Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Downer In The Synagogue

This speech was reported by the Australian Jewish News this week.  For some reason it's not on Downer's website.

Well, Rabbis, ladies and gentlemen I just want to say what a great honour it is and an unusual honour for me to come along here this afternoon and spend some time with you and participate in the opening of this synagogue.

I feel it is a great honour for a lot of reasons - some of them are very modern, some of them are not so modern.

changing course .....

from the Centre for American Progress …..

Stovepiping Intelligence

‘"Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving office," writes Joshua Muravchik, a neoconservative scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening, and it will have many echoes at home." So neoconservatives, Muravchik argued, "need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes." In that vein, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said last August, "We could be in a military confrontation with Iran much sooner than people expect." In a startling new article in the New Yorker, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh writes that, despite the recent bluster over Iran's attempts to build a nuclear bomb, a highly classified draft assessment by the CIA found "no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program." According to Hersh, the White House has reacted with hostility to the CIA's report and, as it did with Iraq, is bypassing the agency by collecting and compiling its own intelligence for a possible military strike. On CNN yesterday, Hersh said there is an "internecine fight" going on between the CIA and the White House over the intelligence process, "the same fight, by the way, that we had before Iraq."

Masters Of War- University Of Adelaide Degrees

Tired of KBR getting all the engineering jobs?   Looking for a career in building Weapons Of Mass Destruction?  Adelaide Uni can help.  They're now training engineers for more advanced construction work, at least up to the technology level that Raytheon allows us local savages to access.

It's odd for the university to now announce that it has been been running the specialised maritime engineering  program for a year already,  instead of at the program's initial implementation.  Given that the start of the academic year was just before the South Australian elections I wonder if the story might have been considered politically inappropriate at the time.  To me it seemed that the whole concept of the Defence State, complete with number plates and BAE bus shelter ads, seemed to have been shelved in the last pre-election four weeks.  In such a context I can understand a reticence for publicity.

denial still rules .....

‘As we approach the beginning of the end in Iraq there will be much throat clearing and breast-beating before reality replaces denial. For the moment, denial still rules.

In America last week I was shocked at how unaware even anti-war Americans are (like many Britons) of the depth of the predicament in Iraq. They compare it with Vietnam or the Balkans - but it is not the same. It is total anarchy. All sentences beginning, "What we should now do in Iraq ... " are devoid of meaning. We are in no position to do anything. We have no potency; that is the definition of anarchy.’

Australia's new copyright laws risk making criminals out of all of us

A media release from the Internet Industry Association:

New Copyright Laws Risk Criminalising Everyday Australians

The Internet Industry Association today warned that changes to Australia’s copyright laws being rushed through Parliament risked making criminals out of everyday Australians.

The IIA which represents a broad range of internet businesses in Australia, in conjunction with the QUT Law Faculty Intellectual Property Research Program, has identified a number of scenarios which could trip up Australians in their everyday use of copyrighted materials.

Said IIA chief executive, Peter Coroneos: “We can’t be sure if this is the government's intent, or whether there has been a terrible oversight in the drafting of this Bill. Either way, the consequences for the average Australian family could be devastating.”

“As an example,” said Mr Coroneos, “a family who holds a birthday picnic in a place of public entertainment (for example, the grounds of a zoo) and sings ‘Happy Birthday’ in a manner that can be heard by others, risks an infringement notice carrying a fine of up to $1320. If they make a video recording of the event, they risk a further fine for the possession of a device for the purpose of making an infringing copy of a song. And if they go home and upload the clip to the internet where it can be accessed by others, they risk a further fine of up to $1320 for illegal distribution. All in all, possible fines of up to $3960 for this series of acts – and the new offences do not require knowledge or improper intent. Just the doing of the acts is enough to ground a legal liability under the new ‘strict liability’ offences.”

