Friday 31st of October 2014

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by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-31 17:03


Russell Brand has stepped into the political arena and is being made to pay a heavy price for it. Ever since his first and by now legendary Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman a year ago, the comedian and entertainer has come under attack from all and sundry, with words such as 'irresponsible', 'naive', self aggrandising', 'incoherent', and even 'bumhole' being thrown at him like verbal hand grenades.

His second and recent Newsnight interview with Evan Davis has resulted in a similar furore, uniting voices of the left, right, and right-on in condemnation. No matter how you cut it this is a remarkable feat for one leather-trousered comedian and entertainer.

Indeed such is the level of anger and indignation levelled at Russell Brand for 'daring' to publicly articulate his disenchantment with the status quo, with the political and economic system, and worse daring to write a book with the provocative titleRevolution, you would think he'd just committed some heinous crime. The criticism that has attached to him over his reinvention as a political activist, writer and campaigner says more about those throwing barbs than it does about him, however, echoing perhaps Oscar Wilde's assertion that, "Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities".


There are limits as to that last Oscar Wilde's genius quote... When we ridicule Tony Abbott, he is no genius and we're no mediocrities... He is just a lying lying lying toad who got in a position of power because he was supported to the hilt by his mate Rupert... who played Rudd against Gillard as well... Turdy Tony and Murdoch are swines with low scientific intelligence. 


by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-31 16:24

Tony Abbott today launched another politically motivated witch hunt into supposed union corruption yet seems to have deliberately excluded any investigation into his former hero, Kathy Jackson. Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks reports.



This morning Tony Abbott launched his latest stunt — a joint police taskforce to investigate alleged corruption, violence and organised crime connections in the construction industry.

Announced in a press conference this morning with Victorian Premier Denis Napthine, the taskforce between the AFP and Victoria Police serves the dual purposes of again kicking the union industry as well as attempting to win votes for Napthine’s Coalition Government.

Allegations about so-called union corruption are seen as a sure vote winner in Liberal circles because of the union movement’s close links to the ALP. With the Liberals trailing Daniel Andrews’ ALP 44-56 (two party preferred) and the election set for November 29, Napthine will be hoping the taskforce brings up some serious dirt — and fast.

Of course, it is interesting that this new dirtdigging unit is only interested in looking into the construction industry union, the CFMEU.

It wasn’t so long ago, during the term of the previous government, that the Health Services Union was portrayed as being the worst of the worst by Abbott and co — yet it seems to have been deliberately excluded from this latest witch hunt.
Could this have anything to do with the fall from grace of brave Joan of Arc-like whistleblower Kathy Jackson — a name that formerly could not be said enough times for the Coalition’s liking; a name that, in Coalition ranks, once seemed to be synonymous with everything the Liberal Party claimed to stand for?

This, of course, was back in the days when the HSU saga was working in the Liberal Party’s favour and they felt comfortable hitching the Coalitions credibility to Kathy Jackson’s integrity — blithely ignoring the mountain of allegations against her, even then.

Back then, current Employment Minister Eric Abetz couldn’t find enough glowing words to say about her — in fact every time he spoke of her it looked like his head was going to explode with pride and he even had her name was on his telephone’s speed dial.

George Brandis too, as Attorney-General and as Shadow AG has spoken about Jackson with admiration and a glint in his eye many a time.

Of course, Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Prime Minister Tony Abbott have both piled praise on Jackson, with Pyne arranging a parliamentary apology to her over a Craig Thomson speech speech to Parliament, while Abbott referred to her as “heroic” and brave, amongst other many glowing accolades while he was opposition leader.

Jackson was lauded by the shock-jocks, hailed a hero by the right-wing commentators and was even the guest of honour at an event at the home of union hatred, the HR Nicholls Society, which she happily attended as the guest of the lovable architect of WorkChoices, Peter Reith.

Yes, not so long ago, in the eyes of the Coalition and its many one-eyed camp followers, while she was piling allegation after allegation on Craig Thomson and running down the Labor Party, Jackson could do no wrong.

Moreover, back then Jackson was engaged to be married into a family considered Liberal Party royalty — the mighty Lawler family. Her fiancé Michael Lawler was the Tony Abbott appointed Vice President of Fair Work Australia, his brother John Lawler was then CEO of the Australian Crime Commission and their father Sir Peter Lawler — a senior staffer to PM Robert Menzies and Australia’s first Ambassador to the Holy See (The Vatican). Like the Abbotts, the Lawlers are said by some to have strong ties to the shadowy arch-conservative Catholic sect Opus Dei, as well as the Liberal Party.

But now, sadly for Jackson, things appear to have changed. The Coalition have seemingly turned on Kathy quicker than you can say “James Ashby”.

