Sydney police radio jammed during riots
Tuesday December 13th 2005, 7:26 am

During violent unrest in Cronulla and Brighton le Sands last night, someone who has got either a police radio or other equipment capable of transmitting on police frequencies was keying up the transmitter while police were trying to use their repeater system to direct officers to trouble sites in and around Cronulla and Brighton le Sands.

The jammer was keying up the mike and holding it next to the speaker of an AM radio tuned to 2GB while a talkback show was in progress. The jammer keyed up the transmitter specifically while callers were complaining about their (misguided) impressions of harassing and intimidating behaviour from young middle-eastern men.

For quite some time during last night’s violence, mainly between 11pm and 1am Sydney time, the jammer effectively shut down NSW Police radio communications. Police changed frequencies several times, but the jammer was able to follow and interrupt communications at will.

No mainstream news has covered this item yet, to my knowledge. If you’ve seen or heard any news reports on this, please let me know.


Racism is very intelajunt
Monday December 12th 2005, 11:29 am

This email was forwarded to me last weekend:

Subject: Fw: w: It’s Our Country – STAY HERE OR GO HOME

Our Country – YOU Have the right – the right to leave !

After Sydney not wanting to offend other cultures by  putting up Xmaslights.

After hearing that the State of South Australia changed  its opinion and let a Muslim woman have her picture on  her driver’s license with her face  covered.


Just a shameful day at the beach
Monday December 12th 2005, 8:47 am

image: wear some really strange shoes. I’m about as white, English speaking, blonde and blue-eyed as you can get, but I’m also a migrant to Australia.

It really was only hours after I got off the plane in Sydney in 1996 that I started to be fed crap about "wogs and abos" and yet strangely expected to commiserate with this racist tripe. It didn’t help much that one of my first addresses in Australia was in Sutherland Shire, an unusually insular and parochial part of the greater Sydney area, populated mostly by Anglo Aussies.

Last Sunday in Cronulla, the usually whispered undercurrent of racism went nuclear after a couple of surf lifesavers were bashed in the preceding week, reportedly by some young Lebanese-Australian men. The mainstream media and talkback radio were all but in bed with Australian neo-nazis in raising public ire about this attack. Most of the news items on last Friday and Saturday did not openly condemn the potential for violent reprisals from locals in the Shire. That’s as good as a green light to raise hell.

Not until the violence had spread to other popular Sydney beaches like Maroubra did the SMH and News Ltd papers start running items openly condemning the yobbos. Talkback radio absolutely failed the greater Australian community by fanning the flames of racial resentment. A female news presenter this morning on Channel 9 had the distinct lack of sense to suggest that the riots might "keep beaches safe."

While protection of our volunteer surf lifesavers should indeed be paramount, NSW Premier Morris Iemma did precisely the wrong thing by first suggesting that people attacking surf lifesavers should be sentenced to 25 years in prison, instead of shaming those who would mount vigilante reprisal attacks against anyone who looked vaguely middle-eastern.  Well, Morrie got exactly what he bargained for– a less than tidy little race riot.

Advance fair Australia.


Margo Kingston retires?!
Saturday December 10th 2005, 10:20 am

See you soon, Margo. Webdiary is closing up and Margo says she’s retiring.

This’ll be temporary. If she’s not writing for pay, she’ll be writing for passion- somewhere.

Good luck, Margo.


Babin bags Bush in one
Saturday December 10th 2005, 10:08 am


image: Rex Babin for the Sacbee

image: Rex Babin for The Sacramento Bee 

Spot on, Rex.


Silencing dissent through crisis fatigue
Saturday December 10th 2005, 8:32 am

Atlas had a tough gig. This thought is not lost on John Howard and his flying monkeys.

With a despot for a Prime Minister since 1996, and now with the Lieberals having a bully majority in the Senate, Australian bloggers are hardly starved for choice when it comes to considering which government evil to write about next. One could write several entries a day and still none could not begin to fully address the fact that Australia is truly on the road to hell– with no time allotted for debate.

And Ruddock is STILL wearing that Amnesty International pin.


Murdered by Air Marshals for ‘running in an airport while brown’
Friday December 09th 2005, 8:54 am


Murdered by US Air Marshals: Rigoberto Alpazar,
pictured with his with wife Anne Buechner
(image: Associated Press)

Terrorism claims another innocent life – but it is the cops doing the killing.

Word of warning: If you have a good tan, don’t move any faster than a crawl in US airports. If the cops think they can get away with it, they will pump you full of bullets then later claim you said you had a bomb. Once you’re dead, you won’t be defending your case, will you?

Armed US Air Marshals are now on board every aircraft that enters US airspace, including those departing from Australia.

Don’t make any sudden moves, mister.


UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, no one but the cops who murdered Alpazar heard anything about him saying he had a bomb.  Everybody act shocked, OK?

Parkin: Is government secrecy in the public interest?
Wednesday December 07th 2005, 11:35 am

Scott Parkin (image Carnell, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, investigated Parkin’s arrest and removal from Australia in September 2005 and has found it was based on "credible and reliable information." 

However, Carnell says "security reasons" prevent him revealing details of ASIO’s assessment. This means Parkin cannot challenge the ASIO ruling and subsequent deportation. (ABC News audio: Real Win MP3)

In case anyone needs reminding, government in a first-world representative democracy exists for the service of the people, not the other way around.  When government has the power to act with no justification to the public, without any means for redress of grievance, it has the power to act arbitrarily and capriciously for politically motivated ends. This is otherwise known as tyranny

If Scott Parkin had indeed been a provable threat to national security, he would have been remanded awaiting trial for terrorism or rioting offences, not deported and freed in his homeland. The official refusal to explain the true nature of Parkin’s alleged offence is all but an admission by the government that this action is wholly indefensible. 

Yet, John Howard wonders why there is such opposition to his proposed sedition offences.  Parkin’s case is incontrovertible proof that terrorism will be used as an excuse to suppress dissent, however peaceful and well-intended.


Howard opposed to Bill of Rights for Australia- but not for Iraq
Tuesday December 06th 2005, 4:08 pm

John Howard is in favour of a constitutional Bill of Rights for Iraq but opposes a Bill of Rights for Australians.

Considering the anti-democratic despot we have in power, perhaps we could convince the yanks to push for regime change in Australia, too. 

If only we had a few more oil wells… 


Hack me an iRiver
Monday December 05th 2005, 12:53 pm

iRiver H10 20Gb beside standard sized mouseI really enjoy Radio National– well, most of it. Some of it drives me ’round the bend. To take advantage of RN’s podcast services, I decided to pick up an MP3 player. Since RN MP3 files are huuuuge- often 25-30 megs- I chose the iRiver H10 with a 20Gb hard drive so I can have several weeks worth of programs on hand. I can now pick & choose the best of RN and listen when I want to.

Suki also loves RN- particularly Phillip Adams. She’s got an iRiver T30 with 1Gb flash memory. Flash memory isn’t as battery hungry as a hard drive; the T30 runs a week on a single AAA rechargeable battery. My near vision is pretty poor, so I need the H10’s larger colour LCD. I also like the H10’s BIG built-in battery which recharges when connected to the USB port. This hefty battery accounts for the rather large and clunky form factor of the H10, but it will go about a week on a single charge as well. Better yet, anyone with a Torx driver can replace the battery, unlike most iPods.

Unfortunately, I have some gripes about the H10. (more…)