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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 22 January 2007
Magistrate O'Shane transcript shows a professional judge, not so Iemma or ABC TV news
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: legal

Last night the 7 pm news carried Premier Iemma (starting to look alot like an Uncle Tom for white supremacists) and his plan to change the NSW Judicial Commission from 3 judges to add 2 members of the community (whatever that means).

Magistrate OShane was again mentioned as a reason for this, but the report failed to mention her recent decision involved evidence of racist provocations resulting in a reaction and assault charges. Iemma and Watkins thought they had OShane on toast until that came out.

SAM's editor obtained a copy of the transcript from the Chief Magistrate's Office. It reveals evidence in different directions and material potentially damaging to the reputations of the witnesses in the case both transit officers and the defendant. In other words there are issues of privacy that on balance mean this writer prefers to not publish the transcript and move on.

Suffice to say my summary of the transcript which I put in correspondence last week reads as follows:

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 2:02 PM
Subject: my view Re: transcript request
I think I will let this detail in the transcript fade rather than web post again subject to Big Media movement. In my view the transcript shows a
- a complexity of health and cultural situation,
- as well as OShane's sophisticated synthesis of the rival evidence going against the officer [....] who lacked corroboration, 
- professionalism of the to and fro process in her court,
- also an astute analysis of the defendant as "getting older" not necessarily getting more innocent
- but yet a sensitive approach to the allegedly more positive trajectory of his life .... hopefully
- a searching interest in the state of the law in terms of appropriate powers of transit officers versus fully trained police.
All in all, a quite satisfying reflection on the Magistrates court, actually. Call me a bleeding heart.
The reported jubilation of the defendant in the press suggests also he was scared he would actually go down before OShane, which bodes well for the authority of that court.
What all this does call up for me is that John Watkins, a sympathetic sensitive pollie till now, has either gone cruelly ambitious, or cynically was seeking to pre empt the police numbers announcement by Debnam today, or is being played by his police dept, or all three.
He is after all Deputy Premier now and power does change people, from my experience having tasted the poison.
Yours truly

Posted by editor at 2:38 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007 8:41 AM EADT
Peace flags are the go at Big Day Out concert?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: peace

SAM's editor as an Aussie of Irish, Italian, German and probably English mixture doesn't mind at all the Union Jack on the Australian Flag being benched, declined, replaced.

Who can forget 1 million Irish dying as the UK exported food for profit from Ireland during the potato famine. And there is the offense to the Original Australians, our Indigenous when they have the Union Jack top left of the flag pushed down on them after the massive pain and suffering of their people, which they have somehow survived.

It's why the Australian Republic needs a new flag. There is one from over in WA which has a boomerang Indigenous theme we quite like too.

Here is a groovy rainbow flag I think is very friendly as an antidote to the race hate white supremacism implicit in the Union Jack, held by two immigrant ladies I met at Turrella in Sydney one morning:

Compare it with the message on the front of the Sydney Daily Telegraph today:


Posted by editor at 12:05 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007 2:28 PM EADT
Sunday, 21 January 2007
Families, kids still oppressed by Dept of Immigration says activist
Mood:  down
Topic: human rights

[Jamal writes about another sympathetic case of human rights violations]

Sent: Sunday, January 21, 2007 2:10 AM

Subject: what happened to the government's promise of “no children in detention”?

The case of Wang Zhen is another good example of the chaotic state of our immigration system.
The family of chinese asylum seeker, Wang Zhen (37 years old) and his wife Chen Mei (34 years old) arrived to Australia 11 years ago. Their 2 children were born in Australia. The husband was caught working and was put in detention. The other members of the family was left outside the detention (because of the government's policy of "no children in detention") on Bridging Visa E, with no rights (no right to work, no Medicare, no other benefits).
Mr Wang applied to be released on Bridging Visa to be reunited with his family. DIMA refused several time.
The wife could not survive without the husband, so she asked DIMA to detain them with her husband. On 21 December 2006, they were put in stage 4,
Villawood detention. The son celebrated his 6th birthday behind detention fences.
The Australian Red Cross rented a flat for them and promised to look after the family if they will be released from detention, but DIMA did not agree yet. The mental status of the whole family was deteriorated further after their detention. They told me that they did not have any chance but to join Mr Wang in detention, after they were enforced to sell all their furniture, could not pay their rent and could not buy food, because of the detention of Mr Wang, and the BVE given to the wife.
The question here: why this young family will not be released and granted permit to work, at the same time that the government is admitting that there is shortage in workforce and thousands of worker is contracted from China? How much is the government spending in keeping this young family in detention, instead of releasing them and allow them to work and pay taxes? And what happened to the government's promise of “no children in detention”?
By the way, there is another Iranian family (husband, wife and son) at Villawood detention.

Please write to the minister (minister@immi.gov.au)  and ask her some of the above simple questions.


Jamal Daoud


Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 7:46 PM
Subject: Your help is needed - write to minister to end the suffering of Aminovs
The case of the partners Aminovs, Samils and Alija, is a very good example of the chaotic state of our immigration system.

