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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 15 May 2007
Wall Street Journal hacks in China reject Murdoch embrace
Mood:  loud
Topic: big media

While big Rupert has gone somewhat green on the the threat of global warming which might potentially be good for a place like China, the staff don't seem to think so via crikey.com.au, according to insider US press blog The Horse's Mouth: 

May 10, 2007

We are correspondents who report from China for The Wall Street Journal, and we are writing to urge you to stand by the Bancroft family's courageous and principled decision to reject News Corp.’s offer to acquire Dow Jones & Co.

There are only a handful of news organizations anywhere with the resources and the integrity to pursue the truth in matters of national and even global importance. Thanks to your family’s committed stewardship, the Journal is at the head of this dwindling group.

Our China team won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting this year for a series of stories detailing the consequences of China‘s unbridled pursuit of capitalism – for China and for the rest of the world. Many of those stories shed an unflattering light on the government and business interests.

The prize is a reflection of the Journal’s substantial investment in covering what is perhaps the biggest economic, business and political story of our time: how China‘s embrace of markets and its growing global role are reshaping the world we live in. It is an important example of the coverage that we fear would suffer if News Corp. takes control.

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has a well-documented history of making editorial decisions in order to advance his business interests in China and, indeed, of sacrificing journalistic integrity to satisfy personal or political aims.

Mr. Murdoch’s approach is completely at odds with that taken by your own family, whose unwavering support of ethical journalism has made the Journal the trusted news source it is. It is fair to ask how News Corp. would change the Journal’s coverage.

In 2001, for example, our colleague Ian Johnson shared the Pulitzer for international reporting for his articles about the Chinese government’s sometimes brutal suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Under Mr. Murdoch, these articles might never have seen the light of day. That year, Mr. Murdoch’s son, James, the CEO of British Sky Broadcasting, delivered a speech in California echoing the line of the Chinese government in terming Falun Gong a “dangerous” and “apocalyptic cult,” which “clearly does not have the success of China at heart.”

Newspaper accounts of the speech say that James Murdoch criticized the Western media for negative coverage of human-rights issues in China, concluding that "these destabilizing forces today are very, very dangerous for the Chinese government.”

We believe that it is important for all of us – from reporters and editors to you, the owners of the company – to keep constantly in mind the fact that the Journal is an institution that plays a critical role in civic life. We take pride in knowing that Journal readers trust us to uphold these principles, even in the face of risks.

Your family established and is now entrusted with a unique and important institution. Safeguarding it is a responsibility that you have fulfilled admirably for decades. Yours is the kind of stewardship journalists on the ground in China will require in the years to come if they are to accurately frame one of the world’s most critical news stories. We have enormous respect for your continued willingness to defend the journalistic standards so important to all of us.


Gordon Fairclough
Mei F. Fong
James T. Areddy
Shai Oster
Jane Spencer
Andrew Batson
Jason S.L. Leow

Posted by editor at 10:46 PM NZT
Lib-Lab bullies and their logging/mining mates vandalise our local water catchments and our society
Mood:  hug me
Topic: ecology
A local environmentalist John Perkins forwards this image from earlier today 15th May 2007 at the Gulaga protest near Tilba on the NSW South Coast. Similarly yesterday the President of the Local Chamber of Commerce was arrested, and protesters were supported by John Williamson of country music fame last Saturday. Gil Mathie logging contractor is shown in the middle of the picture at front.


They don’t log the water catchment for Sydney. But they do on the south coast. And they've started vandalising a new area this week


Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 9:14 AM

Subject: [chipstop] gulaga blockade bust - ON NOW!


The police are currently at the Gulaga blockade camp. Twelve arrests have been made but some of these are repeats, so it's not 12 people.
The contractor, Mathie arrived this morning to start logging the forest. His vehicles have been unable to enter the compartment; someone is locked onto Mathie's ute.

It appears that the contractor was not originally set to be Mathie, but he is now lined up to do the job. This may be a way for the industry to get the Wandella injunction invoked as some of the people who are subject to that injunction may be involved. Peter Rutherford failed at the chipmill the other day and may now see this as another opportunity to take out some of the key people in the SE forest campaign.
If you can get there - now is the time. Drive through Central Tilba (from south), keep going along Punkalla Road, following "To Mount Dromedary" signs. [and see directions in her following email message: SAM editor]


CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia, http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au



Harriet writes again regarding the lovely Gulaga area:


Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 1:29 PM
Subject: [chipstop] gulaga news

The Gulaga blockade continues, but logging has also started.
A heavy police presence yesterday allowed the Mathie crew to enter with their machines, after a long delay caused by blockaders.
The same thing happened this morning with police arriving more slowly and in smaller numbers, but acting very decisively to clear the road.
Of yesterday's 13 arrests, only one was maintained. The others were told that they were not to be arrested after all.
Today a couple of people were taken away in the paddy wagon for refusing to get off the road quickly enough.

We have had good numbers on both mornings, but a big effort is needed to maintain and if possible increase numbers.

A slight correction to my previous directions: the "To Mt Dromedary" sign at the turn-off from Punkalla Rd is no longer there. The (left) turn is at a T-junction 3kms north from Central Tilba.
Another correction: don't turn left at the  last "To Mt Dromedary" sign about 2.5kms from that turn off. Continue along a further approx 0.5kms to the camp. .....A prohibited zone has been declared, but the road is a council road and cannot be closed by State Forests.


Picture: Protest Gulaga Mountain, NSW South Coast 15th May 2007



With all the talk in the news cycle today about Cadia mine in Central NSW stealing water from the public water supply at Orange  

(Crucial water given to goldmine) and coal mines sucking the water table dry too (Mine may need river supply in a crisis) it’s pretty clear who the bully boys in our political economy are.


Indeed John Howard is a mediocre hypocrite on this very topic: PM's push to reveal violence in schools. Indeed the PM is obviously indulging in some counter spin after The Bastard Boys docu drama on ABC the last two nights strongly implied he was right behind the pseudo military takeover of employment on the docks in a quasi Mussolini type operation. The show has created quite a reaction generally

Suggestions 'Bastard Boys' timed to Combet election run 'bizarre' - ABC Online - 4 hours ago
Kelty may sue ABC over waterfront drama - The Australian - 12 hours ago


The thing about the show over the last two nights was that both Liberal-Coalition and Labor looked like bullies with the former calling up jackboots and attack canines and the latter beating up their own union rep in a drunken rage, to spitting on security to promises to kneecap the scabs.


Another frightening example is of this tacit support for systemic bullying especially of the Coalition but also the ALP came last year when the Greens attempted to bring the business slave cult known as the Exlusive Brethren to account for abuse of children and parents. We listened last year with increasing anger at the haughty and contemptuous reactions of the Liberal Minister defending these cultists in the Senate from any transparency. The ALP were similarly pathetic in taking a stand against these cashed up ultra patriarchical, misogynist cultists in that Senate session.


The implication was profound: The big party politicians came from the same abusive style of hierarchical power and it would take blatant illegality as distinct from grotesque emotional abuse for the two major parties to pursue the public interest . And didn't the evidence of illegality pile up through 2006 and 7, despite the scornful rejection of The Greens motion that day. I must say I was never so proud of Bob Brown as that day on the PNN radio vindicated here: Four Corners - 25/09/2006: Separate Lives, and Showdown looms for secretive sect - National - smh.com.au and Brethren bid to cover up sex assaults on girls - National - theage ... and ABC Radio National - Background Briefing: 30 April 2006 - Elusive ...


The scandal of the EB boss cockroaches under their secretive rock was instructive for the moral cowardice and tacit support for systemic bullying of the two major parties until it became just too ugly even for PM Howard's Liberals as substantial financial beneficiaries of donations. Nor did we hear a pipsqueak from that champion of female rights Prue Goward for a cult that denies education to girls or computers. What a betrayal of public duty.


Indeed there is a  Liberal Labor party gerrymander here in Australia. On land use it's backed by brutal union logger thugs like Michael O’Connor.


You won’t read about the loggers at Gulaga above though except here on a micro news blog, or maybe the Bega District News well outside the real politik glare of marginal Sydney seats:


20 arrests at Gulaga protest

ABOUT 30 conservationists briefly blocked logging equipment yesterday (Monday) as it arrived at the section of forest due to be logged near Gulaga Mountain.more ]

…… Among those arrested in the morning was Tilba Chamber of Commerce President Sol Ramana-Clarke who got his first experience in the back of a paddy wagon after riding his bike up to the protestors' camp on Punkala Road.

