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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 17 December 2007
Victorian ALP Premier John Brumby, back then, on forest protection
Mood:  chatty
Topic: ecology


Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2007 10:22 AM
Subject: [chipstop] BRUMBY LIES


Check out this footage taken by the legendary John Flyn in 1995 at a Melbourne forest rally. It has John Brumby then the Opposition leader promising that should the Labor party be elected in Victoria it would; protect all HCV forest, end export woodchipping, and move the entire logging industry into plantations. 

Since getting elected Labors' record on forest protection has been appalling, it  has;  continued to allow logging in the states last areas of  old-growth HCV forests and rain forests such as Goolengook, Errinundra etc,  increased export woodchipping, and continued the policy of massive subsidy to the native forest logging industry to allow it to compete with the plantation based timber industry... 

Even the Labor government most recent promises made before the November 2006 state election - to immediately protect Goolengook and 30,000 Ha of extra old-growth forest has been broken.. so now following on from such a litany of lies it has been decided to release this bomb-shell footage exposing the Victorian Premier as a liar. 

See the link below, hopefully it works. High resolution copy is available for media use.. 


Posted by editor at 5:19 PM EADT
Systemic racism in NSW behind the 1997 origins of 'bio banking' aka 'tradeoff' land clearing?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: indigenous

When we first read Henry Reynolds - Law of the Land published 1987 - we were shocked by the reference to 'sado masochistic Sunday afternoon hunting parties', and of 'childrens skulls smashed in'. This was Tasmania of 19th and 18th century colonial times that Julia Gillard euphemistically calls "settlement" surely not realising the unintended fiction - at the hands of brutalised convicts doing the British Govt's dirty work. As eloquently argued by many since it would take a triumph of willful blindess for we the Australian ancestral benefactors of the active theft or inheritors via disease and violence to quiet the whispering in our hearts, just as the UK Govt with the remoteness of distance might effectively ignore the truth.

We wove that 1987 book into our honours law thesis in 1989 called A Legal Foundation for Aboriginal Land Rights around the nascent concept of Native Title which was in fact recognised by the High Court of Australia 3 years later in Dec 1992. The famous Mabo Case and surely a hero of the age. But in 1989 we never quite nailed down what Australia was legally because the British empire had officially 'conquered' some of their global dominion in which case local people's land law continued in some form say under a treaty like Waitangi in NZ, and 'settled' other 'empty' land. But Australia seemed to be "sui generis" which is latin meaning "one of a kind" mentioned in some of the writings in dusty old common law cases from India and South Africa. 

Now we conclude Australia was neither empty/settled or peopled/conquered in the minds of the UK seat of government. We personally have no doubt it was a covert creeping invasion and consquest using convicts as the catspaw of the Empire. It was invaded by convict criminals sent in with sickness and violence to clear out whatever they came across. All very convenient and racist to not even formalise an international legal categorisation for the hapless Aborigines who lived so very close to nature.

In 1993-4 we played an active role at least here in NSW in reforming The Wilderness Society's national approach to such issues into a quite strong and ethical Land & Rights Policy which prefaced alliances over such campaigns in Starcke and Jabiluka of the 1990ies with Traditional Aboriginal owners of land. (We were not the instigator of such a reform, rather this was a couple Larry and Marg from memory, but we loved the change.) This was in a time when Noel Pearson was pretty friendly to the non govt group too. 

The essence of the TWS reformed policy was to recognise large intact natural areas known as wilderness under the NSW 1987 legislation as in fact Indigenous land, and secondly while never walking away from the goal to conserve such lands, to never seek to pre emtively extinguish that traditional, custodial Indigenous history in any deal making with other stakeholders in land such as govt, agri or other resource extraction industries.

One implication of that huge symbolic shift was that it could theoretically involve the TWS both supporting a native title holder's ownership and at the same time campaigning against them if they sought to act as a vandalistic black developer of crucial conservation values. This was a risk deemed essential in a new moral path for the green movement and for the nation post Mabo. It felt right and it was right.

5 years later 1997 we realised the game of covert extinguishment was still under way in NSW but this time by the NSW Govt Depts,  farmers and also either using or willingly with the aid of certain green groups.

Indeed the name of the game in conservative politics under the federal Howard govt was extinguishment of the Mabo legal test of 'ongoing physical connection with the land' and in the most redneck parts of the nation it looked like the bulldozer was the preferred method as here in Qld:

And not just the bulldozer to ensure extinguishment of native title with ongoing agri industry pressure on govt for corporate welfare via freeholding of govt leasehold land to the non indigenous squattocracy of the Western Division here:

And the farmers had their reasons to seek out their "bucket loads of extinguishment" as the Howard Govt proudly expressed in Federal Parliament, if they didn't care about the morals, because they knew they were being stalked legally after Mabo and after the Wik case earlier like this report dated April 2000:

This particular legal saga was trashed by the High Court of Australia in August 2002 as explained here [pdf file]

Native Title and the Western Division of NSW

eventually raising the question whether all that pre emptive land clearing was really needed in either NSW (see one report of the sorry landclearing detail here) or Qld (above) up to that point.

In 1997 the green groups were not to know how the legals would work out not least after the Federal Court decision in favour of the native title claim relevant to a huge areas of western NSW.

It was in this context that the 'leaders' of the NSW green movement were summonsed to this:

We particularly remember Jeff Angel blessing these endeavours by Jamie Piddock and being "very impressed" for franchising the idea of "clearing tradeoffs" by farmers. Jeff's blessing some 10 years ago is in stark contrast to some quotes in the press last Saturday Dec 15th 07 (below). Not a mention of native title extinguishment. Not a mention except by this writer as confirmed by the contemporaneous notes of the time. Here is Piddock's briefing note of this 'environmental' initiative to keep the farmers happy, and sideline the Blacks altogether (and note our very bad handwriting):


Our alarm at this attempt to promote trade offs of one area of native bush for another, after 200 years of land clearing and a general scientific understanding that no more land clearing was desirable in Australia at all, let alone to extinguish critical historical native title rights, and with a green stamp on them was pretty much ignored. This was a shameful day for the NSW green movment with Jeff Angel ascendant. Hence the careful notation of the documentation and signature and dating by hand above. Angel in particular should account for this (while Jamie Piddock is God knows where). Not least because he was busy on ABC radio last Saturday morning Dec 15th and in the Sydney Morning Herald with pretty much the direct opposite view against exactly this kind of 'bio banking tradeoff land clearing in favour of regional conservation outcomes' which the govt jargon for green lighting, greenwashing developer bush clearance.


In principle 1997 good, 2007 bad? Western NSW 'Black Land' good. Sydney urban bushland bad? Go figure. This may be what Jeff Angel said on 702 on air to be 'good in principle, its the implementation that matterrs'.

Angel is clearly right in 2007. But he was woefully wrong in 1997 so what's changed? Bob Carr is no longer premier is one significant factor. The ascendancy of the far more independent and fiesty Green Party is another.

Are you reading this Warren Mundine, prominent in the NSW ALP?

Some of us have a long memory about such things and we can prove it. Here is some of our confidential briefing notes of that shameful May 12 1997 cave in to redneck land clearing deal to further oust the Blacks from the Western Division:







Posted by editor at 9:58 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007 3:42 PM EADT
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Into the Wild to heal, just don't eat the wrong plant, remember the mosquito net
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: culture


Sean Penn’s film Into the Wild featuring Emile Hirsch as Christopher Johnson McCandless (CM) is a gem. We are told this officially by Margaret Pomeranz (5 stars) and David Stratton (4.5 stars) on the ABC Movie Show (linked below). It's based on the book by Jon Krakauer who also wrote the cracking Into Thin Air about another tragedy and Jon knows his stuff, both nature and people with the courage to be honest about both.


We took in the gentle non fiction masterpiece like a long drink of tea after a cycle, which was also the case, at Dendy Newtown Saturday night, smallish theatre ¾ full.



Play video Rated M

The first thing about the story line is that it’s a tragedy. Ours and his. You know he dies young almost from the beginning when his acute mind has barely fully formed. A 24 year old blade, A-grade student of literature, 'destined for Harvard law school' but actually an emotionally brittle young man with the wit to seek to heal himself … if he can. This is the story of his courageous battle to do just that. It's his courage which is so admirable.



We 'know' McCandless like many other young men will see themselves at least in part embracing wild nature, adventure, feral camp living as an antidote to the “hypocrisy of parents, politicians and society”.


Actor - Emile Hirsch


Some movie reviewers in their arty farty milieu (we imagine wine glass in hand on polished floor boards) have reacted against “the extremism” of McCandless’s fate poisoned it seems by a poor choice of forest herb having incorrectly read his edible botany manual, perhaps driven astray by painful hunger itself.


So let me explain as best I can. The young man, a child really, does his best in simpatico with the mainstream that inspiring Sicilian American student leader Mario Savio in Berkley in the Sixties called “the odious machine”: An economically focused career producing education system (aka sausage maker). Significantly Savio became a bookshop owner immersed in ideas his whole life. CM (or alter ego Alexander Supertramp over the 2 year chronology) has his love of books too and realises by the end of college his 'success' as Bob Dylan sings is “no success at all”. Why so? Certainly it was not his own choice and lacks ambition over the seriously big questions of our time. CM is not in fact a drop out, he want's to change all society starting with himself first. And as Paul Kelly song goes if he falls others are rising.


Mario Savio on Sproul Hall steps, 1966
Mario Savio on Sproul Hall steps, 1966


Predictably CM has some big neuroses to work through. Made bigger by his sensitive antennae. The family has secrets and unhealthy dynamics and CM can’t grow emotionally without resolutions. GM needs to metamorphose into an adult phase with sutiable calibrations on his emotional equipment for the full life journey. His parents settings might have gotten them through with bumps and scrapes but can’t sustain a bright intellect like CM much past teens dealing with whole new issues. CM like all annoying kids sees all the falsity but not perhaps the validity in their time. CM's trouble, and our Trouble, is he has his own life and time to negotiate, and the parents world view won’t fit. Their pain is to not accept this disjunction, that times are "a changin'".


Indeed our times have desperate inequality in Africa as CM studies, and of frivolous material "things" that we imgine CM finds contrary to ecological sustainability, though the film avoids any environmental prosletizing. CM is primarily a humanist who despairs for humanity. A very logical rational insight into present predicaments, albeit a taboo especially around 1992 (the year we started our own ecological activism). (We had a similar crudely formed insight as a young bloke in 1982 - and this is really true - along the lines of 'at this rate humanity will choke on itself' when deciding what direction to take just out of high school here in Australia.)


This is the critical point: CM needed to find and build a new spiritual reality, because such a mind was heading for self destruction from addiction or madness anyway if he didn't. That's the hard truth of the matter. It may indeed be a comfort to his grieving parents to know CM almost certainly learned to pursue his quest for “truth” from them by example in their highly contested way. It’s to CM’s credit that he chose “the truth” of nature above all of the other destructive imposters and diversions. And in a sense, if you prefer, it is God’s creation which indeed is beautiful, highly sophisticated, intricate, safe and quite satisfying “if you know how to look at it”. The converse can prove just as true.


So CM goes looking for this solid believable ‘truth of nature’ (just as this writer studied zoology to balance law) in contrast to classrooms, emotionally violent parents, shallow materialism, like so many before and will in the future ..... presumably to heal: There is an anecdote about WW2 veterans working in the Tasmanian forests building railroads, or whatever, just going walkabout and sucking up the life in nature to revitalise after the deathly horrors. Then there are the Vietnam War Vets up North Qld way similarly recovering in quiet bush camp surrounds. CM is no different. Paddling the rapids of the Colorado River, surviving if he can, and such a metaphor for a screwed up family.


The production values are great in this movie and we expect no less from Penn these days after Mystic River etc. The music is good with Eddy Vedder of Pearl Jam fame, with his own travails in earlier life and of a similar vintage, to match 'a grunge' paradigm of drop outs and lovable Euro hippies communing with nature. We kept thinking the theme would morph into a recent inspired version of Somwhere Over the Rainbow  here on YouTube by Israel Kamakawiwo Ole.


Eddie Vedder on stage with Pearl Jam in Pistoia, Italy on September 20, 2006.

Eddie Vedder on stage with Pearl Jam in Pistoia, Italy
 on September 20, 2006.



CM is essentially right about many things well portrayed. Excess material things are ridiculous when ‘it’s the ecology stupid’ to quote Steve Biddulph in the Sydney Morning Herald recently. CM is also a human being whose very nature even amongst the smartest of us is to make sometimes fatal mistakes. We are a herd animal for the reason we avoid many dangers that way by sharing information. CM could have survived  the winter but had too much to learn in too short a time with too much faith in his undoubted intellect, youthful strength and book learning. If he’d had one native Indian friend with some indigenous wisdom he would be alive today.


We first felt an echo of our own experience in an early scene with CM stepping away from a car ride into 2 feet of snow at the edge of the Alaskan wild. Just glad to step away from the normal traditional world of material power and comfort. He’s off to explore but mainly we believe to rebuild his sensory and philosophical instrumentation to carry him through what he thinks will be say another 50 years. He doesn’t expect to die but on the other hand he knows when it’s coming which surely is a blessing : To make peace with death.


Picture: Kokoda map we had laminated after solo trek in 1990. 6 days of malaria was a bummer, glad to get home but a great experience. We got lost about 8 km west of here, alot easier than you might think from the deceptive lines above. Rescued by local 'nationals' (the ones not carrying guns).


Our echo was 1990 in the hot steaming jungle of Papua New Guinea, just out from a village called Sogeri, fatefully without a mosquito net. 2 bouts of malaria and 17 years later we still sleep under a mosquito net not wanting to be the first to suffer malaria, Ross River or Barmah Fever out of the local Cooks River in Marrickville, which is surely coming in the age of global warming.


The dangerous river crossing with heavy pack that can drown you. The fear of wildlife and the odd gun toting local. The incredible beauty as a reward for endeavour. We remember the thrill of life again after feeling like a perfectly red apple yet brown and bruised inside after a childhood of contradictions.


The message of Into the Wild is actually a pretty simple one and well worth the time. Humans make mistakes. Some of us die testing ourselves. Even the best and smartest. Those that make it grow and get stronger building on a sensory and philosophical experience that we can trust and that works for this age, not the past. Such people are worthy leaders and CM was potentially one of those. In fact he still is because his facility with words and writing means he never actually quite left especially with Krakauer's book and Sean Penn’s skills as a film maker.


And that’s why I think the movie reminds me of the essentially hopeful tune “Somewhere over the rainbow”. He died young, but you can’t say he didn’t live a great time.  And for all those mortified parents out there one advantage of today is the internet means you can’t ever really lose contact directly or indirectly even as a powerless voyeur on the progress of your little bundle of joy. Back in 1992 there was only snail mail. These days we have blogs, and similar expressions of self of greater or lesser palatability.


In conclusion we agree children should not simply live the life of their parents for very sound reasons, and they should live as simply as they can.


Thanks to the community radio sector for the ticket with this film review offered in the same spirit.


Picture: wonderful Mt Aspring south island NZ a tad under 13,000 feet, climbed in 1989 by the main face. 



Postscript #1 24th December 2007


The big Fairfax media in the wake (?) of this piece have run a prominent page 3 picture story the Saturday before Christmas dated 22nd December 2007 about such "a leader" out of the discipline of the law and journalism in fact (hence the sympathy), not so different to the example of Christopher McCandless. As we like to say, getting arrested usually sorts the wheat from the chaff and so it is with this youngish well educated activist who clearly 'does not lack ambition' by simply taking a less travelled path:



in Tree-sitting activist wins high praise from judge referring to the precocious 23-year-old Ms Holly Creenaune here. Take a bow Sean Penn for helping make the space for such acknowledgement mainstream to fringe.

Posted by editor at 7:02 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 24 December 2007 9:32 AM EADT
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Stairway to Heaven in the age of dangerous climate
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: globalWarming


It's getting hot at the Bali UN conference on global warming apparently, going into extra time and all this Saturday Dec 15th 07.

There is another parallel seemingly unrelated global phenomenon going on too with aging rock music fans lapping up the Led Zeppelin reunion concert (see below). Many of us are thinking whoa, if they can pull it off maybe anything is possible? 

See list of various clips from YouTube here

Indeed what are the politics of the commanding Led Zeppelin reunion concert?? Politics? Aw come on, its a pop music show, it's not politics.

Well maybe, and maybe not. There is certainly something subliminal going on here in our western pop culture of interest to anyone in politics.

Stairway to Heaven their signature tune, amongst some other gems, is running at 835,434 views on YouTube since its posting Dec 10th, which presumably is early Dec 10th 2007. Only 5 days.

We are not sure how this compares with other big listings on YouTube having seen some at say 4 or 5 million views but only after a long time. We suggest 800K in 4 days is huge. It's gone up 200K in the last 36 hours.

Is this just music industry marketing significance? Certainly it's clever marketing for the copright owners to allow it up on YouTube because it's mere phone camera quality and just whet's the appetite to buy the real DVD.

The quality US politcial insider press apparently runs this reported quote:

The Washington Post claimed that, “By the time they finish their second and third songs — ‘Ramble On’ and ‘Black Dog’ — it is becoming clear that, even if they are not gods who walk the Earth as men, these are no mere mortals before us. And this is going to be no mere rock show. We are witnessing history.” The Wall Street Journal reported that Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham, Zeppelin’s original drummer, who died in 1980, “mixed their brand of rock and metal with an authority that suggested they still might be the best rock band in the world.”

Consider this in the public political domain:

- Led Zeppelin play their first recorded song 1st album called Good Times Bad Times of 1969 as their opening tune in London 4 days ago. Does that title resonate beyond its surface meaning?  We are in good and bad times when it comes to impending dangerous climate change. In fact the opening stanza are Viking style thunderclaps presaging a fatal ice storm of the US mid west or massive hail damage here in Sydney

- Plant and Page in particular as lead singer and guitarist respectively present as your archetypal hippy musos, as brilliant as they are. With all that heavy rock they would still fit in easily to your local hippy flower power organic produce market scene.

- They embody a more hopeful, yet also intensely serious time of the Vietnam War tragedy, a time of social change and flux of the 60ies and 70ies. Much like this documentary of idealistic Berkley in the Sixtes.

- Their recent London location for their reunion concert success is a place protected from sea rise by the Thames Barrier, and world wide interest tells you at least quite alot of people want to feel like they did 40 years ago when another future seemed quite possible.

- The concert was a charity event for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund in the name of their friend and original promoter, as a homage to him. Education as a public value in itself. Quite a hint about climate ignorance in fact, intended or not.

- in terms of frugality to match the times, it played to a humble 20,000 fans when 20 million wanted to see them. Hence all the calls for a concert tour. There is a profound metaphor in all this. Manage with less, not more. The old ways of extravagant excess have to end. That's a good philosophy in the age of the threat of dangerous climate change. Don't fly to the concert. Watch it on YouTube at least in part. Even people helping themselves via YouTube to experience the event rather relying on some monolithic agency to organise it for them. Sounds like random action little people are taking all over the place to halt global warming.

Methinks like many seemingly humdrum things, this concert, has turned out to be a political event, intended or otherwise. Not for open prosletising but for Led Zep phenomenon being what it is. For being themselves.

We wrote elsewhere too about this beaut Plant/Krause bluegrass duet from their recent album Raising Sand (another oblique hint about our situation?) called:


which sounds so much like the Bob Dylan 'get your mojo back" Time out of Mind album.




It's no surprise to us 'Planty', as I have now dubbed him in the Aussie style, is progressing that gentle music with sweet Alison Krause, ie her ying to his yang. It does really work. After to listening to that track in particular you would have to be made of stone to think there is no spirituality in Plant's return to the public stage.

This morning Don Henry, as director of the Australian Conservation Foundation has said "the truth is there are few angels on the ground here" at the extra time in the Bali UN Framework on Climate Change Conference: 10 am ABC radio news, Sydney Australia Dec 15th 2007.