The Aminovs arrived (with their son Marat), 10 years ago from the former Soviet Union state of Latvia. They are not Latvian nationals, considered by Latvian authorities as stateless Aliens. They not only did not get access to many services, but were subjected to racial abuse and attacks. After their departure from Latvia, they lost their right to return there, as they were considered Russians. They are not Russians too, so the Russian authorities are considering them as Latvians.

They arrived to Australia 1997. Their application for asylum was rejected, but they could not be deported anywhere because they are stateless.

Recently, and after their son's 5 years marriage to Australian citizen, the son got permanent residence here. They thought that their ordeal finished and they will be granted a visa to stay here with their son, especially that they are stateless and no where to go.

DIMA is claiming that they are entitled for Latvian travel document, as stateless aliens.

The Aminovs are entitled for family re-union visa, as Marat is the only son they are having.

DIMA is admitting that this is the case, but they should apply from overseas, as according to the regulations.

Aminovs, and tens of their friends and supporters, could not convince DIMA officials that they have no country to go to to apply for the family re-union visa.

Their son, Marat, is on brink of collapse. He is receiving anti-depressant medication regularly. His wife terminated pregnancy twice for apparently stress-related problems the whole family is going through for the last decade. She is very scared to try once more at the moment.

The question remains: when will Aminovs, including Australian resident Marat, can start to try to rebuild their life which was shattered after 10 years of fighting to convince DIMA that they deserve protection?

The other question is: where DIMA wants to send Aminovs, who are stateless and will leave behind a young man who needs their support (as they also need his)?

Please write to the minister (xxxx )  and urge her to use her power to grant Samils and Alija Aminovs a humanitarian visa, to end their (and their son's Marat) ordeal.

Thanks and if you need any more info on the issue, please call me on 0421xxxxxxxx and please send me a copy of your letter to send it to the Aminovs' lawyer.

Jamal Daoud

[Contact details can obtained via a request in the comments section below: SAM editor]

Posted by editor at 11:37 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007 7:55 AM EADT
Stabbing the fish, pronate the wrist, rotate grab pull and push, don't kick hard, and above all BREATHE
Mood:  amorous
Topic: peace

It sounds like a Zen guide to tantric sex but it's actually ‘swimming smooth’: There is a DVD by this name however SAM’s editor consulted this web based teacher easier to access:


Swim Technique and Swim Workout Tips


and the links there.


As a 7 year old almost drowned in a beach hole next to Warrnambool’s Middle Island – the place with the curious stone flints, middens and fairy penguins in burrows (with cute sheepdog protectors in the Herald yesterday (offline) and see:




 - until yesterday swimming has always been an enigma.


The frantic dog paddles off the low diving board at the local pool, to the revelation of blowing bubbles via deductive reasoning of a neglected 8 year old ('where does the stale air go?'), decent swimming technique has always been an art form for superior beings or kids who got real swimming lessons. But no longer. I have joined the ranks.


From an enthusiastic groveller in the lap pool, gasping and straining, I met the Swimming Genie again and we made peace.  20 easy laps, break and then another 16 just for fun. Yes the mid life crisis this summer is benign. All those laps also happen to be good for the flabby chin: Being one of those 2 million misanthropics who live alone


Our incredible shrinking households


I don’t exercise the pharyngial muscles nearly enough talking so controlled breathing in swimming is perfect. There is always didgeridoo, a choir or getting out more and socialising. Next year perhaps.


And then there is my set of scales - a cheapie from Big W Rockdale: If  I stand in a certain way it is either 85 or 95 kg. Now that’s a big margin for error. Time for a calibration via the local dollar coin machine but rapidly decreasing flab suggests it’s the lower end.


 Stabbing the fish – its all about keeping your elbow high when hand (actually 'paddle' being hand/forearm to elbow) enter the water to a foot’s depth just in front of the goggles to grab the water and pull at right angles to the pool floor. Never lock elbow. Paddle with bent arm. Face is down, not looking forward, and let your head relax and float to keep the bum and legs up. Don’t kick hard, it's your chest and back that does most of the work. Do this and you will have 'balance' and you will feel like you are 'reaching over the low wall'.


Grab the water with ‘your paddles’, crawling (the Australian Crawl) as if on forearms actually, with hand at 90 degrees to the floor at all times from start to finish: This means pronating the wrist, that is, wrist fully bent back pushing the water when it gets next to the hip at the end.


And rotate, meaning with good technique habits above, you achieve a certain balance and thus can tilt on your lengthwise axis (a bit like an unlucky piglet on a spit): As you paddle the right hand/forearm stroke you can tilt the left high side of your body effortlessly up, which also helps in the side breath when required. Conversely as you paddle with your left hand/forearm stroke you tilt the right side up to breathe. It also means you get to look a bit at the underwater view to the left and right (but not in front because that stuffs your balance from bum and legs falling, which causes drag).


I took the advice and dropped back to the slow lane to even out my technique. And there is one thing they don’t tell you in these PG classified teaching aids. Or rather they call it ‘kinesthetic connection with the water’ but I don’t buy that. It’s sex. All that sliding, breathing and lapping relaxes the body like a good lover after orgasm. There is an intimacy. Talk about relaxing. I’m going back for more, as you do. Who said swimming was boring?

Picture: My choice of relatively quiet cafe on Glebe Point Rd near Glebe Market on Saturday's near Victoria Park swimming pool to dissect the Big Media coverage and enjoy the world music and great furniture, not least this crocodile table from the Sepik River PNG.

Posted by editor at 7:05 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007 8:27 AM EADT
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Bogus Beazley projects his own existential angst in damaging story for Rudd?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: election Oz 2007

It was sad reading Phil Coorey's choreographed piece in the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald today about deposed ALP leader Kim Beazley. The proverbial windbag can't shut up which is really the only loyal thing to do:

Out, but still the party man

Kim Beazley Kim Beazley has no plans to dish dirt, or scorn colleagues, despite feeling he was robbed of his best chance to win the prime ministership, writes Phillip Coorey.

There he is giving oxygen to his extensive experience, which inevitably contrasts with Rudd, as if to annoy the MPs especially in NSW who read Fairfax who dumped him. Sour grapes? He wallows in theories of both parties at risk of existential demise talking himself into a real mess by effectively saying if Iemma wins in NSW (which KB says he will despite shedding MPs like an old cat sheds fur), it will be the end of the Liberal Party forever to then vote for Rudd coming next in election timing, because Howard's Coalition will be out of government everywhere, dodgy branches disintegrating.

How's that for smashing democratic checks and balances, according to KB? Alot of swinging voters might take Beazley at his word and just not vote Rudd after all if Iemma wins in NSW first. 

Is that Beazley's real game here, some faux happy go lucky fatalism as 'a loyal party man' while actually viciously damaging Rudd

1. on his relative inexperience, and

2. putting into stark relief the danger to our democratic fabric by having federal and all states as ALP governments?

KB dithers hopelessly saying on the one hand

- The ALP are very robust even in opposition because they have 100 years of tradition to fall back on while out of government, but

- if they lose the next federal election they will still be cactus because the industrial relations changes will kill the union movment that the ALP so greatly relies on.

That's pretty contradictory actually. It is also hopelessly unsustainable to argue the Liberals, conservatives or whatever, will be finished if the ALP hold every government: First it is intrinsically unstable in a country of democratic tradition and second there is the small matter of a capital strike to such critical affect in so many Latin American countries: Nothing like capital (including commentary via Big Media), withdrawing their participation to cause chaos and voter backlash.

I once got an email from Big Kim back in the late 90's. He wondered if I would get involved in an ALP youth round table on the environment there in Canberra or wherever. You get the feeling at such times you are being checked over for potential talent. But the ALP woodchippers are not for me. Their cynicism, not least Bob Carr, cured me of any patience. You can say logger terrorism has expanded under the federal Howard government, as I do, but it's also State ALP government fascism:

6th Dec 2006 - New paper: Logger terrorism under the Howard federal government

[an update of this paper soon collating a story form Environment Victoria May 2000 entitled "Will the Government wait until someone is killed before it acts on forest violence?" with gruesome bloody picture of a greenie bludgeoned on the head.]

The Melbourne leadership of FoE green group were alarmed at my contemptuous response to Big Kim for the pro woodchipping ALP. But it wasn't meant personally, it was policy.

Now Kim is exhibiting the existential angst he speaks of and it's not a pretty sight seeing him do exactly what Latham in his Diaries in the 2003 and earlier sections accuse him of - two faced presentation. On the one hand all kindness and diplomacy, on the other vicious and underhand.

It doesn't help matters that the story leads in on the sadness of his younger brother's sudden death (which was quite the Shakespearean moment) as if to imply the cruel vote to dump him was the shock that did it. Is KB relying on sympathy for his loss to avoid criticism for the meddlesome content of this article with Coorey? Could KB be so cynical? Well we all know Latham's view.

But I can't otherwise explain this pallid regurgitation by the Fairfax hack - who had a similar tedious regurgitation earlier in the week from Howard's view of the world in a direct feed:


Where indeed is the public curiousity for deposed Kim Beazley amongst the readership, unless Fairfax is making mischief? There is nothing so ex as a soundly defeated ex leader, who has resigned from future politics, and suffering the proverbial relevance deprivation syndrome. It just steals clear air from Rudd who is featured in the foreground of an interesting photo in both the Telegraph and Herald (by different photographers) at a funeral for another silly old bugger Jim Killen with no John Howard in sight:

Survivors of another age say farewell to Killen

Is KB positioning for a deal on the governor generalship? Seems premature, and impertinent. What's his game - make me a promise or I keep running interference? Still the party man in Machiavellian self interest?

No wonder Coorey's article had a tacky hair replacement advert on the flipside page: "More hair or your money back".

Indeed the real political future is covered by Peter Hartcher in another story about "senescent" (love that) Howard needing to implement a reshuffle to match the freshness of Rudd, and his team like Gillard and Garrett:

For a fresh face just make a little nip and tuck

John Howard needs to put some new faces on his ministry if he is to avoid the perception that the Government is simply old and worn out, writes Peter Hartcher.

Mind you I agree there is resonance in the tag "existential problems" vis a vis the Coalition and ALP but for a wholly different reason being the ecologically unravelling world, with a two party preffered method of voting effectively a corrupt gerry mander against The Greens.

