Friday, August 31, 2007

The Professional Idiot Admits Defeat On Global Warming

"I've Done My Dash..."

After months of pretending that little had changed at the newspaper and the media company he works for, anti-global warming alarmist, Andrew Bolt, has finally admitted defeat off the back of a massive eight part 'Saving Planet Earth' campaign, with poster liftouts for the kids, in Sydney's Daily Telegraph. A campaign soon to be replicated in Bolt's own newspaper, The Herald Sun, which he likes to point out is "Australia's biggest selling newspaper".

Ever since his boss Rupert Murdoch announced that "climate changes poses clear, catastrophic threats" in early May, Bolt has been slowly degrading the sharpness of his attacks on those who claim to be fighting the rise of global warming.

No longer does Andrew Bolt lash out and call the likes of Al Gore and Tim Flannery deranged and mentally unstable and peddlers of fiction, as he did not so long ago, for their calls to combat climate change. How could he? His own boss has joined the campaign.

Murdoch said he would use his worldwide media empire to spread the message about combating climate change, and seeing as he control 70% of Australia's newspapers, News Limited can now claim the title of being Australia's largest reaching, and most influential, anti-global warming campaigner.

Before Rupert Murdoch converted, Bolt used to call Gore, Flannery and other CC campaigners frauds and liars. If they weren't mentally ill, they were "hysterical". Or they were falling victim to "the "warming faith", "the irrational faith", or the "new apocalyptic faith".

Here's Bolt on May 3, referring to global warming as :
"...a religion that already shows signs of falling apart."
Here's Bolt on Thursday, May 8 :
"I repeat, it’s a religion, and with that old-time hook - Repent, for the end of the world is nigh..."
True believers in global warming and climate change were, according to Bolt, all a bunch of "cultists" and, my personal favourite, they were busy promoting "the most superstitious pagan faith of all".

But then Rupert Murdoch delivered his "Clear, Catastrophic Threats" speech on May 9, and Bolt began to tone down the attacks on the "warming faithful", clearly because Rupert Murdoch had become one of them.

Now the Sydney Daily Telegraph has launched its massive 'Saving Planet Earth' campaign - with a similar campaign to soon begin in the Melbourne Herald Sun - Bolt is facing up to his corporate responsibilities, where blinding hypocrisy is clearly worth less than eight pages of ads in a Sunday liftout. But Bolt goes down with plenty of whining :
"How thrilled I am that one of the papers in our News Ltd family is campaigning to save the world from this shocking global frying that will start any time soon..."
Back in the days when Andrew Bolt didn't have to curb his opinions, or rein in his ranting, global warming campaigners were "planet wreckers". Now he calls them "planet savers".

How infuriating it must be for Bolt to see the "inspiring words" of his arch-enemies of reality, Tim Flannery and Al Gore, featured so prominently, without criticism, at the forefront of News Ltd's full blown climate change campaign.

Flannery? Gore? Even worse, soon to be federal Labor environment minister, Peter Garrett, was online the Daily Telegraph's live blog "discussion" of the day.

Andrew Bolt has admitted defeat :

Face facts: There’s no place now for my kind of petty carping....who might employ me now that I’ve done my dash.

Seniors Weekly?

Tim Blair, columnist with the 'Saving Planet Earth' Daily Telegraph, once warned Tim Flannery and other global warming proponents to stop scaring children with fear campaigns based on (in Murdoch's own words) the "clear, catastrophic threats" posed by climate change.

In particular, Blair warned those climate change true believers to "stay away" from his nieces, and fulminated over the teaching of global warming in schools.

The Daily Telegraph now devotes web resources pages and newspaper liftouts to teaching students the very same kind of Flannery approved "fear campaigns" that Blair and Bolt once railed so vehemently against.

News Limited is even linking up with a 'cool' mascot to 'get down' with the kids on ways of conserving energy : Ollie!

Will Blair now warn of the "alarmist" climate change fear campaigns of his own newspaper, and debunk the 'Saving Planet Earth' series? Particularly now the Daily Telegraph is pumping stories he once mocked about polar bears turning into cannibals due to the effects of global warming?

Yeah, right.

Regardless, Murdoch columnists struggling with their boss's embracing of all that they hate has become a very, very entertaining spectator sport, with plenty more fun to come.

The Changing Climate Of Andrew Bolt - Betrayed By Murdoch Over Climate Change

Bolt Anticipates Terror Attacks In Australia So Howard Can Showcase His "Vast Experience"

Back In The Gutter Where He Belongs

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Australians Like Americans, But Hate Bush

More Concerned About Threat Of Climate Change Than Terror

The next time some idiot tells you you're anti-American because you think President Bush is a power-crazed, warpig NeoCon, you don't need to bother to point out that it's not the average American you have a problem with, it's their leader. A new poll reveals the local NeoCon 'anti-American' guff for exactly what it is - a total fabrication :
...more than three-quarters of Australians had a favourable opinion of the nation's people.

Mr Bush is cited by nearly 70 per cent of unimpressed people and he was the top reason they had an unfavourable view.

US foreign policy was cited by 63 per cent as the reason they were turned off America, followed by American culture (41 per cent).

But only one in five Australians cited American people as the reason they had an unfavourable impression of the US.

Australians understand that Americans are as unhappy with Bush as we are, and they don't necessarily blame Americans for the violence and madness Bush unleashes on the world.

While the Federal Government makes much of Canberra's close relationship with Washington, three-quarters of Australians did not believe the US payed much attention to its ally when making foreign policy decisions.

Australians have also been placing less weight on the importance of the Anzus alliance over the last few years.

In 2005, 45 per cent saw it as very important compared with 36 per cent this year.

The Lowy Institute poll also revealed that the majority of Australians believe climate change poses a greater threat to the nation than terrorism.

Asked to consider the effect of foreign policy, tackling climate change and protecting Australian jobs were rated as very important aims by 75 per cent of people.

By comparison, 65 per cent of people saw combating international terrorism as a very important outcome of foreign policy.

86 per cent were worried by the risk posed by climate change compared with 68 per cent for international terrorism.

In all, the poll spells out serious bad news for prime minister Howard.

Australians want workers rights to be protected, for climate change to be tackled and for Australia to stop supporting President Bush so vehemently.

Howard, meanwhile, wants to continue stripping away more workers rights, delay any real action on climate change and follow President Bush into launching military strikes on Iran and extending the horror of the Iraq War for as long as possible.

And he wonders why he can't get an action in the polls?

Will Bush Cancel Australia Visit To Deal With Iraq And Iran?

The rumours have been running warm for a few days already in Washington, but now they're getting some local semi-confirmation from Howard's unofficial information minister Greg Sheridan :

I have heard a whisper, a muffled, confused, hesitant, distant, unsure sort of a whisper, but a whisper nonetheless, that the President may yet cancel at the last minute.

As The Australian revealed on Monday, Bush’s senior advisers unanimously opposed his coming to Sydney. That information is not a whisper. That information is solid.

Now, there is much less solid information that the President may still decide at the last minute to stay in Washington, DC. It could be that the final decision is not yet made. Certainly, if you’re going to cancel this late, it’s better for your host if you cancel at the very last minute because it means no one else will cancel as a result. It also looks more like a genuine last-minute emergency than a decision the meeting is just not that important.

A Bush cancellation would be a grievous blow to his friend John Howard, to APEC and to US standing in Asia.

Howard may be one of the only world leaders at APEC who will truly miss not having President Bush at the big table.

