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)

2015-07-20 Bronwyn Bishop

In case you missed Former Liberal leader John Hewson this morning.

Posted by ABC News Breakfast on Sunday, July 19, 2015

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2015-07-04 Corporatocracy

Sir Harry Gibbs On The Constitutional Crisis

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

I am a former member of the High Court and I wish to take this unusual method of informing you about a matter that is going to deeply affect us all.

Unfortunately, a document such as this is too easily "lost" in the bureaucratic jungle in which we operate. A group of Australian Citizens have taken it upon themselves to test the validity of our current political and judicial system.

Like you, I have lived my entire legal career with the assumption that the basis for our legal and political system, state and federal, was written in stone.

This group has undertaken to present this paper when they test the legal system. The group is articulate, well educated and counts some of our best legal minds amongst its members.

One of Australia's best known barristers is one of the group’s leading lights. It is far better informed with regard to international law than most members of the judiciary or for that matter, the legal academe.

It has better international contacts than I would have thought possible. After spending some time with the group leader, I was able to elicit its primary intentions. It is the introduction of a totally democratic system of government devoid of party politics operated by the will of the people incorporating a system of debit taxation which should go a long way to eliminating the current unemployment problem and also addressing other pressing social issues.

An A.B.S.financial model supports the proposal.The group has so far concentrated on matters relating to taxation, state and federal, minor industrial and motor traffic while undertaking not to present a criminal defence using their current presentation.

I challenged the leader of this group to present any evidence he had with regard to the above defence so I could use my legal expertise to play the part of the devil’s advocate.

It should be brought to your attention that the group has access to documentation that we members of the judiciary have little knowledge. I refer to the British Parliamentary Papers for the Colony of Australia for the years 1860 through to 1922.

These are photocopies of all documents correspondence etc., between the states and later the Commonwealth of Australia, the British Crown and the British Government. They are very revealing documents and indicate the degree of chicanery in which the politicians of all shades were involved and as I can now see, at the expense of the legal academe and the judiciary.

POINTS OF INTEREST

I present for your perusal the details of the group’s presentation along with my comment on each major item. The group relies solely upon historical fact and rejects political rhetoric and legal opinion unless based upon historical fact.