How else to explain the desperation of Howard to rely on $370,000 in electioneering from the evil slavish Christian cult extremists in the Exclusive Brethren to keep the Greens out?:

Sect member funded anti-Greens campaign

A MYSTERY Sydney businessman belonging to the Exclusive Brethren sect spent $370,000 on advertisements and pamphlets during the 2004 federal election, according to the Australian Electoral

But Beazley is part of that duopoly problem. The corrupt gerrymander explains why we have the weird unstable pendulum swing federal to state, Coalition to ALP as the electorate desperately seeks neither and tries to orchestrate a neutralisation of both. This is where the old parties are simply defying the political proportionate representation of The Greens as their vote gets bigger and bigger and will only grow as said greenhouse and other unravel takes over.

That is a party not dedicated to the material economy first, but second. People are getting it, not least professional communicator Richard Glover with influence from HSC papers, abc radio, books, and yes the political patronage machine, in this amusing piece:

It's time to come clean about my dirty little secret

Richard Glover Since age 16, I've created 6988 kilograms of greenhouse gases simply by warming my teapot, writes Richard Glover.

( I was already aware of Glover's shift. It has been a long time coming. It happened when he spoke to a climate change expert and you could hear his voice drop an octave at the reality of the threat to civilisation and the world. Welcome aboard Richard at least you know it really is a ship of fools now, rather than just being fooled.)

Get another satisfying life Kim and stay out of the press, in fact leave the country for a while if at all possible as you suggested years back. Or become a true greenie dedicated to good works. That's a worthy philosophical commitment. Those are the real choices. Federal politics is not 'about you' per se anymore. Carr had the same trouble realising he was actually, really,  REJECTED. You say you get it, but the article suggests otherwise. And that goes for your pilot fish like Maxine McKew, that Costello ratbag et al. Don't feed the pilot fish indeed.

It's about the future of the country, a much bigger deal altogether than the Beazley franchisee of brand ALP. No doubt it gets confusing when the family business has appeared synonymous with the matters of state for decades. Appeared Kim, not reality. That's the problem with intergenerational succession, proprietary as distinct from earned, like fluffing your lines at the most painful of moments when credibiliy was THE question.

But no matter. We are all called including Kim Beazley to save this world from the programmed flaw in Humanity: Modifying and destroying our own ecological cradle over all anthropological time. Glover yesterday, KB tomorrow?

Postscript #1

Perhaps related, or coincidentally, Rudd has grasped the gist of this analysis today 22nd January 07.

The Beazler (silly old geezer) interference in the article mentioned above has effectively been skewered by Rudd's launch of a bipartisan national meeting water summit.

The feds are resisting via loud mouth Malcolm Turnbull especially to keep alive the NSW electoral tactics over desal plant and water etc.

The Feds did this to The Greens too, scorning a summit, then holding it on Melbourne Cup day (November 2006). Turnbull claims this was for availability of the Premiers, but methinks it had the virtue of being hidden from view as a backdown to the Greens that Howard is so desperate to close out on Iraq, on greenhouse, on his whole 'senescent' world view.

Now Maxine McKew, senior ex ABC journalist and Beazley booster, has joined Kevin Rudd's staff on the abc radio headlines here this morning.

My story above suggests McKew is 'a Beazley pilot fish' but obviously she has decided to rise to the occasion and works for Rudd as of this morning.

Sure is an interesting time for a political hack like me, and the gears of democracy are really grinding and clunking and indeed proceeding forward in some fashion.

God help Australia too, not least water.

This story re USA military satellites at risk of China missile reach by Sheridan in the Australian is also very important:

p12 Chinese can hit enemies where it really hurts

Greg Sheridan
* January 20, 2007


Posted by editor at 5:30 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007 9:36 AM EADT
China space missile warning to USA to protect their Iranian oil supply
Mood:  blue
Topic: peace

SAM's editor has put 2 and 2 together and realised China is a big oil recipient from Iran. The stories from big media AP and Reuters including via front page of the The Australian today show in a real version of West Wing tv series fiction that China is sending a message to the USA to back off Iran because China have the ability to knock out USA military satellites. This is a very serious situation indeed. The USA military satellites presumably deliver weapons guidance, phones, Global Positioning Systems, echeleon spy surveillance, direct visual photography down to a metre or less, and who knows what else they have in those high tech tin cans up there.  This space missile demo by China is really playing tough and scary. The following 3 links reference the geopolitical reality:

 #1 of 3

China, Iran sign biggest oil & gas deal
(CRI) Updated: 2004-10-31 08:51

China's oil giant Sinopec Group has signed a US$70 billion oil and natural gas agreement with Iran, which is China's biggest energy deal with the No. 2 OPEC producer.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed Thursday, Sinopec Group will buy 250 million tons of liquefied natural gas over 30 years from Iran and develop the giant Yadavaran field.

Iran is also committed to export 150,000 barrels per day of crude oil to China for 25 years at market prices after commissioning of the field.

Iran's oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, who is on a two-day visit to Beijing pursuing closer ties, said Iran is China's biggest oil supplier and wants to be its long-term business partner.

Official figures show that China imported 226 million tons of oil in2003, about 13 percent of which coming from Iran.

Beijing expects to secure foreign energy supplies by the deals for its economy, which has turned China into a major oil importer but suffers severe power shortages.


#2 of 3

U.S. buildup in Persian Gulf, sharper rhetoric take aim at Iran

By Lolita C. Baldor

12:25 a.m. January 17, 2007

WASHINGTON – Provocative words by President Bush and a fresh American military buildup in the Persian Gulf seem to mark a new focus on Iran that could signal another Cold War or even a deadly confrontation."

"As the USS Stennis aircraft carrier began its journey to the Gulf on Tuesday, top administration officials traveling in the region defended the increased U.S. presence there as the only way to impress on Iran that the four-year slog in Iraq has not made America vulnerable.

Sending a second carrier to the Gulf for the first time since 2003 and positioning a Patriot missile battalion in the region, mark a broader U.S. stand in the Middle East at a time when diplomatic efforts with countries such as Iran and Syria have stalled. ...." 


 #3 of 3

China missile strike fuels fear of new arms race

20th January 2007

WESTERN nations fear China has fired the first shot in a post-Cold War arms race in space by destroying without warning one of its own satellites with a ballistic missile. "

The Australian and referencing Reuters and AP


Postscript #1

This story re USA military satellites at risk of China missile reach by Greg Sheridan in The Australian at p12 of the weekend edition, which corroborates my comments about high tech tin cans above:

Chinese can hit enemies where it really hurts

* COMMENT Greg Sheridan * January 20, 2007


Posted by editor at 4:33 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007 9:40 AM EADT
Chaytor convicted for kicking his ex, maybe saving her life, and of being a NSW ALP politician?
Mood:  sad
Topic: election nsw 2007

The big political news leading the press locally is Steven Chaytor NSW ALP MP for Macquarie, a twenty something law graduate is convicted yesterday of 'assault' of his apparently suicidal then girlfriend:  

Labor: the guilty party

 ANNE DAVIES AND JONATHAN PEARLMAN | Conviction of an MP for domestic violence latest scandal to hit Morris Iemma ahead of election.

Chaytor might say, on appeal, in his own mind that the words 'you want violence, I will give you violence' when he kicked her with serious bruising resulting, was a tactic to break her suicidal hysteria and demonstrated determination to kill herself having already reportedly taken poison tablets:

"Ms Njoo admitted trying to kill herself by taking pills after Chaytor, 30, told her their relationship was over. She had accused him of having an affair – which he denied." http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,21087970-5001021,00.html

Not a slap on the face, but a determined circuit breaker none the less. Maybe.

The admissions of suicidal poison pills taken by Ms Njoo, who loyally supported Chaytor's career for some 2 years apparently to the degradation perhaps of her own identity, are significant. They suggest a process of unconcscoius emotional blackmail:  He had a new life as an MP and was growing out of the relationship. She was being left behind and could feel it but not accept it.

Was the kicking to her calf as much a rejection of that emotional blackmail as a disabling? Or the end game of a long process of abusive exploitation of a girlfriend of no further use in a bright prospective political career? (Actually there is nothing to suggest a history of violence in the news to date.) Was it simply an effective act of disabling - so she couldn't get back up to the poison tablets?

What else might he have done faced with an hysterical suicidal, according to his evidence? He could have done nothing, suicide effected, tragedy and been elected. He wasn't that callous. He could have let her take the pills and called an ambulance. Again not so cruelly calculating and reckless.

He could have ... what? Slapped her rather than kick her, once to see if she stopped pill popping. If that didnt' work, slap again so hard she was knocked out? That's unthinkable. But doing nothing also seems a bit theoretical and unrealistic to this writer.

Plenty for an appeal court to work on there.

Chaytor presents as a SNAG (sensitive new age guy), and I think its a sad situation all round. Is there evidence of a history of violence? Doesn't sound like it in the news reports so far.

What is the political history and background of the Magistrate Robert Rabbidge?

This is a proper question: Opposition leader Debnam was on ABC radio news at 6pm last night, then 7pm  tv again, whining about his wife being monstered by "union thugs" playing off the scandal of the Chaytor conviction. Only the vision on ABC TV news showed your well dressed middle class health services people, not "union thugs", not a jostle or elbow in sight. Maybe on other channels but I doubt it. It was opportunism by Debnam like the Debus smear that fell flat in Parliament which I attended at the relevant speeches in the public gallery and front foyer the second time via video link.

But it was an Opposition tactic that played after Chaytor's conviction. As wrong a tactic as it was: Debnam just another greasy politician like Iemma who also over does it with prominent "coward" tag on Chaytor in a complex situation, if one accepts the evidence of both parties.

But electorally it doesn't matter now. Successful appeal or not. The conviction does Chaytor in professionally in the short term, and does feed into the Iemma Govt's deep reputational problem. Even more ethical Fairfax Sydney Morning Herald are over egging the story with bias agaisnt the ALP to a degree listing Kerry Hickey with some mild traffic breaches with  other "EX MPs" when he is still quite in harness and in the same job as Local Government Minister.

Sloppy give away of bias, that.

And notice the predictable gratuitous editorial here:

Editorial: Another day, another scandal for Morris Iemma

with this jarring moralism from Big Media: "For Labor in NSW, bereft of ideas, talent, and energy, good government comes a distant second to the drive for re-election."

As true as this may in the case of the ALP under Iemma, for "good government a distant second" substitute "good honest journalism a distant second to the drive for higher circulation and advertising revenues and excessive pay rates" of the Big Media sector.

In other words profiting from the scandal mongering over the Chaytor and Njoo domestic misfortune via the prominence both major dailies give the story, with very little weight to the fact convicted Chaytor may just have saved Njoo's life: There is something vaguely hypocritical and immoral in the moneyed Big Media preaching on the vices of moneyed Big Politics in our society. No surprises there is a revolving door between the two.

The Daily Telegraph equally hateful of the ALP generally, though quite patriarchal in leanings still ran it front page with very fragile looking Ms Fee Fen Njoo, knowing full well the damage to their brand.

On a personal note this writer can relate to this story: A similar not quite the same painful situation over 20 years ago as a law student. Thankfully no physical violence but plenty of emotional violence. She came from an abusive alcoholic family and had bad habits from that cycle of violence, I had my legacy from an insensitive alcoholic father. We agreed to never see eachother again after breaking up. It was the saddest time of my life. If you haven't been there, then there but for the grace of God, is about right.

On the other hand surviving an awful break up is also character building.

As Billy Joel points out poetically in one of this songs: In the end you forgive yourself. Life goes on and time heals.

It is also why in politics and domestics Gandhi's principles of non violence is my guiding philosophy, if not perfect observance, from when I first read them in 1992 at green group The Wilderness Society (which ran a great TV advert on SBS just before the 9.30 news last night):

Gandhi's ten principles of nonviolence:

1. Humiliating or deliberately provoking your opponent invites violence.

2. Knowing your facts and arguments well helps avoid violence.

3. If you are open about your cause your opponent is less likely to be violent.

4. Look for common ground between you and your opponents to promote trust and understanding.

5. Do not judge others.

6. Trust your opponent. They will sense this trust.

7. Compromise on inessential items to promote resolution.

8. Sincerity helps convert your opponent.

9. By making personal sacrifice you show your sincerity.

10. Avoid exploiting weakness in your opponent. Aim for integrity, not simply to win.

Gandhi nonviolence

And some sincere advice to Mr Chaytor and Ms Njoo if they ever see this: There is a worthwhile life after such a depressing chapter in one's young life. Time does heal, take if from an older head and its not really about how intelligent one is. It's about taking positive action however mundane, as simple as exercise, which gives peace of mind and self respect and then time for the emotions to heal. But it does take time. Hold onto that thought.

Posted by editor at 8:03 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007 10:27 AM EADT
'We have to move the catchment': Ian Cohen MP, Greens
Mood:  on fire
Topic: election nsw 2007

Yesterday super fast thinker/talker Adam Spencer 702 ABC radio announcer did a follow up interview on a big issue of the day, being the impending decision to go ahead with a very expensive desalination plant for water here in Sydney.

ABC TV prime time ran it at 7pm too all building on a front page report in the Daily Telegraph,


Desalination plant for NSW

January 18, 2007 12:00 [web version, but published paper version p1 , left hand column 19th Jan in similar form]

THE controversial desalination plant proposed for Sydney's south to combat record low dam levels may go ahead before the March state elections, the NSW Government says.

reinforcing the influence of that paper but also the significance of the story in the election as Adam Spencer correctly pointed out.

His guest Ian Cohen MP, the Greens was chair of a Paliamentry Committee on sustainable water and it was one of his best interviews when it mattered. Starting calmly then the facts and the passion really started to burn. Cohen has always been able to talk a leg off a chair like most pollies but he was on fire as per the 'emoticon' above:

"There is the energy greenhouse problem of desalination - two steps back and one step forward. It has been raining. Away from Warragamba Dam on the coast here. We have to move the catchment.  It is so disappointing that this government has not instituted a big roll out of rainwater tanks and conservation measures we urged 12 months ago. The Coalition are ahead of Labor on this situation. "

Or words to that effect. It was bloody good stuff there Ian, who can sound a tad flaky. But like his book "Green Fire" he might have some kick in the old batteries yet. His sister in a good ALP mugging joins in the chorus here (as well as abc tv news last night):

19 January 2007

Greens call for level four water restrictions, not desalination plant

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said today that the NSW government could still
avoid building a desalination plant in Sydney by immediately putting all
water users on level four restrictions.

*Level four water restrictions, scrapped by the NSW government in
March last year, would lift water saved to about 30 per cent,* Ms
Rhiannon said.

*The Greens have called on Premier Morris Iemma to reintroduce level
four water restrictions.

*Plans for a desalination plant should be ditched in favour of water
restrictions, stormwater harvesting, recycling and demand management.

*Today*s news that Sydney*s dam water levels are just above 35
per cent would have been the trigger for the introduction of level four
water restrictions under the old water restriction regime.

*In February last year the Iemma government abandoned all plans for
level four restrictions in favour of a desalination plant. It was a
spectacular misreading of what the community wants.

*Level four restrictions ban external watering for domestic users and
limits water use for some businesses and government agencies.

*Details of restrictions are determined by Sydney Water in
consultation with the Drought Management Committee to ensure targets can
be achieved and maintained.

*A federal government supported study last year revealed that two
thirds of Australians support water restrictions. With community
education and compliance monitoring, Sydney could entirely avoid the
need for a desalination plant.

*Instead, the Iemma government completely underestimated the enormous
water savings potential locked up in the community*s willingness to
change habits and use less water.
*Morris Iemma*s desalination plant and aquifer pumping will not be
needed when the drought breaks. In a year of so, they are likely to
become white elephants that have soaked up more than a $1 billion that
could have improved public schools, hospitals and transport,* Ms
Rhiannon said.

For more information: 0427861568

The electoral influence of the Greens on the sustainability of water policy area is reflected by the usually not so sympathetic News Ltd Daily Telegraph which took up their message here:


Desalination unnecessary: Green

January 19, 2007 12:00

INTRODUCING level four water restrictions in NSW would make the building of a desalination plant unnecessary, the NSW Greens said.

And what'$ the difference between a de$alination plant or stricter restrictions? Oh, only about $1billion dollars in taxpayer dollar$. And this is where the famous ALP dependence on the political patrongage of the construction sector both corporate and labour/union comes in, as distinct from say rain tank makers and plumbers: The ALP would demolish and rebuild the Opera House if they thought they could get away with it, just to prove they are good at promoting 'economic activity'.

Trouble is economic activity per se is not probitive of whether it is good or bad for society, like car crashes which make lots of work all round especially if people and car manage to survive the impact. Same with desal plants, the water equivalent of a car crash, to be avoided at all costs?

Posted by editor at 6:55 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 20 January 2007 7:30 AM EADT
'Uni for cash' scandal creates enrolment chaos: Green Party
Mood:  irritated
Topic: election nsw 2007

Media Release 19 January 2007

The Greens today called on NSW Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt to
convene an emergency meeting of her state and territory counterparts
to demand that the Howard government impose a moratorium on full fee
paying University places.

Greens NSW Education Spokesperson and Upper House Candidate John Kaye
said: "The university entrance system has been driven to the edge of
collapse by the Howard government's deregulation of full fee places
and their systematic under-funding of public institutions.

"The quality of tertiary education is being compromised by the Howard
government's grab for cash. Carmel Tebbutt has an obligation to work
with her Labor colleagues in the other states and territories to put
a stop to this undermining of Australia's universities.

"Two years ago the union, student bodies and the Greens warned state
and federal governments that the system would be placed under
unacceptable pressure by deregulation.

"Universities have begun to abandon the coordinated admissions index
system in favour of their own criteria. While this may work for some
courses, it can also produce massively unfair outcomes for many students.

"State and territory ministers have a unique opportunity to stand up
to the federal government and force changes that protect the
integrity of the assessment system and ensure that admission is based
on ability, not wealth.

"So far Carmel Tebbutt and her seven Labor colleagues have been quite
spineless in dealing with federal ministers like Julie Bishop.

"The current crisis gives them the opportunity to display some
serious resolve and, for once, drive the agenda on education.

"If they don't, the next three years will see the collapse of the
university entrance system and the uncontrolled growth of full fee
paying courses," Dr Kaye said.

For more information:   John Kaye 0407 195 455

Posted by editor at 6:51 AM EADT
Friday, 19 January 2007
Mixed motives of F Hannan in sale of Wentworth Courier etc (FPC) to News Ltd ?
Mood:  hungry
Topic: corporates

A segment extracted below (cribbed from subscriber material in the public interest re independent media) ran yesterday in Crikey.com.au. Pascoe is a top ex ch9 reporter who got the boot for being too tough on cosy interests related to the boss or his mates. He has a very fine business mind (though not infallible). It deals with News Ltd gobbling up another media company, F. Hannan’s FPC initially public knowledge back in November as here for magazine titles


News buys magazine stable

November 10, 2006




and then suburban freebie newspapers as here like chunky Wentworth Courier, the bane of local free press in East Sydney for at least 15 years (buying out in turn start up Eastern Suburbs Messenger):


News gets regulator OK to buy newspapers

Helen Westerman, Media Reporter
January 18, 2007




By coincidence I ran into a middle aged business man (never did get his name) at Pine Street Gallery Chippendale about 6 months ago whose daughter was part of a sustainable design exhibition for UTS. We got to chatting. By chance he socialises with the owner of FPC, the Mr Hannan. He sounded credible and quite sober unlike myself (teatotal now).


I said with bravado, next time you see Mr Hannan you let him know we at AMG



publishing suburban freebies Sydney City News, City Hub, Bondi View 'are coming to get him', ho ho (as if), 'by leveraging our 3 titles with a cheaper yet still penetrating advertising rate in the same catchment from say Balmain to Marrickville to eastern beaches'. It was all pretty light hearted given their weekly thick wad of glossy adverts.


I don't for a second think Hannan had a glass jaw on the strength of my somewhat alcohol fuelled gossip to sell out to News Ltd, given everything is for sale 'at the right price', as Kerry Packer once famously said.


 (AMG owner Gibbons claims he will never sell his business 'because he could never work for someone else' and there is some credibility to this given his literary academic qualifications from the USA meaning he likes being a publisher.)


The opening of the media market courtesy the Howard federal government put that price bid on FPC fully in play.


On the other hand Hannan's press business is very profitable having been built on the real estate market, and my considered view is that that market is on a long downward trajectory from now: For one reason of economic contraction of the innner city and NSW generally. But that's short to medium term for an old business like Hannan's FPC.


Another disturbing reason to get out that News Ltd might just be too stupid to realise, as greenhouse deniers, is coastal real estate is going to be hit bigger than anyone except perhaps Mr Hannan realises by the threats of climate change. How so?


Substantial sea rise of 1 to 3 metres (and that’s conservative in my view, could be 3 to 5) in the next 30 to 50 years will change civilisation as we know it. This sea rise prediction will be front ended to the economy NOW in term of market viability of 25-30 year mortgages which affects … Hannan’s business model: Who is going to take such a mortgage on something that will flood at Bondi Beach, Rose Bay (notice the golf course on a flood plain next to Bellevue Hill), parts of Centennial Park, Vaucluse harbour frontage, Double Bay?, Rushcutters Bay and any other lower lying areas I've missed.


And don't think greenies don't follow the property market. It was our poo marches late 80's that cleaned up Bondi Beach from a smelly slum for Kiwis to booming yuppie prices in 10 years. That's a big profit turnaround and one reason why I got elected as a local councillor for the Greens in 1995 to Waverley, courtesy Greiner's deep ocean outfall political strategy. It's also why the rich owe us greenies.



 Which is also as an ecologist why I am so interested in crikey.com.au's report yesterday of Greenland melting at a huge rate: See link to New York Times totally spooky piece:




"The Warming of Greenland 16th January 2007"


And remember if Greenland is melting then so too is the Antarctic. God help us.


Then of course there is the question of contracting paper press circulation due to ezines and web expansion generally including crikey.com.au.


AMG is in some ways in the undertaker business, gobbling up and synthesising the suburban papers that fall over which is orthodox free market economics, a much smaller version of News Ltd. The great virtue of AMG amongst other things is that it simply is not News Ltd!


Take your pick on Hannan sell off motives: Change in media ownership rules put a healthy price in play, sunrise web media sector, climate change.


Has anyone thought to ask the owner/director of Hannan's FPC stable what exactly were the motives for selling, rather than speculating as above? That would be a good business story.


Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin (AMG distribution), editor http://www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog/


principal http://cpppcltrust.com/ecologyactionsydney


Jan. 18th 2007 in crikey.com.au ezine follows:

3. ACCC destroys few remaining media diversity hopes

Michael Pascoe writes:

Anyone remember Graeme Samuel’s big promise to be the guardian of media diversity? Turns out it was all nonsense – the ACCC either has no idea what the words mean or it just rolls over for Murdoch like every other arm of government.

In a very bleak day for Australian media, the ACCC has pre-approved News Ltd’s acquisition of FPC’s community papers, allowing Australia’s dominant newspaper publisher to get even bigger, handing it clear monopolies in markets that previously enjoyed competition and apparently not even considering editorial diversity in its feeble effort of going through the motions.

It’s a dire foretaste of how the ACCC will "safeguard" media competition when the Coonan Gift is promulgated.

A bunch of suburban throwaways might not be the linchpin of Australian journalism, but a very dangerous precedent has been set at a time when a reasonable person might think the ACCC should be particularly sensitive to such things.

For the moment, let’s ignore the issue of the publisher of two-thirds of Australia’s newspapers being allowed to buy another 16 titles. By the ACCC’s demonstrated thinking, it would be perfectly acceptable for News Corp to take over every paper in the country with the possible exception of just three – The SMH, The Age and maybe The Sun-Herald.

Samuel’s comments yesterday indicate the ACCC was only interested in the advertising market, not editorial coverage, in accessing the Murdoch application.

The regulator "was satisfied that sufficient advertising alternatives existed in this case to provide a competitive constraint on News Ltd". Which is not what the watch puppy was suggesting last month when it singled out Sydney’s Lower North Shore market as a particular concern.

This is a considerably bigger market than any of the country towns that excited National Party MPs for a while and it’s one that Murdoch’s Cumberland Press already dominates with the North Shore Times and Mosman Daily. FPC provides some competition though with the Northside Courier.

As Lisa Murray recalls in the SMH (but unfortunately not online), the ACCC last month said "market inquires" suggested competition between the FPC and News titles had assisted in preventing increases in advertising rates and that general advertisers would have no significant alternative to advertising with the two free newspapers.

The News lawyers and lobbyists obviously were able to convince Samuel otherwise.

Too bad about editorial difference though – it just doesn’t count. The suburbans provide residents with just about the only source of local news. In a city the size of Sydney, the Terror and SMH obviously can’t and don’t cover the many local governments except at their most bizarre.

Furthermore, with the metropolitan dailies suffering static or falling circulation, the suburbans increasingly are the only papers most people get. And they are very nicely profitable indeed.

But that doesn’t concern the ACCC. Jilted local advertisers presumably can stick flyers in letterboxes. And editorial diversity, any concept of a market in local news ideas, is not an issue.

Funny that that wasn’t what Graeme Samuel was saying back when he was providing backup for Helen Coonan. Maybe he should stick to threatening to tell Australia who sells petrol here.

Posted by editor at 8:56 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 20 January 2007 5:49 AM EADT

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