Episode 237 – “We Were Here First” is not a great argument.

According to Proudhon, all property is either claimed or seized and the argument ” We were here first” is no better than “We are taking this off you”.

Australia Day

See episode 213 for a full discussion of our thoughts on indigenous matters.

If you support the idea of Invasion Day, do you call boat people invaders? Why not?

Let’s think about property rights.

The birdcage analogy.

At one point, nobody owned anything and then people claimed exclusive rights. They claimed a right to exclude others.

All land ownership derives from

A             “I was here first”; or

B             “conquest by the strong over the weak”; or

C             “buying or inheriting from A or B” which is therefore tainted with the original sin.

Proudhon said at various points, certain pieces of the world have been claimed but that claim has no natural legitimacy. It is unclear why, looking at an unclaimed world, I should be able to take part of it for myself and demand that other people recognise my right. By what right do I get to exclude people from certain parts of the world and where does that right come from?

Maybe If I have made improvements then I can enjoy those improvements but should that be forever? What about future generations?

Next Week

The bible study was very well received so I thought I would take listeners through the opening chapters of Kenan Malik’s book “The Moral Compass” and basically look at how ideas of morality emerged and changed starting with the Greek legends (the Iliad and the Odyssey), Greek Philosophers (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle), the rise of Judaism and finishing with early Christianity and hopefully in that process denouncing the idea that modern morality emerged out of Christianity.

Micro Party Merges

The 1800 state members of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party have voted overwhelmingly to become the NSW branch of the Reason Party.

Dying with Dignity vice-president Shayne Higson, who has run for the Voluntary Euthanasia party in two state elections, two federal elections and the Wentworth byelection, said being a single-issue party was an electoral liability.

“The feedback from our volunteers is that although people support our issue and would really love to send a message to a NSW Parliament, they are concerned about electing representatives who are running for a single-issue party,” Ms Higson said.

The Fist has joined Labor

Let’s see what happens.


Tennis in Adelaide

Winners ceremony.

Chanted and clapped sticks and removed evil spirits from the trophies.

Asked ancestors to take away negative energy.

Remember the PISA Tests?

Maybe Western students don’t try?

The hand-wringing over the continuing decline in Australia’s PISA results misses the issue of whether students try their best on the tests. The OECD’s report on PISA 2018 shows that about three in four Australian students and two-thirds of students in OECD countries did not try their hardest on the tests. There are also wide differences between countries. It has potentially explosive implications for the validity of international comparisons of student achievement based on PISA.

The report shows that 68% of students across the OECD did not fully try. In Australia, 73% of students did not make full effort. This was the 14th highest proportion out of 36 OECD countries. The report also shows large variation in student effort across countries. Around 80% of students in Germany, Denmark and Canada did not fully try compared to 60% in Japan and 46% in Korea.

The report adds to extensive research evidence on student effort in standardised tests. Many overseas studies over the past 20 years have found that students make less effort in tests that have no or few consequences for them. For example, a study published last year by the US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) based on data from PISA 2015 found that a relatively high proportion of students in Australia and other countries did not take the tests seriously.

Less effort in tests leads to lower results. As the OECD report on PISA 2018 states: “differences in countries’ and economies’ mean scores in PISA may reflect differences not only in what students know and can do, but also in their motivation to do their best”

How did they measure this?

An issue with the OECD data on student effort in PISA is that it is based on student self-reporting. There are well-known problems with self-reporting such as how truthful students are about their effort and the extent to which answers provided on subjective response scales can be compared across students and across countries.

Bushfire Donations

The Australian Red Cross has received more than $90 million in donations to assist Australians affected by the devastating bushfires of recent months.

But the charity has admitted it will distribute less than a third of the money raised and it could take up to three years before some bushfire affected victims receive anything at all.

Constance also took a swipe at the Salvation Army and St Vincent De Paul, saying the charities are taking too long to distribute donations.

Vinnies has collected 12.5 million nationally for its bushfire appeal, but has so far only handed out $1 million to victims, all in NSW.

