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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Saturday, 28 April 2007
Big media's horror Saturday: Child exploitation, overt compromise by Israel lobby, and Tim Blair's flatulence
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: big media

Pictures: todays clips of stupidity, on our recycled (!) timber kitchen table, rescued from a Bronte council throwout.

Why are children appearing in the big media today on behalf of their posturing political parents? Both the children of Kevin Rudd Opposition Leader, and of Mark Scott managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation are pictured in the news today, both courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald.


Is this systemic child abuse? How in any way is this massive exposure of any benefit to those children, especially the under 18’s down to primary school age? What can those kids possibly have that’s probitive of the quality of their parents? Are the parents saying the political community can now treat them as fair game, enquire as to their school expulsions, genetic diseases, drug taking or whatever? I don’t think so. No its an entirely one sided first strike missile defence type of political propaganda. 'Look at my darling kids' but don’t you dare say ill of them, they are innocents above the muck of politicking. Well of course they are which is why they shouldn’t be in the newspaper in the first place. This kind of child propagandising is just plain wrong as it is widespread.


These were not incidental images. They were endorsed staged calculated attempts by their parents to leverage sympathy of them as regular good blokes. And it is patheticly misleading and deceptive for lack of real information value. No one needs a licence to have children. And children are programmed to be loyal and trusting of parents.


All it usually signifies is that the adult parent is desperate for help in the PR stakes. In Mark Scott’s case underlined by a glossy feature in The Weekend Australian Magazine, giving an entre to conflicted financial business and political interests: It’s all about breaking the ban on advertising on the ABC with the first step being online adverts. Pretty sleazy that, using one’s own children to advance professional career goals.


And then there is foreign affairs specialist Greg Sheridan quoted page 2 of the same newspaper “Sheridan wins Israel prize”. Trouble is how can any journalist hold themselves out as remotely objective when accepting prizes from one or other stakeholder in geopolitics? This is just another sleazy attempt at compromising the news and it doesn’t look like Sheridan will be politely declining it for professional and ethical reasons. It’s the equivalent of an industrial relations journalist accepting the ‘services to union collective bargaining’ prize of the ACTU, or ‘services to understanding the uranium mining and nuclear cycle prize’ from ANSTO. Lobby groups naturally want to ingratiate themselves but Sheridan’s lack of perspective in accepting the gift shows past and future bias in matters involving Israel.


Then there is the usual Tim Blair tragi comedy Saturday Opinion piece with his mock philosophical sophistry. (Spooky echo of my ‘wallow’ tag on Ruddy in his left hand column, just as I heard the saintly Mark Colvin on PM use the ‘gratuitous’ word from another of my headlines about Crikey.com.au applied to a Amanda Vanstone story last night).


Blair’s main contention today is an alleged unhealthy obsession of the Left with “sadness” and “disaster”. Funny how people concerned with human rights, social justice, and inequality would have such a focus in the real world. Blair probably doesn’t know about these places that say 5.5 billion out of 6 billion know all too well. Live long enough in middle class privilege that royalty of centuries past could not conceive of, add decades of wearing blinkers and hey presto we just airbrushed 75% of human experience. How to solve world poverty with a click of the fingers.

Like the proverbial 3 wise monkeys’ (or as I like to think of them, sinister Wizard of Oz flying monkeys) Blair thinks his narrow Ayn Rand view in a spiritual and economic enclave is the only true light. There is a grain of truth but a barrow full of lies in his TimBoy's simple thesis. Sure the Left and Greens feel a fleeting sense of vindication at the very real prospects of climate change cataclysm and war dead as defined by such as The Lancet.


But actually, and this is first hand experience personal and observed, far more suffer burnout, despair, and need the soothing revival of individual sustainability workshops as organised by John Seed and Ruth Rosenhek of the Rainforest Information Centre:


 "In response to growing public concern about climate change, the Rainforest Information Centre is taking to the road to address the psychological and emotional issues surrounding global warming.": National climate change roadshow hits Northcoast | Alternative ...


But don’t stress over these demanding thoughts there Tim behind your rose tinted glasses. It must be comforting living in the shadow of Ayn Rand’s gospel porn that says altruism is really just a selfish attempt at moral triumphalism, such that unvarnished selfishness is really far more honest – like a big fat pay packet from News Ltd to spread psychological violence is ‘honest’? But who are you trying to convince? Yourself? Don’t you find that terribly unsatisfying? Indeed boring?


