn’t known for dancing or singing. Fisher was an actress, an author, and a fierce mental health advocate.
What was refreshing about Fisher was her honesty. She made no secret of the fact that she was bipolar and had battled addiction. After footage emerged of Carrie frantically pacing around a cruise-ship stage in 2013, she explained what was happening instead of trying to cover it up. She told Daily Mail:
I was in a severely manic state, which bordered on psychosis. Certainly delusional. I wasn’t clear about what was going on. I was just trying to survive.… There are different versions of a manic state, and normally they’re not as extreme as this became. I’ve only had this happen one other time, 15 years ago, so I didn’t have a plan of action.
It is important to note that Fisher made this statement in a Hollywood world where admissions to hospital for mental health issues are frequently explained away as ‘exhaustion and dehydration.’ Fisher didn’t want or need anyone’s pity, and clearly didn’t see the point in making up more palatable excuses for her breakdown. She was who she was and made no apologies. If a big star like Fisher didn’t give any fucks about identifying as mentally ill, why should we?
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have as much power or authority as Fisher. Some of us hide aspects of our identities to keep our jobs, to keep our friends and family happy, or to hold onto our friends. When it comes to mental illness, we view it as the ‘other’ – a foreign experience that is not shared by the dominant group. This line of thinking conceals the truth; we all suffer from mental illness at some point. For some of us, it may come in the form of stressing over exams or falling into a brief depression after a breakup. Many people, such as Fisher, deal with more extreme versions of everyday experiences of mental illness. So why do we view ‘mentally illness’ as something to be feared?
One of the problems is that mental illnesses are categorised as illnesses or diseases. Small pox was a disease. A really, really horrible infectious disease. What did we do? We invented vaccines to eliminate it. It’s wonderful that we are working on cures for illnesses and diseases, but mental conditions don’t belong in the same category.
Brisbane Free University are hosting our very first Radical Reading Group! The idea is pretty simple: a bunch of folks getting together to think through some big ideas, drink tea, embrace our deeply earnest enthusiasm for critical theory and gooey philosophical chats.
The focus of this reading group will be on counter-canonical works; writing by and about Indigenous, queer, black, POC, anti-capitalist and feminist ideas and theories. The first month of readings are uploaded in a google drive. You can access it through the link below. Beyond that, we’ll be opening up the reading list to suggestions from participants.
These discussion groups will be open to everyone, regardless of whether or not you participate in the reading side of things. Each week, we’ll upload the readings as well as a short summary and some framing questions. You can read through those, or just show up on the night to listen and think with us. We hope this reading group will be earnestly fun, accessible, fumble-friendly.
Where? Venue TBC – West End
When? 5.30pm – 6.30pm, Wednesday 25 January, 2016
What? Casual discussion and reading
READING AND DISCUSSION GUIDE:
Week 1: Wednesday 25 January, 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Discussion topic: Indigenous feminism, postcolonialism and the politics of representation
1. Aileen Moreton-Robinson, “Talkin’ Up to the White Woman”
Introduction: Talkin’ the talk
Chapter 6: Tiddas Speaking Strong
2. Irene Watson, “Power of the muldarbi, the road to its demise”
SHORTER OPINION PIECES:
3. Celeste Liddle: “How to show solidarity with Indigenous Australians this Invasion Day”
4. Amy McQuire: “All feminists are created equal, but some are more equal than others”
FICTION AND POETRY:
5. Oodgeroo Noonuccal: “Racism” | “I am Proud” | “Then and now”
6. Alexis Wright, “Carpentaria,” (Chapter 1)
READINGS AVAILABLE HERE: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B88BefcZ-uPCSElNeVBWVXFreEE
We acknowledge that we’ll be meeting on stolen land. We acknowledge and thank the traditional owners of the lands on which we live and work. We work to remedy the wrongs of colonialism, and their ongoing legacies. Sovereignty never ceded.