Tourism accounted for far more revenue than all primary industries put together, including logging, and the pristine nature of the mountain needed to be protected, he said.

"I just felt for once in my life I should say no to logging of this compartment as its on either side of the road that leads up to the sacred site, an area regularly used by the Umbarra cultural tours and other tourists and visitors who come to this area," Mr Ramana-Clarke said.

"It seems ludicrous that logging be allowed on either side of one of our main tourism attractions and sacred sites for the whole region."

A group of forest activists camped out for a week on Punkala Road adjacent to where the logging activity is now underway.

On Saturday, singer John Williamson drove down from an appearance at Batemans Bay to lend his support to the forest vigil.

NSW Forests says the same 280-hectare section or compartment was logged 20 years ago and that the latest logging is selective with buffer zones around creeks and along the access roads.

But Gulaga Protection Group chair Sean Burke said the community was not consulted properly, especially since NSW Forests and the State Government would have remembered the outcry of opposition when logging was first proposed in the area two years ago.


Unless its actually proven illegal logging the Metropolitan ABC both tv and radio are very wary of covering the sacred cow of loggers destroying water catchments like Gulaga on the NSW South Coast, and spreading bushfire risk. Things have changed since 1992-95 when the Big Media were happy to embarrass the NSW Coalition government here. But the public opposition to logging hasn't changed as shown by polls of the great majority of regional people let alone city people:


April 2002...East Gippsland opinion poll on attitudes towards logging, of general significance for regional Australia


Even criminal assaults by Gill Mathie’s logging crew as proven last year in court were hardly reported in the big smoke except here Sydney Indymedia by this writer 27th Sept 2007


South Coast logger convicted of criminal assault of conservationist, is this evidence of terrorism?


Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 1:53 PM

Subject: Wandella assault verdicts


Judgements in the 2 Wandella assault cases from 23 July last year
were handed down in Bega Court today. Gil Mathie (Director of Bruce Mathie and Sons) and Stuart Byne (contracted tree faller for Mathies) were each charged with assault causing actual bodily harm and common assault. Mathie was acquitted of both charges. Byne was convicted of two counts of common assault. The sentence will be on 10 October.

Picture: victim of logger rock throwing violence NSW South Coast 2005.

Not even the sympathy of country music legend John Williamson last Saturday, or protest of the local President of the Chamber of Commerce arrested yesterday will probably get a mention on the NSW Stateline ABC programme shaking in their boots under the current pro logger Howard Board at the ‘public' broadcaster.


Yep. We have a society built on bullying, right out of the bullying British class system probably.


Bullying is widespread


- in land use decision making privileging the muscle men over good policy as above, and here Run for it while the coast is clear: cash cows are eating your parks


- In the schools according to this very sad, expensive case suggesting a life long victim mentality 

Bullied at school - now he'll walk away with $1 millionLEONIE LAMONT | Ben Cox has no friends, is unlikely to make any, or form any romantic relationships. At 18, his teenage life has "all but been destroyed".

-  in the parliaments, as Minister Phil Koperberg in the news today (Minister ready to turn off taps to towns) had to struggle like hell to avoid the blows of the ALP Right and allegedly from the likes of Paul Gibson (Bad blood in new cabinet - National - smh.com.au).

- in politics more generally when ever one tries to be honest and be one’s own man or woman as per this highly revealing feature on the 20 year anniversary of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, such that the Commissioner virtually fled Queensland’s ALP closed shop for doing his job properly: Cost of cleaning out the Moonlight State | Qld | The Australian including this sleazy side of tribal politics where honesty is seen as a deficit:

“IN the mid-1990s, a Queensland minister was discussing a possible appointment to the High Court with a very senior member of the Keating government. He floated the name of Tony Fitzgerald QC.  "Isn't that the bloke who headed a corruption inquiry and ended up jailing National Party ministers?" his federal counterpart asked. Told that it was, indeed, the same person, he replied: "Well, he's got no chance. If he'll jail them, he'd jail our blokes too." That exchange typifies the attitude of many in authority to Fitzgerald; it was wonderful to employ him to do the dirty work and give the Queensland Police Service and political scene a long-overdue enema - but he soon became too hot to handle, mainly because he was his own man. Fitzgerald moved south to NSW in the late 1990s. “


“But the politicians and others who wanted to settle scores attacked the figure as excessive. Fitzgerald was wounded. Throughout the inquiry, he and his family had lived under threats of violence and retribution from corrupt cops and underworld figures, and the government was forced to place armed bodyguards in his home 24 hours a day. Several branches of the media were clearly self-serving and unfair to Fitzgerald, and his report contains references that show how he, in turn, regarded the media. He wrote that some journalists at his inquiry constantly misreported that much of the evidence was "hearsay". "Journalists were unfortunately encouraged in this aspect of misreporting by some of those who were the subject of allegations by some lawyers," he wrote. "Other allegations aimed at undermining the commission were published on the basis of rumour or misinformation from sources who had reason to fear the commission's work. "As a result, the public was misinformed." In another section he wrote what every serious journalist should have framed on their desk: "The media played a part in exposing corruption, but as one of the most powerful institutions in our society must also share the blame for its growth. …………………..“

- in the green ngo sector.  Consider the kind of honesty of this writer that identifies that under the Carr now Iemma government there is as much logging of native forest heritage in NSW as when the ALP was elected in 1995. Despite a "peace deal". This exposes the kind of systemic dishonesty that allows peak green group figures here like Jeff Angel to collaborate with government and deceive their own membership that they have done a good job when in fact they have lost the plot, just as NSW collaborates with Victoria’s Bracks ALP to destroy original forest in East Gippsland at the Eden Chipmill.

 Prior to the 2003 NSW Election we published a list of areas to be degraded and chipped by loggers drying out wet forests, promoting hotter bushfires, and degrading volume and quality of water catchments, all massively contributing to the climate change impacts by loss of carbon store. Senator Kerry Nettle (Greens) picks up the theme here today:


Federal government get science wrong on logging NSW SE Forests


Greens Senator Kerry Nettle has urged federal minister for the forestry,
Senator Eric Abetz to go back to school and get his science right before
backing further logging of native forests in South East New South Wales.

Senator Nettle asked Minister Abetz in federal parliament last week;

"Has the government conducted a study of the climate change impact of
the logging of native forest in south-eastern New South Wales, in
particular for the supply of Eden woodchip mill for export

The Minister said No. He then got his science wrong by claiming;

"You chop down a tree, you replant it and any carbon that escapes is
then drawn back out by the new growing tree."

Minister Abetz is just wrong.

The kinds of forest that are being logged for woodchips in South East
New South Wales have been growing for hundreds of years and release
massive amounts of carbon from the wood chips, the roots and soil.

"Plantation forests that replace old growth and high value native forest
never capture even half the amount of carbon that was lost logging the
original forest.

Regional forest campaigner, Ms Harriett Swift said "when communities
around the south east are making important personal efforts to cut their
own greenhouse emissions, policy makers should be calling the logging
industry to account.

"The native forest logging industry is doing enormous damage to the
climate and that can't be allowed to continue," she said.

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146





It’s only getting worse 2003 – 2007 with the foothills of the Gulaga Mountain only the most recent. That list is here


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.


That list includes at point 3, and 4 the following litany of destruction by bullies of the environment:


3. Big List (100 minimum)of forest logged/seriously damaged from community reports and State Forest records released (forest name, year of logging, info source respectively). This list is not exhaustive given time constraints and lack of co-operation and does not account for other natural areas also damaged:

- Avon River SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Badja SF, 2001-2, 1996 ecology action sydney photos, The Wilderness Society literature, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Bagawa SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Bald Knob SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Bebo SF 2001, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Bangadilly SF 1996, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Barradine SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Barrington Tops SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Beaury SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Bellangry SF 2002 NEFA media release 8/5/02

- Benandarah 2000, 2002 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Biddon SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Bodalla SF, 1996-2002 State Forests via ChipStop 2003, Steve Ryan TWS 7/1/00

- Bolaro SF, 1998 Steve Ryan TWS email 7/1/00, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Boyne SF 1996-2001 State Forests via Chipstop 2003

- Brother SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Bulahdelah SF 1998 TWS 16/12/98 media release

- Bungawalbin State Forest, 2000/1, Richmond Environment Network email, NEFA media release 29/3/01.

