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The Rich have influence

 

One of the more useful results of accumulating enormous wealth is that people pay attention to your pronouncements. 

The ideas espoused by the mega-rich are covered extensively by the media and discussed with a seriousness that often belies their self-interest, lack of expertise or even bigotry.

Who can forget Lang Hancock’s ambitious plan to use nuclear weapons for mining and for dredging new ports along the northwest coast?

A grandiose absurdity only eclipsed by his grotesque idea to sterilise “half-caste” Aboriginal people by doping their water.

It seems Hancock had no qualms about genocide or turning Western Australia into a radioactive white ethnostate.

 

Lang had a similar disregard for the hazards associated with asbestos  – the true beginnings of the Hancock fortune“…he was known for (his) party trick of spreading asbestos on his Weet-Bix to prove the point.”

 

“During the mining operations, more than 20,000 men, women and children lived at Wittenoom. Some of the workers sent there were part of the Commonwealth Government policy to place new migrants for a period of two years in any work situation.” – The Wittenoom TragedyAsbestos Diseases Society of Australia Inc (ADSA)

 

Another advantage to being mega-Rich is that your views (if challenged at all) are more often portrayed as eccentric, rather than the bat-shit crazy tag reserved for the less financially endowed.

“Give money to universities — that would be asking for trouble. All those places do is turn out more Communists.” ~ Lang Hancock

 

Lang’s plan to deal with the Aboriginal “problem”

Gina’s ‘becoming’ – Nature or Nurture?

 

As though in deference to Lang Hancock’s unique legacy, his daughter Gina Rinehart has made similar self-serving and tone-deaf pronouncements over the years. Sharing the common theme, that what’s good for Gina is good for Australia.

 

“Billionaire Gina Rinehart has pleaded with Queensland’s top political leaders to construct more facilities to moor yachts to “enable standards of living to rise” – Gina Rinehart calls for more places to moor her yacht by Brisbane 2032 Olympic GamesJames Hall – The Australian

Gina complained of rough seas and attendant sleeplessness on her voyage as she pleaded for more yachting berths by video from the deck of a super yacht.

 

“Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day” Magnate Rinehart says Australia too expensive for miningReuters

Gina made this statement when the Gillard Labor government was in power. Eventually the Liberal Tony Abbott government was installed and… “Hancock Prospecting was granted government approval in May (2012) to hire just over 1,700 foreign construction workers for (Gina’s) Roy Hill project in Western Australia.”

 

Gina boasts of being self-made and sees any criticism about her drive for more power and profits as jealousy.

“There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you’re jealous of those with more money don’t just sit there and complain, do something to make more money yourself,” she wrote in Australian Resources and Investment magazine. “Spend less time drinking, smoking and socialising and more time working.” World’s Richest Woman Tells Jealous People To Drink Less And Work MoreJoshua Berlinger – Business Insider

 

Gina’s up around the $30,000,000,000 mark in wealth. So a millionaire 30,000 times over. Thanks to the proceeds of selling resources that don’t belong to her.

Some people might think that’s a wee excessive.

Gina worshipped Lang and certainly shares the unbridled ambition/greed, ego and lack of empathy her father and psychopaths generally exhibit.

 

“Through such unfortunate ignorance, too much abuse is hurled. Against miners, workers and related industries who strive to build the world.” – Poetry from Gina’s book – ‘Northern Australia and Then Some: Changes we need to make our country rich’Available through the Institute of Pubic Affairs and the Small Business Association of Australia if you’re interested.

 

 

Some NITpicking observations

 

Few people seem convinced by Gina’s philanthropic gestures. Most seeing her as an insatiable, power-hungry individual.

One an equitable society wouldn’t tolerate, if her ilk didn’t set the Laws, control the media and dictate who governed over us.

I found only one voice prepared to speak in her favour outside our mainstream billionaire-sycophantic media…

…the National Indigenous Times, a newspaper that has been acquired by “a syndicate described as “pro-business”, that includes former Kimberley Land Council CEO Wayne Bergmann and West Australian journalist Tony Barrass“. Tony who died in February 2021 from cancer was chief media adviser for former WA Liberal Party leader Liza Harvey.

NIT’s newest Editor is Giovanni Torre. Can’t see any obvious problems with him. Man’s even got a sense of humour.

Spidercam? 

 

Since this article I’m quoting was published, Bergmann has gained 100% ownership of NIT.

 

“Mr Bergmann is best known for being a passionate advocate for (Woodside Petroleum’s) James Price Point LNG precinct north of Broome, and for brokering (a) more than one billion dollar compensation package for traditional owners, when he headed up the Kimberley Land Council.”

 

A rival syndicate, reportedly made up of academics and Indigenous activists competed for ownership of the paper.

“A 2015 pamphlet appealing for donations on behalf of the rival syndicate expressed an anti-mining sentiment.

“It is vital that NIT stays in the hands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who understand and appreciate the impact of government policy upon communities, and the terrible impact of mining upon country,” it said.”

 

I was a big fan of NIT in its early days, so it’s sad to see it taken over by business-minded, pro-mining conservatives. If that sounds unfair or a mite judgemental let’s have a listen to what they say…

These are pieces/apologia from NIT about yet another Gina controversy…

“The mining company’s $15 million sponsorship commitment, which was to continue for four years, had attracted media attention and public scrutiny after players reportedly expressed concern over wearing the Hancock logo on their uniforms.

Diamonds player and Noongar woman Donnell Wallam was reportedly uncomfortable with historic racist comments made by the company’s former owner, Mrs Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock” – Gina Rinehart criticised ‘virtue signalling’ netballers. What happened with the Diamonds, and does it matter?Jessica Bahr SBS
 
Gina could simply have explained she accepted her father was a racist old sod, who made carnal exceptions for his Aboriginal staff but didn’t reflect her values.
 
Instead, Gina withdrew her sponsorship money.
 
 
NIT

“There is no doubt in my mind that the actions of Lang Hancock are not reflective of conduct we expect in this day and age. No one is saying otherwise.

Yet because of historic comments made by her father, Ms Rinehart was discriminated against in this most public and objectifying way possible.

That reductionist, reflexive reaction is shameful, and degrades the contribution any of us make in the here and now if we are forever going to be judged by those who came before us.

Taken to its full extension, there would be few brands in the world any of us could use because of their unsavoury past.

Stop driving your Volkswagen or wearing Adidas because they were both used by the Nazis.

Don’t eat your Kit Kat because Nestle has a pretty terrible ethical history and put down your L’Oreal because it was invented by a fascist sympathiser.” Righteous brigade ignores Gina Rinehart’s unwavering support for Indigenous communities and Australian sport – Zak Kirkup – NIT (Zak Kirkup is of Yamatji heritage and is the former leader of the Liberal Party in Western Australia)

Can’t believe Zak didn’t use “Woke brigade”.

More NIT

“This is why both the direct benefits like royalties and indirect benefits such as contracting and employment arising from mining agreements are making a profound positive difference to thousands of Indigenous families throughout Australia.

NIT advertising

 

There has been much criticism of Mrs Rinehart because Lang Hancock was her father

Since when do we judge someone because of who their parents are or were or what they said?

What people perceive about someone is often the exact opposite of who that person actually is.

In spite of the negative headlines, Madalah‘s experience has been that Mrs Rinehart is a kind and generous person who genuinely cares about Madalah and its Indigenous students.”When it comes to Gina Rinehart, actions speak louder than words NIT

 


Still getting my head around this one, “What people perceive about someone is often the exact opposite of who that person actually is”.

Is this how I should be perceiving Gina?

Below is another extraordinary statement from the above article.

“The sadder irony will be if any government steps in to support Netball Australia, because they would have committed far more grievous sins than anything uttered by Lang Hancock during the 80s.”

