Charging and trialling sex offenders is Right Charging and trialling Whistle Blowers is a disgrace (ODT)
Charging and trialling sex offenders is Right Charging and trialling Whistle Blowers is a disgrace (ODT)
The mine was first knocked back in December 2017, but Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL), the privately owned company behind the proposal, was granted the right to appeal the decision.
Summing up his judgement on Friday, Preston said: “In short, an open cut coal mine in this part of the Gloucester valley would be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Wrong place because an open cut coal mine in this scenic and cultural landscape, proximate to many people’s homes and farms, will cause significant planning, amenity, visual and social impacts.
“Wrong time because the greenhouse gas emissions of the coal mine and its coal product will increase global total concentrations of greenhouse gases at a time when what is now urgently needed, in order to meet generally agreed climate targets, is a rapid and deep decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. These dire consequences should be avoided.”
The Israeli parliament is scheduled to discuss a bill that would ease requirements on the death penalty for Palestinians next week.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported a bill that would allow the imposition of the death penalty for Palestinians charged with attacking Israelis. Debate on the bill is scheduled to restart next week.
we had the saga of George Brandis’ refusing to fulfil a freedom of information request for his diary to see if he met with community legal aid stakeholders before making controversial cuts to the sector in the Coalition’s 2014 budget despite a Productivity Commission report that found it needed a huge boost in funds to meet growing demand.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal subsequently ruled Senator Brandis should process the request. He again refused, taking it to the Federal Court who also ruled he must hand it over. Eventually, after 1039 days and over $50,000 of public money wasted, Brandis finally handed over a heavily redacted copy of his diary.
Michaelia Cash is waging a similar battle to avoid answering questions regarding tipping off the media about an AFP raid on union headquarters. The Federal Court has issued a subpoena requiring her to give evidence but she has instructed her lawyers to fight it.
The law seems in recent times to have found an alternate economic niche in the market. What would appear to be working class or left wing law once ignored by legal business models. To be labelled a left wing lawyer was to be seen as a legal aid advocate or poor. It seems that that’s not so much any more since the finacial structure behind legal cases has changed.It seems to have become an area of investment wagering on contingent cases in which the lawyers no longer put up the bulk of the money and clients forward pay by guaranteeing a substantial portion should they win. Investors do the rest. It Sounds like LAWBET to me where investors can take part for a share. Capitalism is surely an inventive system in taking workers surplus even when disguised as aid (ODT)
Two multimillion-dollar wage theft group actions will be filed in the Federal Court on Monday on behalf of hundreds of Australian door-to-door and direct sales workers.
The young workers were allegedly paid well below the legal minimum wage for sales and charity fundraising for international direct marketing companies AIDA and Credico.
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has been found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse in NSW.
Frustration and bewilderment are common in media accounts of this administration’s expansive chaos. Even well educated writers turn to expletives, as if proper language were inadequate to convey the shock and dismay. Still, it is not that difficult to identify the source of puzzlement: neither Trump nor his appointees follow the rules. From the beginning he has systematically pursued the substitution of a pre-modern style of arbitrary rule for a modern, rule-based government. What we call chaos is what he calls power. The bad news is that, with help from a gullible press, this administration has been surprisingly successful in confusing these two systems in the public mind. That is dangerous. The longer we fail to mark the distinction between arbitrary and rule-based government, the more successfully the president can install personal privilege as the default conception of authority in the popular imagination.
“That aspect of the court’s decision has significant consequences for all media,” Goss added.
The first and primary consequence don’t defame people without verified comment which judges regard as being “loose with the facts”(OD)
Shlomo Filber, the suspended Communications Ministry director and former chief of Mr Netanyahu’s bureau, signed an agreement to become a state witness. He turned on his former boss less than a week after police recommended pressing charges against Mr Netanyahu in two other influence-peddling cases – and a day after news broke that police were investigating whether another long-time Netanyahu associate sought to bribe a judge.