- Bungabbee SF 2001, NEFA media release 29/3/01

- Buckenbowra SF TWS Wildernews 1999, 2000 (imminent, and refers to 13 other forests at risk), State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Campbell SF 2001, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Chaelundi SF 2002, compartments 170, 185-7, 190, 192-3 State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Chichester SF 2001-2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Cobbora SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Colymea SF 1996 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Conglomerate SF, 2000-2, Richmond Environment Network email, NEFA flyer, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Copeland SF 2001, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Conjola SF 1996, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Clouds Creek - see Conglomerate

- Cumbil SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Currambene SF 2002, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Currowan SF, 1998, 2000, 2002 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Clyde SF, 1996 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Dampier SF, 1996-2002, TWS email 7/1/00, ecology action photos, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Denobollie SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Divines SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Etoo SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Ewingar SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Flat Rock SF 2002 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Gibberagee SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Gladstone SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Glenugie SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Goonoo SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Irishman SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Kangaroo River SF 1999, NEFA media release 9/7/99 ("Labor's 1995 Forestry Policy has been dishonoured and subverted ...." Suzi Russel, John Corkhill)

- Leard SF 2001, State Forest via reputable source 2003

- Lincoln SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- McDonald SF 2002, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- McPherson SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Meryla SF 1998 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Manly Dam forest, Sydney 1998-9, Green Left Weekly 30/6/99 at p2

- Marengo State Forest, 2001 NSW forest networker email, The Advocate p5 23/8/01

- Minnon SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Mogo SF, 1996-2002 State Forests via ChipStop 2003, Steve Ryan TWS email 7/1/00

- Monga SF, 2001-2, ecology action photos, TWS, SEFA media release 18/8/01

- Moruya SF 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002 State Forests via ChipStop 2003, 1999 Steve Ryan TWS email 7/1/00

- Myall Lakes SF 2000-1, ecology action photos, TWS Sydney flyer 2000

- Myall River State Forest 1999-2002 20-23/2/01 p3, p16, p2, p7/8 Newcastle Herald quoting The Wilderness Society, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Nambucca SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- North Brooman, 1998, 2002 Steve Ryan, TWS email 7/1/00, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Oakwood SF 2003, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Olney SF 2001-2, TWS Newcastle email, State Forests via reputable source 2003, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Ourimbah SF (Watagans/Jilliby Reserve proposal), 1999-2002, NEFA leaflet)

- Orara East State Forest 20/3/01 The Advocate page 3 quoting Coffs Conservation Alliance

- Orara West 2001, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Peak Alone SF 2000, ecology action photos

- Pilliga SF, Jim Tedder North Coast Environment Council 19/8/96

- Pilliga East SF 2001-2002 State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Pilliga West SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Pine Creek SF, 2001, Native Forest Network (re koala habitat) letter, RIC mr

- Scotchman SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Sheas Nob SF, 2001, Clarence Environment Centre news clipping, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Sherwood SF , 2000, Richmond Environment Network email, NEFA flyer

- South Brooman, 1996-2002, State Forests via ChipStop 2003, Steve Ryan TWS email 7/1/00

- Shallow Crossing SF 1997, 2002 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Stewarts Brook SF 2001, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Stroud Mountain - see Myall River SF

- Tallaganda SF 1996-2002 Steve Ryan TWS email 7/1/00, 2002 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Terry Hie Hie 2001, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Timbarra Plateau and forest (clearing, blasting for gold mine), 1997-2001, various sources

- Tomerong SF 1996 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Tomago clearing koala habitat Newcastle Herald 5/1/96, Daily Telegraph

- Toonumbar SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Trinkey SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Tuckers Knob SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Viewmont SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Wandella SF, 1996-2002, ecology action sydney, TWS email 7/1/00, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Wandera SF 1996, State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Watagans - see Olney, Ourimbah, Wyong SF

- Wang Wauk SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Way Way SF (reference?)

- Wild Cattle Creek State Forest 1996, 2002 over from 1995, NEFA media, letter 9/11/95, NEFA media release 7/7/95, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Wingello SF 1996, 1997 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Woodenbong 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Wyong SF, (Watagans/Jilliby Reserve proposal), 1999-2002, NEFA leaflet

- Yalcogrin SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

- Yadboro SF 2002 State Forests via ChipStop 2003

- Yarindury SF 2002, State Forests via reputable source 2003

Nalbaugh SF?

4. pre-emptive logging of new national park

- Gibraltar Range National Park, 1998, Clarence Environment Centre

- Nymboi-Binderay NP, 1998, CEC

- Bulahdelah NP, 1998, CEC


Picture: victim of logger violence in Victoria in 2000. The industry has a culture of aggression and brutality both to the forest and to their green critics.

Posted by editor at 2:46 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:38 AM NZT
Mass murder in Iraq, just like Saddam, made by the hawks in the USA , not the doves
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: human rights

Picture: Local community media by Stevie Bee with images sourced world wide of Autumn 2003 peace/anti war protesters including about 500,000 in the heart of Sydney's Hyde Park that amazing day.


The bogus moral assertions of such as Gerard Henderson here


Blinkers on in the killing fields


, and implicitly Greg Sheridan here


Wearing down the West | Greg Sheridan | The Australian


are a sly form of sophistry. It's mostly lies built on lies, as here:


www.smh.com.au - One lie leads to another

One lie leads to another. Date: April 28 2007. Few governments have invested so much into deceiving the public, and ended up so disastrously deceiving itself.


and shows how bankrupt their war mongering military industrial whining and wheedling for an ongoing “blank cheque” in Iraq really is, to borrow the apt term of Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi.


The war mongers rail against any diplomatic contact of Pelosi with Syria then undertake the same in a covert dishonest way in a blatant admission of their hawkish failure:


The World Today - Nancy Pelosi arrives in Syria

Shrugging off White House disapproval the Democratic Partys most senior politician has arrived in Syria for a controversial two-day visit Nancy Pelosi ...


And here


Iraq pressing for Rice talks with Iran - Breaking News - World ...

Rice's encounter with Mottaki and talks with Syria's foreign minister later on ... contacts with Iran and Syria as he seeks ways to end the Iraq conflict. ...


It’s exactly this kind of public, sleazy rationale that results in private sleazy outcomes by the war mongers – like Wolfowitz who moved on to the World Bank resulting in scandal:


World Bank panel corners Wolfowitz | NEWS.com.au Business

WORLD Bank president Paul Wolfowitz's hold on his job appeared ever more tenuous today after an internal probe found he had violated bank rules in arranging ...


In lieu of a cold war enemy we are having Al Qaeda boosted from motley bunch of mad criminal religious killers into a so called ‘network’, so called ‘organisation’. Sheridan amplifies dubious reports of 200 of these religious zealots in Saddam’s Iraq into a world war justifying that blank cheque.


Now with political and strategic failure staring these hawks in the face just like Vietnam for using war to do the job of soft power, peace keepers and diplomacy, they raise the sleazy dishonest moral sword against their political rivals claiming the accurate critique of the hawks from at least 2002 by the doves is moral equivalence and apologia for Al Qaeda suicide bombers. As if.


Get it? Run an intrinsically corrupt economic and military industrial nuclear protection racket and political hierarchy to prop up oil consumption, and material consumption ripped off the poorer nations of the world, as per the Syriana movie thesis, and you get a rabid, fascist murderous religious backlash. They are going to die of poverty anyway, presumably they reason in their fevered desperation and misery. 


Well the hawks in the western military industrial complex are looking in the mirror at their own alter ego in Al Qaeda. Violence as a means to an end reaps violence.


All the violence is wrong. The bombing of civilians who tell no tales. The murderous cluster and super hot fire bombs of the military. There is no moral responsibility on the 500,000 doves who marched in Sydney February 2003 to not go down this track only to be insulted as “a mob” by politician John Howard.


Police action by peacekeepers under a UN matrix including Iran and Syria,  removal of the western military industrial complex rape and pillage of the public revenue (as per economist JK Galbraith condemnation) both in Australia and USA via their latest feeding frenzy in Iraq, and removal of the hawks from our government would all go along way to taking the foot off the accelerator at the terrorist training grounds made by the USA hawks and their apologists.