Well, China's Prime Minister Hu might want Bush there. But only so he can pull the US president aside and have a bit of a talk to him about the $1.3 trillion worth of American debt China now holds. Debt that is rapidly losing value by the day.

A no-show by Bush will make a big difference to the traffic delays that are expected to lock up many Sydney streets right through next week. Not every APEC leader will be cruising Sydney with twenty police car escorts and FA-18s protecting the motorcade's airspace. Some will be jumping into limos with a few security guards and not much else as far as security goes.

But don't think a no-show by President Bush will make a lick of difference to the stunningly overblown levels of ultra-security now enveloping Sydney.

Prime Minister Howard has kept up his daily mantra that Sydney will be swamped by cops and soldiers and secret service, divided by five kilometres of 'steel wall' fencing and Sydneysiders subjected to random demands for photo ID and body searches all because of supposed "violent protesters", who haven't yet protested.

Howard actually said yesterday that all the ultra-security had nothing to do with Bush's presence at APEC. The peels of laughter must have stretched from the Central Sydney police barracks all the way down to ASIO offices in Canberra.

If Bush does blow off APEC, the stars of the show will be Russia's President Putin and China's Prime Minister Hu, and considering their vast and aggressive opposition to the US missile defence shield that Howard is backing, and preparing to pour billions of dollars into, not having Bush by or on his side will make APEC all that more tense for Howard as he takes his final strut in the international spotlight.

The curious thing is, however, not being seen with the widely reviled President Bush, and instead being seen to be focusing on regional and local issues, may actually help Howard's standing in the coming election. It will also mean that the Iraq War will be far less of a focus for the media coverage.

Is Greg Sheridan just speculating, and passing on the low-level rumours he's hearing? Or has he already been told that Bush has informed Howard he's out and Sheridan is doing his duty by helping now to lessen the impact of the Monday or Tuesday announcement when Bush just might make it official?

Bush's bailing on APEC will throw the media focus of the talks squarely back where they belong, on Asia and the Pacific.

And the Bush no-show may serve as something of a metaphor for the near future of Australia as we settle into our place in a rapidly changing world order.

The United States slides towards recession and a post-Iraq War hangover amidst growing international hostility, staggering towards isolationism.

Australia, wealthy, confident and peaceful, ready to move into the 21st century with a new government then looks East instead.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

China Demands US-Australia-Japan APEC Meeting "Be More Transparent"

China's President Hu Will Sign New Energy, Natural Resources Deals With Australia

This story from the China Post claims that China's President Hu Jintao will be signing new deals for energy and natural resources - read Australian coal and uranium - when he visits Sydney next week.

But those deals are unlikely to feature any significant commitments from China when it comes to climate change, as government ministers have recently claimed.

Australia is now a "main supplier" of energy resources to China, with trade between the nations reaching more than $33 billion in 2006 alone.

But, as expected, China is unhappy with the controversial 'closed door' meeting between the leaders of Australia, Japan and the United States, which is expected to focus on the United States' plans to locate infrastructure for its global missile shield across the region.

Australia's foreign minister, Alexander Downer, repeatedly states that Australia is not helping the United States to "contain" China, but China doesn't believe him. Nor should anyone else.

story continues below....

Go Here To Read The First Chapters Of Darryl Mason's New Online Novel 'ED Day' - The Story Of Sydney After The Bird Flu Pandemic, And How 300 Survivors Begin To Build Their New Society

story continues....

China's Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said of the United States-Australia-Japan security meeting being held during the APEC summit :

"It is our view that such a meeting should be more transparent," Cui said.

This will be the first trilateral security meeting for the three nations, but China has apparently been rebuffed from having observers sit in on the meeting.

China is already kyboshing any talk that there will be major breakthroughs on the climate change front during the APEC summit.

Which should come as a surprised to prime minister Howard.

Or at least, that news should come as a surprise to anyone who believed Howard when he said he expected there would be significant progress with China and the United States on climate change, thanks to the APEC summit.

China still believes that the United Nations should take the leading role in the fight against global warming, and Australia and the United States should endorse UN plans that have already won praise and support from most of the EU.

Will President Bush Cancel His Sydney APEC Visit To Deal With Iraq And Iran?

Howard Claims Climate Change Will Be Top Priority At APEC - But China And US Already Downplaying Any Major Progress

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Local NeoCon Mouthpiece Livid Over BushCo.'s APEC Betrayal Of Howard

Bush/Rice To Australia, Asia : Screw You Guys, We're Going Home

China, Russia Likely To Use APEC Talks To Warn Australia Over US Missile Shield Plans

What does it take to make jets of steam shoot out the ears of the usually fawning local NeoCon mouthpiece, and avid BushCo. apologist, Greg Sheridan?

This :

With Bush to attend only day one of the two-day leaders retreat, which has become the heart of APEC, a secondary struggle with the Australians emerged over who would represent the US in the President’s absence.

Until quite late, there was every chance that Bush might not come to APEC at all.

However unpopular Bush may be in Australia, this would have been a devastating blow for John Howard, APEC and the US in Asia Pacific regionalism.

Nonetheless, this was the course that all of Bush’s top advisers strongly advocated.

He cancelled a summit with heads of government of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to focus on Iraq. Bush was supposed to attend this summit on his way to APEC.

...Bush is prepared to snub ASEAN because of the pressing politics at home of the Iraq war.

His Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, is prepared to do the same. She skipped the ASEAN ministerial conference for the second time in three years because of Middle East commitments.

When Rice first missed an ASEAN ministerial conference - her predecessor, Colin Powell, attended all four during his term - she was mortified by the severity of the Southeast Asian reaction.

...she turned up last year, but this year skipped it again. Rice was also extremely reluctant to come to APEC but Bush’s attendance gave her no choice.

However, the White House advisers had some success in convincing Bush to leave early.

He will attend the first part of the APEC leaders retreat on Saturday before flying home that night.

The Australians wanted Rice to attend Sunday’s meeting in Bush’s place. This led to a fierce argument between the Australians and Americans.

The Australians tried a little brinkmanship. It was to be Rice or nobody. The gamble failed.

With all the critical Iraq work to come up in the next few weeks, Rice was not going to miss 15 hours on a plane with her President.

In short, those 15 hours were more important than a day with 20-odd Asia Pacific government leaders.

This is a sorry reflection on the priorities of the second Bush administration as compared with the first. Powell would never have done this.

...Rice, like Bush, could not be bothered with the second day of the APEC leaders meeting.

In the Asia Pacific, the US president is required to attend APEC once a year, and the secretary of state is required to attend APEC and ASEAN.

It’s not too much to ask for the most dynamic region in the world, containing a slew of US treaty allies. It is, though, apparently too much for the US to give.

The grinding, frightening clanging of an all too obvious reality is rattling Sheridan's head. The United States doesn't regard APEC to be anywhere near as important as Howard does. If they did, Bush, or at least Condi Rice, would be hanging around for the full weekend of meetings.

How could President Bush do this to Australia, Sheridan quivers? How could Bush and Condi Rice do this to Howard?

BushCo. don't give a bucket of fuck about Australia, not as much as Howard would have you believe anyway, and they couldn't care less about Howard's ultimate hour of glory, as he basks in the warm glow of his long dreamed of APEC Sydney summit.

Australia contributed billions of dollars, and thousands of Australian soldiers, to America's War On Iraq, and in his first visit since that fiasco began, BushCo. can't even be bothered hanging around for the full round of APEC meetings. Nor can Rice.