  • 1. “The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK) is an act of the parliament of the United Kingdom. It did not contain any substance of sovereignty and was a colonial act centralising self-government of the six Australian Colonies. Australia remained a colony of the United Kingdom.”
  • 1a. Although the late Lionel Murphy attempted to show that there was an element of sovereignty in this act he failed. The international definition of sovereignty has been espoused at length and the above act although important in the development of Australia, did not have the authority of sovereignty. The historical evidence that Australia remained a British Colony post 1901 is overwhelming.
  • 2. “Australia made an international declaration of its intention to become a sovereign nation when Prime Minister Hughes and his deputy; Sir Joseph Cook signed the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. On its cognisance of signing this treaty, Australia was granted a “C” class League of Nations mandate over former German territories in the Pacific. In effect, Papua New Guinea became a colony of Australia achieving its own independence on 16 September 1975. The League of Nations became part of International Law on 10 January 1920 with Article X of the Covenant of League of Nations guaranteeing the sovereignty of each member,”
  • 2a. The Significance of Australia joining the League of Nations as a foundation member has never been addressed in Australia before. Strangely, only one book has ever examined the question of Australian independence. Written by W. J. Hudson and M. P. Sharp in 1988 “Australian Independence” printed by Melbourne University Press. As both were members of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the time of authorship and had access to the, British Parliamentary Papers, I find it most interesting they have avoided any mention of these papers in their book. Their conclusion that Australia became an independent nation via. the Statute of Westminster in 1931 flies in the face of contradictory evidence within the above mentioned papers and readily available historical fact. Prime Minister Hughes address to the Commonwealth Parliament on 10 September 1919, “Australia has now entered into a family of nations on a footing of equality. Australia has been born in a blood sacrifice.” demonstrates the politicians of the day were only too well aware of the change of status from a colony to that of sovereign nation while attempting to remain within the Empire. Prime Minister Bruce made this reply to the British Government in 1922 after a request for troops against Kernel Ataturk in the Chanak crisis. Bruce’s reply is contained in the British Parliamentary Papers: “We have to try to ensure there shall be an Empire foreign policy which if we are to be in anyway responsible for it, must be one to which we agree and have assented. If we are to take any responsibility for the Empire’s foreign policy, there must be a better system, so that we may be consulted and have a better opportunity to express the views of the people of this country. We cannot blindly submit to any policy which may involve us in war.” This is a far cry from the declaration of war against Germany made on behalf of the British Colony of Australia by George V of the United Kingdom in 1914. I have re-produced Bruce’s reply in full as I believe this reply contains clear historical evidence of a Prime Minister who was well aware of the change of status from a colony to a sovereign nation. The later Statute of Westminster 1931 was an acknowledgment of that status.
  • 3. “Paragraph 4 of the Statue of Westminster Act 1931 contravenes Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Paragraph 1 of the Australia Act 1986 contravenes Article 2 paragraphs 1 and 4 of the Charter of the United Nations.”
  • 3a. Paragraph 4 of the Statute of Westminster reads: “No Act of Parliament of the United. Kingdom passed after the commencement of this Act shall extend, or be deemed to extend, to a Dominion as part of the law of that Dominion, unless it is expressly declared in that Act that Dominion, has requested, and consented to the enactment thereof.” Paragraph 1 of the Australia Act is very similar: “No Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the commencement of this Act shall extend, or be deemed to extend, to the Commonwealth, to a State or Territory as part of the law of the Commonwealth, of the State or of the Territory.”

POLITICIANS INFORMED

I passed this one to the Federal Attorney General and asked him what was the source of this quite incredible authority that sought to overturn the authority legislated within the Covenant of the League of Nations in Article X and the Charter of the United Nations in Article 2 paragraphs 1 and 4.

He is unable to provide any documentation to support these clauses, Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations states:

“The members of the League undertake to respect and preserve against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League. In case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression, the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.”

It is appropriate that I now introduce a statement by Sir Geoffrey Butler KBE, MA and Fellow,Librarian and Lecturer in International Law and Diplomacy of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge author of “A Handbook to the League of Nations” used as a reference to the League by virtually all nations at that time.

He refers to Article 1 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.“It is arguable that this article is the Covenant’s most significant single measure. By it the British Dominions, namely New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Canada, have their independent nationhood established for the first time.

There may be friction over small matters in giving effect to this internationally acknowledged fact but the Dominions will always look to the League of Nations Covenant as their Declaration of Independence. Article 2 paragraph 1 of the United Nation’s Charter states

“The Organisation is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.”

Article 2 paragraph 4 of the Charter states

“All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

In view of the above, the historical evidence for Australian Independence by 10 January 1920 when the League of Nations became part of International Law is overwhelming.

When this evidence is reinforced with the contents of the Charter of the United Nations, the continued usage of any legislation that owes its very legitimacy to the parliament of an acknowledged foreign power cannot be supported by either legal opinion or indeed historical evidence.

NO BASIS IN LAW

I therefore have come to the conclusion that the current legal and political system in use in Australia and its States and Territories has no basis in law.

Following discussions with members of the British Government relating to the Letters Patent for the Governor General and State Governors I find that these documents no longer have any authority.

Indeed, the Queen of the United, Kingdom is excluded from any position of power in Australia by the United Nations Charter and is excluded under UK law from the issue of a Letters Patent to other than a British Subject.

A Letters Patent must refer to an action to be taken with regard to British Citizens. The Immigration Act. 1972 UK defines Australian Citizen as aliens.

The Governor General’s Letters Patent is a comedy of errors.