Unfortunately it’s up to the Israeli Attorney General
Feb 13, 2018 – Promoted by Netanyahu, Israel’s Attorney General Must Now Scrutinize Him. JERUSALEM — Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s favored candidate for the country’s top legal job. Now, Mr. Netanyahu’s fate lies in Mr. Mandelblit’s hands.
More than 200 people who were arrested on Trump’s inauguration day risk up to 60 years of jail. Meanwhile, the white supremacists in Charlottesville walk free
By freef’all852 Five marks on the Tablet, Three cuts in the Stone, Five loaves for the masses, Then it will all be gone … My comrades, fellow country folk … We are in deep shit … After a working lifetime of research and writing, after a working lifetime of total dedication to his craft, Edward…
Misogyny could be treated as a hate crime by police forces across England and Wales in a bid to tackle sexist abuse. The move comes after Nottinghamshire Police reportedly launched 20 investigations in the first two months of its pioneering scheme to tackle misogyny. The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for women’s rights, praised the development but called for the policy to be entereed in to the law.
In October 1931, union men in Newark, New Jersey, staged a major protest march. During the previous two years, the United States had tumbled into economic depression, with the unemployment rate rising as the stock market sank.
New Matilda has gained access to an email sent by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), stripping asylum seekers of basic rights: the right to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.
Previously, everyone in Australia had the right to request from the government documents relating to them. When making claims for asylum, asylum seekers who came by boat would send in FOI requests, seeking information about things like entry interviews they did with the government from when they first arrived.
For this article, I conducted an email interview with my former supervisor Katie Wrigley, the Principal Solicitor at Australia’s premier provider of legal advice to asylum seekers, the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS). I know Katie from the six months I spent doing my Practical Legal Training at RACS.
She explains that the record of the entry interview is “really useful for any lawyer helping that person in completing an application for asylum in the future: person’s name, date of birth, family structure – the names and dates of birth of all family members, travel history, citizenship, ethnicity, religion, work history, education history. It tells you whether they have rights to enter and reside in any third country.”
These records contain “a brief indication of their claims, but what’s more valuable is the data that will help you assess what’s likely to be relevant for that person to now address to flesh that out in the future with a lawyer to properly address their claims more fully. Ask a person to remember every place they’ve ever lived, worked and the months and years that they started and finished each of those including the months and years they started primary school, high school and any tertiary education is very difficult. Having the document that sets out what they said last time is invaluable.”
In the past, these documents were provided by the Department to a person’s migration representative, when legal assistance was available, without requiring any request under FOI.
Now, not only is legal assistance not available, but the government has announced a new policy, whereby asylum seekers who are not currently allowed to make protection visa claims will not have their FOI requests processed and will have those requests returned to them.
In the email sent to stakeholders, the FOI Section of DIBP observes that not all asylum seekers are currently eligible to validly apply for protection visas. The Gillard government implemented a “no advantage policy”, whereby asylum seekers who arrived after August 12, 2012 would not have their claims for asylum processed.
This built up a backlog of perhaps 30,000 asylum seekers who had claims for asylum which were unprocessed.
When the Coalition was elected into power, without lifting this bar, it passed a raft of legislation, slanting the process against asylum seekers, and introducing a “fast-track” process.
This process is “fast” because it has dispensed with the kind of processes, delays and reviews that a fairer process would inevitably include.
With the new legislative framework in place, the government has started inviting asylum seekers who were previously barred – those who arrived by boat on or after August 13, 2012 – to apply for asylum.
On the DIBP website, it says: “Applicants who think they need personal information that we hold should wait until it is close to their turn to be processed to seek that information.”
At this point in time, there is no indication if, or when, asylum seekers will be informed that it is “close to their turn” to have their claims for asylum processed.
What this means is that there are perhaps tens of thousands of asylum seekers who overnight have lost a very basic right: the right to seek documents held by the government about them.
These documents are often of fundamental importance in making a claim for asylum, and in understanding fully what elements need to be proven.
Once people have these documents, they can begin the process of chasing the various bits and pieces of evidence that may mean the difference between being allowed to stay in Australia as a refugee, and being deported back to danger as a supposedly illegal immigrant without valid claims of persecution.
