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Read or Condemn Yourself to Death by Ignorance

The newsletter for those prepared to look and see what is there.

No place for ostriches, snowflakes or those who blindly

bow to the unholy alter of tyrannical authority.

Wednesday 14th March 2018


Hope this finds you fit and well.

Here is an excerpt of what flittered through my mind or crossed my digital desk over the last week.

I hope you get something from it!


Kill the TPP - Again!

This deal to benefit corporations at the expense of we, the people, needs to be stopped in its tracks!

A Star Passing The Black Hole at The Centre of Our Galaxy Is About to Test Einstein's Theory

We’re waiting with bated breath... ...that’s bated, not baited.

Secure Your Assets Against This Risk

This coming crash has been predicted for years but IMHO the longer we go, the bigger the risk.

The first eight and a half minutes contains some eye-opening statistics. Skip the last four minutes of the video, it is mere sensationalism.

Safeguard and protect our environment!

Every politician should have the feet held to the fire of accountability on this one! Fracking, mining farmlands for coal, allowing depleted uranium munitions to be used during war games, clear cut fellling of old growth forests and littering our upper atmosphere with satellite junk are all crimes against the environment and treason to the people.

If My Speech Ends When Someone Gets Offended, How Do I Have Free Speech

How indeed?

Greens Senator Dismisses Savings At Risk

The Senator and the Greens got this one 100% wrong! Trust the government? George Carlin is rolling in his grave!

From the CEC:

Greens finance spokesman shows his banker colours

The CEC’s fight against bail-in continues to get attention, such as in this good article in Byron Bay’s independent newspaper, the Echo Net Daily. In it Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is rudely dismissive of the CEC’s concerns, as if they are illegitimate because we are a political party. Yet his only counter to what we say about the broad language of the law is we need to “trust” APRA.

Whish-Wilson is a fraud: the week he helped to rush the law through the Senate, he refused to meet with former APRA principal researcher Dr Wilson Sy, who would have told him, from firsthand experience, why he shouldn’t trust APRA. The Greens’ banker-senator didn’t have to believe Dr Sy, but he should have heard what he had to say. Instead, he refused.

At the end of the day, Whish-Wilson sided with his fellow bankers in the Liberal Party and the banks’ accomplices in APRA to wave through sweeping powers for APRA to prop up the gambling debts of banks with the savings of Australians. This definitely includes the savings unsuspecting mums and dads have invested in so-called hybrid securities, and possibly the savings in normal deposit accounts, because they rushed the law through before One Nation senators could move their amendment to explicitly exclude deposits from the law.


1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs.
3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king.
4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
5. Request the late check-out.
6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
7. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
9. Play with passion or not at all…
10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye.
11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
13. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
14. You marry the girl, you marry her family.
15. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
16. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
17. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
18. Never turn down a breath mint.
19. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
20. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
21. Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him.
22. Eat lunch with the new kid.
23. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
24. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
25. Manners maketh the man.
26. Give credit. Take the blame.
27. Stand up to Bullies. Protect those bullied.
28. Write down your dreams.
29. Always protect your siblings (and teammates).
30. Be confident and humble at the same time.
31. Call and visit your parents often. They miss you.

The Himba Tribal Custom
Native Mother And Child

Of all the African tribes still alive today, the Himba tribe is one of the few that counts the birth date of the children not from the day they are born nor conceived but the day the mother decides to have the child.

When a Himba woman decides to have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child who wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches him the song. When they make love to physically conceive the child, they sing the song of the child as a way of inviting the child.

When she becomes pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people gather around him/her and sing the child’s song to welcome him/her. As the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or gets hurt, someone picks him/her up and sings to him/her his/her song. Or maybe when the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

In the Himba tribe there is one other occasion when the “child song” is sang to the Himba tribesperson. If a Himba tribesman or tribeswoman commits a crime or something that is against the Himba social norms, the villagers call him or her into the center of the village and the community forms a circle around him/her. Then they sing his/her birth song to him/her.

The Himba views correction not as a punishment, but as love and remembrance of identity. For when you recognise your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when the Himba tribesman/tribeswoman is lying in his/her bed, ready to die, all the villagers that know his or her song come and sing - for the last time that person’s song.

We Created Value For Shareholders

We need to spread the word of the more environmentally enlightened cultures, like the native Americans and Australian Aboriginals, that nature needs to be preserved and protected rather than exploited and destroyed.