We are greeted in the name of the Queen of Australia who suddenly becomes the Queen of the United Kingdom in the next paragraph of the Letters Patent.

This Queen the gives instructions to the Governor General with reference to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 UK.

Here we have a clear breach of Article 2 paragraph 1 of the United Nation Charter.

Under both UK and international law, the-Queen is a British Citizen.

State Governors are in a worse position as their authority comes from the late Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Regardless of the validity of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 UK, if the authority of Governor General and the State Governors is invalid then so is the entire political and legal system of government.

When advised that the War Crimes Commission was taking an interest, I called them in Geneva.

Under the 1947 Geneva Convention, they are empowered to look into eases here in Australia where it is alleged the law of a foreign country was enforced against a citizen of a member state of the United Nations.

As they perceive that only the judiciary can actually enforce the law, the judicary becomes their target.

The group has already placed cases before them which they are currently investigating. If found guilty, the penalties are horrific and include the death penalty!

I could go on with more relevant information however I think now is the time for a summary.

The group leader, a QC, states the obvious when he asked me how could a colony now acknowledged by all world nations to be a sovereign Nation retain exactly the same legal and political system it enjoyed as a colony without any change whatsoever to the basis for law?

This point alone requires an answer. The High Court has already answered with regard to the position held by treaties signed by the Commonwealth Government in the Teoh case of 1994.

“Ordinary people have the right to expect government officials to consider Australia’s international obligations even if those obligations are not reflected in specific Acts of Parliament: the rights recognised in international treaties are an implied limit on executive processes.”

SOLUTION: REFUSE TO HEAR CLAIMS

My advice is to adjourn any case “sine die” that that challenges the authority of the Letters Patent.

Under no circumstances hear a case that challenges the validity of a State or the Federal Constitution.

It is the politicians who are using us as pawns without them having to face the music. These matters are of concern to politicians, let them sort out these problems and accept any inherent risks themselves!

“Article 36 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice is the correct reference for you to refuse to hear a matter when an international treaty is cited as a defence.”

Ref: http://www.scribd.com/doc/49243918/Sir-Harry-Gibbs-On-The-Constitutional-Crisis

See Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Gibbs

Image Source: http://gibbschambers.com.au

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2015-06-02 Asylum Seekers

Mystery plaque behind 'Youngster' sculpture highlights plight of refugee children

Sculpture

Every day, tens of thousands of commuters walk past the diminutive figure in a hoodie on the corner of George and Barrack streets in the CBD. Most would probably give the bronze sculpture barely a second thought. But one person at least has thought about it very deeply. In fact, deeply enough to have a professional-looking plaque installed on the wall behind, casting the work in a wholly different light.

Sculpture

“Lest we forget them,” begins the text. “Children seeking asylum in Australia are kept in detention as part of a government policy which inflicts harm on refugees fleeing violence and persecution,” it continues. “Their suffering is our shame. Here at this site we remember them and together call out for change.”

Pictures of the mysterious plaque, which appeared a few weeks ago, have since been doing the rounds on social media.

Artist Caroline Rothwell, who created the work entitled Youngster, has yet to see the unauthorised addition but has declared herself “delighted”. “I feel quite honoured that whoever has put it there has chosen to interact with it in that way,” she said.

“I agree with the sentiment. Also part of my idea with the work is that these little hooded figures we generally see as a threatening form are actually vulnerable.

“I think it’s great that an artwork can be used in the conversation in that way. I don’t feel that it is appropriated, I feel that it is extending the conversation.

“When the art is out in the public space, you always hope it will take on a life of its own.”

Youngster, which has a “partner” figure of a handstanding child a few metres away, was installed in 2012 as part of the City of Sydney’s Art and About festival.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/mystery-plaque-behind-youngster-sculpture-highlights-plight-of-refugee-children-20150531-ghcish.html#ixzz3bskitNKu

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2015-05-22 Cory Bernardi

Cory Bernardi to spearhead no campaign on Recognise vote.

by Jared Owens

Outspoken Liberal senator Cory Bernardi is prepared to spearhead the “no” campaign against recognising indigenous Australians in the constitution, arguing the proposal is racially divisive and “doomed to fail”.

As indigenous leaders meet with Attorney-General George Brandis in Broome this week, Senator Bernardi this morning lashed out at proposals to recognise the First Australians in the nation’s foundation document.

“Let me tell you that anything that seeks to divide our country by race, and every proposal that I’ve heard of seeks to do exactly that, I think is doomed to fail,” the deeply conservative South Australian told ABC Radio.

“Within the Coalition … virtually no one is talking about this. Like most of Australia, this is a fifth-order issue at best.

“In order for a ‘no’ campaign to be funded there needs to be a ‘no’ vote in the parliament. I think that is inevitable, if only to give the Australian people an informed choice.”

Asked if he would be prepared to lead the ‘no’ campaign, Senator Bernardi said: “I’m always prepared to do what I think is in the best interests of Australia.”

NSW Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos rejected Senator Bernardi’s view, saying the referendum was “about bringing Australians together”.
“This has to be a very positive moment for Australia. It has to be the moment where we draw a line under the last couple of hundred years and appropriately recognise the contribution that indigenous Australians have made to this country,” Senator Sinodinos said.

“They were the first here 40,000 years ago, they made the important contribution to us understanding this country and when you go overseas one of the things that makes Australia unique is the centrality of our Aboriginal culture.”

Senator Bernardi was Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary until 2012, when he was sacked over “ill-disciplined” remarks suggesting recognising same-sex marriages could lead to polygamy and bestiality.

He is the author of several books on conservative politics and is sympathetic to Britain’s right-wing UK Independence Party and Dutch nationalist politician Geert Wilders.

Last week Senator Bernardi won government and crossbench support for an inquiry into Halal certification schemes.

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/cory-bernardi-to-spearhead-no-campaign-on-recognise-vote/story-fnihym2m-1227362496739

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2015-05-16 Cory Bernardi

It's all about Cory.

by SALLY NEIGHBOUR

The wall in Cory Bernardi’s Canberra office is adorned with mementos of some of his political paragons: framed portraits of Margaret Thatcher, Arnold Schwarzenegger and a young Queen Elizabeth; a letter from Robert Menzies, penned to an admirer in 1966; John and Janette Howard beaming from an old Christmas card.
Bernardi has certainly wasted no time in the five years since he was elected a senator for South Australia. He’s played a key role in killing off the former Rudd government’s emissions trading scheme, toppling Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal leader and replacing him with Tony Abbott. He’s “carved a niche as one of Australia’s leading conservative voices”, according to his website. He’s riled Greens, gays, feminists, Muslims and small ‘l’ liberals with his campaigns against action on climate change, gay equality and the burqa.

“Cory is deluded,” says a Liberal Party colleague. “He is one of the least effective or important members of the parliamentary team. Cory is a person without any intellect, without any base, and he should really never have risen above the position of branch president. His right-wing macho-man act is just his way of looking as though he stands for something.”

Bernardi shrugs off the criticism. Beneath his Ken-doll good looks, smooth manner and radio announcer’s baritone lies a political hide as tough as any in Canberra. “I have a number of strong beliefs that I believe reflect the concerns, the hopes and I think the aspirations of mainstream Australia,” he says.

Bernardi owes his ascendancy in the Liberal Party to a powerful mentor, the right-wing faction leader and long-time South Australian senator, Nick Minchin, who was struck by the younger man’s physical stature (he’s 195 centimetres tall), sporting achievements and political potential. “He is confident without being overbearing, intelligent and committed, with a well-thought-through philosophy on life and a strong sense of direction,” says Minchin.

