Welcome to LazerWikiBlog:

This is where you find out what is ringing my chimes. This is also where you get insights into my life. I rant. I rave. I basically let off as much steam as I want here. You will probably find references to CentreLink, Australian ISP, Ombudsman, Religion, Australian Politics, and Globalisation.

Mostly, being an INFP, the thing that rings my chimes is discrimination against low income earners. There are too many examples of how the rich make the rules that govern us all. They increasingly make it obvious that democracy is just a cover for the time old tradition of treating us as little more than dumb sheep.

Fiascos and coverups are always the rule of the day in Australian Politics. With some special concessions for 'sick old pals' who have been proven to break the laws of the country. Politics and the promotion of disinformation is a dirty business. In Australia, I see no real difference in the direction of travel that the two major political parties participate towards.

I seem to Blog a lot about the unfairness of city legislated laws on rural people. I have to wonder when will our political leaders give more than just lip service to the need for amendments to many of the city legislated laws?

Enjoy... Dont forget to leave your comment(s)

2015-03-27 VPS

Evade Australia's data retention laws with a VPS

First thing you need to do is realize that this isn’t a free process. You will need to locate a VPS (Virtual Private Server) reseller and get a VPS from them. Paying them either monthly or yearly for the pleasure. Most will accept paypal.

Prices charged for VPS’s vary wildly. So you need to determine how much your willing to spend to avoid data retention. The good news is that VPS prices have been steadily getting cheaper and cheaper. So there are some good deals out there.

I operate 5 VPS’s scattered around the world. I would recommend picking a VPS reseller who is located in a country that isn’t likely to allow it’s data to be legally collected. Otherwise you may as well forget the concept of avoiding data retention.


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Step 1: Purchase the VPS.

I will supply one of my affiliate URL’s HERE. You can choose to go with another VPS supplier if you wish.

I would go for the cheapest option from this supplier. (At time of writing $10 per year) Because a VPN (Virtual Private Networking) equipped VPS really doesn’t need much in the way of resources.

During the signup process you will be asked to supply a domain name. If you do not have a domain name available. Simply enter a single word. This will be the “name” of your VPS. For our purposes a domain name really isn’t required.

You will also be asked (via a drop down box) What operating system you would like to use. There are many different varieties of Linux available. Chose what version you are comfortable with. But for this tutorial I will be using Debian.

Step 2: Check your email for VPS information.

The VPS supplier will send you an email. In the email will be information about how to manage your VPS. You will be given the “root” password. (The user called root is the administrator) You will also be given the IP of the VPS.

Step 3: Download putty.

Putty is a program that allows you to connect to your VPS. Download putty for windows HERE. Once downloaded. You simply insert the IP of your VPS and click OPEN.


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The putty terminal window will then open. Putty will connect to your VPS. Note: The first time putty connects to your VPS you will get a warning that the Host Key is not cached. Just click “YES”. Your should only ever see this prompt once. Unless the IP number of your VPS changes. Next you will see a prompt that says “login as:”. Enter root as the login. Use the password supplied to you in the email from your VPS supplier.

You will then see various pieces of information about your VPS displayed. Finally you will be presented with a ’#’ prompt. The VPS is now waiting for your input. This is where you are able to install software and perform various other maintenance on the VPS.

Step 4: Update & Upgrade the VPS.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

apt-get update

apt-get upgrade

apt-get dist-upgrade

Step 5: Check if TUN is enabled.

Use the following one-liner to verify if TUN support is enabled on the Debian system. if using a VPS (Virtual Private Server), some virtualization layers such as vServers and OpenVZ require TUN to be enabled on/from the host machine.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

test ! -c /dev/net/tun && echo openvpn requires tun support

echo tun is available

Step 6: Install OpenVPN.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

apt-get install openvpn

Step 7: Set-up Easy-RSA.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

cp -prv /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/easy-rsa/2.0 /root/easy-rsa

cd /root/easy-rsa

cp vars{,.orig}

Step 8: Set-up default values in Easy-RSA.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

vim ./vars

You will now be running the vim program. Vim is a text editor.

Note: ’#’ in front of a line will cause that line to be ignored.

