US Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters calling for riots and insurrection over Chauvin/George Floyd murder trial

Waters is actually doing what President Trump was falsely accused of doing.

On the record, in public and unashamed.

Shocking stuff.


PM's announcement on ADF and veteran suicide royal commission

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The death of any Australian Defence Force member or veteran is one death too many and a tragedy that is deeply felt by all Australians. Tragically, and heartbreakingly, this includes death by suicide.

Recognising this, the Government will take the step of recommending to the Governor‑General the establishment of a Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide, following a period of consultation on draft Terms of Reference, with the relevant community and state and territory governments.

The Royal Commission will complement the Government’s existing initiative to establish a permanent National Commission to proactively deal with future issues, including taking on other recommendations of a Royal Commission. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Royal Commission will be set up after listening to community calls for a national inquiry focusing on the systemic issues faced by Australian Defence Force members and veterans that too often results in their loss of life to suicide.

“Suicide prevention is a key priority for the Federal Government,” the Prime Minister said.

“We have always recognised that the rate of suicide of Australian Defence Force members and veterans is unacceptably high,” the Prime Minister said.

“In recognising the sacrifices made by our serving and former members and their families on behalf of the nation, we owe it to members, veterans and their families to continue to take action.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the Royal Commission was another step in our efforts to build confidence, trust and hope for current and future veterans and their families that they will be supported.

“This will provide an opportunity for us all to reset, further increase our understanding of this issue, and unite the Parliament, the ex-service community, and the families who have been affected by suicide,” Minister Chester said.

“As a nation we take great pride in the men and women who have served our nation in uniform, and as a Government we have committed to help them with any mental or physical issues that are a result of that service.”

The Attorney-General, Michaelia Cash said the Attorney-General's Department will provide administrative support to the Royal Commission.

"Reducing lives lost to suicide is a priority for the Morrison Government."

"Our aim for this Royal Commission is that it will shed light on the critical steps we need to take so that we can reduce these heartbreaking cases of suicide."

Crucially, the Royal Commission will not defer, delay or limit, in any way, any proposed or announced policy, legislation or regulation that we are currently implementing.

The Government intends that the Royal Commission and the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention will be established together and operate in a complementary way to achieve long-term change.

The Royal Commission will look at past deaths by suicide (including suspected suicides and lived experience of suicide risks) from a systemic point of view, while the National Commissioner will have a forward-looking role, including overseeing the implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

The National Commissioner Bill currently before the Parliament will be amended to ensure their work complements the work of the Royal Commission and examines deaths by suicide in the defence and veteran community that occur after the Royal Commission has handed down their final report.

Given the complex issues for consideration, and the importance of hearing from Australian Defence Force members, veterans and their families, the Government envisages that three Commissioners will be needed to lead the inquiry. Consultation is underway to appoint these candidates.

Minister Chester will lead a public consultation process on the draft Terms of Reference and the Prime Minister will write to First Ministers inviting their contributions to the draft Terms of Reference with the view of a joint Commonwealth-State Royal Commission.

The Federal Government is committed to ensuring all the systems of support for our veterans and their families are working together, and importantly that when someone who may be struggling reaches out for help, which we are there to support them.


This Australian government video is supposed to be about understanding consent. No really.

No means no.

What's hard about that?

Here's the website - https://www.thegoodsociety.gov.au/playlists/moving-the-line

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Veterans suicide royal commission announced - thank you veteran Aaron Gray who set up the Veterans Suicide Register

Hard to believe, but until 2015 and Aaron Gray's work, no one could tell you for sure how many veterans had taken their own lives.

I'll publish the PM's announcement on establishing a Royal Commission as soon as it's available - but I also wanted to recognise one of the unsung heroes of today, veteran Aaron Gray.

Here's our post from 15 March, 2015

The Australian Veterans Suicide Register - established by Iraq veteran Aaron Gray

The ADF doesn't know how many service men and women have taken their own lives following war service.

What the bureaucracy couldn't or wouldn't deliver has been set up with great reverence by a former digger.  Iraq veteran  Aaron Gray, formerly a Trooper with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment operates the Australian Veterans Suicide Register - here's a link.  

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Aaron saw active service as a gunner in armoured fighting vehicles in Iraq.   Here's what he says about the site and the reasons he set it up:

  • I am an Iraq War veteran that is on a mission to register and acknowledge the unsung victims of war.
  • I want to create a register of all veteran suicides so that I can make the Australian government recognise their sacrifice as casualties of war.
  • I also want to change the way Veterans Affairs operates so that we can limit the number of veteran suicides in the furture.
  • So please share with everyone - https://www.facebook.com/AustralianVeteransSuicideRegister/timeline
  • This is our email address for anyone who may need to email us australianveteranssuicideregister@hotmail.com
 
 
Aaron's heart is very much in the right place.  His site is operated by a veteran for veterans. It strikes the right tone in respect for the dead and advocacy for the living   It's the sort of thing that mates do for mates.
 
Ian McPhedran from News Limited has written about the site today.

Rest in Peace and thank you for your service.

Lest We Forget.

 
Thanks to Grumpy Old Man for sending me the details.
 
I'll repost my editorial from last Thursday about the ADF's then chief medical officer confirming her abject incompetence and ignorance about the price paid by our veterans.

ENDS

Aus-NZ travel bubble announcement with the fine print

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This virus as a fact of life.  It's here and we have to learn to live productive lives with it - as we do with other diseases and risks.

So it's hardly confidence inspiring to read this warning about the so-called 'travel bubble' with New Zealand:

Travellers will need to be prepared for possible disruption to travel arrangements at short notice and to follow specific protocols before, during and after their travel.