Posted by editor at 3:35 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007 9:41 AM NZT
Friday, 27 April 2007
Rudd's first day flop with mediocre wallow in personal insult
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: Lifted from Sat April 28th ambiguously pandering Sydney Morning Herald with this caption "Kevin Rudd delivers the openning speech to the Labor Party National Conference in Sydney this morning [Fri 27th April] Photo: Wade Laube"  We at SAM say beware the familiarity of Big Media that breeds contempt. For instance notice already Paul Kelly of  The Australian at a fork in the road assessment of Rudd here: Singing same old tune


Postscript #1 as preface: Saturday Sat. 28th April 2007 in "Preaching to the converted" in Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald book reviews, quoting Professor of Politics Dennis Altman, La Trobe University, reviewing Allied and Addicted by Alison Broinowski, 2007:


"The Howard Government has been elected four times and in the last election won sufficient support to gain a Senate majority. A convincing criticism of Howard needs to engage with the reality of his electoral success and his genuine popularity over the past decade. Those of us who don't like John Howard have an obligation to engage with those who do."


[Story written late Friday 27th April begins here]


So this is the baby the ALP is depending on, the country is depending on, the environment is depending on?


Cheap jack personal insults about PM Howard stuck in the black and white tv age. The giggling little mummy’s boy on the dairy farm. Or dancing with Kerry Anne at least.


Way dumb. Way stupid.


So you tribal ALP barrackers think indulgent personal ridicule and a fat lead in the polls will get you the reins of power?


I’m about ready to call the election already – for Howard.


The most accomplished and successful politician in a generation. Maybe in the history of Australia. A man who has refashioned this country to his own sense of correctness, tone and direction. A man with 4 elections behind him.


And you make a speech dripping with disrespect? Throw away lines about Howard being clever yet somehow living in the past. Well if he is then the Australian voting public are too. Have been 4 times at the polling booth.


Here’s a wet fish slap in your face Kev. You are a joke. You are stupid. Howard is far more mature. That’s why he said you were showing inexperience. Because it has resonance. Not because your Fair Work Commission really lacks constitutional legality but because inexperience echoes in comparison to this 11 year Prime Ministerial veteran.


How dare you betray your own true sense of the task ahead that 'it’s a long long way to climb the summit to the vote'.  You can’t have it both ways, a long way behind and a huge task ahead to get the trust of the People, and at the same time regard Howard as a figure of ridicule and backward attitudes. If Howard wins he will install nuclear weapons, an unprecedented step for Australia. And you call him old fashioned? Well how dumb is that? It might be an old idea but it’s a totally new reality Howard aims to achieve here in defence, in IR, in climate policy, in foreign relations, in refugee policy, and all the rest.


New ideas? Who cares when he's remaking Australia with the ones he wants? And the People may well want too when the pen hits the paper.


If you can’t respect your political enemy for the frighteningly scary opponent he really is, then you should resign now and give someone who understands the gravity, responsibility and privilege of being a real Opposition Leader to someone who does. If anyone exists. Or can that still be you to emerge at this conference or sometime soon? Because I haven’t seen a winner yet. I saw a cheer leader for a football club, an MC for a 21st birthday party, a gawky prefect on School Night, but I didn’t see a Prime Minister in waiting.


He’s hiding somewhere scared of being the real Kevin Rudd perhaps, doing stupid speech tricks written by lightweight media manipulators. But that won’t cut it, not in the polling booth. A real PM in waiting would respect John Howard, not ridicule him. And take a good chunk of his voters off him in the process.



After leaving the ALP conference street theatre this morning I took the daily press to a café on King St in Newtown which is very left and green voter territory. The café owner in his late thirties or forties likes to get my political summary. And here’s the warning Kev – he said Howard deserved to win, he’s done a good job. Wake up to yourself champ. You’re going backwards.

Picture: Team Rudd were progressing nicely as per this article above at Labor's new link to connect with corporates | Business | The ...

last Thursday 26th April, until they went the personal sledge to appease the culture of muck raking first day of the ALP conference.


Postscript #2, on why the Big Media like today's Rudd friendly press can't report the important information in a timely and proportionate way, by way of illustration quoting from "In an electric storm" by Bernard Zuel 28th April, SMH Spectrum,


"..given its contemporary status as a groundbreaking film, Don't Look Back was rejected by all the big film distributors in 1966 and 1967, with one telling [film maker] Pennebaker that it was "ratty, badly focused - it's hard to hear what anybody's saying. It's just a disaster film." [perhaps like this blog?] It was a porn-cinema magnate, trying to become respectable for his wife, who picked up the rights and screened it in an adult cinema in San Francisco. You get the feeling even the Bob Dylan of 1966 would have laughed himself hoarse at that."





In other words pioneering profound truths are not about making money. They are about telling the truth. Big Media on the other hand is exactly about making money and always way out of date. To be specific the press today are very complimentary about Kevin Rudd's Australian Labor conference on day one because it will sell papers, not because it is true, leveraging current perceptions of polling success to date. Just as the market was not ready for the raw Bob Dylan doco 30 years ago but hungrily sponge it up today. 


