Archive for the ‘NGO’ Category
Bono, retire from public life and we’ll donate a ton of money to fight AIDS is exactly what it sounds like. Gotta love that. Turns out that the RED campaign has spent more on marketing associated brands – like American Express – than it has actually raised for charity. Hmmm. What does that sound like….?
And given the European land war currently gearing up in Georgia, Undernews seems a gem of a discovery – particularly with regard to this article detailing the involvement of Israeli & US oil interests in Georgia in the lead up to Russia’s use of the American regime-change-for-personal-gain model of diplomacy. Speaking of which, there’s also this article on preparations for a naval blockade of Iran. And those are just today’s entries.
Hmmm… Certainly less pompous than a lot of the writing at Counterpunch. Could be a new favourite American-based international news and analysis site.
And ditching blah for wah – check out Natalia Paruz. Better known as “Saw Lady”…
is iiiiincrediiiiible. Go swoon at SawLady.com for more freaky goodness….
And finally, not just for Trekkies but for anyone with working eye glands…
That’s not a special effect. It’s a ‘pho-to’ from APOD – NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day archive. It’s cool that they do more than just invent frying pans, fix toilets, and get silenced over global warming, eh?
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.
The use of fear, intimidation, the threat and the actual act of violence to further a political, ideological, or religious aim, message, or belief.
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,
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.
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.
This has been a preemptive strike in the name of the March 19 Iraq War Blogswarm…..
In early March Sydney University’s Faculty of Law launched a new multidisciplinary initiative – the Climate Law & Policy Group.
In line with recent developments – the UK’s Stern Report in 2006, reevaluation of the Kyoto Protocol during 2007 and Australia’s current review process under Professor Ross Garnaut – the initiative aims to fill critical voids within current thinking and activity, both locally and internationally.
Key organisers Professor Gillian Triggs, Dean of Law at Sydney University, and Dr. Rosemary Lyster, an internationally respected teacher and practitioner of environmental law, spoke briefly of the new group’s reason for existence.
They identified the need to transverse various branches of law – administrative, environmental, international, trade, migration, taxation, corporate, criminal and public health – in making way for the emerging field of climate law and preparing legal infrastructure for an all-embracing response to the growing challenge of climate change.
With Australia’s emission trading scheme due to launch in 2010 and with Kyoto having so far failed to adequately engage developing countries, this first-of-its-kind initiative will work with individuals and governments to develop research projects and policy.
Keynote speaker John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute, addressed the lawyers, academics, NGOs, Justices and students who came to hear his insider’s account of last year’s Bali negotiations and their implications for Australia. Though unsurprisingly absent, environmental barrister extraordinaire, Chris McGrath, did receive an honourable mention as the legal frontiersman keeping the Australian government falling over its legislative toes.
Connor signalled that there are powerful undercurrents building within global negotiations. Developed nations may yet group together to go beyond currently tentative Kyoto targets to cut their carbon emissions by between 25 and 40 per cent by 2020. He identified 2020 as the proving ground, the year by which bold initiatives must be taken and, if successful, replicated on a grand scale.
He said China and South Africa were leading the negotiations to build bridges with the developed world, while Australia is crossing a bridge of her own. The American position of controlled stalling has been rejected, traded for the quantum leap of the Garnaut Review and its broader consideration of the national interest in responding to climate change.
The way forward mapped out by these pragmatists seems to be a multi-layered paradigm shift already set in motion, from changes taking place in local planning laws and research financing to regional partnerships and global transparency and accountability.
The Climate Law & Policy Group’s first conference will be held on August 8.
After more than a decade as a self-financed band of gypsies practicing random acts of canine survival, Monika’s Doggie Rescue became a fully registered charity in 2001. Now a network of over 300 volunteers, Doggie Rescue is reshaping its Sydney pawprint.
Speaking with Monika, she explained that their Drummoyne outlet, mainly used for weekend meetings between dogs and potential owners, has recently been dispensed with.
Increasingly, the refurbished Doggie Rescue website will play an important role for rescued dogs and their potential new families. People can look at online profiles of any of the hundred or more dogs housed at the Doggiewood compound at Ingleside. A half hour from the city, amidst scenic forests and the Northern Beaches, Doggiewood is already the main point of consolidation.
Fun, furry, pre-arranged happy petting sessions take place every Saturday at Pet Barn in Alexandria. This ongoing adoption program through Pet Barn provides an important physical gateway to potential inner city owners and foster homes.
Combined, these elements currently see Doggie Rescue place about a thousand dogs in new homes each year. But Monika’s real hope is for a change in the culture that produces abandoned animals.
