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Read or Condemn Yourself to Death by Ignorance

Wednesday 16th March 2016


I hope this finds you fit and well and that you enjoy this week's collection of some of the best that crossed my digital desk.

Don't recall how it came up but I was talking in the lunch room about needing to set a goal so big it would take more than one lifetime to accomplish it. I recalled an authour finishing a monumental work then promptly dying. I think it was Gibbon who wrote "The Rise And Fall Of The Roman Empire".

Anyway, it really resonated with one of the girls. She said it was just what she needed to hear that day. So I thought I'da share it with you.

Eight Things To Give Up
Eight Things To Give Up

Never Be Defined By Your Past
Never Be Defined By Your Past

Question Time In Canberra
clockwise from the top) Morrison, Turnbull, Xingfa Ma, Navy ships in the Port of Darwin, Arnhem Land warriors, Woollogorang station coastline


We have a question for you, Gentlemen, and we believe it is one that we are now all entitled to ask.

Why has your Government suddenly agreed to spending some $30 billion a year for the next ten years to massively strengthen our Defence forces?.

The explanation, according to both the Defence White Paper and various security analysts, is based on strategic concerns linked to China's rapid military expansion.

Prime Minister, you will need to forgive us for being somewhat confused.

You see, last November you laughed off the sale of the Port of Darwin to a Ye Cheng, a Chinese billionaire with his own militia and strong ties to the Communist Party.

Ye Cheng owns a company called Landbridge which has close connections to China's military through its own private people's armed militia.

If you recall, Prime Minister, you very knowledgably told the Australian people that the Australian Navy did not even use the Port of Darwin, despite the fact that 102 Naval ships have used the Port during the last year alone.

In fact, you couldn’t help sniggering when you told the Australian media that you had actually been chided by the Obama administration at a meeting of regional leaders in Manila for failing to inform them of your Governments approval of the sale of the Port of Darwin.

Pehaps we should remind you that the Americans consider Darwin to be a strategic port in the entire South East Asian axis.

That means they are clearly not happy about a strategic rival controlling a crucial piece of infrastructure in a city where they have 1,150 marines on rotation, and with good reason.

If we can stop the beer and skittles for a moment, then we suggest that the need to control or destroy a strategic port was exactly the same strategy that the Japanese were following right to the letter when they bombed Darwin back in 1942.

It was not, as the public might believe, a single bombing raid but rather, the Japanese flew 64 raids on Darwin and 33 raids on other targets in Northern Australia.

We will quote no less an authority than the Australian Government itself:

“ On 19 February 1942, 188 Japanese planes were launched against Darwin, whose harbour was full of Allied ships.

It was the largest Japanese attack since Pearl Harbour, 7 December 1941, and followed a reconnaissance flight on 10 February 1942. On that day there were 27 Allied ships in the harbour and approximately 30 aircraft at the Darwin Civil and RAAF airfields.

The USS Houston convoy departed Darwin on 15 February 1942, followed by a Japanese flying boat which later engaged in an air strike. The USS Peary returned to Darwin on 19 February after an encounter with a possible Japanese submarine. On 19 February 1942 there were 46 ships packed into Darwin Harbour.

From the first raid on 19 February 1942 until the last on 12 November 1943, Australia and its allies lost about 900 people, 77 aircraft and several ships. Many military and civilian facilities were destroyed. The Japanese lost about 131 aircraft in total during the attacks.

At the time, there were many rumours alluding to the Australian Government's suppression of information about the bombings - it was thought that reports of casualties were intentionally diminished to maintain national morale.

Local sources estimated that between 900 and 1100 people were killed. For many years, government censorship limited coverage of the event to protect public morale in the southern states of Australia.”

After the news that the NT Government had leased the Port of Darwin for 99 years, Richard Armitage, a former United States Deputy Secretary of State, said he was "stunned" that Australia blindsided the US on a decision to allow a Chinese company with alleged links to the People's Liberation Army to lease the Port of Darwin.

"I couldn't believe the Australian defence ministry went along with this," Mr Armitage said in an interview.

"And I was further stunned to find out that apparently this did not come up in the A-US talks [Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations]."

It appears that the Obama administration had only found out about the sale only after the event from somebody reading The Wall Street Journal.

Turnbull brushed it aside with one of his typically witty and urbane responses, stating that if Obama had only subscribed to Darwin newspaper The NT News, he would have known about the plan to lease the port to the Chinese well before that.