Thanks to Minchin’s backing, Bernardi became the Liberal Party’s youngest ever South Australian state president in 1998, and the youngest federal vice-president in 2005. The moderates in the branch were never impressed. One recalls: “There was nothing memorable about his term. Even his own supporters got sick of waiting for him to do something effective.” Bernardi rejects this, saying he boosted the branch’s membership by 40% and its bank balance by half a million dollars during his term.

Minchin’s support also got Bernardi onto the senate ticket and into parliament in 2006. In his maiden speech he extolled the importance of a strong economy, small business, the defence industry and entrepreneurship, and derided the “new culture of rights” in Australia. He thanked his mother for staying at home to raise him, hailed “the sanctity of human life” and marriage as “a sacred bond between a man and a woman”, and pledged: “I shall be guided by my conscience, my family, my country and my God.”

Sinead, with whom he has two sons, aged ten and 12, says they have the perfect marriage because they’re “both in love with the same man”. “Cory obviously has this huge belief in himself … If you didn’t love a guy who was so in love with himself you’d have a lot of trouble living with Cory. Life – I don’t think he’d mind me saying this – it’s all about Cory. I am all about Cory, and he is all about Cory, so it makes it easy.”

I asked Bernardi what he loves. He replied: “Family. And my wife says myself, but you know [that’s] a bit unkind.”

Bernardi’s singular achievement is having helped destroy the Rudd government’s emissions trading scheme in 2009 and, with it, Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. His opposition to the ETS, and later the carbon tax, was first inspired by veteran climate sceptic, University of Adelaide’s Ian Plimer. It was girded by a 2009 visit to the United States where he sought advice on strategy from America’s foremost climate-change deniers; among them Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner who, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “routinely ignores and denies even the most robust, vetted scientific findings”, and Senator James Inhofe, a beneficiary of generous energy industry funding, who has described global warming as “the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state”.

Inspired by the tactics of the Tea Party, Bernardi established the Conservative Leadership Foundation in 2009, which in turn set up the Conservative Action Network (CANdo) that Bernardi likens to “a Facebook for conservatives”. CANdo rallied dozens of like-minded groups and thousands of individuals to join an orchestrated ‘grassroots’ campaign – also known as ‘astro-turfing’ – against the ETS. Their efforts persuaded Liberal MPs to revolt against Turnbull, killing the ETS and propelling Abbott into leadership.

Some of his moderate colleagues are caustic about Bernardi’s role in undermining Turnbull and others on the small ‘l’ side. One colleague calls him “disloyal and treacherous”, while another says he spends more time attacking those in his own party than the others. Some colleagues privately blame him for circulating a “shit sheet” before the 2007 election implying that an unnamed Coalition minister was gay. Bernardi categorically denies he had anything to do with it, adding he’s a “convenient scapegoat for those on the Left”. He has maintained a poisonous feud with fellow South Australian Christopher Pyne, who signed him up to their local branch in the 1980s before they acrimoniously fell out.

He was sacked from the front bench by Malcolm Turnbull in 2009, after writing on his blog that the “wannabe” MP who had recruited him had told him during a golf game that he only ran as a Liberal because he lived in a Liberal seat. Bernardi refused Turnbull’s demand that he apologise to Pyne, and remains unrepentant today. “Why would I apologise for [writing] something that is true?” Turnbull had previously rebuked Bernardi for speaking against the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws–Superannuation) Act 2008, which had bipartisan support. Bernardi opined in the senate that the bill would throw open the doors of “the marriage club” to people “whose relationships are uncharacteristic of the most basic elements of a marital union”.

While he seems to be sincere in his convictions, the foundations of Bernardi’s ‘philosophy’ appear shallow. He claims to be widely read but admits his favourite fare is airport novels, especially the late Dick Francis’ formulaic thrillers. His recommended reading list includes a book called Confrontational Politics by a retired US senator, HL Richardson, published by the Gun Owners Foundation. The author’s credo is “pro-life, pro-gun, pro-God” and he was once voted ‘Chauvinist of the Year’ by the National Organization for Women. His book is a crude polemic that rails against homosexuals, tree-huggers, humanists, pagans and abortionists, whom he likens to Hitler. It calls evolution a “scientific justification” for rejecting God, and argues for “the necessity to limit the power of man and government” as the Holy Bible should be the basis for human law (a proposition starkly similar to that advanced by the Islamists Bernardi condemns). Bernardi liked the book so much he bought 100 copies to hand out.