Guess that makes Dan Andrews a “grievous sinner?” – “The Victorian government has announced a four-and-a-half-year deal to become the new sponsor of Netball Australia after Hancock Prospecting’s withdrawal from its $15m partnership amid controversy earlier this month.” – Victoria to sponsor Australian Diamonds netball team after Hancock Prospecting exit

NIT has expanded its reach around Australia. So it seems NIT’s new pro-mining/business stance has paid dividends.

Much more one could say about NIT’s defence of Gina – maybe another article?

 

 

Gina does defence strategy

 

“Billionaire Gina Rinehart says the new government must deploy drones and sea mines in Australia’s north-west to shore up the nation’s defences.

The Morrison government pledged in March to spend $4.3 billion building a large dry dock south of Perth to enable maintenance work on naval ships and submarines, but Mrs Rinehart said that base should be built in the Pilbara region near the iron ore mines that sustain Australia’s most lucrative export industry. “I hope with the new government a better decision is made in the interests of West Australians and northern Australia, to relocate the planned navy maintenance investment away from the people and port of Fremantle, and relocate to the north-west, to Cape Preston,” said Mrs Rinehart after Saturday’s election rout of Scott Morrison’s Coalition government. Cape Preston is located about 1460 kilometres north of Perth near the city of Karratha and about 300 kilometres south-west of Port Hedland; the port through which Mrs Rinehart’s companies Atlas Iron and Roy Hill ship their iron ore.” –  War drones, sea mines needed to defend north: Rinehart – Peter Ker – Financial Review
 

 

 

In keeping with her business-first rationale Ms Rinehart neglects to mention the country that poses a threat to her interests.

Need it be pointed out that Gina is talking about protecting her assets from China, a country she sells iron ore to?

She even has plans for live cattle export to China.

You would assume this would be a point worth raising in the AFR article? A billionaire profiting from China, while demanding the Australian government protect her business interests from China?

Given Gina’s concerns, supplying a country she believes to be a potential threat to Australia’s security with the raw material for missiles, drones and submarines seems a questionable ethical stance.

 

 

 

 

 

After Gina’s drone pronouncement came one of those events that might be seen as karmic retribution for hubris – if one was so-minded.

Akin to a super yacht packed with defence consultants, ASPI members, armaments dealers, high-ranking military personnel and assorted politicians sinking after an explosive meeting with one of Gina’s proposed sea mines.

Or (let’s run with this) Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas – who hates the homeless befouling his fair city – being killed by a suicidal homeless person jumping from a height.

Well maybe not, but my muse insisted on this imagery.¹

In short, Gina decided to provide some circuses for the masses and give her Roy Hill mining venture some publicity with a drone light show.

It did not go as planned.


 

“(Drone Sky Show managing director) Joshua Van Ross said that the company was looking into GPS interference to see what went wrong, and that wind interference was a possible cause. ‘If there is any wind interference drones do hit each other, that does happen, propellers snap, there are things that go wrong … two to three drones [falling] per show is actually normal … last night was not normal,’ he said.

No comment from Gina

The loss in equipment is estimated to be around $100,000, Van Ross said.  Divers on Monday were attempting to retrieve the equipment from the river.

Mayor Zempilas told WA Today he accepted the drone show on Sunday ‘fell short of expectation’. ‘Of course I accept that the drone show on Sunday night fell short of expectation, and that was, as I understand, because of technical issues … things can go wrong with technology of this kind,’ he said.”

Seems drones don’t always perform to “expectations”.  Which would be unfortunate if they were being used to defend Australia from an invading military force.

Same goes for much of the high-tech weaponry Australia is purchasing.

There are a few theories floating around (unlike Gina’s drones) about possible sabotage.

The “GPS interference” mentioned by Joshua Van Ross hints of dark forces at work.

Radio Frequency Jammers and GPS Spoofers are just part of an entire industry devoted to Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) technology.

Whatever and whoever was behind this embarrassing debacle doesn’t really matter. As Gina’s drone defence proposal is fraught with strategic problems as well as technical ones.