In Question Time on the 28 October, Christopher Pyne acting on Eric Abetz’s behalf as the Minister for Employment was attempting to besmirch Bill Shorten and Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews by linking the Victorian ALP to the CFMEU, when Labor MP Rob Mitchell made a comment about the Liberal’s friendship with Kathy Jackson, at which point the Speaker Bronwyn Bishop intervened.

The SPEAKER: Whoever made that comment will withdraw.

Mr Albanese: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: in what way is the name 'Kathy Jackson' unparliamentary?

The SPEAKER: Because it was reflecting on another member. I said: whoever made the comment will withdraw the comment.

I spoke to Rob Mitchell about the comment that had so greatly offended and its context.

Christopher Pyne had been trying to Labor Party as corruptly linked to the CFMEU, so Rob retorted with:


"Thanks Kathy Jackson"

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop was having none of it. Apparently, the same Party that could not align themselves with Jackson enough now think it is a huge insult to be linked with her.

How the mighty have fallen.

In Victoria, as part of their campaign the Liberal Party have launched a new website called:

‘Which Dodgy Character Will Turn Up At Labor’s Launch’.

It features a number of people the Victorian Liberal Party apparently view as dodgy.

One of those on the Coalition’s “dodgy” list is none other than their former Joan of Arc hero — Kathy Jackson.

The Victorian Liberal party describe her thus:

‘Health Services Union Secretary, Kathy Jackson, is alleged to have grossly misused union credit cards, cash cheques and general accounts and made unauthorised payments of over $1 million which workers are now trying to recover. These funds belonged to low paid, hardworking health workers.’

So, since the mainstream media started seeing Jackson’s true colours, the Liberal Party have tried to distance themselves from her — first by ignoring anything to do with her, then making mention of her name “unparliamentary” and then in Victoria even labelling her “dodgy” and seemingly accusing her of being a crook.

However, despite it being suddenly open season on Jackson, the man supporting and advising her ‒ someone allegedly heavily involved in the Jacksonville saga ‒ has so far been given a free pass while the taxpayer continues to pay his hefty wages.


Last year, as most would be aware, Tony Abbott reintroduced knighthoods to Australia.

One of the last people to receive a knighthood before they were abolished was Sir Peter Lawler, who is said to be a close friend of Tony Abbott’s father. I wonder if this had any bearing on Abbott’s decision.

Sir Peter is also a founder of the Australian Family Association, a far right-wing Christian lobby group, and, in 1986, was given the papal honour of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Pius IX, a papal knighthood.

Currently, Sir Peter Lawler’s prospective future daughter-in-law Kathy is in a psychiatric hospital and, when she emerges, will face Federal Court for around $1.4 million in member’s funds she is alleged to have misappropriated, and will then likely face criminal charges.

I wonder if she’ll refer to Sir Peter and Lady Mary as Mum and Dad.

Catch up on the full Jacksonville saga here. Follow Peter Wicks on Twitter @madwixxy.

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by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-31 16:04

Former Liberal minister Jackie Kelly has referred to the Abbott government as “lying, lying, lying toads” for betraying western Sydney on the Badgerys Creek airport.

Kelly, the Howard government star who resigned from the Liberal party two weeks ago over its failure to reform, has accused her former friend Tony Abbott of treating western Sydney residents “like schmucks” just “so the north shore can get their curfews”. Tony Abbott’s electorate of Warringah is on Sydney’s north shore.

In his first infrastructure statement to parliament this week, Abbott said the decision to go ahead with Badgerys Creek airport was “irrevocable” and would be supported by a range of infrastructure, including roads and rail.

“That’s a crock,” Kelly told Guardian Australia. “They are lying, lying, lying toads.”

“They haven’t planned for it, there is no money on the table … Badgerys Creek will be a 24-hour airport mostly for freight.

“It will put even more trucks on our roads. The north shore can get their curfews but we schmucks in western Sydney don’t deserve caps and curfews. We deserve better representation.”

Kelly said a Badgerys Creek airport would not attract “cheap airfares” because it would mainly cater to freight and so western Sydney residents would still have to trek into Mascot to fly out.

She said she has had many people asking her to run as an independent in the next federal election but she has ruled it out at this stage. However, Kelly committed to helping the No Badgerys Creek Airport group run candidates and a campaign at the federal election, and she believes the group will garner enough support to tip seats away from the government.

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What did she expect?... It was well known before the elections that Tony was lying through his clinched teeth as not to spill his dog's breakfast of bad bad policies... Yet her former electorate fell for the Turdy Tony con-trick.. Now they regret it...

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-31 12:05


A young Kurdish woman called "Rehana" has garnered a great deal of media attention over the past few days, after reports emerged claiming that she had killed more than a hundred ISIL fighters - single-handedly. A picture of the smiling beauty, wearing combat gear and toting a rifle, is still making the rounds of social media. Even as Rehana's circumstances remain uncorroborated, the overabundance of attention she has received raises several important questions. It adds to the plethora of reports out there glamorising the all-female Kurdish battalions taking on ISIL fighters, with little attention to the politics of these brave women.