Why are we outsourcing this to religious groups?

It could be worse, Senator McKenzie could be in charge of allocating the money.

Fire Fighter Compo

From the Fassifern Guardian

Eligibility criteria:

  • Volunteer becomes eligible to claim for days on the fire line after fighting fires for 10 days – cannot claim for first 10 days, can only claim for days after the first 10
  • Can only claim for those hours fighting the fires within normal working hours e.g. if a firefighter fought fire for 18 hours on one day and only 4 of the 18 hours were within the volunteer’s normal working day, then can only claim for those 4 hours
  • If a firefighter made up the hours away from work by working at night or on the weekend, or received payment from their employer, then cannot claim those hours
  • Must prove loss of income


  • Volunteer can only claim a daily rate commensurate with their normal daily wage, after tax, up to a maximum of $300
  • If a volunteer works part time and they fought a fire on days that they do not normally work, then they cannot claim for those days
  • If a volunteer is retired, then they cannot claim any days
  • If a volunteer is a primary producer then they must be able to prove that if they had stayed home on the days they fought the fire, they would have made money


The Tories Won

Jonathon Pie blames abuse of Brexiters similar to the abuse of deplorables.

Jonathon Freedland in The Guardian blames the unpopularity of Corbyn.

OK Boomer

The intergenerational divide is hardening

The ANU Australian Election study (AES) was released on Monday.  From the front page of its website you can download:

  • The 1987-2019 trends report – 117 graphs, with data points, of people’s changing attitudes to political issues and perceptions of politicians;
  • The 2019 election report – an analytical focus on the May election, with interpretation and some of the more salient findings from the 1987-2019 trends;
  • The latest data – a set of data files in various formats (CSV, SAS etc), with enough to keep an analytical nerd occupied until writs are called for the next election.


Thank you


The term originated in late nineteenth-century legislation and constitutional amendments passed by a number of U.S. Southern states, which created new requirements for literacy tests, payment of poll taxes, and/or residency and property restrictions to register to vote. States in some cases exempted those whose ancestors (grandfathers) had the right to vote before the Civil War, or as of a particular date, from such requirements. The intent and effect of such rules was to prevent poor and illiterate African-American former slaves and their descendants from voting, but without denying poor and illiterate whites the right to vote. Although these original grandfather clauses were eventually ruled unconstitutional, the terms grandfather clause and grandfather have been adapted to other uses.

Ethical Dilemmas

Uber driver rejects couple because of their Christmas ham

A couple were left stranded and out of pocket after a rideshare driver refused to pick them up because they had a Christmas ham

The couple had been for dinner at their local RSL in Melbourne’s south-east on Tuesday night, and picked up a ham they’d won there a few weeks ago.

They ordered an Uber, but as they approached the car the driver told them the ride was cancelled.

“My husband had it (the ham) in his hand and the boot opened,” stranded passenger Marion told 3AW’s Kate and Quarters.

“The guy said ‘what’s that?”

“My husband said ‘it’s ham’, and he said ‘no, you can’t get in. The trip is cancelled.”

The driver told the couple he wouldn’t take them home with the ham because he was Muslim,

But when Marion checked her bank account she got a rude shock.

She’d been charged a cancellation fee from Uber for the ride which the driver cancelled!

“I looked it up and I got charged!,” she said.

“We were furious, we were left there.”

Nazi Flag

Premier Daniel Andrews has called for a couple who are flying a Nazi flag over their property in regional Victoria to take it down, describing it as “absolutely disgusting behaviour”.

“The people who are displaying that despicable flag, it’s just disgusting – it is absolutely disgusting behaviour,” Mr Andrews said on Tuesday.

“If there’s any decency in that household, they will take that flag down immediately.”

The Age revealed on Tuesday that the Victorian couple have been flying the flag featuring a swastika over their home for at least several weeks, reigniting calls to ban people publicly displaying the symbol.

