DIMIA damage control? Blame the victim!
Wednesday July 13th 2005, 10:38 am

Former minister for immigration and well-known lying sack of shit, Phillip Ruddock, is trying a little forward damage control in the media ahead of the release of the Palmer enquiry into DIMIA stuffups with regard to the unlawful incarceration of Cornelia Rau and deportation of Vivian Alvarez.

In an interview on ABC Lateline, Ruddock got stuck straight in to the victim-blame trip, claiming that Vivian Alvarez could have prevented her own deportation but did not notify officials that she was an Australian citizen. Previously, both Ruddock and Amounda Vanstone have both tried to blame Cornelia Rau for her 10 month unlawful imprisonment by DIMIA. Now the lying sack of shit is trying to say that Alvarez willfully concealed her identity and thus her deportation is her own fault.

Sorry folks, but this is 100% bullshit.  It is a basic, basic, BASIC responsibility of any law enforcement agency to establish the identity of those taken into custody and also to establish that there is just and lawful cause to hold the person. When a person is unable (or unwilling) to provide identity information, it is incumbent upon authorities to perform that identification, exhausting all sources of information available, up to and including such esoterica as CrimeStoppers or the local newspapers– where this particular notice regarding the (then) missing Cornelia Rau was printed: 

image: Sydney Morning Herald 

If it is possible for Australian authorities to identify those killed, and in many cases dismembered in the 2002 Bali bombings, it is most certainly possible- and much more easily so- to identify intact, living persons held in custody.

IN FACT, Vivian Alvarez did correctly identify herself to immigration authorities, but did not have her passport in her possession at that instant to prove her claim of citizenship. It’s amazing that she was able to provide even this level of identification, given that she was suffering the aftereffects of a closed head injury sustained in an automobile accident*. Moreover, Australian citizens are not required to carry proof of citizenship with them at all times.  

Quite simply, it was not in the interests of DIMIA to correctly identify people and verify their residency bases. Their job, as instructed by the HoWARd government, was only to incarcerate and deport suspected illegal migrants, not to verify who they really are and whether or not they are legal residents of Australia. 

HoWARd, Ruddock & Vanstone have been using DIMIA as their own private racial police, enforcing a new White Australia policy.

Now it is anticipated that the Palmer Enquiry will not call for a Royal Commission, ensuring that the actual facts of who was calling the shots will be kept quiet- and those truly responsible will not be held accountable for these crimes.


It would be fully reasonable to have HoWARd, Ruddock and Vanstone charged with kidnapping!

Don’t allow the HoWARd government to lie their way out of this one… and don’t let the ALP help them do so.

Write paper letters to HoWARd, Beazley, Allison, Brown and to anyone else in your local government, demanding a Royal Commission enquiry into DIMIA- and a response to your letter, in which is described what will be done in the future to stop DIMIA being used as a political weapon against Australians!



* The cause of Alvarez’s injuries were revealed in the Palmer Report not to be from an automobile accident, but domestic violence. Alvarez was beaten by her husband and was found wandering, injured and destitute, which was her cause for being taken into custody and eventually deported by DIMIA.

Red-handed Rove did it
Tuesday July 12th 2005, 9:32 am


Shrub strategist Karl Rove

(image: Reuters) 

It is a federal crime in the USA to identify CIA operatives to the press- and whoopee, that’s precisely what Karl Rove has been caught out doing.

Newsweek magazine has *ahem* somehow gotten hold of Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper’s notes which name Rove as the source who identified Valerie Plame as a CIA op. Rove apparently released the information about Plame in retaliation against her husband, the former US ambassador Joseph Wilson, who had written an op-ed piece for the New York Times, in which Wilson debunks the White House claim that Shrubbo was told that Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, had sought to buy uranium from Niger to make nuclear weapons.

Rove has also testified three times before Congress that he did not know Plame’s name nor that he outed her to the press- which rightfully ought to buy Karl a trip to the Federal Hilton for perjury… on top of the charge for revealing the name of a CIA op to the press.

Can you say… busted?

Since the White House will not comment… you can reasonably presume they are hip deep in shit.

Now let’s wait and see if there is the "political will" to put Rove where he belongs… in a federal prison with his new cellmate, Bubba.

I wonder also if the "political will" exists to release New York Times journalist, Judith Miller, from jail. Miller was incarcerated last week for contempt of court given her refusal to release her own notes to the court. 

What Rovian magic do you think will be worked to keep Karl out of prison?


