typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Archive for the ‘human rights’ Category

New Australian Anthem

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It has been floating around for a while, but to see AusFailure National Tantrum show up in the Sydney Morning Herald – where it may well be read by a quarter of a million Sydneysiders – certainly brings a grin that goes from ear to era.

The article is here, and this is the National Tantrum, as penned and painted by awesome Indigenous artist, didge guru and all round kickass mofo Adam Hill (not the whitefella, the other fella.)

AUSFAILURE NATIONAL TANTRUM

Australians all let us remorse

For we are blind can’t see

We’ve golden soil that we all spoil

Our home washes into sea

Our land abounds in racist gits

Of whom we really can’t bear

In history’s cage recompense the slaves

Do Australians really care?

In painful strains that left a sting

Do Australians really care?

Written by typingisnotactivism

June 1, 2009 at 2:25 am

Australian Federal Police raid journalist.

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The Howard era is meant to be over in Australia, but either the Federal Police didn’t get that memo, or Kevin Rudd never bothered to send it.

The Canberra Times reports that Canberra press gallery journo Philip Dorling had his home and car searched this morning by AFP accompanied by computer experts. The trigger for their search was this story written by Dorling in June and containing supposedly confidential briefing materials regarding Australian deployment of spies in ally and trade partner nations.

From the Times article:

They seized a laptop, a computer hard drive, a mobile phone, documents and a copy of The Canberra Times from June 14, which were all taken back to AFP National Headquarters in Civic for examination.

The AFP raided Dorling’s home once before searching for the source of a leak in September 2000, when the journalist was working as a staffer for the then Labor foreign affairs spokesman, Laurie Brereton.

The editor of The Canberra Times, Peter Fray, said, “Phil Dorling was doing his job – the job of every journalist, and that is to reveal the truth”.

And Fairfax Media’s Corporate Affairs boss Bruce Wolpe said the company was “gravely concerned”.

“Fairfax Media is gravely concerned by this legal assault on one of our journalists for doing his job.

“A Federal police raid on the home of a journalist cuts to the heart of the operation of a free press, and is unacceptable.

“We have long advocated the need for shield legislation to protect the public’s right to know and today’s disturbing events show once again that enactment of a Federal shield law is imperative.”

The last time that police powers were used to seriously intimidate journalists in this way was in November 2004, when a request from John Howard’s office resulted in a raid on the home of Chris Graham, editor of the National Indigenous Times.

Obviously, Dorling has been doing his job. Obviously, the sort of abuses of power which Labor occasionally objected to in Opposition may now seem agreeable to them. Obviously, Wolpe raises a significant concern which may get further oxygen in the coming weeks – as one of the only developed countries without a Bill of Rights, the Australian government must legislatively move now – in a transparent manner – to ensure a free press. Although, obviously, they would much prefer a well-behaved press.

Written by typingisnotactivism

September 23, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Exxon crude oil $US45.45: US Supreme Court ruling

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In a landmark ruling, the US Supreme Court today slashed the damages bill against Exxon for the 11 million gallons of oil their drunken captain poured into a pristine Alaskan ecosystem just 20 years ago. Deciding that “the people” – as in of the, by the, and for the – of the original jury were brain damaged for originally awarding $5 billion in punitive damages against the company, Justice David Souter today pissed mightily in the faces of victimized communities, environments, and species for generations to come.

He found that Exxon should only have to pay $500 million in punitive damages, seeing as the company had already paid $507 million in damages to directly compensate communities of Prince William Sound for economic losses.

$500 million totals about $15 000 for each of the 33 000 claimants, and 4 days worth of Exxon’s profits last year, Read the rest of this entry »

“I Support Terror” by George W. Bush

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I support terror.

The use of fear, intimidation, the threat and the actual act of violence to further a political, ideological, or religious aim, message, or belief.

Hell yes!

Bring it.

5 years on, and Iraq is just getting warmed up.

So many bombings and beheadings and mass graves that if less than 60 people die, nobody notices.

Unless one of them is an American, or an English, Israeli, or Aussie,

etc. etc.

Saddam – an amateur.

Killed 5000 civillians and got hanged for it.

Used chemical weapons.

That he got.

From my daddy.

Hee hee hee.

I killed 3, 4, 5 hundred thousand civilians and got re-elected.

Not like my daddy.

Hee hee hee.

So let’s look at what I’ve got.

Tax money for life? Yessirree.

Impeached? Not likely!

Gunned down? Not yet…

And I’ve sure got this military-industrial complex all up in this bee-yatch.

Machine Accomplished.

No American President can ever back down again.

I’ve killed too many parents and children.

Not for the House of Bush.

Not for my sidekicks – a Dick and a Con and a Robber(the ‘t’ is silent).

 

But in the name of the US People.

 

Vengeance ain’t mine ‘cause I have nothing to avenge,

Nobody wronged me ‘cept Barb when she gave birth,

But revenge will be my legacy.

 

Global hatred as intergenerational equity.

That ain’t me talkin’.

That ain’t even me writin’.

Have too much trouble with them words as big as Texas.

So Happy Birthday Iraq War.

We Won, but you – you’re five!

Don’t get lonely though, li’l camper.

I know our wonderful toys have killed your sons and daughters.

So we’re going to get you a sister!

I think her name’s Irene?

It’s just spelt kinda different.

Heh.

Crazy A-rabs…

 

blgswrm3.jpg

This has been a preemptive strike in the name of the March 19 Iraq War Blogswarm…..

