Women of the Sun - Being and Belonging: Studies in Culture and Identity via University of South Australia
Peter World wrote to me earlier this year - "I'm am studying a degree in Indigenous Studies through UniSA and am currently enrolled in a paper titled "Being and Belonging: Culture and Identity" under the guidance of Dr Rosie Roberts.
I have an assignment to select a TV series or film as a case study to answer the question, discuss connections between language, culture and identity.
I have chosen Women of the Sun as my case study."
I asked if I could publish his work on this site and what follows is his piece.
by Peter John Worland
Language is a fundamental part of personal and group identity and can provide information about a person’s nationality, culture, religion, age, gender, level of education, profession or socio-economic class. Drawing upon appropriate academic literature and using one or two TV series or films as case studies discuss the connections between language, culture and identity.
This essay presents a case study of the historic, four-part Australian television dramaseries Women of the Sun as a way to discuss the connections between language, culture and identity. The 1981 series signals dramatic shifts for Indigenous voices, national television broadcasting and academics writing on Indigenous culture of the time, as well as presenting a historical perspective heretofore unheard or seen by a mass audience.
Widely acclaimed as ground-breaking television, screening a representation of colonisation in Australia from first contact to the present day (early 1980’s), Women of the Sun is a unique collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people for which
the experience of making continues to resonate today. It has the authenticity of Aboriginal voice and a rich Indigenous philosophy that emanates authority, wisdom, truth and power. Twenty-five years later a followup documentary shifted the Women of the Sun narrative on from it’s original, historical basis to deeper conversations around how the series came to be, consolidating the series it to it’s current position as a highly respected exemplar of Indigenous knowledge transmission, relational responsibility and interconnectivity.
Throughout this essay I acknowledge the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ of modern-day Australia and respectfully use language-group and traditional names of people and places where possible. In the making of movies we have to consider not just the narrative in the production, the storyline, but the narratives about production, what "we" think we are doing. (Muecke 1994, p. 5)
Women of the Sun was the inspiration of Yorta Yorta/ Wurundjeri woman Hyllus Maris who returned to Australia in the late 1970’s after studying social policy and community development with sociologist Richard Hauser, in London (FNAWN 2017). Maris was a visionary leader following in the footsteps of her Elders to fight for Aboriginal rights, to walk off the Aboriginal reserve of Cummeragunja and to realise her own dream of building the first independent Aboriginal school in Victoria, Worawa (eagle in Aboriginal language)
College, which opened in 1983 (Dept. Premier and Cabinet 2014). As Huggins (2005, p. 1) states, “Maris’ achievements were all about using relationships between people to improve communities for everyone” and the five-year collaboration with television writer Sonia Borg on Women of the Sun was no exception. McCallum (2009, p. 266), writing about theatre in the late 70’s and early 80’s, recounts that the era heralded “stories focused on communities and individuals who had previously been the Other in Australian drama which challenged ideas about identity and culture” and “opened up new conceptions… about multiculturalism.” This was the environment into which the Women of the Sun scripts arrived on the commissioning editor’s desk at the newly formed public broadcaster SBS
and into the hands of television producer Bob Weis who, although never having met an Aboriginal person, committed to making the series as a matter of personal and national importance.
Speaking of Others
In his 2006 documentary Women of the Sun - 25 Years Later, Weis shared that his natural empathy toward the Aboriginal people of Australia was akin to the pain he felt for his own family who experienced persecution in the Holocaust of World War II. It was this sense of connection, responsibility and justice that propelled him to bring the history of colonisation, and it’s continuation in Australia, to public attention by producing Women of the Sun (Weis et al., 2006). From an Indigenous standpoint there are risks in such cross-cultural
representations of Aboriginality, and, as Muecke (1994, p. 2) points out, can be “whitefella obsessions - romantic love of difference, the exotic, the mobilisation of knowledge, liberationist politics, [or] guilt trips”, particularly when being intersubjectively negotiated in
collaborative, creative pursuits such as television.
Goldman (2000, p. 9) adds that “we are all participants in historical and contemporary colonial clashes, falling into one or more of the categories: survivors, perpetrators, and bystanders [and] no person who is resident in Australia can claim ignorance or neutrality in
this struggle.” With both Women of the Sun productions Weis did not shy away from his intersubjectivity instead proceeding with “a dialogue situation in which both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people participate in a mutual construction of identities (Langton in Muecke 1994, p. 3)” and heeded Langton’s advice that “[Whitefellas] should analyse their comings and goings around Aboriginal communities (Langton in Muecke 1994, p. 3)”.