Nicole Kidman has had contracts cancelled by two Hollywood studios and has been warned by “famous liberal celebrities” to “steer clear of the Oscars“, according to a source at Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles. Kidman has also received threatening letters telling her to “go back where you came from” sent by intolerant liberals, despite the fact she was born in Hawaii and holds dual US-Australian citizenship. Why all the hate? Because on January 10th, Nicole Kidman, a Hollywood A-lister, dared to go against the Hollywood agenda and told an interviewer that “we need to support whoever is the president”. Sounds like a reasonable statement in a democracy. But then the backlash began. A few days later, mainstream media decided to mobilize against her and began reporting that Kidman exhibited “bizarre behavior” during the Golden Globes … despite the fact the awards show had taken place a week ago and was no longer in the news cycle. Make no mistake, free speech is under attack by the mainstream media and Hollywood. And they are using underhand methods Vigilant citizen reports: There is something seriously wrong with mass media and today’s political climate. Censorship is sharply on the rise. Character assassination is [...]
The post Nicole Kidman ‘Blacklisted’ From Hollywood For Vowing To Support President appeared first on Your News Wire.
I've been to Bourke St Mall so many times, today was different. Proud to be Melbournian seeing such kindness after this unspeakable tragedy. pic.twitter.com/rm2gfkZEtU — Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) January 22, 2017 Bill Shorten visits #bourkest floral tribute, says "evil hoon" struck Melbourne's heart. PM due shortly also. pic.twitter.com/26wZPRt85L — Pia...
With 26 January looming, it is that time of year in Australia when the gatekeepers of the national narrative go into overdrive.
Where I live, in western Sydney, it is easy enough to look around the train carriage or campus or shopping centre and celebrate diversity. It is equally easy to forget, unless venturing into the large and poorly-conceived social housing estates, that western Sydney has the largest Aboriginal population in the country.
And on 26 January, it is impossible to ignore the social fact that white Australia relentlessly, aggressively promotes the dominant agenda: whites are nation-builders, we ‘let’ the migrants in, we obscure the violence of our own ‘entry’, we are the arbiters of what is, and of what is not, Australian.
An early salvo from DIBP
One example of the dominant narrative is how junior minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke stopped Freemantle Council holding a citizenship ceremony on Saturday 28 January. His is the department which the Australian National Audit Office reported has spent $2.2 billion on off-shore detention without authorisation.
This shambolic, cruel, militarised, and eye-wateringly profligate branch of executive government is designed to manufacture and disseminate xenophobic hate. And its 2IC (from the wealthy white northern suburbs of Sydney) confidently told a local government in Western Australia that its citizenship ceremony ‘has got to be apolitical, non-commercial, bipartisan and secular’.
Given the rabid politics in which white Australia engages around 26 January, these criteria would be met by changing the date of the first Freemantle citizenship ceremony for 2017.
At no point did Hawke articulate what exactly is ‘political’ (or commercial, or partisan, or religious) about 28 January. Unlike 26 January, which is obnoxiously white and hideously commercial, 28 January is just another day on the calendar. There was no mention that 28 January is the saints day of Thomas Aquinas, although Hawke is a...
Back in December we announced the first round of bands that were set to hit Sydney’s Factory Theatre in February for the third edition of the Sydney Psych Fest. Now, if that wasn’t enough fuzzed-out rock for you, the folks in charge have decided to add another batch of bands to the already stacked lineup.
While psych fans will already have a brilliant day thanks in part to a number of brilliant bands such as Carsick Cars, White+, and Melbourne’s Flyying Colours, the Sydney Psych Fest has stoked fans by announcing their second lineup.
Brisbane’s Dreamtime kick off the lineup, along with Grinding Eyes, and Sydney’s Unity Floors. The Jim Mitchells, Dead Radio, and Thorax also join the ranks, along with Comacozer and Cat Heaven.
With lineup set to drive psych-lovers wild with heavy levels of distortion, sonic landscapes, and guitar pedals galore, Sydney Psych Fest is set to be one of the hottest tickets this festival season.
The third edition of Sydney Psych Fest takes place at Sydney’s Factory Theatre on February 25th, with tickets available from the venue.
M7.9 strikes WNW of Panguna, PNG EQ Details Magnitude: 7.9 mww [USGS/EHP] Location: 6.214°S, 155.122°E [uncertainty: ± 7.8 km] Depth 136.0 km [uncertainty± 1.9] Time: 2017-01-22 04:30:23.140 UTC Number of Phases: 145 Minimum Distance: 397.0 km (3.57°) Travel Time Residual: 1.03 s Azimuthal Gap: 15° This earthquake struck onshore and did NOT generate a tsunami. […]
Just for fun I recently asked Erin, “Now that
the kids are in summer school, don’t you think it’s about time you
went out and got yourself a job? I hate seeing you wallow in
unemployment for so long.”
by Steve Pavlina
She smiled and said, “Wow. I have been unemployed a really long time. That’s weird… I like it!”