Preoccupied with attempts to sensationalise the ways in which these women defy preconceived notions of eastern women as oppressed victims, these mainstream caricaturisations erroneously present Kurdish women fighters as a novel phenomenon. They cheapen a legitimate struggle by projecting their bizarre orientalist fantasies on it - and oversimplify the reasons motivating Kurdish women to join the fight. Nowadays, it seems to be appealing to portray women as sympathetic enemies of ISIL without raising questions about their ideologies and political aims.

At the same time, critics have accused the Kurdish leadership of exploiting these women for PR purposes - in an attempt to win over western public opinion. While there may be an element of truth to such charges in some cases, those same critics fail to appreciate the different political cultures that exist among the Kurdish people as a whole, scattered across Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. They also ignore the fact that Kurdish women have been engaging in armed resistance for decades without anyone's notice.

'Badass' Amazons

Typical of western media's myopia, instead of considering the implications of women taking up arms in what is essentially a patriarchal society - especially against a group that rapes and sells women as sex-slaves - even fashion magazines appropriate the struggle of Kurdish women for their own sensationalist purposes. Reporters often pick the most "attractive" fighters for interviews and exoticise them as "badass" Amazons.

The truth is, no matter how fascinating it is - from an orientalist perspective - to discover a women's revolution among Kurds, my generation grew up recognising women fighters as a natural element of our identity. Although there is still a long way to go, what some now ignorantly call "tokenism", has in fact shaped the consciousness of millions of Kurds.


by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-31 10:37


In one his longest speeches as Pope, the Holy See outlined his views on a wide range of issues– from poverty and the injustices of unemployment to the need to protect the environment.

"Today I want to unite my voice with yours and accompany you in your fight," he said to participants at the World Meeting of Popular Movements, which is holding a three-day conference in Rome involving groups including trade unions, peasant farmers, and domestic workers.

Among those in the audience were Argentine "cartoneros," who live off the sale of recyclable goods they salvage from rubbish. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was particularly close to the cartoneros; as pope he has maintained his support for their plight.

Anticipating how his letter would be received by his critics, Francis declared that “land, housing and work are increasingly unavailable to the majority’ of the world’s population,” but said “If I talk about this, some will think that the Pope is communist.”

"They don't understand that love for the poor is at the centre of the Gospel," he said. "Demanding this isn't unusual, it's the social doctrine of the church."

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Of course... the poor... who shall inherit the earth... At least the pope is showing our Turdy Tony how "it's done"... Turdy Tony wants to destroy unions, bury the poor in more debts and give moneys to his rich mates in a stupid costly direct action that will do nothing against climate change — which the Turd does not believe in. But the Tony Turdy is a full-blown lying Christian fascist-capitalist, while the pope seems to be a mini-socialist who cares.


by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-31 10:18

One of the more controversial provisions of the Patriot Act was to broaden the “sneak-and-peek” power for federal law enforcement officials. The provision allows investigators to conduct searches without informing the target of the search. We were assured at the time that this was an essential law enforcement tool that would be used only to protect the country from terrorism. Supporters argued that it was critical that investigators be allowed to look into the lives and finances of suspected terrorists without tipping off those terrorists to the fact that they were under investigation.

Civil libertarian critics warned that the federal government already had this power for national security investigations. The Patriot Act provision was far too broad and would almost certainly become a common tactic in cases that have nothing to do with national security.

But this was all immediately after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and there was little patience for civil libertarians. The massive Patriot Act of course passed overwhelmingly, including the sneak-and-peek provision, despite the fact that only a handful of members of Congress had actually read it. (Not to mention the public.)

More than a decade later, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has published an analysis on use of the sneak-and-peek power. Just as critics predicted, it’s now a ubiquitous part of federal law enforcement.

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by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-31 09:35

The iconic 1976 Land Rights Act is under attack like never before under the Abbott Government, writes former Fraser Liberal Government Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ian Viner AO QC (viaNorthern Land Council – Northern Edition).

WITH the Commonwealth Government’s push for 99-year leases, the Forrest Review’s call forAboriginal land to be privatised so as to be bought and sold, and attacks upon the Northern Land Council in particular over their defence of traditional ownership and their responsibilities under the Land Rights Act, the iconic 1976 Land Rights Act is under threat like never before.

The whole framework and security of traditional Aboriginal land, protected by theLand Rights Act, is in danger of being subverted by Governments, bureaucracies and people who have no real understanding or sympathy for traditional communal land ownership.

99-year town leases turn traditional ownership upside down.

In reality, they put the Commonwealth back into ownership and control of traditional Aboriginal land like it was before the Land Rights Act was passed as if Aboriginal land had returned to reserve status under Commonwealth control.