Just last year, a small amendment to NSW law introduced a compulsory reporting mechanism for councils. As reported in late January, for the first time official figures confirmed that of close to 50 000 cats and dogs taken in by NSW pounds alone, nearly half were killed.
The Department of Local Government’s most recent figures also include the death rates from all other shelters, and indicate that over 60 000 cats and dogs were killed by the NSW system in 2007.
“We have an oversupply of animals because they get pumped out of impulse outlets,” said Monika. “And until people start thinking more about what they adopt when they take an animal – that it’s not just a disposable item – we’re just going to continue all these problems.”
In an effort to challenge this situation, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has been working to put the Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill through state parliament. If she can build the necessary support, what began as a bumper sticker – ‘Say No to Animals in Pet Shops’ – could become law.
“Clover’s Bill,” said Monika, “really is the most crucial thing in trying to stave this awful production line, this breeding without very much care or nurturing.”
Monika described ‘the rescue cycle’. Similar to the cycle of homelessness facing many street kids, abandoned animals get dumped and re-dumped, usually ill-treated by more than just one home.
The proposed law, currently sidelined following a motion by Joe Tripodi, would end the sale of companion animals in pet stores. Sale would instead be restricted to breeders, shelters, vets, and pounds with a proviso that potential buyers are screened, educated, and matched to the needs of their new pet.
Monika’s Doggie Rescue already follows such a process. Perhaps uniquely, they also follow the progress of re-homed pets, requiring that mismatched pets be returned – an outcome that occurs in less than one per cent of cases according to Monika.
Doggie Rescue also provides a permanent backstop. In the event of an owner’s death, departure, or if it is at all needed, they offer permanent right of return for all dogs that come through their doors.
She lists her husband as the group’s biggest supporter who, along with Double Bay Vet Clinic and a number of private donors and supporters, makes it all possible. On the feeding, cleaning, caring, and financing rollercoaster, Monika’s ride has elements of Zen, Old Yeller, and Superfriends.
It is this environment which seems to produce the many Monika’s stories – one particularly sweet one being of a family that adopted a needy little dog with heart problems to keep their father company as he struggled with heart problems of his own.
Drop by www.doggierescue.com, Pet Barn Alexandria, or call Monika’s on 02 9486 3133 to find out more, or even see how you can help.
Tasmania – where blokes are blokes, and trees are nervous.
A state where everything is above board, but Royal Commissions – the highest level of independent inquiry into allegedly corrupt use of authority – are practically banned. Oh Tassie – thank goodness for you, the one place on Earth where destroying forest ecosystems defies physics, biology and chemistry to fight global warming. How? Buggered if I know, but some big blokes with beetroot-blood pressure and friends running chainsaws seem to have worked it out.
Barely a week ago, Paul Lennon – the spectacularly inept Premier of Tasmania and occasional dinner-buddy of Gunns’ CEO John Gay – made a baffling announcement. In response to Professor Ross Garnaut’s analysis of the climate change issues and options facing Australia, Lennon declared that once and for all it was time to get the facts straight about Tasmania’s forests.
This was baffling for two reasons.
Firstly, Lennon and his colleagues in government, industry, and small-minded lobby groups have spent decades arguing that old growth grows on trees and should therefore be woodchipped as quickly as possible lest it get out of control. This argument shifted in the ’90s toward the need for human-led forest management for the good of forests, because without humans, forests are incapable of cutting themselves down. The latest model is two-pronged – logging prevents bushfires (just like abortions prevent cancer) and clearing forests makes room to plant more trees and therefore fight climate change (yes, they are that stupid). In essence, these people have deemed themselves the source of all forest facts. By calling for someone intelligent and with no connection to forestry cash to disseminate facts, Lennon risked undoing decades of half-assed but ubiquitous propaganda.
Secondly, for any non-Greens member of Tasmanian parliament, let alone the bug-eyed, frothing, rabidly pro-Gunns Premier to call for a setting aside of nonsensical argument and the genuinely independent presentation of clear, firm, scientifically credible facts about the environmental impacts of logging is simply unheard of.
But today everything is back to normal. Thanks to our good progressive friends at GetUp, we can see Lennon’s message for what it was. Thanks largely to his timing, it was just another hot, steaming, cow chip of media distraction from a sociopathic Tasmanian bureaucrat. GetUp has just circulated the following release:
You may have missed it, but the Tasmanian Government last week unbelievably signed an agreement handing over Tasmania’s forests to the Gunns pulp mill for the next 20 years – in the very same week Professor Garnaut warned them of the dire climate change consequences facing us.