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 18, 2008 at 2:12 am

Kevin Rudd’s apology to Aboriginals spoken from the very best part of an Australian

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Adding myself to the growing list of thousands of Australians who have already admitted to crying during Kevin Rudd’s speech just a few hours ago. It was more than a gesture and much deeper than was expected. Unfortunately it’s not up on YouTube yet so I can’t embed it for you, but if you go to the ABC’s official apology coverage you can find it there. I would also heartily recommend checking National Indigenous Times for coverage, analysis, and reactions which will likely be posted there shortly – NIT absolutely rocks.

Until then, here is the welcome to country ceremony, performed at the opening of Parliament yesterday for the first time in the history of this country.

It was truly moving to see the array faces of all colour of beautiful skin, lining the Parliament and telling their own stories from moment to moment as the words this dry land has been needing for so long fell from Kevin Rudd’s mouth like a building spring rain. This moment is an unforeseen opportunity for this generation of Australians and all that follow, and I can hardly remember a moment that I’ve actually taken such pride in thinking of somebody as ‘our Prime Minister’.

But do yourself a favour, and avoid the supposedly non-partisan response of supposed support for the apology from opposition leader, Dr Brendan “Halfwit” Nelson. According to this idiot, we can not judge the past, the people who stole kids and committed genocide were only trying to help, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that white people die in war all the time, sometimes breaking up families turns out really well, Aboriginals really are their own worst problem, they should get a job, they shouldn’t get any compensation, dead Aboriginals helped make Australia great, their culture is only 60 000 years old even though artefacts date back at least 116 000 years… o yeah, and he’s sorry. Really.

Written by typingisnotactivism

February 13, 2008 at 11:42 am

Senator Christine Milne’s view of the Bali Climate Change Conference

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Bali Choices – a review of the Bali Climate Change negotiations by Senator Christine Milne, as of Tuesday December 11th

There was genuine excitement and warm good will in Bali last week when the new Australian Government announced its decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol immediately and rejoin the global effort to tackle climate change.

But good will turned to suspicion when Prime Minister Rudd unceremoniously stomped on the Australia delegation for daring to align Australia with the goal of cutting rich country emissions by 25-40% by 2020, the minimum that the climate science requires. The delegation told the conference that Australia accepts that target range, and the rest of the world understood that to mean that Australia was agreeing to negotiate using those figures as a starting point. Rudd’s public rebuke, saying his Government would not commit to any 2020 targets until the Garnaut Review is completed, was worrying.

Prime Minister Rudd’s welcome in Bali will be conditional on his immediate clarification of Australia position on 2020 targets. He cannot hide behind the Garnaut report here.

Australia‘s positioning in the next 2 years’ negotiations will depend on convincing the world now that Australia is genuine. Mr Rudd has to decide whether his election represents a genuine change or whether we are continuing the spoiler role of the last decade.

Perceptions here have not been helped by the fact that the Australian delegation remains overloaded with vested interests from the coal, aluminium and logging industries, the CFMEU, and public servant negotiators still steeped in the attitude of the former PM. It is an ominous sign that the Ambassador for the Environment, Jan Adams, believes that the 25-40% target will never be agreed to here in Bali, when the fact that it is in the Chair’s Draft of the Bali Mandate indicates there is significant support for it.

But the biggest problem is Australia’s hypocrisy on logging and deforestation.

There is a big push from around the world to find a way to include the protection of forests in the post 2012 climate treaty. This ‘reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation’ (REDD) work would have a clear benefit for the countries of the Amazon, African and Pacific forests. But it would also have a significant impact on Australia, since ‘degradation’ makes it clear that logging substantially reduces the amount of carbon stored in a forest.

The definition of degradation is critical and there will be intense efforts to water down any resolution. The National Association of Forest Industries have already flown in reinforcements, attempting to undermine any agreement on REDD which would destroy their propaganda that the ‘management’ of native forests in Australia is carbon positive.

With exquisite timing, on the day that bulldozers went into the Styx Valley in Tasmania to clear-fell ancient forests holding 1400 tonnes of carbon per hectare, Peter Garrett stood in front of a banner here saying “Save Wildlife. Reduce Carbon Emissions” and talked about biodiversity benefits of saving forests. He was talking about the Indonesian orang-utan, not the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle.

It is tragically clear that there is still no political will to act on the clear and urgent climate science. Whilst every country is happy to talk the talk, the negotiations in Bali reflect the 19th century view that national sovereignty overrides global responsibility and selfish short-termism rules the day.

I welcome the Chair’s Draft including a 25-40% reduction by 2020 from rich countries and an explicit statement of urgency that global emissions must peak and begin to be reduced in 10-15 years. But the lack of political will is evident in the fact that these figures are in the preamble, and not the text of the draft decision.

Given the uncertainty about whether Bali will produce a roadmap with significant, science-based targets, Kevin Rudd’s role here is critical. He can either lead with the EU or he can stall with Canada, Japan and the USA. Rudd’s actions here will have long-lasting implications which the world will look back on as it reflects on progress in 2012.

Senator Christine Milne

Australian Greens Climate Change Spokesperson

Vice President of IUCN, the World Conservation Union

Aussie Election soundtrack & music video thread….

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Just breathe, it’s all gunna be foine.

The ever-on-to-it PossCom has had a great idea – an Open Edition Election Thread of Angst & Therapy.

*using Holden-driving FM radio announcer voice* “Whether it’s a before- or after-party, this’ll keep your virtual loungeroom kicking on. Because what’s a virtual lounge room without a soundtrack? A virtual loungeroom…without a soundtrack.”

But I digress. What’s on your playlist as Earmunch stares down Hatepig?