A jest, to be sure, but containing the unmistakeable message that the Americans themselves were to blame if the decision took them by surprise.

Prime Minister Turnbull was laughing as he spoke to the Australian media because the Northern Territory Times just happens to be Murdoch’s comic book newspaper with lots of colourful stories about big crocodiles and even bigger women’s breasts on its front page every day.

“Read the NT Times” was one of those pithy lines that worked so well on Q&A when the Prime Minister was the Love Child of the ABC wearing his trendy black leather jacket and the toast of the Point Piper cocktail set.

So we need to ask another important question here. What has changed so dramatically in the past few months that our Prime Minister has done an about face and transformed himself from funny man to solemn faced Prime Minister telling us why we must now funnel such a massive portion of our nation’s spending into building up our national defence against an “aggressive” China?

It was only last week that Treasurer Morrison had done his best Jim Carey impersonation and goofily told us that he had approved the sale of Van Diemen’s Land Dairy company to the Chinese Billionaire, Lu Xianfeng for $280 million.

Morison had deliberately ignored the bid by the Tasmanian businessman Jan Cameron and refused to meet with her in Canberra, dismissing her as just some nobody Lobbyist.

We now need to know exactly why he refused to consider Cameron’s genuine bid to buy an iconic company that owns some of the finest dairy country in the world.

Is there something that Mr Morrison has failed to fully disclose to us here? He may not wish to disclose it right now, but we are bound to find out later.

We’re not sure what it is about Mr Morrison, but there is something about his ducking and weaving that distinguishes him as not much more than an over-ambitious political apparatchik who was simply made to look good as Minister for Immigration under the tight rein of the Abbott Government.

Whatever it is, the longer he seems to be in the Treasurers job, the more difficult it becomes to really to trust him.

So here’s the question for you. What really happened last week, gentlemen?

Why has your Government suddenly done this massive 180 degree shift from laughing about the Chinese buying our ports and refused to help genuine Australian buyers purchase our own dairies to feed our own people?

Why are we suddenly being told that we need to spend thirty billion dollars a year to build up our Defence forces in our army, our navy and our air force to defend us from what you are suddenly calling a “restless China?”

Which part of stupid are we all missing here?

While this running the country stuff seemed such a doddle a few months ago, it now appears that you are now simply ducking for cover as the Australian people begin to understand that our nation is being given away.

So here’s another suggestion for you, Gentlemen.

How about you invite a bunch of your mates for a nice barramundi fishing holiday on a cattle station called Wollogorang station up on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

You’d better move fast because it was purchased by the Xingfa Ma, one of China's richest men, in July last year.

The sale was handled by that well known ‘pimp to the stars’ Lex Heinemann from Heinemann Rural as well as Danny Thomas from CBRE.

Wollogorang and the adjoining Wentworth station – which was also purchased by Xingfa Ma - have a combined access to 80 kilometres of Gulf of Carpentaria coastline.

"I think this particular purchaser sees other development opportunities," Danny Thomas explained to the media. "I don't really understand, and I don't know that anybody really does, precisely what he might be thinking.

"But he certainly was very attracted to the fact that it had that long ocean frontage."

So all that water means it’s a great place to fish for barra, with rivers, creeks and endless access points to 80kms of coastline.

It’s an easy place to land boats and have a barbie – or as, the case may be, a stir fry with your friends.

While you’re up there in the North eating barramundi, Prime Minister, it might be an idea to fly across to Nhulunbuy and take the time to visit Gallawuy Yunupingu, a great leader of his Yolngyu people.

He might be able to teach you a bit more important history that Sydney boys like you might have missed at school.

In September 1932, five Japanese trepangers, who entered the Aboriginal reserve without a permit, were killed at Caledon Bay in East Arnhem Land.

The Japanese government complained to the Australian government about the trepanger killings and, nearly a year later in June 1933, a police party from Darwin arrived in Dhakiyarr's country looking for suspects.

The fishermen had been killed at Caledon Bay, but Dhakiyarr and his family encountered the police party on Woodah Island, about 80 kilometres to the south. Dhakiyarr did not welcome the presence of the white police on his land nor their treatment of his people. He speared one of them, Mounted Constable Albert McColl, to death.

