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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It is official - Kyle Sandilands is a fuckwit

Sydney DJ and television personality, Kyle Sandliands has been causing waves for some years now. And they're usually sewerage-ridden stinking waves too.

Exactly why is he ever made a judge on things like Australian Idol and whatever other sad excuse for programming thinks it is a good idea to pick him up? Since when did spouting arrogant verbal shit on radio airwaves somehow make him an expert on any aspect of entertainment - other than spewing arrogant verbal shit of course.

Now apparently, in the Sandilands world, it is some sort of crime to even report what others are saying about his programming, to be subjected to all manner of abuse on the air without so much as a chance of comeback.

Why oh why are sponsors still defending this dickhead? Holden at least had the guts to say enough is enough and dump him in the wake of this latest crap. But what about the others, huh? And what about station management?

I would call Sandilands an arrogant fucking tool, but that would be an insult to sexually active, arrogant adjustable spanners everywhere.

But. Not. The. Cricket.

We have just seen a very exciting, two-Test cricket series played between Australia and South Africa.

So here's my rant. With all of these wonderful, new free-to-air television stations available in Australia, why is that the only people who were able to see the televsision coverage were those with pay-tv connections? What happened to previous governmental assurances that free-to-air sport would remain free-to-air? But there is plenty of room for crap so-called comedies and old programs that ceased to be interesting or amusing years ago. Even thirty-year-old Leyland Brothers docos are being broadcase. But. Not. The. Cricket.

When checking details online about just what had been happening, I found a link via, which is merely a re-direction to nine-msn, which promised video highlights. Except that even the video highlights were not licensed to be shown.

Fair suck of the sauce bottle!

Thank goodness for ABC radio and the Grandstand radio coverage lead as ever by Jim Maxwell. It was a first-rate coverage, even allowing for my distaste for Geoff Lawson and his broadcasting. Honestly, at times I think Lawson will only be happy if bowlers get to decide when a batter is out, not umpires, and batters are forbidden from hitting the ball. I was a bowler, in my own very modest way, and I hated batters when I had the ball in my hand, but even I wasn't as over-the-top as Lawson gets sometimes.

Incidently, what a gem Farnie de Villiers has turned out to be as a commentator! I near wet myself laughing when he became particularly animated, referring to an English cricketer as a 'real smart-arse' in that thick, Africaans accent. I sincerely hope someone brings him out to do commentary on the next South African visit Down Under.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yet more on Constable Plod

A little while ago I was posting about some fun and games with ACT Policing. One of my problems was that I had been named as a complainant against another person who was arrested by the police, yet I had not made any complaint at all. In response to my request for information on what this alleged complaint actually was, to my considerable surprise, a repeated insistence was made that I had to go through Freedom of Information processes in order to obtain that information. Yep, that's right, I was not allowed to know what this complaint was that I supposedly made against another person, that police used to arrest him.

So I went and made my application for this information under Freedom of Information from the Australian Federal Police.

As it happens, the police subsequently informally confirmed via email that I had not made any complaint, but also stated that any person who speaks to the police made be deemed a complaintant even if they haven't actually made a complaint against someone. How ridiculous is that!

The FoI documents recently arrived and the made very interesting reading.

As previously noted, Constable Plod was indeed monitoring this blog and copies of my posts were included in the police file. Nice to have fans! And if they are still reading, well, chaps, as for all the unkind things I had to say about Constable Plod and his mates - I meant every bloody word of it!

Where things became quite alarming was to see in these police records, the number of factual errors and subtle changes to things reported to them through this affair. Even more alarming again was to discover what may only be described as a blatant lie by one of the officers concerned.

The honesty and integrity of all the officers involved in this affair simply have to be questioned.

I considered posting all details of this and naming the officer concerned. But I am passing it all to the Ombudsman instead. The AFP's Professional Standards area clearly are not taking my concerns seriously. For example, why on earth do the AFP issue someone with a history of violence towards others, with a document identifying me as being a complainant against him, when they admit that there was no complaint made at all?

These documents have just lowered my opinion of ACT Policing even further.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Will the fat cats turn?

