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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 7 March 2007
Electioneering in dirty NSW - Police porn email scandal prefaces sex shops raid, covert Big Party candidates, sand mine payoffs
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: election nsw 2007

Years ago on Stateline abc tv show barrister Paul Matters alleged for his client in the Industrial Relations Commission that western Sydney state MP Gabrielle Harrison, a junior minister for the ALP at the time, had said to her staff words to the effect of:

 

‘This government is the most corrupt in the history of NSW’.

 

Harrison, a widow with young son, denied the claim but then disappeared from Carr government. If she did say it she is almost certainly right which is saying something given the Wood Royal Commission of the mid 90’s, the Askin Government, the Rum Corps 200 years back.

 

Here are our favourite hints, the tip as it were of the iceberg of corruption in NSW government and business sector in the context of this current NSW election:

 

1. NSW Police porn email

 

Back on February 14th the NSW Police Commissioner, Police Minister Watkins, and Iemma Government were embarrassed by this lurid story in the hothouse atmosphere of the election:

 

Police in porn email scandal | NEWS.com.au

By Gemma Jones, February 14, 2007 02:00am, Article from:

HUNDREDS of police are caught up in an email scandal after inappropriate material, some of it sexually explicit, was found in police in-boxes.

An audit of the in-boxes by the professional standards command in New South Wales has revealed up to 150 officers and civilian workers have been sent disturbing emails.

Police halfway through a widespread investigation were yesterday unable to rule out hundreds more police being involved.

Professional standards officers have begun interviewing police while independent auditors are interviewing civilian workers.

While police yesterday confirmed some of the emails were of a sexually inappropriate nature, they would not be drawn on whether any were pornographic.

Police would not comment on the investigation, refusing to reveal how many police and civilian workers were being investigated or how severe any punishment could be.

The investigation began after an audit was undertaken within sections of the police, with the results prompting swift action.

The in-boxes of some staff in the Sydney police radio room are being examined but it is understood most caught up in the probe unwittingly received an inappropriate email and had no part in distributing it.

A memo has been sent to all NSW police in the wake of the findings, warning them of the appropriate use of the police email system.

Head of the professional standards command, Assistant Commissioner Catherine Burn, confirmed that inappropriate emails had been identified.

She said disciplinary action would be taken if the outcome of the investigation warranted it.

"NSW Police does not condone any abuse of the police email system," she said.

"This investigation clearly indicates that we take this issue seriously and we are dealing with the matter appropriately.

"We don't tolerate inappropriate material being distributed via the police email system."

A report into the police force inquiry held at the end of last year revealed that some police believed sexually explicit talk and even pornography were acceptable.

The review by senior counsel Chris Ronalds into sexual harassment and discrimination in the police, called for management to taker a harder line against sexually inappropriate conduct.

It found some police were using mobile phones to show disturbing images to bypass the monitoring of work computers.

In 1999 it was revealed that several officers had used the police internal computer system to email pornographic images.

Police computer records and email in-boxes are audited annually by the professional standards command.

 

[bold added]

 

It is government Public Relations AO1 to cancel a bad story with another bigger or equal story preferably of confusingly similar subject matter: Got a bad RTA leak document story, do another RTA story about controlling hoon cars. Got a nature destruction scandal, do a new conservation decision story. It’s all cynical choreography rather than good public policy as such.

 

Later that day February 14th “just after midday” according to Big Media press report below the NSW Police, purely by coincidence we are expected to believe, and based on

 

“a six-month investigation triggered by a case involving child sex offences”

 

raided 7 Kings Cross sex shops allegedly illegally selling X rated items that as best we understand are not illegal to possess or view as non-violent erotica by consenting adults, but are illegal to sell here in NSW. They are legal to sell apparently in some other parts of Australia (?):

 

Here is the background in both major daily press widely covered February 15th 2007 in this tough cruel and yes sleazy city of Sydney, as well as the ABC:

 

Sex shops raided in porn hunt | The Daily Telegraph

 

Sex-shop sting: police arrest seven at the Cross - National - smh ...

 

Kings Cross child porn raid: seven charged - National - smh.com.au

 

Seven charged over sex shop raids

 

One can see by a google search of “nsw police porn email” with few results, compared to a google for “nsw police raid sex shop” that the PR benefit to the NSW Govt not to mention the conservative minded voters was highly successful. Indeed the earlier embarrassing story disappeared altogether.

 

The Herald even invited tips from readers to this email address: “What do you know about this case? scoop@smh.com.au” We at SAM might just send this article to them.

 

We had reason as a sometime media lawyer to research this turn of events and cannot help thinking this is very cynical timing. One might even suspect it was self interest and corrupt timing to protect jobs in government. The matter is up for first hearing today March 7th 2007 and the penalties from this patchily enforced ban on X rated real sex on screen in NSW are very very serious.

 

 

 

2. Covert big party candidates.

 

The reality has been well covered by the Big Media:  the 12 year old ALP Iemma government’s election launch at Hurstville airbrushed any history and indeed the “ALP” brand itself. This is understood.

 

In Marrickville the ALP’s Carmel Tebbutt was installed in a byelection in September 2005 at the time Planning Minister Frank Sartor and the ALP Govt, we say, corruptly covered up the existence of a plan for a huge $5 billion Inner West Tollway with toxic ventilation stacks and subsidence issues in …marginal seat of Marrickville full of busy Green Party agitators. Tebbutt won the election by a bare few points from the Greens Sam Byrne in September 2005 who later that year was made local Mayor. Byrne would have won if the Inner West Tollway plan was revealed at the time, as it was front page of the Daily Telegraph here:

 

Perhaps not surprisingly the ALP's Tebbutt has no mention of brand ALP on her electioneering materials going into the local letterboxes here in Marrickville. She rather is "your local MP", not a mention of the "ALP" to whom she owes her whole political career:

But it is not only the ALP which is on the nose it seems. We have also noticed this upper house candidate for the Liberal Party who is an entrepeneur of 10 or so organic markets across Sydney as well as a computer expert: Stephen Choularton. We don't know much about his candidacy and remain open minded but find it curious he doesn't reveal brand Liberal Party as best we can tell from this:

We can even sympathise after what happened to that rare creature in the Liberal Party here in NSW, the moderate environmentally conscious MP for that party, such as hapless John Ryan MLC:

sydneyanglicans.net - sydney stories - Liberals dump faithful Christian soldier

Sure enough we have now at the time of writing found this website for Choularton:

Stephen Choularton's Campaign Site for the the Legislative Council ...

with some savage comments about the ALP:

"What has a decade of Labor done for us:

  • public corruption,
  • decaying infrastructure, and
  • administrative incompetence.

Let's not turn hard labor into a life sentence!."

and

" Today the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in NSW is the Carr-Iemma Labor Government"

If you look hard you will find this under Biography "1996 Joined Liberal Party after arriving in Australia."

But it sure is hidden away. Yep another covert candidacy.

3. Rampant bribery in the sand mining sector in Sydney region?

We met our source yesterday and provided some pro bono legal advice. As such we are under obligations of confidentiality also as a solicitor client situation. However on the public record $50,000 was paid in 2006 by a sand miner Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd for a protester to go away (after suffering firebombing, death threats, shots at their home, family breakdown, over the last 13 years), when they complained about a current sandmine next to Wollemi World Heritage area. Yet the protest continues.

The Environmental Defenders Office has generated a 5 page legal advice of interest.

Our source tells us some staff at both Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury Council officers have been sacked or resigned in the last 5 years under the shadow of alleged developer financial co option by various sandminers. Here is one curious report of Dec 23 2004:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Council-suspends-manager-who-turned-its-fortunes-around/2004/12/22/1103391839237.html

Baulkham Hills especially is a part of town where tricky games with money and politics has been reported before

1. regarding visa for a developer and state/federal MPs back in July 2003:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/25/1059084203392.html

2. developers monstering public parkland for housing construction, per Sylvia Hale MLC (Greens) http://www.sylvia.nsw.greens.org.au/modules.php?op=modload&name=PagEd&file=index&topic_id=18&page_id=233&tabno=7#section2

Our source reports a senior sand mining figure told him of corruption in the sector "It's $30,000 to keep your sand mine safe". Meaning if you don't pay it they [council regulatory officers] come down like a tonne of bricks on you.

We keep an arms length view, and particularly non financial public interest, of all these controversies but in NSW we tend to believe where

1. the big construction industry,

2. lots of cash and

3. NSW governance

are involved, that there is plenty of slurry to be thrown and most of it does stick, just as Gabrielle Harrison was reported to say and withdrew in a panic (as noted above).

The Green Party are right about developer corruption here, and no doubt it's at the ground floor of sand mine inputs critical to the sector. In fact this is why democracy in NSW is in fact broken by dirty money politics.


Posted by editor at 8:46 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007 10:58 AM EADT
Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Dangerous global warming impacts for major parties in NSW election
Mood:  cool
Topic: election nsw 2007

We watched the Channel 10 Cool Aid 2 hours plus special which network apparently rated fairly well at a respectable no.3 for the night after 8.30 pm last Sunday 4th of March. And we were impressed.

 

Building on the DVD and Oscar success of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth highly cuddly Sandra http://www.ten.com.au/ten/people_sandrasully.html

was sharper than we are used to seeing cutting across the political talent as needed with federal rivals Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Garrett. Crikey.com.au sad cynic Christian (not) Kerr called it ‘tv for morons’ yesterday without even watching, but he doesn’t look like this:

and there were 5 family/young adult mainstream templates of sorts for checking the carbon fatties (presumably Kerr). Dr Karl the expert science reporter

 

Dr Karl's Homepage

 

with the ABC gave us the low down on listening to real climatologists - not paid up liars (just as the Tobacco Industry lied for 50 years on causes of cancer), and Al Gore chipped in too. Highly polished John Dee, even Ian Kiernan from a 4 am start and plaster cast on leg had some kick urging a 10% renewable energy target up from 2%. Prof Tim Flannery and Australian/Troublemaker of the Year, and the show highlighted dangerous sea rise threat HERE for a real change.

 

Ian McHugh a science writer for Crikey was more favourable and like him I did flake out after a long day before the end, but not before rejoicing that Sandra & Co, who I did but once see passing by there in Harris St Pyrmont once as our eyes briefly met, was doing the ecology action work putting me out of a job. Go sister go.

 

Which brings us to this sad bad Big Media rabid Right sellout 'blogger' Jekyl/Hyde character Tim Blair:

 

Picture: From left, Tim Blair, Saturday Daily Telegraph  so called 'blogger' on newsprint, of passing resemblance to Mr Hyde character (middle) played by ‘Germanic’ Fredric March, (right), from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)  from the famous Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Wikipedia (Robert Louis Stevenson, 1888)

 

 

who was sledging the social movement to save our climate in the Saturday Daily Telegraph the day before the Cool Aid tv special:

Get it? Like Kerr at Crikey he is suggesting global warming threat is stupid satire, that people like you or this writer are pseudo ecological fascists or weedy fruit loops. (Never mind in my case 2 years with Media Monitors, another 2 as a corporate lawyer, a good science degree, 4 years as a successful local councillor, oozing concern for the public interest this last 15 years of activism.)

Blair presents as quite weird and not just in appearance like some grinning human Rotweiler, or wannabe fleshy 'Will Bailey' character from West Wing tv series (son of a NATO commander). I mean would you trust your kids' future with this 'journalist' obviously doing the work of Big Oil/Coal?

One problem for boorish Blair though: The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, that’s right the Sunday version of Blair’s own paper, was a co sponsor of the Channel 10 Cool Aid special tv show focused exactly on supporting the concerns of such as Professor Tim Flannery (who is the main focus of his sledge in the Saturday Telegraph). Here is the proof:.

 

In Allende’s Chile of the early 1970's they had a name for the Blair/Kerr types – the momia (in Spanish), as in ancient bandaged Egyptian mummies from the 1960ies horror movie genre, people incapable of adapting to new realities. People like real Germanic neo nazi fascist Pinochet who gunned down his rivals in sports stadiums, dropped others from helicopters into the sea and generally slaughtered 5,000 or more humanitarian activists and assorted left wingers all blessed by USA Secretary of State Henry Kissinger ("Do what you have to").

 

Blair’s futuristic satire is easily turned around with literary devices like

 

-Kissinger Life Centre – where those genetically imperfect are branded, and in the worst cases gassed.

- Le Pen [ultra Right French politician] Immigration Centre, say no more.

- Howard Twin Towers – one in the shape of the original bomb dropped on Hiroshima, the other a phallic symbol of his chicken hawk manhood.

- Thatcher Sports Stadium which doubles as an interrogation, justice and execution centre. Those arrested for jaywalking are held in stocks and beaten with cricket bats made in Saudia Arabia which now has a huge forest industry after the monsoonal rains moved from South East Asia.

- Iran Iraq war celebration day. Because misery loves company.

- Plutonium Day 25th Dec.

- White Elephant Day 26th Dec

- Cheney Sunscreen against a hot hot world, and the ever useful Bush motormower: Does  20 feet of a lawn to the litre. And it’s the only oil based product on the market.

- GM made electric car 0-200 km/hr in 4 seconds on compressed cng loaned to me by my neighbour, a Chinese guy who got into solar stocks back in 1998 and is now 3rd richest Australian. He has several vehicles so he can afford to let me borrow one.

Etc etc.

 

Meanwhile the NSW Minerals Council is attempting to censor these gung ho climate change activists doing satire on the coal industry:  Industry closes anti-coal website And here Mining Lobby Silencing Community Comment. Yet another report here in the Technology Section of the SMH http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/green-group-seeks-afghan-refuge/2007/03/06/1172943416664.html

 

Satire aside, the social movement for energy reform is real this election period in NSW as follows:

 

1. www.climatechangecoalition.com.au with lead candidate Patrice Newell in the Upper House pictured below at a tour of the Addison Rd Centre Marrickville 4th March 07 here (at left) in the art studio for Boarding House residents or ‘Roomies’ (middle is Terry Cutcliffe a gallery owner, and Patrice's polling booth organiser at right who remains nameless.) Her ticket has clout too with Genia McCaffrey North Sydney Mayor no. 2, and Cr John McInernie of Sydney City Council at no.3.

And this astute and no doubt sincere follow up:

 

Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 6:45 AM

Subject: good to meet.

Tom, good to meet yesterday, Ecology Action Sydney looks like it does great work. I'm so encouraged by all the grass roots groups working in NSW. Don't get to hear about many of them in Gundy.

 So why is the government so unrepresentative?????

Cheers for now, hope your compost heap thrives.  PN

Patrice Newell
tel xxxxxxx
mobile xxxxxxxx

 

 

2. Protests at the pro coal mining ALP head office in Sussex St, Sydney CBD here as here: http://risingtide.org.au/node/390


3. Green Party promoted animation here:

From: "michele mckenzie" Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2007 7:06 PM

Subject: old coal animation  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDHSMnvtnBo

 

 

4. Public meetings in sensitive marginal seats as follows:

..........................

- WORRIED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE? Put your concerns, questions, ideas and frustrations to our local candidates. WHEN Tuesday 6 March from 7-9pm, WHERE Marrickville town hall
 
Carmel Tebbutt MP for Marrickville (ALP)
Councillor Fiona Byrne (The Greens)
Pip Hinman (Socialist Alliance)
Patrick O'Connor (Socialist Equality Party)

Each speaker will give a short explanation where they stand on key issues
like coal and new mines, new energy sources and public transport
 
With guest speaker Dr Chris Riedy from UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures
……Hosted by Marrickville Climate Action Now

..................................

 

-  from The Glebe (News Ltd) free suburban press “Greenpeace will be running a climate change forum at Rozelle Public School [seat of Balmain] on Thursday March 8th, at 7pm”

...............................

 ..........................................

 

5. Down the track this conference

 

Climate Law in Australia CONFERENCE

12 & 13 April 2007 National Museum of Australia, Canberra

 

Jointly organised by The Australian National University and the University of Melbourne, Climate Law in Australia is the first Australian conference to focus exclusively on the emerging legal dimensions of global warming.

 

… For more information, please contact The Australian Centre for Environmental Law (ACEL): Telephone 02 6125 3487 or E-mail acel.law@anu.edu.au

 

Information and registration forms are also available on the web at http://law.anu.edu.au/acel/Events.asp

……………………………

 

The Iemma Govt understand how sensitive this issue is as per The Greens reaction to his North Coast tour in the last week:

 

Media Release 27 February 2007

 

Climate change fund welcome - but where’s the train?

 

The NSW Greens have welcomed Morris Iemma’s announcement of a $310 million climate change fund, announced whilst he was campaigning in the Tweed today.

 

“The Greens support Mr Iemma’s announcement this morning, but the biggest policy shift that people on the North Coast were hoping for, a commuter train service between Casino and Murwillumbah, is still not on the government’s agenda,” said NSW Greens MP and North Coast resident Ian Cohen.

 

“A commuter rail service would mean less cars and buses on North Coast roads. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve road safety and travel times, and create transport options for the many North Coast residents who don’t own a car.

 

“Lobby group Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT) have developed a comprehensive plan, based on a feasibility study by Price Waterhouse Coopers, for a light rail commuter service between Casino and Murwillumbah. TOOT estimate this would involve a small upfront cost of $22 million on upgrading rail infrastructure. The ongoing running costs would be less, and the service more frequent, than the current XPT bus service. (For more detail see http://www.toot.org.au/dmdocuments/TOOT_Now_Plan.pdf )  “This commuter rail plan, for which the Federal Government has offered funding assistance, would be effectively revenue neutral for the NSW Government.

 

“Morris Iemma has missed a golden opportunity to beef up his climate change fund with a plan for a commuter rail service for the North Coast. It would be an economically sensible and environmentally friendly piece of essential infrastructure.

 

“Nevertheless, The Premier’s announcement is undoubtedly a positive. The Greens strongly support increased rebates for people that are prepared to make their home more energy efficient,” said Mr Cohen.

……………………….

 

And we hear via radio that Iemma and a Big Media gaggle are on his campaign bus today 6th March to the South Coast maybe to promote a picfac for this greenhouse friendly gas fired power station idea in Bega:

 

Gas-fired power on the agenda 27th Feb 2007 http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200702/s1858097.htm

 

To add to the Wollongong gas fired power station here in 2006 Govt signs off on south coast power station

 

But will Iemma face up to this issue of the 2003 election under Bob Carr

 

March 03 Background paper on south coast no woodchips, no charcoal election campaign 2003, with update Jan 05 at bottom.

 

over a Govt project to burn massive volumes of native forests for charcoal/power which his Minister Bob Debus was forced 7 days out from the vote to rule out in the press release below, which by the by the Sydney Morning Herald refused to report (because they backed the hugely greenhouse unfriendly plan?).

Indeed with Bob Debus retiring this election will the ALP's Morris Iemma return to trashing south coast forests as Bob Carr intended to add to the massive woodchipping of our natural carbon store still going on:

19/3/2003...NSW government 'Big Logging List' giving background to the Bob Carr/ALP government real forest performance in the lead up state election in March 2003.

 

One does wonder if the ALP will dishonestly support burning of forests again with Debus gone just as they support now the fantasy of ‘clean coal’ over the next 4 years:

 

The Greens NSW - Media Release 27 February 2007

 

"Clean coal" is a convenient untruth

 

Banking on "clean" coal as a climate change solution is a dangerous strategy that could end in environmental and economic disaster for Australia, according to Greens NSW Upper House candidate John Kaye.

 

Speaking after presenting a forum on climate change at the University of Wollongong, Dr Kaye said: "Both Premier Iemma and Opposition Leader Debnam are relying on so-called clean coal as a response to NSW's disastrously high greenhouse gas emissions.

 

"Responding to the biggest challenge facing this state with a promise of a technology that has not yet been proven is taking a massive gamble that places the future prosperity, health and safety of this state at risk.

 

"The Stern report commissioned by the UK government makes it clear that reducing emissions immediately is not only cheaper than waiting but also essential to limiting the total damage done by global warming.

 

 

"Yet Federal Opposition leader Kevin Rudd admits that it will be at least 20 years before clean coal technology is available for wide spread use. In the meantime, climate change emissions will continue and NSW will become even more dependent on coal.

 

"By waiting around for a technology that might or might not reduce emissions, this state will miss the boat on renewable technologies. "The Illawarra alone could benefit from more than 10 thousand new jobs in the near future if the NSW government pushes for a rapid uptake of renewable energy solutions like solar water heating and wind generation.

 

"While the idea that coal can be burned with low or no emissions is convenient for some politicians and the coal companies, it is a potential disaster for jobs and the environment.

 

"The Greens are calling for immediate investment in renewable energy technology to build an export industry. By not opening new coal mines and making an orderly and planned transition to a low greenhouse emissions economy, we can create at least 160 thousand jobs around Australia," Dr Kaye said.

..............................

 

Indeed there are disturbing rumours coming out of the south east community that NSW State Forest bureaucrats have designated over 124,000 hectares of public forest as 'dieback' which might be suitable from their point of view for the Eden chipper (running at 1 million tonnes a year) or for a wood to energy furnace of some kind (compared with gas energy plant above).

 

In our experience the ALP crony govt in NSW prefer 'pre emptive dieback' as here below (photos by this writer 9th March 2006 in Wandella public forest at Peak Alone near Cobargo): 


More images here: Wandella vandalism proof 3/06

Similarly in the agricultural regions: Revealed: legal land clearing's savage toll with Dr Hal Cogger ex deputy director Australian Museum via WWF reporting legal, let alone illegal clearing from 1998-2005 (Jeff Angel anointed as the so called 'greenest premier in Australian history' period) was a tragicly huge 639,930 ha with 104 million mammals birds and reptiles killed (as a conservative estimate).

We noticed another high class biologist "Allen Greer Mudgee" 26/2/07 under headline "Consuming nature", another retiree from the Australian Museum, in the letters page of the Herald sledging Minister Debus's so called 'national conservation highway' claimed to moderate the effect of climate change on biodiversity, as hopelessly inadequate.

SAM's editor estimates legal and illegal clearing is likely to be 1-2 million ha in the last 10 years in NSW. All under the ALP. Land clearing is a very significant measure of greenhouse emissions too. Laughably their rival Opposition Leader Peter Debnam on the recent Stateline 'Leaders' debate said 'our farmers are the original conservationists'. Some maybe are thus, like new farmer Patrice Newell above, but the great majority are not. And the government doesn't help at all which it could with stewardship incentives. No wonder voters are flocking to the Independents.

Truth is both major parties are hopelessly compromised when it comes to the destruction of our ecology critical to our future.


Posted by editor at 9:36 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007 10:46 AM EADT
Sunday, 4 March 2007
NSW electioneering gathers pace in the streets and parks of Sydney
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: election nsw 2007

Image: Bondi Rd 3rd March, info stall in the centre left seat of Coogee for ALP MP Paul Pearce, who was sledged recently in the Sydney Morning Herald for leaflet boast"jail population continually increased and escapes declined by 85%".  Not really Pearce's style as a career lefty and likely off the LauraNorder Iemma songsheet. On the other hand local Green Party voters will like the extra 120,000 ha of national park as a swansong of Environment Minister Bob Debus, in an exclusive in the champion of LaurnaOrder policies, the Saturday Daily Telegraph: The timing in typical Debus competetent choreography probably relatest to 5000 strong National Parks Association meeting the same day: http://www.npansw.org.au/web/news/future.htm

 

Image: Bondi Junction, Oxford St 3rd March. Graffiti guerilla tactics either in or edge of Liberal Peter Debnam's seat of Vaucluse: A mixture of bohemians and stuffy excessively wealthy Establishment types.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Image above: A curious shop parading Union Jacks just opposite the graffiti against PM Howard (above), echoing the conservative  navy credentials of Peter Debnam. Perhaps Debnam has a future in retail (the image helpfully tilts Right)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture above and more below: Community rally at Botany Bay Beach off Foreshore Rd, Botany Saturday 3rd March, against expansion of Port Botany guaranteed to increase toxic transport congestion in most of southern metropolitan Sydney. Shade was a premium under the burning late summer day.

The Greens NSW - Media Release - 2 March 2007

 

Greens call on Iemma to can

Port Botany expansion

 

Greens MP Sylvia Hale will call on the Iemma Government to can the monster Port Botany expansion that motorway proponents are using to push for the construction of the F6, M4 east and Inner West Tollway, when she speaks on Saturday at a large public protest against the expansion (Botany Beach, 2pm, 3 March).

 

"It's time we started adding one plus one. All these motorway proposals lead back to the Port Botany expansion, which will add about 2000 more trucks to Sydney's roads each day," she said.

 

"We have the Liberals down south pushing for the F6, and the NRMA and Tourist and Transport Forum pushing for the M4 east and the $4.6billion Inner-West Tollway, all on the back of the Port Botany expansion," she said.

"Yet, the justification for more motorways is a port expansion that is unjustifiable in the first place," Ms Hale said.  "Sydney does not need this massive port facility. Stevedores, Toll and DP World have said they don't need it. The Department of Planning has advised against it. The community are certainly opposed to it."

 

"Even the Government's own Commission of Inquiry established to investigate the Sydney Ports Corporation's original proposal advised against such excessive expansion because it would put unworkable pressure upon infrastructure and transport systems throughout the city."

 

"In the meantime, the real costs of this unnecessary expansion will be borne by the whole community across all of Sydney," said Ms Hale.

 

Greens Candidate for Marrickville, Clr Fiona Byrne, whose 3-year-old daughter attends a St Peters pre-school right on the doorstep of the proposed entrance to the Inner-West Tollway, said parents are seriously concerned for the health of their children.

 

"If the tunnel is built the school will be cheek by jowl with an unfiltered stack and massive numbers of cars and trucks funneling into the entrance. If the tunnel is not built and the trucks use existing surface roads these kids will be breathing unfiltered car and diesel emissions," she said.

 

"Let's face it, the people who stand to profit from the Port Botany expansion are the Sydney Port Corporation and the property and construction industry, who over the past 8 years have donated more than $13million into the ALP's coffers, " said Ms Hale.

 

"Mr Iemma says he does things differently to his predecessor, but unless he cans this excessive and unnecessary expansion, the electorate will know that it just more of the same. Bob the Builder.lives on," she said.

 

Short background brief available on request.

 

Contact: Kath Haines (for Sylvia Hale) 0417 230 819, Clr Fiona Byrne
0401 719 120

Image above: State election candidates hold up protest signage for local press, from left Fiona Byrne in marginal seat of Marrickville, and left Ann Gardner in the safe ALP seat of Maroubra.

PRESS RELEASE  5th March 2007:  Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance

Bumper Breeding Season for Little Terns at Port Botany

One of the State's rarest birds, the Little Tern, has enjoyed a bumper breeding season at Port Botany this year.  Sydney’s  Little Tern expert, Darryl McKay, banded 19 chicks and recorded 9 fledglings.  “This was an outstanding result for the colony,” said Mr McKay.

"We are very pleased that this threatened bird is doing so well at Port Botany and this is in large part due to the dedication of some wonderful volunteers, and strong support from National Parks and the local community," said Ms Lynda Newnam, Chairperson of the Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance.

The nesting site is at the entrance to Penrhyn Estuary, at Port Botany, and was fenced by NPWS and monitored by bird-watchers from around Sydney as well as the local community.  “It is wonderful to have these beautiful, rare birds breeding so successfully in Botany”, said local environmentalist, Mrs Nancy Hillier. “The walkers, fishers and boating people who use this area responded very positively when asked to keep clear of the nesting area. There is great pride in having the Little Terns here.”

"The eggs and chicks can be taken by predators such as foxes.  Their nests are nearly invisible scrapes on the sand, often near the high water mark, so they are also vulnerable to storms and flooding, and vandals but the proximity to such a high security area as Port Botany brings with it protection that could not be afforded in most other areas”, Mrs Hillier added.

This breeding season will be the last for the Little Terns in this special place, because soon the nesting site will be covered with shipping containers, not eggs. “Sydney needs the Little Terns and the recreation area rather than more containers and congestion”, said Ms Newnam.

Further information:   Lynda Newnam, Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance

                                    www.botanybay.info

                                    chairperson@botanybay.info

                                    tel:  0409698321

Image above: MP Sylvia Hale addresses the crowd, Cr Peter Olive of Marrickville Council in blue shirt in the middle. The expanded port will increase container traffic from over 1 million p.a. to 3 million and then 5 or 8 million in coming decades, and consequent $5 billion tunnel with toxic ventilation stacks and subsidence as far as Marrickville.

Image above:  DVD here: ”Botany Bay’s Big Bang,” is a two-minute video launching Marickville Greens campaign against the environmentally damaging Port Botany expansion scheme, as per more detailed listing here http://www.nsw.greens.org.au/candidates/electorates/marrickville


Image above: Gary Blaschke recently lauded with an Order of Australia (2007) for community service, holds forth  in distinctive yellow T shirt 'Save Sydney No Port stranglehold'. Gary is a member of Botany Bay & Catchment Alliance http://www.botanybay.info/ 

Leaning on a tree in the shade in the background is Dean Sewell perhaps "the best photo journalist in Australia" who works for the Sydney Morning Herald and freelance, including tsunami affected Indonesia which ran in World Press apparently. Dean tells us he has been doing a study of the area for at least 20 years.





Posted by editor at 12:07 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 5 March 2007 3:38 PM EADT
Sunday tv political talkies: Howard MPs getting desperate as veteran reporter Oaks backs off Rudd integrity?
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: Howard's attacks on Kevin Rudd's integrity suffer 1. from his own compromised past not least the real climate change threat, and 2. Rudd at the time of meeting a convicted ALP fraudster at a public event in a crowd of business and other people was a very busy Opposition Minister on Foreign Affairs to be worrying too much about domestic dirty laundry, indeed ever since Sept 11 2001. No wonder he was concentrating on Iraq, Iran, China, AWB scandal and stuff like that, than WA low rent crony culture. (Image lifted from Sydney Morning Herald graphic in 2006.)

General preface: Kevin Rudd ALP Leader is said to have ended his honeymoon, but this is vis a vis the Canberra media gallery, not necessarily the public as such. Losing shine with the gallery is significant but will the public follow the adverse coverage? Time will tell.

Note too, we at SAM began the references to doing deals with 'the devil', actually the word “Satan”, in relation to Cardinal Pell promoting nuclear reactors and denying dangerous climate change threat in his Sunday Telegraph columns this last month. (We broadcast an open letter to the Cardinal to federal MP’s amongst others.) Peter Costello soon after used the term “supping with the devil” to attack Rudd's moral stature for meeting (recidivist crook?) Brian Bourke.

Lastly by way of preface, just as The Greens candidate in 2004 federal election Andrew Wilkie experienced death threats for running against Howard in Bennelong, and famously Maxine McKew in the last few days has apparently suffered same, as noted by Ch10 coverage of the newspapers this morning: As a driver for the Not Happy John democratic exercise in Bennelong in 2004 we too experienced violent menaces - on the main road through Ryde: A hotted up car revved and flashed lights in slow traffic on the highway within inches of my rear bumper bar. It really was nerve wracking, though I do enjoy the odd dramatic thrill too.

I jammed the brakes on in my dumpy old car, knowing they had a lot more to lose with a front end collision to their pride and joy. Then in reaction the outraged aggressor drove alongside the passenger seat to swing at the panels at least 3 times before racing hard leftward towards Epping. I did report it to the police. On another occasion in West Ryde/Broadmeadow light industrial area one nice fellow delighted in tearing up my NHJ leaflet in my face aggressively. So yes there is an underbelly of menace in the PM’s electorate.

We wrote of this at the time on Sydney Indymedia self publishing site (around October 2004), which may or may not be available in their records, and copied it to top NHJ organizer John Valder, former President of the federal Liberal Party and signed up ‘Howard hater’ over the PM taking us into the Iraq war unlike say Canada. And I continued with the democratic work, as Maxine McKew can and must, and win the seat also.

Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column): This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.

Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208

"..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses  the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”

Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.

For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.

10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am

Quality 2nd string network, good show, lower audience than 9 or 7, both low for Sundays anyway. Traverse of press headlines first. Features Sun Herald attack by PM on Rudd after his own minister Campbell quits [as entre to PM friendly guest, but it gets tough.]

Tony Abbott, Howard “attack dog” (per Albanese grab too) for Howard [Abbott subject of cutting speech by Nicola Roxon too interested in fitness regime than Health portfolio].

Pushes the desperate perception game Rudd is compromised by Bourke who at the time was not guilty of any illegal offence in the public’s knowledge.

PB compere rightly points out Rudd was guest of Edwards, and Bourke used that for PR self interest. [Pretty standard lobbyist manipulation. Rudd can’t control what he puts out. He didn’t sign it. Supping with the devil or facing down the devil, or researching the devil? Rudd says he had the compassionate view that he did his time. 2nd chance kind of guy. ]

Footage of Abbott name-calling Rudd as Dr Death/Pol Pot. Focus back on Abbott..

Panel: Brad Norrington of The Australian, Fran Kelly of abc Radio National. Nixon speech on dental care. Kelly getting chubby, [morning after Mardi Gras for her, a bit squinty] but smart as a diamond cutter.

Norrington on gay rights. Abbott talks human rights.

Kelly: No one in government lost their place over AWB scandal, but Campbell does resign over a 20 minute meeting with convicted felon? 40 to 50 companies including Geof Prosser federal Liberal MP (?) are they all “morally compromised”.

[Recall too not mentioned, Campbell was also demoted as environment minister, didn’t want his ‘Human Services’ ministerial job, probably supports Costello as future leader anyway, is not a climate change sceptic].

Norrington: Rudd didn’t know about the CCC (Criminal Conduct Commission) was investigating him or such behaviour.

Norrington – dangerous political territory [unrealistic] standards?

Rubbery Figures The Australian – on climate change lack of credibility of the Howard Govt and Minister McFarlane.

Ad break: Cool Aid channel 10 8.30 tonight. Cuts across Rubbery Figures damaging govt again. 2nd advert on same via sponsoer Sunday Telegraph (compare Tim Blair blog attack on climate change advocate Prof Flannery in Saturday Telegraph yesterday).

Grab from Al Gore: Nuke reactor too expensive – no silver bullets, silver buckshot, part of the solution, too expensive?

Prof Leslie Kemeny – one eyed supporter of reactors, presents like mad old bugger, missing several lower teeth? Start up subsidies in USA? Says not longer necessary. Ignores huge shut down decommission costs.

N asks reactors near coast as per Ziggy report for Federal Govt. Kemeny not essential . Gas cooled away from the coast. New reactors won’t need sea water.

15 years timeline? Yes like to see movement,

Your association with Ron Walker Liberal Party etc? No, academic only. Waffles on.

Reactor waste? Says compared with fossil fuels waste and toxic pollution is favourable. Buried here at 600 metres in his view, says not Fort Knox for 24,000 years.

Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress

7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary

Humourous, quite edgy as usual. Correctly notes honeymoon comes to an end

[but only because the consensus of 2, 7, 9, SBS federal political affairs reporters] of the Press Gallery is that it has ended. Has it ended with the public? Doubt it.]

Good direct footage of question to Rudd re no knowledge of ban on dealing with Bourke. Rudd says it was “a fact”. This may be plausible as intensely involved in Foreign Affairs and off the domestic scene. It’s been a very busy time since at least Sept 11 2001. Plenty to keep an Opposition Foreign Affairs eye off the local ball here.

Q and A with Riley: Howard attacks Rudd honesty character. ALP call the bluff re election. A bit of mud sticks.Andrew OKeefe gutsy comments about irony of Howard record on Tampa, Iraq war, (ethanol?). His buddy stays stum on such risky politic. Riley himself says some mud will stick on Rudd.

Web page here but no transcript usually: http://www.seven.com.au/sunrise/weekend

2 Insiders (abc) 9-10 am, http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/

Rudd integrity discussed re “stench from the west” WA senior ALP federal MP Stephen Smith strongly defends Rudd, significant from Beazley camp but gutsy plausible defense. The difference with Campbell? Campbell meeting was “benign” by PM’s own admission.

 

Image: Kevin Rudd right is fighting some politcal wildfires of his own today, but they are somewhat "artificial" threats to his leadership to borrow a term from veteran reporter Laurie Oaks today.

Skip to Ch9.

Smith pushes proper perspective, admits met Grill and Fortescue metals.

Back to ch9 feature on Rudd. [tape on, watch later if can be bothered, rebroadcast at 11.10 am]

Panel Toohey, Akerman, Meglogenis.

9 Sunday 9-10.30am (to follow) http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/


Oakes interview is centerpiece of the morning re interview with Rudd?? [No, the feature before is.] Rudd in bit of trouble says Oaks. Similar to hard attack by Oakes on Ch9 tv news last night.

Rudd feature is pre package not fresh interview, Oakes has another talent subject.

Ch9 audition for PM job. Albert Rudd (father’s) death car crash, drink drive case internal injuries, infections killed him and or medical limitations. Wouldn’t have died if he’d been rich? War veteran.

Does folksy naturally like most country people (as per the Jed Bartlett character.)

Clearly most sensitive topic, testing Rudd’s personal psychological strength. Pretty harsh Big Media personalized trawling. Kevin Rudd talks about compassion for those who get a bad deal in life/brick walls.

Presents as guy who is emotionally secure with a strong successful wife with real emotional commitment and happy kids. Who doesn’t live in the past or is defined by his parents life for all time. A guy who has transcended profound sadness and living his own life. That’s healthy.

Goss has substituted for Kevin Rudd’s dad’s empty psychological place in the cast of his life. His career in DFAT then into politics via Qld not the normal approach journey to PM, is flattery to Wayne Goss for reforming Qld politics after corruption of Bjelke Petersen era. That’s quite a compliment to Wayne, survivor of brain surgery himself.

(That’s how deep psychology works just like how I see now dead Milo Dunphy as more of a father figure in my career than my own alcoholic father.)

“would be the smartest young prime minister we’ve ever had” quote from one worthy (DFAT veteran?)

……………………

Ray Martin interview with latest expose’ of outsourcing torture by CIA “at the orders of the White House …. don’t hand suspects to FBI, don’t read them their rights”: Stephen Grey (Gray?), Ghost Planes

Rendition started under Clinton, says author. Before Sept 11 2001.

[The whole interview effect is favourable to Rudd, that we as a country need to get out of this business and start afresh. To distance our country from Howard’s past. ]

Author talks about fear of doing this work about grim and dark world. Total hypocrisy of allies on torture.

Vote question to the effect of: Do you believe the Australian Government endorses the USA use of torture?

(63% of 9’s internet poll says don’t follow British example of withdraw from Iraq (?). Counter intuitive.)

Interview with Julie Bishop, federal education minister, who presents like a female SS officer with deep set eyes beset with strident fascist dogma. A real nasty skinny whippet like driven woman pushing ideology regardless of weight of evidence.

Any evidence of deals done or favours sought? Got nothing.

Iraq war, porkies over children overboard? This is such a big deal? Only got 2 votes in the leadership vote. …..Bourke close friend of Kim Beazley.

She says great inexperience by Rudd [Either Rudd was dishonest or inexperienced, can’t be both, almost certainly the latter because out of the country so much doing stuff like China relations.]

Oaks goes into Bishop’s own relations with sleazy numbers man Noel Crichton Brown in the WA Libs and says no connection. Oaks pauses as if he has other research on this point but is holding it. She continues the steely smile taken aback by the pressure back at her. [It’s a dangerous genie that can land on anyone in this blood sport, she didn’t quite realize it could happen, re establishes with unprompted exclusive.]

[Oaks is decidedly less aggressive to Rudd’s character and integrity between the 9.05 am prelude and the main interview commencing at 10 am quite possibly informed by ch10 and Insiders 2 evidentiary coverage.]

Announces nuke physicist traineeships at Lucas Heights at Opal Reactor – uses cover of medical research when its really “national interest” dual use as per Hugh White story in Sydney Morning Herald 1/3/07 p17

Who could suspect Australia of wanting nuclear weapons? Well, anyone with a sense of history. In the 1950’s and 1960’s Australia actively, if sporadically, tried to acquire nuclear weapons. And we were amongst the last and most reluctant adherents to the the [sic] [Non Proliferation] treaty when it was concluded in the early 1970s. …Professor Hugh White is a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute and professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University.”

Feature on Indonesian poverty. 30,000 deaths from polluted water per year for under 5s.


Posted by editor at 11:49 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 5 March 2007 2:25 PM EADT
Friday, 2 March 2007
SAM broadband and phone line cut Thursday morning 1st March 2007?*
Mood:  energetic
Topic: independent media

The life of a political blogger is not so easy it seems. Soon after we finished a little feedback comment to the 702 abc Trioli show at 9.15 am yesterday 2nd March 07

 

(giving new information corroborating the stink of a page 1 story in the Sydney Daily Telegraph - about a “$5B TOLL SECRET” about a huge “Inner West Tollway”, namely the Marrickville Truck Tunnel we pursued with unsuccessful FoI requests back in 2005 – and posted the relevant original documents on Sydney alternative media site)

 

 

 

we suddenly lost our dial tone and adsl broadband connection to the office about 9.45 am.

 

We ducked down to a local internet business to check our website was still up with our server, which it was, and posted our increased readership figures.

 

Maybe it’s the weather, or paranoia. We hope it wasn’t any of these stories which attracted the attention of the authorities in an oppressive censorious way:

 

  1. sledging the visit by an alleged war criminal the Vice President of the USA, Dick Cheney especially his strange expression entering the plane at KSA (possible);
  2. sledging the shadowy, privately funded Australia America Leadership Dialogue which Cheney addressed last Friday 26th Feb 07 here in Sydney, with heavy defence hitters in their ranks from both sides, (possible);
  3. sledging Maxine McKew a supporter of the AALD and aspirant of John Howard’s seat (not very likely);
  4. sledging dancing bear Greg Sheridan, journalist for Murdoch press, over his interview with sinister Cheney around invasion of Iran (possible);
  5. broadcast email to Federal Parliament of our SAM piece on rednecks motive to start a bushfire at Goonoo Pilliga area of North West NSW this summer, to neutralise malicious smears by Minister Eric Abetz of the ALP and Green Party in the Senate last Wednesday 28th February (unlikely); or
  6. Legally privileged correspondence from a bunch of agitators at the NSW Supreme Court recently seeking advice about trial by jury (unlikely).

 

In the paranoid stakes we recall Peter Wright’s book Spycatcher where he desribes the orthodox methods of faulting a phone line in order to insert eavesdropping equipment via the ‘repairman’. Only we are happy to have our information and hard drive transparent to the whole world, just not have our communications equipment sabotaged by persons unknown, or indeed act of God.

 

Curiously Telstra’s helpful staff after calling back to our mobile told us they ‘are locked out of checking our line” on their remote system, and would have to send a tech in the next few days. The second staffer specialising in faults curiously mentioned she ‘was briefed about the problems you are having with your family’. No actually, that wasn’t my case, nothing about sick family members or anything like that. I told her I was a political blogger. “Oh, okay” sounding a little confused herself.

 

We only hope to be back doing our democratic duty soon, and posting stories about Sydney politics as below as the NSW election approaches, and federal election after that. Heaven forbid we would be censored by Big Brother with its excessive security budget. As the High Court noted in the famous Albert Langer case, Mr Langer is entitled to be “an agitator”, and so it is with sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog, in a democracy anyway:

Picture: Playfair St corner with Argyle St to be renamed Jack Mundey Street for saving the amenity and heritage of The Rocks in Sydney. Or will it be like the traffic chaos above?

Picture: Electioneering on Glebe Point Rd last Saturday in the seat of Balmain affected by the Inner West Motorway plan.

Picture above: Cr Marcel Hoff working for re election of Clover Moore at Broadway in the seat of Sydney last Saturday.

Picture: Upper Glebe Point Rd, seat of Balmain, Liberal candidate at far left on poster, main view is apolitical community group The Glebe Society awareness raising last Saturday.

* This post was via another location.


Posted by editor at 7:54 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007 8:10 AM EADT
Thursday, 1 March 2007
February 07 readership figures for SAM blog 5,372
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: independent media

This short month we have a monthly hit rate of 5,372 up from 2800 or so for the month of January 2007.

As always our original material here is copyright free for the community and media sector generally big and small, as per the copyright policy at the link on the right hand side of the page, as written by the owner and legal adviser, Tom McLoughlin.

The sydneyalternativemedia blog is independent of, but also friends with similarly named Alternative Media Group here in Sydney.


Posted by editor at 11:49 AM EADT
ALP NSW coverup of the Marrickville Truck Tunnel by any other name
Mood:  down
Topic: election nsw 2007

SAM's editor sought by formal Freedom of Information in mid 2005, a taxpayer funded Commission of Inquiry Report into the expansion of Port Botany which would categorically evidence massive increase in truck container traffic via the Inner West of Sydney. The govt were sitting on the report by respected Kevin Cleland for months, and even changed Planning Ministers from Craig Knowles to Frank Sartor while community groups like my own Botany Bay & Catchment Alliance http://www.botanybay.info/ patiently waited. The report helped evidence the Ports agenda for the same Inner West Motorway in the news today, that we knew as the Marrickville Truck Tunnel in 2005.

A tunnel that would involve subsidence, toxic ventilation stacks and massive voter concern. Marrickville Byelection was scheduled for 17th September 2005 and the ALP were at risk from The Green Party's Sam Byrne.

The government ran the clock down on our FoI request. We smelt a rat over the Truck Tunnel damage in the byelection. The Planning Dept under Frank Sartor even refused despite numerous promptings by phone to give up a letter of refusal prior to the close byelection. This writer was forced to go into The Lands office in Bridge St CBD and refuse to leave until I was given the letter on 12th Sept 07 (as noted below in handwriting). But the refusal letter they couldn't provide to me was actually already drafted "6th Sept", and signed "9th September" by Sam Haddad (note the changed date by hand by Haddad). The same Sam Haddad promoted to head up the department sometime later from Deputy Director position.

We duly complained and sought a review but the byelection was held on Sept 17th and negative replies excusing the government cover up were received soon after. (These letters are copied below from the reviewing officer, and the electoral commissioner). A few weeks after the byelection the Port Botany report was released.

The Greens Sam Byrne lost by only a few per cent, and was then chosen to be Mayor of Marrickville Council later in 2005 being the quality candidate that he was.

Now the major story running in Sydney is the same secret Truck Tunnel this time before an election vote in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on page 1. I also mentioned this on 702 ABC radio talkback and am happy to take interview calls on tel. 0410 558838:

$5b secret road under Sydney

new tunnel

Exclusive by Heath Aston: THE RTA has secretly drawn up plans for a gigantic underground toll road through Sydney's inner west in a bid to ease the city's worsening traffic woes.

10 comment(s) about this story

Here are SAM's letters of that time evidencing the Government successfully covering their tracks in 2005 ... but not today:



 

 


Posted by editor at 9:29 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007 11:49 AM EADT
Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Real politik of vanity in the age of global warming
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: election Oz 2007

We wrote to Catholic Cardinal Pell recently in an open letter widely circulated accusing the senior cleric of vain posturing, and alot worse, in his climate change denial, and pro nuke reactor, positions in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper in the last month. Like a tonne of bricks 4 Corners on Monday night just past

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2007/s1854517.htm 

, and every third news bulletin carries more grave news of the reality of the Warm, that it's big and it's real.

Pell in his next column in the Sunday Telegraph returned to safer ground with a solliliquy on the religous season of Lent. It was all about restraining one's vanity including that author.

And just so, PM Howard attacks rival Rudd for being "full of it" especially after a feature in The Australian colour mag some weeks ago quoting Rudd he would 'have fun playing with Howard's mind' like a condescending intellectual alien visitor to Earth. Rudd quickly retreated from that ugly perception in the Oakes interview on Sunday 9 25th Feb 07 show humbly stating he is a long way behind Howard 'at the base camp of Everest' or such like metaphor. That was necessary but was it sufficient? What he should probably have said is:

Yes it was a smart alec comment and I apologise to the PM for that. It was an insecure thing to say because Howard's record and budget war chest is just so intimidating. So it actually reflected my own nerves. But now I am refocused on the enormity of the challenge for our side and concentrating on winning with integrity to quote Gandhi and not simply to win.

Glenn Milne, a Treasurer Costello booster vying with the ALP leader to be PM, pushed the vanity line against Rudd too in his column in the Sunday Telegraph last week showing it's a real risk for Rudd and his pompous ALP, and indeed all of us in the political community.

The real politik of vanity. It's a dangerous befuddling emotion, and pride before a fall usually.

Now today high profile Catholic and Minister Tony Abbott writes in the conservative friendly Fairfax of guess what: Vanity with this quote:

"Has NSW now come to resemble Italy [SAM's editor is 1/8 Italian too], where an incompetent and venal government is accepted as an unalterable fact of life?"

with the quote extracted on the front page for good measure, full story at: Tony Abbott: A Government so bad should be thrown out

But here is the thing: Tony Abbott's own federal government has a huge dollop of vanity informing it's support for risky long term nuke energy technofixes one day, synonymous with expanded fossil fool economic (read material) growth in the short and medium term against all ecological reality:

Businessmen deny nuclear proposal - Sydney Morning Herald - 21 hours ago
Turnbull says Labor waging nuclear scare campaign - ABC Online - 1 hour ago

Not just the Howard Coalition government, most western governments suffer such vanity that it's market based business as usual with their mates on top in society, unlike say far more ecologically sustainable, far more radical countries like Cuba according to a World Wildlife Fund Report of 2006: WF - Living Planet Report, and much earlier EIJ Winter 94: The Greening of Cuba,

That's human vanity and why in all anthropological history no civilisation has transcended that exhaustion of its ecological bubble to inevitable demise.

Odds are that vanity will bring on dangerous climate change, with or without nuke energy, for failure to really know our place in the scheme of the universe endlessly pursuing personal affluence. We are fast approaching the pointy end of vanity vis a vis global warming, nuke waste, and technological religous faith, and we all would do well to consider these images of urban inundation via YouTube and Hurricane Katrina there in New Orleans a year ago:

- Slow but very scary one (who the hell builds carparks on the ocean front?, notice petrol leak at 4.22 sec) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yd5WreHxPg&mode=related&search=
- tragedy semi rap soundtrack http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJlHBT1r3EU
- positive social work  - 8 months later http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5rY4t8oEtU&mode=related&search=
Imagine all those petrol stations and other contamination under sea water in urban areas. What a mess it would be after global warming ice melt in low level urban areas, even if slow rise.
SAM feels pretty sure the polar ice will melt, our guess 10 years: No western or non western material economy is slowing down really with consequent greenhouse emissions, and there are bound to be synergistic feedback effects too.

Posted by editor at 11:44 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007 4:45 PM EADT
UN launches 2 years of study on polar ice caps, Greenpeace seeks listing of polar bears
Mood:  blue
Topic: globalWarming

Dear xxxxxxxx,

 As temperatures around the world continue to rise, the chances of survival for the polar bear are literally melting away. Experts predict that polar bears may disappear, along with the ice, by mid-century if nothing is done to solve global warming.

To save the polar bear, we have to act now. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing the polar bear as a threatened species, and they need to hear from YOU. Don't let the polar bear slip away.

The End of Oil

You can join Kert Davies for a
live online discussion this Thursday, March 1st, about the impacts of global warming and the consequences of a dwindling oil supply. The groundbreaking Link TV production, The End of Oil, airs at 11 pm to 1 am EST on March 1st and 2nd. Oil and energy experts will answer questions and debate the issues raised by the film.

SAM editor: More here http://www.worldlinktv.org/programming/programDescription.php4?code=end_oil1

.................... 

Global warming at North, South Poles comes under microscope in UN-backed research

26 February 2007 The largest polar research programme in 50 years, with a major focus on global warming, gets under way this week with United Nations support as thousands of scientists from over 60 countries prepare to carry out 220 science and outreach projects in both the north and south polar regions.

The International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008, a programme of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially beginning on 1 March, will be the fourth such event. The previous IPYs of 1882-83, 1932-33, and 1957-58, also known as the International Geophysical Year, all produced major increases in understanding the Earth system.

“IPY comes at a crossroads for the planet’s future; February’s first phase of the Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown that these regions are highly vulnerable to rising temperatures,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said.

“However, meteorological and other regular environmental in-situ observation facilities at the poles are few and it is essential to install more and increase satellite coverage to gain a better overall picture of how rapidly these areas are changing, and of the global impact of these changes,” he added.

The IPY projects will focus on learning about the past, present and future environmental status of the polar regions, while advancing understanding about the interactions between those regions and the rest of the globe. They will also investigate the frontiers of science in the polar regions, and use the unique vantage point of the polar regions and develop observatories from the interior of the Earth to the Sun and the cosmos beyond. In addition, the projects will investigate the cultural, historical and social processes that shape the sustainability of circumpolar human societies.

In order to ensure full and equal coverage of both the Arctic and the Antarctic, IPY will span two full annual cycles, from March 2007 to March 2009. Many national and regional IPY launch events are being organized over the next few weeks. The official international launch ceremony will take place on 1 March at the Palais de la Découverte in Paris.

“We face many challenges as we start: funding, data sharing, and, most importantly, the surprising and rapidly changing nature of the polar regions,” IPY International Programme Office Director David Carlson said.

But we have an enormous strength: international enthusiasm and cooperation, at a higher level and across a wider range of science than most of us will see at any other time in our careers. IPY will succeed because of this scientific urgency and energy.”

at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=21682&Cr=climate&Cr1=change


Posted by editor at 11:18 AM EADT
Dancing bear Greg Sheridan's strange parallel universe as a Murdoch 'Blimp'
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: peace

 Mr Sheridan (pictured, but older and fatter now) is known as one of the "dancing bears" of the media as labelled by ex ALP leader Mark Latham, an evocative reference to tubby hairy types in the sector. Here is the official version About Greg Sheridan | Greg Sheridan biography | The Australian

He is a figure that encourages the SAM writer to swim laps.

Greg slums it in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph on 25th Feb 07, p7 of Opinion section, a tabloid when usually found in The Australian broadsheet http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/gregsheridan/ also owned by USA citizen Rupert Murdoch's News Limited with this

"Cheney - a good man to have in your corner"

hard to find online, and to quote:

"I conducted an interview with Cheney on Friday, the only one-on-one [its all innocent, no hair bear Mardi Gras sexual frolics, Cheney's gay daughter not withstanding] media interview Cheney did while he was in Australia." ....

"he also had a tough message on Iran and that was that the US would certainly not rule out a military strike against Iran to prevent it from becoming a nuclear state." ...."

[Which may well explain this report of Iran, echoing China (a huge Iranian oil client) shooting a weather satellite out of the sky a few weeks ago, to underline their possible ability to shoot down USA military satellites: Iran Launches Rocket Into Sub-Orbit in Test - New York Times - 25 Feb 2007]

Picture: enlarged image from Fairfax press of big Dick Cheney saying goodbye on Kingsford Smith Airport tarmac last Sunday evening 25th Feb 07, with some kind of expression, (entering a divorce court, a broken spirit, Nuremberg trial for war crimes?) which also ran in the rival broadsheet The Australian same day. The haunted eyes, the clenched jaw, forlorn soulfulness. Outstanding photo journalism. On a lighter note the image reminds of the West Wing episode where VP 'Bingo Bob' repeatedly tells the tedious joke of squinting through his left eye so the coat of arms looks like 'President' absent 'Vice'. In Cheney's case vicious is more like it physically similar to the former Nazi SS dentist character in Marathon Man .

Sheridan continues in his story:

"Much of the liberal press is unfair to Cheney. He is sometimes characterised as some kind of weird extremist."

[sure Greg, like colleague Matt Price at The Australian extracted here in SAM's piece Thursday, 15 February 2007, Yankees abroad plan to boo Cheney visit to Australia index.blog?topic_id=1084060 reporting Cheney's fraudulent claims for going to war in Iraq, as an oil industry/Halliburton corporate loyalist, not least his ex Chief of Staff Scooter Libby in court for breach of national security law for political gain at the orders of his boss Cheney] ....

"Cheney has also made it clear in the past that he believes Saddam  had a long-standing relationship with al-Qaeda"

 [the so called international terrorist network, or isolated cells of ultra violent jihadists, depending on who you listen to, that Saddam almost certainly had no dealings with at all hence Sheridan's use of the words "in the past"].

Sheridan is indeed the dancing bear for powerful organ grinders no doubt. Here is a revealing discussion of the journalist in the Pentagon offices in April 2004 and doing their PR no doubt because:

" .... Sheridan’s brand of seculo-Christian-based morality also has much in common with that of the two neo-con leaders he so fervently admires and supports – John Howard and George W. Bush."

in Getting the Story Straight: Greg Sheridan in the Shifting Moral Sands of Iraq by Martin Hirst & Robert Schütze at http://eprint.uq.edu.au/archive/00001178/01/mh_rs_over_04.pdf

The authors conclude:

"Finally, Orwell would almost certainly have regarded Sheridan as a ‘Blimp’, a fulminating member of the militaristic and imperialist middle class intelligentsia wedded to glorified notions of Empire, loyalty and morality. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the Australian press and the Murdoch papers in particular, were open to dissenting voices, but unfortunately they’re not. Sheridan is one of a whole phalanx of conservative and neo-con columnists at the Australian and there are others just like him at all the other quality papers. Don’t even get us started on the Daily Terror!"

Daily Terror meaning Sydney Daily Telegraph, the weekday version of ... the Sydney Sunday Telegraph with the Greg Sheridan quotes above.


Posted by editor at 7:18 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007 2:18 PM EADT

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