Denying asylum seekers FOI rights adds to the many assaults the Coalition government has made in making the process of seeking asylum more unfair on asylum seekers.
The Coalition has slashed funding to legal representation to asylum seekers, and even slashed funding to interpreting services for asylum seekers.
Te Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) anticipated the huge rush of claims of asylum seekers that it would have to work through once the bar on applications was lifted. As an organisation with a small staff and an impending massive workload, it started doing the preliminary work of dealing with these claims.
It lodged their FOI claims, read through the documents when they arrived, and took statements in preparation for when the bar was lifted and these asylum seekers were able to make their claims.
The effect of the new policy will be to sharply limit the window of when work on a claim by an asylum seeker can be done.
Once the FOI requests are lodged, and then received, lawyers can then translate them and put them to asylum seekers, take their statements, and help them draft a claim for protection.
Once the bar is lifted on an asylum seeker, they have 28 days to lodge their claim for a protection visa. This is already a very short process, for people who usually don’t speak English and who will need translators.
Many will have special vulnerabilities – they may be children, they may have mental health issues, they may be deeply traumatised – which may make it difficult to get a calm, factually precise and convincing statement of why they need asylum.
This is yet another hurdle the government has placed in the way of asylum seekers getting a process which will give them a fair and reasonable chance to plead their case.
Wrigley explained that asylum seekers denied this right “are now to be treated much less favourably than any other person wanting to make an application under FOI to the Department in terms of an unprecedented change to longstanding principles of freedom of access to personal information.”
Everyone else has “a right to seek access to personal information held by the DIBP at any time under freedom of information laws”.
Wrigley observes that DIBP “doesn’t provide any information about when it is close to a person’s turn to apply, so it is impossible for a person to know that in order to make an FOI application with reference to when permission will be granted.”
This means that the 28-day period in which asylum seekers will be expected to make asylum claims will now include the process of making an FOI request and then reviewing the documents.
Wrigley explains that “FOI requests must be processed within 30 days”. This means that asylum seekers might not be able to get their FOI documents back before their protection visa claims are due.
According to Wrigley, “Before FOI documents arrive – a person can write down their own statement draft,” but generally lawyers and migration agents, who help asylum seekers in making claims, would not “want to meet with a person to conduct an interview addressing their claims until they had access to their previous documents, as you would be working blind from their memory rather than having the benefits of what they have previously spent time providing to the Department in the past.”
The likely effect will be to create more work for underfunded legal services for asylum seekers, and to produce weaker applications, due to a lack of time, resources, and access to information held by the government.
None of this is a necessary part of the process – the Coalition government has intentionally chosen these policies, though their effect on asylum seekers are readily apparent.
Even if DIBP did give notice to asylum seekers that they would soon be able to apply for asylum, this would probably be of little help. Wrigley notes that “Given that legal services have been cut, it’s unlikely that many asylum seekers will understand what happens if their form is returned to them or what any accompanying letter means. With no service funded to provide them with advice in their own language, returning the forms is likely to cause more chaos.”
It should be noted that if asylum seekers could lodge FOI requests before their bars are lifted, they would be able to be better prepared for the process. Wrigley notes that this is “in the Department’s interests because it will create less delay once they are allowed to apply and the information they provide in their applications will be more complete and accurate.”
Wrigley characterises these changes as “outrageous and unprecedented”. She explained that, “Yet again the rights of boat arrivals are being flat out denied. It’s another hurdle for these people to overcome.
“First we made them wait in detention for months, then we didn’t give them work rights. Now something as simple as being given access to their own documents is being restricted.
“When we’re denying people access to lawyers, access and early access to information is critical to a person being able to prepare for when they need to make out their claims and fill out the forms.”
This story may lack the sensationalism of reports of people smugglers being paid by Labor and Coalition governments to send boats back to Indonesia.
Yet the grim truth is that dry and technical changes to law and policy affecting asylum seekers – the kind that is hard to explain – is the kind that will ruin thousands of lives.
Quietly making the process of seeking asylum harder and more unfair might have disastrous effects on possibly tens of thousands of lives.
