Fierravanti-Wells says SBS mouthpiece for terrorism
Tuesday October 31st 2006, 8:23 pm

From The Aus:

We don’t peddle porn, says SBS

By Samantha Maiden

October 31, 2006 01:00am
The Australian

image: University of Wollongong
NSW Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

SBS, the multicultural broadcaster, was accused yesterday of going soft on terrorism and peddling pornography.

NSW Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells lashed SBS officials, also accusing the broadcaster of “siding with” Australian terror suspect David Hicks.

[...]

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‘Not internet warfare’? Then what exactly do you call it?
Sunday October 29th 2006, 7:04 pm

The SMH quoted me:

“I think what Google intends is not to restrict people’s freedom of speech,” Mr Stokes said.

“But we’re talking about bashing up brown people and defaming them. This isn’t politics, this is terrorism.”

But are nazi hitlist websites actually terrorism?

You tell me;

[Terrorism] is defined by the US Department of Defense as “the unlawful use of — or threatened use of — force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives.”

“The systematic use of terror, the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear for bringing about political change.”

“…the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear…”

Now, go have a look at Nic Miller’s redwatchnz.blogspot.com:

OK, then what is it?

Nic’s right… it’s not internet warfare. It’s terrorism in its most plain and unmistakable definition… unless, of course, an image of a handgun accompanied by such a statement was supposed to make everyone feel warm, cosy and secure.

If Nic were a brown fella in a turban, he’d be contemplating his navel in a concrete box for a few years.

And Google wants us to think that they’re not ‘evil’ for refusing to remove garbage like this despite Blogger TOS provisions specifically prohibiting it.

-weez



Free speech for nazis?
Sunday October 29th 2006, 10:21 am

There’s been a lot of commentary on the web regarding FightDemBack!’s call for Google/Blogger to remove racist websites from their blogspot.com facilities. The story has gone international, with translations into Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and many more languages worldwide.

While most people (except racists) are strongly in favour of Google bit-bucketing these sites, a few commenters canvas some misguided notions that ‘FDB want to curtail freedom of speech.’

Not so.

Here’s why.

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Google ‘harbours racists’
Thursday October 26th 2006, 7:54 pm

Cross-posted from FightDemBack!, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald

your host (image:The Sydney Morning Herald/mgk:Machine Gun Keyboard

Online vigilante* Brian Stokes (weez) at work.

Racist blogs targeting minority groups in Australia are springing up on the web, but Google’s Blogger, the service some are hosted on, refuses to take them offline, says an anti racism lobby group.

“Blogger is absolutely insensitive to complaints about racist and neo-Nazi content,” said Brian Stokes, co-founder of FightDemBack!, a group that monitors the activities of racists, fascists and other such offenders operating in Australia and New Zealand.

Blogger, owned by Google, enables anyone to create a blog or online journal, and publish their thoughts online using internet space provided by Blogger.

Mr Stokes said his group had reported numerous discriminatory Blogger journals to Google, both through the “flag” button that appears on each blog and through an email form that Mr Stokes said was “buried in their site, very hard to find”.

Mr Stokes said his appeals had fallen on deaf ears at Google.

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Joe Hockey AGAIN demonises welfare recipients for political gain
Tuesday October 24th 2006, 11:43 am

Joe Hockey wants you to know thine enemyThere’s an old American euphemism for utterly unbelievable lies; horse-hockey.

News Ltd. (or is that Ltd. News?) have yet another Hockey headline today designed to politically lever the ‘welfare bludger’ furphy.

The 0.5% rate of welfare fraud in Australia is among the lowest in the world. 99.5% of those collecting a benefit are honest, deserving recipients, but Joe won’t tell you that.

The numbers of benefit recipients in Australia are also very small compared to the total population.

Never have so many in such a small group paid so much for the self-serving political propaganda of one politician.

Big Joe’s press releases are better composted than believed.

-weez



Who’s ABC?
Thursday October 19th 2006, 7:49 pm

Australia has some of the best editorial toonies on earth.

click for full size (image: Bill Leak for The Australian)
Bill Leak for The Australian
click for full size (image: Cathy Wilcox for The Sydney Morning Herald)
Cathy Wilcox for The Sydney Morning Herald

-weez



RIP Media Watch – again
Thursday October 19th 2006, 11:00 am

ABC burning from the inside outMedia Watch, the most powerful 15 minutes in Australian weekly television, disappeared from 2000 to 2002. Presenter Paul Barry was sacked in 2000 and the program was cancelled in 2001 by Jonathon Shier, then ABC Managing Director.