If we don’t act now, bulldozers will start clearing land for the mill that will contribute 2% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions – at a time when we’re being told we need to drastically cut our emissions. But unfortunately Australia’s forests were largely left out of Garnaut’s recent interim report.
We have only one opportunity to put them in the picture. A proper assessment in his impending Climate Change Report of our native forests’ climate change value may just sink the mill project. Click here now to sign the petition asking Professor Garnaut to examine the full climate impact of this mill madness and the logging of Tasmania’s native forests:
There’s a real risk the Garnaut report won’t include a comprehensive assessment of native forests – despite new research finding the stopping of deforestation a “large, immediate and perishable opportunity”* to massively reduce emissions. Costing out the real value of native forests will not only prove Tasmania’s trees would be better left in the ground but make this teetering project financially unviable when Gunns realises they will have to pay for the carbon embedded in our forests.
Native forests are invaluable sources of carbon storage – and it costs nothing to leave them in the ground. But 80% of the 4.5 million tonnes of wood needed to supply the pulp mill each year will initially come from Tassie’s native forests – permanently destroying forests that can hold 10-20 times the amount of CO2 than plantations.
A proper assessment of their climate change value will undoubtedly make the arguments in favour of the mill, whose climate change impact has never even been assessed, untenable. Take action to protect nature’s lungs before the bulldozers move in:
Long story short, Lennon can dance naked down the main street of Hobart wearing wattle in his hair and singing about how he loves the freaky forest critters and their precious wooded homes because he has already pushed through the legislation guaranteeing that they will all be turned into dioxinated mulch.
What visionary leaders he, his state Labor Party, and their big-L small-minded ‘opposition’ are.
Many people may have missed it, but Kyoto in its current incarnation is the best hope for global climate action. Even supposedly progressive governments in supposedly first world countries still treat Kyoto as though it’s too hard, but it is riddled with perverse incentives.
For example, emissions from international shipping and air traffic are not included on anybody’s scorecard at the moment – even though these vapours are as damaging as those of any American cattle ranch or any Chinese coal plant. More directly, Kyoto rewards the cutting down of trees that were planted before the 1990s by recognizing the carbon uptake potential of new trees planted in their place – which means that governments have incentive to replace 600-year old eucalypts with water-intensive saplings.
Add in the fact that Tasmania’s forest ecosystems are administered by people you wouldn’t trust to look after a goldfish, and all the big environmental research, studies, reports, and recommendations look less and less like progress, and more and more like good ways to feel proactive about doing less than nothing.
grabbed from Counterpunch because I know that even the supposed greenies who are mostly huffy and pissed off about people ragging on Greenpeace still have at least some interest in adventure stories and animals.
The Art of Finding Whalers
By Captain PAUL WATSON
Back in the early days of Greenpeace under the leadership of the late great Robert Hunter we resorted to plenty of unorthodox methods of locating whaling ships on the high seas. Strangely many of these methods actually worked. Stranger indeed has been our record of finding whaling ships on vast oceans armed with little else but our intuition and pure luck.
Bob Hunter used to call this karma. Bob was a Buddhist and a mystic and most likely a saint. He believed in reincarnation. I used to believe in reincarnation also but that was in a previous life.
But in May of 1975 we set out in a small little fishing boat of only 85 feet looking for the Soviet whaling fleet. They were operating in the North Pacific somewhere between the northern end of the Queen Charlotte Islands down to somewhere off of San Diego. We knew that they were somewhere within 200 miles because this was before the 200 mile limit law was introduced and the Soviets delighted in killing whales off the coast of the United States. It also provided a great cover for espionage activities and judging from the incredible array of electronics displaying antennas they were certainly doing more than just whaling.
We started out from Vancouver and journeyed north to the Queen Charlottes. We swam with Orcas in the Straits of Bella Bella and visited an abandoned whaling station in Rose Harbour, on the Charlottes. We saw whales but not a sign of the whalers.
We then headed south and Bob began to throw the I-Ching and in what was probably a first in the history of navigation we began to navigate by the messages received from the I-Ching readings.
This divided the crew into two groups, the mechanics or non-believers under the leadership of Patrick Moore and the mystics under the leadership of Bob Hunter. As a sailor and navigator I kept one foot in the camp of practicality and as a person who had experienced a vision quest under the guidance of Wallace Black Elk during the occupation of Wounded Knee, I had my other foot firmly planted in Bob’s camp of merry mystics. Read the rest of this entry »
How Greenpeace Cashes In on the Suffering and Death of the Great Whales
The Other Whaling Industry
By Captain PAUL WATSON
On board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin.