Refugees who have fled utter horrors from countries like Syria and Afghanistan might be sent back to their persecutors, simply because we instituted a process that didn’t give them a fair chance to be heard.
These measures may seem minor and technical, yet that is precisely when we should be the most vigilant, because that may just be the most effective way to whittle away at fundamental human rights and freedoms.
The recent controversy around citizenship proves the adage that a statement, no matter how absurd, can be taken as a truism if repeated often enough. So it is with the phrase “Australian citizenship is an extraordinary privilege” now on high rotation with federal government ministers.
For most Australians, though, citizenship is an automatic consequence of the dumb luck that saw our citizen mothers give birth in this country. While this majority is certainly privileged, in a philosophical sense, to live here, they’re also free to be ungrateful. Even committing crimes might suspend some of the rights of citizenship, but won’t revoke it. The only deal-breaker is an act of treason, such as fighting in the army of a nation with which we are at war – a provision the federal government wants to expand so that it catches dual nationals who enlist with the likes of Islamic State.
Most of the 100 or so Australian jihadis overseas are not migrants, but second-generation citizens.
So when the Prime Minister calls for “a conversation about citizenship” and the government’s discussion paper on the subject asks whether the “responsibilities of citizenship are well enough known and understood” and, most tellingly, whether eligibility for citizenship should be tightened, it’s clear who is really being talked about. And that’s migrants; newcomers who attain citizenship through bureaucratic act, rather than accident of birth; people who have been compelled to recite the citizenship pledge, whose words, Tony Abbott says, “must mean something”.
Candidates for citizenship already have permanent residency – formal citizenship is just the last administrative hurdle.
Candidates for citizenship already have permanent residency – formal citizenship is just the last administrative hurdle. Photo: Christopher Chan
To be precise, it means Muslim migrants, because the citizenship discussion paper is explicitly pegged to security threats in “a world in which terrorists are reaching out to our community”. Actually, make that Muslim migrants on welfare, because the government also trumpets its legislation to allow for welfare payments to be cancelled on security grounds. Yet, despite headlines about “jihadi dole bludgers”, last week’s Senate estimates hearings revealed none of the Australian jihadis overseas was receiving benefits.
And even though most of the 100 or so Australian jihadis overseas are not migrants, but second-generation citizens who’ve never formally pledged their allegiance to this country, the Prime Minister has asked the public to consider whether these people, too, should be stripped of their status, if they could, theoretically, acquire citizenship elsewhere.
As we know, several of his cabinet colleagues have chaffed at the proposal, so it might not go anywhere. What seems significant, though, is the drawing of a very long bow to define these people as legally – as opposed to spiritually – un-Australian, and belonging some place else. In this way, even the most Aussie Islamist can be vaguely thought of as a “migrant”, alien to the body politic.
But trying to nail the overall logic in the “citizenship conversation” is like wrestling with an eel. Or an army of straw men.
According to the discussion paper, the government is considering beefing up the citizenship pledge “to include words about allegiance to Australia and an undertaking not to act contrary to that allegiance”. It also canvasses expanding on such themes in the citizenship test and introducing “appropriate penalties for cheating on the test”.
Remember, we’re not talking about screening suspect individuals to keep them out and the rest of us safe. Candidates for citizenship already have permanent residency – formal citizenship is simply their last administrative hurdle. If they fail the questions on allegiance, these migrants will still be among us, with all their supposed disloyalty and dubious intent.
So, rather than chasing down security threats, these measures allude to the spectre of thought crimes. And how rampant is “cheating” on these tests? We’re not told. I’m imagining people turning up with the answers to questions such as, “which official symbol of Australia identifies Commonwealth property” scribbled on their hand.
Let’s not forget that the citizenship and English language test is itself the outcome of a similar, if more coy, discussion paper on citizenship released by the Howard government nearly 10 years ago. Then parliamentary secretary for immigration Andrew Robb said citizenship “should not be handed out like confetti” and cited with distaste a recent citizenship ceremony where people cleared out before the singing of the national anthem. (Who were these people actually? Poms? Music aficionados?) In its early incarnation, the test included Anglo-centric questions about Simpson and his donkey and Don Bradman.