The end result of the Fair Work Australia hearings last night was pretty much as predicted. Quantas has been told to get its planes back in the air and the unions told to go back to work. The two sides to the dispute have 21 days to resolve their differences although either side may apply for an extension.

What has not been resolved is the intractability and hypocrisy of a senior management regime that gleefully accepts obscenely large pay rises while essentially refusing to negotiate pay rises for staff. In the case of the pilots' union, they aren't even asking for a pay rise.

For the thousands of people stranded around the world by Alan Joyce's heavyhanded descision to ground the entire Quantas fleet, this is no doubt a good decision and I entirely empathise with them. I dare say I would have been one very unhappy camper if I had been one of those stranded.

There is however a significant point that Joyce has won. Under these orders, the unions no longer have the right to take industrial action which places the position of power firmly on the Joyce side of things. This despite the fact that Joyce's action on the weekend caused fair more disruption than any union industrial action of the past couple of months. While I would certainly not want to see a return to the bad old days when it seemed every other day some union or other was striking because there was too much butter on the sandwhiches or some similarly silly thing, the only power the working stiff really has is that of collective action. With that removed, their bargaining position immediately becomes that much weaker.

So far we have not heard any opinion from the institutional investors who hold such important blocs of shareholder votes. How are they responding to the damage that will surely be done to share prices in the wake of Joyce's actions on the weekend? Are they going to continue to back their fat cat mate or will they start turning on him?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

So much for unity

In the midst of this Quantas bru-ha-ha and the tragic deaths of four more Australian soldiers in Afghanistan (which I am leaving along – let the families grieve), another small event has gone virtually unnoticed. In the face of still-terrible approval ratings, a member of the Gillard government (apologies as I missed their name) has come out claiming Prime Minister Gillard has the full support of caucus and the party.

Now when did we hear that sort of blather before? Back when the Howard government was facing increasing public unrest, we tired of hearing statements like that about party unity under Howard. It seemed for a while there that any statement by that government to either parliament or the media had to include some reference to them being “a team.” Some two months before the November 2007 election, Joe Hockey vehemently declared on ABC radio (I happened to be listening at the time) that the party was 100% behind John Howard. Yet shortly after the election which not only saw the Howard government toppled but saw Howard lose his own formerly-blue ribbon seat, Hockey was quick to join the rush of former government ministers claiming they had not really supported Howard but had been telling him to stand down. So much for unity.

Are we now seeing a repeat within the Labor ranks?

The situations are of course quite different. Howard had a Menzies-esque autocratic hold on his government for 11 years. Gillard on the other hand only achieved her position through political assassination of her predecessor, Kevin Rudd and coming within a hair’s breadth of losing the subsequent election. In the circumstances, given how the approval ratings of Gillard and the government in general are rivalling those that were used as justification for Rudd’s removal.

I find it very hard to believe that the unity within the Labour caucus is any better than that which really lay behind Howard’s ‘team’.

Money, hypocrisy and airlines

This Quantas dispute has gotten so out of hand, it simply isn’t funny. And the root of it all is money.

We have a CEO, Allan Joyce, who demanded and received a $2 million dollar pay rise, an increase of some 71%. The total bill for senior executive and Board remunerations increases that passed through the recent Quantas shareholder Annual General Meeting is something like $38 million. I understand that there was considerable opposition to this on the floor of the meeting but it still passed. How? Through the votes from the institutional investors – that are controlled by yet more of the same fat cats.

It is one continual, ridiculous round of grossly over-paid executives all looking after each other at the expense of everyone else. Something has to be done but in all honesty I am not sure what the answer is. Small investors can scream as much as they like but they are still essentially powerless in these large corporations in the face of the large blocs of shares controlled by institutional concerns.

The job of CEO is to keep a company running properly. Yet it seems pretty much every level of the Quantas workforce has disputes with the Quantas management lead by Allan Joyce. In those circumstances it is hard to see how he and the rest of his management team could be considered to be doing his job well at all, let alone justifying a $38 million worth of pay rises.

In what at first glance may seem at first glance to be a knee-jerk reaction, on Saturday Joyce grounded the entire Quantas fleet around the world. But since then it has been reported that plans were in train to organise this late last week such as booking thousands of hotel rooms around the world for the passengers who were about to be stranded. Yet news of those intentions was kept away from concerns such as the Australian Stock Exchange, not to mention the poor sods of passengers who might have been able to make other arrangements.