Some of these are obvious, some maybe not. All should be more fun with coffee than Laurie Oakes. What I’ve got in mind so far is: Read the rest of this entry »

Plain and simple, this weekend in Australia means…

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Like a forest lost for the trees, the constant stream of media, advertising, news, conversations, and emails is almost enough to blur the significance of this election as it looms large just hours from here.

Apart from everything that can be said and has been said, there is one fact of which amazingly little has been made. Three years ago, global warming was barely a blip on the political radar. This election, many voters are ranking it as one of their top four priorities.

Despite the tireless work of The Greens over many years, it is fair to say that more than any other issue in recent memory this is a dazzling example of bottom-up grassroots campaigning gaining an issue broader mainstream awareness. Tim Flannery, Clive Hamilton, Wendy Frew and Al Gore fit somewhere in there too.

And could the timing be any more dramatic? Barely a week after the election, the incredibly massive Bali climate change conference will be working out the future of the global response to the increasingly obvious.

Excuse me for sounding like a credit card ad, but we’re talking 11 days, 198 countries, 3,000 journalists, and 10,000 delegates. Being a part of that? Priceless!!

More immediate than the economy, IR reform, hospital innovations, skills training, education and the mining boom, this is as clear as the consequences of this weekend for all us Aussies can get.

On December 2nd, Australia will once again be the laughing stock of a major global meeting, probably disparaging India and China, and again being locked out of high level talks that will determine the future use and constraints of natural resources, species, industry, border security, and precious natural environments. Oh yes, and trillions of dollars in future earnings and damage abatement.

OR, our representatives will be attending to deposit a letter committing to fully ratify Kyoto and signed by the Prime Minister. For the first time in years, Australia will be embraced by the global community as it faces this massive challenge and America shall finally be without an ally in ‘but they were doing it too’.

For all Australians, what happens in 2 days time is a very big deal. Thanks in part to media bloviation, it is also becoming somewhat abstract.

It is increasingly a din that drowns the senses and numbs the mind. Exciting. Anxious. Huge. Frustrating. Hopeful. Cracker night with pencils.

But for something tangible, consider this: the U.N. reports on climate change have been conservative for the last decade to diminish accusations of exaggeration. But the latest, most thoroughly researched and comprehensively certain observation is this – the Inconvenient Truth ‘ten years to act’ scenario is gone.

We are in the end zone. The global community must initiate decisive action within the next 3 years for any chance that future generations might live as part of a world as rich in natural treasures as ours has been.

On that first weekend in December, a week after this election, the die shall be cast. We, as a nation, shall be either pariah, or prodigal.

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John Howard dissolved by 7:30 Report

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Thanks so much David Obendorf for pointing this out!!

Kerry O’Brien, one of Australia’s most credible and respected television interviewers, conducted this 30-minute long interview with Prime Minister John Howard last night (transcript & streaming video available).

Forget gold! Absolute platinum!!

Howard is no longer content to revise Australia’s cultural history – his version is, of course, that the Aborigines happily handed the entire country to Donald Bradman before catching an unfortunate cold and dying out through no fault of the White Australia Policy.

His new position is that the only economic reforms that have helped the Australian economy have been made by – guess who – John Howard. Deapite common wisdom, he has somehow determined that the economic reforms made under 14 years of Hawke and Keating actually have nothing to do with the health of the Australian economy….. !!

JOHN HOWARD: The reason productivity was rising when we came into office was we were coming off the back of a recession.

KERRY O’BRIEN: But the recession had ended five years before.

JOHN HOWARD: Hang on, the impact on employment of the recession was still there when we came into office. Unemployment was 8.2 per cent and you always get, when you’re coming out of a recession, you always get some lift in productivity because you’re coming off a very high level of unemployment. As unemployment begins to fall you get boosts in productivity – I mean that is actually a mattock. It had nothing to do…

KERRY O’BRIEN: Nothing to do with Labor’s reforms?

JOHN HOWARD: No it didn’t because if you go back to that period you will find the number of non-union agreements that were allowed when negotiated was minuscule and if you have a truly free system you will allow non-union agreements and you will allow individual agreements. We don’t object to union agreements, we’re in favour of them, but we also believe that people should have the choice, if they so desire, to go into individual agreements and to go into non-union collective agreements and you didn’t have many of those in the Keating/Brereton reforms which I remember extremely well. I think it is one of the great furphies of this industrial relations debate that enterprise bargaining was introduced by Mr Keating.

KERRY O’BRIEN: You’re serious about that?

JOHN HOWARD: I am serious about that, yes.

Howard finally got grilled about The Australian’s media bias – but check how he basically ignores the observation.

KERRY O’BRIEN: We’ll move on. The Australian’s political editor Dennis Shanahan has been one of your most consistent supporters within the press gallery for years. Even he today wrote about your campaign “It’s an old fashioned scare campaign and it’s about the only shot in the locker for the Coalition but it’s worked before and that’s what gives them hope.” He’s one of your big fans in the gallery and it does sound rather desperate, doesn’t it?

JOHN HOWARD: I don’t agree with that. Let me say this about the campaign. Let me say this, I think there are some people, and there would be some people watching this program, who have this frame of mind at the moment. They’re saying to themselves, Howard hasn’t done a bad job, don’t agree with everything he’s done but the economy is in very good shape and he’s looked after national security but gee, he’s been there a while and maybe it’s time for a change. I think there are a number of people in that frame of mind and can I just say to them that there’s no such thing as a changeless change of government, if I can explain that. There’s no such thing as changing the government without changing the circumstances of the country. And this idea that you may be able to change just for the sake of change but everything go on exactly the same is not right. There is a risk involved and I would say to people who think that we may have done a good job and their only reason for changing is to sort of experiment with change believe me there is a risk, there is a risk in Mr Rudd, there is a risk in having for the first time in Australia’s history Labor governments at every level. That’s not a scare campaign, that’s a statement of fact. There is cross checking

KERRY O’BRIEN: You do put the scare on it though, don’t you? You put it at its worst possible connotation.