“It does not matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
– Dr. Patrick Moore, President of Greenpeace Canada 1981
As the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society struggles to borrow and raise enough funds to return to the Southern Ocean, we feel incredibly frustrated by the fact that tens of millions of dollars have already been raised to defend the whales yet this money is not being spent for that purpose and it will not help put fuel in our tanks to resume our defense of the whales.
Enough is enough. The Greenpeace fraud about saving the whales must be exposed. For years, I have been tolerating their pretense of action and watching them turn their ocean posing photo ops into tremendous profits from whaling. And now they say they can’t return to the Southern Oceans with their ship the Esperanza because they don’t have the budget for it and because they are going to direct their energies into lobbying for change inside Japan.
Yet they still continue to collect money to save the whales. Greenpeace has booked all online advertising in the major Australian and New Zealand newspapers. Their ads are splashed across the internet from Google to MySpace. Send money, send more money. Television ads, millions of pieces of direct mail.
Greenpeace International raised 127 Million Euros last year. Greenpeace Australia has about 18 million dollars in the bank. Greenpeace USA sits on tens of millions of dollars. Yet they claim they do not have the budget to return to the Southern Oceans yet they also claim they stopped the whalers for two weeks in January, and if such a claim is true then they should go back and stop them again.
But they will not. They have surrendered the Whale Sanctuary to the whalers yet the ads keep popping up and the contributions keep flowing into the Greenpeace coffers. It is incredibly frustrating to see stories about Sea Shepherd’s successful interventions against illegal Japanese whaling usually sprinkled with criticisms by Greenpeace about our methods. And right beside these articles pops up an ad asking the public to send money to support Greenpeace. Even if Sea Shepherd wanted to invest in these ads, we cannot because Greenpeace has booked all the ad space for three months.
Greenpeace makes more money from anti-whaling than Norway and Iceland combined make from whaling. In both cases, the whales die and someone profits. We continue to receive reports from people who have received highly emotional appeals from Greenpeace for money to save the whales including appeals to help refuel their ship.
This is simply out and out fraud. Read the rest of this entry »
The Australian government has just released these pictures of Japanese whaling in the waters of the Australian Whales Sanctuary off Antarctica. The federal opposition are opportunising the moment by proclaiming their intention to create a global whale utopia, through their Environmental Orifice, Greg Hunt. Of course, while in government the Liberals’ greatest contribution to whaling was to legally block all efforts to stop it, but that was weeks ago. Tossers.
Speaking of tossers, the land-loving chief of Japan’s Whale Kill Inc. has hit back by denying that the two whales in the picture aren’t related and that this is just Australian propaganda. Off course this is the same guy who claimed that Sea Shepherds‘ accusations that their crew members were tied to a pole aboard the Yushin Maru 2 were lies and Sea Shepherd propaganda… even as photos proving the accusations were fired around the world.
The Labor Party, and specifically the Attorney-General, have really moved in a (perhaps too) measured but dynamic manner on this issue. They removed legal blockages, allowing Humane Society International to test the matter of Japanese whaling in the Australian Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in Federal Court. Without this commitment from the government, HSI could not have succeeded, as they now have.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has forged ahead in discussions with Japan and under a siege of sorts from media as a result of the new paradigm, under which Australia is actively, rather than just conveniently, challenging and threatening Japan’s farcical, but vicious, ‘scientific whaling‘ program.
Of course, without the involvement of Sea Shepherd, and even Greenpeace, the government’s ‘effort’ in Antarctica would merely have meant three more weeks of photos like the one above, rather than whales actually having their endangered lives protected. Because the government’s greatest input at the moment seems to be all about getting out of everyone elses’ way. Read the rest of this entry »
An odd choice for a title but possible cause for sustained reflection if you’re punching bowls in pixeltown.
The excellent all-things-planetary-meltdown website Celsias has pumped a wishful article about Coca Cola’s sudden money-down recognition of their ability to play some kind of positive role on the planet. They’ve nicely framed it with some additional links to prankster acts of independent journalism, so although I’m not currently in a posting mode I do encourage you to head over here and check out the prankly goodness.
Oh, by the way – it’s good to sea that Greenpeace haven’t lost their sense of humour, or context, or reality, or self-importance. . .
What the hell – One out of four ain’t bad.
12 December 2007
GIVE WAGS A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
Wags is a brave five month old scruffy terrier pup who was left to die on a six lane highway doused in petrol. Having seizures and unable to stand, heavens knows how he is still alive. A good samaritan took him to a nearby vet clinic (Elizabeth Drive Animal Hospital) where he was treated, but still remains without a home.