Neither of us have had jobs since the ’90s (my only job was in 1992), so we’ve been self-employed for quite a while.
It doesn't get much clearer. Thanks to Bill Thompson for the video. And as many readers have pointed out - this bloke has form. Don't you know who I am? By the time the plane landed, Qantas had withdrawn its complaint. Thursday, 02 May 2013 I have had so many...
your solidarity this Survival Day - Amnesty International
Australia: This year on Survival Day, let’s stand in solidarity
with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise
the survival and resilience of the oldest living culture in the
We encourage our staff and supporters to support local Survival Day events. Contact event organisers and volunteer your time. Participate in a local event, or if appropriate, host a Community is Everything stall at one. Better yet, bring your family and friends along
UPDATE: A magnitude 8 earthquake has hit the Solomon Islands and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says it could generate tsunami waves on nearby islands. The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake hit near Arawa in Papua New Guinea at a depth of 167 kilometers (103 miles). There are no immediate reports of casualties […]
The post Tsunami risk still being assessed after 7.9 quake in Solomons [UPDATED] appeared first on Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media.
A major earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.0 has struck Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, prompting a tsunami alert for both the islands and the wider region, seismologists say. Only few details are available. FOR LIVE UPDATES: Twitter, Facebook The earthquake, which struck at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, was centered about 37 kilometers (23 miles) northwest of Panguna, a town on Bougainville Island that is located northeast of mainland Papua New Guinea and is geographically part of the Solomon Islands archipelago. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which put the preliminary magnitude at 8.4, said the earthquake struck at a depth of 168 kilometers (104 miles), making it a relatively deep quake. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the preliminary magnitude at 8.0. As a result, a tsunami alert has been issued for Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Vanuatu, and Chuuk. "Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, widespread hazardous tsunami waves are possible," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
In the West, we’ve all been spoon fed the idea that we are free citizens of sovereign countries, where our democratically elected governments rule according to the peoples’ wishes. If that’s not achieved, it’s usually explained as being due to misfortunes such as crises, security threats or wars, or the stupidity of our governments. The few people that doubt these explanations, or even suspect hidden hands behind the occurrences of our time or the official narrative of our history, are easily dismissed as conspiracy nuts.
For sure, there were no hidden hands when humanity was in its “pre-history,” predating our “real history” as seen by most. For about 200,000 years our ancestors lived in small nomadic communities, sharing the food obtained by hunting and gathering. Problems, plans and rules were settled in probably long discussions, where the opinions were usually harmonised until a consensus was reached. Our pre-historic world was ruled by highly sovereign people.
Things started to change about 10,000 years ago with the revolutionary innovations of crop and livestock farming. Many communities became sedentary and small villages grew bigger. The makers of tools, clothes, pottery or art had to barter with the people producing food. At some point, money such as shells or clay tablets came in as a handy substitute for bartering. Then silver and gold coins appeared, and inevitably, some people became poorer and others richer. Next, people with a surplus started to lend their money to people in need of it. At times as a favour, but usually against interest.
It was then discovered that even a small percentage of interest applied over a few years would quickly double a debt, e.g. 10% over seven years. Thus, the treacherous power of usury revealed itself, capable of destroying the fabric of any egalitarian society. The ancient knowledge of the wreckage caused by usury led to its prohibition in the three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Today, it’s still forbidden in Islam.
Through usury, the first bankers of Babylon became so wealthy and powerful that they controlled kings and priests. Commercial laws were drawn up that protected the elite and even gave them the right to treat conquered people as a commodity: Big Slavery, in multi-colour, became a key business. After the fall of Babylon, other empires like the Persian, the Phoenician and the Roman came and went. In all, the question “who rules the world” was easy to answer....
Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I
think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m
liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s
insane about it.
– John Lennon (1940-1980), English singer and songwriter
Lennon and others externalise the apparent paranoia that wells up inside us. “The world has gone mad!” More often than not we partition this voice off, content to view the world as others prescribe it. But who are these others, and what do they want?
The term psychopath is often criminally misjudged, thanks largely to unhelpful portrayals of sick, twisted and violent psycho-character types in the popular media. This has led, by way of public ignorance, to the common belief that the psychopath has no function, role or place in open society. A swift offload that allows us, the apparent sane majority, to circumvent our worst fears.
