Wrongful DIMIA detentions: Cornelia Rau times 26
Wednesday June 14th 2006, 8:36 am

image: abc.net.au

DIMIA have been forced to admit that aside from the extrajudicial 10-month jailing of Cornelia Rau in the Baxter immigration detention facility and the imprisonment and deportation of Vivian Solon Alvarez to the Philippines, 26 more citizens or other lawful residents of Australia have been incarcerated in DIMIA prisons. There’s yet another roughly 175 cases of wrongful DIMIA jailings yet before the Ombudsman.

DIMIA have bought the silence of a number of the victims of wrongful imprisonment at an average cost of around $75,000 per.

Now, I reckon that’s damn good value for money! Had DIMIA illegally incarcerated little old immigrant me, they’d be parting with a lot more than $75K.

Incidentally, I’ll be popping out for a coffee later on this arvo. I could use some extra dough and I don’t have much on for the next week or so. Maybe I could hit the DIMIA lotto, too. I certainly sound ‘foreign’ enough.

How ’bout it, Senator Vanstone?


Beaz sez he’ll protect holiday penalty rates
Saturday June 10th 2006, 5:51 pm

Read my lips. Kim Beazley promises a dollar short solution, two months late.

Beaz, take some advice from Penn Jillette.

When in a hole, Beazer- stop digging.


Women deceived by fake ‘pregnancy counselling’ services
Thursday June 08th 2006, 10:46 am

Stop Australian Government funded deception of womenIt’s a new game in Australia, but it’s been played in the US for many years. Australian anti-choice activists are running fake ‘pregnancy counselling services’ which mislead women into believing they are going to get abortion services- when nothing could be further from the truth.

These fake counselling services not only don’t provide abortion services, but deliberately spread mis- and disinformation about abortion, up to and including telling women that abortion will increase their risk of breast cancer, mental illness and infertility- all of which are patently false.

Worst, these ‘services’ are funded by the Australian Government!

The government has even awarded the ‘Order of Australia’ medal to anti-choice activists posing as ‘pregnancy counsellors.’

An automobile dealer couldn’t legally tell you that flying instead of driving a car could cause cancer, but these sham ‘counselling’ services can get away with it because there is no regulation of the scam ‘crisis pregnancy counselling’ industry.

GetUp Australia is running a petition which seeks to halt government funded deception of women in crisis. Sign it- then write your MP telling him or her that the Australian Government should not be funding disinformation campaigns which victimise women.


Journalists arrested after US Army copter hits TV tower
Sunday June 04th 2006, 11:49 am

image: Windows Live Local

WFXL & WALB TV tower site

A twin-rotor Chinook helicopter carrying 5 US Army personnel yesterday struck a guy wire on the 1000 foot tall WFXL-TV transmission mast near the small US town of Doerun in southwestern Georgia, causing the craft to crash, killing four of the five servicemen aboard.

The WFXL mast is still standing, though without one of the critical top 3 guy wires. The WFXL tower is only about 100 feet away from the WALB tower, also 1000 feet tall. If the WFXL tower falls, it could take down the WALB tower along with it.

The Army ‘locked down’ the crash scene. Reporter Brandon Beyer and videographer Phyllis Ho from nearby WTXL-TV in Tallahassee, Florida, who were trying to report on the crash, were arrested and charged with ‘obstruction.’ The arrests were ordered by the Army and carried out by the local county sherriff’s department.

Since when does the US Army have the authority to prevent journalists from reporting news within the USA? This is no different than if United Airlines would have tried to have newsies arrested for reporting on the September 11 2001 crashes of their aircraft.

Someone should inform the US Army that they can only bully journalists who are ’embedded’ with military units in Afghanistan and Iraq- they don’t have the authority to monster newsies working within the USA.

Early reports indicate that weather could be the cause of the collision:

Thursday morning weather was foul

June 1, 2006

Doerun — At news time, the South Georgia weather was hot and there were thick white clouds against a blue sky.

But about 8:00AM, the horizon looked very different. Cloud cover hid the top halves of the twin 1,000-foot towers.

Low cloud sounds a reasonable enough cause for this collision- so what is the US Army trying to hide?


ID card not so smart
Thursday June 01st 2006, 10:39 am

who stood to gain by Kelaher's resignation? (image: ABC)

One of these people is lying.

John Howard and Joe Hockey want to put big government in your pocket– but why? And why were privacy concerns so insurmountable that James Kelaher resigned?

The excuse du jour for spying on recipients of government payments is either terrorism or welfare fraud, depending upon whom is trying to scare you today- but neither holds any water.

The truth is that you have a MUCH greater chance in Australia of being killed in an auto accident than by a terrorist act. The “smart” ID card can’t possibly protect you from bombs and bullets- and it won’t have air bags, either.

The ‘welfare fraud’ alibi is just that- horsehockey. Australia has among the very lowest rates of welfare fraud in developed nations; around 0.5%. The cost of welfare fraud in Australia is much less than the $10 billion estimated cost of implementing the “smart” ID card. Moreover, the vast majority of that 0.5% fraud rate has to do with undeclared income- not identity fraud.

Being a disabled pensioner, I am completely sick and tired of downward envy. I became disabled as a result of complications from being plowed off a motorcycle by a drink driver. How fair is it for government to again victimise people who are already victims of circumstance? One thing for sure, no one is getting fat and sassy on $499.70 per fortnight. Demonising the disabled is so tabloid. Can’t the Liberal Party and the trash media find someone else a bit more deserving of abuse? People with disabilities and single mums have had enough, thanks.

The Australian public are not being told the real reasons why we need a “smart” ID card. An ID card can not possibly increase public safety nor reduce fraud- so what is it really for? We don’t know- and the Howard government doesn’t want to tell us. Howard and Hockey deny that the ‘smart’ card is an ID card. Even the Department of Human Services website goes to some lengths to avoid calling it an ‘ID card.’ However, the jig is up when you look at the filename for the DHS webpage which describes the ‘smart’ card:


idc.htm? Filespeak for ‘ID card,’ perhaps?

If the gubmint is dying to spend $10 billion on something, how about dental coverage on Medicare? Traffic signals at all school crossings? Employment and healthcare in Aboriginal communities? Stormwater and wastewater recycling?

At present, pertinent data is distributed over many information systems. If critical data is placed in a single system, identity fraud will become a much simpler task for those inclined to take advantage. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The notion that the ‘smart’ card is beneficial because it will replace 17 ID cards is a benefit to no one but the government. No single person could qualify for 17 cards. I doubt Joe Hockey could even name them all from memory. The vast majority of people will have no more than two, or at very worst, three cards for government services. The ’17 cards’ suggestion is just another ruse.

I don’t care if Saint Alan of Fels is independently running the privacy management of the ID card system or not; a centralised information system is inherently vulnerable to improper access of information and identity fraud.

If you put all your eggs in one basket, someone will find a way to break them.

If you’re concerned about the proposed ID card, there’s a few things you can do about it.


UPDATE: Murdoch has another go at demonising recipients of entitlements. Not just terrorists- but dole bludgers, too! (hat tip to @ndy!)