But the headlines today (including the reverse fillip of Howard's Strangelove embrace of nuke power) are the lull before the nightmare of bleeding poll numbers. The truth is Ruddy looked and sounded weak on the first day of the conference unlike say Julia Gillard on Lateline last night. Truth is Rudd looked overwhelmed by a convention of his peers capable of frightening professional violence.


But Rudd's history shows he is not weak or ineffective, and it's that history which he must manifest for his future. The grit that learned Mandarin, that raised 3 kids, that supported a successful business woman as wife and indeed their long fruitful marriage. The grit that got over the death of his dad turning his world upside down. The grit that saw him strike out in his own direction to be his own man. That's the grit that Australians are impressed by, have warmed too, and he must project over the next several months to climb the summit to the vote. Not the other guys so called flaws, but the better item he wants the Australian People to buy.

Image from The Australian, above Paul Kelly influential opinion piece Singing same old tune. This moment apparently caused a cheer in the audience.


Which truth does Ruddy want to gain traction about his true nature? The nervous nerd, or the gutsy talented surprising leader who learnt Chinese when everyone else was ... doing regular stuff like law, or economics. (The kind of thing you hire other people to bark for you.)


It's going to be a nerve wracking white knuckle trip all the way to the vote, assuming any contest at all.

Posted by editor at 11:30 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 28 April 2007 3:18 PM NZT
Pictures of civil society at Australian Labor conference
Mood:  bright
Topic: election Oz 2007
The senior copper said there were no problems at all. Even Michael Costa didn't worry about stirring up the anti nuke anti coal activists.
There were 4 pictures we saw but didn't get down at the Darling Harbour monument to ALP power complete with at least 8 concrete overpasses:
1. the balloons floating by a roof worker as all the hot air gathered below him,
2. the crumpled Bob Ellis,
3. Treasurer Costa slinking past the crowd from behind a concrete pylon.
The fourth image missed was the most interesting:  A Coalition Party activist called Peter last sighted infiltrating the Peter King pre selection campaign in Double Bay, then Clover Moore 2004 campaign for Town Hall, now with digital camera at the ALP conference door. "Just a member of the public" he joshed, as I scoffed mildly and we chatted about how to identify an ASIO operative. We decided we
probably couldn't.



Pictures: Top left to right

1, 2: Cheeky car stickers spotted on the way in

2. Past the Powerhouse museum, design and science of power indeed

3. Laurie Brereton's concrete flyovers gift to Sydney

4. The amazing Benny Zable prophet of eco destruction

5. A resurgent Friends of the Earth activists with 'No Uranium'

6. banner 'renewable energy employs 2 million worldwide uranium mining a waste of labor' with a radioactively mutated 3 headed kangaroo costume

7. Marie OHallaran, public education campaigner (NSW Teachers Federation tbc)

8. Jacqueline X, Dave Sweeney of Austalian Conservation Foundation, Benny Zable patron of Ecology Action Sydney

9. Convention Centre frontage.

10. Security guard eyes off a cute conference goer (off screen)

11. Craig of Workers Radio chats with Benny Zable

12. Labor information stall for refugees and Emily's List

13. A very large gentleman, hard to say ALP or not.

Posted by editor at 2:08 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 28 April 2007 10:03 AM NZT
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Some gratuitous legal advice for Crikey.com.au over Georgina Downer's DFAT career
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: independent media

Picture: ABC TV website Australian Story last Monday, with priceless free media profile for Foreign Minister Downer, but is it also a cunning legal booby trap for Crikey ezine distinctively alone in the Big Media attacking Downer for ostensible nepotism.


Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 5:04 AM

Subject: Georgina Downer, some free legal advice for Crikey


Well, you guys have really cut loose again with your opening editorial recently about nepotism, from a long run up of reports and accusations, around Georgina Downer with a 3rd class honours getting a prime traineeship with the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


But there is something about Minister Downer's brazenness which I think might be reason to give you pause in a legal sense.


(I have one of those intuitive legal feelings which reminds me a little of the legal stand off over Milne assaulting Mayne balanced against Kerr admitting in Crikey he defamed Milne. Both walk away or it will end in tears for the parties, and happy lawyers.)


The clue about Downer's daughter I think can be found from a similar media mugging by the Daily Telegraph of one junior NSW Minister Reba Meagher: She is supposed to be MP for Cabramatta so why is she living in Coogee? Sounds like a fair complaint until you consider one dead MP in John Newman PM - Ngo found guilty of Newman murder


Picture: Reba Meagher MP for Cabramatta (NSW) regularly sledged for living in comparatively safer Coogee at least for an ALP politician.

So the smear was pretty cheap, and malicious, oft repeated including here in the more up market The Australian: Iemma picks new minister for education | News | The Australian

How does an ALP politician, or any politician for that matter, tell their constituents it's not safe to live amongst them? This was the real point of the Daily Telegraph sledges - they wanted to promote the Alan Jones, Tim Priest, Richard Basham thesis of ethnic crime out of control as here The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia - Tim Priest ...- and the way to do it was by putting the torch to Reba Meagher: To force her to admit it was too dangerous for her there. Or force her to live there and take her chances with her very life in scary Sydney. A win win from the News Ltd point of view. In the meantime they could ostensibly run the Reba Meagher domicile in Coogee as simply a case of chardonnay socialism.