Wags was put on a drip and anti-seizure medication and his burnt skin was treated with topical ointments. Despite all that he has endured, he is a happy, bright boy who continues to wag his tail! The vet clinic contacted Doggie Rescue where Wags is now eagerly waiting for a home with a happy and caring environment.
Founder Monika Biernacki said DoggieRescue is currently over-run with puppies who have been dumped in council pounds in the lead up to Christmas.
“In all the years of rescue work, I have never seen so many puppies dumped at one time and we still have two weeks to go until Christmas. DoggieRescue will have its doors open throughout Christmas and is looking for volunteers to help man their Doggiewood shelter.”
DoggieRescue is a no-kill charity dedicated to saving dogs on death row from the council pounds. It currently has more than 20 puppies, all under 5 months of age, waiting for homes. DoggieRescue is in urgent need of puppy dry food, puppy milk, tick prevention products and toys. The Doggiewood shelter is located at Ingleside in the northern beaches.
For photos and details of all puppies, visit www.DoggieRescue.com or call DoggieRescue on (02) 9486 3133 / international 61-2-9486 3133
This is a media release I received from Monika’s Doggie Rescue. The work they do is quite amazing, especially given that they get by in a more or less self-funded/ donation-dependent manner. At the moment they are looking after at least sixty dogs from ages of about 7 weeks to 10 or more years. It’s quite a thing to see, especially as they’re such lovely animals and would all now be dead without Doggie Rescue’s intervention. Whether you’re an international or local reader, if there’s anything you can do to help, however big or small, it would make a difference and it would definitely be appreciated.
Please check out their website and donate just a little time, food, or payola if you can.
This is a particularly important matter in the development of national environmental law in Australia. Having only just got word of this decision handed down 4 days ago (my bad…. grr), here is the press release on Bob Brown’s site.
Forest absurdity – appeal to Rudd, Garrett certain, High Court likely
30th Nov 07
Greens leader Bob Brown has called on the Rudd government and Environment Minister Peter Garrett to read and take action to rectify the absurdity of today’s Federal Appeal Court’s decision on Tasmania’s Wielangta forest and to nullify the Regional Forest Agreement.
While the appeal bench ruled 3-0 that section 38 of the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act exempts logging from environmental law, it left intact Justice Marshall’s finding that logging had a significant and unacceptable impact on the endangered species.
“It’s a case of the law intends to protect endangered wildlife but if Canberra and Hobart ignore logging which endangers their existence, they can,” Senator Brown said.
“I will ask both Prime Minister Rudd and Peter Garrett to put the Howard years of indifference behind and insist these habitats be protected as the law intends. I have also asked my barristers to weigh up the obvious grounds for an appeal to the High Court – this nation’s natural heritage depends on us taking action,” Senator Brown said.
With all the changing of the government and Kyoto-ing and promises of apologies to the Stolen Generations, this decision slipped straight through and I should think it was also neglected by most major newspapers – which is a huge mistake. The overturning of Justice Marshall’s interpretation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in the first Wielangta Case is a significant setback for checks and balances needed to prevent monopolistic forestry departments running amok in the most irreparable manner possible.
More on this in the next few days – definitely.
This Australian summer, the Japanese whaling fleet will once again be trying to kill up to a thousand whales in the Antarctic. The difference this time is that Japan has added the endangered and iconic humpback to the menu.
Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett have promised that Australian naval vessels shall be used to interfere with and board any Japanese vessels breaking international or Australian law. Attorney-General Phil Ruddock, on the other hand, has again sought to derail legal action by Humane Society International by more or less dismissing legal action against Japan as futile.
Captain Paul Watson and his fleet helped to prevent the deaths of over 500 whales in Antarctic waters last summer. And they’re back, apparently with even faster intercept capabilities.
“We are obsessed with stopping the Cetacean Death Star, that viciously cruel killing machine otherwise known as the Nisshin Maru, and her ruthless fleet of hunter/killer boats armed with their explosive deadly blunt harpoons,” said Captain Watson. “Because if we kill the whales, the sharks, the seals, and the sea turtles, we will destroy the very foundation of life in the oceans-and in so doing, we will destroy humankind.”
“I did not establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as a protest organization,” said Captain Watson. “I have not gone to sea over all these years to simply bear witness to the atrocities that whalers continue to inflict upon the most gentle and intelligent beings in the seas. We are sea cops-operating legally under the guidelines of the United Nation’s World Charter for Nature, which allow for the enforcement of international conservation law by non-governmental organizations in international jurisdictions.”