Talk about heavy-handed overreaction. Are these the actions of a CEO justifying a $2 million pay rise? It should be further noted that the decision to ground the entire fleet was not in response to what had been done by the unions or what was being done, but supposedly because of what they might do.

Documentation has allegedly appeared that shows quite clearly that these plans were in place days ago. Quantas management has claimed that the date on the document in question was a clerical mistake, that there was no decision at all about grounding the fleet until Saturday morning.

Anyone prepared to take a bet that someone within the Quantas organisation will eventually come out and admit that there was no clerical error at all? That the date on the alleged document was quite correct i.e. that Joyce and co simply lied?

The government reaction to this escalation of the Quantas dispute has been to force all parties to appear before the Fair Work Australian commission. Prime Minister Gillard has publicly at least, refused to lay blame but instructed both parties to cease their industrial action and allow the conciliation processes under FWA to take place. This will be a major test of both that legislation and the Prime Ministers authority.

I suspect that Joyce may have now in fact over-played his hand. To continue the poker analogy, he has gone all in, expecting his opponent to fold, only for the other player to call his bet, along with other players joining the game.

It should be further noted that the earlier union industrial action was not an overnight whim. It was the product of lengthy yet failed attempts by the unions to bring the Joyce management to the negotiating table. The spin from Joyce and co about this all being the sole fault of the unions should be disregarded.

The biggest hypocrisy in this whole affair however comes from former Industrial Relations Minister in the Howard government, Peter Reith, who has come out condemning the Prime Minister for forcing Quantas and the unions to the FWA commission, claiming that government should never intervene in such affairs. What? Oh give me a break. This coming from the Minister who was directly involved in the waterfront dispute in the mid-1990s as part of his openly declared intention of breaking the unions. What incredible hypocrisy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Time for another Popsicle Award

It's that time again folks. It's time for a Popsicle Award to acknowledge an idiot who only has a Popsicle stick keeping his ears apart.

Paul Moran, a budding alchemist in Northern Ireland, has just landed in gaol. Why? Because of his latest alchemical experiment. In true alchemist fashion, he was attempting to transmute something into gold. But rather than lead, he decided to try transmuting pooh. That's right, folks, he tried to turn his own crap into gold.

Apparently not blessed with an abundance of the alchemical tools of the trade, he attempted to achieve this transmutation on the heater in his living room.

Not surprisingly, the grand experiment failed, causing £3000 of damage and requiring the attendance of the local fire brigade. Moran has been imprisoned for three months for 'arson and endangering the lives of others.'

Now this one seems just too ridiculous to be true so here's the link to the Belfast Telegraph so you can read it for yourselves.

Congratulations, Paul Moran, on being awarded this latest Popsicle Award for only having a Popsicle stick keeping your ears apart.

I think I shall have to give up on my fledgling stand up comedy career. How the hell can I compete with real stuff like that?!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Flipping heck. And I think I deserve some sort of award for not being far more obscene with my language.

My life has gone on hold for this damn surgery to fix my aneurism. The date of the surgery was carefully selected to fit around other things including family commitments. I was supposed to be entering hospital on Wednesday, going under the knife on Thursday morning.

As I intended going down to stay with family to recuperate once I was able to travel, it seemed a good idea  to try and arrange for my next drug infusion for my Crohn's Disease to be undertaken down in Victoria, rather than having to travel back to Canberra just for that. So I called the gastroenterology department to speak to my specialist's offsider. When I explained why I wanted to make that arrangement, she was quite concerned because she did not think I was allowed to have surgery so soon after my last drug infusion. She said she would send an urgent message to my specialist as he was not in the office.

Not having heard anything about 4:45, I called back only to find that the gastro department had closed for the day. The switch operator, after I explained the problem, sent an urgent message to the gastro, asking him to call me. He called me several minutes later.

The upshot is that I cannot have my surgery for at least another four weeks because of the immune-suppression drug that I have as an infusion every eight weeks. With this in my system, should I get a post-surgery infection in the brain, seeing as it is brain surgery after all, it could well kill me.