Good Versus Great Mums

The accounting trick you’ve probably overlooked

It’s surprisingly simple, yet accountants suggest not enough business owners do it – often causing undue stress and difficulties down the track for business owners.

A letter from the Post Office...this is absolutely the best!!

We don’t know who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office.

Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month.

The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey.

She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her.

I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog?

She died yesterday and is with you in heaven.

I miss her very much.

I ’m happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her.

She likes to swim and play with balls.

I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog.

I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey & Meredith , addressed it to God/Heaven.

We put our return address on it.

Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.

A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ’To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand.

Meredith opened it.

Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ’When a Pet Dies.’

Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope.

On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.

Abbey isn’t sick anymore.

Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.

Abbey loved being your dog.

Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I’m sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me.

What a wonderful mother you have.

I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I’m easy to find.

I am wherever there is love.



Banks are structured to exploit customers—the Royal Commission must investigate APRA and banking structure

Stop Press: The editors of the Australian Financial Review, who opposed a Banking Royal Commission at every turn, today (13 March) insisted it “is not designed to be an inquiry into how our entire successful banking industry has been structured, and nor must it become one”. The banks’ cheerleaders at AFR also expressed fear that the Royal Commission could set up expectations of “a forced break-up of their [the banks’] activities”. Read the following release, drafted yesterday before the AFR editorial came out, which explains why the Royal Commission must do precisely what the AFR says it mustn’t.

When Malcolm Turnbull called the Banking Royal Commission, after receiving permission from the banks, he was jumping before he was pushed. On behalf of the banks, Turnbull and his fellow bankers in the Liberal Party were alarmed that National MPs had gone rogue with the ALP, Greens and cross-benchers, to draft terms of reference that would have required the Royal Commission to examine the structure of banking and the regulatory system. Among other things, this would have included bank regulator the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), and so-called vertical integration—the practice of universal banking, in which major banks are massive conglomerates of all kinds of financial services. Turnbull’s bank-approved terms of reference for the Royal Commission dropped any mention of vertical integration, and stipulated that the Royal Commission is “not required” to inquire into “macro-prudential policy and regulation”, i.e. the regulatory structure of banking, including APRA’s prudential policies.

This restriction is a travesty. It’s akin to an inquiry into chicken deaths being disallowed from investigating the management of hen houses by foxes! The Commissioner can do the best job in the world, but if all he is allowed to do is investigate and highlight instances of banks abusing their customers, but not look into the structure of banking that allows banks to exploit their customers for their group profits, the Royal Commission is an exercise in futility. That is no reflection on Commissioner Kenneth Hayne.

Aside from financial greed, the two biggest contributors to the way Australia’s banks have abused their customers on an industrial scale are their vertical integration, and APRA’s prudential policies.

Vertical integration

A report from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released 24 January confirmed that the vertically integrated structure of banks makes it easier for them to fleece their customers. The report, “Financial advice: Vertically integrated institutions and conflicts of interest”, reviewed the financial advice provided by Australia’s five biggest financial institutions: CBA, ANZ, NAB, Westpac and AMP. This has been a scandal-ridden sector of the financial system for more than a decade. The complicity of banks in such financial debacles as Storm Financial, the Timbercorp and Great Southern managed investment schemes, Opes Prime, and many others, has left thousands of Australian families ruined.

The report’s findings were entirely predictable. Nearly 70 per cent of the funds that banks advised their customers to invest went into in-house products sold by the same bank. This was despite the fact that nearly 80 per cent of the investment products that bank staff were authorised to sell were from other institutions. In other words, bank staff had a clear bias in pushing their bank’s products. Anyone who has queued at a bank simply to cash a cheque or such-like only to have the teller recommend insurance or some other product has experienced this bias. Bank customers have been sitting ducks for banks to lure into their other businesses, often with disastrous results—for the customer.

APRA’s prudential rules

For more than a decade, Australia’s banks have had a huge incentive to starve small businesses and family farms of credit, and to foreclose on thousands of those enterprises even when they weren’t in default. This led to many of the cases of abuse that drove calls for the Royal Commission. APRA provided this incentive. It did so, by changing its prudential rules to make mortgages far more profitable than loans to productive business enterprises.