The Famous Flautist
Sunday July 10th 2005, 9:41 pm




It’s not often that someone whom we’ve had over for coffee at Rancho Weezil is on the toob.

Flutey was featured today on the Talking Pictures segment of ABC’s Sunday morning program The Insiders, for which he’s notorious for sending up.

Did anyone actually hear what Toohey said after the segment?

Onyas, Flutey. 🙂


ENUM: Your IP address is your street address
Saturday July 09th 2005, 11:49 am


It once was said that "On the internet, nobody knows you’re really a dog." That’s not quite as true now as it once was.

As readily available as IP addresses are at present, it’s not terribly hard to track down the physical location of any particular person sending an email, commenting a blog or browsing the web. All you need is the knowledge to access to some fairly common network tracing commands like PING, TRACERT & WHOIS. A little applied deduction can reveal the search target’s physical location to within 5-10km, but not generally much closer than that. However, if you can show just cause to a judge that someone at a particular IP has caused you harm (i.e. defamation), you can get a court order to force the ISP which operates the block of IP addresses containing your search target to give you the name and address of the person who was online using that IP at any given time.

However, the benefit of anonymous expression is that it permits information to be circulated without the author being an issue. Many small minded debaters find great delight in the ad hominem fallacy, where the author, instead of his information, is attacked as the crux of discussion. Anonymity forces discussion to focus on the issue and not the speaker.

If you mind your stealth, real anonymity is still possible, if a bit fiddly. Internet is unique in human history in that it is possible, with some effort, to publish widely while remaining completely anonymous. A person can indeed still post messages, browse web pages and send emails without any of them being traced back to that person.

Roger Clarke has written a paper called "ENUM – A Case Study in Social Irresponsibility" which describes a system of interlinking IP addresses and regular copper-wire telephone numbers and why it is a privacy hazard. The ENUM proposal is almost unknown outside of ISPs and those people drafting the standards for the next incarnation of Internet. Standards are being driven not by the massive hordes of internet users for their benefit, but rather by governments and big corporate marketing concerns. Clarke gives a concise histroy of privacy models and how they are being bent to fit the needs of law enforcement and salesmen. ENUM would be a boon to government, law enforcement and marketers as it would reveal one’s location to within a few metres. The default mode of ENUM is opt-out, not opt-in. Critics and whistleblowers would be much easier to find- to sue… or arrest.

Given the widespread use of the ‘SLAPP‘ lawsuit in the USA by governments and businesses with deep pockets for legal fees, it’s completely possible to suppress bad business practises or corrupt government with a well-placed writ. It’s even easier in Australia to shut people up with SLAPP type lawsuits as there are no laws in present existence protecting people against them.

Protect your right to howl at the moon and bark in the night. Keep a watchful eye on telecommunications privacy issues as legislation is proposed.


Presidential mountain bike damaged – again
Thursday July 07th 2005, 7:04 pm

Shrubbo is now no longer a danger only to himself; he nearly took a Scottish cop with him this time

weezilCo has got the solution!

Introducing Presidential Training Wheels™!


Great for any unbalanced executive.


well… almost any.


Drug-driving tests: Just Say No
Saturday July 02nd 2005, 12:23 pm



image: zwpatch.com

Tasmania has quietly become the second Australian state after Victoria to implement roadside drug testing of motorists, despite the scientifically proven unreliability of the mouth swab type tests. Such tests are, and remain banned in the UK at least until 2006 due to their known inaccuracy and likelihood to be successfully challenged in court.

On 13 December 2004, Victorian delivery van driver John De Jong was the first Australian driver to be drug tested at roadside and unremarkably was also the first to be victimised with a false-positive from the swab-type test. Well before De Jong was given the second, purportedly confirmatory drug test by blood sample, Victoria Police paraded De Jong in front of waiting news media- in fact, he was photographed as he exited the police roadside testing van.

De Jong was identified by name and image by police to media as testing positive to cannabis and methamphetamine use, even before the initial swab-test was confirmed by a second, more reliable test. Victoria Police had actually notified news media that they would be performing the roadside drug tests so cameras would be on hand to villify the first person to be identified by the tests as a ‘drugged driver.’

De Jong’s wife and children actually found out about his being identified by Victoria Police as a ‘drugged driver’ from the news media- not from De Jong himself!