Make the ‘active’ lines look like this..

KEY_SIZE=2048

KEY_COUNTRY=“AU”

KEY_PROVINCE=“AU”

KEY_CITY=“Canberra”

KEY_ORG=“The Streets”

KEY_EMAIL=“webmaster@whoeverwhereever.com

export them

Press Esc on your keyboard. Then press “:” then press ‘w’ (writes changes)

Press Esc on your keyboard. Then press “:” then press ‘q’ (quits)

At the ’#’ prompt enter

source ./vars

this delete any previously created certificates

At the ’#’ prompt enter

./clean-all

Step 9: Generate the CA certificate.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

./build-ca

Step 10: Generate the server certificate.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

./build-key-server myvpn

Sign the certificate? [y/n]:y

1 out of 1 certificate requests certified, commit? [y/n]y

Step 11: Generate the Diffie-Hellman PEM certificate.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

./build-dh

Step 12: Generate client certificate.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

./build-key myvpn

Sign the certificate? [y/n]:y

1 out of 1 certificate requests certified, commit? [y/n]y

Step 13: Generate (HMAC).

At the ’#’ prompt enter

openvpn --genkey --secret /root/easy-rsa/keys/ta.key

Step 14: Deploy the certificates.

Copy the required certificates to the particular machine/device (server or client)

The public ca.crt certificate is needed on all servers and clients

The private ca.key key is secret and only needed on the key generating machine

A server needs server.crt, dh2048.pem (public), server.key and ta.key (private)

A client needs client.crt (public), client.key and ta.key (private)

Step 15: Set-up certificates and keys on the server.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

mkdir -p /etc/openvpn/certs

cp -pv /root/easy-rsa/keys/{ca.{crt,key},myvpn.{crt,key},ta.key,dh2048.pem} /etc/openvpn/certs/

Step 16: Configure the OpenVPN server.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

cat > /etc/openvpn/server.conf

port 1194

proto udp

dev tun

ca /etc/openvpn/certs/ca.crt

cert /etc/openvpn/certs/myvpn.crt

key /etc/openvpn/certs/myvpn.key

dh /etc/openvpn/certs/dh2048.pem

tls-auth /etc/openvpn/certs/ta.key 0

server 192.168.2.0 255.255.255.0

ifconfig-pool-persist ipp.txt

push “redirect-gateway def1 bypass-dhcp”

push “dhcp-option DNS 8.8.8.8”

push “dhcp-option DNS 8.8.4.4”

client-to-client

keepalive 1800 4000

cipher DES-EDE3-CBC # Triple-DES

comp-lzo

max-clients 10

user nobody

group nogroup

persist-key

persist-tun

log openvpn.log

status openvpn-status.log

verb 5

mute 20

When finished.. Type CONTROL+Z

Step 17: Start the OpenVPN server.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

service openvpn restart

update-rc.d -f openvpn defaults

Step 18: Enable forwarding and set-up iptables.

At the ’#’ prompt enter

vim /etc/sysctl.conf

:%s/net.ipv4.ip_forward = 0/net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1/

sysctl -p

set-up the following iptables rules

iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m state --state NEW -m udp --dport 1194 -j ACCEPT

iptables -A FORWARD -s 192.168.2.0/24 -j ACCEPT

iptables -A FORWARD -m state --state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s 192.168.2.0/24 -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE

Note: if using openvz/vservers you may need the following instead

iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s 192.168.2.0/24 -j SNAT --to-source <PUBLIC_VPN_IP>

iptables-save > /etc/iptables.rules

for persistent firewall rules you may want to use the iptables-persistent package or just set-up a simple script in /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/ which will load the rules in /etc/iptables.rules using iptables-restore

for example:

cat /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/iptables

  1. !/bin/bash test -e /etc/iptables.rules && iptables-restore -c /etc/iptables.rules

Step 19: Set-up OpenVPN client (on your VPS)

Deploy the generated certificates to the VPN client/device

Install OpenVPN client on the machine/device

Create the following client.conf configuration file

cat > /etc/openvpn/client.conf

client

remote <PUBLIC_VPN_IP>

ca /home/d/confs/certs/vpn/ca.crt

cert /home/d/confs/certs/vpn/blackhole.crt

key /home/d/confs/certs/vpn/blackhole.key

cipher DES-EDE3-CBC

comp-lzo yes

dev tun

proto udp

tls-auth /home/d/confs/certs/vpn/ta.key 1

nobind

auth-nocache

script-security 2

persist-key

persist-tun

user nobody

group nogroup

CONTROL+Z (when finished)

Congratulations.. Your VPN on your VPS.. is now setup..

