Tuesday 16th of August 2022

comedia del farte...




















A producer for YouTube comedian Friendlyjordies was recently arrested for allegedly stalking and intimidating NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, following investigations by the Fixated Persons Investigations Unit (FPIU) of the NSW police.

This unit, set up in the wake of the Lindt café siege, was created to monitor extremists and fixated persons who may not fall under Australia’s counter-terrorism laws but nonetheless pose a risk of serious violence. 

At the heart of this case will be the charges of intimidation and stalking, but it also will raise questions around what constitutes a “fixated person” and when the use of this unit is appropriate.

Kristo Langker, 21, produces videos for the popular YouTube channel Friendlyjordies, run by Jordan Shanks. At the time of writing, the channel has around 500,000 subscribers.

Shanks has appeared in videos alleging wrongdoing by NSW Nationals leader Barilaro, which Barilaro has strenuously denied. Lawyers for Barilaro say Shanks defamed the deputy premier in a number of “vile and racist” videos. The NSW deputy premier is now suing Shanks (and Google) for defamation.

Langker was arrested at a home in Dulwich Hill, Sydney, on June 4. The charges relate to two alleged incidents.

According to a Guardian Australia news report, the first allegedly occurred at a Macquarie University politics in the pub event. Langker and Shanks (who was dressed as Luigi from Mario Brothers) approached Barilaro and shouted “Why are you suing us?”. According to police, as reported in the Guardian, Shanks then left but Lankger stayed, repeating the question and allegedly “tussling with several persons in an attempt to get close” to Barilaro.

The second alleged incident involved Langker filming and speaking to Barilaro as he returned to his car after the funeral of rugby league player Bob Fulton. According to the same Guardian report, Langker asked the NSW deputy premier again, “why are you suing my boss?”. According to the report, this second incident allegedly occurred hours before Langker’s arrest.

Based on these alleged incidents, Langker was arrested by the FPIU and charged with two counts of stalking and intimidation. The offence attracts a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, where someone stalks or intimidates another person with intent to cause the person fear of physical or mental harm.

Langker has been released on bail under very strict conditions. He is even prohibited from possessing images or caricatures of the deputy premier, or “commenting on his appearance or behaviour”.


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a comedian himself...

Gladys Berejiklian has been mocked by her deputy John Barilaro after a photo of the NSW Premier watching the State of Origin went viral on Wednesday night.

Hours before kick-off, Berejiklian posted on social media that she was “getting ready for Game 1. Go the @NSWBlues”, alongside a picture that instantly became a meme.

The photo taken from behind Berejiklian shows the premier watching a small TV from a distance while wearing a NSW beanie and holding a no-sugar Coke...


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Meanwhile the koalas will die off without laughter...


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comedy in democracy...

The importance of comedy in democracy is as old as democracy itself...  We are reminded of the importance of critical thought and comedy in "What the Ancient Greeks Can Tell Us About Democracy" by Josiah Ober:




The apparent contradictions among the values and behaviors endorsed or permitted by the democratic regime provided fertile ground for intellectual critics, which in turn has provided ammunition for critics of popular rule. Saxonhouse (1996) surveys some of the main lines of argument. Despite the notorious trial of Socrates (...), the Athenian democratic regime actually tolerated, indeed in certain ways actively encouraged, a very substantial level of political criticism.

The dramas presented in the Theater of Dionysus were chosen by a lotteried magistrate and financed by the state system of liturgies — special taxes on the very wealthy (Christ 2006). Comedies were typically sharply critical of political practices of the citizen masses and their leaders alike. While some scholars still regard even comedy as essentially irrelevant to democratic politics (Rhodes 2003b), others point to the deep political critique of comedy (Rosenbloom 2002, 2004).

Moreover, a considerable body of scholarship argues that Athenian tragedies, like comedies, were fundamentally involved in a critical enterprise — investigating and challenging core democratic values (Euben 1986, 1990, Goldhill & Osborne 1999). Ober (1998) argues for the emergence, in the late fifth and fourth centuries, of a self-conscious “critical community” of Athenian intellectuals — including dramatists, philosophers, historians, and rhetoricians — engaged in what amounted to a collaborative project to expose inherent contradictions in the democratic political order.