Many of his ideas are borrowed from others. He embraced the nickname ‘Ju-liar’ for Julia Gillard, coined by his friend Alan Jones, with whom he served on the board of the Australian Sports Commission. The slogan on his website, ‘common sense lives here’, mimics that of another of his icons, US talk-show host Phil Valentine, who wrote The Conservative’s Handbook and uses the catchphrase: ‘It’s just common sense’. Bernardi’s assertion that Islam is a “totalitarian, political and religious ideology” echoes the phraseology of right-wing anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders, whom Bernardi met and invited to Australia, earning another rebuke from the Liberal leadership.

A frequent commentator on the ‘dangers’ of Islam, Bernardi has the Koran on his iPad but acknowledges he hasn’t read it, except for the passages he quotes to advance his arguments. He doesn’t know the ‘five pillars’, or basic tenets, of the Islamic faith. He claims his warnings about Islam are based on the “unique perspective” he gained while travelling in Europe where, he says, Muslim migration has led to “almost unprecedented levels of social unrest”.

“I keep saying this is not about Muslim people,” Bernardi insists. “A lot of Muslims eat pork, there’s a lot of Muslims who don’t pray five times a day or go to mosque, there’s a lot of Muslims who decide to drink alcohol. There’s a lot of Muslims who are terrific people, that are fantastic, like people of any faith.” In other words: Muslims are fine, as long as they don’t practise their beliefs.

“He wants to be some sort of conservative warrior but he’s not up to it intellectually,” says a Liberal associate. “In reality he’s like the kid in the playground who pulls his pants down so everyone will look at him, but he has no idea how he’s embarrassing himself in the process. He’s basically kryptonite for any serious person in the party because he’s a complete embarrassment.”

For a man who espouses “compassion, acceptance and personal integrity”, to quote his website, there’s also a pitiless quality to Bernardi. He calls asylum-seekers “welfare squatters” and condemned the government for flying survivors of the Christmas Island refugee boat disaster to Sydney to attend their loved ones’ funerals.

“There’s plenty of Australians who miss out on going to funerals too because they can’t afford it,” he says, unmoved by the fact that the mourners included young children who had lost both parents. “It’s tragic,” he adds, stone-faced. The same steely tone is employed when he talks about the elder brother he hasn’t spoken to for a decade, although they see each other at the park when their sons play sport together. He won’t say why they fell out. When I ask if it saddens him, he replies: “You’re gonna say I’m cruel and heartless but no, it doesn’t … It’s just one of those things. I’m estranged from my brother. Big deal.”

Bernardi was rewarded for his role in elevating Abbott to the leadership with a promotion to the position of shadow parliamentary secretary assisting the Opposition leader. Asked why he got the post, he replies: “I guess he [Abbott] thinks I’m someone who can help him get to where he wants to go.” What role Bernardi would play in an Abbott-led government is an open question. Minchin says Bernardi “has a very substantial support base”. Another senior Liberal believes Abbott and Bernardi are “very close”. An alternative view from within the party is that Abbott and his office think Bernardi is “a total liability” and “even the conservative wing finds him to be a complete screwball”. Abbott was not available to comment.

“If you look at some of the great people of history, they all had trenchant critics,” says Bernardi, citing his hero, Ronald Reagan, whose speeches he listens to on his iPhone for inspiration during his evening walks. “You can’t go through life being loved by everybody, that’s a recipe for nothingness.”