Victorian Police have steadfastly refused to apologise to De Jong for the faulty test and the media circus which they organised, despite a police administered second test and a test organised privately by De Jong BOTH indicating he was not under the influence of cannabis nor methamphetamine when tested on 13 December 2004. Further, of the first three drivers swab-tested by Victoria, fully 66% of the tests administered were proven to be wrong.

News media (even ABC) have been totally remiss in failing to follow up on the fact that the VicRoads had taken their advice on implementing the swab tests from a salesman of the testing swabs and equipment. A Mr. Michael White identified himself to ABC as being the head of a ‘drug support group’ called "Drug-Safe Australia." In actuality, Michael White either works for or is the proprietor of "Frontline Diagnostics" which on occasion trades under the name "Drug-Safe Australia."

As I wrote last year:

A little searching reveals "Drug-Safe Australia" is in fact not a ‘drug support group’ at all, but is actually Frontline Diagnostics, a seller of drug testing equipment including mobile drug testing labs and education programs for employers. From their website:

Drug-Safe Australia Pty Ltd trading as
Frontline Diagnostics
The Penthouse
Level 5, 22 Atchison Street
Crows Nest NSW Australia 2065

Why have the news media not chased up this lead? After the high rate of false positives was revealed, White himself damned the tests as "defective" and as not being ready for use in an application where criminal charges would be laid against those who tested positive at roadside.

On 22 December 2004, ABC news quoted New South Wales traffic services commander, John Hartley as saying said the mouth swab-type tests were to be given a 12-month trial in NSW beginning "…early next year (2005), however the first 12 months are only a trial." Doubtless due to the furore surrounding the false-positives in Victoria, no news agency has to my knowledge yet reported that the swab tests have actually been pressed into service in NSW, either in a legally moot trial or in active use as a means of formally accusing motorists of driving under the influence of drugs.

The problem with mouth swab (and urine) tests is that they do not test for the actual presence of the active compounds of illicit drugs in the bloodstream, rather they test for ‘metabolites’ or the residual chemical components of drugs, which remain in the body after the metabolic processes break them down into simpler components. These metabolites can remain in the body long after the period of acute intoxication produced by the drug has worn off. The time of retention in the body varies with the type of drug, how much the person used, how often the person uses the drug, and so on. Cannabis metabolites stay in the body longer than those of most other drugs, up to 60 days in some cases. John De Jong reported that he had used cannabis about 4 weeks prior to the police swab test.

Also, metabolites of perfectly legal drugs which you probably have in your home medicine cabinet will cause false positive readings for cannabis and other drugs. Ibuprofen, the active ingredient in the brand named Advil, Nurofen, Panafen IB and other common over-the-counter pharmacy drugs used for joint inflammation and period pain, is well known for inducing false-positive metabolite results for cannabis. Unsurprisingly, De Jong reported having used two tablets of an "anti-inflammatory" medication on the evening before he tested positive to cannabis use with the police mouth swab. Tasmanian women who use ibuprofen for period pain will ostensibly be disqualified from driving several days (or more) per month if Tasmania continues to use mouth swab tests.

I’ve written extensively about this issue on my old blog, mainly due to the social justice aspect of people being falsely accused of a crime by an overbearing government, not because I think it’s okay to drive under the influence of drugs: 

This is a case of the Vic government wanting to look tough on drugs and having been sold a bill of goods by some junk scientists. Victoria will learn their lessons in the courts when the drug driving charges are thrown out and their use is suspended. Most unfortunately, this miscue will make it doubly hard to get accurate tests in the hands of police should such ever be developed.

As a victim of a near fatal collision with a drink driver, I am all for sober drivers, but police can’t run about throwing people in jail using junk science.

Now Tasmania’s on board with the junk science campaign, trying to look tough on drugs for the electorate, when in fact they are victimising the electorate for their own benefit and self-perpetuation.

Further, drivers are not legally protected from a swab test sample also being used for DNA testing, which may inadvertently cause the driver to be implicated in a crime- a violation of one’s right not to self-incriminate.

Until roadside drug tests can be proven to be as reliable as the best available in a laboratory or hospital and the driver’s privacy rights as to the use of the sample are protected, the instant drug test is an instant way to huge legal bills and defamation by police in the media, for which they will not apologise- nor find themselves under any particular obligation to set straight the public record. 

If you are ever confronted with a police mouth swab test, your smartest move is to refuse the test, cop the mandatory driving suspension and pay the fine. In the end, you’re miles ahead on legal fees and hopefully won’t end up with your face on the evening news.