Few "angels" on a



It just might be a sound track to the end of our climate and maybe us. Or as the evolutionary biologists like Harvard professor E O Wilson put it 'the best and worst of times for all creation'. May God have mercy on us.

Posted by editor at 10:26 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007 12:01 PM EADT
Tim Blair, Tele opinion editor, baits victorious Left with implied anti semitism smear
Mood:  sad
Topic: big media

As a preface to such a sensitive topic we note a profound belief that there are many, many lovable Arabic and Jewish folks in the world, no doubt, both here in Australia, world wide and in the Middle East.

That being said:

What does a right wing Howard screamer like Blair do when he's got nothing left to win an argument with? Not an election result. Not a PM patron. Not a shred of scientific credibility on dangerous climate change. Iraq war tragedy? Nope.

Well today we know - Tim Blair goes the low rent smear conflating the disturbing consequences of Zionist Extremism based on theorcratic arrogance, as distinct from WW2 imperatives, with emotional blackmail about alleged left wing racist global Jewish conspiracies: Here it is

Tim Blair: My trip to the heart of Jewness

As always the cunning of 'News' (maybe) 'Limited' (so apt) shriekers is a grain of truth to his smear. At the far reaches of the Left and of the Right the tail of the snake touches the mouth as the political spectrum actually does a twirl on itself, like one of those lectures on the space time continuum (where space is a sheet of paper and then folded on itself front to end).

Recently we wrote to a contact who has been drawn into the Sept 11 "truth movement" as follows, and we feel this is instructive to the Green and Left movements having actually been elected for 4 years in a significantly Jewish part of Sydney 1995 to 1999 where we needed to find our own moral equilibrium in such a comunity:

Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 8:12 AM
Subject: unconvinced so far, tease out a few things here Re: Reply to yours

... Your views about a false flag operation are noted. But I'm not convinced on my limited information. Yeah know about King David Hotel and the ultra violent MO of Zionism. I also am vaguely aware that the middle east people allied to the Nazis at some stage in the 2nd WW for geo politic positioning. This especially is a critical aspect of the fall out to hold onto.
So my overall view about the situation in the middle east is tens of millions died world wide, mostly russians and the world's borders changed for a reason. Winners and losers. The right winners. The right losers as regards Nazism.There was always going to be a redefinition post WW2 huge disruption. Regardless of 2000 years plus of history. Even 4000 years.
That being said little people should not suffer pre emptory eviction in hundreds of thousands, and theocratic/racist states are bound to tend toward fascism. My feeling is Israel acts out as a nation the holocaust on itself in perverse and fearful ways. Bullied becomes the bully. Nothing new under the sun.
Back to false flag views - Those planes just taking off with excess fuel can melt steel like butter. I've seen a petrol tanker 50% vapourised. I'm no engineer but I wonder because never in history has two planes done that ever, thus common sense tells me unexpected consequences. Like the chain reaction of a 1,500 degree celsius fire, with steel girders like logs of wood.
Secondly as best I can tell Osama and his folks pretty much take credit for the attack on 'The Great Devil'. Maybe not direct credit. I'm not sure. But pretty keen. I don't think it's wise to be too naive about engineer Osama. I was in a youth Hostel in an obscure part of Ireland 5 years back and Muslim prayer group was there on a retreat. I was with a girlfriend. I had a friendly chat with the mufti and he said "but you are married?" given we were in the same room, asking twice. He was happy to talk to a curious accent Aussie but he made it very clear there was only one acceptable answer. I told him "yes". It was a lie he felt quite comfortable with because he wanted to like me. I have no regrets lying. ...
The point is our religious friend had intolerant fascist tendencies, not so different to extremist Christians. I always take people as I find them, any colour race or creed. I found that particular cultural view impertinent and stupid. If you do a mind experiment and extrapolate it leads to many possibilites.
As Christian Kerr in his right wing attitude prods me and others, the Islamofascist would kill us off as soon as their main enemies if it was practical or convenient. Remember those pleas of the sisterhood late 90ies 2000 pre WTC to save the sisters under the heel of the Taliban fascists. I don't agree with Kerr on many things but he's got a point. A serious point. Extremism. It's ugly and unacceptable both Right and Left.
Anyay there's my analysis, 15 years in the media analysis business. I was working as a night shift reader analyst for Media Monitors that night Sept 11 01, but it wasn't until next [24 hour] cycle the Fin Review ran front page the jumpers. A shocking editorial choice but a good one because it was their financial people jumping.
Even so, far more die everyday elsewhere. As Sean Penn says the absence of the WTC let light in. Pretty profound and disturbing comment that.
Cheers Tom (editor!)
PS As to the bright worthy writers on the middle east, thanks but too little time. My strategic view is its a whirlpool of confusion like most violent neurosis that sucks the energy of everyone dry. Also its not my fight not being of the relevant ethnicity. But I take a definite interest out of common humanity and secondly the nukes mean 'we and our environment all live in the middle east'. Re read violent neurosis comment again. It's like .... a self sustaining unhealthy catch 22: The fighters are psychologically too damaged to see beyond the tit for tat. Gandhi was right.
Earlier I had written of a secular Jewish academic and human rights campaigner by the name of Uri Davis in Wikipedia here. Uri Davis pretty much demolishes the ignorance of such as Tim Blair here:
Uri Davis - Against Israeli Apartheid - for Freedom and Justice in ...
How does Tim Blair actually deal with the Israel as Aparthied state thesis? Israel apparently has no written constitution upon which a fair and objective land law could be developed. This is Uri Davis's big point.
Assuming its true which we do, then Blair's attack falls in a great heap. It may well be that Blair is the racist by airbrushing the humanitarian claims of millions of Arabic people when advocating for a safe homeland for Jewry post WW2.

Posted by editor at 8:43 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007 10:10 AM EADT
Friday, 14 December 2007
Get Up show their mettle post election, take a stand on Tas pulp mill saga
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: ecology

[Repost direct email from Get Up dated 13th Dec 07 timed at 3.23pm and again at 6.24 pm to our inbox. Crikey.com.au are reporting an inside tip that the ANZ are against financing the project (?). Could it really be true?]

Dear friends,

Right now, in a skyscraper in Melbourne the fate of the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar Valley is being decided by ANZ bank executives - and with your help we can make sure ANZ makes the right decision at their AGM next Tuesday and beyond.

The ANZ bank is considering financing Gunns' controversial pulp mill this week. Despite having the short-sighted approval of the new Labor Government, without a financial backer the project simply can't go ahead. Banks aren't answerable to the voters but they do listen when customers, shareholders and the public put their reputation at risk.

Our contacts inside the ANZ have told us that the ANZ decision-makers like the new head of the ANZ Mr Smith are actively listening and now this is the time to add your voice. Can you send a message to Mr Smith, to encourage him to do the right thing and not finance the Gunns pulp mill?


Public pressure has been proven to make large corporations act more ethically, for fear of tarnishing the company's reputation and customer backlash - that's why ANZ is feverishly considering the implications before they approve the mill's finance. Let's leave them with no doubt that bankrolling this environmentally disastrous development would be equally disastrous for them.

Your email to Mr Smith at ANZ could save the equivalent of 2.3 million cars being taken off the road each year. 25,000 of you have already written submissions to the government inquiry, but whereas our politicians were too worried about losing votes, your email to ANZ will help make financing this project risky business:


The Government has so far failed us on the pulp mill, by refusing to listen to the tens of thousands of Australians outraged by this ill-conceived development - the ANZ can't afford to be as foolish. This could be our urgent last chance to stop the pulp mill - the ANZ AGM is next Tuesday, and we want every executive to enter that meeting knowing Australia does not want them to become a climate villain.

Thanks for being a part of the solution,
The GetUp team

PS - Both the new Climate Change Minister Penny Wong and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore are taking your climate concerns direct to Bali! GetUp met with Penny Wong on her way to the climate negotiations to give her the 96,000-signature climate petition. Read our Blog!

Posted by editor at 3:01 PM EADT
NSW power sale: Will public sector unions officially shift to The Greens?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: Is Michael Costa considering a career with Macquarie Bank after politics like Bob Carr, and will the Bank participate in the privatisation feeding frenzy?    


We hear on the ABC radio news hourly bulletin at 1 pm 14 Dec 07 via Treasurer Costa that the power privatisation decision of the Iemma Govt is "final". This is the same Costa who it might be said has never faced the people for election in his own personal capacity having come up through the union ranks to a cosy spot in the Upper House ticket to get his parliamentary pension.


There has even been talk Costa is keen to retire before the next election, even by 2009:

The big if: is Premier ready to cut and run? - National - smh.com.au

That is, even as the ranks of opponents move against the sell off gather steam as here reported yesterday

Forces gather against power privatisation - National - smh.com.au

and today

Builders to fight power privatisation | The Australian

Costa patronisingly tells the unions they have no role in this because it's "final".

Time will tell. The pro public sector unions have some serious decisions to make about where the ALP, their party, are coming from.

Meanwhile the Green Party are going as fast as they can to campaign against the sell off of the huge public assets:

Greens launch "Public Power" campaign to stop electricity sale

Media Release: 13 December 2007

Greens NSW MP John Kaye today unveiled his party's posters, badges, web site and other materials as part of their campaign to stop the NSW government's privatisation of the electricity industry.

Dr Kaye said: "Premier Morris Iemma has badly underestimated community opposition to electricity industry privatisation.

"We will be working along side unions and community groups to turn that opposition into action.

"It is not too late to stop the privatisation of the electricity retailers and the long term lease of the generators.

"The Iemma government is trying to use the holiday season to get away with this unpopular move. No doubt they are hoping that voters will be distracted by celebrations with family, friends and colleagues.

"The Greens will be putting up posters and distributing fliers to remind Christmas shoppers that while they are celebrating, Premier Iemma and his Treasurer Michael Costa will be busy selling off their electricity industry.

"Today we are also launching our website, john.greens.org.au/privatisation, that equips visitors with the arguments against privatisation and allows them to send a click-and-protest anti-privatisation message to Premier Iemma.