Unscheduled downtime 17/11 - 19/11

As many of you would have noticed YourDemocracy was unavailable for a couple of days. This was due to our domain name expiring. The name was under the control of a member of the IT team who is no longer active in the project, and no-one noticed that the domain was about to expire.

This has now been rectified, with the domain once again the under control of the core IT team. We also took this opportunity to move servers to deal with space and bandwidth issues. Every month we have grown in disk space and numbers of visitors. The new hosting basically has unlimited of each of these.

Please attach any issues as comments to this post.

muh durn daddy again .....

‘When I saw the Newsweek cover featuring Big Daddy Bush muscling toward the front with a diminished little Dubya skulking in the background, my first thought was: How is Junior going to react to this? Bush II's resentment toward his father is well-known – a resentment no doubt compounded by his lifelong, abject dependence on Daddy's financial and political pull – and I knew that Little Bush would not simply accept this media humiliation and move on.

Because for all his vaunted (and totally mendacious) "unconcern" with opinion polls and popularity ("Ah just do whut muh gut tells me is right"), Little Bush is actually one of the most vain and insecure men ever to sit in the White House; only Nixon can match him in this regard. Why else would he need to have his authority bolstered in such ludicrous ways – such as all those little "Commander-in-Chief" and "President of the United States" tags embossed onto his fancy quasi-military jackets and his running gear and belt-buckles and boots – and probably his toilet paper as well?

the value of "aussie tony's" legacy .....

‘They say the fountain in London's Trafalgar Square turned the color of blood on Armistice Day last weekend, as Britons in the hundreds of thousands trudged out in the November gloom to commemorate the end of the First World War, and lament the dead in all the wars thereafter.

But the turning of the water was no miracle, no divine judgment on the leader whose fateful partnership with George W. Bush is producing - week after week, month after month, year after year - fresh cause for future mourning. The color came from the thousands of fake poppies tossed into the fountain in what The Observer called "a spontaneous act of remembrance": an offering of the ubiquitous charity emblems worn by most of the population in the week leading up to the memorials.

from the land of the great deludererarians …..


                            charity begins at home .....

 

a perfect match .....

 

 
‘As the red wheel of Operation Iraqi FUBAR* continues to roll, spewing hundreds of corpses in its wake, it becomes clearer by the hour that there is only one way for America to end this stomach-churning nightmare it has created: get out.

That's it. The occupying armies – including Bush's 20,000 corporate mercenaries – should leave now. They should never have been sent in the first place on this ghoul's errand: a war of aggression, a mission of murder and plunder – the perversion of every enlightened value of the civilization that the Coalition's "Christian leaders" purport to defend.

Defence Minister in AWB Double-Snare

 Former Defence Minister Robert Hill now joins PM Howard and Ministers Downer and Vaiille in being implicated in the AWB cover-up.

Only a few sleeps away from the delivery of the AWB Report we learn that 70 employees of the the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade knew about the bribes to Saddam as far back as 2001

A cable from Australia's mission to the United Nationse refferring to "kickbacks"  was sent to DFAT, the Defence Intelligence Organisation and the Defence Department, and marked for the information of the Prime Minister, the Trade Minister, Austrade, the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister.

no feet at all .....

 
from the US Centre for Constitutional Rights

Today, CCR filed a criminal complaint in Germany under their universal jurisdiction law charging Rumsfeld, Gonzales and other high-ranking officials in the Bush administration with war crimes . The complaint was filed on behalf of 11 former detainees who were victims of severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation, hooding and sexual abuse in Abu Ghraib, and one detainee at Guantánamo Bay subjected to torture and abuse there under Rumsfeld’s specific authorization.

exit states' rights .....

from Our belittled ABC ….

No need for constitutional convention, PM says

The Prime Minister says there is no need for a constitutional convention in the wake of this week’s High Court case on industrial relations.

Several premiers say yesterday's ruling has changed the basis of the relationship between the Commonwealth and the states and have called for a convention to debate the situation. 

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