Any notion that the psychopath is incapable of functioning in open society is, according to M.E. Thomas1 – a self-confessed sociopath – flawed. The question is not the capacity to function, but rather what capacity or form that function takes. As Thomas says, psychopaths and sociopaths share an intertwined clinical history; both can function, they just do so differently. And though we are left to muse on what mask that function may take, in many social situations they excel.
Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck was a French biologist who advocated a theory of evolution widely rebuked in establishment circles. Lamarck’s major work was published in the same year Charles Darwin was born – who would go on to supplant Lamarck’s theory 50 years later. In Lamarck’s world cooperation prevailed over Darwinian competition as the driving mechanism of evolution.
According to authors G. Greenberg and M.M. Haraway,2 it was Darwin’s view that served to reflect and sustain a Victorian society tied to free market, capitalist and imperial values. His model supported a dog-eat-dog, life is hard, code of practice; the scientific valediction of the natural world as played out on a brutal, cold and insensitive landscape. Arguably the perfect environment for the aspiring modern day psychopath, and a prevailing view that the poet Tennyson described as nature, red in tooth and claw.
Although diagnosing definitive psychopathy in individuals remains somewhat...
Recently my wife and I were driving back from Seattle to the island of San Juan where we live. To reach the island you must take a ferry from the small port town of Anacortes, some two hours north of Seattle, once the famed capital of Grunge. Now the stomping ground of Yahoo, Google, Amazon and Microsoft, this new Seattle is in constant motion… but not the motion of people walking about, conversing and interacting.
As in so many places around the world today, Seattlites’ gaze is increasingly dug into their smart phones, a ceaseless thumb twirling, the last vestige of the bodily urge to move. Except, that is, for the hordes of Lance Armstrong lookalikes speeding by on their bicycles, the same look in their eyes, the same expression on their faces.
Around this digitised social mass there is only an inexorable motion upwards: everywhere you look you see scaffolding rising to support the mutating species of tech-humans required to run this ultimate software machine. Glisteningly boring architecture wraps its soulless coils around the tree-lined communities with their famed water views, slowly asphyxiating them as might a giant python its prey. This brave new world emanates a distinct whiff of Singularity as technology continues its phallic and parabolic rise against the dwindling forces of nature.
Or perhaps not. Nature is also uprising, with an unstoppable force of its own. As TS Eliot once wrote, the centre no longer holds. From the relative calm at the eye of the storm, we are now being spun out into the concentric rings of tempest that surround it. The centre is collapsing as the outer rings unleash the hounds of chaos.
A perfect storm? Loss of faith in government, in religion, in financial regulation, in science, in our humanity; even loss of trust in our species capacity to prevail against self-administered adversity. Shadows are building around the glib optimism spouted by governments with their sycophantic media vomit and cherry-picking disregard for scientific consistency.
As we shall see, this entropy at the centre need not always mean death and destruction. It could mean exactly the opposite. In fact, it is this v...
“What mystery is the sea,” exclaimed Herman Melville, “whose stirrings speak of a hidden soul beneath!”1 I only understood what the great American meant for the first time two years ago, while visiting the Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences in Honduras. It was located at an otherwise uninhabited islet just off the mainland, where a shallow barrier corralled more than thirty dolphins within some six square acres. The top of the fence stood so low above the water, all but the most arthritic dolphin could easily hop over it. In fact, several have made good their escape in this manner, I was told, only to jump back inside a few days later.
As part of their daily routine, all the resident dolphins are herded together and taken out to sea, where they often frolic with their friends and relations in the wild for an hour or so – much like walking one’s pet dogs – before returning to the fenced-in islet. Perhaps they regard it as a sanctuary from sharks, enjoy its largesse of flattering attention from scientists and tourists, are bribed by free squid and herring – among their favourite delicacies – or all these amenities and more no human can guess.
Together with fellow tourists guided by a local handler, we waded into shallow depths and were immediately met by a female dolphin, which allowed us to come quite close, even touch her. Expecting to feel a hard or at least tough, scaly exterior, I was surprised by her supple, smooth, warm skin, so human-like.