Shier appeared to be retaliating against Barry for a hard-hitting inquisition of then ABC Director, now Managing Director, Donald Mc Donald regarding punitive ABC budget cuts, raising questions about the journalistic independence allowed the broadcaster by government. During Shier’s tenure, Friends of the ABC drew massive crowds to public protests, one in May of 2001 (which I attended) on the steps of the Opera House attracted more than 10,000 people to demand Shier’s ouster and a halt to ABC funding cuts.

Media Watch returned to the air in 2002 with columnist David Marr as presenter. Marr took leave from the Sydney Morning Herald to host the show after Shier himself was sacked in early 2002. Marr returned to the SMH in 2004, replaced by Four Corners reporter Liz Jackson for the 2005 season. Walkley Award winning ABC journo Monica Attard took over presenting for 2006.

New ABC editorial policy announced by ABC Managing Director Mark Scott, which purports to enforce ‘balance’ in ABC programming, looks like it may again kill Media Watch. The program may still be on the air, if in name only. (more…)



Being disabled is not a crime
Monday October 16th 2006, 11:12 am

I didn't give up my rights to privacy when I lost the ability to work!

When people are convicted of serious crimes, they can be jailed, placed on house arrest and their lives monitored in extreme detail by parole and probation officers. Rights to privacy are withdrawn; crims’ houses can be searched at the will of supervisory officers.

The Liberal Party now wants to give Centrelink the ability to obtain warrants to enter and search the homes of benefit recipients as though they were common criminals.

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Videoblogger Josh Wolf jailed AGAIN
Tuesday October 10th 2006, 1:38 pm

Going Back to Prison

click here to download

US Federal prosecutors in the Josh Wolf case moved and succeeded in their motion to revoke Wolf’s bail. Wolf is once again imprisoned in the US Federal Penitentiary in Dublin, California.

Wolf will remain imprisoned pending his disclosure of his raw footage from a protest rally in which a police officer sustained a head injury, or until the April 2007 expiration of the term of the grand jury which has demanded his raw unpublished footage.

The American Feds are trying to make all journalists into agents of the police. There’s a major flaw in the case; California has a ‘shield law‘ which allows journalists to protect their sources. However, since the local police department receives funding from the US Department of Homeland Security, the Feds are trying to assert that Wolf has evidence in a Federal case against the unknown persons who may have assaulted the local police officer at the anti-globalisation protest Wolf recorded. Can you say ‘clutching at straws’?

I’ve only just read about Josh again being imprisoned this morning, though he was once again taken into custody on 22 September 2006. Josh’s mum, Liz, is minding Josh’s blog along with help from Josh’s friends while he’s back in the Dublin Penetentiary. Liz says that Josh is not getting as many letters as he did when he was last imprisoned and could use some mail to keep his spirits up.

You can write to Josh at:

Joshua Wolf 98005-111
Federal Correctional Institution – Dublin
5701 8th St. Camp-Parks, Unit J2
Dublin, CA, USA 94568

Just before re-incarceration, Josh was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The national chapter of the SPJ had earlier in the year given Wolf a $30,000 Legal Defense Fund grant, the largest in their history, to help defray Wolf’s legal expenses. Wolf’s attorneys have agreed to cap their fees at $60,000. That still leaves a mighty gap of costs for Wolf to cover.

Support citizen journalism! Send Josh a letter or donate to his legal defence fund via the PayPal button on his blog.

-weez



Ethanol: Don’t get fueled by John Howard!
Friday October 06th 2006, 11:10 am

don't be fuelish!

Knowing they’re in deep shit over petrol prices ahead of the 2007 elections, the Howard Government is pushing alternative motor fuels.

About the smartest thing they’ve done so far is to offer a $2000 subsidy towards converting existing petrol-powered vehicles to LPG, even though the waiting list for LPG conversions has blown out to more than 18 months at this moment… and yes, my old car (worth $1500) is on the waiting list!

However, Howard and Co. are also heavily pushing ethanol-blended petrol motor fuels.

Doubleplus bad idea.

The only people who will benefit from ethanol fuels are sugar cane farmers, the government itself through excise taxes and John Howard’s mates. Howard has a significant and controversial political relationship with Dick Honan, the owner of Manildra, Australia’s largest producer of ethanol.

John Howard has lied in the past about his contacts with Honan, failing to disclose his relationship with Honan before introducing plans in Parliament to mix ethanol in the nation’s petrol supply. If ethanol was so good for Australian motor fuels users, you wouldn’t think Howard would have to gild the lily- but ethanol only seems to be good for Howard cronies, the sugar producers’ lobby and government tax coffers.
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