No one can really imagine that in 99 years time the Commonwealth will, or could, return to the people absolute ownership of traditional land that had been alienated by these 99-year leases.

A Commonwealth Head Lease is a device by the Commonwealth to take control of Aboriginal land away from traditional owners. It is thoroughly misleading for the Commonwealth to suggest giving the Office of Township Leasing a 99-year lease of Aboriginal land is the same as 99-year leases in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

The ACT leases Crown land to people instead of granting freehold ownership. Aboriginal traditional owners already have freehold title — the best form of ownership in Australia.

There is good reason to think the Commonwealth devised 99-year leases and the Office of Township Leasing as the head lessee as a way to avoid having to compensate Aboriginal people on just terms under the Constitution for taking control of their traditional lands.

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by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-31 08:21


The ABC is facing government-mandated budget cuts and can't follow the Southern Cross Media route of throwing stock at its big names. 

So it has had to go to some unusual lengths to retain its talented finance reporter - a bloke on loan from its mates at News Corp by the name of Alan Kohler.

The problem is, Kohler has been dreaming up new ways of making money at the operation he sold to News Corp for a motza, which includes the Eureka Report.

The latest effort to stay solvent will see Eureka gear up to sell financial services and get Kohler into the business of stock picking.

Wouldn't we love to see Eureka's call on News Corp. Don't suppose we have to run that one past the boss, Rupert Murdoch.

ABC's spinners have assured CBD that protocols are in place to ensure viewers remain commercially unsullied. 

For starters, they point out that the Eureka Report has always carried share recommendations and advice, and in practice "the stocks recommended by Eureka are almost never covered in any of the general financial reports Mr Kohler does for the ABC", and any actual conflicts are "upwardly referred" whatever that means. 

"The new arrangements do not change or increase any potential conflicts in relation to this issue," says our flack.

We have been on this case for a long time now... Kohler should have been given his marching orders at the ABC long ago. He is biased despite treading carefully seemingly. So why does the ABC — a public broadcaster — employ a privateer who sold his business to Mr Murdoch in which he is part of, no less, still doing at the ABC? Has he powerful friends who influence the ABC management? Has he got a contract made of stainless steel?... Who knows, but he should have gone a long time ago. If Alan Kohler had any proper sense of his CONflict of interest at the ABC, should he dismiss himself? His hanging on seems to be very greedy... Of course that's the business he is in: report on the greed status of the nation. 

Prior to the election last year, he was discreetly lauding the credentials of the Liberals (CONservatives) and poopooing the Labor party management of the economy... We knew that the Liberals (CONservatives were going to thrash the place big time after lying through their teeth to get elected. The poor were going to be hammered while the rich would get a tickle from a feather. Ugly.

See toon at top... 


by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-10-30 23:13

Just a few years ago, the idea of the West working together with the Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan would have been preposterous. Over the past three decades, PKK has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Turkish civilians, providing the US and the European Union ample reason to keep the group on its lists of terrorist organizations. For many in the West, however, these former outlaws have become solitary heroes in the fight to save the Middle East from IS. With an estimated size of 15,000 fighters, PKK is the strongest fighting force in the region and the only one that seems willing and able to put up a fight against Islamic State. They are disciplined and efficient in addition to being pro-Western and secular.

The West would have preferred to rely on the PKK's Kurdish rivals, the 100,000-strong Peshmerga force of the northern Iraq autonomous region. But Peshmerga was overpowered by Islamic State. Furthermore, they have little combat experience, a dearth of modern weaponry, insufficient training and no central command. It isn't really even a true army, merely a hodgepodge of extracurricular clubs, partisan troops and special units. In August, they ceded the Sinjar Mountains to IS virtually without a fight, forcing thousands of Kurdish Yazidis to flee. The Peshmerga retreated elsewhere too in the face of IS advances.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani, the president of northern Iraq, is essentially a family-run business with an associated small state, as corrupt as it is conservative. The PKK, and its Syrian counterpart YPG, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. The tightly run cadre isn't democratic, but neither is it corrupt -- and in Kobani, they are giving their all in the fight against Islamic State. Indeed, it was the PKK that succeeded in establishing a protective corridor in Sinjar that enabled tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee. It was also PKK that defended the cities of Makhmour and Kirkuk in Iraq against Islamic State militias.

The US Air Force is now air-dropping weapons for YPG fighters in Kobani, while the German military is delivering bazookas to the Peshmerga -- and not to Kobani where they are far more urgently needed. Everyone is assuring that these weapons won't fall into the hands of the PKK. Meanwhile, Turkey has acquiesced to allowing Peshmerga fighters to join the fray in Kobani and politicians in Europe and the United States are timidly considering removing PKK from their lists of terrorist organizations. To many, it seems like a necessary step when establishing a partnership with the PKK, even if it would mean conflict with Turkey.


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