“No one who has ever touched the skin of a dolphin,” wrote famed oceanographer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, “is likely to forget the silken, elastic, soft feel of it.”2 But a deeper impression was made by her light brown eyes. Behind the anticipated high intelligence and complex awareness, there was something even more compelling lurking deeper inside. If, as the old French saying has it, “the eyes are the mirror of the soul,” then her gaze betrayed a core mystery comparable only to a kindred connection.3
The feeling is not uncommon. Cetacean researcher Ann Spurgeon spoke for many, when she observed, “We looked often into the dolphins’ eyes, and the quality of the look they returned was unlike that of any animal we have known.”4
According to no less an authority on the sea than Cousteau himself, “it is obvious that dolphins are often motivated by curiosity, and especially by curiosity about man. One literally can see it in their eyes. This is a fact that can be doubted only by someone who has never really looked a dolphin in the eye...
You can communicate with minds on the other side. In fact, you already do, whether or not you know it. It’s just a matter of learning to do so consciously. You already use the necessary techniques. Communication is communication, whether with physical beings or non-physical.
I have been doing this for more than 25 years. After some fumbling experiments with automatic writing, I learned how to engage in written dialogue, and in the next few years I learned how to get into closer touch with what I now call The Guys Upstairs (TGU). Early in 1993 I allowed them to come through in speech as I held myself in a conscious but altered state, and this led to years of my acting as conduit for them to answer the questions posed by others.
What I can do, you can learn to do, and I’ll show you how. It isn’t really difficult. Employing this technique correctly, within its limitations, will provide you with information. Once you obtain that information, you have to weigh it, just as you do with information you obtain in other ways. Verification is always going to be an issue. But that merely amounts to saying, don’t check your common sense at the door.
I don’t use the word “channelling,” chiefly because it makes the process seem more mysterious, more “special” than it is. So one day I asked the guys for a better way to describe the process we were engaged in, and they came up with Intuitive Linked Communication, or ILC. I like that. It is a good descriptor that doesn’t exalt either the process or those engaged in it. It is simply a method of mind-to-mind communication.
A little thought will show you that mind-to-mind communication is the same process whether we think of it as telepathy, or access to guidance, or channelling, or after-death communication. In each case, your mind directly contacts another mind. The variable is not the process, but the other mind.
Telepathy connects you to a mind in another physical body.
Accessing guidance connects you to minds specifically attuned to yours.
What is commonly called channelling connects you to minds on the other side that are, by definition, within your range, but are not necessarily specifically attuned to you.
And after-death communication is nothing but connecting with specific minds on the other sid...
Solar energy and cosmic radiation have electrical influences over a multitude of human activities including human health. Mainstream science has begun to accept these effects, and to investigate the topic in a serious way, but the science itself is by no means ‘new’.
At the December 1926 annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society, Russian Professor Alexander Tchijevsky (also spelt Chizhevsky) presented the paper “Physical Factors of the Historical Process.” The paper examined the cyclical variations in the sunspot number of the Solar Cycle in order to create a mass index of human excitability throughout history. He found that revolutions and periods of intense fighting seemed to occur during Solar Maxima – the period of greatest activity in the 11-year solar cycle of the Sun – while cultural flourishing and social cohesion tended to occur during Solar Minima.
It was in this paper that Tchijevsky wrote:
The Sun is an enormous generator of electric energy and emits it in the form of radiation and induction. The Sun is surrounded by an electromagnetic field, the limits of which reach beyond the farthermost planet Neptune, and therefore the Earth with its electromagnetic field is in the Sun’s field of tremendous power.1
Tchijevsky and other observers at this time noticed that during the period of maximum solar activity, all of the Sun’s phenomena would acquire tremendous size and strength, and that, “The Sun ejects streams of anode and cathode rays which ionize the Earth’s atmosphere (Birke, Arrhenius, Nordmann, Paulsen, Villards) and create certain effects.”
Based on previous research, Tchijevsky postulated that:
The influence of the Sun on the human organism results in chemical changes in the pigment of the skin, in the chaining of the heart-beat, in the alterations in the chemical composition of the blood and the latter results in changes in the general condition of the organism and its nervous tonicity (Lenkei, Behring, Hasselback, Nogler, Aimes, Rollier, Revillet, Marques, d’Oelsnitz, Robin, Moleshott, Loeb, I. Newton, Professor Bechtereff, Lombroso).
Given that the varying amount of the Sun’s energy received by the different climatic zones has such a great influence on humanity, Tchijevsky posed the question: do the periodical changes of the Sun’s activity resulting in the amou...