Step 20: Troubleshooting.

If you have any errors… like..

us=229735 myvpn4/78.156.78.132:15825 MULTI: bad source address from client [10.10.10.26], packet dropped

add following to server.conf

client-config-dir ccd

then run

mkdir /etc/openvpn/ccd

cat > /etc/openvpn/ccd/nexus4

iroute 10.10.10.0 255.255.255.0

finally restart openvpn with

service openvpn restart

Well that completes the installation and configuration of the server..

Now all you have to do is install and configure the Client on your Windows computer.

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2015-01-26 Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott under fire from Cabinet colleagues over decision to grant knighthood to Prince Philip

By political editor Chris Uhlmann, Updated 27 Jan 2015, 10:35am

Some of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s most senior colleagues are bewildered, angered and dismayed by his decision to award an Australian knighthood to Prince Philip.

Prince Philip and former Defence Force chief Angus Houston were named Australia’s newest knights today, under an honours system reinstated by Mr Abbott last year.

Cabinet ministers have told the ABC the Prime Minister did not consult any of the leadership group before announcing the move.

Mr Abbott agreed it was a “captain’s call”, saying he consulted only with Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Order of Australia chairman Sir Angus.

See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-26/abbott-defends-knighthood-for-prince-philip/6046380

The internet/public reacted as you would expect… (Here are some of the meme’s that I saw on the subject)

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2015-01-21 Conspiracy, Climate Change Skeptics

Interesting times :)

 
 
Climate change in Australia
 
Climate Change in Australia

Climate Change in Australia shows how Australia’s climate has changed and how it may change in the future.

This website provides information on:

Observed climate change over Australia

Likely causes of climate change

Likely future changes to Australia’s climate

Changes to our climate have the potential to create major impacts on human and natural systems. Further changes to our climate are likely if emissions of greenhouse gases continue to increase.

A range of material is available for download, including a technical report, summaries, brochure and poster. The technical report, developed by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, presents estimates of projections for climate variables such as temperature, rainfall, evaporation and wind.

Maps indicating projected changes to climate can be generated for selected regions, years, seasons, emission scenarios and climate variables.

Australian climate change projections are based on international climate change research and build on a large body of work undertaken for the Australian region. The projections have been generated using data from 23 climate models and global warming estimates from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. The projections will be updated in 2014.

Projections are particularly valuable for general impact and risk assessment studies. Chapter 6 of the Technical Report provides important guidance on using climate projections in impact assessments.

Further information about how to use single model projections for impact assessments is available at OzClim.

Subscribe here for updates about Climate Change in Australia.

The projections were undertaken as part of the Australian Climate Change Science Program, a joint initiative of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO.

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology State of the Climate 2012 reports that:  

  • Australian annual average daily mean temperatures have increased by 0.9 °C since 1910.
  • Global average mean sea level for 2011 was 210 mm above the level in 1880.
  • Sea surface temperatures have increased by about 0.8 °C since 1910.
  • The main cause of the observed increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is the combustion of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution.
  • Australian average temperatures are projected to rise by 1.0 to 5.0 °C by 2070 when compared with the climate of recent decades.

Australia's Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station shows current greenhouse gas concentrations in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

Australia's Future Climate

Click on your region of interest on the map or menu below to access the latest climate change projections.

 
Victoria New South Wales / ACT Queensland Northern Territory Western Australia South Australia Tasmania
 
 
 
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
CSIRO
Bureau of Meteorology
Climate Change in Australia was developed by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology in partnership with the
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency through the Australian Climate Change Science Program
Disclaimer
Climate Change in Australia
web design and development by Web Initiatives web design

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2015-01-18 Campbell Newman

With the continued attack on Australia`s way of life, it has become alarmingly apparent, that the Liberals absolutely will not stop or listen to the public, no matter how big the outcry.