APRA’s incentive came from its lowering of the “risk-weighting” of mortgages compared with other types of loans. Risk-weighting is a modern banking scam, that artificially lowers the requirement for how much capital banks put aside against their loans, to absorb potential losses. Historically it was assumed that the capital requirement applied to all loans, but in the mid-2000s APRA decided to assess different types of loans as having different levels of risk. The level of assessed risk was called the risk-weighting. APRA decided that home mortgages were far less risky than bank loans to businesses. Whereas business loans had a 100 per cent risk-weighting, meaning that capital had to be held against all such loans, APRA assessed mortgages only had a 50 per cent risk-weighting, so the banks only had to hold capital against half of their home loans. APRA then allowed the Big Four banks and Macquarie to assess their own risk-weighting, using secret internal risk models. The large banks eventually lowered the risk-weighting on their mortgages down to the ridiculous and self-serving level of 16 per cent. APRA supposedly tightened up on the big banks’ mortgage risk-weighting in 2015, but they have only increased it to 25 per cent.

All of this made home loans far more profitable than all other types of lending, which incentivised the banks to do as much lending as possible for housing. It also motivated the banks to commit outright mortgage fraud in their pursuit of increasingly risky borrowers, including over-extended investors and “sub-prime” borrowers who couldn’t afford repayments. When an internal APRA report warned in 2007 that the lower bank lending standards APRA had allowed had created a housing bubble and the risk of rising defaults which would cause a recession when it burst, APRA refused to publish the report.

The lowered risk-weightings also incentivised the banks to victimise business and family farm customers, for instance the Bankwest borrowers who were forced out of business by CBA when it took Bankwest over in 2008. In most cases, the Bankwest customers were still servicing their loans from profitable businesses, but CBA cited bogus revaluations to invoke covenants that allowed them to foreclose. All of the banks have repeated this dirty trick with small businesses and farms all over Australia. The money the banks have clawed back from their business lending in this way has been ploughed into more mortgages—thanks to APRA. The Productivity Commission’s recent report on the banks highlighted that in the early 1990s, the big banks made two thirds of their loans to businesses and one third to housing, but now it is reversed, with two thirds for housing and one third for businesses. Consequently, Australia has a massive housing bubble that will collapse the Australian economy when it bursts, while the businesses and farms that produce the nation’s wealth and provide our jobs are being starved of credit.

The Royal Commission must investigate APRA and banking structure. If the present terms of reference hinder such an investigation, the CEC calls on Commissioner Hayne to use his authority to insist the government expand the terms of reference to enable him to investigate APRA’s policies and vertical integration. The government and banks must not get away with hobbling the work of this Royal Commission.

Solution: Australia needs a Glass-Steagall banking separation

In 1933, the United States Senate conducted an inquiry into banking practices, led by New York prosecutor Ferdinand Pecora. It revealed similar abuses to what Australians have experienced in recent times. As a result of Pecora’s inquiry, the USA enacted the Glass-Steagall Act 1933, which ended vertical integration by separating commercial banks with deposits, from investment banks, insurance companies, and all other financial services. The law was in place for 66 years, until Wall Street succeeded in getting it repealed in 1999. While Glass-Steagall was in place, there were no systemic banking crises in the USA; its repeal allowed banks to use deposits to underwrite an explosion of financial speculation which caused the global financial crisis just nine years later.

Australia needs Glass-Steagall to:

protect deposits;
end vertical integration, to protect depositors from predatory banks trying to lure them into other business;
ensure deposits are only used for normal lending, which will keep more money in the real economy and available for banks to lend to productive enterprises;
stop banks from securitising mortgages—meaning on-selling them to other banks to be bundled into risky derivatives—which will put a brake on mortgage fraud and excessive mortgage lending to risky borrowers.

The Citizens Electoral Council of Australia is leading the fight to get Glass-Steagall implemented in Australia. To do more than expose the crimes of the banks and maybe get some compensation, join the CEC’s campaign for Glass-Steagall—to actually change the system that allows the banks to fleece, abuse and exploit their customers.

What you can do:

Meet, phone or email your federal MP and Senators to demand they force the Turnbull government to expand the terms of reference for the royal commission, so it can properly investigate APRA’s policies and the structure of banking, which have enabled the banks to exploit their customers and to get away with it.

Email the Royal Commission on to ask Commissioner Kenneth Hayne to expand his investigation to include the structure of banking (vertical integration) and the prudential policies of APRA.


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 2014-2018 © by Tom Grimshaw - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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