BushCo. are not going to commit to anything more than the most meagre of climate change related "aspirational" goals in cutting emissions, supposedly one of the key focuses of the entire summit. But the US expects Australia, at APEC, to fully commit to supplying uranium to anyone the US tells them to.

They also expect Australia to take the heat from China, and Russia, over the US-Japan
-Australia plan for regional branches of the Missile Defence Shield.

"It's not about containing China," Alexander Downer squeaks.

Who believes him? Nobody.

China, backed by Russia, think that's exactly what the US missile defence shield is for. And clearly it is.

So why is Howard being all but snubbed by the BushCo. in his moment of international diplomatic glory? Has Howard already told them he will begin pulling out Australian troops by mid-2008? If he manages to somehow win the coming elections?

The excuse that Bush has to get back to the US to deal with the General Petreaus report on the Iraq "surge" is worthless. Bush is not going to pull US troops out of Iraq, and Congress is not going to stop funding the war.

Bush could just play tapes of previous "We Gotta Stay In Iraq, Here's Why" speeches and it would have the same effect as him being there in person.

The real reason why Bush wants to rush home is because he wants to be there for the sixth anniversary of the attacks of 9/11. The only time of the year the vast majority of Americans stop wishing that his head or his heart will suddenly explode, taking out vice president Dick Cheney at the same time.

Howard and Downer can spin the BushCo. abandonment of the APEC summit whatever way they want. The Chinese, all the Asians, know they're being snubbed. And they will not like nor appreciate such disrespect from Bush and Rice.

You think you got problems at home President Bush, the Chinese might say, well you better sit up and take notice of this part of the world. If you intend for the US to be a future player in the region, that is.

There will be big, important, world changing meetings at APEC. Yes indeed.

But the biggest and probably most important will be between Russia's prime minister Putin and China's president Hu, who'll be holding follow-up talks to their recent, and apparently successful, joint war games in Russian territory, which marked the military debut of the Shanghai CoOperation Organisation, a future challenger to the global reach of NATO.

They'll share photos and grins with Howard and Downer, and thank them for being gracious hosts, and throwing one hell of an expensive party in the most beautiful city in the world, but Howard and Downer won't be invited to the Russia-China talks.

Well, not to the one that really matters anyway.

Putin and Hu know that Howard and Downer are all but gone from the world stage, and the NeoCon militarism they so avidly supported will go down in history as utterly noxious and horrific, with the smoking ruins of Iraq as its unforgettable apex.

Why should Russia and China bother wasting time with Howard and Downer when, with the US heading rapidly towards recession, they've got half the world to now carve up between themselves?

How much time Putin and Hu spend with Kevin Rudd and his team will be a good indication of how Russia and China are planning to deal with Australia in the coming years.

On the grand bargaining table of a new world order, that is the "One World" that China will market via its 2008 Olympic Games, what does Australia have to offer besides the threat of help the US expand its regional hegemony?

As Paul Keating said recently, "...if we didn't have a pile of minerals to sell to the Chinese they (would) barely doff their hat to (Howard)."

For the next decade at least, China and Russia will both be very interested in our coal and uranium. It seems unlikely the demand for those energy sources will lessen, regardless of who runs Australia.

But Australia is not the only country that can supply such minerals to Russia and China.
Should Australia continue down the road of US-ghosted aggression against China, through its involvement in the US Missile Defence Shield, China may well use the tens of billions it pours into the Australian economy, through coal purchases, to try and ween us away from America.

Alexander Downer would have us believe that China and Russia are not concerned about our involvement with the US and Japan in establishing American missile defence outposts and infrastructure. But Downer is lying, as usual.

Downer, in an interview last night, tried to claim that a meeting between Australia-US-Japan leaders during APEC was no big deal, and was more to do with trade expansion in the region. But China, Australia's biggest trading partner, is not invited to those talks.

Why is that?

Because the prime focus of Japan-Australia-US dialogue will be the firming of plans for co-ordinating defence assets, with an eye towards keeping China from expanding too far, too far quickly, and destabilising the regional status quo.

Whomever controls the Malacca Straits in the next two decades, through which China is shipped most of it oil and coal imports, in turn controls, in some very important ways, the growth of China.

Australia, Japan and the United States intend to keep the Malacca Straits firmly under their control for as long as possible. One of the reasons why the Howard government has assigned billions towards expanding our naval capabilities.

With Australia committing more than $2 billion to the US upgrading of military satellite systems, it's clear Australia is committed, along with Japan, to US plans to deploy missiles and missile defence shield assets throughout the region.

Russia and China will both likely confront Howard and/or Downer over the missile shield controversy during the APEC talks. If either still believe there is a way to stop Australia from going down that path with the US and Japan.

But don't expect to hear Downer or Howard mentioning anything about those discussions. It won't be news of the good kind.

You'll have to look to the Russian and Chinese media to get that story.

Or here.

Paul Keating On The Wasted Opportunities Of Regional Security At APEC

Containing China - Australia To Commit Billions To US Missile Defence Shield

US Military Spying Base In WA Means Australia Is Pre-Committed To All Future American Wars

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yo Bro, You Dead Yet?

They build them tough in Australia :
...Keen and Mr Gilders had been friends for more than two years when the friendship soured after Keen suspected Mr Gilders of sleeping with his girlfriend.

...Keen stabbed (Gilders) in the neck, knocked him to the ground, dropped a large rock on his head twice and stabbed him again.

When he had finished, Keen asked Mr Gilders if he was dead yet, to which Mr Gilders responded: "Not even close, brother".

They shook hands after the stabbing and Keen left his friend for dead. Gilders didn't make a complaint about the attack. Keen confessed to police months later.

There's a definition of mateship you won't find in John Howard's Guide To Being A Ridgy-Didge Aussie.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Citizenship Questions Mostly Written By John Howard And Kevin Andrews

More Po-Faced Government Lecturing On What It Means To Be A Rool Orstrahyun

The Herald Sun reveals that the new National Citizenship Test is composed of questions and blurb mostly written and/or authorised by prime minister John Howard and Immigration minister Kevin Andrews. So you know it's a quality product :
Migrants will face a 20-question test drawn at random from a list of 200. They must correctly answer 60 per cent of the questions, including three on the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.
As part of the citizenship test, all immigrants must learn what are termed the "10 essential Australian values every citizen must embrace."

Here's a few of them :
...tolerance and mutual respect and compassion for those in need, dignity and freedom of the individual and the freedom of speech. They also include freedom of religion and secular government, freedom of association, support for parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, equality under the law, equality of men and women, equality of opportunity and peacefulness.
Fair enough. Though most of these could easily be called "international values" instead of just Australian. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality under the law, fairness and mateship are not uniquely Australian values by any stretch. You'll find similar values shared by the majority of people in any nation in the world where the government doesn't suppress such beliefs and freedoms.

Here's more from the "Aussie values" pamphlet :

"Australia has a strong tradition of mateship in which people help and receive help from others voluntarily, especially in times of adversity. A mate can be a spouse, partner, brother, sister, daughter, son or friend.

A mate can be a stranger."

But only if they pass the citizenship test first.

The pamphlet also takes aim at religious extremism: "Religious intolerance is considered unacceptable in Australian society. Religious laws have no legal status in Australia."

Unless you're a member of the Howard-approved religious extremists The Exclusive Brethren. You can say what you want about them, they're not allowed to use computers, read newspapers, watch television, wear shorts, read novels or engage in the democratic act of voting in elections. But somehow they seem to have no problem with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars helping the Howard government to get re-elected.

We decided to give the Citizenship Questions, published at the Herald Sun, a bit of a crack.