The Sources of Knowledge
In 1985 Nancy Peck filmed interviews with Hyllus Maris and her mother Mrs Geraldine Briggs for the Victorian Women’s Film Unit production, Return to Cummeragunja. The interviews reflect the deep connection between generations of Aboriginal women and
illustrate the lived experiences contained in the storylines of Women of the Sun. Within two lifetimes we hear first-hand accounts of when fluent Wemba Wemba and Yorta Yorta language was heard, when Aboriginal people answered the prayers of and fed starving
missionaries, when Briggs stood up against the tyranny of mission-station matrons and when together they walked off Cummeragunja Mission Station in a sign of defiance and autonomy (Peck 1985).
The frequency of references by both women to their ancestors and ancestors’ ancestors are presented in a process akin to Martin’s (2003) Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being and Doing. It becomes apparent that the narratives of Women of the Sun come from the ground-up, from what Maris (1985) describes as a “spiritual culture… [that] can never be broken down, as it’s part of the land.” This example of Aboriginal identity-creation stands in stark contrast to what Goldman (2000, p. 6) describes as the desire for many Anglo-Australians to “try and forget the past, or easily gloss over [it], so as to get on with the future.” Indeed McAuley’s (2006, p. 289) book of academic essays called Unstable Ground illustrates too that there was a priority for intellectuals to remedy the colonial past and reach a ‘conciliation’ between “Anglo mainstream and the Aboriginal minority… to achieve… [a] kind of social order that all can comfortably live with.”
Timing and Politics
Although the Australian socio-cultural environment of the early 1980’s was hostile to marginal voices “timing, as well as a political and broadcasting climate… played a part in the production of the original [Women of the Sun] series (Kalina 2006).” The formation of
Australia’s second, non-commercial television broadcaster SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) early that decade was the result of 30 years of post-war immigration policy and the next multicultural step in answering the high proportion of middle-class, Australian
voters from non-English speaking countries (Smaill, 2002, p. 396). Apart from screening foreign language programs SBS also purchased and commissioned content from independent producers, pushing it to the “forefront of social, cultural and aesthetic transformations (O’Regan 1989, p. 13).” It seems ironic that multiculturalism, in replacing the failed assimilation, should also provide a screen-home for Australia’s First Peoples and awaken White Australia to Aboriginal history with Women of the Sun.
Bob Weis (2006) recalls SBS’s founding manager Bruce Gyngell, with Maris’ and Borgs’ finished scripts in hand, being asked by a senate committee hearing ‘what are you doing about Aboriginal Australia?’ and replying 'I just got these scripts that I'm going to do’ (Kalina 2006). Couple this uncanny timing with a recent merging of talent between feature-film and television production creatives, and Women of the Sun acquired a vanguard status “becoming an important sign that innovative, cultural and socially important work was being done in TV (O’Regan 1989, p. 15).” Apart from being the first time an Aboriginal language had been heard on mainstream television Langton (Weis et al., 2006) says the series was way ahead of it’s time, before historians, anthropologists and sociologists confirmed the
veracity of Aboriginal accounts of Australian history, and the series sparked a nationwide discussion (see Appendix B).
Against Cultural Hegemony
According to Smaill (2002, p. 394) public broadcasting in Australia shares the principles formed by John Reith for the BBC, to provide equality of access and education, making it a place where viewers can measure themselves against national narratives. Even in
multicultural Australia the “prevalent mode of identification has functioned… to foster a sense of unity and oneness (Smaill 2002, p. 394).” Maddison (2012, pp. 701 - 703) adds that “both settler and immigrant Australians derive pleasure in feeling that as a nation we
share the values of equality and ‘mateship’”, connected via television in the comfort of our own living rooms.
Australian commercial television in the 1980’s reflected the attitude of the times, “greed was good” (Television.au 2017), and produced a host of Anglo-Australian, saturated shows including A Country Practice (1981), Sons and Daughters (1982), Neighbours (1985) and
Home and Away (1988) that reinforced a “narrow citizenship and… left the nation as a whole ill-equipped to deal with contemporary diversity (Maddison 2012, p. 701).” Even though Women of the Sun was first broadcast in this cultural setting it’s impact suggests
the mainstream audience was ready to move from what Hall (in Longhurst et al., 2008) calls a ‘dominant-hegemonic’ reading to a ‘negotiated’ one. As Kalina (2006) points out Women of the Sun’s “accounts of the stolen generation, of the dispossession of Aboriginal
homelands, of challenges to white Australia's laws and customs… put the untold history of Indigenous Australia on the agenda.”