Since then, it’s been stripped back to civics and the democratic process – useful and important knowledge, to be sure. Still, now as then, our leaders refer to democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, compassion and so on as “Australian values”. (Interestingly, “equality between men and women” appeared in the 2006 discussion paper, but not in the one released last week, which refers only to “equal rights before the law” and “equal opportunity for all”.)
And this is where the problem is one of efficacy, as well as politics. The teen susceptible to jihadist propaganda identifies with a truly global movement, one that negates national allegiance. His pathology, I assume, is no different to that of his peers in Sweden or Spain. I’d prefer for all of us to hear a rousing defence of Western values, as opposed to the nationalist rhetoric of “Australian values” that seems packaged for populist consumption. Unfortunately, our leaders have shown themselves incapable of any meaningful engagement in this epic contest of ideas. For all the bellicose gesturing, they can’t even call the enemy, Islamic State, by its name.
Julie Szego is a Fairfax columnist, author and freelance journalist.
An email sent by HSBC whistleblower Herve Falciani to British tax authorities, which they denied ever receiving, has been discovered by a French newspaper.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) denied contact with Falciani, 43, who is at the center of one of the biggest financial leaks in history.
But French newspaper Le Monde has since uncovered the email, which Falciani sent to HMRC in 2008 informing the authority about HSBC’s alleged tax avoidance scheme.
It supports his previous allegations that HMRC did not act on information he provided the agency.
“It proved I’m right,” Falciani told the BBC. “It required seven years of battles to get the point we are just now.”
Liz Nelson of the Tax Justice Network told RT HMRC’s missing email sounded “disingenuous.”
The former IT systems engineer for HSBC’s private banking operation in Switzerland stole the details of 30,000 bank accounts, totaling £78 billion, in 2007.
Swiss authorities issued an arrest warrant for Falciani for breaching their banking secrecy laws. He fled to France in 2008. The Swiss government continues to seek his prosecution.
Falciani then leaked the details to French authorities, who refused to extradite him to Switzerland when they realized the data could help identify thousands of French tax evaders.
The files have since been handed to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Falciani, who claims his family has received death threats since he made the leak, now lives in France under police protection.
The files reveal how HSBC Private Bank not only helped clients dodge taxes in their home countries, but also aggressively marketed the schemes.
HSBC in Switzerland actively contacted wealthy clients in 2005 to suggest ways of avoiding a new tax levied on the Swiss accounts of EU citizens, The Guardian reports.
The documents also reveal how HSBC Private Bank provided accounts for relatives of heads of state, people implicated in African corruption scandals, arms industry figures and others.
An HSBC bank branch in France laundered drug money collected from the sale of cannabis to immigrants in the Parisian suburbs, depositing the cash in the accounts of respectable clients in the French capital and reimbursing the drug dealers via their Swiss branch.
The leaks have caused a row in the UK over accountability, with Britain’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) challenging HMRC over its inaction.
In a hearing Wednesday, it emerged that of the 150 files seen by the tax authority only three were sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Of those, only one case was taken by the CPS.
Jennie Grainger, HMRC’s director general for enforcement and compliance, said it was extremely difficult to prosecute individuals for offshore tax evasion.
In the case of stolen or leaked data, guilt could only be proven using supplementary evidence, she said.
When probed on whether ministers were informed about HSBC’s practices, she initially said she was unsure, but later conceded concerns were passed on to ministers at the time.
Speaking to RT, Liz Nelson of the Tax Justice Network said: “These so called missing email – sounds disingenuous to those people [and] businesses that work hard and pay their fair share of tax.”
“There seems to be a culture at HMRC of tolerance towards tax avoidance because to be other would be anti-business, and that taxing the very wealthy is somehow anti-business.”
Lord Green, who was CEO and then chairman of HSBC during the period which the leaks cover, was later made a member of the House of Lords and then trade minister by the Conservative-led coalition government.