News of McColl's death reached Darwin in August 1933, causing many in the north to fear an Aboriginal uprising from which no whites in remote regions, not even missionaries, would be safe. News received in November 1933 of the killing of two white trepangers, Frank Traynor and William Fagan, further alarmed Northern Territory whites.

The Northern Territory Administrator, RH Weddell, was sympathetic to a plan to 'teach the Blacks a lesson' and this led him to propose a large police expedition to bring back Aboriginal suspects.

But the possibility of indiscriminate shooting in Arnhem Land raised a hornets' nest of remonstrance by humanitarian and welfare groups, including cables from anthropologist Olive Pink and Archbishop Daniel Mannix. Even the Australian High Commissioner in London cabled to report concern in Britain. Their protests overflowed from the Department of the Interior to the Cabinet.

In the end no armed expedition of any kind was sent. Instead, and months later, a very small 'peace party' led by missionaries sailed to Caledon Bay to gain more information and, if possible, to bring both suspects and witnesses to Darwin.

In April 1934 the peace party's boat returned with 17 Yolngu men, including Dhakiyarr, but without eyewitnesses to the McColl killing. The missionaries had persuaded the Yolngu to voluntarily go to Darwin and wanted the men to be their guests in the mission house. It was a rather odd expectation since the men were suspects and soon to be charged with murder.

Not surprisingly, the police took no notice of the missionaries' protest.

On their arrival in Darwin, Dhakiyarr was arrested for the murder of McColl and taken to Fannie Bay Gaol to await his trial. Newspaper accounts described the 'pitiful scenes' that followed as Dhakiyarr and the other suspects were brought in from their 'carefree life' to be 'handcuffed and locked up wailing and shouting'.

So while the whitefella Government insisted there were no other ‘clean-up’ parties sent into Arnhem Land, the blackfellas have a distinctly different recall of their history.

In fact, one of the young warriors they put a bullet in just happened to be Mungurrawuy Yunupingu, the father of Gallurwuy Yunupingu, who eventually recovered from his wound and later went on to become a great leader of his people.

When he finally passed away as an old man, he was buried under three flags – the aboriginal flag, the NT Flag and the Australian flag – and surrounded by the magnificent burial poles of his elegant and deeply spiritual culture.

According to his son Gallurwuy, the bullet – which he received for trying to protect his land and his own people - remained imbedded in his shoulder right to his death.

There are several very curious twists to this particular history lesson, Prime Minister.

The first lesson is that during the Japanese advance, spies working for the Australians and the Americans found intricate maps of the Australian coastline that had been surveyed in perfect detail by none other than the so-called ‘Japanese trepang fishermen’.

It would seem that ‘spies’ might have been a much more accurate word.

The second lesson was that the same fierce Yolngu warriors of Arnhem Land that had been shot at and arrested by the whitefellas a few years earlier were suddenly being drafted into the Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit, an overland force trained in basic guerrilla warfare to survey the coastline and attack any invading forces if necessary with guns, molotov cocktails, spears and rocks.

The truth was that nobody knew their country better than they did, and nobody was better at defending it.

Sometimes, Prime Minister, history has an uncomfortable way of repeating itself, and those of us who love this country and find good reason to fear the future are wondering if we need to start sharpening sticks and picking up rocks as well, since all of our guns have been removed.

So we suggest that after you enjoy the beers and the barramundi, you might head back to Canberra and think about how all went so badly wrong, and how we might have spent some of that $300 billion instead.

So praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, as Chaplain Howell Forgy said aboard the USS New Orleans as the bombs rained down during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on that Sunday morning back in December 1941.

What a mess we are in, Gentlemen. What a mess we are in.

(our thanks to a wise man in a well-worn tweed jacket. We salute one of this nation’s finest historians and researchers as a true patriot, just like the rest of us)

Reject US militarisation of Australia

I don't have as high opinion of the Chinese as this author does, but I agree we should not be a party to either's aggressive actions on the world stage.

Citizens Electoral Council National Secretary Craig Isherwood made the following remarks in response to plans enunciated by US Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson, of the United States Pacific Command, for an expanded “rotation” of US forces—including nuclear-capable B1 strategic bombers—in northern Australia, supposedly provoked by the “seriousness of the tone that is being set by China’s militarisation of the South China Sea”.

“How stupid does the US government think Australians are?” asked Isherwood. “Or our own government, for that matter? This has nothing to do with ‘upholding international law’, and everything to do with threatening China with war.