A Negotiated Representation
As the work of historians, anthropologists, linguists and cultural scientists now attest the veracity of Women of the Sun’s screen content is bonafide but also a negotiated representation. Episode 1, Alinta - The Flame depicts first contact between the ‘Nyari' people and the shipwrecked convicts and early settlers from Great Britain. For producer Bob Weis there was no argument about making the film in Aboriginal language (Weis et al., 2006) and, despite the concerns of the Yolngu community portraying the original inhabitants, the men and women wore traditional dress meaning partial, if not shameful, nudity. Twenty-five years after playing the character of ‘Alinta’, Nakalyan of the Yolngu people shared that “she is still being taught culture by her Elders” and lamented that “Yolngu and Balanda (Yolngu language for white man) laws are on their own” not knowing if they will ever come together (Weis et al., 2006). The making of Episode 1. on the coast of Princetown, Victoria, traditional Gadubanud country, was viewed by the visiting Yolngu tribe as a respectful reenactment of the Gadubanud people’s survival and was portrayed in memory of their ancestors and on behalf of their surviving relatives (Weis et al., 2006). Non-Indigenous farmer Matt Bowker recalls, as a nine year old, the cast and crew of Women of the Sun coming to Princetown and staying at his parents camp Kangaroobie, and the significance of the Episode’s narrative relative to his own family story (Bundle
Bowker (Bundle 2014) shares that the Aboriginal midden sites on the property where the episode had been filmed have been scientifically dated to thousands of years eclipsing his own family’s 150 year connection to the site, a similar realisation of Goldman’s (2000, p.
167) that he is more deeply connected to the struggle and history of Indigenous Australians than he had previously thought.
The Uses of Language
Actress Justine Saunders shares that she was encouraged to follow her own instincts as a black woman when portraying the character ‘Nerida’ in Episode 3. of Women of the Sun and to let the words of the script tell their own story, as “honesty was so important” (Weis
et al., 2006). As mentioned previously one of the greatest achievements of the series was the respect for and listening too other voices which also highlights the centrality of language in the formation of group culture and individual identity. When convicts ‘McNab’
and ‘Findlay’ are washed up on the lands of the ‘Nyari’ people, in Episode 1., they are given Aboriginal names, translating as ‘Man of the Sea’ and ‘Hair of Fire’, their presence explained in Aboriginal terms as being ‘displaced from their people… lost’. Unable to
speak ‘Nyari' language they are dependent on the goodwill of their hosts for nourishment and safety, and quickly learn that without a shared understanding their lives are imperilled. Language is centre-stage again in Episode 2. with the insistence by church missionary
'Mrs McPhee’, played by Julia Blake, that English is the only language to be spoken on the mission, the rationale being that it is the language of the Lord, the result however being cultural genocide; control the language and you control the people. Later in the year of
1890, the time setting of Episode 3., the Aboriginal people interned on ‘Koomalah Aboriginal Reserve’ turned the colonisers’ language against them petitioning the government for Indigenous rights with a command of English. Today, language is still the
site of contestation over sovereignty on the international stage (Berson 2009, p. 43).
Towards the Culture of Sharing
As actress Eva Johnson (nee. Birrit) who played ‘Alice Wilson’ in Episode 4. recounts, it was the viewing of Women of the Sun that led nurses on the ward of her dying mother to initiate a turbulent, real-life, mother-daughter reunion, a not uncommon story for Aboriginal
peoples of the stolen generations (Weis et al., 2006).