The Shepherds will again be enforcing international law this summer although there is a slim chance that they may receive commendation rather than criticism from the Australian government this time around.
Supporters are welcome to donate food (vegan), equipment, and finance. There are also opportunities to volunteer as crew, with part of the fleet currently docked in Tasmania.
Visit seashepherd.org for information, or contact the Melbourne Sea Shepherd office.
That’s right – it’s all been a bit dire and heavy here lately, what with Johnny Howard’s master plan grinding into effect and huge chunks of biodiversity literally due to be flushed down the toilet. BLAAAAARGH!!!!!!
So just letting you know – if you’re interested, of course – to check back in here in the next day or so.
You’ll find a review of the brand spanking new film Into The Wild. Personally, I don’t much care for hype like “oooh, Oscars” – BUT, as a way to easily convey meaning, this is an Oscar+ movie. Really mindblowing film of rich depth, insight atypical of American cinema, and a durability likely to ensure its status as a future classic. Do come back and read more Friday.
Also coming up – an interview with Dan Mathews, Vice President of PETA and author of the freshly released (and compulsively readable) Committed: a rabble-rouser’s memoir. For animal-lovers, activists, queens, readers, writers, popstars, supporters & all people easily pissed by perspectives that don’t fit their world view there’ll be plenty of juicy goodness in the 40-minute transcript when it goes online by early next week.
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
This competition will be judged by the Director of Don’t Look
Gallery, Greg Shapley.
Just a quick instalment, mainly because the picture of Robin Gray waving goodbye to Tasmania’s future and hello to a fat Christless bonus done fired up mah blood.
“heh heh heh heh heeeeeeeeh. You are all my bitches now….”
Statements of the obvious aside, the skew-eyed extra from Home & Away has declared that financing the mill without ANZ shan’t be a problem. Obviously Gunns will have a somewhat better time of it should ANZ come to the party, so there’s every reason to maintain the rage on that front. Similarly, Poyry Forest Industries and indeed any and all divisions of Poyry are to be watched in any manner possible by anybody able to. With their long term relationships as Gunns’ main consultant and an advisor to the federal forests ministry they are a mover and shaker with plenty of motivation and access to make major scale funding happen from abroad.
But perhaps most telling is the development pointed out by Mike Bolan. Gray’s son, Ben Gray, is indeed tapped into major private equity group Texas Pacific. They hold several billion dollars and are more than capable of leveraging more. They have already partnered in the failed bid for QANTAS, and taken a sniff of Coles. There is extended footage here of Ben Gray talking with Janet Alberici – he looks disconcertingly like a bidgenned Kevin Rudd.
Also of interest is the name Newbridge, as this group was founded by Texas Pacific and has one of its global offices in Melbourne.
With approximately $3 billion in capital under management, Newbridge pursues
acquisitions of significant stakes and control investments – often together with local partners – and seeks to play a significant role in the development and implementation of strategies aimed at maximizing shareholder value.
Well, if you don’t quite crack it with an under-valued airline, a big fat high interest loan to a company often associated with claims of legislative domination and a relo on the board might seem like a pretty sweet deal – especially when there’s the option to seize masses of land and forest plantations all over Tasmania – if not Australia – should they welch on the deal.
Mike, I know you’re out there – I’d love to host any more detailed theories you have on where they’re hiding their cash-filled piggies.
Goddam it’ll be nice when John Gay finally announces that
“All we’ve tried to do is give this state the best possible chance it has for a bright future but due to the persistent sabotage and whining of boutique lefty interest groups – like Bob Brown, Christine Milne, the AMA, green NGOs, Terry Martin, Warwick Raverty, Peter Whish-Wilson, Sue Neales, Matthew Denholm, Geoffrey Cousins, pretty much the entire Tamar Valley, Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate, traders on the global pulp futures market, the ANZ bank, seals, penguins, eagles, and the atmosphere – it is a very sad day for me and at least 17 other Australians as I announce that we shall not be bringing the next step in the evolution of biodiversity, which is of course dioxins and pulped old growth, to Tasmania. You poor sad fools. I’m going to go home and cry now. Paul, get me some f&%#ing tissues.”
But until then the incident-rich war of attrition continues. Ben Quin, Federal Liberal candidate for the marginal seat of Lyons – which adjoins the pulp mill district of Bass – has just announced his resignation from the Party.
Mr Quin said it was now impossible for many people to distinguish between state and federal responsibility.
“With federal approvals now granted, there is no effective way for the majority to express their opposition,” he said.
“This has become political bullying and represents a fundamental failure of democracy in Tasmania.