Mature politics by real leaders would go along way to undoing the damage of the Bush-Howard-Blair war mongers. That’s not to say use of hard power is over but the courting of war should have ended decades ago. The graceless victors of the 2nd World War are abusing their victory – pure and simple.


As a UN consultant stated some years back for every one accidental or wrongful death by the USA led western war machine an estimated 10 others are severely affected emotionally and psychologically. Over time these ballooning numbers of aggrieved twisted by desire for revenge and grief grow like topsy.


Remember shock and awe? Remember the Lancet report of hundreds of thousands of civilians dead in the geo political grinding of tectonic plates between Iran, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia etc over oil? Multiply that by 10. It’s the social and economic injustice behind the spiral of war violence.


The USA made Saddam who went rogue, the USA are making Al Qaeda, in a huge tax rip off rent seeking job creation scheme for their ultra right mates. And it’s the doves who will have to clean up their mess, if we ever get the chance, and find a way to defuse this ticking UXB of economic and political cruelty built to maintain grotesque privileged elites in the USA in particular.


Yes the suicide bombers are abhorrent killers. But the only difference with the USA (and Israel in Lebanon) bombers indiscriminate slaughter in so many cases is that one is openly murderous, the other in reckless negligent denial preferring pornographic claims to “fighting for freedom”.


It’s all inevitable as a result of the Lancet report how not to win the peace. It’s the Heisenberg principle aka 'observer effect' – the presence of the military industrial complex changes everything in place of politics and diplomacy.


It’s time to sack the hawks.

Posted by editor at 11:15 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:07 PM NZT
Monday, 14 May 2007
Lethal hydatid in kangaroo offal/meat via dog vector is a real worry to us, but not for industry group
Mood:  blue
Topic: ecology


This drought year about 3.6 million kangaroos will be shot in the world's biggest wildlife slaughter. It's a small fraction of the total population but we had cause to write to crikey.com.au today about a whole other side to the debate about kangaroos as a source of meat for our population. Their readers are debating climate impacts of ruminants verus kangaroos. But my concern also relates to public health: It revolves around why agriculture was invented in the first place. Keeping food animals free of parasites, with parasites being perhaps the biggest evolutionary force on ...humanity ....ever (that's right, not temperature, not predation, not food availability):

Dear Crikey

Ever since I did a zoology degree at ANU (which specialises in parasite ecology) I've been wondering about risk profile of wild game meat like kangaroo. Milo Dunphy founder of the Total Environment Centre and a keen hunter in his younger days was against kangaroo as a general food source for this very reason.

The kangaroo meat industry [in our view do not] convincingly address the inevitable, dangerous parasite load in kangaroos unlike farmed animals subject to the usual chemical treatments. Recently on talkback on abc Sydney radio an industry representative [stated] on air ... kangaroos only have worms in the gut not hydatid cysts in the meat. [It seems] hydatid is a seriously under estimated issue, which apparently has gone off the radar. Yet 80 or 90 Australians per year suffer potentially catastrophic consequences of infection via farm dogs getting at wild kangaroos and other infection pathways.

Nor does it help to refer to Indigenous consumption for thousands of years. My advice is traditional folks of the central desert cook the kangaroo meat almost to charcoal to feel safe about eating it. Not exactly your gourmet experience. And we shoot for a much longer life span today.

This report from ABC Landline in 2005, Tapeworm continues to thrive in wild dog population, Reporter: Joanne Shoebridge, First Published: 23/10/2005, http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2005/s1486396.htm is a very frightening traverse of hydatid parasites in wild dogs and farm dogs feeding on kangaroo and wallaby carcass, the same kangaroos shot for supermarkets. Crunching into a hydatid in a kangaroo steak could the worst dining experience of your whole life.

The industry says they do inspections under the regulations but the point is farming and chemical treatment to avoid parasites is a far superior prophylactic for high volume food supply which is just not possible in wild kangaroo.

Here is a mild extract of Landline, and think carefully about eating wild meat:

JOANNE SHOEBRIDGE: When he does catch a wild dog, Mark Goullet euthanases them and sends their intestines to the Canberra laboratory of Dr David Jenkins. So far, two in every five dogs tested have been heavily infected with hydatids.

DR DAVID JENKINS: "We are interested from the point of view of, "Are they spreading hydatids in these urban areas?" And the short answer is, "Yes, they are." This is the gut of the dingo or the wild dog in which we're hoping to find tapeworms. And the tapeworms produce the eggs, which then get eaten by a sheep, and each of these cysts represent an egg that the sheep has eaten.

JOANNE SHOEBRIDGE: So you don't get cysts in dogs, you do get cysts in animals like sheep.

DR DAVID JENKINS: That's right. No cysts in dogs. Cysts in sheep, kangaroos, wallabies, but really importantly, this is exactly what happens in people. They don't normally get as many cysts as this, but they will be much, much bigger - maybe 1, 2, 3 litres capacity.

JOANNE SHOEBRIDGE: These dogs, too, are riddled with tapeworms. Hydatid disease is no longer notifiable in most states, which means health authorities have few statistics. David Jenkins has to resort to trawling through the records of individual hospitals to track the incidence of hydatids, which is often poorly diagnosed and recorded.

JOANNE SHOEBRIDGE: Do you think this is a disease that has largely slipped off the radar?

DR DAVID JENKINS: Oh, I'm absolutely sure of it, and not just in the medical profession, in the veterinary profession as well. We get 80 to 100 new cases a year, which in the scheme of things, is not a lot of patients, but nevertheless, for those people who are infected, it can be catastrophic. They can lose a lung, they can lose a whole lobe of the liver. It can take several years to get a diagnosis if the doctor is not really switched on to looking for hydatids, the patient can get progressively more unwell. "

And it doesn't stop there. The prevalence of wild dogs seems to be growing and the exposure of bushwalkers to attack and infection by hydatid that way via bites is also a real one: 7.30 Report - 16/04/2002: Wild dogs eat graziers out of business

Tom McLoughlin, ecology action sydney


[Extract of Crikey ezine 14th May 2007 here:]

Kangaroos, methane, etc:

Tim Thomas writes: Geoff Russell's comments contained several errors (Friday, comments). Kangaroos are more efficient at producing meat than sheep. True, kangaroos are not ruminants, but nevertheless efficiently ferment cellulose in their foregut. Some but, not all kangaroo species, are less efficient than sheep in processing dry feed, but make up for this by having a much lower basal metabolic rate as discussed here. In addition, kangaroos have a higher muscle to body weight ratio than sheep, discussed here, and although farming kangaroos is impractical, and in my opinion undesirable, that is not the question. If (wild) kangaroo meat is available in your supermarket, as it is in mine, then eating it lowers your contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gases. Roo shooting might not be much fun but then farming is also full of tough, unpleasant work. There is nothing more boring than preparing the ground for broad acre cropping, which includes the risk of lung damage from dust as well as exposure to a variety of chemicals, among other dangers. On all counts replacing, at least partially, ruminant meat with macropod meat would be environmentally beneficial. As to the efficiency of ruminant digestion it is interesting to note that the production of methane represents a loss of about 25% of the energy present in the animal's feed.

[Friday 11th May 07 crikey ezine]Kangaroos and methane:

Animal Liberation committee member Geoff Russell writes: Andrew Dempster (yesterday, comments) asks if kangaroos produce methane, and if not, why we can't use them instead of sheep and cattle. Kangaroos don't produce methane because of some tricky digestive processes. But they aren't very efficient in producing meat. Ruminants ruminate! This enables them to extract more energy from good pasture than kangaroos which pass food through quickly and relatively inefficiently. The kangaroo digestive mechanism is better on bad pasture, they take in and process a lot of food, while sheep and cattle face a digestive bottleneck. See Knox's "Biology" (the standard University biology text) for more detail. The bottom line here is that kangaroos aren't efficient meat producers, they don't herd, they fight, they jump fences, the mob structure isn't good for farming, and no farmer wants to give up cushy evenings watching Big Brother to go out and shoot kangaroos which is a tough, back breaking and thoroughly unpleasant job. The current kangaroo industry can't get enough shooters to even meet its current quotas which produces very little meat. Read Jared Diamond's "Guns Germs and Steel". He explains in detail why so few wild animal species have been domesticated over the millenia - it isn't for lack of trying. And if you can't domesticate them, you have to hunt them. Hunting wild animals has never and can never support large populations. Again, see Diamond for more details.

