The hunt for slackbastard theantibogan Josh Bornstein

The Times of Israel blog entry, which Josh Bornstein did not write. Photograph: Screengrab

The white supremacist ultra-nationalist far right in Australia, like its pathetic bath-house-braces-bad-tatts-and-bare-nipples buddies overseas, is barking and baying an empty message of hate and violence consisting of repackaged bits of Mein Kampf along with selections from ancient propaganda toilet paper like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

In other words what they peddle as a “political philosophy/platform/vision” is totally devoid of a factual base.

Anyone with half a brain knows this, including their fellow travellers on the far right who are equally devoid of a factual basis for their own subset of bizarre beliefs. However these very same fellow travellers would indignantly deny they were associated with Nazis or were like them in any way despite ample evidence to the contrary.

The target du jour is Islam and Muslims: tomorrow it will be yet another group, probably the Jews who have never really lost their position as Hate Object No 1 with the nutzis.

The fact that Muslims are a multi-ethnic group and that Islam is a universal religious faith like Christianity is not a problem for the brain-dead racist zombies of Nutzidom. Nor is the notion and regular use of stalking, intimidation, slander and identity theft as an attempt to silence those they do not approve of.

Lacking any solid basis for the lies they peddle, the white supremacist/neo-Nazi/white nationalist collective have resorted to a number of illegal activities apparently designed to convey to their prospective recruits the impression that they have no opposition and that they are somehow “mainstream”.

Anyone with even a passing acquaintance with these criminals on social media will know that they employ a variety of strategies to silence their critics. These range from out and out threats, usually under a fake profile, continuing gender-, racial- and sexuality-based bullying and harassment, nuisance calls, publication of pictures and details of opponents’ young children (there’s a name for that beginning with “p”), vandalism to property and spurious complaints to workplaces (all of which are ignored by employers).

The latest person to have engaged their obsession is this man.

Josh Bornstein

Josh Bornstein is a prominent Melbourne human rights and industrial relations lawyer with an impressive record of taking on society’s nasties, ranging from rorting employers and companies to the institutional child abusers and their deniers in his own Jewish community.

You may remember the 2007 ABC series Bastard Boys based on the 1998 wharf dispute where Bornstein took on stevedoring company Patrick Corporation alongside the union movement.

So it raised eyebrows when this high-profile Australian lawyer came to the attention of a bunch of Internet maggots in their strenuous efforts to kick along their own war against Jews and Muslims by sabotaging the smallest amount of progress in the Middle Eastern peace process.

And as we have seen in similar instances of identity theft pulled off by these and similar extremists they started off by creating a fake “Josh Bornstein” blogger which managed to fool the editorial staff of the Times of Israel, a Jerusalem-based independent newspaper.

The story surfaced in the media in April, Crikey picked it up and it culminated in Bornstein himself writing an article for The Guardian detailing the stalking, harassment and identity theft.

Social media itself was not blameless.

A fake account was enthusiastically welcomed by Twitter who were happy to receive money to promote a tweet urging the killing of Arabs made by the fake Josh.

In Josh’s case perhaps the next to last word comes from Flavorwire

The insidious tactics of these hoaxers, combined with the speed and fury which which online “outrages” snowball and become major scandals, are also something to be on alert for in this brave new world in which trolls adapt and change tactics.

In the end, this mini-blowup is a good reminder to all of us, particularly the pugnacious and sensitive among us, that when we see something that seems as though it were explicitly designed to gin up a high level outrage and disgust, that might actually be the case.

And far from silencing Josh Bornstein, this has impelled him and others to redouble their efforts to work towards a just and tolerant world.

And we strongly suspect that quite a few of the enemy will be feeling the heavy hand of the law in due course – in this country and elsewhere.

Read more

Between neo-Nazis and jihadis, Melbourne lawyer Josh Bornstein won’t be silenced by identity theft

Some detritus – WARNING offensive content

Wagging the dog-whistle

A bunch of half-baked juvenile delinquents decide to head off to the Middle East because they fancy a bit of real life smiting, rape, pillaging and beheading mixed with brain-numbing fundamentalism.

Just like these guys


Makes for a convenient government beatup complete with fear-mongering and the opportunity to let the home-grown haters out of the cage.