The constant attacks on Medicare, job stability,minority groups and the subterfuge surrounding the treasonous TPP agreements, are eroding the pillars of democracy and our fair go ethos.

We have seen nothing but lies and dog whistle politics, both from Federal and State coalition governments. The damage to our society has been tremendous and unprecedented.

A large section of the mainstream media has consistently failed in its duty of objective reporting. Rather, it spews forth lies, opinion pieces and deception. We have cheap hacks such as Andrew Bolt, deliberately whipping up hate in order to divide the community.

Arguably Queensland has the worst conditions of any state in Australia. Their political system has a long and stained history of corruption.

Coupled with this, they do not even have an upper house in Parliament.

The continued attacks on citizens, via the VLAD laws, which can technically punish anyone associated with bikies is a gross attack on individual rights.

The systematic attack on the health system and forcing hard working Doctors to sign punitive contracts is nothing short of disgraceful.

The mass sackings of workers in the public service has also put pressure on many government services.

The cancer of privatization is also ever present with the Newman government. Privatization has proved to be a colossal failure.

Quality of services plunge, prices sky rocket, and the government loses precious revenue, from which to put back into community projects and services. The only winners are the private mates of Newman`s government.

This is highway robbery of state owned, public assets.

We also continue to see attacks and an attempted weakening of the independent judiciary, and the weakening of Queensland`s corruption watchdog.

I urge you to think very carefully about the type of future you want.

Is our legacy going to be a clone of neoliberalist America? A broken health system, massive unemployment and underemployment, poor wages and conditions, and an out of control police force which brutally shuts down peaceful protests?

The choice is yours. Please think very carefully when casting your vote in this election. Your children's futures are at stake. Put the LNP last...that is where the put you.

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2014-12-30 Mark Aldridge

It scares the hell out of me

Corporatocracy runs riot over us!

It scares the hell out of me what the Australian people are now willing to accept, we are over taxed, we pay through the nose for water, while our government give away water and tax breaks to foreign owned corporations, Police services, local councils et al are now corporations, even corporations like Westfield now have the government collect extortion money from us, an unpaid fine that blows of your windshield could end up costing you your license and your car, with the government standing over you to collect for one of their mates.

Compromised Elections

Elections are now smoke and mirrors with missing ballot papers exceeding winning margins, our Farmers are deliberately being wiped out so foreign governments can buy up our strategic asssets, grow top class product, sent that back to their nations and replace it with dodgy second grade rubbish from theirs. The government do the bidding of the big corporations, because that is who fund them, they rape their own people to do so.

Rights and Liberties abused

Our rights and liberties go missing every month, leaving us living in a nation where having a beer with a mate for their birthday can find you in jail, or you can be arrested for what you are wearing, or who you choose to befriend. Our children are no longer safe in their homes, schools or churches, or from the government.

Draconian Legislation & Declining Health Services

If you do anything wrong the government come down on you making you pay huge money for minor mistakes, if the government stuff up or the Police services stuff up, again you have to pay for their mistakes, in fact any mistake that happens in this once fine nation, is paid for by the people. In the 1970’s we had 14 hospital beds per thousands, now it is below 2, yet Australian donates billions to other nations to fix all the problems I have listed.

Corporations have no "morals"

These very corporations are destroying our land, our waterways, our aquifers and our oceans, they destroy lives and businesses with out fear or favor, and the government will cover up for them every time. We have no Justice, no Democracy and No Liberty, Our freedoms are being undermined, and with that our future, we the people may not be immortal, but when we leave this earth, we will be judged by what we leave behind, and what a bloody mess we are leaving for future generations.

Mark Aldridge

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2014-12-27 Tony Abbott

Dear Tony Abbott,

It’s been a year since I last wrote to you. I was very angry back then, but you’ll be pleased to hear that this letter is not being written in anger, but has much more of a triumphant tone than my previous correspondence.