Green was appointed to a Cabinet committee on post-banking crisis reform by Prime Minister David Cameron, all of which happened after HMRC received data detailing the extent of HSBC’s tax avoidance schemes.
The Conservative party has come under fire after it emerged several of its key donors avoided tax in Swiss bank accounts.
Lord Fink, who donated £3 million to the Tories and was appointed a party treasurer, said he took “vanilla” tax avoidance measures.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Fink said, “Everyone does tax avoidance on some level.”
The first Hazara asylum seeker refouled by the federal government was taken by the Taliban inside a month.
Zainullah Naseri has been in Afghanistan three weeks when the Taliban find him. They stop the car in which he is travelling and find in his pockets his Australian driver’s licence – a memento of the country that on the night of August 26 made him the first Hazara to be forcibly deported back to the country he was fleeing.
The six Taliban also find Zainullah’s iPhone, but he pretends it is not working. They do not believe him. Zainullah is punched and kicked. “They told me they would kill me if I didn’t open it.”
The Taliban bundle him into a car and after 20 minutes’ driving, take him to a mud house ringed by high walls. They beat him with wet rods cut fresh from a tree, demanding he open his phone. Again they threaten to kill him. Zainullah relents and offers his PIN.
Immediately, they are scrolling through pictures: the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, a video of the new year he recorded in 2014. Speaking in broken Dari, the Taliban tell him, “You from an infidel country.” They mean Australia. “You infidel. We kill you. Why you come to Afghanistan? You a spy.”
He tells them the truth: he was deported after his refugee application was rejected. But they do not believe him. He is laid out on the ground and again is beaten. “I swear to God, I was deported from Australia,” he pleads. “I don’t live there anymore.” The six men do not relent. “They kept bashing me,” Zainullah remembers.
It was thoughts of his daughter that prompted Zainullah to break out. On the second night in captivity, at 10pm, he heard gunfire in the valley. He saw that the Taliban had gone out to fight and locked the gate. He realised it was an opportunity to escape but his feet were chained together. He groped in the darkness, found a rock, and brought it down onto the chain every time he heard gunfire.
At the back of the house, steps led up to a traditional Afghan squat toilet system, a hole above a chamber below. Having broken his chain, he ran for the toilet and dropped into the excrement. The human waste is collected for fertiliser, accessible with a shovel from outside the house’s wall through a hatchway. Zainullah wriggled out through the hatch. For eight hours, covered in faeces, he walked through darkness and early morning. At some point, exhausted, he heard more gunfire – the whizzing of bullets as they passed his ear.
A video captured by Afghan police shows officers firing on him, suspecting him to be a suicide bomber. A voice calling “help” is heard in the darkness. Moments later, three police speaking in Hazaragi are shown in the video, saying in angry voices, “Who are you?” and “Raise your hands”.
Mohammad Musa Mahmodi, the executive director of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said: “It’s totally unacceptable to return a refugee to Afghanistan in this critical moment. It contradicts their [Australian] own law not to deport refugees where they face danger.”
Asked about Zainullah’s case and whether any attempt had been made to assess the ongoing safety of deported asylum seekers, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said: “People who have exhausted all outstanding avenues to remain in Australia and have no lawful basis to remain are expected to depart.”
On the day of his deportation, about 10am, he was transferred to a solitary room where he was asked repeatedly to return to Afghanistan. “A person talked so much, it was as if there was a wasp on my mind.” That night, he was taken to Sydney airport. He and six department escorts boarded the plane from a different door, away from other passengers’ eyes. “I did not know where I was. I did not sleep for two nights. My mind was not working. I just knew that my world is going to end.”
The Afghan embassy in Canberra didn’t issue a passport for Zainullah, disagreeing with his forced removal from Australia. Instead, the Australian government issued a travel document bearing his name and photo, but not his signature. The document was carried by his escorts, who showed it at every checkpoint. He was given a photocopy.
Walking alongside me, he shakes his head. “I ask why the Australian government wasted my time for so long. Made me wonder for three years. Then they dump me here. I have no future now.”
Under the proposed changes, police officers would need only to “suspect on reasonable grounds” that a person has committed or is committing a terrorism offence. The amendments also would make it easier for authorities to apply for control orders, intended to prevent terrorist acts by restricting the movement or activities of certain people, such as forcing them to wear an electronic tag or making them report regularly to police. Under the proposed amendment, they would only need to “suspect” that this had taken place.
Allowed to enforce three-week suspensions of the passports of Australians who are suspected to be planning to “prejudice the security of Australia or a foreign country”.It makes it illegal for Australians to travel to certain places overseas except to do humanitarian or government work.
Very funny if it wasn’t serious this will be happening somewhere near or to you
ORLANDO-Citizens of the “Sunshine State” were left stunned this week after federal law enforcement agents took time off from drug-interdiction duties long enough to round up a group of miscreants in central Florida’s Osceola County. In a shocking deviation from the norm, federal agents participated in a well planned and effective sting operation that netted around a dozen members of a white supremacist group, “The American Front.”
Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted from January 8th of this year because I am feeling too damn lazy to write today. Besides, I have to repair a leaky toilet before it falls into the crawlspace and releases hundreds of giant hostile scorpions from the depths. I have not bothered to check on the status of any of these morons, but knowing Florida they are probably still walking around free and are planning on hopping the next Greyhound to Murphy-if they can read, that is.
A handful of Australians have been charged and imprisoned on planning terrorist acts. Some very few are Muslim. Our government says 150 suspected young Muslims are overseas whereabouts unknown and are now security suspects. Tony Abbott has seen fit to ask representatives of 500,000 Australians declared moderate Muslims to join his Team Australia. The head of ASIO has even called for their applications to the security organisation. Abbott has asked these Australians to speak up to become active members of his Team. A back handed compliment if there was one coming from our PM has raised the shackles of some representatives of these Australian groups and deservedly.
Abbott is about to change National Security laws such that a persons returning from a war zones will need to prove their uninvolvement in any fighting in order not to be charged on counts of terrorism. The corner stone of British justice is about to be turned on it’s head. ‘Innocent until proven guilty will no longer be the corner stone of our legal system.
A number of Catholic priests have been charged and goaled for sexual offences have all Catholics been asked to join Team Australia? After all the Team Australia wouldn’t have seen these offences as less important.Will priests in the future need to prove their innocence will their parishioners be assumed co-conspirators from the gecko?
What about the Irish Catholics in Australia will they need to prove no association with the IRA on return from a home visit? Italian’s Catholic back from Italy will need to prove no Mafia association.
Tony Abbott manages to put both feet in his mouth more times than any other politician in recorded history but like George Bush remains just covered in shit, yes but deodorised by the Murdoch press. The stupidity embarrasses us.
“Gee, I can’t understand why anyone would think that I’m being hostile to Catholics. I’m just trying to get everyone on Team Australia. I mean, make up your mind. To whom do you owe your allegiance, the Pope or Australia?”………Rossleigh
Christian fundamentalists want to impose similar restraints on things like “homosexual behaviour”, abortion, alcohol, nudity dancing and face-painting which are part of our rich tapestry of life and part of our democracy. Heaven help us if Cory Bernardi and Kevin Andrews ever realise how much they and the other Catholics have in common with the Taliban & ISIS who want to impose Sharia Law!
Thank you Rossleigh for this clarity:
Q: Why don’t Baptists have sex standing up?
A: Because it might lead to dancing!
Andrew Bolt is a great supporter of this new approach to law as he was once presumed innocent of racism but found guilty. Now under the new structure he has hope of appeal since the Bolt law is not going to be revised. He now has a window of opportunity to appeal because he is certain he has proof of innocence Tony Abbott his mate and a coalition cabinet.
Aussies presumed guilty crime will have to prove their property is not. Beggars caught in our city malls across will have to prove any money in their pockets was not generously but illegally given.
This application of new principle has as yet not been extended to politicians will have to prove that donations didn’t affect their decisions. Nor – apart from Peter Slipper – that their travel allowance wasn’t an honest mistake or that their $270 a day living allowance wasn’t applied to their property purchases?
Guantanamo Australia is about to be a reality