See: https://www.themonthly.com.au/cory-bernardi-conservative-warrior-all-about-cory-sally-neighbour-4327

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SALLY NEIGHBOUR

Sally Neighbour is a multiple award-winning journalist and author, best known for her work as a reporter with Four Corners, recognised by three Walkley Awards. She is the author of The Mother of Mohammed and In the Shadow of Swords.

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2015-05-02 Asylum Seekers

Nauru's ban on Facebook angers opposition and refugee advocates

The Nauru government banned Facebook since 30 April 2015 as part of its crackdown on internet pornography. (Loic Venance: AFP)

Nauru's opposition and refugee advocates have slammed a government ban on Facebook, calling the move an act of "dictatorship".

The comments came after the government directed Digicel, the nation's internet service provider, "to start blocking applicable websites", which the opposition said includes the social networking site.

In a statement, the government cited moral and religious grounds for the ban, as part of a broader crackdown on “internet sites that show pornography, particularly those featuring children”.

But opposition MP Matthew Batsiua told Pacific Beat he considers the move a way to stop Nauruans from using Facebook to criticise the government.

“The real agenda here is curbing the rights of people to access social media,” he said.

He said people in Nauru usually use Facebook to express dissent and keep in touch with family overseas.

Mr Batsiua dismissed the government’s suggestion that the ban was implemented on moral grounds.

“The first reason they gave [for the closure] was due to a technical problem. Now it’s all about porn,” he said.

“This is all about [justice minister] Adeang and his cronies being worried about the ever increasing number of people who have taken to social media to criticise his dictatorial style, which even the president is either unwilling – or too scared – to rein in.”

Radio Australia has attempted to contact the Nauru government for comment, but they have not responded.

Claims of a dictatorship

“There has been a growing concern … on Facebook about criticism against this government for a lack of scrutiny,” Mr Batsiua said, a trend which has concerned the government.

“A lot of people on Facebook are calling our government a dictatorship.

“I mean the behaviour that we have seen in shutting out members of the opposition, having an ineffective parliament where basically there’s no scrutiny or debate on policies and activities, now curbing social media … I’m just spelling out what it is.”

Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition agreed, saying the government is “not far short of being a dictatorship”.

We’re more likely to see increasing dissent inside Nauru partly as a result of the way in which the collaboration with the Australian Government has enriched quite a few people on Nauru but it certainly hasn’t enriched the general community. Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coaltion He dismissed claims by the government that they are simply trying to crack down on internet pornography.

Shutting down Facebook will severely impact refugees in the detention centre who use the social media network to communicate with the outside world, Mr Rintoul said.

“We’ve seen even in the treatment of refugees … the total power rests with commissioner and there’s no obvious way of appealing against the commissioner’s decisions about whether protests are allowed or disallowed,” he said.

Mr Rintoul said the government has been issuing decrees on where people can protest and “the ability to arrest … assemblies three or greater now extends to public areas and that effectively means inside the refugee compounds itself”.

Locals versus refugees

Mr Rintoul said there is a growing disquiet among people in Nauru as they feel they are “treated the same way as refugees”.

“So rather than unity … we’re more likely to see increasing dissent inside Nauru partly as a result of the way in which the collaboration with the Australian Government has enriched quite a few people on Nauru but it certainly hasn’t enriched the general community,” he said.

The opposition said Mr Adeang had revoked the visa of Digicel’s Nauru manager Lorna Roge while she was off the island on business.

“She joins the growing list of expat personnel who have been shunted off Nauru for no given reason other than Adeang doesn’t like them,” Mr Batsiua said.

“It’s a disgrace and the sooner this government calls an election so we can return Nauru to democracy, the better.

“Meanwhile it would be interesting to know how other countries in our region view this latest sorry act of censorship by this Nauru government.”

See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-02/nauru-ban-on-facebook-to-diffuse-dissent-critics-say/6439146

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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.


Zoom in on Image

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.


Zoom in on Image

Zoom in on Image

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 deletes 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
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