Every picture tells a story

From Twitter

From Peter Lewis


How high is “teh_terror”? Depends on the daily state of Crusader Abbott’s hubris.

From Junkee

And do we again need a fridge magnet to hide behind as we wriggle under the bed or behind the sofa with the magnet clutched to our quivering chests?








 From Jon Kudelka


 And with Chrissie coming you can ramp up the groundless fear with your very own genuine autographed Tony Terror Sword ™ made in China of 100%  nuclear grade plastic.

And back in 1998 they even made a movie about it

 Tired of pictures? Have a read

The Burqa, Colonial Feminism and the Politics of Dog Whistling

Racist rants – it’s Perth’s turn

Sadly despite the successful apprehension and prosecution of racist abusers  and the increased willingness of normal members of the public to make a stand against these abusers we still get stories like these surfacing.

Unfortunately both stories are from Perth this time. Curiously too, the attacks were both from people from ethnic minorities.

The first involves a series of unhinged racist tweets made to West Coast Eagles star Nic Naitanui by Vinh Nguyen.


Read more:  Man charged over racist tweets to Nic Natanui


The second was a train ranter who targeted a young  Asian woman




Faux libertarian Senator tweets his true colours

And they’re not rainbow either…

David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democrat micro-party was elected last September as a NSW Senator.

There is some evidence that a considerable amount of the 8.9% of the vote which went his way resulted from voter confusion between his party and the Liberal Party.


One would expect that in employing staff who will ultimately be funded by the tax-payers, a neophyte Senator representing his state would firstly be eager to show that he was aware of the law and secondly that he would obey that law.

Take a  look at the NSW Anti-discrimination Act 1977 which is the relevant state law and which frowns upon intrusions into the privacy of prospective employees.


Questions relating to the private lives of staff members, whether it be their sexual orientation, their marital status or matters related to their children, are off limits in job interviews. The sole criteria for employment should be ability to do the job.

So David we’d like you to keep your questions to yourself because sexual orientation is irrelevant – unless you are looking for a date.

Frankie would agree with us

Read more

The MP who likes to ask if you’re gay in job interviews

Stop the boats and start the tweets – Tony crosses the Delaware


Who’d have thought that Tony Abbott, armed with his luxuriantly opulent taxpayer-funded company-funded gold-plated Paid Parental Leave scheme for rich mums only, could take the USA by storm?

But that is what has happened according to this TrendMap which monitors Twitter followers.

So we predict one of two things will now happen. Either there will be a rich people’s baby boom in the US or an overwhelmed Obama will vacate the White House so Tones and Margie can measure the curtains. Or both.

After all if the US is like Australia 1% of US mums must be wealthy. That’s about 1 million extra uterii for Tony’s largesse to fill.


And this explains why.

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“Peter W Hill” and threats of rape – “It’s in my DNA”

Here’s keen Liberal Party and Geelong Cats’supporter (and twit) “Peter W Hill”. Is he fake or not? We are not sure.


What we are sure of is that he is a misogynist. And he likes to stalk journalist Clementine Ford troll journalist Clementine Ford’s Twitter.


Here’s the full story on Clementine Ford’s Tumblr blog


These obsessed old guys sure get agitated when women disagree with them.

Seems like old “Peter” has a bit of a thing with rape because soon after he’d tweeted that he tweeted this.

We know Clementine Ford doesn’t support rape. Not sure about old “Peter” though.

Here he is What a twat!

Coward troll to Rabbitohs’ star Greg Inglis – “I steered (sic) in your face for more than a hour”


NRL joins hunt for troll behind Inglis racial slur

July 24, 2013

Glenn Jackson
Rugby League Writer

Greg Inglis with partner Sally Photo: Dallas Kilponen

The racial slur against Greg Inglis on social media has attracted the ire of the highest office in the sport, with NRL chief executive Dave Smith condemning the online comments while promising assistance in identifying the perpetrator.

Smith described the Instagram post aimed at Inglis, the South Sydney fullback, and his wife Sally as “abhorrent” on Wednesday night as the Rabbitohs players rallied around their teammate.

“Racism in any form is abhorrent and contrary to every value our game,” Smith said. “This applies on the field, in the grandstand and in any walk of life.