Who is the moral superior in such an equation? The Telegraph indulging its habitual domestic psychological violence in the so called 'public interest', or the state ALP for putting Meagher in a desperate situation, or herself for such an ambitious subterfuge? Or none of the above.


Which brings us to young ambitious Georgina Downer. No getting around the fact that her father is a warmonger. He barracked for the tragic Iraq war, and he still does now following pretty much the brilliant diagnostic piece here by Ross Gittins: Why 'never again' will never work.

So where does that leave a child of the father? For one thing an enhanced security profile as one imagines for the children of all senior politicians in the Cabinet of this Howard government. We have people convicted or charged with terrorism offences in Australia. We have examples of terrorist violence on trains in London and Madrid. Get the picture? It's a constrained life forever more. And where is this security most practical and convenient? A DFAT bunker and father's secure home in Canberra likely is one of the few professional options. And not a word to be spoken about either.


So again who is the moral superior here? Crikey.com.au for simplifying this situation as nepotism, the Howard government for putting G Downer in this situation, or the young ambitious woman herself. She does get a life too right?


Which brings us to the legal dimensions of this situation. It might look like a case of open and shut nepotism on Australian Story last Monday, condemned in leading terms by the Crikey editorial this week. But one short document from the intelligence agencies of young Downer's security profile and options, endorsing her DFAT placement as sensible and viable would, well, smash that thesis to smithereens.


Does such a document exist? Undoubtedly. If I can think it, some one surely has done it. And therein lies the thorny tentacles of a potential defamation action. Ask the question in the public interest by all means. But go easy on the high moral ground there Crikey. You may just get an answer which is financially inconvenient. And that would not be good for independent media in Australia.


Tom McLoughlin, solicitor in NSW.

Posted by editor at 7:07 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007 10:12 AM NZT
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Moody song list* for ghosts amongst us ANZAC day 2007 remembering WW1, Kokoda, The Rats of Tobruk, Malaya, Vietnam and more
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: peace

It's raining which is good this April 25. And it's ANZAC day remembrance of horrific death, courage and grieving in war time. Truth to be told there is a hint of war glorification in the air as well.

Here's my song list more to the 1960ies end of things for a sombre yet somehow hopeful public holiday in a still quite new country Oz-stray-ya:

YouTube - Traveling Wilburys - I Won't Back Down

YouTube - Cream - Tales of Brave Ulysses

YouTube - No Quarter by Led Zeppelin

YouTube - Tom Petty - Saving Grace

YouTube - Bruce Springsteen-Streets Of Philadelphia

YouTube - Hunters And Collectors - Say Goodbye

YouTube - Massive Attack# - Unfinished Sympathy

YouTube - There There...

YouTube - Bob Dylan - Girl From The North Country (1964)

YouTube - jeff buckley everybody here wants you

YouTube - Free Fallin' - Tom Petty

YouTube - Jeff Buckley - Grace

YouTube - Down By The Glenside - Arcady feat. Frances Black

* Dedicated to Malcolm Rudd in the news recently, notwithstanding the obvious spin by the team for his brother Kevin who aspires to be Prime Minister of Australia: Rudd eviction tale truth: brother | The Nation | The Australian

Posted by editor at 2:40 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 28 April 2007 11:41 AM NZT
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
You can't eat yellowcake or drink money so it's bye bye PM Howard?
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007

Above are some salutary clippings from today's Big Media in Sydney. They all tend to suggest a successful ALP conference and the kiss off to PM John Howard who is hot for nuke reactors and cold for saving the planet. He thinks our economy is separate from our environmental wellbeing.

But even the editor of The Daily Telegraph has got a kid who needs an environmental future and who surely has heard of St Paul's warning that the root of all evil is the love of money in 1 Timothy, 6:7-10 as discussed here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_of_all_evil 

And as Christian Kerr resident conservative of Crikey.com.au wrote recently there comes a time when people are just not listening. And to that we might add, a time comes when one is either on the right or the wrong side of ecological history.

To be flippant, PM, and to borrow a line from the great Hunters & Collectors song Say Goodbye: You don't make me feel like a country anymore.

For the original tune go to YouTube here, and what a ripping song it is:

And for wonks and others regarding this curious, obscure German headline in the Sydney Morning Herald today:

Ich bin ein Queenslander: Howard woos pivotal state's voters THE Prime Minister, John Howard, has shrugged off the hometown advantage of the Labor leader Kevin Rudd in the key battleground state of Queensland as an "accident of birth".

it refers to this speech by JF Kennedy in Berlin in 1963 apparently from that 'low rent' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich_bin_ein_Berliner. JF said he was a Berliner too, showing solidarity with the West Germans. Howard is thus a cane toad?

