Thursday, December 07, 2023

Donald Day Jr has been arrested in connection with the Wieambilla terror attack. Here's what we know

The religious aspect of this matter is interesting. Chiliastic religions are as old as the hills. Dire prophecies were widely made throughout Europe concerning the approach of the year ONE thousand. Modern day chiliatic religions best known are the Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's witnesses. They both believe that Christ will return in glory SOON to put the world to rights.

But followers of such religions are usually pacifist if anything, not violent. So the Wieambilla cultists were unusual. Their difference seemed to revolve around a suspicion of all governments as oppressive, with a concomitant right to "strike back" at oppressive authorities. That is not without scriptural warrant. Christ said:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household” (Matthew 10:34-36).

And from a conservative viewpoint it can indeed be said that we have a lot of oppression from governments these days. We are probably fortunate that the conservative view does not usually ally with chiliastic beliefs Wieambilla shows that that can be a very deadly alliance

An Arizonan extremist linked to the Wieambilla attack was a figure in the shooters' lives for more than two years before they murdered three people, a police investigation has revealed.

Donald Day Jr, 58, was arrested at Heber-Overgaard near Phoenix on December 1 and indicted on two charges. One relates to inciting violence online several days after the 2022 shooting in rural Queensland.

Constables Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold, and neighbour Alan Dare, were killed on December 12, in what police have described as a religiously-motivated terrorist attack.

The shooters — Stacey, Gareth and Nathaniel Train — also died.

Police said the Trains subscribed to a broad Christian fundamentalist belief system known as premillennialism.

Their online activity has been a key part of the investigation.

How was Donald Day Jr connected to the Trains?

Police said Gareth Train began following Mr Day's YouTube account in May 2020. A year later, the men began commenting on one another's videos.

"We have evidence to show the Trains subsequently accessed an older YouTube account created by the same man in 2014, and viewed that content," Queensland Police Service (QPS) Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon said at a joint press conference with the FBI on Wednesday.

Between May 2021 and the month of the attack, Mr Day "repeatedly" sent the Trains what police have described as "Christian, end-of-days ideological messages".

"The man repeatedly sent messages … to Gareth, and then later to Stacey," Assistant Commissioner Scanlon said.

What is he accused of doing?

Documents released by the US District Court in Arizona outline two charges against Mr Day.

Only the first charge is connected to the Wieambilla shooting. The second charge concerns an unrelated threat made to the head of the World Health Organization.

The first charge centres on a YouTube video that Mr Day allegedly posted on December 16 – four days after the shooting.

The video was titled 'Daniel and Jane'. These were pseudonyms used by Gareth and Stacey Train on YouTube, according to the court documents.

In the video, Mr Day allegedly said:

"It breaks my f***ing heart that there's nothing that I can do to help them. These are a people that are not armed, as we are in America, that at least have that one resort to fight against f***ing tyrants in this country. And here, my brave brother and sister, a son and a daughter of the Most High have done exactly what they were supposed to do, and that is to kill these f***ing devils."

He allegedly went on to say:

"Like my brother Daniel, like my sister Jane, it is no different for us. The devils come for us, they f***ing die. It's just that simple. We are free people, we are owned by no-one."

Prosecutors allege that last comment was a threat of violence towards any law enforcement officials who could come to Mr Day's home.

Assistant Commissioner Scanlon said evidence had been seized from a remote property about 30 kilometres north of Heber-Overgaard and was being analysed by the FBI.

"QPS will make formal requests to the FBI for any evidential material removed from the Arizona property for analysis," she said.


Noise, chaos and disengagement: I was wrong about open-plan classrooms

As a principal, I got it wrong about open-plan classrooms. It’s an inconvenient truth for me to face, but the findings of the recently released Senate inquiry into teaching in Australia are too hard for me to ignore.

The inquiry was set up last year to examine why Australia was in 2018 ranked 69 out of 76 countries for “disciplinary climate” in classrooms based on Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) surveys. Korea had the best disciplinary climate, while the United States was ranked 24th and the UK 28th.

It’s rare that I find myself agreeing with a Senate inquiry into education. And there’s plenty in its report released last week for me to disagree with, too.