Dr Peter Wood writes: In response to Andrew Dempster's question, kangaroos produce a negligible amount of methane: Kempton et al, Methane production and digestibility measurements in the grey kangaroo and sheep. Aust J Biol Sci. 1976 Jul; 29(3): pp 209-14. (Abstract here).

Postscript #1. This important public health debate goes on in the pages of crikey.com.au ezine below, with clarification here of the life cycle indirect danger of hydatid via dog vectors, but also other systems risk of wild versus agricultural meat supply:

I'm indebted to James Thomspon [extracted below] for his sledge even though he mispells my name (Comments 16th May 2007) and partly grovel now re : "Eating red [kangaroo] meat does not result in hydatid infection."  I am no vet or medical man as such and it shows now half folding my tent on this one.  I had forgotten the dual life cycle of the creepy parasite from all those years ago in the lecture room. This diagram here Echinococcosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, or here Echinococcus -- Encylopedic Reference of Parasitology shows the hydatid cyst in the kangaroo whether offal or meat is infectious to the 'definitive' dog stage of the life cycle, but not intermediate host like kangas or humans.The South Australian government web site also makes it clear "People cannot be infected by eating Hydatid cysts in infected offal & Humans cannot infect humans [sic]" Hydatid disease (SA) [pdf]. 

Even so presence of hydatid is enough for sheep carcass to be rejected from an abattoir in WA 2006 presumably for hygiene/marketing reasons ESPERANCE REGIONAL OFFICE AGMEMO  and I still doubt eating one would be much fun if not dangerous directly. It would be extremely dangerous if the pet bow wow ate it with resultant hydatid eggs in the poo then into your domestic environment (garden soil, dog hair, dog licks might be a worry too). And the concern over quality control of meat on farm versus off farm (domestic v wild) is still not over: Anecdotally pet owners are cautious with "wormy" kangaroo meat: Dogz Online and EDBA Forums > Kangaroo Meat, and animal rights people still argue with some logic of other potential contaminants in off farm or wild animal situations here in NSW Parliament re chemical sprays Kangaroo Meat Contamination - 10/10/2000 - QWN.

So I stand by the more general concern agricultural controls lessen risk compared with wild animal meat. For instance in meeting the sledge we found this submission [bold added] of Tony Pople and Gordon Grigg Dept of Zoology, Qld Uni for Environment Australia, August 1999 for the federal govt Overview of background information for kangaroo management - Chapter 7

"Andrew (1988) reviewed the issue of kangaroo meat and public health, including the records of inspections between 1980 and 1987 made of carcasses by Australian Quarantine Inspection Service officers at export game meat establishments (this pre-dated the change of legislation in New South Wales in 1993). There were records for 204,052 red, eastern and western grey carcasses of which 196,104 were passed as fit for human consumption. Of the 7,948 rejected, 81% were rejected for reasons not associated with parasites or pathology, mainly poor handling, particularly inadequate refrigeration. Of the rest, only 1,452 were rejected because of a parasite, and that was for a nematode, Pelicitus roemeri, which is quite harmless, anyway, to humans, but is unsightly.... it is uncommon, but can infect the muscles of the lower leg.."

Elsewhere the authors note people often prefer to cook kangaroo rare.

We understand 3.6 m kangaroos are being 'culled' this drought year (usually 5 or 6 million per year). That's alot of dead kangaroo with no records. Nor is a study of 20 years ago, referred to in 1999 by govt, sufficiently recent for public confidence in 2007. The onus is on the industry not the other way round.

Tom McLoughlin, ecology action

James Thompson writes: Tom MacLouglin (yesterday, comments) has either misunderstood the mode of transmission of hydatids or he is deliberately attempting to mislead the public over the risk of eating kangaroo and other red meat. I agree that hydatid cysts are a potentially serious parasitic disease of humans. However, humans are at risk from the ingestion of hydatid tapeworm eggs, laid by tapeworms living in the gut of farm dogs, dingoes or foxes that had fed on cattle, sheep or kangaroos. To avoid human infection with hydatids, after handling dogs wash your hands before eating and worm your dogs regularly. Eating red meat does not result in hydatid infection. Tom should have paid more attention during his zoology degree.

Posted by editor at 10:03 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 6 August 2007 11:56 PM NZT
Squawking, clawing senior journos' failure to declare their AWA financial conflict of interest
Mood:  sharp
Topic: big media


Recently big media proprietors, and ABC public broadcaster, were attacking the federal government for allowing Australia's democracy to fall way down the league tables in terms of free speech.

And they do have a strong case about the need to shield journalists and their sources doing their public duty of reporting the news.

But here is a glaring abuse of power by many of these selfish journalists from the cover of their Big Media pay contracts such as Laurie Oaks at 9

Interview: Julia Gillard

and Dennis Shanahan

Rug pulled from under Rudd's feet | Dennis Shanahan | The Australian

, Paul Kelly at Murdoch's The Australian

Insiders - 06/05/2007: Paul Kelly on the week in politics ...

, and just about every other gun commentator on upwards of $150K - $250K per annum under their own highly exclusive AWA.

For the last 2 weeks we have seen a brutally biased attack by these malicous galahs with their vandalistic claws tearing at collective bargaining. These are indoctrinated practitioners of extreme for profit big media. These commentators high on the pay hierarchy have all done deals for AWAs that lower mortals will never have.

But none of these "journalists" declare their personal, direct financial interest when they report on this aspect of industrial relations in any of the major papers or lead commercial tv bulletins.

It's systemic corruption in the media industry.


It is a glaring failure of journalistic ethics. How much are they getting paid under their AWA? If it's a huge amount compared to the millions of other Australian workers on an average of $50K pa, they are clearly biased toward AWAs. 

What's more, in order to stay at that obscene pay rate they are conflicted to promote the preferred position of their corporations supporting AWAs not to mention their major advertiser client corporations.

It's as simple and grubby as that. Corrupt big media.

And if not corrupt, declare the existence and size of your AWA with your corporate media outlet in all your articles about AWA's.

That would be a good contribution toward democracy.


Postscript #1

Mining industry is bluffing on AWAs

Senator Rachel Siewert today urged Kevin Rudd not to be bluffed by the
WA mining industry.

"Quite frankly, what the WA mining lobby has been saying about AWAs
underpinning the mining boom is nonsense. The boom was up and running
well before Work Choices was in place," said Senator Siewert.

"The resources sector is facing a serious shortage of skilled workers,
and are having to offer huge wages to pull people out of other sectors
of the economy. It is ludicrous to think that an award safety net and
collective bargaining could undermine the boom as the mining sector

"The mining industry are simply throwing their weight around. They have
the WA state government under their thumb and think they can push around
the whole nation."

"Mr Rudd needs to think about the long-term future of Australia and its
workers, not pander to any one section of the economy for short-term

For more information or comment call
Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025



Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens spokesperson on Industrial Relations

Monday 14th May 2007


Postscript #2

Sent: [Received Wednesday 16 May 2007 9.16 am]
Subject: Urgent action needed to ensure Kevin Rudd stays strong on IR

Dear ASU member,

Over the last two weeks we have seen a massive campaign by big business to pressure the ALP to water down their commitment to rip up Workchoices.
Mining companies who are making super profits are leading the pressure campaign to get Rudd to back down on AWAs. Let's remember, 98% of people on
AWAs are low paid workers who have lost penalty rates, overtime and leave for little or no pay increase. AWAs are a way of not just reducing wages, but of
stopping workers from increasing their bargaining power by forcing them to "negotiate" on their own.

The public of Australia are overwhelming opposed to Workchoices and expect the ALP to commit to abolishing it to restore all the rights that the Howard
Government has taken away.

We need to act now to send Kevin Rudd an overwhelming message that the people who matter on polling day want him to take a strong stand to restore
their rights.

Email Kevin Rudd now and let him know that workers of Australia are depending on him to stand up to
big business and do what is right. No backing down!

Complete this
ASU online survey to let us know what you think.

Please send this email onto others.

Yours in union,

Sally McManus
Branch Secretary
Australian Services Union
NSW & ACT (Services) Branch

Posted by editor at 12:17 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007 1:33 PM NZT
Ruddy son in law to campaign for Maxine McKew in Bennelong?
Mood:  amorous
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: Actor Dule Hill at top right was a standout character in the West Wing tv series for  the racially charged North American society it was made for.