The reason for this turn in my mood has everything to do with the reversal in your political fortunes over the previous 12 months.

You are incredibly unpopular

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, you are incredibly unpopular. Looking back at my grievances with you in the past, I can see that much of my frustration about your behaviour was born from the fact that you were so obviously getting away with being a complete wanker while still managing to be elected Prime Minister of Australia.

No matter how much I tried to tell people just how dangerous a prospect you were as a PM, and no matter how violently opposed I was to everything you stood for, the Australian voting public went ahead anyway and chose to eat shit because they didn’t like spinach, and I must admit I may have gone a little mad with the injustice of it all. But I feel better now because you’ve been exposed. And you’re done now Tony. You’re finished.

Character and Behaviour

Unfortunately the realisation that your character and your behaviour has finally caught up to you, hasn’t made up for the terror that you have inflicted on the Australian public during your first year as Prime Minister, and obviously won’t save us from the two years of terror we have to come. No matter what happens to your job Tony, your government is still ruined.

I assume you’re fairly concerned about the permanency of your position as Prime Minister in the short term, considering just how unpopular you are, not just with the voting public but also with your own colleagues.

Peta Credlin: Scapegoat or Doctor Evil?

You know as well as I do that the distraction of blaming Peta Credlin for all your faults can only last so long before those who used to support you start to question how it is that you either:

a) let Credlin make all your decisions for you and put words into your mouth considering you are meant to be the Prime Minister of Australia and capable of being the Prime Minister without a puppet-master controlling your every move,

or you

b) don’t let Credlin make all your decisions and instead make all the decisions yourself in which case the problem is with you and not Credlin and therefore you’re not capable of being the Prime Minister and should clearly be moved out of this job.

Lets play "Spotto the non corrupt liberal"

I’m predicting a couple more Newspolls and you’ll be facing one or both of these questions. But either way, the problem with your government Tony is that you’re all as bad as each other. I’ve given up playing the ‘which Liberal MP is the worst in the government’ game because every time I settle on a winner, another contender reminds us why they are indeed the worst, and in fact you’re all competing to be the worst every day as if you’re running a sweep for which there must be a sizeable prize as you’re all trying your very hardest to piss off the electorate to the point of total electoral demise.

It would be much more fun to watch this scene unfold if it wasn’t reeking such havoc on the fabric of my community in the meantime. But thankfully, the damage you are doing in the short term is just cementing in the minds of Australians an absolute determination never to let you or anyone like you anywhere near the job of Prime Minister ever again. So we can take the short term pain for the long term relief of you being a forgettable blip in an otherwise successful generation.

Gaffes vs Ideology

There’s one thing I want to make clear Tony. I’m not upset because members of your government are prone to ‘gaffes’, because I don’t think anything you or your other badly performing team members say are actually ‘gaffes’. A ‘gaffe’ is defined as ‘an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder’.

A gaffe would therefore be something you said that you didn’t really mean, which you could easily apologise for and could be written off as a mistake and something that would never happen again.


But no. It’s not just that the outrageous things you and your fellow Liberals have said are deeply offensive, and have helped Australia to get to know the true colours of you and your government, and to discover just how much we don’t want you running our country.

There are no accidental slip ups when Peta Credlin is feeding words into your ear, which you carefully recite, slowly, mechanically, repeatedly, eerily, nastily, and sometimes with a perverse, psychopathic, lip-linking grin. You say exactly what you mean, and more importantly, you follow through on exactly what you say.

So it’s not the sales pitch, the slogans, the sound bites, the ‘coal is good for humanity’, the ‘best thing I did for women was to repeal the Carbon Tax’, the ‘I’ll shirt-front President Putin, you bet I am, you bet you are’ memorable moments of your harrowing first year as Prime Minister.

Liberal Ideological Cultural War

No, it’s everything you and your team say, constantly, every day, backing up your actions; your nasty ideological agenda, your culture war, your assault on social services, your refusal to take responsibility and instead blame Labor response to everything, your policies, your interest only in the super-rich, your hatred of the disadvantaged, your attacks on health and education, your inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, your vandalism of the environment, your racism, your sexism, your mismanagement of the economy, your attack on unions and the jobs they support, your campaign to use fear to control us, your beating up of what you call ‘leaners’, your self-entitlement, the most unfair budget Australia has ever seen, it’s everything you have ever done.