What are thoughts – are they real, and once created are they things that exist independent of our minds? Are they constructs created by our soul’s mental and emotional faculties? If so, how do these faculties mould consciousness into the creation of thoughts? In many of the world’s religions, mystical and esoteric traditions there is a belief that once a thought comes into being it becomes a real entity that exists separately from the thinker.
The first time I became aware that our thoughts had a profound effect on our personal reality was as an adolescent in reference to Mark 7:15 in the Bible. In this passage Jesus says, “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.” In explaining that we are not what we eat but what we think, Jesus was alluding to Proverbs 23:7: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” It was during this time I began seriously contemplating what these two passages meant, but could not fathom their true implications.
In the late 1960s I began studying a Kabbalistic meditation known as pathworking and had some profound experiences in which I could visualise mythological figures on the lower paths of the Tree of Life. The questions I asked then was, am I creating these figures out of my own thoughts and are those figures real on some level? I had no answers.
Several years later I began studying a new method of meditation form – the Diamond Way tradition of Tibetan Buddhism – a form of Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism. In studying Buddhism, it became evident from their teachings the physical world we experience is created from our thoughts and our reality is an illusion. Trying to sort through the implications of what I was learning, I stumbled upon the writings of Prentice Mulford, one of the founders in the late 1800s of the New Thought movement. In his book Thoughts Are Things he explained how our thoughts influence our spiritual, mental and physical health. Our thoughts create sickness as well as wellness.
I was becoming convinced that our thoughts in some way were creating our reality. It was at this point I re-connected with the Kabbalah, this time magical Kabbalah. This led me into the many streams of magic, especially Renaissance magic and later Tibetan Buddhist magic. I soon discovered in the Western magical traditions the practitioner, through ceremonial rituals, moulds reality into their biddi...
If Brion Gysin had not existed, it probably would have been necessary to invent him, as the saying goes. Pre-eminent multimedia psychedelic shaman of the latter-half of the twentieth century, Gysin was something of a jack-of-all-trades: artist, calligrapher, entrepreneur, kinetic sculptor, novelist, performance artist, photographer, poet, raconteur, restaurateur, and traveller in this-and-other worlds. Brion did it all.
Even a brief list of the names he crossed paths with sounds like a veritable who’s who: Laurie Anderson, Francis Bacon, David Bowie, Paul Bowles, Ira Cohen, Ornette Coleman, Max Ernst, Marianne Faithfull, Leonor Fini, Jean Genet, Keith Haring, Billie Holliday, Brian Jones, Timothy Leary, Iggy Pop, Genesis P-Orridge, Patti Smith, Gore Vidal – and, of course, his long-term friend and collaborator, William Burroughs – are among the friends, fellow-travellers and sometimes collaborators that have spoken of their admiration for the man and his work. As his biographer, John Geiger, wrote:
Brion Gysin may be the most influential cultural figure of the twentieth century that most people have never heard of.
‘Brion Gysin’ was originally John Clifford Brian Gysin, born 19 January 1916 in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England. He never knew his English-born father, who had emigrated to Canada, just in time to marry and father a child, before joining up and getting sent back to Europe to die in the First World War. After moving back to Edmonton in Canada with his young widowed mother, Gysin always preferred to stress his Swiss ancestry via his paternal grandfather, but even then he would complain later in life concerning the ‘delivery’ of his birth:
Wrong address! Wrong address! There’s been a mistake in the mail. Send me back. Wherever you got me, return me. Wrong time, wrong place, wrong colour.
The young Gysin wanted to “have adventures and see visions” and figured that Paris was the place. Moving there at 18, his career as a painter should have got off to a spectacular start: a chance encounter with Marie-Beth Aurenche – then still the first Mrs Max Ernst – gave access to the hottest scene in town, the Surrealists. Without formal art tuition, Gysin got some basic tips from the Argentinian spitfire, Leonor Fini, but the main lesson came from visiting Ernst’s studio and seeing that the objective was “to make the paint make the painting.” Barely 19, Gysin was...
In its last session for 2016 the Queensland Labor AWU Government introduced the Industrial Relations Bill - you can read all about it in the Hansard here. At 7.44PM 30 November 2016 Mr Millar, the member for Gregory described some of the effects: the cost of the IR Bill on...