Johnson’s lived experience of that event, as recorded in Women of the Sun - 25 Years Later, is well-equal to the emotional impact of the analogous, fictional drama in which she plays, and ironically she “was afraid of not taking the opportunity to do the film on behalf of
the women who did have their children taken from them (Weis et al., 2006).” The connections that Women of the Sun made between history, people and place was not lost on Weis and extended to the male and non-Aboriginal directors of the series (McNiven
2017) acutely illustrated by a photograph of director Geoffrey Nottage and Johnson in ATOM's (Australian Teachers of Media) study-guide (see appendix A). The photograph illustrates a knowledge-relationship resonant with the character ‘Findlay’ and the ‘Nyari’
people of Episode 1.; Nottage captured with all the intensity of a non-Indigenous, first-time viewer of cultural practice and Johnson poised with Indigenous percipience. Despite the cross-cultural learnings of the past, Indigenous women still struggle to pave the way for the
next generation as Lisa Flanagan describes of playing the first Indigenous female character in Home and Away in 28 years of the show’s history (Rawsthorne & Byrnes 2016), a decade and 473 episodes of which were also directed by Nottage, without female
Indigenous representation (IMDb 2017).
The words of ‘Doug Cutler’ warning his daughter ‘Lo-Arna’ against contacting her Aboriginal birth-mother, in Episode 4., “why… the highest jail rate, terrible social problems, drink, the lot”, could well be the language used tomorrow by Australia's media to describe
Aboriginal culture, some 35 years hence. As Hyllus Maris and her mother Mrs Geraldine Briggs illustrate we inherit stories over generations, stories in the Indigenous sense that need telling and retelling to maintain culture and connection with the past, to guide our
future. The cultural abyss between the world’s oldest peoples, Aboriginal Australians, and the world’s most invasive coloniser, Great Britain, is bound to confound personal identity, contest language and blur cultural boundaries, but as Women of the Sun illustrates,
connection, understanding and shared histories are possible if not crucial for everyone’s wellbeing. As Bob Weis’ personal journey of longing and belonging and Eva Johnson's family reunion both attest, reconnection with the past is rarely pain-free, but more often
than not the resulting clarity of purpose and place (identity) outweighs the mediated, hegemonic culture which numbs our humanity.
In today’s contexts of reconciliation, treaty and sovereignty Women of the Sun continues to question how we relate to each other through language, how we propagate our culture on and off the screen and how we view ourselves, reflected and through each other, to form
our identities, in the endless process of becoming.
ABT17: Being and Belonging: Studies in Culture and Identity, University of South Australia - Lecturer Dr. Rosie Roberts
Women of the Sun - Broadcast Dates (SBS - Channel 0/28)
Episode 1. Alinta - The Flame, first broadcast - 5th July 1982
Episode 2. Maydina - The Shadow, first broadcast - 12th July 1982
Episode 3. Nerida Anderson, first broadcast - 19th July 1982
Episode 4. Lo-Arna, first broadcast - 26th July 1982
1982 United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Prize
1983 AWGIE (Australian Writers’ Guild) Outstanding Script of the Year
1983 AWGIE Best Original Writing for Television
1983 Grand Prix - Banff Television Festival
1983 Penguin Awards x 5 - Television Society of Australia
2005 Hyllus Maris memorial lecture - union hall of the Melbourne (Bundoora)
campus, Latrobe University, Aboriginal and Islander health worker journal, Vol. 29 - 5.
IMDb, 2017, Geoffrey Nottage - director, producer, writer, website, viewed 22nd Feb. 2017, http://
Kalina P, 2006, Return to women of the sun, The Age - Green Guide, 3rd August 2006.
Longhurst B, Smith G, Bagnall G, Crawford G and Ogborn M, 2008, Introducing cultural studies,
2nd Ed., Routledge, New York.
Maddison S, 2012, Post colonial guilt and national identity: historical injustice and the Australian
settler state, Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, Vol. 18 - 6, pp.
695 - 709.
Martin, K & Mirraboopa, B 2003 Ways of knowing, being and doing: A theoretical framework and
methods for indigenous and indigenist re-search, Journal of Australian Studies, 27:76, 203-214,
McAuley G, 2006, Unstable ground: performance and the politics of place, Peter Lang S.A.,
McCallum J, 2009, Belonging: Australian playwriting in the 20th century, Currency Press,
Strawberry Hills, NSW.
McNiven L, 2017, Women of the sun (1982) - curator’s notes, website, viewed 22nd Feb. 2017,
National Film & Sound Archive, http://aso.gov.au/titles/tv/women-of-the-sun/notes/
Muecke S, 1994, Narrative and intervention in Aboriginal filmmaking and policy, Continuum: The
Australian Journal of Media and Culture, Vol. 8 - 2.