"Last weekend the State Conference of the Greens NSW voted to establish a No Privatisation Working Group. The level of outrage within the membership stems not only from the greenhouse impacts of the sell-off but also the loss of jobs and the damage to consumers.

"We want Labor party leaders to know how angry the community is.

"The Federal Coalition was swept aside by the Your Rights at Work campaign.

"The Iemma government should be very afraid that the determined combination of community power and organisation does not send them to the same fate as John Howard's administration," Dr Kaye said.

Visit the Greens anti-privatisation campaign at: john.greens.org.au/privatisation

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

In our local area we wonder whether the ALP members of parliament are too well off and comfortable to really know what little people want anymore. For instance what is Federal Infrastructure Minister Albanese's attitude to the sell off, from the Left of the party? He's very quiet just as he is very quiet about the massive expansion of Port Botany impacts on his seat of Grayndler.

If you look at p3 of the The Glebe 6th December 2007 you will notice this article:


It's very revealing of Minister Albanese's anxiety to prove his battler Left credentials. Indeed it could be more than a coincidental response to this humble micro news website 24 Nov 07:



What this 'humble origins' PR completely fails to recognise is that he is a millionaire based on he and wife's combined career Lefty Big Party income. This affluence definitely pisses off some in the local Left ranks. All it needs is a kick along. The
'millionaire representative MP for Grayndler.'
'Forgotten where he's from'.
'Lost touch with poor people'.
'Doesn't know what it feels like anymore for the little people'.
'In it for himself'.
All that kind of sledging. Arguably quite true and not just one ALP MP. Certainly Albanese seems sensitive about it. All that dosh.
As the momentum in the local area for rampant development - differentially enriching the ALP mates in the business sector at the expense of their resident's amenity and health takes hold- then this stark contrast between rich slippery talking pollie on fat wage and those copping the downside may generate a serious voter backlash. Of course it's a taboo subject for the overpaid mainstream media, and the pollies themselves but its bound to influence people the more they think about it.
Enough anger to unrust the Left ALP voters to the Greens? 


It is about financial envy, and it is about punishing the so called 'meritocracy' but only because no individual needs that much affluence to live in a crowded inequitable world. It's basically an affront to equity that these MPs are climbing on the shoulders of the local little people, while always claiming to help them. Not as Rudd's Infrastructure Minister he won't be. He will be building big road tunnels through his own seat.


This is why Minister Albanese has to parade his humble origins in the letter above, while CBD Mayor Clover Moore donates her second wage to charity. The perception the 'pigs are walking on their hind legs' just like Animal Farm starting to behave like the farmer, that is the bosses party (the Liberals). One wonders if that is the case with Treasurer Costa as well telling the unions the govt decision is "final".


But The Greens for instance have to be up for the argument. They have to have their own moderate finances in order.  The ALP Left will squeal blue murder because it's potentially a winning brutal and personal argument that will peel their wings off in the local power stakes especially with the rusted on poor ALP voters who are on traditional riding orders parent to child to always vote ALP.

Anyway that's one analysis how to replace the rotten ALP borough and their patronage and access machine deliverying for the big end of town and bugger the little people.

Posted by editor at 1:38 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007 3:07 PM EADT
Sydney University maintain 6 month access ban on SAM community media post federal election
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: independent media


We recently corresponded with the senior folks at Sydney University as follows, and refer especially the part in bold near the end. Photos are all from the great pro education rally 2nd May 2007 Sydney University front lawns and down Broadway meeting other campus groups and into the CBD. One image is a rally organiser Corinne Grant formerly of the Glasshouse abc tv show. There was very little mainstream Big Media coverage of the event, as expected, hence our attendance:


Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 1:19 PM
Subject: Tom McLoughlin community media 2nd May 2007 USYD campus student education rally

Without prejudice


Professor Jeremy, USYD
CC Richard Fisher, general counsel USYD
Michael Conaty, NSW Ombudsman, investigating officer
By email
3rd December 2007
Dear Professor

Breach of norms of free press community media on campus at student education rally 2nd May 2007

I refer to your letter of Nov 15 2007 offering to reinstate my general public licence to attend the campus.


Thanks for your contact just prior to the federal election. I am copying in Richard Fisher based on previous exchange of correspondence and also Michael Conaty at the Ombudsman's Office for reasons that will be apparent.


1. My first letter was 2nd May 07 via electronic email with revealing photos therein. USYD have only responded 6 months later by your letter of 15 November 07. .... Frankly I don't buy the convenient excuses about miscommunication there at USYD.  A cynic would say this was only due to the eventual involvement of Conaty at the Ombudsman's office and on that we hang our hat.


2. With due respect you start out 2nd paragraph asserting the "private property" status of the front lawns there. To my mind (High Distinction in Land Registration at ANU in 1985!) this looks like shallow posturing. Everyone knows the Uni is massively publicly subsidised thus the reliance not on private trespass laws but the statutory Inclosed Lands Act just like Darling Harbour and Opera House etc which is your legal right. So yes it is quasi private, but conversely it is quasi public. Hence the whole public licence/termination regulatory regime.