I'd be thinking twice about making plans or investments with that hanging over our heads.

Border closures and lockdowns are political decisions made as the winds of public opinion shift.

And all over a disease that's claimed zero lives in Australia this year and from which 99%++ of people recover without huge drama.

Here's the PM's announcement.

Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free travel, with New Zealand removing the quarantine requirement for eligible travellers from Australia.

Trans-Tasman quarantine free travel is a world-leading arrangement that opens up travel while aiming to keep COVID out of the community.

It reflects the sustained efforts to date of both countries in managing the virus.

Both Prime Ministers are proud of the outstanding success achieved by the people of Australia and New Zealand in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This success, and our confidence that both countries have robust processes in place to ensure travel can be undertaken safely, has made quarantine free travel possible.

The travel across the Tasman demonstrates our special relationship and the long history of freedom of movement between Australia and New Zealand.

Fulfilment of our commitment will allow many friends and family across the Tasman to re-unite for the first time in over a year.

Our countries share a Single Economic Market, and two-way travel across the Tasman will help drive the economic recovery for both countries while we continue to navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic, especially in the travel and tourism sectors.

It will also enable closer trans-Tasman business engagement, which will drive broader economic activity in both Australia and New Zealand.

“Today’s milestone is a win-win for Australians and New Zealanders, boosting our economies while keeping our people safe and just in time for ANZAC Day,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“Both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from COVID and two-way flights are an important step in our road out.”

“It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia. Be it returning family, friends or holiday makers, New Zealand says welcome and enjoy yourself.” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“The bubble marks a significant step in both countries reconnection with the world and it’s one we should all take a moment to be very proud of.”

The commencement of two-way travel follows Australia’s decision in October 2020 to allow quarantine free-travel from New Zealand.

Australia and New Zealand are also exploring opportunities to extend quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific, when it is safe to do so, reflecting our close ties to the Pacific and our commitment to supporting their recovery. 

Ensuring the safety of our populations continues to be a primary consideration in managing our borders. In this evolving pandemic, the risks of quarantine-free travel will be under constant review.

Travellers will need to be prepared for possible disruption to travel arrangements at short notice and to follow specific protocols before, during and after their travel. Information for travellers can be found on the Australian Smartravellerwebsite and New Zealand's Unite Against COVID-19 website.


Video - restored WW2 ditches into the sea at Florida beach after engine failure

The restored WW2 plane's engine cut out during an air show at Florida over the weekend.

It's owned by a private aviation museum, which announced:

We have had several questions regarding the museum's TBM Avenger and her mishap during Cocoa Beach Airshow. The pilot performed the safest ditch maneuver possible, and landed the plane just offshore from Patrick Space Force Base. He was taken to the hospital after walking away from the incident, and he has been released with no injuries.
The Valiant Air Command, Inc. thanks you all for your kind thoughts and prayers.
 
It looks to me that the pilot did a great job of avoiding people and property, while ditching in such a way as to make the plane easily salvaged.
 
Well done that man.
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Peter Dutton reverses CDF's decision to withdraw Meritorious Unit Citations from Afghanistan veterans.

What great news to come back to after a day and a bit break from the online world!

Great news for everyone that is, except the Chief of the Defence Force Angus Campbell.

It was always a stupid decision accompanied by a premature public announcement.

Making dumb decisions is a bad career move.  

Having your dumb decision publicly overturned by your Minister is humiliating - and it saps confidence in our Defence Force leadership.

I'm sure that's weighing on Peter Dutton's mind.

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From the ABC:

The family of a soldier who was killed while on duty in Afghanistan has thanked Defence Minister Peter Dutton for overturning a decision to strip him, and others, of their military honours.

Mr Dutton today announced he would overturn the decision to strip honours from around 3,000 defence personnel who served between 2007 and 2013.

Last year the Chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), General Angus Campbell, recommended the meritorious unit citation be revoked for the Special Operations Task Group, in the wake of the Inspector-General of the ADF's Inquiry report into war crimes.

General Campbell announced the move while handing down the explosive report which found Australian special forces murdered at least 39 prisoners and civilians during the Afghanistan war.

The decision was met with significant criticism within defence and veterans circles, as well as the government.

As a result, General Campbell walked back the idea earlier this year, saying he did not want to "be at odds" with the government's position on the issue and to avoid "negative public attention".

The parents of Private Gregory Sher, who was killed in a rocket attack in 2009, thanked Mr Dutton for the move.

"We express our sincere appreciation for your decision to only withdraw the Meritorious Unit Citation for those soldiers who have been convicted of misdemeanours," Felix and Yvonne Sher said.

"The Brereton Report and subsequent decision by CDF Angus Campbell were grossly unfair and devoid of thorough analysis.

"The psychological effect that his decision would have had on those that served with honour and on families like ours would have been most hurtful and groundless."

Today, Mr Dutton told Nine Radio the decision would be reversed given the vast majority of ADF personnel did nothing wrong. 

"Those people deserve our recognition, our praise, our honour, because many of them have lost mates," he said.

"Families this Anzac Day should proudly wear that medal in honour of their loved one who passed away in the service of this country."

But Mr Dutton did make clear anyone found to have committed a war crime would still lose the honour.

"My judgment was that we shouldn't be punishing the 99 per cent for the sins of one per cent," he said.

"This says to people very clearly before Anzac Day that we want to reset, that we want to provide support to those people who have served their country and as I say, who have died in that service."

The citation was awarded to the Task Groups for "sustained and outstanding warlike operational service in Afghanistan from 30 April 2007 to 31 December 2013, through the conduct of counter-insurgency operations in support of the International Security Assistance Force".

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