Intellectual critics of democracy pointed to a number of ways in which democracy fell short. For example, some claimed the democratic approach to distributive justice erred in seeking to distribute goods equally to persons who were inherently unequal.

Some of the sophists (e.g., Thrasymachus, as famously depicted in Plato’s Republic) contended that democracy conflicted with a natural order in which the strong dominated the weak and enjoyed a superabundant share of goods. The uneasy relationship between democracy and “natural hierarchy” is a staple of Straussian political theorizing. Plato’s Socrates in the Republic argued that democracy violated the first principle of justice by encouraging individuals to engage in more than one domain of activity.

The concern with diversity, social and political, was a leitmotif of Greek critical thought (Saxonhouse 1992). Aristotle in the Politics was concerned that democracy encouraged majorities to employ arbitrary and selfish rather than consistent and fair criteria when making judgments with public import, and led majorities to seek their own factional good to the detriment of the public good. The problem of greed was another fertile source of complaint. Thucydides and Aristophanes each emphasized ways in which democratic culture stimulated an unhealthy desire for excessive consumption and possession (Balot 2001a). 


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voltaire isn't a defence...


“Late and defective” court papers filed by entertainer friendlyjordies fail to explain why accusing a senior politician of perjury is justified, a court has been told.

Jordan Shanks-Markovina is being sued for defamation in the Federal Court over two videos viewed more than a million times on YouTube about NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

“We are making a wholesale attack on the defence,” barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC, for Mr Barilaro, told the court on Friday.


“There’s barely a paragraph that will survive, given the lack of particulars.”

Mr Barilaro says the entertainer, known by the moniker friendlyjordies, unduly defamed him and subjected him to a “vile, racist attack” in YouTube videos published in September and October 2020.

In one video, the entertainer refers to Mr Barilaro as a “big, fat, wog c***”, “greasy Ned Kelly” and “a conman to the core, powered by spaghetti”.

The NSW Nationals leader, who is of Italian heritage, says the first video titled “bruz” insinuated he was a “corrupt conman” and had “so conducted himself in committing perjury nine times that he should be gaoled”.

The entertainer admits “bruz” carried those meanings, in a wider defence pleading contextual truth and justification, the court was told.

But he wants parts of the MP’s claim struck out as they concern the truth or otherwise of comments made before the NSW Parliament.

“Had we pleaded the particulars … we would have been met with the argument that those particulars infringe parliamentary privilege,” barrister Matthew Collins QC, for Mr Shanks-Markovina, told the court.

Mr Collins conceded the defence was filed and served three days late but said it caused no prejudice to Mr Barilaro.


The parties were in correspondence and the proper way forward was to have Mr Barilaro request the NSW lower house waive parliamentary privilege over his comments, he said.

But Ms Chrysanthou, describing the defence as “defective on its face”, said the case law was clear: full particulars first, questions of privilege second.


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And we agree... Barilaro should be placed on a pedestal so high he would run out of oxygen in the middle of a farting koala colony, while Jordan Shanks-Markovina should be flogged with a small branch of Eucalyptus punctata... Not having any understanding of the law, we suspect we could be wrong... Insults are not the tools of satire, I have been told... and Barilaro deserves the benefit of the doubt considering he is not a really good friend (but he could be a secret admirer) of Madam Gladys.


Times are hard. In this new Covid-19 lockdown, isolation makes our brains go a bit mushy... and we say crap. Voltaire isn't a defence...


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More than $1 million has been raised to fund YouTuber friendlyjordies’ legal battle with NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who he is accused of defaming.

Jordan Shanks-Markovina is being sued in the Federal Court over two videos viewed more than a million times on YouTube about Mr Barilaro.

Mr Barilaro said the entertainer, known by the moniker friendlyjordies, had unduly defamed him and subjected him to a “vile, racist attack” in YouTube videos published in September and October 2020.


In one video, the entertainer refers to Mr Barilaro as a “•••••••“, “••••••” and “a •••••• to the ••••, powered by •••ghetti”.