So forget about looking at your message Tony. Forget about the words. Your problem isn’t that the ‘left’ has figured you out and has found the best way to exploit your weaknesses to our advantage. The problem isn’t the budget sales pitch, something you can solve by hiring one of your ABC supporters as your new media manager. No Tony, the problem is you.

The turd cannot be polished

The turd cannot be polished. We don’t like you and you keep digging the hole bigger. Scott Morrison as Social Services Minister? You’ve got to be fucking kidding Tony. If you think that’s going to fix things, you’re dumber than I thought. And that’s why it’s over for you. Your government will be voted out in 2016, with or without you as their leader. It’s over Tony. Australia doesn’t want you as our Prime Minister. Australia doesn’t want a Liberal government full of conservative fundamentalists. And there’s nothing you can do now to stop us correcting our mistake.

Yours sincerely, as always Victoria Rollison The AIMN Online Newspaper

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2014-12-23 Tony Abbott

One day, during his morning walk, Tony Abbott drops dead. He arrives at the Pearly Gates, to be told by St Peter: “We seldom see a Liberal, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”

No problem, says Abbott. “Just let me in, I’m a good Christian.”

But St Peter tells him it’s not that simple. Under God’s new HEAVEN CHOICES policy, Abbott must spend one day in hell and one day in heaven before choosing where he’ll live for eternity. And with that, St Peter rings the bell, an elevator arrives, and down Abbott goes, non-stop, to hell.

However, when the doors open Abbott finds himself on a lush golf course. The sun is shining, the day is perfect, and standing in front of a beautiful clubhouse is Bob Menzies, John Howard, Billy McMahon, Billy Hughes, Gina Rheinhart, Frank and Kerry Packer, Bob Askin, Bob Santamaria, and many more. They all run to hug him and talk about the old times they had getting rich. They play a round of golf, have a lot of laughs, dine in the club on lobster and champagne, and are having such a good time that, before Abbott realises, it’s time to go.

Back in heaven, St Peter takes him inside where, for 24 hours, Abbott hangs out with a bunch of ordinary, good-natured people who enjoy each other’s company, eat simply, talk about things other than money and treat each other decently. Not a broken promise or short-arse joke among them, but what Abbott notices most is that he doesn’t see anybody he knows. The day over, Abbott tells St Peter: “Heaven has been delightful but I really think I belong in hell with my friends.”

So back into the elevator and down he goes, only this time when the doors open he’s surrounded by endless scorched earth covered with smog and filth, while all his friends are chained together in rags and are filling black drums with toxic waste. The Devil appears.

“I don’t understand,” stammers Abbott. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a clubhouse and I ate lobster and drank champagne with all my friends. We lazed around and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland and everybody is miserable!”

The Devil puts an arm around him, smiling, and says silkily: “Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted for us!”

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2014-12-19 Rupert Murdoch

Dear Daily Telegraph…

Posted on December 16, 2014

It’s important that we speak.

When my sister was four she made my Mum buy some tissues with Bananas in Pyjamas on the box. My sister expected to open the box and find the same brightly coloured printing on the tissues themselves. When she didn’t, she was aghast. Mum’s response was to help her write a kind letter to the tissue company, politely asking for an explanation. She wanted to instil in her girls the idea that peaceful action could promote positive outcomes.

The tissue company replied very sweetly a few days later, and attached their letter to a complimentary box of tissues. My sister was so happy with the reply that she forgot all about the fact that she wasn’t blowing her nose on B1 and B2 themselves. Instead it seemed perfectly logical to her that the importance of cost-effective production methods outweighed the ethical ramifications of disappointing small children.

The point of that little anecdote was to let you know that this letter will be a great deal more scathing than my sister’s letter seventeen years ago, I will not sit around expecting a kind response from you, nor do I want any complimentary copies of your disgraceful excuse for a newspaper.