“Many experts agree that autonomous weapons systems may provide operational advantages during crises or armed conflicts, particularly in gray zone or hybrid warfare, but the strategic risks require policymakers to consider these dangers now to avert catastrophic results later.

Fully autonomous weapons systems increase the risk of miscalculation and/or misinterpretation, which may result in uncontrolled escalation among both state and nonstate competitors. This includes an increased threat of the use of WMDs.”Countering Swarms: Strategic Considerations and Opportunities in Drone Warfare – By Jonathan B. Bell

 

While there have been successful military uses of drones, defending thousands of kilometres of coast from invasion by a force well aware of your intentions and capabilities is another matter entirely.

 

 

Road to ruin


As a longtime science fiction buff I can envisage far more advanced weaponry. Veritable clouds of drones – millions of them using nanotechnology. Cheap to mass produce, controlled through AI and even capable of self-replication.

Sound fantastical? 

When new technologies cross from industry to the battlefield, calls arise to slow the process and consider international implications of using these weapons.

Louis A. Del Monte’s Nanoweapons is one of those calls. A physicist and former executive at IBM and Honeywell, Del Monte led advancements in microelectronics and sensors. His work is a serious attempt to use publicly available information to address the development and use of nanotechnology as weapons.

The author brings together ideas normally relegated to science fiction (e.g., laser weapons, artificial intelligence, and self-replicating nanorobots) and uses his technical background to inform the reader as to what is science fact.

While his most alarming predictions for humanity’s survival project to the year 2050 and beyond, he argues that his concerns are timely. He indicates that while revolutionary military nanotechnologies (e.g., stealth aircraft) may take decades to field, they are none­theless currently being developed. Now, according to the author, is the time to discuss the dangers of nanoweapons.Nanoweapons: A Growing Threat to Humanity Louis A. Del Monte

This is the path humanity is set upon. Deadlier and more autonomous death machines. Distracting from and contributing to Climate Change.

Then there are the existing rail guns, hypersonic missiles, laser technology (drone killers) EMP weapons and other projects under development we know nothing about.

 

J-20: The Stealth Fighter That Changed PLA Watching Forever

 

Australia is just not in that league. Technologically and numerically. Notwithstanding Gina’s defence stratagem.

 

China selling killer robot drones to Middle East, warns Pentagon chief

If things got really ugly chimeric viruses and chemical warfare would probably enter the fray.

Our pathetic attempts to deal with Covid which see our Prime Minister insisting that masks and restrictions (actually precautions) cause mental health problems would probably see most of our population eschew masks during viral or chemical attacks.

 

China’s Jin class or Type 094 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) capable of launching EMP weapons.  – Navy Office of Legislative Affairs

Last week, the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security issued a scary report on China’s ability to conduct an Electromagnetic Pulse attack on the United States. The key takeaway, according to Dr. Peter Pry,
 executive director of the task force, is that China now has super-EMP weapons, knows how to protect itself against an EMP attack, and has developed protocols to conduct a first-strike attack, even as they deny they would ever do so.

 

An EMP attack would probably make Gina’s “Drone Defence” a little unworkable too.

 

The best defence

Essentially Australia’s best means of combatting such weapons is diplomacy. Acting as a neutral braking force in our region.

Which means…

• Not continuing to participate with the USA’s plans to escalate tensions with China.

• Not encouraging NATO to antagonise China.

“NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg last week said China was “openly contesting the rules-based international order”- Yeah right.

• Not to meekly enter into war as we have done so many times at the behest of the USA.

 

              The N. Koreans, Vietnamese, Afghans and Iraqis weren’t exactly poised to invade our shores – or the USA’s for that matter.

 


• Not wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on expensive and strategically useless (to us) American weaponry.

 

One immediate benefit would be the enormous saving in time, energy and resources better used for infrastructure, Climate Change mitigation and lifting our people out of poverty.

Another would be the messaging to the world about Australia’s sovereignty overriding American unipolar ambitions.

It has never been sane geopolitical policy to antagonise our biggest trading partner China.

It’s concerning that whenever this idea is brought up – people immediately point to the Gough Whitlam’s Labor government’s demise due to challenging the USA’s domination over Australian foreign policy.

Stating we are subservient to the USA, a foreign power that our governments are supposedly compelled to obey, is closer to treason than reason. Besides we now have a powerful ally in our region that would prefer we retained our geopolitical autonomy.

“It is the Morrison administration’s imaginary fears of China that are making it scared of shadows. It should have the confidence and courage to let Australia stand on its own two feet in the Asia-Pacific, for which it doesn’t need to cling to the US.” Canberra being fearfully absurd antagonizing largest trade partner: China Daily editorial


Any military struggle between the USA and China could see Australia become another Ukraine. A geographically isolated proxy battlefield for the superpowers.
One where tactical nuclear devices (or worse) are far more feasible than Europe.

In any contest between the two superpowers, win, lose or draw, Australia would be devastated.

 

 

 

 

Notes from my muse

¹Apparently there were no survivors from the super yacht sea-mine incident.

Bad sharks!

Happily the normal crew had been replaced with a Blackwater security team.

 

On a positive note the homeless person who ended Basil Zempilas, survived relatively unscathed. They were housed and took control of their life back thanks to copious crowd-funding and popular support.

 

References

 

10 Counter-Drone Technologies To Detect And Stop Drones Today

National Indigenous Times acquired by Wayne Bergmann’s ‘pro-business’ syndicate

The making of a magnate

The British-American coup that ended Australian independence

The Miner’s Daughter Gina Rinehart is Australia’s richest—and most controversial—billionaire.

City of Perth, Basil Zempilas targeted by guerrilla artists over ‘anti-homeless’ measures

Fortescue accused of withholding $1.9m from Aboriginal people until they sign new mining leases

7 Reasons Rich People Are Psychopaths – By Morgan Quinn

War drones, sea mines needed to defend north: Rinehart

Anthony Albanese cites mental health concerns as reason for not tightening Covid rules

Australian Mining Heiress Hero Worships Her Father

Victoria to sponsor Australian Diamonds netball team after Hancock Prospecting exit

Trump pardons Blackwater contractors jailed for massacre of Iraq civilians

Sleepwalk to war: Australia on the horns of a US military alliance dilemma

What is the Difference Between a Drone, a UAV and a UAS?

Rinehart’s ‘half-sister’ speaks out on family

The family legacy Gina Rinehart would like to forget

Countering Swarms: Strategic Considerations and Opportunities in Drone Warfare

Gina Rinehart, Kerry Stokes and Chris Ellison in race to stake claim over Perth Basin despite gas price gap

Nanoweapons: A Growing Threat to Humanity

China unveils ‘world’s most powerful drone’ armed with terrifying high-tech missiles and a bombing range of 12,500 MILES

Canberra being fearfully absurd antagonizing largest trade partner: China Daily editorial

Article – Mrs Gina Rinehart – “Changes we need to make our country rich” – Australian Resources and Investment Magazine

After Zelensky’s Washington trip, Ukraine launches another attack inside Russia

Pentagon Says China Plans to Expand Nuclear Arsenal Faster Than Expected

China develops deadly ‘Silent Hunter’ lasers that can destroy drones from 1,000ft away as tensions soar with the US

Gina Rinehart recognised in Australia Day Honours for service to mining, community and sport

When it comes to Gina Rinehart, actions speak louder than words

Righteous brigade ignores Gina Rinehart’s unwavering support for Indigenous communities and Australian sport

Why Australia needs to prepare for nuclear attack: The local target experts have identified as a risk

China selling killer robot drones to Middle East, warns Pentagon chief

The ruling class gets its way as Australian life expectancy falls

‘Throwing toothpicks at the mountain’: Paul Keating says Aukus submarines plan will have no impact on China

The British-American coup that ended Australian independence

How is China tackling climate change?

 

Wittenoom Tragedy

The Issue