We can't guarantee that our answers to some of the citizenship questions written and/or okayed by Howard and Andrews are correct, but in the spirit of being a true-blue Aussie, we're ready to have a go.

Q. What event in the mid-19th-century, attracted an average of 50 000 free settlers to Australia?

The open market in selling opium, moonshine and over-priced mining supplies to gold prospectors and miners.

Q. What is Australia's national language?


Q. How many states and mainland territories does Australia have?

Too bloody many. That's why John Howard wants to get rid of all the states and territories and merge the whole country into one big united nation : Howardistan.

Q. What is Australia's Capital Territory?

The ACT.

Q. Where does the name 'Canberra' originate from?

Aboriginal word for "too many freaking roundabouts and porno shops."

Q. Does Australia have an official or state religion?

Yes, the worship of sweaty male sports.

Q. When is Australia's national day celebrated, and why?

Every Saturday arvo, while the footy's on, around the barbecue, BYO.

Q. What is depicted on the Australian Coat of Arms?

A tasty kangaroo and emu lunch.

Q. What are our National colours?

Gang colours are banned in Australia.

Q. What is Anzac Day?

A day to forget that the original Anzac Day was held to begin the fight for fair compensation and medical care for the tens of thousands of physically and emotionally wounded Australians who fought in World War 1 and were then abandoned by their government when they returned home.

Q. What is our nation's biggest sporting event?

Smashing the shit out of 'wogs' at Cronulla Beach, or people who kind of look like 'wogs'. Or the AFL grand final.

Q. Which famous horse won many races during the Depression?

Don Bradman.

Q. Who is Australia's Head of State?

Shane Warne. Until he becomes a German.

Q. Name three of Australia's strongest industries?

Stripping away workers rights, fighting America's wars, Howard government advertising spending sprees.

Q. What are Australia's biggest exports?


A real opportunity's been missed in this Citizenship Test exercise. Why not a few open-ended questions to get some real information and opinion from our newest citizens? Questions like the following :

What did you dislike about the country you left, and how we can avoid such problems in Australia?

What did you hear about Australia that made you want to start your life over again on these shores?

What do you think it means to be an Australian?

Who did you like more : Crocodile Dundee or the Crocodile Hunter?

If a dictatorship became a reality in Australia, what would you do to help overthrow it?

It's probably a good thing we're already Australian citizens. Don't think we would have got 60% of the questions right. But then again, shouldn't the mere act of being willing to have a go be good enough?

It used to be.

But that was before 'What It Means To Be An Australian' was officially defined and decreed by the Howard government.
Howard : Blame 'Violent' Protesters For Hardcore APEC Security

Zoo Animals To Be Relocated For Private Viewings By APECers

Harbour Fireworks, But Public Told To Stay Away

We actually thought it would be sometime late next week that the prime minister, John Howard, would begin blaming "violent protesters" for the increasingly draconian security locking up half of the centre of Sydney for more than seven days during the APEC summit.

But no, Howard's cut loose. Protesters, you see, can't be trusted to not become violent, even though dozens of protests have been held in Sydney since early 2003, drawing tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of people to the city streets, with no violent incidents whatsoever.

But Howard insists, as though someone has given him a firm promise, the protests will be violent. Howard knows this already. Somehow. And that three metre high 'steel wall' carving five kilometres through the city's CBD and parklands are simply to keep out protesters.

What happened to the threat of terrorism?

Or the fact that reviled leaders like President Bush usually require such extreme levels of security before he can show his face in public?

According to Howard, the threat of terrorism no longer matters. It's the threat of protesters that everyone should be concerned about. Or something :
Prime Minister John Howard says violent protesters are to blame for the severe security measures in place for the APEC meeting in Sydney.
"If people didn't violently demonstrate, these precautions would not be necessary."
Howard is still trying to pretend that the hours of traffic jams experienced by Sydneysiders when Dick Cheney visited Sydney earlier in the year only occurred because of the non-existent threat posed by "violent protesters".

Everyone knows that the Harbour Bridge was shut down for more than 90 minutes, causing huge traffic jams, just so Dick Cheney could whip across the bridge to have a beer with Howard at the publicly owned house he has occupied at Kiribilli, on Sydney's north shore, for 11 years.

Liberals want
the APEC protests banned from the streets of Sydney completely. They're not fascist pigs or anything, and they certainly don't want to deny people their democratic rights. Or so they say. They just want the protests to take place somewhere well away from the APEC summit :

The New South Wales Liberals say Sydney's Domain should be designated as an official protest zone to avoid traffic chaos during the September APEC meeting.

Liberal leader Barry O'Farrell said a designated zone would be the best solution for everyone, because street marches planned by protestors in the lead-up to and during APEC would cause chaos and confusion.

"People have a right to peaceful protest, but they don't have a licence to interfere with others trying to get on with their lives."

O'Farrell's argument should then apply equally to the world leaders descending on Sydney for the APEC summit. APEC leaders have the right to meet, but they don't have a licence to interfere with others trying to get on with their lives.
"A protest zone in the Domain, with facilities to allow media coverage of demonstrations, would balance the public interest and the right to protest," he said.
O'Farrell is talking about the absurd notion of installing 'free speech zones', to keep protesters who oppose war, violence, Communism, the crushing of human rights and censorship well away from those leaders of APEC nations that are guilty of some or all of the above.

Except for
the political and business elite, Australians are not invited to take part in any of the functions surrounding APEC. All of which will ultimately cost Australian taxpayers more than $400 million.

But animals from Australia's Taronga Park Zoo are invited.

Well, not invited.

They've been drafted, and will be relocated for private viewings by the wives of world leaders :

A contingent of Aussie wildlife from Taronga Zoo will be taken to Garden Island for a private viewing by the spouses of world leaders attending next month's APEC summit in Sydney.

A huge APEC sign will be lit up on the Harbour Bridge for the duration of the APEC summit. On the final night, September 8, a lavish dinner and show will be held at the Opera House, complete with a huge fireworks display on the harbour.

But the public are not invited. In fact, APEC organisers have made of point of using the media to tell families to not bother coming to the harbour foreshore to try and see the fireworks.

You're not invited. The fireworks are not for you, even though you will be paying for them :

Tall ships also will grace the harbour for the display named "River of Fire" but organisers moved today to ensure that it was staged for VIP eyes only, citing the security crackdown.

"The fireworks are a very short part of the evening and I would not suggest that it's worthwhile for the public to try to view the display."

Ms Fulwood said the concert and fireworks were designed to "show our guests from the Asia-Pacific a celebration of a confident nation rejoicing and proud of a wealth of talented performers".

A confident nation whose officialdom is not so confident as to invite the public to join in the 'celebration of democracy' that APEC is supposed to signify.

Stay home, APEC organisers have told the public and watch it on television instead.

Throw another two or three million into the APEC money pit for that private party.

What an abominably shitty way to treat the very same people who will be the most inconvenienced by the APEC summit.

Police Tell School Students Planning To Protest During APEC : We Cannot Guarantee Your Safety

Sydney Jails Cleared To Make Room For Up To 500 APEC Protesters - Weeks Before The First Protest Is Held - How Do The Police Know They Will Need To Arrest Anybody?