O’Regan T, 1995, Film and its nearest neighbour: the Australian film and television interface,
webpage, viewed 11th February 2017, Culture & Common Reading Room at http://
Peck N, 1985, Return to Cummeragunja: Hyllus Maris and her mother Mrs Geraldine Briggs speak,
video, viewed 15th February 2017, Victorian Women’s Film Unit, http://search.library.unisa.edu.au/
Rawsthorne S. & Byrnes H, 2016, Home and away heads to Alice Springs to film ‘special event’
with Braxton brothers storyline for Foxtel, webpage, viewed 22nd Feb. 2017, The Daily Telegraph,
Smaill B, 2002, Narrating community: multiculturalism and Australia’s SBS television, Journal of
Communication Inquiry, Issue 26 - 4, pp. 391 - 407, Sage Publications.
Television.au 2017, 1980-1989, website, viewed 21st Feb. 2017, http://televisionau.com/timeline/
Weis B, Hyllus M & Borg S, 2006, Women of the sun: twenty five years later, documentary film,
Generation Films and Ronin Films, A.C.T.
Company Tax: Big Business Already Pays Less Than 30% Rate, ATO Data Shows (via The Guardian Australia)
Via Gareth Hutchens at The Guardian.
Business Council of Australia is urging tax cuts to remain competitive but transparency report show members’ effective rate is 24.3%
The members of the Business Council of Australia, who are leading the push to cut Australia’s corporate tax rate from 30%, already pay an effective tax rate five percentage points lower, according to the latest publicly available data.
The business lobby group is pressing federal politicians to support the Turnbull government’s plan to cut the corporate tax rate from 30% to 25%, warning Australia’s business environment is globally uncompetitive and the situation is worsening.
BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott warned last week: “The need to cut company tax has become even more urgent in the era of Donald Trump, whose promise to cut America’s federal rate to 15% will further keep new investments from Australia.”
But the Australian Tax Office’s tax transparency report shows the BCA’s members paid an effective tax rate of just 24.3% as a group in 2014-15 – the most recent year for which data is available.
The effective tax rate is the amount of tax paid as a percentage of taxable income each BCA member reported to the tax office.
The report shows less than a quarter of the BCA’s members paid the statutory tax rate of 30% in 2014-15. It shows 50 members paid no corporate tax, while 11 paid no tax on their taxable income.
The BCA has 125 members, according to its website. Among them are Australia’s biggest companies, including the big four banks and major miners, Google, IBM, McDonald’s, Macquarie and JP Morgan.
A spokesman for the lobby group would not confirm the effective tax rate paid by its members. Instead, he pointed to a paper, commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia, that shows the effective tax rate on new investments in Australia is 25.7%.
He said Australia ranked 4th highest among OECD countries in 2015 on this measure, up from 10th highest a decade earlier.
But the effective tax rate on new investments is a forward-looking measure that tries to calculate the tax burden on a hypothetical investment under the current tax system.
Nevertheless, the BCA’s preferred figure of 25.7% is similar to the effective tax rate calculated using publicly available data. A report from the Tax Justice Network in 2014 found the effective tax rate for ASX200 companies – the 200 largest companies on the stock exchange was even lower – just 23%.
And a report last year found 76 of Australia’s largest multinationals paid an average effective tax rate of just 16.2% – nearly half the corporate tax rate.
The report was written by corporate tax experts from the University of Technology, Sydney, working with the activist group GetUp!, who examined the financial records of the top 100 multinational corporations operating in Australia.
They estimated the commonwealth government lost $5.4bn in potential tax revenue in 2013 and 2014 from those 76 companies, as they shifted billions of dollars in profits offshore.
Their report was published just weeks after the biggest data leak in history – the Panama Papers – 11.5m documents leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca – which exposed a trail of serious tax avoidance by corporationsand the world’s wealthiest citizens.
The Greens’ treasury spokesman, Peter Whish-Wilson, has criticised the BCA for saying little about how its members use the tax system to pay much lower rates of real tax, while complaining about the statutory rate.
“Powerful business lobbies spruik the notion that our headline corporate tax rate in Australia is high by international standards, but what they don’t tell you about is the generous tax deductions and concessions their members exploit to pay much lower effective rates of tax,” he told Guardian Australia.
“The effective or ‘real’ company tax rate paid for the combined membership of the BCA is only 24.3%, and this is already lower than their suggested new lower headline rate of 25%.
