LOL – Australia is nearly there as well. Russian police arrest a man for holding up a blank piece of paper.

The troubling thing here is that the guy is not arrested for doing or even saying anything, but for what the officers assume to be his thoughts. It’s just a more extreme example of the state giving itself the ability to legislate thought, and we are increasingly seeing that here in Australia and elsewhere in the so-called free world. I liked what a journalist wrote in “Le Monde” years ago when the French parliament was considering laws allegedly necessary to combat terrorism, “Terrorists can kill people but not a nation, whereas bad legislation can.”

UDHR 18 (1): “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

The mind is off limits to law because those who created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights well understood that all authoritarian regimes begin with small impositions on freedom of thought and speech, and they always have a way of justifying this, usually to protect the public from some terrible, but near non-existent on proper analysis, threat.

And back in Sydney again. Upcoming climate action.

Back in Sydney to repair the bike, got a much-needed haircut, and when ready in a few days, I’ll head off to complete the ride north which at the last attempt was interrupted by a climate-change-enhanced weather event. On my return I want to cover a climate change protest organised by a group calling themselves ‘Blockade Australia’ which I believe has already stopped road and rail traffic in both Newcastle and Sydney. Is it a good strategy when you block average people from going about their daily business? Che would say it isn’t, and during the Cuban revolution he made a point of not upsetting the middle class, and says as much in the book he wrote on strategy.
Not that I would have any advise to give to young people who, and as we know because we were also young before becoming what to them is stupid and geriatric, but if I dared do so, I’d suggest keeping it about climate and protest in ways that make protesting about inaction on climate something conservatives could join in, without feeling obligated to embrace far-left policies.
We need unity and common cause, and already this criminal war in Ukraine is destroying our chances of achieving that in time to save life on Earth. One of the reasons I believe we should act with firm resolve in ridding Earth of wannabe dictators who deluded, want to make Russia/China/America ‘great again. Enough of the bullshit, we have work to do.

Uphill push, and who will be the greatest leader ever?

Pushed the bike and trailer up the Victoria Pass, that’s the steep climb that winds up the western side of the Blue Mountains. I wanted to ride, but with the weight of the trailer, I think the bike’s chain would have snapped. Just kidding, but on the steepest parts pushing was faster than cranking along in the lowest ‘granny gear’. Still, I think I can say I faced the challenge and made it to the top.

Halfway two women were heading down, on bikes with panier bags loaded, I raised my arm and pounded the air with my fist, the first woman responded by doing the same—power to the sisters.

From the top of the pass onwards is an easy ride, I stopped in Blackheath for a coffee, and sitting outside the café, I felt rather pleased with myself, wondering why I feared the Bathurst to Katoomba, and realising I did Bathurst to Lithgow in half the time it last took me a few years ago, LOL I must be getting fitter in my old age. Shit! I might well live to one hundred, and be around to witness the failure of humans to save themselves from their own madness. Climate change, always front and centre in my mind. Every time I see a little kid, I feel like going down on one knee and say how sorry I am we, the adult generation, have failed to protect their right to life.

If ever there were a time when a name would go down in history as the greatest of leaders, it would be now; the one who unified humanity in the struggle to preserve life on planet Earth, and from that struggle began an era within which a human civilisation emerged, living in peace, and as part of nature. A civilisation that over time would see the human species expand to the outer limits of our galaxy. We can imagine it, therefore it must be possible.

Bathurst and a heartbreaking find by the Molong creek.

So, Newcastle to Dunedoo, and then onto Dubbo and Wellington just north of which I found two spokes on the rear wheel were broken. No choice but to continue fingers crossed there would be no more surprises. From Wellington I continued down the Mitchell Highway and just passed Molong and looking for a place to camp, I found what looked like a rest stop with a memorial to the war dead by the side of a creek. There were other monuments but the sun setting I didn’t stop to check them out but rather followed a track that appeared to lead to an area where I might camp. At the end of the track there were concrete blocks with pictures of children who had been, I suppose you could say, ‘transported to Australia’ from England between the nineteen thirties and seventies. I’d heard about them, and how only recently were they given an apology and some financial compensation. Continuing passed the track, pushing the bike and trailer through knee-high grass, I found a billabong next to which were good sitting rocks, trunks of fallen trees and long grass, a great place to camp.

With the tent set up, the last light of day above the hills behind me, I imagined scores of children coming to this place, maybe spotting platypus, as I did sitting on a log, sipping a coffee. Later in the night, a full moon rose, I thought I heard laughter.

In the morning, before getting back on the bike to continue the ride to Orange, I walked around the other monuments and found lists of names, some with ages, the oldest children were thirteen, the youngest just four. Several hundred had been sent from England to a farm school located just across the highway, and from memory of an interview of a survivor, they were not told it was a one way trip, they thought they were going on a holiday. Text on a plaque told of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse they suffered at Fairbridge Farm School in New South Wales.

The children were given a new set of clothes and a cardboard suitcase when they turned seventeen, and were sent on their way to face life on their own. The boys often became farmhands on remote sheep stations, the girls. domestic servants. Reading on, the text said the site of the monument was where the children escaped the cruelty of the school to play by the creek.

In the words of today’s generation, Mad Respect.

The site is just south of Molong along the Mitchell Highway, do stop if driving that way, and give those brave kids a bit of your time.

Today, I arrived in Bathurst hoping to catch a train back to Sydney, but the track damage caused by recent floods has as yet not been repaired, so will have to ride across the Blue Mountains. It’s going to be tough, I’ll dedicate the pain to those I thought I heard laughing.

No time to be weak.

Have to agree with retired four star Wesley Clark, Ukraine is just the first ex-Warsaw block nation Putin wants back under Russian control. At the very least we should make a direct attack on Russia something its military commanders would fear to be imminent, which would leave them with two choices; continue to support Putin and see Russia destroyed with or without use of nuclear weapons, those in the west should be on high alert and probably are, or remove Putin and his cronies from power and call an election. The Russian military are not mad, the reason Putin sits as far as possible from senior commanders when further proving to them his brain has suffered a short circuit. The Russian military might soon wake up to the fact their duty to the Russian people is to remove the corrupt, degenerate criminals in the Kremlin.