3. That being said I prefer to not bandy legal niceties of land tenure with you. I'm busy, no doubt you are to.


4. The truth of the incident whether in your reports or not is that at law I don't need permission 'to photograph without consent' as you put it. Further, to be entirely accurate I was asked my name as I moved on to the gathering of students and their rally which was the next newsworthy location some 30 metres away. Your man tried to run interference by holding me up to get my name in his little note book, and I said "You can walk with me. I am working." He didn't follow me into the midst of the gathering student protester crowd. Quite wisely I thought.


5. Some 60 minutes later I was surrounded by 4 security as I tried to get my bicycle to leave with the rally. They had been photographing and monitoring my community media work all this time as evidenced by my record and were clearly stalking me for the opportunity to pounce. Only well after the rally was moving off did they demand my name and details. There was some clarifying debate about their legal power and then I gave my solicitor's card with ID. I repeatedly answered the question "Do you have a lawful reason to be on the campus?" with the incredulous response "I'm here to report the student rally for community media. I'm the reporter and editor for Sydney Alternative Media.com."


6. There can be no mistaking the motive and intention of these security staff. It was straight out oppression of free media coverage of the student rally, and of their method of dealing with that student gathering. Very unimpressive in a democracy actually. Your letter 'as you are advised' is in reality an impertinent deception to suggest otherwise.
7. I submit the cancellation of public licence was because of my answer of my purpose for attendance being community media, not the provision or not of ID. That looks quite a dishonest rationale. My ID was provided as evidenced by the cancellation notice itself. Not to mention the menacing threats to arrest me, while standing over and around me simply trying to continue coverage of the rally. In fact it looks highly consistent with the facts that the threats to arrest me were a clumsy attempt to prevent coverage of the strong rally down Broadway.


8. Without doubt given my solicitor status and stated community media role the Termination of Licence Notice was demonstrably not "reasonable in all the circumstances". Again with due respect this is legal bluster and face saving.


9. Having said that, I accept that you are most likely offering in good faith "to withdraw this Notice on receipt of a written undertaking from you to comply with the reasonable inquiries and directions of the University's authorised officers in future". I do so undertake with this email correspondence and without prejudice as to what has occurred on 2nd May 07. On that we do disagree.



10. I am not so naive in this day an age not to accept the proper role of security especially for a vulnerable student body and diverse international concerns. That's accepted. My point remains upon presentation of the solicitor photo ID card that was the time for your over zealous and frankly anti publicity security staff to back off and let me proceed on my way. It could easily have been dealt with by correspondence to resolve any future concerns.


In conclusion Professor, I do believe the USYD remains quite exposed to the claim of staff seeking to constrain public reportage of a potentially very embarrassing student rally (which actually got minimal coverage hence my interest to provide community media profile) some 2 weeks before the highly sensitive federal budget. That we submit is the awkward subtext you cannot avoid.


On the other hand it would be somewhat foolish in diplomatic terms to not acknowledge that since November 24 2007 we do indeed live in somewhat kinder times in terms of debate and dissent. At least that's my provisional view. May it continue to consolidate.

I have submitted to your general counsel an estimate of my legal time/costs in seeking to have what we say is a wrongful termination of licence reversed, and unresponsiveness for a good 6 months in the critical pre federal election period. I press that modest estimate with the University (eg a gratuity/no admission of wrongdoing on your part), to cover my time and effort. In this way I would be willing to withdraw my complaint to the NSW Ombudsman for the perceived legal injury and embarrassment caused in the course of our community media work, as well as the approximately 6 hours now of legal time drafting and settling correspondence about this issue.

Your continuing ban on my attendance at the campus is noted which will take same into its 7th month and to my mind compounds the potential quantum of my legal compensation including via the Ombudsman's office.
Please do not hesitate to contact the writer on tel. 9558 9551 or 0410 558838 to discuss any of the matters above, or by return email (note updated server address).
Yours faithfully,
Tom McLoughlin, solicitor/editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com

Posted by editor at 11:47 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007 2:47 PM EADT
Thursday, 13 December 2007
Led Zeppelin reunion concert on YouTube: Viewer numbers flying along
Mood:  special
Topic: world

The excited flush of the tv news announcers last night on most channels seemed to indicate it was a great show. And when you see the skyrocketing viewer numbers on YouTube and the quality of the soundtrack for these old guys, you just have to shake your head at their impressive command of the art form. And it was a charity show too apparently. Really beaut.

The setlist from their December 10th reunion show in London is as follows:

"Good Times Bad Times"
"Ramble On" (live debut)
"Black Dog"
"In My Time of Dying"
"For Your Life" (live debut)
"Trampled Under Foot"
"Nobody's Fault But Mine"
"No Quarter"
"Since I've Been Loving You"
"Dazed And Confused"
"Stairway To Heaven"
"The Song Remains The Same"
"Misty Mountain Hop"
"Whole Lotta Love"
"Rock And Roll"













Posted by editor at 5:39 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2007 3:36 PM EADT
Latest news from Bali climate change conference ... not
Mood:  blue
Topic: globalWarming


Posted by editor at 5:01 PM EADT

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