The NSW Nationals leader, who is of Italian heritage, said the first video – titled “bruz” – insinuated he was a “•••••••” and had “so conducted himself in •••••• nine times that he should be ••••••”.


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voltaire lives in tasmania...

By introducing this link, it does not mean squat... and may not reflect the opinion of Gus, of the site, the site owners or hosting agencies... This link is purely exclusively posted with no malice intented for historical analysis precisely... If you did not know, Voltaire now lives in Tasmania...


Political Response Times Of The NSW Police


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Meanwhile: a letter to harry...

justice from peers denied...

YouTube personality Jordan Shanks has been denied a jury trial in the case brought against him by the NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro (pictured) after a judge found a jury would not be appropriate due to the complex legal issues involved and the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Barilaro sued Mr Shanks in the Federal Court in May, alleging he was defamed by videos titled bruz and Secret Dictatorship which were published on the Friendlyjordies YouTube channel in September and October last year. Google, which owns YouTube, is also being sued.

Google and Mr Shanks sought to have the trial heard by a jury. Justice Steven Rares refused the application yesterday, noting the trial will need to parse complex areas of the law including two versions of the Defamation Act, which was updated in July. Justice Rares said the uncertainty of the pandemic, which may prevent jurors from attending court, and an appeal launched by Mr Shanks against a previous decision in the case — which makes the matter more complex — also weigh against a jury being used.


Georgina Mitchell


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Sydney Morning Herald (01/09/2021)


Delay the court case until the time comes for a jury of peers.  The problem of "complexity" only resides in the stupid laws, not in the satire... If the laws were simple, then the hammer should fall within 5 minutes — in favour of satire...

shaking hands....

John Barilaro has received an apology but no damages payment as the MP settled a high-profile defamation lawsuit with friendlyjordies creator Jordan Shanks.

The former NSW deputy premier on Friday withdrew his Federal Court claim over two videos, titled bruz and Secret Dictatorship, published to Mr Shanks’s YouTube channel in 2020.

The withdrawal came as Mr Shanks, through his lawyer, told the court “freedom of expression is important” but accepted some videos were offensive to the retiring MP.


“Mr Shanks understands he has been hurt and apologises,” Dr Matt Collins QC said.

As part of the settlement, Mr Shanks will cover $100,000 in legal costs incurred by Mr Barilaro in pre-trial hearings and will edit the two videos.

The production of videos about Mr Barilaro and the sale of related merchandise will also cease upon the Eden-Monaro MP’s departure from public life.

Mr Shanks had sold keyrings of Mr Barilaro’s face on a scrotum and a “Super Barilaro Bruz” T-shirt with a character resembling Nintendo’s Mario stepping on a koala.

Mr Barilaro, who is of Italian heritage, had claimed the videos included a “vile and racist” attack and played a large role in his retirement from public life.

In one video, the entertainer refers to Mr Barilaro as a “big, fat, wog c—“, “greasy Ned Kelly” and “a conman to the core, powered by spaghetti”.


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what's the scam?…….

John Barilaro has won $715,000 from Google, claiming “victory” that he was “vindicated” in the wake of a “relentless cyber bullying campaign” by YouTuber Jordan Shanks, aka Friendly Jordies. What’s the scam?

The scam is that the evidence was never even tested in court, Google didn’t even bother filing a defence, and NSW taxpayers are on the hook for millions in court costs in a verdict which means the world’s richest monopoly has just made a rich man richer because he claimed  hurt feelings. That’s the scam.

This is no apology for racial vilification. The real story here, entirely missed by the media in its public relations efforts for the former NSW deputy premier, is that the government deployed the terror police – the supposedly independent NSW police – to arrest and harass Shanks’ producer Kristo Langker just before Barilaro’s defamation suit.

To sum up, not a single fact was tested in court. Barilaro had already settled with Shanks. Google sighed, and now it’s apparently okay for politicians to deploy terror police against political opponents and the media will simply, entirely, miss the story.









rigorous talent time….

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has defended the appointment of former deputy premier John Barilaro as the state’s senior trade and investment commissioner to the Americas.