For instance, the suggestion that we establish a “behaviour curriculum” where students are taught respect one more excruciating time by teachers already at their wits’ end squeezing in the complementary lessons on honesty, responsibility and empathy is just bonkers.

Only a staggeringly low level of consultation with actual teachers and a gaping gulf between what sounds like a good idea and what’s helpful could lead senators to suggest something so simplistic and preposterous.

So, let’s be clear on that one. Kids don’t become respectful via a mini-lesson on respect any more prevalently than they become serial killers when they read about Jack the Ripper.

All that said, the report’s assertion that we do away with the fad of open-plan learning environments, inspired by our unquenchable thirst to follow the lead of successful Scandinavian school systems, stands the test of logical scrutiny.

Many schools in perceived educational powerhouses, such as Finland, have removed the walls of the classrooms in an attempt to have teachers co-operate and collaborate more effectively.

It’s sound, in theory. Schools, for centuries, have been built like egg cartons and have denied teachers the very best professional learning they can access – seeing another teacher deploy the craft expertly.

And so, we removed the barriers in countless schools – like mine. I was the inaugural principal of a school built for co-teaching, a model where two teachers worked together with about 50 students.

We trained these teachers thoroughly using the work and guidance of international experts, even some from Finland. We paired the teachers for professional growth, rather than simply with their friends, and invested in healthy professional co-operation.

We certainly did more to prepare and train our teachers for a huge architectural transformation than many schools who knock the walls down with an “OK, let’s see how this goes” attitude.

The classrooms were fitted with acoustic paneling to mitigate the obvious risk of doubling the noise level of the students in a single space and the results weren’t entirely negative.

I paired one graduate teacher, who’d never taught a lesson before, with a brilliantly gifted and emerging leader. After 12 months, the grad had seen countless hours of exemplary classroom practice and his compatriot had won a promotion for her leadership and mentorship.

But were these gains worth it? I’d say no, firmly.

Despite our best efforts and the funky paneling, I witnessed noise levels above what I’d consider conducive to learning, thinking and problem-solving.

I watched problematic student behaviours become more difficult for teachers to identify and support. This was exacerbated by the square meterage of the classroom because the architects of the school had used the open-plan excuse to reduce the per-student space allocated to each classroom.

I saw panicked teachers revert to the senior of the pair delivering around 80 per cent of the student instruction while the more junior teacher waited nervously to come off the bench.

That’s not ideal. It’s really hard – like incredibly hard – to engage more than 50 students in how you multiply fractions when they’d rather be playing Xbox.

And I watched as our neurodiverse students and those affected by trauma struggled. In open-plan learning environments, these students too easily slip through the cracks while teacher attention takes a more group-than-individual focus.

Further, I’ve watched these students become genuinely disturbed by the noise levels. Nobody can learn, least of all these kids for whom education means everything to their future independence, when they’re freaked out by their environment.

So, I’ve concluded that my leadership of a school with a thoroughly open-plan intention was, on balance, a failure. And I don’t even feel bad about it.

Sure, I can be accused of succumbing to a little Finn-envy and agreeing to lead a school whose architecture would contribute to us learning a national lesson the hard way – by trial and error.

But that’s how so much great learning happens. Most adults reading this article didn’t learn that the stove is hot via parental insistence. Seared fingertips did that job for you, and it’s a lesson that taught you well.

Our schools should always seek opportunities to work differently and to help our rapidly evolving young people to engage effectively. But they should also be brave enough to admit it when their experiments and initiatives fail. Open plan is just such a failure.

We’ll discuss the absurd folly of respect mini-lessons another time.


Why isn’t the media challenging the $60 trillion Net Zero cult?

Those who believe renewable energy will save the planet generally have very little understanding about what the apocalypse is meant to look like … or the engineering reality of the proposed solution.

This is not a criticism.

Climate Change is a political movement. The renewable transition is a collection of opaque policies and corporate deals negotiated in secret. Their failures are a matter for complex engineering reviews and guesswork.

Expecting anyone to understand something that has been deliberately blurred from public view is unfair.

Those who are curious enough to ask questions quickly discover that politicians have no idea what their policies mean in the real world. MPs and Senators struggle to make it through cover speeches written by their advisers, tripping over the big words and mumbling their way in and out of statistics that look fabricated or, at the very least, incomplete.

Net Zero 2050? ‘Decarbonisation’? They are bits of nonsense that look good on a campaign banner.

Political parties, mining companies, and tech firms are pilfering a fortune in public and private money to ‘do things’ that sound ‘green’ – almost all of which are damaging the environment. Is there proof that anything is truly ‘net zero’? No. ‘Carbon neutral’? That is gibberish. But no one asked for proof, so it doesn’t matter.

Where are, for example, the total costings of a wind farm over a 100-year period including ripping it out of the ground and re-building it every 25 years concealed under the feel-good heading ‘re-powering’? What about the construction and maintenance of transmissions lines, the building of the battery backup, and the replacement of that backup at least four times during the life of the wind farm? We haven’t seen that on any of Chris Bowen’s glossy press releases. His department did not include those costs when formulating the ‘cheap energy’ narrative. I am not suggesting that the Minister for Climate Change and Energy (notice the priority order in that title) is hiding the figures, I am suggesting the government has not bothered figuring them out.

Green-tinged governments were either too dumb or lazy to check the detail before signing over billions. They were bamboozled by pitch meetings given by a hungry private sector chasing a piece of the tens of trillions on offer in the energy transition. This negligence in duty is almost more depressing than conspiracy.

That said, the public are starting to realise that having their pristine landscapes draped in wires, blades, solar panels, and batteries is not the environmentally-friendly Utopia they were promised. The industrialisation of our beaches, rainforests, and oceans feels wrong. It looks wrong. It is wrong.

Under Chris Bowen and state Labor Premiers, Australia is vandalising its natural assets in service of backroom handshakes at international talk-fests – the purpose of which is to make money and empower dangerous foreign governments. Ask why mining companies would support a Net Zero ideology that pretends to hate the industry. Ask how much money these companies are making from publicly-funded grants for ‘green’ solutions. Ask how much the price of previously worthless minerals has increased now that they are used for the renewable industry. Ask how much they are making on Lithium with global government policy mandating the market create unsustainable demand. Ask who is making a fortune while pretending to close down… Ask who is keeping their fossil fuel and nuclear assets in the back pocket for a time when all this green zealotry runs out of belief… Ask who profits from your good will.

Australia’s soft-press is refusing to ask these meaningful questions or to risk embarrassing politicians either because they are incapable or, more likely, they want to protect their seat on the press bus (and clicks for their network).

Politicians and the press have developed a sick dependency on each other. Politicians are frightened of the press and the press has grown lazy and ideologically obedient. Yes, those of us who ask uncomfortable questions get quickly cut out of the media circuit and there is no requirement for politicians to suffer the indignity of a tricky interview.

Meanwhile, the independent press, who are at the door with claws and teeth, are held at bay by Silicon Valley tech giants who would prefer to work with the easily-manipulated status quo. Whenever they want another billion-dollar tech contract out of the government, they send memos to the press. It’s win-win-win for them.

Big Tech has teamed up with the Climate Change movement, expanding the pool of potential revenue upward of $60 trillion worldwide. When we take into account the money to be made from Big Pharma’s global health passports, Digital Identity, ‘smart’ cities, fake food, and 15-minute surveillance towns – the cookie jar of corporate sin expands beyond description.

The public asks why there is a consensus of lies and the answer is: money.

This money doesn’t belong to politicians – it belongs to us – and because there are no consequences for this lightweight political class, they are more than happy to wedge the door open for Silicon Valley in exchange for a friendly press and zero push-back to their mistakes thanks to ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ social media guidelines.

Look what happened during Covid. The press, including allegedly conservative-friendly media around the world, took money to promote Covid health policies and then quietly refused to openly acknowledge mounting safety concerns. They laughed at accusations of social media censorship instead of demanding the truth from the Department of Home Affairs which later had to acknowledge leaning on Facebook and Twitter to remove factual information that harmed government message of vaccine safety when those vaccines were later revealed to be as the public had warned – potentially dangerous.

This is not a functioning society. It is a democracy crumbling with the consent of those who see anything with the word ‘free’ as a risk.

During Covid, the public allowed their fear to hold them back from asking questions.

Now, when it comes to the Green Era, ‘virtue’ and embarrassment are playing the role of duct-tape.

Start asking questions.


News Corp, ABC paid total of $445,000 to settle Lehrmann defamation claims

News Corp paid $295,000 to settle Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation case over an interview with Brittany Higgins while the ABC paid $150,000 to settle a separate case, documents tendered in his Federal Court defamation case against Network Ten reveal.

The former federal Liberal political staffer filed Federal Court defamation proceedings against News Corp in February over interviews with his former colleague Higgins published on February 15, 2021. The News Corp case was settled in May.

In April, Lehrmann filed separate proceedings against the ABC over a National Press Club address by Higgins on February 9 last year, which was televised by the ABC, and a related YouTube video.

The ABC case was due to be heard alongside Lehrmann’s defamation trial against Ten over an interview with Higgins broadcast on The Project on February 15, 2021. On the first day of the Ten trial last month, the court heard Lehrmann had discontinued his action against the ABC after the parties reached an out-of-court settlement.

A deed of settlement and release, tendered in evidence in the Ten case and released by the Federal Court on Wednesday, reveals the ABC agreed to pay a total of $150,000, including $143,000 as a contribution to Lehrmann’s legal costs.

The broadcaster agreed to pay a further $7000 to solicitors acting for the ABC’s Laura Tingle, the National Press Club president, to cover the costs incurred by Lehrmann relating to Tingle’s compliance with a subpoena to produce documents in the case.

As part of the deed, Lehrmann warranted that the settlement sum was “less than his actual legal costs” of the proceedings.

The ABC further agreed to publish a statement on its corrections and clarifications page; not to reinstate the YouTube video, which was removed on April 6; and to remove a Facebook video.

“The parties acknowledge and agree that the ABC makes no admission of liability,” the deed, signed on November 21, says.

Lehrmann had alleged the National Press Club broadcasts conveyed the defamatory meaning that he “raped Brittany Higgins on a couch in Parliament House”. He has strenuously denied the sexual assault allegation.

The News Corp settlement

Under the News Corp settlement, also released by the Federal Court on Wednesday, News Life Media agreed to pay Lehrmann $295,000 as a contribution towards his legal costs.

“Without admission of liability, the parties have reached a commercial resolution of the claim,” the deed says.

News Corp agreed to publish an editor’s note on two articles by Samantha Maiden in the following terms: “Mr Lehrmann commenced defamation proceedings claiming that this article accused him of sexually assaulting Brittany Higgins.

“These proceedings were discontinued and settled on terms satisfactory to Mr Lehrmann and the publisher of this website. notes that a criminal charge of sexual assault was brought against Mr Lehrmann and later dropped. does not suggest that Mr Lehrmann was guilty of that charge.”

Lehrmann had claimed the News Corp articles, which did not hame him, wrongly alleged he raped Higgins.

Sexual assault denied

Lehrmann has denied sexually assaulting Higgins in Reynolds’ office in the early hours of March 23, 2019, and has told the court that there was no sexual contact between the pair at any stage.

Lehrmann’s ACT Supreme Court trial for sexual assault was aborted last year due to juror misconduct. The charge against Lehrmann was later dropped altogether owing to concerns about Higgins’ mental health. He has always maintained his innocence.

The Ten case

Lehrmann is suing Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson for defamation over an interview with Higgins, aired on The Project on February 15, 2021, that he alleges wrongly accuses him of sexually assaulting Higgins. He was not named in the broadcast and a preliminary issue in the case is whether he was identified via other means.

If the court finds he was identified, Ten and Wilkinson are seeking to rely on a range of defences including truth, which would require the court to be satisfied to the civil standard – on the balance of probabilities – that he raped Higgins. In a criminal trial, the prosecution must prove a person is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.




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