“The BCA members actually pay a lower effective company tax than those who aren’t members, showing that they are the worst among equals in the tax avoidance stakes,” he said.
In a speech this week, Malcolm Turnbull urged parliament to support his $48bn tax cut plan, warning years of research, “much of it commissioned by the previous Labor government,” had shown company tax was a tax on workers and their salaries.
“The reality is that we are part of an intensely competitive global economy, and other countries have been cutting – and will continue to cut – their company tax rates,” he said, "We cannot afford to get left behind and let Australian jobs go offshore.”
Not much else to preface this with. Credit as best as we can tell goes to some industrious folks over at Reddit.com and Imgur.com.
Phillip launched Australia’s first rock n roll paper, GoSet in the 1960s, then the counter-culture magazines Revolution and The Digger, and the Australian edition of Rolling Stone. After moving to New York he published The Washington Spectator, the environmental newsletter News on Earth and the progressive populist newsletter The Hightower Lowdown. He returned to Australia in 2011 after 35 years in the USA. He can be read at coorabellridge.com where the article below first appeared.
The inauguration of President Donald Trump, a man whose previous claim to fame was making a small fortune by inheriting a large one, reveals a lot of truths that are shocking to the world at large, and embarrassing, diminishing, and direful to the American nation.
Forget for a moment whether Hillary Clinton would have been a better choice than Trump, or how Barack Obama rates in retrospect as a President. And let’s not try to locate Trump on any map of political ideologies, because he’s too scatterbrained for ideology. What follows is an attempt to organize his excrescences into something like a definition of Trumpism, since he’s incapable and unwilling of doing that for himself – and we need a better grip on what we’re up against.
Here follow 10 key commandments of Trumpism, inferred from deeds and words of the man himself, and of the people he’s selected to run the country under his brand:
1. Men shall, at their own discretion, hold and exert power over women, including but not limited to assaulting wives or partners, dates, employees, and other uppity broads as necessary -- and deciding the fate of fetuses in women’s wombs.
2. People who appear to have European ancestry, primarily with pinkish pale skin color, shall, wherever possible, assert power over people who appear to have other ancestries. This will apply particularly to immigrants, Muslims, and African-Americans making trouble in ghettos, but also to foreign leaders from anywhere other than Britain, Russia, and a few others who look like them and talk our talk.
3. Men’s accomplishments and merits are measured by how much money they can plausibly claim to have, it being unnecessary for those numbers to be publicly verified or taxed if the claimant has sufficient cajones or weapons.
4. No public good, be it a thing such as a park, a service such as education, or an amenity such as clean air, should be mandated, regulated, or financed by government, if there’s a profit-driven business willing to do the job.
5. War and other transnational interactions such as access to land, sea, air and space, and trade, plus all consequences of such interactions, intended or not, will be managed on behalf of the USA by men whose businesses top-prioritize short-term profitability. In this spirit, we will encourage broadening the global market for nuclear weapons.
6. Activities that are not self-evidently beneficial to practitioners or the public at large, such as all forms of art, or whose benefits are attested to by experts but don’t make sense to me, such as controlling greenhouse gases, workplace conditions (including wages), or vaccinations, will henceforth be left to the invisible hand of the marketplace.
7. The United States shall not promulgate notions of inherent rights, or moral or ethical priorities, in either the global sphere (see 5th Commandment above), or -- the US Constitution as amended notwithstanding – domestically, except by Presidential tweet.
8. America belongs in the Material Men’s Sect of Christianity in which Jesus is not Semitic and his teachings are irrelevant but OK except those concerning rich men and needles, and loving the dispossessed, both of which were fake news written by Marxist priests. Other core beliefs, such as requiring that fetal remnants from abortions be buried at funeral homes, as Vice President Pence proposed for Indiana, will be made the law of the land if Christian voters in strategic electorates say so.
9. Given that certain core beliefs of Judaism overlap with our Christian values, eg that Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem and was given gifts by Gulf Kings, the Israel of Benjamin Netanyahu will be more than ever defended by US military as if it were American soil. The fact that my fellow casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is a fundamentalist Zionist who contributed $35 million to my election campaign is also irrelevant. And — the US will finally take back our oil from under the sands of Iran, Iraq and the other ones.
10. Acts designed to shame or criticize the POTUS, such as suing Him for rape or writing detailed and irrefutable exposes of His corrupt business practices, or suggesting that his election by one in four voting-age Americans does not constitute a mandate, or that hundreds of thousands of voters were systematically prevented or dissuaded from voting, will not go unpunished.
Throughout these Commandments it is assumed that “men” might occasionally include women, at the discretion of the man or men in charge.
Challenges to any or all of these Commandments on Constitutional grounds will be adjudicated by the Supreme Court, now divided equally between “liberals” and “conservatives” but, given that three of eight justices are either over-80 or dead, will soon be the Trump-Supreme Court.
And if you or anyone you know (and might even love) is still saying “give the man a chance” or “anything’s better than the status quo”, show them the bios of the hundreds of people he’s choosing to populate the pyramid of powerful people immediately below him in Washington and around the world. Pretty much to a man, they are proven purveyors of the inhumane agenda embodied in the above Commandments. They are the real deplorables.
Well well. After trying his best to destroy the credibility of the ABC when he was the Chair, insisting they buy ang screen a film that denied global warming this dangerous fool, a senior advisor to the Prime Court Jester, is now informing the Government and the Australia people that the IPCC is corrupt and the climate change "lobby" is a money making venture by a criminal gang.
If this wasn't all happening it would be a laugh but the continuing move to make Australia backward is actually gathering pace. Newman was appointed a Special Advisor by the generally clueless Abbott based on his solid Conservative credentials. I'd love to hear what he is good at.
He has advice to give on working arrangements too. He looks back fondly to Work Choice and he will no doubt have advice on how to reimplement it with a different name this avoiding, in his tiny mind, the problem of the smell associated with it last time.
Let's get this lot as far away as possible from the governments of this country before more damage is done.
Here we go into the silly season of bubbles and cheer. It might also be a time for reflection.
For Australians, hopefully, it will be a time to think - what have we done. Here is a short list:
The planet's most vulnerable people the global refugees are now untouchables and unmentionables.
Climate change policy has been reversed while China, Brazil, the US and all of Europe have measures in place. The Shanghai carbon exchange opened with a huge day of trading.
Our lowest paid workers got their super removed while Clive Palmer got mega dollars to open the biggest greenhouse gas emitting coal mining and distribution centre in the world.
Greg 'Minister for telling lies' Hunt closed the marine parks by press release on a weekend. He continues to do damage even though he knows what he is doing; that is more evil than his puppet-master who has no idea what he is doing.
The ABC and SBS are in danger of being sold off to please Rupert, the ultimate puppet-master.
Joe Hockey confects all sorts of outrage while going further into the debt he once derided. But it's not his fault. He doesn't have a clue how it works. Like Abbott he knew how to snarl, bark and bite but don't get him into the area of policy.
Confused about the NBN? You should be as the lies they told prior to the election are catching up here too.
It's all a sorry state of affairs but as Matt has argued below one that we needed to realise how well we were doing. As usual it is the most vulnerable that will pay while the top 2% of wealth owners will get richer and fatter and eat up more of our atmosphere. Their wealth belongs to us but they paid Abbott and co to convince us that taxes for mining, in place in most mining territories in the world, would be VERY BAD for us.
Further to Matt's contribution below I heard "debate" in the Senate yesterday while driving home from Balnarring. We are being told that black is white and white is black on a daily basis from the lying and rapacious crowd currently in power. Even the Newspoll puts them behind currently and that's before they have done some of the more extreme things they have promised their paymasters (the coal and other mining companies).
While the rest of the world takes on the cigarette and tobacco companies we are the only country in the world to have repealed carbon abatement laws.
Not content with that the "government" is trying to get rid of those bodies that were attracting investment into renewables and doing it at no cost to the taxpayer. Free market economics? The appalling Greg Hunt can't hide behind ignorance of the truth - Greg read your thesis and maybe you will remember. In any case in this democracy we can make our displeasure know to him at the ballot box. That boyish cheesy grin won't help him then.
I’m a rare breed. Right now, I’m listening to Parliament. Not many people do. It’s one of those odd sports I partake in, information before opinion. Even if I don’t like it. The information, or the sport - petty people lying at and badgering each other. Self-serving grandstanding, blatant manipulations – of truths, of facts, of the press and people.
It fires me up. Agreeing or disagreeing, it helps sharpen my opinions. Thirty minutes usually does me. An hour, tops. After that I get too angry.