Australians appear time and time again to acknowledge your drawbacks as a news source, yet forgive you when you titillate them once again. I was hoping this would be the final nail in the coffin but I won’t hold my breath. Instead, I have few bones to pick regarding your abominable excuse for journalism.

1. How dare you use the hashtag #illridewithyou.

Let me get this straight; you don’t hesitate to run a rushed out ‘2pm special-edition’ with a double page spread all ablaze with the ‘Islamic State attack on the CBD’. While the NSW Police Force are handling the precarious situation with the utmost responsibility, not to mention risking their lives by trying to ensure the safety of the people involved, you do the most irresponsible thing possible – you run a manipulative, calculating, blatantly untrue story designed to breed hatred.

Then, you try and absolve yourself of all responsibility by jumping on the #illridewithyou bandwagon, with the hope that in a couple of days everybody will want to ride with you. This all happens while you look for ways to ignore the fact that movements like this come to exist partly because of your alarmist lies.

You have acted abhorrently

2. Of course, I’m not apportioning all the blame to you…

You’ll notice I said partly. That’s because I was pretty appalled by a whole host of media outlets reporting on the Sydney Siege. Channel 10, for example, published an alleged list of demands by the perpetrator after being explicitly asked not to do so. That was pretty appalling.

And some blame, of course, has to lie with the people who rushed out to buy your ‘2pm special-edition’, relieved that they could stop sounding out the words on the ABC website.

I’m not blind. I see persuasive reporting everywhere. I see sensationalism and I was taught to deconstruct the way words were put together.

You guys, though, you went above and beyond anything and everything any other media outlet could have come up with yesterday. Actually – correction – you went below, you went all the way down to the slimy depths of the underworld of false reporting, and then you rolled around gleefully like utter sociopaths.

I’m willing to bet money that the next thug who abuses a Muslim woman on the train for wearing a hijab read your spread and decided to take up the great Australian cause.

I’m willing to bet that the next fair dinkum Aussie, who feels hard done by because the Iranian refugee on the cleaning nightshift could hold down a job while he couldn’t, absorbed your wonderfully informative article and felt like he had a group of top mates.

But that’s okay guys, because even though you issued no retraction or apology, you spun up a story using #illridewithyou. Everything is forgiven. After all, compassion is your strong suit.

3. Speaking of a retraction and apology…

Any plans for that? No? Instead you’ve got Rupie Murdoch taking to Twitter to ‘congratulate’ you for being first on the ‘bloody’ scene. Three people are dead; two of those people were innocent. Their lives have been extinguished. I know this is the guy that classifies Egyptians as ‘white’, but really, ‘congrats’ was pretty much the most repugnant thing I saw all day.

4. ISIS would like to send you a hundred autographed flags, speaking of congratulations…

The Daily Rupert @TheMurdochTimes said "Senior editors at @rupertmurdoch's Australian tabloids exploit 9/11, 7/7 deaths to smear #IllRideWithYou. Demented" Congratulations! You’ve successfully broken the record for most ISIS high-fives given out for a single unrelated incident. That’s right, they high-fived when you put their name on the front page of your paper, they high-fived again when you reposted their sickening ‘laughing’ video and they high-fived because they didn’t want this crazy nutter in their group anyway.

He lacked a specific agenda, he didn’t hesitate to abandon his ‘Islamic’ ideology when he saw a more opportune moment to sexually assault a bunch of people, and up until a few weeks ago, he despised ISIS’ interpretation of ‘Islam’.

All this high-fiving but no one’s hands are getting sore. Why? Because ISIS didn’t have to lift one murderous finger to carry out the act themselves – you did it all for them. That’s the real congratulations here.

5. It’s not your first time…

Not even your second. You’re seasoned professionals. That’s right, your upstanding team of editors have a track record for being utterly foul. And I’m not even talking about your blatant political bias day after day and twice on Sundays. I’m talking about your consistent and unrelenting vilification of minorities in Australia; I’m talking about your xenophobic rhetoric and your obsession with societal fear mongering. I’m talking about that time you photoshopped Mike Carlton’s face in traditional Arab attire on to the face of a Boston bombing victim. Was that funny to you?