“I will not stand as a Liberal candidate in support of such circumstances.”
Crucially close to an edge-of-the-seat election the Liberals have responded the only way they can – with a bitchy bout of sulkery:
“Having supported Mr Quin for the past two years as the candidate for Lyons and also at the 2004 election, it is regrettable that he has this close to an election taken the decision to walk away from his commitment to the party and his many supporters.”
Tossers. Speaking of flippant insults, I was feeling somewhat guilty about finally emptying my pockets of any crumbs of hope that Peter Garrett might suddenly emerge from a phone box wearing a cape made of organic hemp with a huge green ‘S’ on his chest. But then he further clarified his position.
Mr Garrett argued yesterday that the tracts of old-growth forest that will supply the mill were already earmarked for logging under the Regional Forest Agreement.
“One of the policy goals for using the existing forest identified for that purpose is to add value to it.
Now, disgusting as it is people do throw around Hitler and Stalin analogies like so much confetti at a wedding (between all levels of government and a select group of well-subsidised private interests). I hate this trend as it generally discredits thoroughly justified anger and revulsion. So without specifying a context, let me just say that this comment from Garrett makes me think of a situation where somebody might endorse killing a person and melting down their gold fillings as the far better course of action than simply killing them. The viable option of protecting life where it exists seems preferable to all scenarios apparently on offer, yet all those with responsibility to proclaim as much seem far too scared to do so.
Meanwhile, the guaranteed legal and protest challenges are firming on at least two fronts. Financially agile tourism portal entrepeneur Graeme Woods of Wotif credibility has thrown his hat in the ring, promising a multi-faceted campaign involving Investors for the Future of Tasmania,
“There will be campaigns at all levels, at grassroots levels, at legal levels, and a few others, so it’s far from over this whole debate.”
And to support this position, in addition to all other levels of opposition and challenge now being voiced, the Greens are drawing closer to lodging a formal legal challenge on the basis of Malcolm Turnbull’s conditional approval being legally inoperable within the ambit of the EPBC Act by which he is reluctantly empowered. Bob Brown explains,
“My reading of Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act section 132 (indicates) the minister has not acted within the law,“ Senator Brown said.
“We will have our barristers look at that and they are as we speak,” he said.
“We warned before he made the approval he should act within the law.”
To reclaim a phrase used by knob-headed Liberal supporters wringing their hands in excitement over the possibility that Tony Abbott might challenge Peter Costello for leadership supremacy – Game On.
You know, this pulp mill farce really does my head in. I think back to around February, the Labor party was really firing up. They seemed to have been overtaken by principles, values, and a righteous determination to set things right.
But now I’m even thinking of putting them behind the Liberals on election day – because the Liberals fuck the environment, they’ll sell out all values that impede profitability – not actual profits, or the existence of profits, but the vastness of profits is the thing to which they slavishly subordinate all other values. But that’s what Liberal Parties do. The Labor party is meant to have some kind of interest, if not in common sense or future generations, then at least in the will of the people. Instead the Labor party has provided no opposition, they haven’t even provided a ‘keeping the bastards honest’ kind of function.
So although the Liberals have maintained their values – none – and delivered for the people what the people expect of the Liberals – nothing – the Labor party didn’t even send their B Team for the big day. Instead, they sent the kid who should have been carrying the oranges to play the All Blacks and made a killing at the TAB.
Which means that even though the Liberals are the ones to have enabled this farce and signed off on the death warrant, the bastards who haven’t done a single thing to challenge, oppose, or stop them are in fact the bigger bastards of the day.
And that’s bizarro.
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.
Props to Kakariki for the Saffron Stencil find.
Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be handing down his decision in the matter of Gunns’ proposed pulp mill in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley this week.
Turnbull was applauded by Greens Senator Dr. Bob Brown when he retained Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr. Jim Peacock to conduct an independent review of Gunns’ submissions. The Department of Environment has already spent a week picking apart Peacock’s recommendations, probably seeking a politically expedient route to compliance.
The day that Turnbull received the report he declared on ABC’s Lateline that Peacock’s findings would soon be made publicly available along with Turnbull’s own response. Matthew Denholm points out in today’s Australian that this fiercely undercuts his initial insistence in late August that there would be opportunity for public consideration of the report and comment before the making of his final decision. Denholm quotes from the report filed by ABC journalist Felicity Ogilvie on August 30.
When the Chief Scientist gives us his report, we’ll publish it, and Gunns and everybody else will have an opportunity to comment on it, and then I would hope to be in a position to make a decision.