APEC Protesters Should Be On The Alert For Agent Provocateurs In Their Midsts

Talk Back Host, And Close Friend Of Prime Minister, Wants Any And All APEC Marches Shut Down - Free Speech Not As Important As APEC

Eight Year Olds Subjected To APEC Security Checks - Have Your Photo ID Ready If You Want To Cross The Street

Saturday, August 25, 2007

APEC Protesters Should Be Alert For Agent Provocateurs In Their Midsts

Alan Jones Wants Police To Drive Trucks Into Protest Rallies, Demands Marches Be Made Illegal

NSW police have made clear that they anticipate violence during protests at the APEC summit in early September. So much so that 500 places will be cleared in prisons to house protesters, who can be held without bail for up to 11 days, merely on the suspicion that they may be planning violent acts.

But a stunning admission by police in Canada should act as a clear warning to those planning to march and protest. Be on the lookout for masked, hooded 'protesters' who will attempt to cause violence so police can break up marches and detain hundreds of people.

During a protest in Quebec earlier this week, protest organisers surrounded and singled out three men, wearing ski-masks and bandannas to disguise their identities, who were were trying to provoke the police blocking a street. The three men were acting aggressively and at least one was armed with a large rock and was ready to throw it at police before he was stopped by the protesters.

The three masked men then tried to seek shelter with the police, and were supposedly arrested when they pushed through the police line.

The twist to this tale is that Quebec police have now admitted that the masked men were undercover officers.

The police were only forced to admit all this because the entire incident was captured on a remarkable piece of video footage now setting fire to the internet, and Canadian media locked onto the story and forced the police to answer questions raised by the video.

Australian media must now ask the NSW and federal police if they also intend to use masked, undercover officers and agents to infiltrate crowds of peaceful protesters during the APEC marches and rallies.

And all protesters must be on the lookout for masked people trying to provoke police or cause damage to shops and vehicles.

Thanks to this remarkable admission by the Quebec police, Sydney protesters cannot simply assume that there will not be those amongst their ranks who are there to cause trouble, so police have a justification for arrests and canceling other marches.

Watch the video and read the rest of this incredible story over at Your New Reality.

One of prime minister John Howard's best friends, radio shock jock Alan Jones, is playing along with the 'Stop The Violent Protesters' script, and is loudly attempting to prepare the public to oppose the democratic right of Sydneysiders to voice their opinions and march through the streets of their own city.

Jones is also hyping the proposition that APEC protests will turn violent. He states it as a fact, two weeks out from the first public march or rally.

Incredibly, Jones is now urging police to use violence against any and all protesters, before the first march has even been held and wants the police to use trucks as battering rams.

So much for free speech. So much for democracy. Jones wants any and all opposition and dissent crushed, violently if need be. He's also wondering if the Army should be called in to deal with protesters. Ignorant idiot that he is, Jones doesn't even know that armed soldiers are already scheduled to patrol the streets of Sydney. But to deal with, and react, to possible acts of terrorism, not peaceful protesters
Why should the protesters be given approval to march or assemble just because they want to?

...we've got the spectacle of what happened last year at the G20 summit in Melbourne. rightening. Barricades burnt, police pelted with bottles and garbage. We've only got 14,000 police.

Do we need the Army?

There is no reason why these people should be allowed to march.

Except for the whole democracy thing, you remember that, don't you Alan? Democracy? What our troops are supposedly fighting for in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Tell them they can't be trusted to behave in APEC week.

Tell them that our police and security services are not going to be made frontline fodder for their violence.

Make an application to the Supreme Court to argue that case. And if there's a 600,000 dollar water cannon which we've purchased, use it. If it can knock protesters off their feet, if they defy the law in numbers, use it.

Not only does Jones think the mini-police state that is about to engulf Sydney is a good thing, he doesn't think the security zones and vast new police powers go far enough.

Of course, when talking about riots and how such footage aired on international television will embarrass and shame all Australians, Jones doesn't mention the riot at Cronulla Beach, where thousands of white Australians chanted racists slogans and dozens brutally beat, punched, kicked and assaulted innocent people, and even women who happened to get in their way.

Why didn't Jones make reference to the Cronulla Beach riot when he talks about how a protest can get out of control and turn violent?

Surely it wouldn't be because he helped to rally, organise and inflame the violence and hatred on show at Cronulla Beach in December 2005 by reading out e-mails and text messages on his radio show for the full week proceeding the riot? Even when police told him to shut the hell up?
There is no reason why these people should be allowed to march.
The fact that Jones has a radio show where he can voice such opinions is exactly the reason why people should be allowed to march.

It's called Freedom of Speech. It's all a part of the excellence of living in a free democracy.

Scroll down for more stories related to the coming APEC summit.

Video Of Undercover Police Trying To Stir Up Violence During Peaceful Protest

Sydney Airport, Bondi Beach, North Shore Suburb, Major Hotels, To Fall Under APEC 'Security Zone'

Friday, August 24, 2007

Howard Staff Busted Censoring, Editing Wikipedia Entries Critical Of Prime Minister

Weird Edits : "Freemasonry Is The Work Of Satan"

Wikiscanner has been getting a good workout in Australia by journalists, and researchers, curious to know just who might have been editing Wikipedia entries on Prime Minister Howard and controversial issues relating to his 11 years in power.

Why his own staff, of course.

An entry that referred to the "Mandatory detention in Australia" of illegal immigrants got a working over, with an all important "allegedly" added to a sentence that said detainees had been subjected to inhuman conditions.

Allegedly? Tell that to the eight year old girl who was detained for years, along with her parents, and was left so distraught by her experiences behind the wire that she smashed her head repeatedly into a concrete wall.

Staff in the Defence Department have also been hard at work, editing Wikipedia.

This story claims DD staff have made an astounding 5000 edits, including edits to entries on the 9/11 Truth Movement and the Pentagon Papers.

Some of the edits made by government staffers were just plain weird :

edits by department employees include adding sentences on various sites, including the additions "Freemasonry is the work of Satan", "Mormonism is the work of Satan" and "Jesus is god".

Someone needs to go and re-edit that last sentence. Everyone knows Jesus was the son of God.


Defence Department officials are pissed off, and have now banned staff from wasting time editing Wikipedia. The site is in the process of being blocked by all DD computers.

No word on whether a similar crackdown will be enforced on the computers of the prime minister's staff.

Is the need to edit Wikipedia entries critical of John Howard one of the reasons why he has the largest, and most expensive, prime ministerial staff in the history of Australia?

Opposition leader Kevin Rudd has accused the prime minister of "editing history", before admitting that his own staff also 'fact-checks' entries on Wikipedia :
"My own personal staff, I'm sure, look through Wikipedia to make factual changes, no excuses about that, but using public service departments to make sure the truth is delivered according to Howard?"
That's a pretty pissweak argument from Rudd.

Prime ministerial Wikipedia editors have a near obsession with working on the entry for the Gang-Gang Cockatoo, but have also found the time to remove a damaging fact from the entry on Howard hugging propagandist Andrew Bolt.

Sydney Jails Cleared Of Prisoners To Make Way For APEC Protesters

Bondi Beach To Get The Ultra-Security Treatment So The Ladies Can Lunch

Police are making room for at least 500 APEC protesters in jails across Sydney. Weekend detainees will be given 'two week holidays' from serving time, so their beds can be available.

Police are clearly anticipating mass arrests. The reason why weekend detainees are being give such long breaks from their sentences is because police will be allowed to detain 'persons of interest' from September 2 and then hold them, without bail, for the entire duration of the APEC summit, expected to finish on September 12.

Police are known to have already drawn-up lists of potential 'troublemakers' and are expected to make contact with these people in the next fortnight to warn them to stay away from the five kilometre long, three metre high 'steel wall' which will divide the Sydney CBD into two, and create a series of security zones around the hotels and conference centres where 21 world leaders will stay and gather for meetings.