Is the real life Australian equivalent of Charlie Young going to help take Bennelong off PM John Howard?


Charlie who? Charlie Young is a character from the West Wing tv series played by Afro American Dule Hill. And not just any coffee coloured gentleman but a dark skinned man. Distinctly racial casting choice. A very fine actor. A dramatic juxtaposition who in the script loves in the biblical sense the President’s youngest white bread daughter.


It’s pretty racy stuff right?


But what’s that got to do with Bennelong?


Ruddy’s daughter just got married. If I’m not mistaken her husband is an Asian Australian chap. Who knows, he may end up being like that 3rd richest dual Australian citizen solar energy entrepreneur like Dr. Zhengrong Shi of Suntech (featured on SBS Dateline in a story called 'The Sun King' back in March  CNN here,  local Sydney Morning Herald and Labor eHerald) or some other world beater. But it's also clear as day the daughter is a living example of cross cultural sophistication including in life choices. Like her dad.


We are reminded of a highly flattering feature story about Rudd’s working life in China for Foreign Affairs that ran in the Sydney Morning Herald recently: Rudd's long march to Asia's heart - National - smh.com.au by a smart writer there Hamish McDonald with Mary-Anne Toy..


These are the most sensitive cultural matters. It’s life as melting pot for real.


It’s the Charlie Young factor. In Sydney, and likely all of Australia, this plays very well in the Asian Australian community. Sydney is the home of the Unity Party represented till recently by an Upper House Dr Peter Wong in NSW Parliament.


It’s where the local edition of the Epoch Times is published with an emphasis on South East Asian coverage as well as general news, and strong slant against the Chinese dictatorship government.


All this is a sensitive mix of cultural and racial undertones but with 6 months to run in a grinding election campaign every area of right, left, bigot and enlightened social policy will be flushed out. We say better to have it out in the sunlight amongst the grown ups.


From our media watching we noticed a real under emphasis in the presentation of the good bride’s new husband. But the Asian Australian community in Bennelong must have noticed surely, or will do so. In this sense they are likely to shift their vote to the ALP as a more tolerant leadership for harmony and multiculturalism to the detriment of John Howard.


On the other hand the ultra right ‘One Nation’ type 5 % dedicated racist vote is out there and do play a role in Australia more generally, also counterbalanced by the Asian Australian Bennelong factor too.


All of this becomes very relevant demographics given the outstanding very early polling results in favour of candidate McKew as reported in the press yesterday as here: McKew would win Bennelong: poll - National - smh.com.au


and here


McKew needs 'miracle' to beat Howard in Bennelong. 13/05/2007. ABC ...


Meanwhile John Howard is going down scale talking about school bullies from the height of his Prime Ministerial office. That's a little weird. And he sounds like a shouting sergeant major on the radio just now.


At this rate the election campaign may yet turn to a macabre procession for 'honest' John. No post budget polling bounce, no ecological credibility, captured by white supremacist leanings a la Alan Jones et al. It could get very grim indeed.


# For our review of the West Wing tv series based on a marathon sitting of the first 5 series, go here and scroll down to 4th January 2007 (one of the first stories on Sydney Alternative Media micro news website aka SAM.)

Posted by editor at 10:48 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007 3:24 PM NZT
Sunday, 13 May 2007
Sunday political talkies: 6 month election marathon begins in earnest
Mood:  energetic
Topic: election Oz 2007



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.





Media backgrounder #1:




TV shows – kids shows very very green. Totally wild on 10 has Wilderness Society kids author. On 9 there was another one about paper recycling.




Then flicking back to Business Sunday its about business going green in sheet metal and printing all about natural capitalism of eliminating waste. It’s good thinking and good profit.




#2 Farewell Alex Mitchell, you are a champ.


We recall some cracking Naked Eye vignettes from Mitchell this last year or so. His call for VP Dick Cheney to be arrested as a war criminal in the Big Media no less. Wow.




His sledge today of the PM today disjunction over South Africa of yesteryear and Zimbabwe. True enough if unfortunate politicking as lives unravel in that latter country with life expectancy crashing. How very very cruel.




Then his comments in his column somewhere but also abc radio (now there is a medium for Big Alex in future, while he goes on diet as well) about jaded jaundiced local MP’s who get crushed by the factional party machine. Indeed, a real soul destroyer.




We were reminded of this quite accurate observation of Big Party sleaze by footage on Stateline last Friday night of bright and bushy Independent MP for Northern Tablelands (Armidale etc) Mr Torbay the new Boss of the Bearpit  of NSW Parliament  and son of immigrants from Lebanon. What a success story. And a real echo of Morris Iemma’s own life story and political career – who if he’d grown up in regional NSW, not the western suburbs of Sydney, would surely have been … Mr Torbay. Torbay presents as a younger peppy Clover Moore, or an energetic Mickey Mouse type figure with that black crop of hair. Judging from his homepage concerns about dental treatment for his people Torbay is popular for a reason, and no cartoon.

Another cracking comment was a few weeks back Iemma using Bret Walker SC in a PR inquiry into Ferry fatalities without review the actual fatalities. That's sleazy.


We noticed Alex has 5239 stories compared to our blog micro news this last 4 months of …232. Groan. Hope we don’t get jaded this next 35 years plus of blogging to catch up with veteran Alex.


#3 Trouble at mill - revealing lead story in The Australian Premier 'misleading' on mill benefits, with colour pic on front page and text, and cover story of colour supplement makes three bites at this issue, and substantiates the go big of Big Media proprieters to protect free speech and democracy as we know it reported in all Big Media on themselves, indicatively here:  

Media unites for free speech | The Daily Telegraph, United effort to save free speech | Media | The Australian, PM - Aust media condemn government controls, Media rally to fight threats to free speech - National - smh.com.au



Which calls up this oh so sharp letter by one "Dallas J Fraser, Gold Coast Qld" in this weekends colour mag from The Australian:


"Try as I might to approach "Scott of the ABC" with an open mind, my thoughts went back to the politicisation of the ABC over recent years, and appointments by the Prime Minister of the likes of Mark Scott who have come from a very select gene pool. Like many Australians, I grew up with Auntie and have always found her a reassuring influence. I hope my view of Scott is unfounded, however I get an uneasy feeling that his appointment has more to do with politics than the healthy evolution of our ABC"


One wonders if that is the Dallas wife of ex PM Malcolm Fraser. Also one wonders if the Big Media bosses are feeling a deal of existential angst having barracked so hard for removal of the NSW ALP, only to be repudiated by the electorate here March 07, and thus seeking a new Old Media raison detre by claiming the high moral ground on defence of democracy itself if not choosing state govt?


It was indeed an important message from them, and we prefer to take it on face value, but say it would be even more credible when they start complaining at a new media rival like say crikey.com.au being locked out of the Budget by Treasurer Costello, or this writer evicted from Sydney Uni Campus for reporting an anti govt rally recently.


We look forward to coverage of either story but won't hold our breath.


Getting back to the Tas pulp mill ecological atrocity, to underline how democracy is getting shaky there the Australian Financial Review (subscribers) p6 10 May 07 has this, opening line:


"A community group fighting Gunn's $1.5 billion Tasmanian pulp mill has refused to lodge a submission with the federal government's assessment process, fearing the forestry company might use  any adverse comments as the basis for legal action."


Broken democracy anyone?



10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am




Features Sunday Telegraph front pager – PM Howard in trouble in his own seat of Bennelong (Murdoch Press), via Galaxy poll. Ouch.




Therese Rein Rudd wife putting Origin Energy shares in blind trust – must do this. Story in Herald Sun (Murdoch press).




Galaxy poll after budget shows PM in trouble still. No poll bounce as Howard conceded late Friday night.




Denies pork barrelling and boondoggelling (falls into trap of denials).


Film of Senator Brown, Greens failure of budget on climate change. Bonge refers to Democrats media release on fossil fools subsidies.


Vaile defensive: Transport fuels.




Vaile – “cyclical changes in our climate” – been there before, be there in the future. Real denial talk.




1st ad break NSW Teachers public primary education, friendly to ALP cause.




Panel is heavy thinkers Fran Kelly abc radio national breakfast and Clinton Porteus back from South America, ex ABC,with Courier Mail.