The government announced Mr Barilaro’s selection for the US role on Friday afternoon

He was appointed after a “highly competitive and rigorous global talent search” managed by specialised recruitment firm NGS Global, the state government insists.

“That was an independent process … I believe he’ll make a very strong trade commissioner,” Mr Perrottet said on Saturday following opposition criticism of the appointment.

The Premier said it made sense for Mr Barilaro to be recommended for the post the former Nationals leader helped establish.

“(He) was instrumental in setting that up, so it doesn’t come as any surprise to me,” Mr Perrottet said.

“He was by far the most outstanding candidate and recommended by that panel to the government, and I’m sure he will do a brilliant job.”









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inventing his next job….

The NSW government had shortlisted candidates for the plum job of US trade commissioner in May last year but the new $500,000-a-year role was ultimately readvertised and handed to former deputy premier John Barilaro.

Barilaro’s appointment, which did not go to cabinet for approval, has outraged Liberal ministers and backbenchers and prompted an urgent upper house inquiry to examine the processes behind the decision.

The New York-based role was created by Barilaro when he was trade minister. Two ministers have told the Herald that they would not have supported the ex-NSW Nationals leader’s appointment had it been presented to cabinet.

Redacted government emails, obtained under a parliamentary order, reveal then Treasury secretary Michael Pratt identified at least two preferred candidates for the role last May, describing one as having “in depth New York and markets exposure”.


“Firstly re Americas would rate [redacted] and [redacted] as highest on the panel. Both have international exposure,” Pratt wrote on May 18, 2021.

However, despite the May shortlist of preferred candidates, by December the position was readvertised in The Australian Financial Review the week before Christmas.

Barilaro resigned from parliament on December 30. The Herald is not suggesting the timing of his resignation was linked to the position being readvertised.

An internal email, dated April 6 last year, states that all commissioner roles have a “structured approval protocol prior to employment” which requires a preferred candidate to meet with the treasurer, deputy premier and premier.

“If endorsed by all three, a cabinet appointment form is prepared and added as a cabinet agenda item. Once endorsed by cabinet, a contract can then be offered to the candidate for negotiation,” the email from a senior government human resources manager stated.









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job for self?……...

NSW Transport Minister David Elliott has called on his former colleague John Barilaro to withdraw from a US trade posting, as scrutiny over the controversial appointment intensifies.

The former NSW deputy premier was earlier this month appointed to the $500,000-a-year-job, which he created as trade minister, prompting two separate inquiries and backlash from members of the Perrottet government.

Amid mounting questions about the process leading to the appointment, Trade Minister Stuart Ayres has also confirmed Barilaro contacted him to express interest in the job before public advertisements were made late last year.

On Thursday morning, Elliott said it was his strong view Barilaro should not be taking up the trade position in New York.


“I expect him to withdraw and do the honourable thing, because quite clearly when you become the story over an appointment, well, then the appointment might not be in the best interest of the people of NSW,” Elliott told Sky News.

“I’ll let the parliamentary inquiry and the premier’s investigation determine that but my very, very strong view is that he shouldn’t be going to New York, and I’m pretty sure that that’s the view of the majority of people in this state.”

Ayres later said pulling out of the three-year posting was “an option for John Barilaro to consider”, while conceding he had held concerns the appointment would create “some political contention”.

“That’s a decision for him,” Ayres said on Thursday. “Unfortunately, I do not have the capacity to direct [Investment NSW chief executive] Amy Brown as the employer of this role on what to do.

“I think if I inject myself into that, that would be creating undue influence.”











job is kaput…..

The government is bracing for more damaging fallout from the John Barilaro saga after an inquiry probing the now-defunct New York appointment decided the woman originally bypassed for the role must give her evidence in public.

Former deputy secretary of Investment NSW Jenny West will front the inquiry on Monday, as it continues to examine the controversial appointment of the former deputy premier to the position he created as trade minister.

Barilaro withdrew from the role on Friday after almost two weeks of intense scrutiny over his appointment to the $500,000-a-year job as trade commissioner in New York, an appointment which triggered two separate inquiries and backlash from his former colleagues.










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