At least eight buses have been converted into mobile prisons, with wire mesh over the windows, to transport those the police wish to detain during the APEC summit to the prisons.

Police are making the media aware that they expect "violent clashes".

Hopefully the NSW and Federal Police won't be following the example of Canadian police, who used agent provocateurs, in hoods, armed with rocks, to try and incite clashes with peaceful protesters last week. The agent provocateurs were outed by protesters for trying to start trouble and were forced to flee behind police lines.

More on the emptying of Sydney jails here :

Three of six wings of Parramatta Jail, in Sydney's west, will be cleared and a recently refurbished section of Long Bay prison, in the city's east, will be reopened to accommodate the expected surge in prisoners.

Prisoners serving periodic detention will be excused from reporting for mid-week or weekend jail.

About 200 periodic detainees are serving sentences for offences including drugs, violence and driving breaches, News Ltd said.

A Department of Corrective Services spokeswoman confirmed the move.

Columnist Michael Costello says Sydneysiders shut the hell up and stop whingeing about APEC-related disruptions. And don't even think of blaming Bush for costing taxpayers an extra $6 million for arriving two days early, on top of the $331 million already being spent on APEC, or all the traffic chaos and locked down city streets. If you want to blame someone, blame terrorists, or 'violent protesters'. That would be 'violent protesters' who haven't actually protested yet. Another example of the infamous psychic powers of News Limited employees :

Let’s look at the complaint that the meeting will cause traffic and business chaos and inconvenience.
Okay, lets. Will APEC cause traffic and business chaos, Michael?

Sure it will, though mostly in central Sydney and really only for four or five days.
Only four or five days? Why that's barely a week. The security measures, closed streets and presidential motorcades blocking traffic for hours will actually be spread over nine days, not four or five. And roads will be closed and clearwayed all the way out to Richmond, and over to Bondi, when the leaders are being transported around.

Why should such a meeting cause this level of chaos and inconvenience? Because of the high levels of security necessary to ensure the safety of these important guests of our country.

And why the high levels of security?

Because it helps feed the 'I'm so important, I want the works' egos of some of the world leaders?

There are two reasons. Any prudent security planner must work on the basis that such a gathering could be an attractive target for a terrorist attack. Such an attack could be on the US President alone, on one of the other heads of state or government or against the group as a whole.

That same prudent security planner would also work on the assumption that planned protests and expressions of dissent, despite the undoubted peaceful intentions of most of those planning to participate, will likely turn violent _ potentially very violent _ at some stage.

Apparently, Michael Costello claims, we know such protest "will likely turn...potentially very violent" because violence has broken out at "similar gatherings around the world". Except for all those APEC and WTO summits where there was no violence at all. But hey, why ruin a good rant with facts?

Are we to accept that world leaders can’t come to Australia because terrorists or violent protesters necessitate stringent safety precautions, thereby inconveniencing Sydneysiders? Surely not.

Nobody said they shouldn't come to Australia. By why not hold the APEC summit in Canberra? Or one of the more beautiful island resorts? Why inconvenience millions of people trying to get to work and do their jobs?

...if there is chaos, violence and inconvenience, don’t blame Bush. Don’t blame the leaders of China or Vietnam, who are two others who have already been singled out to be the object of protest. Don’t blame APEC as a whole. Gosh, don’t even blame John Howard.
So who do we blame?

Blame the terrorists, whose threat is real...

Anyone else?

...and blame those who will want to turn totally defensible and legitimate peaceful protest into violence.

But of course. The violent protesters who haven't actually protested yet, or turned violent. Expect more of this kind of blame-spreading in the next two weeks, even though police already know there are but a few dozen, if that, anarchists and troublemakers in the whole of the country who they are expecting to try and cause mayhem. As we noted above, the police will be contacting them and telling them to stay clear, or cop a free holiday in prison.

But it's not only central Sydney that will be disrupted, as is becoming abundantly clear.

Even a kite-flying festival at Bondi Beach won't escape the reach of APEC-related ultra-security, when John Howard's wife, Jeanette, and the spouses of 20 other world leaders, swoop on the Bondi Icebergs for Sunday lunch :

Bondi's Icebergs will endure a meltdown so guests of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit can do lunch.

The story notes that many of the top Sydney restaurants are situated inside the APEC security zone. But none of them have a view of Bondi Beach. So Jeanette Howard sees no problem disrupting an entire Sunday at Bondi Beach and at the Icebergs so she can show off the view from the restaurant.

The Prime Minister's wife, Janette Howard, and the partners of the 20 visiting leaders will descend on Bondi on Sunday, September 9.

They will bring with them a security operation that will disrupt the celebrated Bondi Icebergs Club swimming races, the annual Festival of Winds kite event and anyone intending to visit the area that day.

The source said club members were "not terribly impressed" with the officials' choice of venue.

That would be an understatement. If the club members are the same ones I came to know as a regular visitor to the Icebergs in the late 1990s you can translate "not terribly impressed" to "extremely f..king pissed off".

The Bondi Icebergs clubhouse will be closed to members until 4pm, before which it will be an operational security centre, the source said. "They're going to use the club for security and police. We're feeding and looking after them while Mrs Howard's entertaining the spouses.

Between 400 and 600 swimmers usually attend Sunday races at the Bondi Baths public pool, on the ground level of the Bondi Baths complex.

The Herald understands that many members are expected to stay away because of the clearways that will be in place and the security checks they will have to go through to swim in the races.

Enjoy your lunch, ladies.

Hopefully the hovering BlackHawk helicopters won't disrupt the kite-flying too much.

3000 Police Slated For APEC Duty - 1/5 Of State's Entire Police Force

Police Warn School Student Protesters : We Cannot Guarantee Your Safety

Eight Year Olds Subjected To APEC Security Checks - Have Your Photo ID Ready If You Want To Cross The Street

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

APEC Protest Hysteria Gets Big Fat Tabloid Push

Police Warn School Student Protesters : We Cannot Guarantee Your Safety

President Bush's Early APEC Arrival Will Cost Taxpayers $6 Million

The $331 Million Party You're Not Invited To, But You're Paying For

The Daily Telegraph's Kara Lawrence and Joe Hildebrand use their remarkable psychic powers to predict what will happen in Sydney during the coming APEC summit, when thousands of Australians exercise their democratic rights to free speech and right of assembly :

A WEEK-long campaign of mayhem involving every major protest group in Sydney will cause mass CBD disruption during next month's APEC summit.

Unlike the APEC summit itself which, of course, will cause absolutely no mass disruption to the centre of Sydney at all. Except for the ten foot high, five kilometre long 'steel wall' cutting the city in half, BlackHawk helicopters sweeping over the city, massive presidential motorcades blocking traffic for hours at a time, and the deployment of more than 5000 police, armed soldiers and foreign secret service onto city streets who have the right to body search and detain, without charge, anyone they feel like.

The organisers of the APEC summit, according to the Daily Telegraph are bracing "for protests from a range of radical groups..."

Radical groups? Oh my gawd. Hizbullah? Hamas? Tamil Tigers?

Ah, no. Some of the radical groups the Daily Telegraph is referring to, in regards to their self-proclaimed 'campaign of mayhem', include :
Amnesty International, the Greens, Vietnamese and Chinese groups, and Critical Mass...
Amnesty International is a radical group? Chinese groups protesting Communism and campaigning for human rights are radical groups?

