This week we discuss ex-MP Matt Brown’s terrible excuse for being caught with the drug ice. Possibly the worst ever? We look also look at some of the ‘great’ political excuses of our time.
We weigh in on misogyny in federal parliament and Sarah Hanson-Young’s stunning speech in reply to Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan’s smutty stupidity. And we take a look at the right-wing of Australian politics, and why they’re so damned odious.
Given these areas of mutual interest it is not surprising that since its inception the Central Intelligence Agency has been in permanent collusion with narco-traffickers, assisting their safe passage, protecting their activities, rewarding drug lords, hiring them for covert missions and using money derived from these operations for other activities. The fact that these drugs end up in American veins has never deterred the Agency and, given the hue of the skin often covering those veins, has perhaps even been seen as a positive outcome.
The past 24 hours have been quite something. Bigots, fascists, righ wing commentators, some in the media, first reporting it as terrorism, then demanding we all call it terrorism even though it isn’t. They want blood, they want mayhem, they’re aching for it.
When you think of the suburbs, chances are you don’t picture gang violence and drug epidemics. Yet both have become prominent facts of life for many residents in Suffolk County, on New York’s Long Island.
As America grapples with a heroin epidemic, Portugal serves as an example of how to curb addiction to illicit drugs without relying on mass incarceration.
In the first of a series of dispatches from the US’s poorest communities, we visit Beattyville, Kentucky, blighted by a lack of jobs and addiction to ‘hillbilly heroin’
The Saudi monarchy executes someone over drugs every four days while princes smuggle tons and hold decadent parties
While we all enjoy the Aussie wit unleashed by helicopter ‘misjudgements’ and raw onion eating gaffes, our obsession with gotcha moments often overshadows the good work that politicians do. Greens leader Richard di Natale decided to take a few weeks off over the winter break and take his family to Portugal for a holiday. While…
One of the lawyers involved in the Bali Nine drug case says Australian police should never have cooperated with Indonesia given the likelihood of death sentences being imposed.
Brisbane lawyer Robert Myers said the Abbott Government should cite the role played by Australian Federal Police (AFP) in providing intelligence on the trafficking conspiracy when it makes a bid to save the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
The pair are set to face the firing squad this year after a decision by the Indonesian government to go ahead with executing all 64 death row drug traffickers.
Mr Myers became involved in the case after receiving a phone call from his friend Lee Rush, the father of now convicted drug trafficker Scott Rush who is serving a life sentence, before his son left Australia.
“He called me one evening before the boys, well, particularly before Scott left Australia, with a concern that he had received a call to say Scott had an overseas ticket, he had a passport,” Mr Myers said.
“And so I said, ‘Well look, if you’ve got a concern, I’ll call a friend of mine in the Federal Police’. I knew a police officer who was on secondment and that really started the entire thing.”
The AFP’s liaison officer in Bali, Paul Hunniford, then wrote a three-page letter to the Indonesian police.
“It really said words to the effect of whatever action you see fit to take is quite alright with us, and it seemed to be an open-ended invitation to the Indonesian authorities,” Mr Myers said.
“If they wanted to take it beyond surveillance, if they wanted to arrest these people, even wanted to charge them, even wanted to subject them to Indonesian law, that the Australians weren’t going to have any problems with that.”
Australia in a ‘terribly embarrassing situation’
Mr Myers said the AFP’s involvement could help assist in saving the lives of Chan and Sukumaran.
“I suspect it may be their only hope now because, as I understand it, the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister have appealed to Indonesia; it sounds as if the appeals have fallen on deaf ears,” he said.
There was no doubt that by allowing the Indonesians to really have cart blanche in relation to the Bali Nine, that all of the Bali Nine were being exposed to the death penalty.Robert Myers, lawyer
“It just struck me as though if the Government, if the Prime Minister could say on behalf of the Australian Government, [that] we find ourselves in a terribly embarrassing situation because this should never have happened in the first place.”
He said had the AFP asked for cooperation from the Indonesian authorities about the groups’ movements and when they were returning to Australia, the matter could have been dealt with on home soil.
“And if there’s an appeal made on a personal basis you’d hope that the president of Indonesia might say, ‘Look, I can see you’re in an embarrassing situation where our countries are allies… we’d hate to see the Australian Government terribly embarrassed by really a very bad error, a gross error on behalf of the AFP’, which was completely contrary to its own restrictions and guidelines.
“There is no doubt that the Attorney-General would have to personally approve the cooperation between foreign entities that could result in the death of Australian citizens, and there was no doubt that by allowing the Indonesians to really have cart blanche in relation to the Bali Nine, that all of the Bali Nine were being exposed to the death penalty.”
Mr Myers said he did not know at what level the AFP’s decision was made.
“[Mick] Keelty was obviously the officer in charge of the entire show at the time.
“I don’t even know if this decision was made by Keelty but one would have thought the buck would have stopped with … well, the buck stops with the Attorney-General and my understanding is the Attorney-General knew nothing about it.”
Police are desperately trying to identify a middle-aged white male who has been showing up at parties in southern California and spiking food and drinks with some form of high-powered blotter acid. Law enforcement officials have so far been stymied because the individual always shows up dressed as Shakes the Clown.
Known in Los Angeles as “Mr. Happy” or “Zarathustra” by more enlightened members of the community, the man refers to himself as “Flashback The Clown,” and tells party goers that he has been hired as entertainment by the homeowner. He then proceeds to clandestinely dump copious quantities of hallucinogens into any available foodstuffs or liquids offered by the host.
“Mr. Happy” then just sits on the sidelines and smiles as chaos ensues.
Victim Claire Cueball related her story to Fox News after being dosed at a quiet get-together over the weekend.
“It was terrifying! One minute we’re all just sitting there having fun discussing politics and Justin Bieber, and then the next minute I’m seeing velociraptors scurry around in the scrub behind the house,” said Cueball. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. My husband still has scales and gives off a pale green aura if I look at him too long.”
LAPD public relations officer Edith “Kill the Poor” Adams told reporters that it was vital that the prankster be stopped before he does some real damage.
“We have not experienced this level of fear in the community since the Illinois Enema Bandit made an appearance here in the late 70’s. I mean, it’s all well and good for folks to start disrobing and playing Europe 72 over and over again until dawn, but we’re scared to death that some of these people will get in their cars and start roaming the interstates. This dude has to be stopped!”