Racial abuse: A troll has targeted Greg Inglis and his wife highly offensive comments to a picture on Instagram. Photo: Getty Images

“Greg is a wonderful athlete and a great role model for our game, and this attack on him and his family is shameful.”

Souths officials have been trying to track down the source of the unsavoury post, which was directed at Inglis and his wife on Tuesday night. The NRL will also investigate “the extent to which the person can be identified and what action can be taken”.

The post was written as a comment on an Instagram photo of the Test representative and wife. In response, Inglis took a screenshot and forwarded the offending remarks to journalists on Twitter.

Read more

And here’s a sample of comments made by NRL identities in support of Inglis. Moreover, the majority of readers’ comments in the SMH were supportive of him and disgusted with the cowardly troll.

Nathan Merritt: “It’s not appropriate. But I think it’s going to get taken care of. There’s no place in the world for it.”

Rabbitohs’ prop Jeff Lima described the act as cowardly.

“These things need to be stamped out,” Lima said. “The sooner they stamp it out, the better it’ll be for everyone. There’s a lot of bad people in the world.”

Roy Asotasi : “Racism is not acceptable in this country or anywhere…the more that we’re open about it, and aware that there is racism out there, we can obviously prevent it from happening,”

The sickening comment read in part: “I steered [sic] in your face for more than a hour trying to classify your race but I failed I didn’t not find any human catagories[sic] to classify you on it.”

It went on to further disparage Inglis’ background and his relationship with his wife. Inglis re-posted the comment on his Twitter account, with the hashtag “#racism#it#stops#with#me”.(SMH)

The troll trawls Instagram and associated sites under the nick “beauty_lovero”. It uses a stock photo of movie star Jennifer Aniston as its profile pic.


The whole tone of the comment has the stench of white supremacist about it.

It makes unwanted comments under photographs of young women. It also makes disparaging comments under pictures which it doesn’t like. For instance there was a shot of American parents and their adopted multiracial family which Coward objected to. The offensive comment was removed, probably by one of the parents.

Here are some more comments from random sites. Obviously English is not one of Coward’s strong points, nor is sanity.



We like to imagine what the NRL would do if it ever got hold of that cowardly creep

And Facebook owns Instagram. Given Mark Zuckerberg’s cavalier and careless attitude towards racism we are probably not surprised.


Gunsmoke (and mirrors) on Twitter

Recent violent crimes, particularly those committed  against women, have excited the small but aspirational  gun-loving community. Take this exchange on Twitter for instance between two people we will call Gunna, who is a fervent gun fancier, and T, his target.


Now y’all just hang on a minute Gunna. Surely the maintenance of  liberty and protection primarily lies with the judiciary and the police.

And it is about feminism because in stranger rapes it is overwhelmingly women who are set upon and sexually assaulted by predatory men.

In fact Gunna’s desire to be able to own and carry weapons would not have done one thing to protect Jill Meagher from her attacker. But a better probation and parole system would have ensured a dangerous predator like Adrian Bayley was not allowed onto the streets.

Gunna’s attitude to women

Gunna was rather peeved with author and commentator Anne Summers after her appearance on the ABC’s Q&A.  So no doubt lovingly clutching his hard shiny weapon, he decided that the “remedy” for her was…you guessed it.


Gunna may care to note that Summers has lived happily with a man for over 20 years so does not require his advice. She does not require his advice anyway.

So Gunna STFU.

But then again Gunna does have his tools to play with.

Now here he is probing into T’s personal life. He suggests an online dating site, an activity with which he is obviously very familiar. That is usually what certain men on social media do when they are losing the argument.


When Nigella Lawson was allegedly assaulted by her husband Charles Saatchi

Gunna decided to put the Shadow Minister for Communications, a high-profile politician, barrister and millionaire, in his place.

After all Gunna is such a roaring success because he spends hours on Twitter, and is a renowned expert on women.


Hates refugees and asylum seekers


Capitalises on the tragic murder of Jill Meagher to score points


Gunna happily boast he is a former engineer, implies he is married, and states that he has represented Australia in shooting events.

We only have his word for all this.

He is also a climate change denier. Funny how all the far right obsessions seem to coalesce in him. Gun-lovers tend to be a bit like that. Just look at the Shooters & Fishers.

You can catch Gunna if you are really all that interested, or at his blog here

We think we know what ails him.

The Pantograph Punch – Aping Intolerance

by Matt Harnett

On 24 May, the Sydney Swans smashed the Collingwood Magpies at the MCG, winning by 47 points in an historic blow out. The game was part of the Indigenous Round, when the Australian Football League recognises the contribution Indigenous Australian players have made to the game and its culture. It was therefore unthinkable that a 13 year old Collingwood fan sitting near the pitch should single out Adam Goodes, a Sydney player of Indigenous descent who was having the game of his life, and yell “Ape!”

Goodes had his back to the girl. “When I turned around, I just saw this young face and I was just, it was just sad…” He stood stock still for a moment, then pointed at her. “It just hit me, that’s why I had to leave the arena, it just broke my heart.” He retired before full time to the team’s changing rooms. He’d never in his career played so well. He was a grown man, but a 13 year old girl had looked at him and in a moment of rabid thoughtlessness screamed something hateful, and he was done. The girl was kicked out of the stadium, and subsequently apologised. You can’t say that sort of thing in public and expect to get away with it, not any more.

Goodes gave an excellent press conference the next day, explaining his reaction and why he had to leave the field. “I felt I was in high school again, being bullied, being called all these names because of my appearance. I didn’t stand up for myself in high school. I’m a lot more confident, I’m a lot more proud about who I am and my culture, and I decided to stand up last night.” An Australian website posted an interesting etymology of the insult.

And in the mainstream media, that was the end of that.

Like Adam Goodes, Luke Damon is a keen footy player. He’s not quite in the same class: he plays for a little local club, the Chelsea Seagulls. They’re based on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne. He works for a company called Ja & Ja Concreting, and went to Mt Erin Secondary College. He’s got blue eyes and an attractive partner. A dog, too – a beautiful chocolate Labrador.

I know all this because Luke doesn’t know how to use Facebook.

Should we give Luke the benefit of the doubt? Does his ‘Who am I????’ belie legitimate existential angst, or even self-loathing? I suspect it does not. My suspicion was shared by Luke’s mum, a woman of striking sense and punctuation:

I’m not sure how long Luke kept the post up before some neurons fired and he deleted it or someone reported it, but it’s gone now. Gone from Facebook, anyway. Unfortunately for Luke, the internet doesn’t forget. I didn’t catch wind of his galling racism by feverishly refreshing his entirely-open Facebook profile in hope of documenting some indiscretion; I saw it on the antibogan.

The antibogan is an Australian website that shames people who promulgate racist, sexist or homophobic points of view on social media. It’s also a platform for occasional writing on race and gender in Australian society, and often features commentary after particularly ugly incidents. They usually manage to post something new every day or two – pretty good for a team of six with other jobs.

Much of the website’s content feels deliberately incisive and confrontational, at odds with the typical liberal impulse to pause and engage in a quiet, meaningful dialogue with political incorrectness. Sometimes it feels nasty – a sense of righteous outrage more usually attributed to the right of the political spectrum. You get an impression that the people who run the site are genuinely angry at some of the things that are broadcast online, a feeling of seething frustration that people could be so stupid. It shares these characteristics with another site I follow, the American STFU Conservatives, but it’s much more explicit in the naming of those it says “abuse Aussie freedom of speech.” As you can see in its story on Luke Damon, it even tracked down a news article about him, and suggested outraged readers get in contact with his employers and footy club.

I like their moxie. A lot.

I asked one of the site’s admins, Ed, a few questions via email. I was especially interested in their filtering process – do they ever decide to take things down after they’ve been posted?

“Not usually. We have no obligation to remove a post but generally do if the person has shown remorse or apologised. There was a guy who posted some disgusting racist rants recently that allegedly had a mild form of Aspergers. Even though the claim has not been confirmed, we still felt it necessary to remove that post in respect to the legitimately mentally disabled.”

Similarly, if that girl had written her slur instead of shouting it, she wouldn’t have been featured on the site: “Minors are out and if there are minors in photos of people that we obtain, we blur them out. Other than that – anything goes. If a person is pictured (publicly) with a partner and we obtain that photograph, we don’t usually blur the partner out. We believe that the offending person needs to do some explaining to all parties involved and consequently hurt.”

I wondered though whether the site might have an opposite effect than the one intended – that racists or homophobes or whoever would see other people like themselves appearing on the antibogan, realise that their point of view was shared by others, and feel encouraged. An echo-chamber that accidentally legitimised hate speech, effectively. Ed’s answer surprised me: “Yeah, that’s a problem, but we all believe that the overwhelming majority of society are completely against it.”

The antibogan works on a centrally optimistic principle, even if that’s sometimes hard to see past the screeds of wearying, rote viciousness. It works because it realises the people who mount these attacks already feel a sense of comfortable entitlement, feel like they’re coming from a position where people mainly agree with them, and so see nothing wrong with saying what everyone’s thinking. Their self-conceived privileged centre gets quickly marginalized when it’s scrutinized by a group outside their regular associates: the general public. Ed doesn’t have to change the mind of every shithead on the internet; he simply has to rely on a fundamentally decent society being fair-minded enough to object to them.

As he says, “Our website doesn’t exist to stamp out racism – it exists to highlight its appalling and ignorant nature. It also exists so that when employers, family members and partners Google search these idiots, our site is one of the top hits.”

Maybe it’s tempting to cry foul on the how the antibogan obtains its material. “People are messaging us and writing on the wall all the time… people are constantly sending emails with screenshots and links.” Friends of friends, people like Luke with wide-open profiles: fair game. One of the admins “looks after content passed on via Twitter and the rest monitor Facebook and infiltrate bigoted groups and pages, screenshotting as they go.”

Imagine if you wrote something meant for a small circle of friends, and the next day found yourself at the centre of a campaign of vilification, with calls being made to your employer. That’s bullshit, of course, but it reveals a cognitive dissonance we tend to carry around – somehow yelling ‘ape!’ in a crowd is a contemptible offence, but being called out for telling the whole world a racist joke is creepy and invasive. Though the forum differs, the intentionality behind the act is the same. Complaints that the site exploits people unfamiliar with social media’s privacy settings miss the point. It’s as if a man were unable to control the volume of his voice, and accidentally screamed a sexist insult at a woman walking down the street, rather than muttering it under his breath as he’d intended. We wouldn’t sympathise with his modulation issues, we’d rightly condemn him for being a sexist prick in the first place.

Ed obviously agrees. “People who harbour these thoughts and intend on broadcasting these views to even 10 people deserve to be shamed. Fair enough – some people harbour hatred and resentment, but when such hatred and resentment is irrational and unfounded – and then made public – they need to feel the consequences. We don’t phone tap private conversations or write fabricated stories, we just republish what has been made public.”

Not everyone sees it that way, least of all the people who find their faces and phone numbers on a website visited by thousands weekly. “I personally haven’t received any threats, nor have the majority of the current admin team. But several of the previous operators copped a lot from the fanatical right wingers. Death threats, phone calls, publishing of private details and photos of family members/partners.”

The last thing I asked Ed was if he could ever see himself giving up the project entirely – if the unceasing tide of hate speech might eventually render him fatalistically inert, as the sea slowly wears down stones. “Of course,” he replied. “None of us are overwhelmingly satisfied with what progress we make with the site. It is a necessary service though, and until any of us comes up with anything better, it will push on.”

I’ve talked to a few (white) friends in Melbourne, and they’re not shy about labelling their country racist. They’ll readily admit that some of their fellows harbour deep and nasty resentments against minorities, but they’ll usually also insist that the people espousing these views live elsewhere – up north, or in the country, or rural towns. They’ll name entire states ‘especially bad’ offenders, and possibly list a few structural inequalities that prevent Indigenous Australians, say, from equal participation in society. But that 13 year old girl was shouting from Melbourne, Victoria, and so was Luke Damon. Like charity, racism begins at home. We’re quick to malign Australia as a land of xenophobes, but then we publish things like this in our newspapers and our Race Relations Commissioner says there’s nothing racist about it:

Perhaps the antibogan’s not the perfect solution to combating online hate speech, but it’s a start. Every redacted status or deleted tweet is one fewer reason for a potentially vulnerable person to feel unsafe or discriminated against on the internet. Shame’s a powerful weapon.

I wondered recently if Nisbet were to republish his cartoons via social media, whether the antibogan might devote a post to him. After all, you can’t say that sort of thing on Facebook and expect to get away with it – not any more.

Matt Harnett is a New Zealand blogger