And stone the crows I find myself acknowledging the weight of the column by Gerard Henderson today with the graphic above of the Bob Hawke mask, and its been a long time between drinks as regards that commentator:

Why Rudd should channel Hawke

Gerard Henderson. Inner-city left loves Labor saints like Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating - who led ALP governments to disastrous electoral defeats, writes Gerard Henderson.

And another observation from Big Media. A trend in political photography has emerged in the press and tv prime time news. There is an inordinate focus on Howard and Rudd's hand gestures. It seems they are all trying to imitate this incredible image captured by Andrew Taylor of Fairfax which featured on Insiders last Sunday 22nd April 07:

Postscript #1: The 'People kiss off Howard' concept here today, Sydney Morning Herald, Anzac day 25th April 2007


Posted by editor at 3:14 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007 1:14 PM NZT
ALP kill and cook their own logger unionist O'Connor as entre to big Rudd conference?
Mood:  loud

SAM's editor earlier this year broadcast via email to state and federal MPs attacking the Howard govt/Logger Union political complex via this brief here:


6th Dec 2006 - New paper: Logger terrorism under the Howard federal government (see bloody image there)


and then follow up with image to MP's of The Australian banner of Oct 7 2005


"Election probe, PM's 4M secret deal with union" with picture of same above.


Now echoes of this political communication strategy in the Sydney Morning Herald here today:


Garrett at loggerheads with foresters A showdown between Peter Garrett and the head of the forestry union over logging in Tasmania is threatening to overshadow the uranium debate at this weekend's Labor Party conference.

with beaut picture of 'woodchipping spirit of Tasmania' at top of page 6, not quite the same but similar to this

The Herald article spills the dirt on unionist O'Connor doing Howard's work and indeed violence, and will seriously damage him at the conference if not ruin him.

Notice quotes like this:


"After Mr O'Connor reopened the debate over the new draft policy two weeks ago, the Herald was given material showing his union had produced a ferocious television ad against Labor in the final days of the 2004 campaign."




"In the taped interviews with a University of NSW law student last year, the union's former national secretary Trevor Smith and its Tasmanian secretary, Scott McLean, conceded the union accepted a "very little" financial contribution from the forestry lobby in a legal case with green activists. The case, which is still before the courts, stemmed from a confrontation in which forestry workers encircled a conservationists' campsite in Victoria for five days."


[bold added]


Adrian Whitehead was the person bleeding from a fearsome head wound in that protest camp in the Otways years ago in Victoria the subject of that legal case, a courageous example underpinning most of this accounting pre ALP conference 2007 years later.  It was Adrian and his mates making a stand in that forest all those years ago as a keystone commitment to our planet.


We at SAM salute you and all the forest activists at the front line! Bravo!


There is heaps more in the article of the ALP catching and cooking their own ie Mr Michael O'Connor, soon to be ex unionist one hopes. Not least is evidence of his attempt to cruel Morris Iemma's big pre election conference. Ouchy ouch.

Posted by editor at 2:24 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007 3:03 PM NZT
Get Up and Not Happy John join forces in Bennelong?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: election Oz 2007
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 6:18 PM
Subject: GetUp!

Dear Not Happy, John! supporter,

Still Not Happy, John!?  Me too.  You may recall my name from emails sent out during the last Federal Election campaign when we were asking Bennelong voters to "Put Howard last!".

With your help, we managed to make the Prime Minister's electorate marginal, which was a great result.  Unfortunately, John Howard's power has increased since then with the Coalition taking control of the Senate.  Sadly, but unsurprisingly, Iraq and many other issues which were current in 2001 remain top of the news today.

I now work for a relatively new organization called GetUp!  We are a rapidly growing progressive political campaign group.  In its first eighteen months, GetUp.org.au has signed up more than 170,000 people -- a number greater than the membership of every political party combined.  With this kind of clout we are making a real impact – see our website for examples of the campaigns that we have run and the successes we've had.


You may have heard that GetUp have just been highly active -- on the ground, in Bennelong.  We mobilised 300 volunteers to man polling booths on State Election Day getting 10,000 Bennelong voters to sign postcards calling on the PM for immediate action on the Hicks issue which we subsequently delivered to the PM.  Coincidentally, the issue was "resolved" the following week!

As a former Not Happy, John! supporter, I would encourage you to look at our work and join our online community.  We look forward to welcoming you.


Best regards,

Silas Taylor

P.S. If you do sign up, please include all your details accurately (including postcode) so we can keep you informed of what's happening in your area – especially if you live in Bennelong!

Posted by editor at 1:44 PM NZT
Compassion needed for Baseem, Palestinian on bridging visa with pregnant Australian wife
Mood:  sad
Topic: human rights
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 2:20 AM
Subject: Good news- but your help is still needed.

Despite hunger strike at Villawood entered its 4th  week, we had some good news.
The ordeal of Aminovs family is nearly over. They were allowed to apply for family re-union without leaving the country. Thanks all for your support, your emails to the minister and for signing the petition.
There is another case we need your help here. A Palestinian asylum seeker arrived to Australia late 1996. His application was refused. But during this time he had very rough time. DIMA officials gave him very hard time. He collapsed several times and at some stage he was admitted to mental institution in Adelaide (Crammond clinic, Queen Elizabeth hospital).
Recently he married an Australian citizen (march 2007), and then applied for spouse visa. His wife is pregnant, and expecting the child soon. His wife had kidney problems soon after pregnancy. She was enforced to stop working. He is currently on Bridging Visa E, with no entitlements even to work. They are having very difficult time. He cannot leave the country ( not only because of his previous protection visa application, but because of his wife pregnancy and difficulties she is having).
Please write to the minister to allow Baseem Mohamed to stay beside his wife during this critical time. The minister needs to know that without work, Baseem and his wife are enforced to beg money from friends and charities and live under conditions near absolute poverty. He is very young man and easily can fill one of the positions that the government is going to China or Thailand to contract people to do.
Fo rmore info about the case, you can contact me on 0413 467 367
You can contact the minister on Kevin.Andrews.MP@aph.gov.au (please cc me any emails to the minister to keep the record)
Thanks again for the great work you are doing
Jamal Daoud

Posted by editor at 10:48 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007 11:15 AM NZT
Monday, 23 April 2007
Reporting of ALP uranium mines debate so far ignores duress on sovereignty, domestic nuke weapons agenda
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: "Reactors are uninsurable, gas chief warns" article page 4 The Australian 23rd April 2007, offline for some reason.


A constructive and realistic way for Big Media to frame reporting of the upcoming ALP national conference debate on expansion of uranium mining is in terms of


- existing duress on Australian sovereignty if we ban U mines, and 

- domestic nuke weapons agenda if the Coalition win the election.


The observation that ongoing uranium mining is in fact related to these has been taboo up till now in a subliminal forelock tug to USA military industrial supremacy and diplomacy. And it is so pathetic and dishonest.


No wonder the ALP want to debate the extent of mining given these profound implications above, and seek to constantly review the situation.


No wonder leading figures with huge political experience are having real trouble already over where to strike a balance with Premier Beattie here doing two backflips in 2 months: This was March 07 pro-u mining PM - Beattie changes tune on uranium mining. This is April 07 no u mining: The World Today 23rd April 07: 


"Beattie wants no new mines policy to stay Even before the vote, Queensland's Labor Premier Peter Beattie has upset uranium companies in his state. Mr Beattie has written to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union to say he will continue the no new uranium mines policy in Queensland, if he's given the choice."

The World Today, with apparently some argy bargy with staff what his real position is regarding a Palladin corporate takeover situation.


Similarly see the fancy footwork by Alan Carpenter Premier of WA who till now has been 'reliably' anti u mining: Rudd 'won't force uranium mining' | NEWS.com.au and Carpenter stands tough on no uranium mining policy. 23/03/2007 ... but see this slightly more equivocal report WA rejects uranium mining legislation | NEWS.com.au 


To suggest glibly as PM Howard does that it is all so easy and his party did all this "25 years ago" is not only trite but shows how really irresponsible and indeed mad, vain and corrupted by power he has become. The arguments against the whole nuke cycle are very compelling and well put by Anthony Albanese MP and Peter Garrett MP (and many others) as per this yesterday Interview: Anthony Albanese
Watch video , and here
Anthony Albanese: Proliferation must shape the nuclear debate,  and the image of former Nuclear Disarmament Party MP Peter Garrett on the front of the Sydney Morning Herald loyally supporting the union Work Choices campaign wouldn't hurt either: Rudd keeps on rockin'


Picture: Image in Sydney Morning Herald page 1 today, long time anti nukes Peter Garrett MP (ALP) soothes the masses on industrial relations with rhetoric, rock and roll, sharing the platform with Unions NSW leader John Robertson (not shown) yesterday 22nd April 2007.  

Au contraire PM. If we could avoid this uranium resource curse the better off we would be, but we can't avoid it. It's our lot.


First there is changeable duress on our sovereignty: The USA as the global top dog is so into the nuke cycle it's an article of faith for its allies to demonstrate loyalty by getting into the nuke cycle as well whether it is right or wrong. If the ALP, vying for real national govt power banned uranium mines (which I doubt they would ever do), we would soon have a very shaky sovereignty via takeover and undermining by  the CIA/USA military industrial complex overlords of this SME economy. Nor are we as small as NZ to duck this one. Some of we citizens like this writer would be happy to have that struggle to repudiate the clammy embrace of Uncle Sam, most of us would not, being rusted on to the USA alliance.


