08 October 2017


Michael Danby is obsessed with the Israel Narrative!

Labor MP Michael Danby used taxpayer funds for ad attacking ABC journalist Sophie McNeill

The Age 041017
Adam Gartrell

A federal Labor MP has admitted he charged taxpayers to take out an ad attacking an ABC journalist.
Melbourne backbencher Michael Danby took out the ad in Australian Jewish News, which suggested ABC foreign correspondent Sophie McNeill had "double standards" when reporting on Israel and Palestine.
The ad, which features two men praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, claims McNeill filed "no report" on three Jewish Israelis who were stabbed to death in July while celebrating Shabbat.
The ABC has since rubbished those claims, pointing out in a statement that McNeill "gave due prominence" to the fatal stabbings and filed reports for TV, radio and the national broadcaster's website.

Labor MP Michael Danby has taken out an ad in Australian Jewish News criticising the ABC's Sophie McNeill. Photo: Twitter
"The coverage included graphic accounts of the attack from witnesses and first responders," the statement reads.

"This advertisement is part of a pattern of inaccurate and highly inappropriate personal attacks on Ms McNeill by Mr Danby. The ABC has complete confidence in the professionalism of Ms McNeill. Despite unprecedented scrutiny and obvious pre-judgement by Mr Danby and others, her work has been demonstrably accurate and impartial."

Australian @MichaelDanbyMP has published this advertisement in @aus_jewishnews regarding @Sophiemcneill double standards reporting on Israel pic.twitter.com/9aUt02gYqq
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) September 30, 2017
Mr Danby admitted he had used a "small amount" from his taxpayer-funded electoral allowances to take out the "discounted ad".

"We have advertised far more extensively over the past year on penalty rates, marriage equality, the NBN, unfair federal infrastructure spending allocation to Victoria, Human Rights and apportion our expenditure to cover all interests in Melbourne Ports. All advertising from my office meets parliamentary guidelines," Mr Danby told Fairfax Media.

He said contrary to the ABC's claims, Ms McNeill did not mention the Jewish Soloman family by name or give them the same prominence and treatment she gave the Palestinian Shamasneh family.
Paul Murphy, the chief executive of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, also defended McNeill's coverage.

"Sophie McNeill won two Walkleys last year for her work," he said. "The criticism from Michael Danby is ludicrous and offensive."

It is not the first time the MP for Melbourne Ports has criticised McNeill's reporting. In the past, he has called her an "advocacy journalist" on social media and has claimed she is obsessed with the "Palestinian narrative".

20 September 2017


 I am nearly 91 years old and I have read a great deal since I started reading at the age of 5 or 6.

During the subsequent 85 years I have read things which are interesting and educational and enlightening, and I have read a great many things which were just for entertainment.

Some of what I have read has been ridiculous and full of nonsense and just plain stupid.

The inside and outside of this leaflet contains some of the most absurd, nonsensical, homophobic rubbish that I have ever looked at and, believe me, that is saying something.

All of this nonsense is because the Australian parliament is so full of stupid and ignorant people that we are left with a political vacuum which allows this bullshit to be perpetrated on a public who don't understand what it is all about and who absorb a great deal of the crap these people spout as if it was gospel, whereas it is all untrue and perpetuates stereotype and falsity from start to finish.

How long before people begin to understand that they are being taken for a ride by unprincipled and are of hypocritical so-called religious "persuasions" who are ignorant, evil, malicious and don't even know what they are talking about.

This is the sort of trash that people were afraid would happen if this sort of campaign went ahead, and it is no doubt what the Australian prime minister hoped would happen.

Whatever happened to human rights in Australia?

Hopefully it will have consequences.

19 September 2017


We  discovered that Unit 1 at 12 Murphy Grove, Preston, Vic 3072, belonged to the Department of Health and Human Services of the Victorian State government some time after we had bought unit 2 and moved into it in February 2001.

Unit 1 is what is called transitional housing which we are given to understand is so that the tenants who are placed there are in some sort of emergency situation and are to be in this transitional housing unit for a limited period of time, until more suitable accommodation can be found for them.

The property is supposed to be managed by an organisation called Loddon Mallee Housing Services, trading as Haven; Home, Safe whose address is 52-56 Mary Street, Preston, Vic 3072, phone number 03 9479 0731.

At the moment, 19 September 2017, the Tenancy and Property Manager is Susan Hallorina. (email: susan.hallorina@hhs.org.au and web address http://www.havenhomesafe.org.au)

The two units are what I believe are called villa units and unit 1 is the front one and faces onto the street, Murphy Grove.

This has had, as far as we can make out, 13 different tenants or groups of tenants, with differing numbers of people each time, some being adults only, some being women with children who have been in situations of domestic violence, some have been migrants and some whose circumstances we have not been able to find any details about.

The tenants who have lived there have been good, bad, and impossible, and the reason that I am writing this blog is that the current tenants fall into the impossible category.

I notice that in the web pages of Haven; Home, Safe, there is no mention of how this organisation explores the needs of the neighbours of the housing they manage, so that people like us seem to have no recourse to the people who are thrust upon us and we have no support.