If I had my way, I’d inject everybody in the room, lower and upper house, square between the eyes with truth serum, ditch the Dorothys and give the Speaker a gun for interjectors. That’s the worst of it. The constant, petty yammering from the other side. The total lack of respect. Give good, get good, why should I then offer them any of mine?
Of this batch, one thing’s becoming clear - the latest mob in power are lying, almost about everything, and was always going to, because they always were to begin with. And everybody knows it. And everybody knew.
Just like they knew children were not really being thrown overboard on the Tamper. Just like they knew there weren’t really any weapons of mass destruction. That’s what gets me.
They knew. The people. Us.
I don’t blame Tony Abbott, we knew what we were getting. Sleazy little men and woman will always strive for power. It’s our job to listen or not. It’s our role to elect or dismiss them.
Everybody knew Gillard and Swan ran one of the best economies in the world, but they hated Julia. Yes, the Press told them too, in the most disgusting, irresponsible, undemocratic ways. But very few people were swayed by the Press. All it did was let them voice their spite. It backed-up already existing prejudices. It never told them to hate, it said “It’s okay that you hate.”
When John Howard first came to power I loathed him and the backward path to racist, self-centered 50s ideology he was dragging us down to. Then he got elected again, then again. By the forth time I stopped blaming him. I blamed us. All of us. He wasn’t forcing us into such a world view, he was reflecting what we are. His face was reflecting us.
We ARE a racist country.
We WOULD rather eject a popular Prime Minster for daring to take on filthy rich miners in the name of working class people. We LOVE those vile, greedy magnates ahead of our own. We ARE subservient.
I’m talking about responsibility. Responsibility and leadership.
As a nation, Abbott is all our fault.
Popular opinion is petty, fickle. We’re children. If it was left to the public we would have voted against the vote for women, indigenous citizenship, against entering WW1, America would never have freed the slaves, we never would have modernised our economy or forged ties with Asia. We would still be living under White Australia. But each of these times, there came a time. There came a leader.
As a nation, we have not had a leader for the longest time, not since Paul Keating, because we keep demanding politicians. As a nation, we know it. If someone dares to lead, like Rudd did on the mining issue, we knee-cap them. Until we create the room and platform, the ear, for another leader, morally, spiritually, we’ll keep spiralling downward, to the bottom of the barrel.
I don’t blame Tony. He’s our fault. Just another little man. What we need is some grass roots leadership.
That superannuated and self confident ex PM of Australia, John Howard, has been lecturing the British, straight out of the Merchants of Doubt handbook. It seems yhat even though he went to the 2007 election with a carbon trading scheme this was because of pressure from the electorate and no because he believed in it. Now he can reveal that Tonee Abbot won the last election in part because of his fervent denial of global warming. Let's hope that those two rats are the first to drown when the seas rise.
To add to the irritation I saw Smokin' Joe Hockey on 7:30 report last night looking confident and friendly as he insisted that with repeal of the carbon pricing mechanism there would be an instant 9% drop in electricity prices. If that were to happen it might point to a massive conspiracy between electricity generator/distributors and the then opposition. The electricity crowd meanwhile came out publicly and said it was more complicated then the repeal issue and it would take some time o flow through.
Minister for telling lies and the Environment the awful and light weight Greg Hunt appears on tv every night seeming reasonable and unburdened by the facts about anything and smiles into camera and reassures us that the green lobby "lies" are jut that, so don't you worry your pretty little head about it.
David Suzuki was a light breeze that offered relief from the relentless bad news when appearing on Q&A last night. Even the normally odious Tony Jones almost behaved well. With an audience that included some prominent climate deniers the @show@ reminded me of the awful shift that has occurred from current affairs and news as investigations and reporting of facts to what we now have where anybodies loony views carry weight particularly if they also bring ratings. News is entertainment.
Then on Lateline there was the Liberal Minister for the Environment, the softly spoken terribly reasonable liar Greg Hunt, who pretended to not be concerned about the Climate Commission's announcement that even though thios joke government had wound it up that they would continue their work anyway. Take that Greg and Tonee. You thought it would be simple to get rid of the people who told all of us what is really going on. Good on you Tim Flannery and your mob.
Suzuki said on Lateling @get off your arses and work for the next two and ah= half years to get rid of this mob@ meaning the government. Do we have to wait that long?