JOHN HOWARD: Well, I’m stating the fact. We’ve never before had that and you do have checks and balances within a federation if you have a different complexion at the national level and we won’t have that.

KERRY O’BRIEN: And you will also have a Senate in which Labor cannot and will not have control.

JOHN HOWARD: Well, if we lose the House, we won’t control the Senate.

KERRY O’BRIEN: No, but there will be a balance. Do you acknowledge that Labor can’t win control of the Senate?

JOHN HOWARD: They don’t need it because they’ve got the Greens. Well I mean look at what happened in the New South Wales upper house, the Greens and Labor combined to suppress the full story as to whether George Newhouse is eligible to run against Malcolm Turnbull.

Nuclear power, government secrecy, government lies, industrial relations and the risk of further reforms, climate change, education, government spending – HUGE interview. This is very much one of the most diligent current affairs hosts in the country taking a sustained last crack at a Prime Minister he thinks will be gone in 4 days. Massive.

KERRY O’BRIEN: Very briefly, the latest figures from your department about how much your Government has spent on advertising over the years of your Government, $1.55 billion, nearly $500 million in the last two financial years, $500 million in two years of advertising, a staggering amount of money. I know you say it’s for things like defence recruiting but it was also for controversial policies like Work Choices – an estimated $120 million at least there. Are you really suggesting none of that was designed to make the Government look good at the taxpayer’s expense?

JOHN HOWARD: But Kerry, you are entitled when you bring in a new policy like taxation, superannuation reform where everybody over the age of 60 no longer pays tax on their superannuation and all sorts of other intended benefits. Surely we are entitled as a government to explain.

KERRY O’BRIEN: $500 million in two years, no precedent for that.

JOHN HOWARD: Well Kerry, we have been in office for a period of 11 and a half years and we’ve also introduced some major reforms. If we had been a lazy reform-less Government then maybe we would have spent less on advertising but the economy wouldn’t be growing at more than 4 per cent and you wouldn’t have a 33 year low in unemployment. I mean judge us by the central things that you judge a government by. I mean the greatest…

KERRY O’BRIEN: One of the things you would judge a government by would ethics, I would have thought.

Pretty much an essential half hour for anybody interested in Australian politics, the nature of the decline in Australian democracy over the last few years, investigative journalism, or verbal sparring. Thankyou Kerry!! My friend suggests that if the current government is returned, the first bill they put through shall be to privatise the ABC. I’m sure I’m not alone in dreading such an outcome.

deadly new video – Johnny Howard 101

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time to go

time to go

praise the lord

it’s time to go.

great vid from bigbobfrombronte, belongs in the new Australian history syllabus for sure.

Howard still anti-Reconciliation – the most telling minute of the debate.

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The Howard – Rudd debate on national tv just now revealed a couple of things. There are certainly a number of possible topics for discussion – commentator bias (hi Annabel Crabb), media ethics (hi Channel 9) – but here’s a suddenly crucial revelation which I expect shall be neglected by most political analysts in tomorrow’s papers. The same analysts and outlets as usual shall no doubt continue to lobby poisonously against reality.

Consider this – Howard’s final minute of summary and closure. As he talked about his proposed education revolution, one to overhaul and Gerard-Hendersonise the Aussie school history curriculum, he ever so briefly dropped his daks and waved red, white and blue-spangled genitalia at the national tv audience.

Well, not literally. But he did expose his dirty little reconciliation secret. For all the talk of his new attitude to Aboriginal Australians, his deeper understanding, his hope for real progress – he went straight back to the moment in 1997 when in front of the nation’s indigenous leaders, activists, academics, and citizenry, he categorically stonewalled the Reconciliation movement in this country. In talking tonight in that final moment, he insisted that without knowledge of where they’ve come from and the sacrifices made to make Australia what it is today, kids must know the great Australian story. Fair enough. “It’s not a story without blemish,” said Howard – his only acknowledgment that part of that story is a brutal, prolonged tale of systematic murder, abduction, relocation, separation and theft (more commonly referred to as ‘genocide’).

“Blemish”. Blemish? Blemish!!! A word commonly used to refer to displeasing aberration of the skin. the same word by which he specifically sought to emasculate the issue of Australian genocide in front of distinguished, committed, and affected hosts and guests a decade ago. Within the same hour as he spoke with feigned sincerity of his nation-propelling plan to include lip service within the preamble to the Constitution.

“It’s not a story without blemish”. It’s not a country without displeasing aberrations of the skin. It’s not a Prime Minister given to any kind of sincere respect or appreciation for the First People of this land, even as he proclaims his passive aggressive urge to consider acknowledging their existence if he is re-elected.

Disgusted.

Thanks to Ninglun for the tip – check out the commentary on this little slice of history (although it could have been this evening) from 2min 50sec.

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Written by typingisnotactivism

October 21, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Australian Election 2007 – already primed for a USA 2000 outcome?

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  • 200 000 voters “missing”
  • 143 000 voters “scrubbed” from the electoral roll
  • 18% of young adults now blocked from voting
  • public verification of rolls also now blocked.

Johnny Fingers - caught by Gary Ramage

On the day that Prime Minister John Howard finally called the election, political lobby group GetUp called foul. Check out Voting is the Best Revenge, but also consider this:

The Orwellian “Electoral Integrity Act” was pushed through by the Howardocracy last year, ensuring that an historically significant share of Aussies will miss out in 2007.