My only recourse is to publicly expose the ugly side of what is happening to us at the moment and hope that some organisation acts on this mess and helps to calm our situation down somewhat.

Don't hold your breath!

Attached hereto are some illustrative photos with more to come when possible.

It should also be noted that the people in unit 1 seem to be in possession of 3 cars.

Notices at the entrance to 12 Murphy Grove and outside unit 2 about No Parking in the driveway seem to have been not noticed by the tenants of unit 1 until at least two complaints were made to the organisation supposedly looking after unit 1. There is still the occasional vehicle parked in the driveway.

Darebin Council do not seem to have been in any hurry to get the residents of unit 1 to remove this junk from the pavement outside 12 Murphy Grove.

13 September 2017


South Africa - Daily Maverick

Remembering Biko: Black Consciousness Movement leader's killers must sit in the dock

  • Greg Nicolson
  • South Africa
  • 11 Reactions
Forty years after police killed Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko, no one has been prosecuted. That’s despite five officers being denied amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As the country commemorates another year since the struggle hero was killed, the inquest into Biko’s death should be reopened. The recent inquest into Ahmed Timol’s death sets an example.


In 2014, auctioneers Westgate Walding tried to sell Steve Biko and Ahmed Timol’s original autopsy documents. Biko’s had a reserve of R70,000 to R100,000. The families of Timol, who was allegedly killed by apartheid police in 1971, and Biko, killed by police in 1977, hired the same pathologist to conduct autopsies. He left his records to his assistant and when she died they ended up with her children. Then Westgate and Walding tried to sell the autopsies, including certificates from pathologists and post-mortem reports.

The auction was interdicted, but the grotesque attempt was symbolic. How can someone so blatantly disrespect South African struggle heroes, who were killed while fighting for freedom, their remaining loved ones, and the country? It’s simple, really: because justice, much like democracy, has never quite arrived and we commemorate the dead without actually honouring them.

Today marks 40 years since the 30-year-old activist and intellectual Steve Biko died of brain injuries after he was arrested in Port Elizabeth. He was severely beaten by cops, shackled and driven naked in the back of a police vehicle to Pretoria where he died in a prison cell. He had an international reputation and his death drew condemnation from around the world. But no one involved in the killing of one of the country’s most important struggle leaders has faced consequences. Not during apartheid. Not in democracy.

Biko was arrested in August 1977, like others who were seen as influential to the student protests a year before. The then minister of justice and police, Jimmy Kruger, claimed he died in custody while on a hunger strike. He was said to be the 20th person to have died in custody in the preceding 18 months. Journalists exposed Kruger’s lie and an inquest was established.

“On the available evidence the death cannot be attributed to any act or omission amounting to a criminal offence,” ruled the magistrate.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) disagreed. Five police officers applied for amnesty – Harold Snyman, Gideon Nieuwoudt, Ruben Marx, Daantjie Siebert and Johan Beneke. The TRC  rejected their version of events, calling them improbable and contradictory. It said they weren’t credible witnesses.

 “They had clearly conspired to conceal the truth of what led to the tragic death of Biko soon after the incident and have persisted in this attitude before us.”

The amnesty applications were rejected, but in 2003 the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to prosecute. It said there was insufficient evidence to justify charges, with a lack of eyewitnesses, but it might reconsider its decision if new evidence emerged.

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma will visit Kgosi Mampuru Prison and lay a wreath in the cell where Biko died. “Steve Biko fought white supremacy and was equally disturbed by what he saw as an inferiority complex amongst black people. He emphasised the need for psychological liberation for black people, to accompany physical liberation to undo the damage caused by apartheid,” said Zuma on Monday. “He advocated black pride and black self-reliance, believing that black people should be their own liberators and lead organisations fighting for freedom.”

Commemorations that don’t call for justice are disingenuous. That’s where Timol comes back in. Officially, an apartheid inquest found the former SACP leader died after jumping off the 10th story of Johannesburg’s infamous John Vorster police station. His family fought for years for the NPA to reopen the inquest. After resistance, or perhaps incompetence, the NPA finally reopened the inquest, which was held recently in Pretoria.

Witnesses were called to the stand. The gruesome details of apartheid police’s detainment and torture techniques were once again revealed. Different versions of how Timol died were interrogated. Pathology reports, after the auctioneer who owns them allowed access, were scrutinised. The court is still to deliver its findings, but Timol’s family was finally allowed a chance to find out more about what happened and who might have been responsible.

Such inquests are legally established to make four findings: who died, when they died, how they died, and if anyone is responsible and should be recommended for investigation and possible charges.

Biko’s death received far greater attention than Timol’s. But neither the media reports, the 1977 inquest, or the TRC process can be seen as sufficiently comprehensive. Five people asked for amnesty for Biko’s death, but do we know all the facts? Were there others involved who did not come forward? How many people were involved in the attempted cover up? Can new evidence be unearthed that could justify criminal charges against those involved?

Whether the inquest into Biko’s killing is reopened or not will likely depend on whether his family wants to pursue it. There are pitfalls. Timol’s family had to doggedly pursue the NPA to get the process started. Then they had to sit through painful testimonies.

But Biko’s legacy is only becoming more and more important in South Africa. His voice has an increasingly prominent influence on modern politics, particularly amongst student activists calling for rapid and far-reaching change. The country deserves to know more about how he was killed. It deserves to see those involved cross-examined in a courtroom. DM

07 September 2017


The same-sex vote, put on for the amusement of the Australian population is a total fraud from start to finish because they would have one believe that if the yes vote succeeds, they will then put a vote through the federal parliament changing the definition of marriage to include the clause - "including same-sex people".

This postal vote idea is to fool people into believing that something will definitely be done to institute same-sex marriage - but the vote is non-binding,and if the vote is yes,when it gets to parliament the parliamentarians can just ignore it or reject it.

Where is the certainty? where is the sincerity? where is the honesty? This government, and indeed its loyal opposition which in 2004 supported the changes to the marriage act reinforcing for ever that marriage would only ever between a man and a woman.

Who do you believe? Who do you trust?

To me it is all a fraudulent activity and a waste of time and money.

I will not waste my time - or money giving it any support or further thought in the whole process.


Today, Thursday 7 September 2017, The Victorian State government has once again refused to consider the introduction of a safe injecting room in Richmond in inner Melbourne, despite so many of the residents of the area approving the idea of having such a trial injecting room for Melbourne similar to the one which has been operating in the King's Cross area of Sydney - that most progressive of states (not!! sic) - for some years with great success.

What is their problem? are they getting money out of the drug dealers in the state? Is some other problem, such as religious fanaticism stopping them, or are they, after all, not as progressive as they would like us to think?

At the end of the day, more people will die because the government of Victoria has failed to act - yet again - on a matter of vital importance to the community.

And in the longer term they are failing in another way, because drug control doesn't work and the answer is to legalise the drugs that are causing the most harm, and control their use by selling them in a safe supply system. But unheard of while the USA controls the way drugs are sold around the world.

04 September 2017


Al Jazeera

Letter from Gaza: 'Alive due to lack of death'

Gaza-born Jehad Abusalim describes the devastating effects of Israel's blockade on the daily lives of Palestinians.

Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker

'When the electricity goes out, the silence is deafening' [File: Mohammed Salem/Reuters]


In Gaza, entire families sit in the darkness of their living rooms, with candles generating the only light. Dozens of families have lost loved ones in house fires.

Propane is scarce, and small generators are unsafe and hard to come by. They are usually smuggled through tunnels and poorly made. One of my college professors lost three children (a 14-year-old and eight-year-old twins) after their generator exploded.

Gaza residents face so much hardship and pain, just to secure one of life's basic necessities.

When the electricity goes out, the silence is deafening. Everything grinds to a halt: refrigerators, televisions, hospital equipment, water pumps and fans. Modern life stops. The quiet allows us to imagine what the world was like before we were immersed in the noise of car horns and the hum and buzz of modern machines. Later, the quiet is replaced by a storm of sound as generators whir and screech back to life.

I will never forget the afternoon when I asked my father how long he thought the blockade would last.

"A  few months, my son. A few months. It won't take long," he answered.

A few weeks ago, more than a decade since the Israeli blockade of Gaza was implemented, I spoke with my father again and reminded him of what he said that day. I could practically feel his sorrow and grief through the phone.

"I don't know how many 10 years there are in one's life," he answered, crushed by the naivete of his statement all those years ago.

How is it acceptable that in 2017, Gaza's residents, including my own family, have to spend so much of their time worrying about water, light and food? What justifies a policy that causes toddlers like my younger brother to soak in sweat during the night and place their cheeks on the cool tile floor to escape the heat of Gaza's nights?

No peace can come from forcing thousands of people to wait until dawn for their weekly share of water, while on the other side of the border, Israelis take dips in swimming pools and enjoy unlimited access to fresh water.

Nowadays, if you ask Palestinians in Gaza how they are doing, they might answer: "Alive, due to lack of death." This commonly used expression captures the dreadfulness of everyday life in Gaza.
It pains me to say this, but Gaza will inevitably fall apart. Every second in Gaza under Israel's blockade - where water and medical care are luxuries - is tainted by tragedy. Every time a family cannot afford to put food on the table, every time a house fire claims yet another victim, every time a cancer patient cannot acquire life-saving treatment or another desperate person ends their life, the horror of the blockade comes into full view.

So long as Israel maintains control over Palestinian lives but denies them their basic rights and freedoms, it cannot call itself a democracy.

The United Nations has declared Gaza "unlivable", and the blockade creates a slow, collective death. What will it take to convince the international community that the people of Gaza, like all people on this Earth, deserve to live in dignity?

More and more people are joining the effort to advocate for Palestinian freedom, including by participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. It is time we end the blockade on Gaza and set the Palestinian people free.

Jehad Abusalim is a doctoral student at New York University and a policy analyst with Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
Source: Al Jazeera


Welcome to my blog and let me know what you think about my postings.

My web pages also have a wide range of topics which are added to when possible. Look for them in any search engine under


I hope you find items of interest!

Search This Blog


Blog Archive

Total Pageviews

About Me

My photo
Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm