Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Richard Tonkin's blog

Australain Entertainment Venues Now Terror Targets, Say Attorney General And Intelligence Chief

I'm feeling vindicated in getting the "heebie jeebies" in the casino the other night now that I know that ASIOs worried about terrorist attacks on Australian restaurants. 

Why would I think that a casino atop a railway, adjacent to a Parliament House, might not be a great place to hang around?  Let's look at what our attorney general and our chief of Intelligencehad to say today:

[from The Age

ASIO has warned that terrorists could carry out attacks on
hotels and restaurants in Australia.

Australia Goes Nuclear

In today's Australian,

PROMINENT scientist Tim Flannery has called for an end to the
uranium debate, saying all alternative energy sources to fossil fuels
must be considered in the fight against climate change.

The author of The Weather Makers and director of the South Australian
Museum said yesterday he had softened his view on nuclear power.

Dr Flannery said the nation could not afford to get "bogged
down in a debate about the three mines policy" or nuclear power and
instead should develop a cohesive response to global warming. "People
say we can't have uranium mining because there's a danger of
proliferation and that's true," Dr Flannery said. "But we have to weigh
all of this stuff and deal with this in the context of threat to
climate change and that's why people are getting away with rubbish
about wind and uranium.

A President Against War

 This piece is an edited and reordered version of Nine New's David Brent's account of an interview with the President of Costa Rica, a country with no army and, according to Brent, " one of the highest levels of literacy and healthcare in the world.  There is much more to read here- I edited only to emphasise certain points, endeavouring nott to change the piece's sentiment.

Australia and the world could soon be hearing a lot more from Oscar Arias because he says he'll intensify his fight against nations increasing their defence budgets when he is inaugurated as his country's president next week.

Agonies Of A "Conspiracy Theorist"

I'm having an ethical crisis. Over the last couple of years I've been looking in shadows for details, and now I'm wondering if it's a current-affairs equivalent of a meerschacht test.. you know, when a pychologist shows a patient ink-blobs and analyses their interpretation.

I'd read, seen and heard things and added them to pieces of information I knew, and become convinced that the answer I came up with was correct. In blind faith I've looked for proof of my "deductions" and broadcast my fears to the best of my abilities.

Explosion In Downtown Adelaide

 Parts of Adelaide's city centre are closed today after an explosion struck a building over night.

The explosion occurred in the heart of the city at 3 am this  Pirie St, in the very centre of the city.

ABC News said the three storey building has been "destroyed"

Snr Contable Mick Turnbull "It's going to take a while for us to sift through here and see what's actually happened here"

 SA Premier Mike Rann, from  the scene of the incident said that he wa "shocked
by what's happeneed here in the middle of Adelaide nd I'm shocked by
the extent of the damage.  When  you look at this from above the damage
goes back quite a long way"

A Horrible Feeling Of Dread

Not my favourite place to visit, I was dragged into the Adelaide Casino last night. After an hour I left because I didn't feel safe  Two hundred people dancing in a venue three stories up from our central railway station didn't seem like a good place to be.

Even though the rubbish bins were taken out of the station two years back because of similar fears.  I couldn't help thinking of the psychological impact on local culture that an attack on such a place would cause.

I didn't want to be fighting my way to an unavailable exit while the floor collapsed beneath me.  Given that the casino's interior was recently re-engineered  by Halliburton/KBR I would assume that expert consideration of such a situation would have necessitated the incorporation of contingency plans.  However, all I could visualise was people jumping of balconies, clawing past each other on the escalators, dodging falling chunks of marble debris... I tried to force myself to stay, but felt compelled to get as far away as possible.

You Can't Have A War Without A Hero

 As the Australian Prime Minister's opinion polls sag from the mud of a
bribery scandal, a flag-draped Australian hero is brought home to be
honoured on our annual day of war remembrance.....

It was bad luck that I was re-watching "Wag The Dog" while reading
about the death of the Aussie sniper... maybe otherwise I wouldn't have
been feeling so cynical. For those who don't know the movie, it's about
the media staging of a war to save the US President's election
campaign. Anyway, I was listening to Dustin Hoffman uttering the words
in the title as my eyes fell on this Melbourne Herald-Sun paragraph:

Is The Australian Ambassadorship A Tobacco Kickback?

As Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage sticks up for the
Howard Government again, I start to wonder about him. Armitage, who has
ties to the company that provided the commercial torturers working in
Abu Graibh (including the one from Adelaide)
has attempted to draw a curtain over the Howard Government's
negligences revealed in the AWB Inquiry. Armitage says that nobody in
the USA gives a damn about Australian Government corruption.

Wow, they are just like us Aussies after all

Attorney-General Throws Christians To The Liars

The protesters who broke into Pine Gap are about to be treated as "examples" This is going to be a major warning to protesters that contravention of law will not be tolerated.

Here's tomorrow's Daily Telegraph story. 


A GROUP of anti-war
protesters claim "operational secrecy" is hindering their efforts to
defend themselves against charges of breaking into a top secret
Australian spy base.

Donna Mulhearn, 37, Jim Dowling, 50, Adele Goldie, 29, and Bryan Law,
51, have faced a committal hearing in Alice Springs Magistrates Court,
charged with breaking into the Pine Gap spy base in central Australia.

Boomerang Bribes and the Faces of Felicity

Has the AWB Inquiry asked the Iraqis for an itemised list of who Saddam paid
bribes to. It would be interesting to know if any portion of the
kickbacks might have "boomeranged"

{extract from New Zealand Herald, 1/5/2004]

Iraqi official said today there was a list of cash bribes made by
Saddam Hussein's government to journalists, politicians and groups in
connection with the US$67 billion ($108.92 billion) UN-run oil-for-food

Jalal Talabani, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi
Governing Council, said Iraqi officials combing Saddam's files had not
decided whether to release the list as part of a burgeoning scandal
over the defunct programme.

"We have a list of cash paid to
journalists, personalities, groups and parties," Talabani told a news
conference after conferring with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan over
an Iraqi interim government.

Ms Felicity Johnston, the UN
customs officer who confesseed that if she had read AWB contracts
lodged with the UN prior to her taking of the job, has been strongly
assertive of Australia's accountabilty. Her opinion will now be recorded as testimony
to the Cole Inquiry. Could it be that Mr Agius sees in Ms Johston a
voice that will be credible to the Australian public in explaining the
Howard cabinet's negligence?

Ms Johnston also has the appropriate credentials to explain the ethical dilemma of AWB's situation:

Holmes:So really it’s quite clear that what AWB should have done right
from the beginning is reported these negotiations to the United Nations
and asked them for guidance?

Johnston:J: Yes that’s correct. What they should have done as soon as a
company was picked out for them for transportation by the government
(of Iraq), as soon as the prices were suggested by the government, it
was pretty clear that Alia was a government-sponsored institution and
they should have sought advice. Now perhaps people might have got
confused, perhaps people might unintentionally have been in breach of
the sanctions but as soon as the questions started to come from the UN,
“Is there anything that you’re doing,” however the question was
couched, “is there anything that you’re doing which might involved a
payment to the government of Iraq?” I think that was the time to deal
with it candidly, because no one would have prosecuted them if they had
done something inadvertently - but did they do it inadvertently? – I
don’t believe so.

Good Friday- Halliburton Sacrifices For Financial Resurrection

Like the spin-off of "Laverne and Shirley" from Happy Days, Halliburton is about to float KBR on the stock exchange.

Putting in their application on Friday, Halliburton hope to sell of one-fifth of their war and government section.

The UK's Times On Sunday, pre-announcing the sale as it did the float of Carlyle's privatisation of the UK's defence research, tells us that the UK Ministry of defence is the second largest customer of KBR"s departments Government and Infrastructure, the latter of which was formerly run globaly from Adelaide.

In what capacities might Halliburton involved in the Carlyle/Qinetiq UK float?  If the advice was given so that Cheney had a "warm-up" act to prepare potential customers for his "main event' there may be some grumbling in Whitehall.

South Australia- State Of Re-Colonization

Any regular reader of this blog will know that a population expansion of South Australia is a regularly recurring theme.  While the military expansion of the State is extolled by our government as a creator of jobs, it appears that we're looking elsewhere to find them.  Meanwhile new suburbs are created and plans are laid to house personnel required for the defence and mining booms.

 An article in today's Advertiser suggests that we're going to be battling to scrape together the required numbers to fill the defence jobs.


Under Oath- Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of Australia has been requested to give a written statement to a Royal Commission.  He will be answering questions regarding possible negligence and corruption within his own Department.

Mr Howard's announcement follows the advance printing of an incriminating broadcast scheduled to be televised on the ABC tonight.  The UN Oil-For-Food program's Customs Officer says national governments are responsible for any bribes sent to Saddam.

Mr Howard has said in a media conference this morning that he will appear personally before the Cole Inquiry if requested to do so.

Not Under Oath- George Bush And Dick Cheney


This was sighted in an Albuqurque (USA) Stop The War Newsletter in 2004

Tentative Schedule
Republican National Convention

New York, August 29 - September 2, 2004

Catering Service: Halliburton
Chauffeur Service: Blackwater

OPENING NIGHT. 8:00 p.m.

Presentation of the Confederate Colors, Rush Limbaugh

8:15 p.m. Blessing of the Republican Party and Curse on Satanic
Democrats: Reverend Franklin Graham. 8:30 p.m. Keynote Address: Mel
Gibson (in Aramaic, with subtitles)

9.30 pm. Benediction and Call to Holy War, General William Boykin


8:00 p.m. Presentation of the Confederate Colors: Judge Charles

8:15 p.m. Pledge of Allegiance and Anointment with Crisco Oil, Attorney
General John Ashcroft 8:30 p.m. Quadrennial Compassionate Conservative
Musical Offering of Minstrel Songs and Cakewalk 9:00 p.m. Speech:
Condoleezza Rice

9:30 p.m. Speech: Colin Powell, (cancelled)

9:30 p.m. Video Tribute: Strom Thurmond (with introduction by Trent

10:00 p.m. Presentation of Party Platform and No-Bid Contracts, Dick


8:00 p.m. Presentation of the Confederate Colors: Tom DeLay

8:15 pm. Bush Family Tribute:

??? Neil Bush on Family Values

??? Marvin Bush on Saudi Investment Opportunities for Family Members

??? Jeb Bush on Fair Drug Sentencing Guidelines and Election Laws for
Family Members 9:00 pm. Nomination Speech for George W. Bush, Ahmed
Chalabi, (cancelled)

9:30 p.m. Seconding speech, Brent Scowcroft, (cancelled)

9:35 p.m. Seconding Speech, Paul O???Neill (cancelled)

9:40 p.m. Seconding Speech, Christie Todd Whitman (cancelled)

10:00 p.m. Roll Call of States and Counting of Votes, Antonin Scalia


8:00 p.m. Presentation of the Confederate Colors, Karl Rove.

8:15 p.m. Incantation from the Platform to Open Witchcraft Trial of 9/11
Widows at Ground Zero: Richard Perle, William Kristol, Scooter Libby,
Paul Wofowitz 9:00 p.m. Acceptance Speech of Presidential Nominee (Joint
Appearance, Not Under Oath), George W. Bush and Dick Cheney


Dancarchy- Critical Dance Against Governments

I came across this on a 2004 newsgroup thread, and thought that protest organisers might be interested: (Hit   ctrl +     to enlarge)


I'm about to lead another sortie of dancing fools out into the
streets of Manhattan, so I don't have time to provide a full report.
But I want to dispatch some news from the field in media res.

(Perhaps I will never be able to give you a truly descriptive report.
There have been so many perfect moments already that it would take a
book to contain them. I will leave this enterprise with memories that
I expect to cherish forever.)

After four missions, Dancing in the Streets has exceeded my fondest
expectations. It was my objective, as it usually is, that we afflict
the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, and this is what we have
been doing by all appearances. We generally make the credentialed
Republicans we encounter visibly nervous and spread good will and
humor to most of the rest, including the police, who could well use
it at the moment. People dig it when they see other people dancing
in incongruous places. The most surprising people will join in,
falling on the dance with a kind of hunger.

Republicans were hard to encounter at first. They are being
quarantined behind the blue membrane of the NYPD (for whom my
affection and respect has only increased through this experience). In
addition, they spend much of their time inside the Garden having a
lot less fun than we were. (As several of them told us.) Levels of
engagement have increased with fine-tuning. The results vary, ranging
from the Stepford husband whom we made so nervous that he walked into
a plate glass window to the sweet young delegate from Oklahoma who
tore off his tie and joined us for the balance of the evening.

We've had many interactions with the police. They certainly weren't
interested in arresting us, though they kept us moving. Several of
them said wistfully they wanted to join us. In general they only
interfered because they are trying to maintain as familiar a peace as
they can. Major variations from standard reality worry them. But not
enough to go maximum on us.

We did have one of our members detained yesterday near Madison Square
Garden when a Secret Service agent thought there was something
suspicious about her and subjected her to a long, aggressive, and
surreal interrogation. Also, last night, we were set up on by a
dickhead cop with a megaphone who followed close behind us down the
block yelling (at about 130 db) that we should keep moving, which we
were. He'd had a long day though. We were right in an area where
about 500 protesters had been arrested a little earlier and he was
still working off the adrenalin.

Generally though, we found that as long as we proceeded along as we
danced, the cops were perfectly fine with it. It was stopping and
inhibiting pedestrian traffic that bugged them. Eventually they let
us do that as well. On Monday we found a deserted stretch of sidewalk
across from Crobar, where the American Gas Association was hosting a
"Wild Western Jamboree" and danced there for a good half hour without
getting anything but dire looks from the Republicans coming out of
the club. (These expressions were enhanced by the fact that most of
them were wearing really cheesy straw hats they'd been given inside.)

People ask us who we represent. We tell them that we are from The
Party. (And if you think the Republicans have a grand party, you
should see us...) We've been taken for Republicans several times,
and, and by sartorial appearance, we could easily pass. On numerous
occasions, people have thought we might be born again Christians,
dancing in joy for the Lord. (Now why they think born again
Christians would be dancing to the likes of ZZ Top, I don't know.)

Here is the note I sent out to the dancers after last night's foray:


We just had another brilliant expedition into elephant country. We
encountered many of our quarry, converted a few, and made the rest so
nervous you would have thought their thin smiles might shatter their
faces. One of them said that he knew we were mocking George Bush.
"How are we doing that?" we asked. "By dancing," he snarled.

And that, my pesky friends, is paydirt.

Also a direct hit was the pair of fellows we passed at one point.
"What is that?" one asked the other. "That's happy people," his
friend provided. That recognition was common and heart-filling.

So we are psyched to launch again tomorrow. We're going to skip the
morning session. 11 am is rough on a hot day if you've been dancing
hard until 2:30 am the night before.

So we will have missions beginning at 5 and 10. As before, the 5 pm
launch will be from the southeast corner of Bryant Park. The 10 pm
foray will be from Serena, a bar beneath the Hotel Chelsea on 23rd
between 7th and 8th. Be there or miss a marvelous opportunity to
enjoy the human comedy in all its forms.

And to those members of The Party who contributed so immeasurably to
the cause of Dancarchy tonight, you are stardust, you are golden.

Rhythm and Joy,


In any case, this is such a wonderful experience that I believe I
might turn it into a regular practice. I envision the dancing
equivalent of Critical Mass, the bicycle action. Perhaps we could
call it Critical Dance. I imagine gathering on, say, the second
Friday of every month, and dancing forth in increasing numbers.

If you're at all interested in joining us now, we have, as noted
above, two expeditions venturing forth today, as noted above.
Probably late for the 5:00 pm unless you're close to Bryant Park, but
there will be another tonight and probably a couple tomorrow. (TBA)

This is, as I hoped, a gas, gas, gas.



John Perry Barlow, Cognitive Dissident
Co-Founder & Vice Chairman, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Berkman Fellow, Harvard Law Schoo


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