No new enrolments after 8 pm yesterday – Wednesday October 17th – a full 7 days shorter than last time. Previously, close to half a million people enrolled in this period – almost 80 000 being new enrolments. While it seemed that a similar number would miss that chance this time, there has been an additional blowout.

GetUp also have figures showing that in the last few months, 143 000 Australians have been removed from the electoral rolls. If you are one of them, you’re only going to find out on election day – when you don’t get to vote.

But that’s your own fault, surely? Well, no. According to yesterday’s media release – 4 hours before the first closure of the rolls:

the AEC has revealed only hours before the roll closes that it has actually unenrolled 143,000 Australians in recent months, many of whom are not aware of it, despite many having made efforts to correct their enrolment.

In addition to this figure, and although there may be some overlap the lack of transparency now in effect makes it almost impossible to tell, the Bulletin reported on Monday that the rolls are at least 200 000 voters short of the numbers that would be expected in line with Australia’s growing population.

That’s a lot: about 1.5% of the current roll, or enough to generate over two typically sized electoral divisions (the average enrolment per electoral division was 90,246 as of September 30).

Peter Garrett spruiking paper samples for Gunns' potential retail clientsIn August, credible polling found that over 80 per cent of Australians were still unaware of any of these electoral changes. The AEC’s (Australian Electoral Commission) own research has shown that 18 per cent of eligible 18 to 25-year-olds – still close to the 400 000 people admitted by Coalition Minister of State, Gary Nairn – aren’t enrolled to vote. It’s odd, given that their $12.5 million ad spend equated Aussie democracy with grabbing a sausage. What? This didn’t inspire you to register?

These major changes – including the newly snuck-in more frequent “scrubbing” of the roll – were considered by a Senate Committee a few years ago but vigorously opposed by the AEC’s leadership at the time. Since then a changing of the guard has seen a reversal of some previously key positions held by the electoral watchdog.

For example, this link is no longer active. Before it was removed it featured this statement:

Printed copies of the electoral roll for public inspection and public sale are printed at least once during the first two years of the life of the Parliament.

The relevant page on the new AEC website, however, now states that

The roll is not available for sale in any format.

This change was legislated by Howard in 2004. Based on trends in Australian politics, this new level of diminished transparency creates, at the absolute least, an… ‘enhanced possibility in the perception of procedural risk’.

Undeniably, the Howard leadership has modelled both Party politics and national policy on the model assembled under Ronald Reagan and turbo-charged under George W Bush. There are significant differences, obviously, but super-bureaucracy as a barrier between politicians and public, fear campaigns, nationalism, religion as a political mascot – these are significant and common elements of both national governments.

It’s often said that in a democracy you get the government you deserve. Without the benefit of an accountable Senate, many Aussies now look likely to miss out on the vote they deserve.

And it is a concern when any leader – but particularly an admirer of GWB’s – goes to an election where, by their very actions, transparency is diminished, independence of supervision has been questioned, and opportunities for enrolment are at their most restricted in Australian history.

More importantly, what can Australians now do to curtail the risk of major democratic disenfranchisement come election day?

 

Scoopit!

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 18, 2007 at 10:01 am

$500 to mock Little Johnny – what’s the catch?

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MEDIA RELEASE – October 14 2007
From: “Don’t Look Gallery”
Subject: Tell Little Johnny where 2go, win $500! (or donate some extra $$$ to the prize pool and make the competition scarily well-cashed-up!)

Don’t Look Gallery presents Short, Sharp and Funny!

Create a short film making fun of John Howard, put it up on YouTube
and be in the running for $500!

Don’t Look Gallery wants to see the back of Little Johnny and thinks
that Australia’s arts community is in a great position to put the boot
in. To be eligible for the prize money, make a short movie (between 30
seconds and 5 minutes) poking fun at Australia’s worst Prime Minister,
pop it up on YouTube, and then get the website address listed on five
other websites (to show that you’re getting the message out).
Send an email to dontlookgallery[at]gmail.com with the above info by
November 17 and you could win $500 and take an active role in showing
Mr. Mean&Tricky the door!

Please email this to anyone/everyone who might be interested (put it
on lists, your myspace/facebook whatever) and help get the word
out!

This competition will be judged by the Director of Don’t Look
Gallery, Greg Shapley.

Australian Department of Immigration – Kevin Andrews clarifies position on human rights

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videos like this remind me why i made a whole category of “too good not to”

So glad this vid got pointed out to me. Creator, Dan Ilic, has a bunch of creatively deviated sproutlings just here.

<a href=”https://typingisnotactivism.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/australian-department-of-immigration-kevin-andrews-clarifies-position-on-human-rights/”><img src=”http://tinyurl.com/23828h&#8221; border=”0″/> <strong>Scoopit!</strong></a>

Forget terrorism – fear democracy. . .

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It’s a simple message. Any media-savvy Australian will understand: a Kevin Rudd led Labor government is an even greater threat to Australian bus stops than Islamic evildoers.

How do we infer this? Because the voice in the scarey anti-Labor ad is a full semi-octave lower than the voice in the scarey “if you see something, send the AFP round to your co-worker’s house” ad.

Wow. That’s scarey. They didn’t even mention that Julia Gillard’s a woman but I’m really convinced I don’t want her driving Australia. It is hard to know which to be more convinced by: manic depressive anti-democracy advertising or Mal Brough’s concern for Aborigines, Kevin Andrew’s concern for refugees, Malcolm Turnbull’s concern for the environment, Peter Costello’s concerns about climate change, or John Howard’s newfound concern for refugees, Aborigines, the environment and climate change.