Here's the thing. I have seen the surgeon twice. I saw his offsider, also a doctor, at the pre-surgery clinic a couple of weeks back. I made damned sure at every step of the way that they knew I was on this particular drug. Yet now they are claiming no knowledge of it at all.

My gastroenterologist was horrified that I was about to be operated on.

Does anybody in that hospital talk to each other? Do they ever read their own damned records? What else have they overlooked or forgotten?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Positively raining money!

Well golly gee whiz. It seems I am doing even better now courtesy of the United Nations Organization [sic]. I now have a deposit of $50,000 waiting for me, as a first installment of a total of $300,000 USD.

Apparently [my] funds were withdrawn by UN on [my] behalf based on the fact that [I was] subjected to too
many process that will make [me] spend more money before receiving [my] funds.

Golly gosh - what shall I spend all these spondoolicks on? All I have to do to collect is just hand over a great heap of personal identification information. And nobody would possibly want to do anything untoward with that, surely?

But it gets even better. A Mr Peter Wong claims he has 2.25 million to share with me. Presumably for being such a beaut bloke and all that. 

cough cough bullshit cough

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Popsicle Award

It has been quite a while since I awarded anyone one of my Popsicle Awards, to commemorate someone who only has a Popsicle stick keeping their ears apart.

I have just discovered a new angle on the infamous Nigerian scam that regularly infests our spam email. This one is telling me that I have been awarded a huge pile of money by both the Nigeria [sic] government and the World Bank to compensate me for past Nigerian scam activities! I have already been sent $10,000 as the first instalment and I have a total of $250,000 waiting for me. Or so they say.

It beggars belief that these sorts of things are still coming out.

On this occasion, I am awarding a dual Popsicle Award:
  • to the spammers for thinking I am that stupid to fall for that crap
  • to the idiots out there are who are stupid enough and greedy enough to fall for that shit.
Clearly there are still far too many people out there with only a Popsicle stick keeping their ears apart.

Hopefully an end at last

Even though he is long in his grave, Carl Williams is still in the news. The fellow prisoner who was charged with the killing of Williams has been found guilty of murder.

While I do not condone any murder, at the same time let us not forget just who Carl Williams was. He was a primary player in the gangland wars in Melbourne in the 1990s, spilling over into the new century. He ordered the deaths of many people who opposed him. Who knows how many more people died from consuming the drugs the Williams organisation was peddling? He flaunted the law for years.

The real measure of the character of Carl Williams came out in the incident that finally lead to him being thrown inside. Having acquired the services of a hitman to kill one of his opponents, Williams then tried to stiff the hitman, failing to pay him for the deed. The assassin get his own back by blowing the whistle, leading to the arrest and conviction of Williams at last.

I find it impossible to have any sympathy for Carl Williams whatsoever.

I am also still yet to find a satisfactory explanation for:
  • why the Victorian taxpayer was paying for Williams's daughter to attend private school; and
  • how, for someone who made all his money from criminal activities thus having no actual right to those monies, following his conviction and incarceration, there was still enough money in the estate of Williams to pay for a golden coffin of all things!

Clearly if Williams had survived his time in gaol, the money was still there from his drug dealing activities to allow him to live in luxury on his return to civvie street. What an absolute disgrace and indictment against our legal system that these monies were allowed to remain in his control.

Now that Williams's killer has been convicted, hopefully this will see the end of the media treating Williams and his ex-wife, Roberta, as celebrities.

The thievery of Solomon

In the state of Victoria at present, we are seeing an appalling example of how money talks.

Billionaire, Solomon Lew, was caught out illegally acquiring valuable beachfront property. Now were it an ordinary person like you or I, we would have had the book thrown at us and lost it all.

In the case of Lew, having not just broken the law to illegally acquire the property, he is now being allowed to legally contest being able to keep it. What other thieves are allowed to retain the goods they were caught stealing? Yet for some reason, Lew is being allowed to contest it and increasingly looks like getting away with it.

Premier Ted Ballieu, in the wake of Lew boasting that he has Ballieu in his pocket, has distanced himself from the entire thing. What a gutless stunt.

Politicians of all flavours have a nasty habit of turning a blind eye towards those who happen to be large contributors to the party coffers. Public interest in those cases comes a very distant second to party self-interest. And Lew is well known for throwing money at politicians.