Vaile duly respectful of these two veterans.




Qantas exposed after take over [vagued out here, refer transcript], fairly boring tone from the Nats ‘leader’ chief RARA ‘accountant’.




Uni cap on full fee paying students – Barnaby Joyce wedging Govt similar to ALP support cap. Weakens Howard line against ALP.




Age viability Ron Boswell Nat senator at 66, for 6 years more? Hot question. Boswell looks fat and unhealthy to me.  Kelly asks why talent not being fostered quality candidate jumped ship. Says happens in all parties with a smile [that’s a bit close to home vis a vis this writer and Greens Party here].




Nicholson cartooning is very apt. Big spend, Rudd still wins affection with small ice cream from voters. That’s out take out too in the last few SAM posts this week.




Ad break 2, shortened public education advert as before. Yep it’s a long election slog for all of us.




Clive Hamilton – author of new-ish book Scorcher. Credible with academics, good researcher but with an edge and agenda, former RAC chief of researcher 1990-93 under Hawke, Keating (axed), still ALP aligned.




Lead question re Hawke/PM both similar – big quarry syndrome. Hawke more excuse science less frightening in the 1980ies.


Porteus - $740M budget, $200M international tree fund. Impressed? Negative, says political timing not affect tax cuts PR.




Hamilton refuses to take invitation of some credit – on forests says hopelessly discredited approach, very dismissive. “Worse than nothing” [Not quite objective is the clear implication of Porteus gist. Hamilton hangs tough versus other “green leaders” overtly.]




Don’t have 10 years as per IPCC and NASA. Very alarming.



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









7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary




The old favourite – Groundhog Day – friendly Treasurer mates with Mark Riley. Also signed copy budget speech to Kochie, after Rudd Sunrise affair is a bit of a rapproachment.




Notes high election sloganeering at the Press Club, predicts sandwich boards on MP’s. [virtually true with PM in Bennelong yesterday].


An outstanding satire today.




Q and A. Notes Bennelong poll as per 10 above, economy against govt ?! Real possibility of Costello winning PM, Howard losing seat. Good week for govt, translates in polling much more dubious [as per Kerr at Crikey]. Polling will come back but how far?




New female compere has insight, compares Riley Diary to Hollywood melodrama – true.




Adbreak at 8.50 am public education advert again but this time secondary school subject matter. That’s serious money.


Presumably it will run on 9 also.







Sunday 9




Feature on Gordon Brown of the UK later in the show

Picture: Laurie Oaks has a loose fitting suit jacket today. He may have taken our hint at diet lifestyle etc made at the Federal Govt Sydney offices in Phillip St mid 2006 (the Costello non challenge) when we fawned but then eyeballed the Barrel with "How long are you going to keep going?". He said 'another 25 years' flippantly, as we shook hands, amused by our impertinence. His sidekick got shirty and I would say alarmed at the question. Steve Lewis grabbed the aggressor's attention, thanks Steve. Now it's clear Big Laurie is more of a Medium now, and good luck to the old warhorse with that sustainability agenda.

Story on Carl Williams organized crime killer or be killed. Big feature story in fact.


Important interview with Oaks/Gillard. Catch cry is “flexibility”, ongoing negotiation with mining industry, and “deception” of govt. Fractitious vibe with the somewhat skinnier Oakbarrel on a trend of better lifestyle – looking a bit stressed with it.


Keeps interrupting her for not answering the way he wants. Revealing Ch9 on the slide looking defensive?


Gillard also looking under a bit of pressure and embattled but that’s okay, she should be working hard.


Tony Blair took on the unions theme also from Insiders, Gillard says they have a distinct policy, balance right. Substantive but not exhaustive IR policy.


Oaks is virtually playing a bulldozer for his corporate employer to entrench AWAs. Sad stuff really. Gillard keeps coming back to balance. Turning into an enough rope exercise.


‘Still ways of getting flexibility without statutary individual contracts.’










Insiders 2




Long interview with PM, Zimbabwe issue high ground regardless of South Africa or the past (got that right PM in terms of lives now). Nothing really new in the interview, restating positions mainly free media profile. Galaxy poll etc as per 10 and 7 above.


Everyperson focus on two adult women mother and daughter.


Panel is Misha, Meglo and Akerman.


Paul Kelly soliloquy for ‘quality’ Murdoch Press. Never been a bigger budget. Clever  budget. Rehashing the above or previous SAM analysis. Economy is now a job creating machine. World economy is strong, commodity boom in place. Govt will argue don’t risk it. Complacency of voters not so much.


Advert – ALP for Rudd everyone is an economic conservative. Most important message in the election. Can’t spend more, more responsible. Safe pair of hands. Neutralising economy as an issue. If Rudd can neutralize this, then Rudd in very good position to win the election. Not so much the polls, who is the best economic manager.


Had to come up with something in Reply speech. Did so. Firm. Not a good week but got there with the Reply. Got to fix IR now.


Chatter on panel. Problem is lower end of wage market AWA no disadvantage test. 100K sells well says Meglogenis roughly double average annual income. Akerman as PM loyalist for his own career turns to Qld, research reckons Indigenous want flexibility on $60K. Only a niche, answers Cassidy.


Emerging consensus on the panel, less vexatious Akerman determined contraire.


Accurate discussion of role of fatigue as a main issue now. Discipline of Rudd’s office serious question. [they have to train and manage, cut the booze etc]



Replayed at 11.10 am on radio PNN 630 AM band.


Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/


Posted by editor at 11:13 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007 10:21 AM NZT
Saturday, 12 May 2007
Tim Blair you're surrounded, might as well join us?
Mood:  happy
Topic: big media

Above at left, last Thursday's front pager declaration from the Murdoch press Daily Telegraph the empire is going carbon neutral.

We mentioned this to David Marr at a Fairfax rally (shameless name dropping) the same day who was moved to mock compassion for such determined sceptics as Andrew Bolt at the Herald Sun in Melbourne also in the News Ltd stable.

The resident critic of climate change at the Daily Telegraph above at right is Tim Blair. And he has written a creative very amusing article in reaction today above at right - yes all that blacking out and crossed headline is all his own work as published today.

As for the left hand story above by one of his Big Media colleagues there, it's written by one Saffron Howden, quite the sophisticate, we met once as a journalism student (her, not this writer) to brief on sand mining impacts at Maroota north west of Sydney.

Her mother Jocelyn ... and read this slowly Tim Boy.... works for a Green MP here in NSW state parliament.

So there you go, Tim. Times change. We're all greenies now, more or less. Really.

Don't worry about Mike Carlton sledging today in the Sydney Morning Herald Hot air becomes cool breeze

It's 3 degrees of separation: My own brother works for the Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet somewhere - he has several kids to support and so wisely keeps a long distance from this black sheep.

I was a corporate lawyer 17 years ago myself.

So where to from here? I have no idea but it's going to be different. You know it is too.

And don't say it's going to be hard to adjust. You know most journalists don't actually believe in anything, except the next gotcha, spiffy headline or angle.

Have a green one.

Postscript #1: Full page advert p95, May 13 2007 Sunday Telegraph sister newspaper of Tim Blair press on Saturday.


Posted by editor at 7:07 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007 11:52 AM NZT
Friday, 11 May 2007
Shadow Minister Goward PR opportunism?: Claims of sexism can be a political sword as well as a shield
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: When is a claim of sexism a genuine shield for protection of innocents and when is it a ruthless sword to harm political rivals? This graphic comes in part from the Sydney Morning Herald 12th May 07 a day after our 'sword and shield'  headline above (quite a coincidence). We have added at left the face of  Kelly Hoare MP (ALP), who copped a front pager revealing an embarrassing sexual harrassment claim against her, probably friendly fire revenge for public dissension from Party election tactics (her job given to Greg Combet). At right is Prue Goward MP (Lib), who has accused NSW Parliament in general of sexism, and incidentally is on record as a determined critic of Green and Independent MPs. (We wrote our piece before seeing the Big Media incredulous, broad press reaction to Goward eg indicative The Australian Lidia Chan: If you can't stand the heat, get out | Opinion | The .... Ouch.)





Ms Goward is smart, tough, middle aged, waddles a bit like a goose, or Julia Gillard, depending on your point of view, and this writer may be a condescending ratbag, again depending on your point of view.