Either way, this election I too shall be scared into voting for more of the same. And then I shall go skiing in Hell.

thank the lord that Penny Stephens took this photo. David Vincent is my new hero.

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 12, 2007 at 10:52 am

Australian racism, Al Jazeera, and Tatooine…

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Scoopit!

I was writing this to draw attention to the fact that Australian Minister for Belittling Foreign Brown People has made the news on the other side of the world. Al Jazeera has just run this story which is more than fair – just like our refugees should be, eh, eh? ‘Fair’, get it? – as in Advance Australia Fair, fairly sure youse aren’t welcome and fair skinned.

Thankfully, the reporter points out for the rest of the world the little flaw in Andrews’ argument – the one about how cutting down on refugees from wars in Africa isn’t a racist thing, it’s just because black people are criminals. Anyway – surprise – it is racism.

Andrews claims there are higher crime rates in areas where African refugees are settled. But this is based on anecdotal evidence only. Crime statistics show there is no increase at all.

With an election due before the end of the year, some critics believe the Australian government is using this issue to win votes.

Paul Power from Refugee Council Australia says the government of John Howard is trying “to drive a wedge between Australians who are supportive of a refugee programme and Australians who either don’t understand or are against a refugee programme”.

The majority of people supportive of African refugees are likely to vote for the opposition Labor party.

“I’ll be voting for the opposition and all my boys will be voting for the opposition as well, Marin Dhuol, a Sudanese Australian, says.

Labor has admitted it agrees that the number of African refugees should be cut, but says it has been puzzled at “new rhetoric” from Andrews.

And again with the f#%$ing Labor Party pussing out (apart from the Queensland Premier who, thankfully, called a bigot a bigot)?! Funny that Labor women seem the only Party members with any real balls. What’s with the federal tactic? Is there a certainty that Australians are so stupid and immoral that we can’t possibly handle going to an election where we have to decide on any more issues than Industrial Relations and Whales? Gimme a break. . . Then again. . . . This is the country that kept voting for John Howard. Something about the government you deserve?

Oh yeah, the point of interest is the picture of Kevin Andrews accompanying the Al Jazeera piece. I finally realized what subliminal horrors Andrews triggers every time I see his head, and I’m sure it has to be several times worse for refugees seeking sanctuary from any of the wars that Australia has been supporting over the last 6 years.

Holy f&%$ it’s horrible!! Aaack!!. . . . . . . . . . . .Where have I seen a mouth like that before?

well that’s close… but I’m thinking “nasty“.

EEYEWW. Too nasty. Back it right up.

Yeah, that’s getting closer…. not quite there yet. What does Kevin Andrews remind me of?

That mouth…. it’s…… !! ….. Of Course!

 

Am I right or am I right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s like he’s standing next to a mirror. The main difference is that this conversation is never gonna happen:

“Excuse me Mr Andrews”

“Yes, ubergeek”

Pleeease sell me some spit?”

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 9, 2007 at 2:11 am

this One Blogpost for Burma.

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Why a day of support briefly turning a bunch

of separated minds around the world

toward the Burmese people, crushed by

sudden and violent deadly oppressive force?

Free Burma!

Check out Niknayman’s blog where he (she?) is somehow still managing to post very infrequently, from within Burma.

Free Burma!

Read latest scattered and dwindling updates from within Burma HERE

Latest reports from within the regime indicate that thousands have already been killed and their bodies dumped.

The most senior official to defect so far, Hla Win, said: “Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand.”

Mr Win, who spoke out as a Swedish diplomat predicted that the revolt has failed, said he fled when he was ordered to take part in a massacre of holy men. He has now reached the border with Thailand.


Free Burma!


 

vid tribute by Angelina

And make sure to spend some time today at Ko-Htike’s blog, sending out all the pieces of info as he gathers them in London.

 

 

 

 

banner from Saffron Revolution Worldwide

If it’s your first visit, there’s a good collection of Burmese news links here, but please make sure to check in with the Free Burma online action and register your support for today’s blog-silence.

 

Newsworthiness – Beyonce, racism, or World War?

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They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. . .

. . . like ‘excessive’, ‘hair product’, ‘Iron Cross’, ‘shloop’, and ‘sadist’.

This is Debra Cagan. She’s a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to US Secretary for Defence Robert Gates. There is a great little newsbreak here in the Daily Mail about how she told a group of visiting British MPs that “I hate all Iranians“. Strangely, this hasn’t received the coverage and twisting that might happen if, say, an Iranian official commented that the current regime in charge of Israel should be removed from the pages of history.

“She seemed more keen on saying she didn’t like Iranians than that the US had no plans to attack Iran,” said one MP. “She did say there were no plans for an attack but the tone did not fit the words.”

Another MP said: “I formed the impression that some in America are looking for an excuse to attack Iran. It was very alarming.”

Also amusing is the observation that

Tory Stuart Graham, who was on the ten-day trip, would not discuss Ms Cagan but said: “It was very sobering to hear from the horse’s mouth how the US sees the situation.”

I would suggest that he actually is discussing Ms Cagan, but he would have surely referred to ‘the horse’s ass’. . . and even then that would still be an insult to horses.

And although some people complain that mainstream media really have their priorities wrong, I’m glad that this time – in australia at least – that has not been the case.

Because it is far more important to damn Beyonce for ‘snubbing’ Malaysia by cancelling her concerts because of Islamic fundamentalists intent on regulating her clothing and choreography choices . . . than to report that US military operations on the Iranian border are being run by a sociopathic bigot.

And although I’ll obviously be one of squillions of Australians voting in almost any manner likely to eject our current Board of Detractors and install a government more closely resembling a group of people with souls, Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has really done damage to his credibility today for anybody willing to really think about it.