That position has since been ‘clarified’. Publication of the report for public consideration shall now follow the announcement of a final decision. Prior to any other media picking up on this ministerial backflip it was actually pointed out by Ogilvie reporting, again, on ABC national radio.
That was five weeks ago.
Today, Mr Turnbull’s changed his tune – he’s backtracked on the undertaking to let the public as well as the company see the Chief Scientist’s report before the decision’s made.
Mr Turnbull’s office calls this a ‘clarification’ of his comments.
Meanwhile, Gunns has been the only stakeholder to enjoy access to the contents of the report, via discussions with Turnbull’s Department of Environment. Funnily enough, Gunns CEO John Gay apparently denied Gunns having been privy to any such accomodation – the same day that Turnbull’s Department was admitting to it.
Many observers are expecting “conditional approval”, allowing construction to begin but requiring more effluent-related data before the mill begins operation in two years. Read the rest of this entry »
Efforts by Humane Society International (H.S.I.) to legitimize the Australian Whale Sanctuary took a step forward at the Federal Court of Australia in late September.
In 2004, H.S.I. first sought an injunction – an order seeking to restrain action that would otherwise be an offence – to prevent the Japanese whaling fleet operated by Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd slaughtering whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary, Antarctica.
The process was interrupted in 2005 by the determination of Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock that allowing H.S.I. to sue the whaling company would not be in Australia’s national interest.
The full bench of the Federal Court, however, determined that H.S.I. should be able to proceed with their action. Three years on, H.S.I. must now seek advice from the Attorney-General as to whether the Howard government still views enforcement of Australian law in Australian waters off Antarctica as purely discretionary.
The timing is now crucial for over a thousand whales facing explosive and electrified harpoons this summer in the name of “scientific research”.
Since the year 2000 when the relevant Australian laws were enacted, Japan has killed over 1200 whales within the sanctuary’s waters alone. Ably supported by Junior Counsel Chris McGrath and senior solicitor Jessica Wood from the Environmental Defender’s Office, Stephen Gageler Q.C. presented locations and numbers of whales killed to the court from detailed records kept by the whalers.
In Gageler’s discussions with Justice Allsop, the subject of last season’s Antarctic hunt was naturally discussed. A seriously reduced kill by the Japanese was attributed to intervention by Sea Shepherd as well as a 10-day fire and breakdown aboard the factory ship Nisshin Maru. Allsop J. did also ponder aloud why Sea Shepherd, “the other side, as it were” were not arrested on their visit to a Melbourne port following the “altercation”. The discussion turned to the possible nature of ports as places of refuge. Read the rest of this entry »
Is it a link to a lively discussion which demonstrates just what a fucktard one must be before qualifying as a spokesperson for woodchipping, or have i decided to turn this into a blog featuring grown-up television shows and former 60 Minutes reporters forced to do dispute resolution soft porn to earn a crust? Click the pic and find out / spin the wheel, raggedy man!
For APEC highlights so far, this story’s quite cute (and accurate).
Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the ambience of a non-specific something-for-everybody public demo where the overzealous police ministers and the dumbass songsheet media might have actually not got what they were expecting for once. It works better if you can imagine a soundtrack something like *rabble rabble rabble rabble*. It was the most bloody Australian that Sydney’s been all week. Good on youse.
interesting random fact: Hitler’s funky SS uniforms were designed by Hugo Boss. Truly.
Aussie Poll-Most Say Howard Support of Bush on Climate Change, Iraq Hurts Australia
A national survey conducted by Roy Morgan Research suggests that US President George W. Bush’s vocal support of Australian Prime Minister John Howard is likely to backfire. By an overwhelming margin, Australians told pollsters that Howard’s backing of Bush policies on climate change and Iraq hurts Australia’s international reputation more than it helps.
The poll was released in conjunction with an APEC campaign on climate change by Australian online campaigners GetUp and its global partner Avaaz. It amplifies the 500,000-signature global petition calling for binding global targets for climate change emissions that will be unveiled with a 144 square metre banner at Bondi Beach on Friday.
Among the poll’s findings:
- Two thirds (69%) of Australians say Howard’s support for Bush on climate change and Iraq hurt Australia’s reputation
- Only 16% say that Bush’s support for Bush helps Austalia’s reputation
- Even among Howard’s own supporters, fully half (50%) say Howard’s support for Bush has hurt–with fewer than a third (31%) saying it has helped
Poll question: Do you think that John Howard’s support of George Bush’s policies on issues such as Iraq and climate change has helped Australia’s reputation or hurt it?
|No Difference/ Don’t Know|
|Coalition voter (2PP)||
|ALP voter (2PP)||