Ex PM Bob Hawke has already made that political judgement (remember "Yellowcake Bob" on the sticker buttons?) for the electability of the ALP under the skirts of the Australia-USA alliance in 1983 and following: Save the Franklin River by all means but expand uranium mining too throughout the 1980ies to stay sweet with the USA hawks, and lesser extent business here. Rudd and the ALP heavyweights will know this policy history. 


That is not to say all business leaders here think promoting the nuke cycle is an unqualified grown ups economic decision in the big bad world of commerce: There is this heartening report in today's The Australian on page 4, from a rival energy supplier, but don't look for it on their website, its been censored by the looks:


"Reactors are uninsurable, gas chief warns" The head [Paul Anthony] of the nations's biggest energy retailer, AGL Energy, has downplayed any prospect of the nation switching to nuclear in his lifetime, saying the power plants are "uninsurable". ..."so the government has to take a deep breath and say: 'We're going to underpin the uninsurable risk of the nuclear sector'"


On the other hand Australia is likely big enough that if the ALP allow ongoing U mining and take the pro industry political capital that entails, and win an election then such a government will still have sufficient political space from the centre left, and global stature, to politely decline nuke weapons on our soil that this writer feels sure PM Howard and the Bush regime is angling for. This is the second political threat of uranium mining. An incremental excessive embrace of the nuke cycle Howard style leads to domestic weapons proliferation ... in Australia. 


Domestic nuke weapons are a real prospect under the Coalition not some greenie fantasy or fear mongering. Respected defence expert Professor Hugh White for one acknowledges nuke weapons here are a very real question even if he generously assumes no such hawkish intent by Howard Don't mention the bomb - Hugh White - Opinion - theage.com.au dated March 1st 2007:


“once the fissile material is available, designing and building the bomb is relatively straightforward. So we should be quite clear about this - building an enrichment plant would take Australia a huge step closer to the capacity to build nuclear weapons. With such a plant, an Australian government would at any time be able to expel the international inspectors and turn the plant over to producing weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium. It would shorten the lead time for Australia to build its first bomb from 10 years or more to perhaps two years or even less……


:Hugh White is a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute and professor of strategic studies at ANU.


Prof Hugh White is surely 'wrong', or we suspect pulling his punches about intent of this hawkish Coalition government. Howard or his protégé in the future would surely jump at a nuclear weapon role for Australia on the world stage. Howard has the vanity. He has the time still, and the means. White himself qualifies:


“The question, of course, is what happens if Asia changes? The growth of China and India, the strategic re-emergence of Japan, and uncertainty about America's post-Iraq trajectory all raise doubts about whether the next 30 years will be as peaceful in Asia as the past 30 or will be as turbulent as the 30 before that.”


And add to this nuclear Taiwan, North Korea, Iran, Israel and Indonesia aspiration for 'nuke power' by 2015 a mere 8 years hence. The next big nuke military industrial complex play is star wars 'defence shield' first strike capacity that China and Russia are freaking about already, hardly reported here but notice: Missile shield sparks new cold war threats | Defence | The Australian


Australia is certainly in the ‘shield’ (read first strike) plan, which seriously suggests nuke weapons capacity here sooner than most think.


Howard and Rudd are both following the nuke cycle script from 'Rome' ie Washington, to save their own careers, and Howard was always enthusiastic anyway. But Rudd is more likely to decline nuke weapons proliferation in Australia. That's the grim real geo politik reality of living under Uncle Sam's skirts if not hegemony via nuke weapons enforced military industrial complex.


This reality will change as global warming is found to be the biggest power on the face of the planet even greater than nuke weapon soft and hard power or even affluence. When that happens not only will the “social licence” for fossil fools be withdrawn but no one will give a hoot about economic imperialism via arms sales and nuclear protection rackets. Sustainability will be the catchcry.


It's nuke weapons and mining with the Coalition, or uranium mining. under the ALP, until we flip the political paradigm to real ecological sustainability.


The most disturbing thing for our democracy just now, in this writer’s view is not the export of uranium as such, as rotten as that is and wrong,

but that Rudd met


- US VP Cheney with a secret agenda about our democracy, and

- has done so again with Rupert Murdoch with a secret agenda just this weekend.


Howard habitually does too. That's the really scary thing about how uranium and nuke weapons and other policy is actually made by Big Politics and Big military industrial Business.


It is why our democracy is broken.

But the ALP conference debating how far to get into a bad business is fair enough, and mature. The idea this should be decided in isolation 25 years ago as per PM Howard is a joke. In an ideal world we would be totally out of the nuke cycle, as per the green movement and the ALP Left. But realistically to sustain our sovereignty in the now we have to balance how far to get in and that’s a judgement that is continually changing and necessary to review.

The fact the ultra hawk Bush is in power until January 2009 is even more relevant than who has the numbers at the next ALP conference.


Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 11:16 AM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Senator Milne comments on Nuclear Power andRenewable Energy

RE: ALP Conference and Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Australian Greens climate change and energy spokesperson, Senator
Christine Milne, said:

"The Greens support this morning's call from the former vice president
of the International Court of Justice, Christopher Weeramantry, for a
new Nuclear Weapons Convention. Australia has 40% of the world's high
grade uranuium. We have a moral obligation to try to eliminate weapons
of terror not to feed their proliferation. Real leaders would leave the
uranium in the ground.

"The world is less safe and more vulnerable to nuclear disaster today
than it was at the time that the ALP first introduced its policy of no
new mines. The policy then was to halt expansion and to phase out
uranium sales, recognising that driving the nuclear fuel cycle globally
was contrary to the principles of peace and disarmament.

"With North Korea failing to meet its deadlines for halting its nuclear
programmes, Iran's pursuit of more nuclear reactors and the growing
threats of nuclear terrorism, now is not the time to push more uranium
into a deteriorating security environment.

"The ALP will be seen as hypocrites if they argue that nuclear reactors
and nuclear waste are not safe for Australia but put profits before
principle when it comes to supporting the very same reactors overseas."

Greens welcome call for 25% renewable energy target

Senator Milne said:

"The Greens call on both the government and Labor to reconsider their
opposition to the 25% Mandatory Renewable Energy Target in the Greens
Climate Bill currently before the Senate and advocated by a coalition of
environmental groups today.

"Neither Labor nor the Coalition is currently supporting this target.
Although Labor keeps saying the renewable energy target needs to be
increased from 2%, it has refused to put a figure on the increase

"Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are essential to avoid
catastrophic climate change, and credible policies to achieve those cuts
must be implemented.

"Contrary to the Prime Minister's constant refrain that acting on
climate change will cost the economy too dearly, a 25% MRET  will create
new jobs and investment just as has occurred in Germany, Japan and

"California has legislated to require energy utilities to purchase 33%
of energy from renewable energy generators by 2020 and has poached
Australian expertise and innovation to do so. Why can't we benefit from
Australian innovation in our own country?"

Senator Milne will tomorrow release a new report that sets out the
'what, why and how' of real, science-based action on climate change and
oil depletion.

Re-Energising Australia will be launched at Parliament House at 11 am in
Committee Room 1S3.

For more information, contact Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562




Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 11:13 AM
Subject: [Greens-Media] New reactor opens as ALP lines up to nuke environment and peace movements?


 “While John Howard opens the new nuclear reactor today, the Labor  party are lining up for the biggest nuclear policy betrayal since their  national conference in Canberra in 1984”, said Greens MP and environment spokesman, Ian Cohen today.  


“The concerns of Australians about nuclear waste, weapons proliferation and the nuclear fuel cycle are falling on deaf ALP ears.


 “Despite the song and dance routines of high profile ALP anti-nuclear campaigners, we are tragically confident that a reversal of the three-mines policy is a foregone conclusion. The end of the ALP National Conference on the 29th April will mark the death of principled Labor party opposition to the nuclear fuel cycle.

‘The Greens passionately believe that there is a strong link between the mining and export of uranium, nuclear power and nuclear weapon proliferation. Members of the ALP that agree with Greens’ policy on this issue, should be thinking about quitting their party, and coming over to the green side of politics.” Mr Cohen said.


In addition, Mr Cohen made a statement in support of the Victorian Greens, who are under fire from the Victorian ALP on nuclear issues.


“We strongly support our Victorian counterparts’ amendments to the Bracks Government's bill* on nuclear prohibition.


“Greens amendments will mean that if there is to be a Victorian plebiscite on nuclear activities, Parliament will decide the question. Victorian ALP attacks on the Greens are a proliferation of nuclear lies”. Said Mr Cohen.


Further Information: Nic Clyde: 0417 742 754
 Ian Cohen: 0409 989 466



This Bill will trigger the calling of a plebiscite of Victorian voters if the Federal government takes various actions in support of a nuclear facility prohibited under the Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983


See also Victorian Hansard, Legislative Council from Wednesday 18 April 2007 http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/hansard


Declaration: This writer is principal of ecology action Australia as here with determined anti nuclear stance nuke free Oz. In mid 1998 we provided pro bono legal advice to over 100 arrested protecters at Jabiluka anti uranium mine protests in Kakadu world heritage area in the Northern Territory. (We had permission of the sitting magistrate not being a local legal practitioner.) We also created a legal database of another 300 arrestees.

Postscript #1: Good report of the State government's WA and Qld versus SAust on Fran Kelly Radio National this morning 24th April 07: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/

Posted by editor at 2:42 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007 10:38 AM NZT

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