The Oz reports that while campaigning in a heavily Jewish Sydney electorate, Rudd committed to trying to bring charges of incitement to genocide against the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if Labor is elected at the next election.

This is the most outstandingly stupid thing that Rudd has yet committed to.

1. it’s obvious pandering to a boutique interest group

2. it displays a lazy attitude toward fact-gathering (maybe he should consider this reportage of what Ahmadinejad actually said about Israel, this Islamic discussion of what he said in Farsi, this detail of the use of bogus human rights groups to generate anti-Iranian propaganda, this detail of how America is gearing up for another slaughter, or even just Wiki it)

3. any serious legal action against Iran will undo much of the good work that Rudd could achieve through aggressive diplomacy with China because of the Iran – China oil relationship.

4. this legitimises rather than challenges the current US propaganda line which is in effect for no other reason than justifying another illegal attack that has already been planned.
5. it suggests that some important lessons made available by decades of globally disastrous Western policy on Middle Eastern affairs really haven’t been learnt.

6. and the idea of Australia pointing the genocide stick at anybody is a stretch, but at somebody who hasn’t actually committed or actively encouraged genocide is just tragic.

Perhaps the final wonderful words should go to Professor Gary Leupp in his clarifying discussion of US foreign policy, media, and political values.

If you hate all of them (and are grotesquely ignorant of their vast contribution to human civilization), why not nuke them, and their monuments and treasures, and destroy their 3000 year history, and “wipe them off the map”? Why not prepare public opinion for that shattering scenario, and grind those boot heels into the brains of any sympathizers of those you call “sand-niggers” as you try to spread Bush’s gospel of hate?

Thank the Lord for our free trade deal with Uncle Spam – we get ‘gospel of hate’ at 22% off!

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 3, 2007 at 4:42 pm

October 4 2007 – Blog like it matters . . . .

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Part of the idea behind ‘Typing is not activism’ is my own rejection of a lot of web-based ‘actions’ – where ‘action’ means hitting ‘forward’ and pressing ‘enter’. But at the same time, many impactive activists are writers (who can appreciate irony) and most activism would have a limited impact if there wasn’t somebody (or a million somebodies) moved to report on it, start a discussion about it, change their thinking and ultimately their world because of it.

All of this is not quite beside but more back and to the left of ‘the point’.

Tomorrow – October 4 – is One Blogpost Day for Burma.

If you haven’t heard the latest news out of Burma, please check this out.

You can show your support for the monks and civillians under attack in Burma by displaying one of these funky grafics on your site tomorrow. There are millions of ways you can show your support – but this is one.

If you want to know more about the Free Burma campaign,

just click on the chunky graphic or go here. Thursday’s coming – spread the word.

Scoopit!

Stumble it!

Props to Kakariki for the Saffron Stencil find.

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 3, 2007 at 2:41 pm

Chilling: mass slaughter, live cremations & Burma’s last blogger

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What was a deluge of news from within Burma has been steadily evaporating. Latest reports from within the regime indicate that thousands have already been killed and their bodies dumped.

The most senior official to defect so far, Hla Win, said: “Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand.”

Mr Win, who spoke out as a Swedish diplomat predicted that the revolt has failed, said he fled when he was ordered to take part in a massacre of holy men. He has now reached the border with Thailand.

With all ISPs and computers in Burma being government-registered, there is now just one blogger left in the country to report on protest developments, atrocities against the population, and ruptures within the Burmese military.

Marshall Kirkpatrick presents a comprehensive roundup of the latest media developments in his piece, Lone Remaining Burmese Blogger.

It seems that a fugitive by the name of Niknayman is now being hunted down as part of this horrific clampdown because of his blogging, but is still using a lightweight message service to keep up the last line of communication from inside Burma. Kirkpatrick has converted Niknayman’s CBox messaging into an RSS Feed – and it’s chilling.

These entries were posted in the last few hours:

All Light Infantry Division (LID) commanders are detained in NayPyiTaw by Than Shwe. Only battalion commanders are left in the battalions. LID 33 Commander, Brigadier-General Min Zaw and LID 99 Commander, Brigadier-General Hla Tun Ooo are reportedly removed from the post for not accepting his order. The commanders are in favor of restraint while Than Shwe is in favor of opening fire on the protestors.

and now this

The undertakers from “Yay-Way” cemetry, reported that the SPDC cremates all the corpses as well as those injured protesters who are still alive. Now the world has seen the shooting of Japanese reporters and the floating body of a monk in the Hlaing river. Please let the world know and bring the military regime to the World Criminals Court.

Other people online are trying to update with whatever information comes to hand, and perhaps the most active remaining Burmese blogger outside of Burma is London-based Ko Htike who has become a focal point for updates, gathering together whatever bits and pieces of information manage to make it out of the deeply troubled country.

Kirkpatrick also points to comprehensive coverage of the blogging revolution within The Saffron Revolution from the London-based Times. Posted by a British journalist in Rangoon, it attempts to document the phenomenon which has seen skinny geeks with digital cameras and internet access emerge not only as heroes, but perhaps essential to any hope the slaughter might bring about regime change.

‘World leaders’ certainly aren’t.

 

– >>>>>> – October 4 – – One Blogpost – <<<<<< –

http://www.free-burma.org/

>>>>>> == 24-hour global wwwhisper == <<<<<<

Scoopit!

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 2, 2007 at 6:46 pm

Web Day of Silence & fresh global petition for Burma

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www.free-burma.org

 

Check it out for yourselves. Maybe you think it’s a good idea. Maybe you don’t. Personally, I think that if enough people outside Burma do anything together at the same time for the people of Burma, it’ll be a good thing.