Wombat Stoning

From the ABC

A video which appears to show an off-duty police officer stoning a wombat to death has left Aboriginal elders divided over traditional hunting methods.

Key points:

  • The video shows a man chasing a wombat while throwing rocks at it
  • Elders are divided on whether the incident was appropriate
  • Aboriginal people are allowed to hunt for food or for cultural reasons

The letter, shared with NITV News via the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation, said Mr Johncock was born “into a proud Kokotha/Wirangu family” on the state’s West Coast, and that he was “introduced to hunting native tucker at a very young age”.

“I completely agree with our traditional elders that the footage should have never been posted on social media because it has given the outside world a look into our traditional ways of living and for that, I am deeply sorry.”

Mr Johncock said he was unaware the video would be shared on social media, “or that it would be altered in such a way to try dishonour my occupation, name, family or culture”.

“As you are all aware I was in my religious capacity and was within my cultural right to take the life of the wombat and that it was cleaned, passed onto family and was then cut up and shared out amongst multiple other families.

Aboriginal people are currently allowed to hunt for the purpose of food and culture under South Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Act.

Both the RSPCA and Wombats SA have also called for the laws around Indigenous hunting to be reviewed.

The RSPCA’s SA branch said, “the use of inhumane methods to kill animals — whether for subsistence or not — is unacceptable”.

Wombats SA president Peter Clements called for “a review of the dispensation that native people have to kill native animals that are otherwise protected”.

“There’s a loophole in the law for them, which I think the criteria for who’s allowed to do that should be more strict or more based on proper traditional Aboriginal methods of hunting,” Mr Clements said.

Major “Moogy” Sumner, a Ngarrindjeri elder, rejected calls for changes that would result in bans on traditional hunting.

Indigenous communities ban God Botherers

From The Daily Mail

Aboriginal elders in a remote Western Australian community want to ban Christians from visiting their region.

The indigenous community said the religious organisation was attempting to convert them to Christianity and away from their traditional culture.

The group of elders asked WA’s discrimination watchdog if they were allowed to forbid the Christian group – who wasn’t identified – from their community.

Equal Opportunity Commissioner of WA John Byrne said the religious group most likely wouldn’t be able to lodge a complaint if they were to be banished.

Mr Byrne said the elders would succeed as the ground of religious conviction does not apply to places.

‘Aboriginal communities should be able to say who comes on their land,’ Mr Byrne told The Western Australian.

‘They can say ‘please do not come onto our land, we do not want you there’. That’s not a ground (for discrimination) under the act.

‘Basically controlling your community is important to preserve your culture against the various types of threats.’

Christian organisations are known to visit remote communities across the state, including Kingdom Aviation Ministries and Chariots of Fire Ministries.

Members of Kingdom Aviation Ministries fly to communities every week in the hope of expanding their outreach.

‘Many areas within Western Australia are very remote and have no viable witness to Christ,’ KAM’s website reads.

‘Since the progressive withdrawal of Christian missions there is a whole generation that has never heard the gospel.’

Daily Mail Australia does not suggest Kingdom Aviation Ministries or Chariots of Fire Ministries are the groups the elders wish to ban.

Sikhs in Canberra don’t need a bike helmet

From SBS news

Australians will no longer be fined for wearing religious headwear instead of a helmet while bike riding in Canberra, under new rules aimed at making cycling more inclusive.

The exemption, which came into effect quietly in December, was introduced after a Canberra man wrote to ACT Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury with a problem.

“I am a big fan of riding bicycles and I used to have a bicycle when I was in Melbourne because as a Sikh boy I had exemption not to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle,” he said.

The decision brings the ACT in line with Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, which all have similar regulations in place.

“The Territory supports individuals practising their religion or belief and this regulation ensures that sections of the community are not excluded from active forms of transport,” Mr Rattenbury said.

In NSW, the only state currently without a bike helmet exemption, members of the Sikh community have unsuccessfully lobbied state government representatives to have the law amended.

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