Well, Critical Mass sure sound like a bunch of dangerous radicals. Who are Critical Mass? They're bike riders, celebrating their love of biking, and promoting the riding of bicycles as an alternative to filling city streets with more cars.

Yeah, that's pretty radical.

Clearly the Daily Telegraph has already decided that 'MAYHEM' will be the action word in all its stories and headlines covering the protests surrounding the APEC summit. Even if there isn't any mayhem.

Here's a couple of headlines you'll never see in the Daily Telegraph :

'Thousands Of Australians Celebrate Their Love Of Democracy'

'Peaceful Protests Turn Sydney Streets Into One Big Party'

Meanwhile, police are warning that they cannot "guarantee the safety of children caught up in the protests".

As long as the 21 world leaders at the APEC summit don't get tasered, hit by water cannons, targeted by disorientation weapons or stepped on by police horses, how could any parent complain?

The Daily Telegraph also helpfully provides starting times and meeting place locations for a variety of rallies and marches, something the mainstream media rarely does, usually because police would prefer they didn't reveal such details.

By publishing full details of the events, the Daily Telegraph now stands accused of actively encouraging and promoting the rallies and marches by the very groups they've deemed to be 'radical' :

September 7 and 8 - the peak of APEC leaders' week - have emerged as the most popular for protest groups.

Hyde Park, Martin Place, Sydney Town Hall, Belmore Park and Milsons Point will all be occupied on these days.

On Saturday, September 8, at least 15,000 protesters are expected to clog the CBD. The biggest protest, at 10am on that day, is expected to be the 10,000-strong Stop Bush Stop Howard rally and march from Sydney Town Hall to Hyde Park North.

...the Vietnamese community is also staging a protest on that day, which is expected to attract thousands of protesters to Belmore Park, opposite Central railway station.

The Stop Bush Coalition is also organising a stunt protest at Sydney Town Hall to coincide with the arrival of US President George W. Bush on September 4.

Students from at least five Sydney high schools will also walk out of school in a student strike at 1pm on September 5 for a protest at Belmore Park.

The group is to then march along Elizabeth St and back to the park.

Assistant Commissioner Dave Owens, who is heading the police APEC response, said school students who attended protests put themselves at risk.

"These kids might get caught up in a violent protest but, as police, we cannot guarantee their safety if they do," he said. He said police were well-briefed on plans for a student walkout and said "the same rules apply to them as anyone else".

Hear that, children? You have been officially warned that if you turn up and exercise your democratic rights - you know the kind of democratic rights that Australian went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan to help spread around to the oppressed - you may be deemed to be posing the same level of threat as violent anarchists and ski-masked agent provocateurs.

Interesting that nobody organising the numerous rallies is planning for, or even anticipating, "violent protest".

The police and the Daily Telegraph aren't trying to scare off people from exercising their democratic rights in the streets of of an Australian city by any chance, are they?

The irony is that the people who have actually unleashed untold violence, death and destruction will be the ones ringed by the kind of ultra-security never seen deployed before in Australia's history.

A report aired on Channel Seven News on Monday night revealed that the APEC summit will cost Australian taxpayers more than $331 million. One lunch alone will cost $12,000. And President Bush's early arrival in Sydney, throwing years of security planning into chaos, will cost an extra $6 million.

But forget about all that. Lookit! School students are taking part in democracy and demanding that vile war makers be held responsible for their actions. Quick! Somebody stop those kids before they start making sense!

The New
South Wales Premier, Morris Iemma, has warned "ferals" to stop trying to recruit school students to take part in the protests around APEC.

That's right, students. If you're politically motivated and you want to make a real difference, then think about joining the Young Labor Party. It's a hive of action, and change. Kind of. Then again, not really.

Iemma has to get in early. That way, "ferals" can be blamed for brainwashing students into marching and protesting, when thousands of them turn out in opposition to the anti-environment policies and anti-human rights doctrines that about half the world leaders present at APEC actively support and practice.

Students, particularly high school students, aren't allowed to be motivated by what they see happening in the world around them, and genuine concern for their futures, to take to the streets of Sydney.

They have to be recruited, by "ferals", as though they're taking part in the rallies against their will.

Cops In Disguise - Agent Provocateurs Busted Trying To Cause Mayhem At Protest

Revealed - White House Manual Details How To Isolate, Marginalise Dissenters And Protesters

Police Reveal Secret APEC Weapon - Motorcycles

Water Cannon Can Break Limbs and Blind - Welcome To APEC Sydney, 2007

APEC : Eight Year Olds Subjected To Security Checks

Mobile 'Prisons' Readied For APEC Summit Protesters

Sydneysiders Told To "Leave Town" During World Leaders Summit

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"A Gentle Humping Motion"

'Award Winning Blogger' Fired For Fantasising About Kevin And The Strippers

How much is too far for a controversial blogger employed by a major Australian news corporation?

Jack Marx, of the 'The Daily Truth', found out yesterday when he posted a fantasy piece about what Australia's 'Next Prime Minister', Kevin Rudd, might have experienced during his drunken visit to a New York City lap-dancing club back in 2003.

In case you missed the news, back in 2003, a pissed up Kevin Rudd was shepherded into Scores, a New York strip club, and. errr. sports bar, by Col Allan, a particularly gruesome master of sleaze from the Rupert Murdoch tabloid stable. Rudd was in town for a UN conference. He went to dinner with New York Post editor Allan, who then suggested they go somewhere else for a few more drinks. Allan took Rudd to the strip club. Live gridiron on the big screens, and strippers manning the poles onstage.

Rudd now claims he was too hammered to remember anything about what happened in the 'nightclub', but he remembered enough to call his wife the next morning and apologise before word got back to her.

Jack Marx's semi-porno description of Rudd watching a pole dancer in action was only up on his Fairfax blog for a few hours, at most. The post was pulled, his entire blog de-linked from the front page websites of the Sydney Morning Herald the Melbourne Age and Marx was sent a brief e-mail telling him he was sacked.

Marx claims he was eating lunch with his family at the time, and enjoying his birthday :
“Blogs should run close to the wire,” Marx said. “The post was totally harmless.”
You can read the post that got banned, and Marx sacked, in full here.

The blog post was a mildly mocking, and hardly shocking, description of Rudd attempting to grope a stripper in the middle of her routine and being rejected. We'll take a guess the editors weren't happy with most of it. But they shouldn't have been the least bit surprised at what Marx dished up.

He spent most of the 1990s with the sleaziest of tabloid media before soft-porning newsagents shelves with tits-and-cars-and-aftershave mags like Ralph.

Seriously. What did did his editors think Jack Marx was going to write about when all of Sunday was filled with the story of what Kevin Rudd did or didn't do, or could and could not remember about what he did or didn't do, in that New York strippers paradise back in 2003?

It was a Jack Marx goldmine : New York City, a leading politician, a strip club, booze, lapdancers, alcohol-induced blackouts, Christianity, memory loss...of course he was going to cut loose.

We'll take a wild guess that it was this paragraph that got Marx canned, and pronto : erection would have creaked to life in the trousers of the future Australian Opposition leader.
And this bit :
Back at his hotel room, the shadow foreign affairs minister would have laid in the dark, thinking. He would have smelled her, felt her lingering touch still upon him, like that of some phantasmic seductress. Perhaps, if he were lying face down, he'd have begun a gentle humping, his pillow underneath as kapok mistress.
And undoubtably this :
Or perhaps, with closed eyes to the heavens, deliverance would have been at hand. Whether sleep came down before ecstasy we will never know.

Did Jack Marx know in the back of his mind that this post would get him fired? Probably. Did he care? Probably not.

Considering the huge amount of coverage various News Limited websites and newspapers have already given this story, it's a fair bet he has already been offered a new blog position in the stable.

For the moment at least, you can access Jack Marx' 'Daily Truth' archive here. If you've got a couple of hours spare, and you're not a regular reader, you might want to go browsing and save the stories that catch your interest now. They might be hard to find in a few days. It's a mixed bag, but there's some brilliant work to be found in that archive, particularly on matters Australia, and tales of Australian history.

It will prove to be interesting to see the reaction to Marx's sacking from Fairfax by the key bloggers and columnists at - Fairfax's key online rival in media news and the MSM blogstream. No doubt they will express outrage, and plenty of it, that all those 'Lefties' couldn't handle such things being said about Saint Kevin.

But there will be plenty said about whether or not Kevin Rudd, or his media keepers, raged to Fairfax about the Marx post, and pushed them to pull it and can him and his blog.

It's Fairfax's loss. Marx was easily their most popular blogger, and a good slice of his audience will follow him wherever he goes. Plus they lose all that online ad revenue his blog generated, and will be made to look like a bunch of wimps, who still can't understand that blogs are not columns, and bloggers are not responsible columnists. Not the real bloggers anyway. is happy to run Marx's post on Rudd And The Strippers, in full on their site today, as part of the story of how this 'Award Winning Blogger' was sacked. They're happy to run what Fairfax canned because it allows to take some solid shots at Fairfax, their chief online rival.

But if Marx was blogging for, would he have been allowed to run the post, as it's published today, and not have it canned, even if Rudd's people tried to pour on the pressure?

Of course not. has censored its own bloggers in the past, and for far less than what Marx wrote.

It's another example of why the truly outrageous bloggers should never expect to find a secure home with the mainstream media. At least, not a truly free home where they can write what they like, which was the entire reason why political and social satire blogs became so popular in the first place.

In the words of Jack Marx' online boss, "...this was just the latest in a long line of indiscretions."

Yeah, but that's one of the key reasons why Jack Marx was so popular and brought so much traffic to Fairfax's site.

Like I said, it's Fairfax's loss, and presumably's gain...if they don't try and keep Marx on a tight leash, that is.

Podcast Interview With Jack Marx On Being Sacked For "Indiscretions"

Monday, August 20, 2007

Andrew Bolt : Back In The Gutter Where He Belongs

Herald Sun propagandist in chief, Andrew Bolt, will continue to claim the US "surge" strategy in Iraq is working until every Iraqi is dead, or a refugee. If the "surge" was allowed to last that long.

As one of the key media supporters of the War On Iraq and one of the most hysterical and savage attack dogs against anti-Iraq War protesters across the country, including thousands of Australian World War 2, Korea and Vietnam war veterans, Bolt will never admit as so many other pro-war supporters have that attacking a sovereign country who posed no immediate threat to the United States or Europe was a catastrophe for Iraqis, and one of the worst foreign policy decisions made by Australia, and the United States, in decades.

Instead Bolt continues to perpetuate long-discredited myths and BushCo. created propaganda about what is going on in Iraq.

With no real, credible proof to back up his claims that the "surge" in Iraq has been a success, when the death toll of both Iraqis and American has actually increased in recent months, Bolt has been reduced to linking to his own blog posts to try and back up his absurd claim that "It is becoming widely accepted that the US and Iraqi "surge" strategy is working."

He then claims that the US "surge" strategy is "saving lives".

Says who? Seven serving members of the American military claim here that the "surge" has already failed, that the Iraqi Army and police are now working together to attack American soldiers. The American soldiers who served 15 months in the war zone also go on to utterly shatter all manner of other myths about the Iraq War that the likes of Bolt are always so keen to perpetuate and echo-chamber.

The "surge" is working and it is saving Iraqi lives, claims Bolt. Why would Bolt ignore the evidence and make such facile claims in his increasingly demented Herald Sun blog?

Because prime minister John Howard has just re-committed Australia's combat troops to continue serving in Iraq to at least mid-2008, and this flies in the face of Opposition leader Kevin Rudd's plan to withdraw all combat forces from Iraq when he becomes prime minister.

Bolt cites Rudd in an interview yesterday stating :

We believe the strategy being pursued by and supported by Mr Howard is heading in the wrong direction and that’s why we have argued consistently against that surge strategy...

Which leads Bolt to make the following despicable claim about Kevin Rudd :
He’d rather win a populist vote than save an Iraqi life.
Andrew Bolt is human garbage, and a promoter of further pain and suffering for the Iraqis. He is too much of a coward to admit that he was wrong about the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and continues to be wrong about the effectiveness of Bush and Howard's strategies for stabilising Iraq.

But then, being a coward is nothing new for Bolt. Many months on and he still has nothing to say about Rupert Murdoch's Climate Change Crusade, or his own newspaper's near ceaseless promotion of climate change programs and campaigns.

So as to not offend his boss, or his own editors, Bolt has quietly, steadily, reduced all of his attacks on those pushing to control global warming to claiming that some of them are being merely "alarmist".

A remarkable backdown from the days when Bolt used to call them all "cultists" and "hysterical" and "preachers" and believers in "the most superstitious pagan faith of all".

But that was before his boss, Rupert Murdoch, announced that climate change was real and "posed clear, catastrophic threats" and had to be confronted.

Naturally, Bolt fell into line.

Betrayed By Murdoch On Global Warming - The Changing Climate Of Andrew Bolt

Bolt Anticipates Terror Attacks In Australia So Howard Can Showcase His "Vast Experience"
'Forget About States Rights'

Howard Wants It All, Now

John Howard's Liberal Party cannot win a state election. So what to do? Slowly, but surely, eliminate the power and control of state governments :
Prime Minister John Howard will continue his attack on state Labor governments today with a major speech outlining more plans for federal takeovers of state responsibilities.

Calling for a new "aspirational nationalism", Mr Howard will deliver his fourth Australia Rising speech in Sydney.

Mr Howard said all Australians should want the best possible outcomes for people regardless of where they lived and which level of government delivered those outcomes.

"Sometimes it will involve carefully put together cooperative federalism. On other occasions it will require the Commonwealth bypassing the states altogether and dealing directly with local communities."

Mr Howard said much of the debate about commonwealth-state relations was wrongly focused on finding a balance between the respective roles.

"That is the wrong approach. We should be focused on outcomes, not systems," he said.

"We should be neither centralists, nor believers in states' rights.

"We should be aspirational nationalists."

Why not just spend Australia's money where it is needed most, before crises develop?

Now all Howard needs is some kind of event that, or national emergency, that will allow him to delay or outright cancel the federal elections until he can finish ramming through his raft of new "interventions".

Howard's clenching fist around Australia's throat, in the name of 'aspirational nationalism', has been a chilling and vastly cynical exercise. Spend a decade holding back national funding for hospitals and health care facilities, strip away or divert federal money for education, abandon hundreds of thousands of elderly people to rotting nursing homes, cheerily allow national infrastructure to crumble, and then when times are desperate, and the need for 'intervention" is close to peaking, step in and save the day.

Would Howard be doing any of this if he wasn't tanking in the polls and facing devastation at the coming elections?

Howard's supporters will cheer him on, of course, failing to realise that what he sets in motion with his 'aspirational nationalism' can also be adopted by the Labor Party, if they win the federal election. They can use Howard's deligitimisation of states rights to block Liberals from winning state elections for a decade or more to come.