Another peace of keyboardom in effect and hoping for an urgent critical mass is the online petition and print-media ad campaign by Avaaz.org, which is seeking to pressure China by threatening measures to diminish the Beijing Olympics in 2008. May work, may not. My hunch is that China won’t feel particularly bothered by signatures equivalent to less than 0.1% of their own population. But it can’t hurt, and China does seem to be shifting its position in relation to foreign efforts at diplomacy. Let’s face it – if monks and civillians are prepared to be beaten and murdered, the least you can do is sign and circulate a petition.

370 000 signatures so far – get innuit.

  Scoopit!

Direct communications from Burma.

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Amazing to find a page on the BBC World Service hosting direct communications from people inside Burma. Personally I think that what is happening there right now is stunning and however it ends it is already the most sincere and realistic call for democracy heard on the planet this millennium, imho.

Here are two of the most recent comments – but the entire feature warrants reading. I fear it will soon be running stories of torture and tragedy.

We don’t know what will happen today, we are waiting to see how the situation develops. The junta announced that they will suppress the demonstrations whether by civilians or monks, anyone who disobeys their orders. We have suffered for a long time under the wicket junta. We are so afraid of them and cannot say what we think of feel. We respect our Buddhist monks very much. Our country has many natural resources but we are very poor. We are a disgrace in the whole world because of our rulers. But we hope for a golden future. We hope for the freedom of Aung San Su Kyi. Kyi, Rangoon

Today the city is quiet and people go to work as normal. There are lots of rumours, but for the time being everything is calm. People are anxious to see what’s going to happen. According to the government’s warnings, today could be a big day. China is key. The US have announced new sanctions, but this is nothing. Burmese people do not welcome them and do not care about them. They want help, not sanctions. If the US wants to make a change here, they should threaten that if China continues its support for the Burmese military, they won’t take part in the Olympics. Everything else is a joke. Michel, Rangoon

Written by typingisnotactivism

September 26, 2007 at 2:26 am

Indigenous activist Adam Hill walks his chalk…

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Pretty bloody impressive. . . even moreso for a first-timer. Here is Ausfailure National Tantrum by Adam Hill. Better still – read his story.

Ladies and Gentlemen… the 2007 Chalk the Walk ‘Ausfailure National Tantrum’.

by Adam Hill

Adam Hill - Ausfailure National Tantrum

A dear friend and ex University mate (Andi Meher) has been running this amazing street art competition for a couple of years now called ‘Chalk the Walk‘. I was persuaded to enter this year, and I must admit, having never created a ‘chalk’ pavement artwork before, was a little reluctant. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by typingisnotactivism

September 24, 2007 at 2:40 pm

Chomsky’s latest view around Iran.

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Noam Chomsky’s latest writing on US foreign policy – Cold War II – is as eloquent, insightful, readable, and profoundly clarifying as ever. I actually got the urge to go info-seeking after reading this appalling new piece on Al Jazeera about how Mahmoud Ahmadinejadh is currently being denied permission to place a wreath at the WTC site in New York when he attends the UN next week. So Iran can help the US locate Al Qaeda operatives in the Middle East… but can’t lay flowers at a shrine? It’s as much about symbolic hypocrisy as the anti-abortionists who support war.
If you need a reason to take 20 minutes to properly digest the article, check out the following excerpt. If you really don’t have the time right now, please do yourself a favour and get clued up on this later. Either way – not to be missed, seriously.

Without irony, the Bush administration and the media charge that Iran is “meddling” in Iraq, otherwise presumably free from foreign interference. The evidence is partly technical. Do the serial numbers on the Improvised Explosive Devices really trace back to Iran? If so, does the leadership of Iran know about the IEDs, or only the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Settling the debate, the White House plans to brand the Revolutionary Guard as a “specially designated global terrorist” force, an unprecedented action against a national military branch, authorizing Washington to undertake a wide range of punitive actions. Watching in disbelief, much of the world asks whether the US military, invading and occupying Iran’s neighbors, might better merit this charge — or its Israeli client, now about to receive a huge increase in military aid to commemorate 40 years of harsh occupation and illegal settlement, and its fifth invasion of Lebanon a year ago.

It is instructive that Washington’s propaganda framework is reflexively accepted, apparently without notice, in US and other Western commentary and reporting, apart from the marginal fringe of what is called ‘the loony left.” What is considered “criticism” is skepticism as to whether all of Washington’s charges about Iranian aggression in Iraq are true. It might be an interesting research project to see how closely the propaganda of Russia, Nazi Germany, and other aggressors and occupiers matched the standards of today’s liberal press and commentators..

The comparisons are of course unfair. Unlike German and Russian occupiers, American forces are in Iraq by right, on the principle, too obvious even to enunciate, that the US owns the world. Therefore, as a matter of elementary logic, the US cannot invade and occupy another country. The US can only defend and liberate others. No other category exists. Predecessors, including the most monstrous, have commonly sworn by the same principle, but again there is an obvious difference: they were Wrong, and we are Right. QED.

Written by typingisnotactivism

September 21, 2007 at 1:41 am

Cuaron & Klein – The Shock Doctrine (video)

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for a lavish web-based research resource with continued informational expandiness, go to The Shock Doctrine online, for more of Naomi Klein’s bombastic writing and associated coverage hit her homepage at NaomiKlein.org or for a page full of associated YouTubery go here.

Alfonso Cuaron, by the way, is the utter frickin geeeeenius who directed the utterly must-see Children Of Men.

Written by typingisnotactivism

September 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm