Special podcast: Loewenstein interviews Fisk
Saturday March 11th 2006, 11:14 am

Robert Fisk with lecture organiser Antony Loewenstein

Robert Fisk must have more energy than any other journalist on earth.

Despite delivering an impassioned 90 minute lecture to over 1000 people in the Macquarie Theatre and autographing about 400 copies of his new book, Fisk still found the reserve oomph to record a 15 minute interview with Antony Loewenstein, which was engineered by Jon Fox.

Even if you were in the audience at Mac U last evening, you won’t have heard this material.

Fisk covers Australian journalism and the anti-semitism stigma many journos face when writing material critical of Israel. Don’t miss.

This special interview will be podcast exclusively from Fourth Estate Radio. Check in at 4ER for webcast times and podcast file location.


Fisk speaks at Macquarie Uni
Friday March 10th 2006, 11:11 pm

Fisk at Mac U

Antony Loewenstein was all too right when he estimated earlier in the week that the originally scheduled lecture hall would be far too small for Robert Fisk.

full house plus

Every seat in the house was taken within 5 minutes of the doors opening and security had to shoo a few step-sitters out. Fortunately, Mac U was able to videolink the lecture to several other venues on campus.

Fisk at Macquarie Uni

Fisk gave a blazing oration at the Macquarie Theatre tonight.

Fisk shredded the myth of the eternal ‘War on Terror’ from top to bottom, commenting that Shrubya wasn’t really bright enough to pull off the war on Iraq. He also produced a videotape of Israeli forces shelling a refugee camp while an Israeli helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle provided target spotting, both of which the Israelis denied were in the area when the camp was shelled. Another Fisk video showed ethnic cleansing in action in Serbia, with Muslims being put on trains with an hour’s notice and a mosque destroyed by explosives.

The 1000 strong audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation. Fisk took several questions, including one from Keysar Trad of the Islamic Friendship Association before autographing a few hundred of copies of his new book, The Great War of Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East.

A who’s who of the lefty blogosphere was in attendance. Suki, Polywise, Darp and Gail were on hand, along with organiser Antony Lowenstein and Jon Fox of 12th Harmonic and Fourth Estate Radio who was busied with sound engineering and recording for the upcoming podcast.

The podcast will be on Fourth Estate Radio as soon as Jon can run a little processing on it. The audio in the hall was less than ideal and will need a little polishing up. Check over there for webcast and chatroom times.


Product not as advertised
Thursday March 09th 2006, 8:01 pm

not what you thought

The American Civil Liberties Union is a well known, popularly funded civil rights organisation, known the world over by its acronym, ‘ACLU.’ The ACLU has a long tradition of ethically defending unpopular free speech causes.

The ACLU have in fact defended neo-nazis and white supremacists in the past, perhaps most famously in the late 1970s when American neo-nazis demanded (and were granted by the US Supreme Court) the right to demonstrate in the very Jewish Chicago suburb of Skokie, Illinois. Immortalised as ‘Illinois Nazis’ by Aykroyd & Belushi in their 1980 film, The Blues Brothers.

An Australian organisation, the ‘Australian Civil Liberties Union‘ is co-opting the ‘ACLU’ acronym, portending themselves to be a civil rights advocacy organisation.

Not quite.

Dig a little deeper and you find an anti-Jewish, holocaust denial and anti-Muslim tripe geyser.

The AusCLU is not the ethical defender of civil rights they want you to superficially believe they are. AusCLU is in fact a front for the Citizens Electoral Council, which is funded by the king of the anti-semitic conspiracy theory nutbags, Lyndon LaRouche.

Sorry, AusCLU, civil rights are human rights- and even Muslims and Jews deserve them.


UPDATE: See also the Southern Cross Greens, who name-drop ‘Earth First’ and co-opt the Australian Greens policies- but add a few nasty little xenophobic ones of their own. Another quality page hosted on Angelfire.

How not to hook new business
Friday March 03rd 2006, 6:38 pm

From The Oz:

Row over foreign worker threat
By Nikki Todd
March 03, 2006

A ROW has erupted in a central Queensland city over local frustrations with foreign workers who cannot speak English.

The debate has been sparked by a 21-year-old shopkeeper who has publicly threatened to bar people who do not speak English at his Rockhampton outlet.

Dean Ruff, who owns the Kalka Bait and Tackle shop, said today he no longer wanted migrants in his store if they did not attempt to communicate in English.

The shop is near the Teys Brothers Meatworks, among the biggest abattoirs in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest employers in Rockhampton.

He said he had lost patience with the mainly Vietnamese migrant workers whom he said put no effort into trying to speak English.

"I treat everybody equally, I am not a racist, I do believe in equality," Mr Ruff told AAP today.

"But there’s people at the meatworks there that aren’t communicating and not trying to communicate."

So how hard are you trying, Mr Ruff?

If only this guy was smart, he’d be rich.

Deano should know how to say ‘hello’ (chào anh!) and ‘would you like to buy some worms and a fishing rod?‘ in Vietnamese. He’d get every cent of those Vietnamese workers’ leisure budget.

How about bi-lingual picture cards?


Wonder what it is about money that Ruff so dislikes. If they’re in his shop, they want to go fishing, not take over the government. 

Racism is vary intelajunt.  


DIMIA’s chickens home to roost
Friday March 03rd 2006, 10:17 am

Vanstone’s DIMIA is hemhorraging money over a string of abuses and misconducts.

The dentention of a young Iranian boy which caused him to witness other detainees attempt suicide and attack each other will run a bit over a million bucks.

Robert Jovicic, a longtime Permanent Resident, was deported to Serbia due to a string of crimes related to supporting his heroin habit. Jovicic, born in France to Serbian parents in 1966, came to Australia in 1968 when he was 2 years old. Former Immigration Minister Ruddock deported Jovicic to Servia despite Jovicic never before having set foot in the country. Vanstone has decided to bring the man back– and appears to be saying this is being done out of her good graces. The fact is that Jovicic qualifies as an ‘absorbed person’ under immigration laws- and should never have been deported at all. Wonder how much this little adventure will cost DIMIA?

DIMIA is giving the sack to GSL, the company charged with running the immigration detention centres, despite Vanstone defending the company in the past. The SMH says:

…immigration detention contractor GSL was found to have been hired even though it was more expensive and provided inferior services to competitors, the National Audit Office announced yesterday.

GSL’s bid was $32.6 million higher than that of the incumbent detention centre operator, ACM, when the latter’s bid expired.

Wonder how much the Rau & Alvarez cases have cost DIMIA? A couple of million isn’t unlikely.

Bad policy is terribly expensive. How ’bout we get it right the first time instead of having to mop it up with buckets of money?


Fisk lecture moved to larger venue
Thursday March 02nd 2006, 11:55 am

Robert Fisk (image: robert-fisk.com)Antony Loewenstein has found that there is so much public interest in the 10 March Robert Fisk lecture at Macquarie Uni that the talk has been moved to a larger venue. Fisk will be speaking at the Macquarie Theatre, the largest on campus. Video linkups will connect to other, smaller venues across the Mac Uni campus to accomodate even more people.

Technal facilities are in place to digitally record the lecture, which will be podcast on the evening of 10 March 2006 (Sydney time) via Fourth Estate Radio