Sure, this letter is just another angry letter, and you’re a big corporation. Sure, it’ll probably end up in the ‘angry mail we received over that ISIS thing that wasn’t even ISIS, oops’ pile. Sure, you can do no wrong in some people’s eyes and they’ll ignore this because it makes them feel oddly uncomfortable. The reason I’m writing this letter is to let you know that this isn’t going to fly forever – that even though you’re hoping I’ll just spontaneously combust out of pure revulsion for you, I won’t.

Not yet anyway – because I want to be there when your rotten excuse for a newspaper falls magnificently from grace, and trust me, it will.

Kind Regards,

Caitlin Caldwell.

See: https://catecaldwell.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/dear-daily-telegraph/

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2014-12-19 Christopher Pyne

We Haven't Heard The Last Of the Professor Barry Spurr Scandal

Sydney University Professor Poetry Barry Spurr has this morning resigned.

I have to admit that I couldn't give much of a bugger.
On the one hand, I do genuinely believe that Professor Spurr has a right to earn a living, and by almost universal account, he was regarded as a good and effective lecturer and professor.

On the other, can you imagine how a female student, an Asian student, a Muslim student or, God forbid, an Aboriginal student might feel sitting in a lecture theatre listening to Professor Spurr wax lyrical about the power of Judeo-Christian literature?

Clearly, Professor Spurr’s position at the University of Sydney was tenuous.

But this story has never been about Spurr’s teaching tenure. It has always been about the ‘nod, nod, wink, wink’ racism of people who hold positions of great power and influence over us all.

The real story has always been Professor Spurr’s role as a special consultant to the Abbott Government’s review of the National School Curriculum.

On that front, nothing has changed.

Despite the emergence of these repugnant emails – for which, notably, Professor Spurr has never acknowledged wrongdoing, let alone apologised – the federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne remains happy with the final report into the review of the National School Curriculum.

Go figure...
In case you’re wondering, here’s an example from Professor Spurr’s report of the sort of advice for which Australian taxpayers forked out thousands:

“… As usual, the literature of Western civilisation at large is omitted, while the specific ‘oral narrative traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ are singled out for mention,” he wrote.

And this: “… The impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on literature in English in Australia has been minimal and is vastly outweighed by the impact of global literature in English, and especially that from Britain, on our literary culture.”

Now here’s just one of Professor Spurr’s private views, revealed in his email correspondence.

“Whereas the [Australian] curriculum has the phrase ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ on virtually every one of its 300 pages, the Californian curriculum does not ONCE mention native Americans and has only a very slight representation of African-American literature (which, unlike Abo literature, actually exists and has some distinguished productions).”

It’s only hard to reconcile the difference between the two views if you accept that Professor Spurr was, as he asserts, playing a ‘whimsical linguistic game’. Of course, the full transcript of his emails reveals he wasn’t.

In truth, what really occurred is, that like all accomplished racists and misogynists, Professor Spurr knew in order to advance his bigotry he must first make it fit for public consumption. Hence, the many weasel words of his contribution to the curriculum review.

Overt and ugly racism is for bogans (ironically a group, for which, Professor Spurr holds a special disdain). But polished, slippery racism? That is for Professors. And institutions.

Professor Spurr’s attempts to entrench his personal bigotry into a school curriculum that will be taught to every child in every school in every state of the country, for at least a generation, should send a shiver down the spine of all Australian parents.

Ask yourself this question: Do you really want people of this calibre influencing what your children will learn in school?

The fact is, the review of the National School Curriculum will always be tainted. It has been irrevocably polluted by the views of a man who believes rape is funny, who believes Aboriginal people are sub-human, who believes Asians and Muslims are fodder for mockery, and who believes that women do not occupy a place of equality in our society.

These are not Australian values, but unless the curriculum review is revisited as a matter of urgency, then we can only assume that they are Australian Government values.

There is, of course, one other chapter of the Spurr saga to be written: the development of privacy law in Australia, to prevent the private views of people like Spurr ever getting out into the public domain.

(By Chris Graham: https://newmatilda.com/2014/12/18/we-havent-heard-last-professor-barry-spurr-scandal)

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