“Let’s consider a few simple facts. First: the international law concerning ‘freedom of navigation’ is called the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea—and the United States has never ratified it! So when US officials bluster that ‘we will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows’, they are claiming privileges attendant to a treaty their own government rejects, while telling everyone else to obey rules that they insist do not apply to themselves.

“Secondly: the week before last, the USS John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, spent five days tooling around the eastern part of the South China Sea accompanied by its ‘Carrier Strike Group’—two Aegis guided-missile destroyers, one guided-missile cruiser, and a ‘fast combat support’ supply ship; the US Pacific Command and the Obama Administration have indicated that many more such missions are to follow. Those boats between them carry enough manpower, firepower and air support to blockade every shipping lane, board or sink every vessel, and invade, occupy, or bomb any island for hundreds of square miles. This is the threat to ‘freedom of navigation’! And the main purpose of Aegis destroyers is to penetrate onshore defences, knock out the target’s nuclear first-strike capability, and deliver a nuclear strike of their own; they are billed as a ‘missile defence system’, but are just about the most offensive weapons in the world. As for the B1 long-range bombers we are being asked to host, their only purpose is to lay waste to vast areas of countryside—primarily with nuclear weapons.

“China, on the other hand, has stationed a surface-to-air missile battery on, and allegedly flown fighter jets over, an island its citizens have inhabited since the 1950s—as have other countries, on the islands they claim. And—also like most other countries in the region—China has turned a handful of submerged stone reefs into artificial islands; upon these it has constructed runways, port and storage facilities, and lighthouses. So who, exactly, is doing the ‘militarising’ around here?”

Mr Isherwood rejected Gen. Robinson’s notion of a “rotational deployment” as a transparent fraud. “Call it what you will”, he said, “the United States is planning a permanent military presence on our soil. It’s the same ruse they have employed in the Philippines for years, in violation of that nation’s Constitution. Filipino patriots aren’t buying it, either—but you won’t hear that from the Australian news media, because we’re supposed to believe that the poor defenceless Philippines is desperate to have Uncle Sam protect it from neighbourhood bully China.

“In truth, China and ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, are perfectly capable of sorting out their differences for themselves, the same way the Chinese have resolved seemingly intractable border disputes with Russia, India, Mongolia and others over the years: via peacefully negotiated, mutually beneficial settlements, and not the bellicose bluster, shows of military force, and threats—not to mention regime-change operations and outright invasions—beloved of the Anglo-American neo-cons who have hijacked US foreign policy in recent decades, including under Obama. The infamous 1992 US Defence Planning Guidance, the so-called ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine’, stated their agenda: that the USA ‘must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role’. This, the more recent Revolution in Military Affairs/‘Air-Sea Battle’ doctrine, and Obama’s ‘Asia Pivot’ are all explicitly aimed at ‘containing’ China.

“This latest proposal to station long-range bombers in the Northern Territory is nothing but the final step of a process that has been going on for decades: turning Australia into an unsinkable aircraft carrier for a war on China. This is exactly what the late Malcolm Fraser was talking about when he dubbed the United States and the UK Australia’s ‘dangerous allies’: we are painting a nuclear bullseye on our heads for no reason except to preserve a post-WWII Anglo-American-led global order that is declining economically and thus resorting to its only advantage to maintain hegemony—military might.

“China is a target because, alongside its BRICS partner Russia, it is leading the world away from the death-march imposed by the City of London and Wall Street, and into a new, more just order based on national sovereignty and peace through economic development, as embodied in the world-spanning ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, long known to CEC members as the World Land-Bridge. Australia, and indeed all nations, have been invited to join this global renaissance, and join it we must—or collapse into a new dark age of our own making. Will there be teething troubles along the way? Almost certainly—and we will solve them with dialogue and cooperation, not geopolitics and nuclear missiles.”


Until next time,
dream big dreams,
plan out how to achieve them,
be continually executing your plans,
enlist people to your causes,
travel and/or read widely, preferably both,
all the while observing what you observe
rather than thinking what you are told to think,
think well of your fellow man,
take time to help your fellow man,
he sorely needs it and it will help you too,
eat food that is good for your body,
exercise your body,
take time to destress,
and do the important things
that make a difference -
they are rarely the urgent ones!



Most of the content herein has been copied from someone else. Especially the images. My goodness some people are talented at creating aesthetics! The small bits that are of my creation are Copyright 2015 © by Tom Grimshaw - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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