Posted by Tim Anderson on Facebook The following clip is about the White Helmets, a group that has been presented in the west’s media...
The post Video: White Helmets denounced by Aleppo residents appeared first on The Pen.
Australia wants to replace a very dirty coal power plant with a plant to use it to generate liquid hydrogen.
Burning the liquid hydrogen won't emit any CO2, but the process of generating the hydrogen will, so this may not do any good for avoiding global disaster.
Most political garbage gets taken out just before Christmas but new reports slipped through the net – and they deserve noticeWhen the news is bad, governments love distractions, and this week the Australian Open has been excellent for diverting voters' attention from more examples of how badly this government is at governing. To be fair to Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic, it's not all their doing. This government – like many others before – has purposefully used the summer holidays [...]
“DO you think it will rain tonight?” I ask Joseph, the man with the gun. He looks up, beyond the mist clinging to the valley, doing its damnedest to conceal the river-ridden jungle that is to be our home for the next few days.
He sniffs the air in the same casual manner with which he hangs the rifle on his shoulder. “Will it rain?” he replies. “It depends on the weather.”
To be honest, the weather is the least of our worries. “Expect the unexpected” is the given (and best) travel advice for anyone visiting Papua New Guinea. It’s a country that’s casual about a few things, from plane timetables to customs regulations to automatic weapons.
It’s never been an easy place to visit. Two weeks by the pool, this is not. But head away from the capital, Port Moresby, to travel deep into the jungles and you’ll find PNG one of the most fascinating places on the planet.
The problem is the best spots are also the most inaccessible; roads are not exactly forthcoming, hotels are poor, travelling is tricky. With a little thought, though, the solution is obvious. Employ the method that the local tribes have known about for centuries and get on a boat.
Sepik Spirit is a small, comfortable vessel that chugs up and down the Karawari River, a tributary of the Sepik in the country’s north, allowing you a way into villages and landscapes that can’t be reached by other means.
Step ashore and witness a culture and a daily life that is utterly different from anything you know.
Back on board, you’ll eat well, thanks to the ship’s excellent chefs; there’s beer and wine (though, ironically given the name, no spirits); and the nine two-berth cabins all have picture windows, so you can watch this extraordinary land pass by from the comfort of your bed. And it is extraordinary.
HIDDEN between the many accolades and comments coming in the wake of the publication of Rasmii Bell’s anthology of women’s writing, My Walk to Equality, there has been a low level murmur about the possibilities for a men’s anthology.
On the face of it this seems like a good idea. One of the surprising things about the women’s anthology is the extension of the hand of friendship and cooperation by many of the writers to their men folk.
A men’s anthology picking up on this theme would make a great complementary volume.
What I’m not sure about is whether Papua New Guinean men would be up to it.
The women’s anthology was an entirely voluntary enterprise. None of the organisers, editors or writers expected or received any form of payment except for the satisfaction of having their say and seeing their names in print.
This approach is consistent with the view of women as ‘giving’ creatures. Men, on the other hand, are generally ‘takers’.
Would Papua New Guinean men, with their head-of-family, main-provider and bread-winner attitudes do something like contribute to an anthology free of charge or any expectation of recognition and status?
I know that many such men exist; we see many of them writing for PNG Attitude but what about beyond that? Many of the writers contributing to the women’s anthology were new to us. Would new men come out of the woodwork in the same way?
One of the largest groups of women we didn’t really hear from were the traditionalists who still believe in the innate superiority of men. The reason for this is that those women are typically located in the villages without access to the internet.
Not so with the men. Many of the male traditionalists are active in public life and on social media. A significant cabal o...
MANY people have commented on the stubbornly low number of Pacific islanders coming to Australia.
The tiny number of Papua New Guineans is particularly egregious even by Pacific standards. There are more people of Samoan descent in Australia than there are of PNG descent.
But there are signs this may be changing, at least when it comes to students. A blog post last year documented international student commencements in Australia for the Pacific and PNG between 2002 and 2016.
The numbers from the Pacific are stagnant, except for PNG, where student commencements grew from 2,800 in 2002 to 7,600 in 2015.
This post dives into this growth in PNG student enrolments.
Three categories dominate PNG student migration to Australia: higher education, vocational education (VET) and school students.
The other two visa categories – for English language intensive courses for overseas students and non-award visas for people studying courses which do not lead to a formal qualification – only make up a very small proportion of PNG students in Australia.