But here’s the thing about Shadow Minister Goward’s foray into gender politics leveraging her undoubted, demonstrated expertise as a former Sex Discrimination Commissioner:Bearpit sexist, says new MP Goward.  

She is shadow minister for women with conspicuously missing image on her parliamentary web page AND opposition spokes on the Environment. But in this latter responsibility she is snookered. The Nats won’t give her space to move on land clearing, coal mining and a thousand other resource based dig it up, cut it down, shoot it, policy areas.


So being ambitious she is moving on the other portfolio responsibility, tactically wise. But where is the demonstrated proof of sexist behaviour in this new parliament for her to rail against, as opposed to gain handy profile front of the Herald?


There are examples of men behaving badly in the previous parliament who suffered accountability – Peter Black drunk and maybe getting grabby. Lost his reputation, then lost his seat. Could have been more greatly criticised by Premier Iemma rather than campaign for the grub as “a colourful” character in his seat pre election. But the evidence of systemic sexism seems arguable – he got what he deserved in the end – the door.


What about Andrew Fraser going the throttle on Tripodi – is this sexism? Or simply violence between males? I don’t see the sexism in it, blokey for sure. Nasty for sure. Wrong definitely.


There is the sensitive allegations of criminal domestic violence against Gibson. But its some 17 years ago now. And he lost any chance of promotion to Cabinet and effectively has suffered very serious damage to his reputation. The ‘victim’ did get into Cabinet and has gone ahead in her life it seems.


What about the allegations of Tripodi sexually harassing a democrat staffer some years back? She got a lot of sympathy, he got a broad condemnation, and a taint that he has never shaken really, and she decided not to pursue it for better or worse. If she had likely he would be a dead cat by now.


So Kerry ‘give a chick a chance’ Chikarovski with her electioneering slogan no less goes on public radio yesterday morning saying its improved a lot over the years and ironically that women shouldn’t play boys games. Alex Mitchell on 702 radio says similar of ALP women this morning over Tripodi defence. But maybe Liberal Women should not use sexism for opportunistic profile building either?


SAM’s editor has suffered sexual harassment in our career even as a male (but very rarely), and can sympathise with a com car driver being propositioned and then potentially victimised for not reciprocating in the sad Kelly Hoare MP matter. Because saying “no” has professional consequences. Just as saying “yes” does too becoming someone’s toy.


What is being lost here is that accusations of sexism can function as an important shield for real victims, and a sword for political careerism: An accusation is explosive ammunition and very damaging to the target, and this is well understood by the sisterhood and the brothers in the political community. The question becomes is it fair, is it credible, and are there honest motives. We are talking about politicians with their hands in the public’s tax revenue here, and grasping for power and profile so it's worth looking and asking again.


Take for instance former minister Carmel Tebbutt who stood down from the NSW cabinet on election night. Morris Iemma as Premier, the big media and all her colleagues might have reacted in a sexist way saying she was letting down the team, or failing her public duty, or not up to the job of a minister. (We took the view she was pre emptively buckling on a policy issue of the mooted Marrickville Truck Tunnel.) But none of that. Iemma said he was sorry to see her go and respected her decision to take her family responsibilities seriously. That surely is the improvement Kerry Chikarovski was referring to, a tone set from the top.


This positive culture needs to be encouraged, so we say beware corrosive gender friction for it's own sake. It leads to terrible social and policy paralysis and is not good for government or anyone else. Bring on accountability and equal opportunity and indeed affirmative action within reason, and remember gender politics can be another battle front in the bear pit.


The question in this writer’s mind is, was Shadow Minister Goward fair dinkum when she said she didn’t want her speech reported? That doesn’t ring true. She is shadow minister giving a speech. And an expert in modern media and how to play the game. That sounds too cute to me.


What it sounds like is building political capital. We had to wonder when her own daughter described her as a bit of a “battle axe” on ABC TV news last night. One thing is for sure Ms Goward should attend to her profile on the parliamentary website – that’s one thing she can control surely.

Posted by editor at 3:18 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 13 May 2007 10:10 AM NZT
Rudd budget reply: First they laugh at you, then they listen, then they hate you, then you win
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture 1 of 4: First they laugh at you 4min 46 sec ABC video on demand. Govt Ministers evidence an assured perhaps scornful hilarity as the Rudd speech ploughs on presumably fortfied by their huge $70 billion budget spend on voters providing the real politik context the challenger must overcome direct or indirect.


Picture 2 of 4: Then they listen to you 14min 52 sec ABC video on demand. Government front and back bench are all ears, showing Rudd is cutting through even to his worst critics.


Picture 3 of 4: Then they hate you 16min 40 sec ABC video on demand. A real ouch moment for Ministers Vaile, Costello,  McGauran and PM Howard at this point with Rudd omparing their 3 technical schools with his rollout for some 2,500 trade facilities in all high schools.


Picture 4 of 4: Then you win, 27 min 04 sec ABC video on demand: Wayne Swan conspicuously what ... happy, satisfied, confident at the performance of his leader Rudd? Well maybe but it's finally come to us, he's actually proud of his Queensland colleague's gutsy effort. Fair enough.

Comment: The camera doesn't lie. The intellectual dynamic is shown in the images above. Costello pledged very many billions coming from a very low polling base. Rudd has pledged only a few billions coming from a very high polling base and a good 6 months until an election in October after the APEC meeting in Sydney in September 07.

Rudd has the measure of the Howard government, and thus the PM is sounding like an Opposition in the news cycle today.

Greenpeace are unhappy with lack of solid climate change policy but this ignores the timetable reality over this election period 

- set by Costello's weak performance on climate change on Budget Night while flagging it's coming, and

- Rudd's symbolic words of assurance also holding it back for the voters closer to the election.

And on the speaking style of Rudd: Fast, strong with an emotional undertone of conviction (I recognise from my own local councilor battles):

This is a guy who can focus when the pressure is on (undoubtedly as per interview/policy glitches over the two preceding days) and can capably ignore the noise of the political rivals. That's the emotional message that Rudd demonstrated subliminally to Australia with his budget speech in reply. It is why Wayne Swan was smiling at the substance of the performance.

It's a quality political reply speech in an overtly political dynamic. Malcolm Farr of the Murdoch press seems to agree in his comment piece on abc radio earlier today (and maybe his press we haven't yet seen): Indeed the speech was surprising and gutsy for presenting on its own terms, rather than be spooked or driven by the big dollars at Costello's whim last Tuesday night.

This is a solid foundation for a 6 month winning Rudd election campaign, and that's not just from an ALP loyalist like Kim Beazley on abc The World Today programme today.

The camera doesn't lie, as some astute senior politicians are beginning to realise as per this image also from the Budget Reply web video below: Julia Gillard MHR (ALP) for most of the 30 minute speech is a picture of composure, head nodding or brief nattters to colleague to one side. Only once does she block her face with hand yet in a split second re composes for the camera (including web video via abc etc) surely aware right the lens is right at them all on the front bench.

(Compare our collection of images of grumpy PM from budget night in an earlier post, with John Howard pulling faces all the way through surely not realising the power of web video play, replay, and freeze frame.)

Postscript #1: The PM made an extraodinary admission at the tail end of the PM show tonight - he didn't expect a bounce in the polls. Well, after spending $70 billion on voter concerns to not get a bounce would suggest a real malaise in the appeal of this PM and or this government. Nor would the government be comforted by the front page of the Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian or Australian Financial Review which look more or less positive to Rudd who in a big trying week for the ALP is potentially still getting the last word.

Laura Tingle in the AFR has a column suggesting the huge budget spend of the govt has a short politicial shelf life. How she as a veteran reporter can be sidelining such a huge spend so early is pretty devastating talk for this govt and we think she is probably right. Not least because Howard is a well known hawk and articles by such as Prof Hugh White yesterday 10th may 2007 seeking a diplomatic role for Australia in liaison between China and the USA on arms control makes the current PM all the more unsuitable: Another nuclear arms race is in the offing

Christian Kerr a former coalition adviser with crikey.com.au argues in their ezine today that Rudd may well be cutting through to the voters over the head of the commentators. If this is true, and Howard is already playing down expectations of a poll bounce at all, he must be hoping to win a slow grinding battle over many months to come. A feint hope from our vantage point.

Posted by editor at 2:27 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007 8:26 PM NZT

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