Commencements into higher education, vocational education and schools have all shown strong growth since 2002.
Vocational education commencements grew nearly tenfold to 3,500 in 2012. The next largest category is of children studying at primary and secondary schools, which has grown solidly though less dramatically reaching 2,500 in 2015. 1,700...
Outside Flinders Street Station, a man in a blue top waves instructions to the driver that killed several pedestrians along Burke Street Mall By Dee Mclachlan I wrote an article yesterday about Dimitrious (‘Jimmy’) Gargasoulas, being chased by the police in Melbourne’s CBD. He was doing “doughnuts” outside Flinders Street Station — seeming waiting for and […]
The chairperson of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has postponed the PNG leg of his Melanesia tour. The tour, his second as chairperson, is to discuss the restructuring of the MSG Secretariat in Vanuatu and the revision of MSG Membership Guidelines with other MSG leaders. Earlier this week Mr…Continue reading
WASHINGTON, SATUHARAPAN.COM - Presiden ke-45 Amerika Serikat, Donald Trump, menyampaikan pidato sesaat setelah dilantik dengan penekanan pada kembalinya kekuasaan kepada rakyat dan kepentingan AS nomor satu. Dengan gayanya yang khas, dengan tangan yang tidak pernah diam saat ia berbicara, Donald Trump menegaskan bahwa hari-hari mendatang adalah hari-hari yang berbeda bagi rakyat AS. "Upacara hari ini,…Continue reading
WASHINGTON, SATUHARAPAN.COM – Secara resmi Donald Trump, mengangkat sumpah jabatan sebagai presiden ke-45 Amerika Serikat di depan Gedung Capitol, Washington, AS, hari Jumat (20/1) waktu Washington DC, atau hari Sabtu (21/1) pukul 00:00 WIB. Hakim Agung John J Roberts Jr. bertindak sebagai pemandu pembacaan sumpah Presiden ke-45 yang dikenal kontroversial namun tetap religius. Trump bersumpah…Continue reading
Merdeka.com - Donald Trump resmi dilantik menjadi Presiden Amerika Serikat ke-45. Dia menegaskan akan mengembalikan kejayaan Amerika dan membuat negerinya aman kembali. Menurutnya salah satu yang menjadi ancaman bagi rakyat AS adalah teroris Islam radikal. Trump bertekad memeranginya sampai tuntas. "Kami akan melenyapkan mereka dari muka bumi," kata Trump dalam pidato pertamanya, Jumat (21/1). Trump…Continue reading
Despite the climate denialism in a Trump administration, it will be difficult to stop the zero carbon transition already underway and driven by economic forces, with action by citizens, businesses and states. As the minutes ticked past midday with Trump’s inauguration on January 20, the whitehouse.gov website was swept clean of anything climate related. Obama’s […]
John Englart has always had a strong social and environmental focus and over the past 10 years climate change science, climate policy and climate protest have become an increasingly important and primary focus of his work as a citizen journalist.
Vanuatu Dailypost - Dan McGarry - On Sunday last week, New Zealand-based analyst Jose Sousa-Santos commented on Twitter that “Indonesia’s attempt at buying support from the Pacific region seem to have little to no impact on Melanesia’s stance on [West] Papua. ”That’s one of those pesky observations that’s neither entirely right nor entirely wrong. The truth…Continue reading
“It’s Pepe, he’s kind of become a symbol of See : Richard Spencer, president of the white nationalist National Policy Institute, punched during ABC interview in Washington, ABC, January 20, 2017. FRANK ZAPPA SLAYER FRENZAL RHOMB DEAD KENNEDYS NEW ORDER … Continue reading
The likelihood that Channel 7 Sunrise host Samantha Armytage and actress Rebecca Gibney had sexual relationships with Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner is almost certain given their frivolous and vexatious defamation claim against me. Otherwise they would have just denied the claim and that would have been the end of it. I filed my defence on […]
Immense stress. This has now been appealed through AAT and I had a small reduction. What is alarming is the differing amounts of total wages that centrelink has for this period. They are all different and do not equate to my notice of tax assessment. In addition I received a debt for 11045.00 in late november that had a due date of 06/12/2016. I spent three days on the phone trying to find out what this debt was. The following week I received a letter reducing the same debt to $500.00... I have appealed this debt as I have no faith in the system. I will appeal all future debts. I lodged...
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