Why is that the real decision makers in political parties, seem to so consistently put integrity away out of sight in the bottom drawer when it comes to the party getting looked after by some big money interest? "Oh - he gives us plenty of money so we will just pretend everything is OK."

Here is an open challenge to ALL political parties. Show some collective backbone. Stand up to be counted. Send a message to the Solomon Lew's of the world that enough is enough, that they are no longer 'special' cases allowed to flaunt laws, rules and simple morality. The Coalition and the Labour Party in the Victoria have a golden opportunity to do so by joining forces to put Lew out of business with his dodgy dealings.

Of course I am not so naive as to believe that the pollies will actually do anything. This sort of thing leads me again to despair about the human race. Are we even worth saving in the first place when warped morality is allowed run things to the detriment of everyone else?

Screechin' and cringin'

What on earth was Vanessa Amarosi doing?

Getting to sing the National Anthem at a major event is a pretty big gig. The total audience watching Vanessa Amarosi 'sing' Advance Australia Fair in the opening of the Grand Final of the Australian Football League at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, must have been up around the two million mark. And make no mistake - Amarosi can sing. But on this occasion, she screeched more like an angry Dickensian fishwife than anything else.

Here's a thought for you. How about trying Ricki-Lee Coulter next year? I am prepared to bet she would do a top job.

The other major 'entertainment' for the day was the appearance of Meatloaf. Yet again, the dreaded cultural cringe has reared its bloody ugly head. Yet again, it was deemed necessary to import someone for the occasion. Don't get me wrong - back in the day, Meatloaf ruled. Bat out of Hell is still one of my favourite albums. But that was more than thirty years ago for crying out loud. Are we  really incapable of finding good local talent to entertain on the big day? Do we always have to resort to importing old names from the past? And how often do these imports really do that good a job? Meatloaf didn't.

So again, I ask the question: why is it that for big events, we Australians still feel it necessary to resort to importing 'talent'. Why, after all these years, is the bloody cultural cringe still making its presence felt? It really is a sad case of affairs.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

more AFP delays

After sitting on my Freedom of Information request for three weeks of the 30 days supposedly required to meet my request, noting that the AFP refused to even tell me what I was supposed to have made a complaint about against another individual that was used to arrest him but told me I had to request that information under FoI, the AFP have now decided that they need another month. I have no choice other than to agree to the extension. When supplying my request, I even forwarded the email advice that I had to go through FoI, so it should hardly have been a surprise that they would need to go to those required areas.

So now, in addition to one or more officers of the AFP telling blatant lies in response to my formal complaint against them, all of a sudden the documentation relating to the matter is not even available for an extended period. It still beggars belief that one or more officers have not only point blank denied something happening that most certainly did, but then decided to fabricate an entire conversation that under no circumstances ever occurred.

What a load of crap.

Should the Intrepid Investigator still be looking at my blog, please be assured that this bullshit is going to be added to my case being forwarded to the Ombudsman in due course.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Free speech? Oh give me a break

Andrew Bolt wasted little time in decrying today's Federal Court ruling as being anti-free speech. 

What a load of crap.

There are already limitations of so-called free speech. For example, you cannot go around willingly defaming someone and expect to get away with it. Try inciting a race riot and you'll be in strife (Alan Jones skated perilously close to that). There are plenty of examples if you want to go looking for them.

Despite Bolt's protestations of innocence, the articles in question quite clearly accused specific individuals of pursuing their aboriginality for reasons of politics or financial gain which were not found to be appropriate or even necessarily accurate. He made significant errors of fact in his statements. And as rather clearly indicated in the blog of Dr Anita Heiss that I referred to in an earlier post, Blot was not above trying to pull a fast one in front of the court.

These were quite distinct, personal attacks on specific individuals. It was in no way a matter of making comment in 'public interest' as Bolt and his legal team tried to claim in court. And it sure as shit wasn't trying to discuss matters of multiculturalism as also subsequently claimed.

Significantly, the Australian Press Council has come out and disputed Bolt's claims, noting that the finding "says the media is still allowed to discuss racial identification issues, and even challenge the genuineness of the identification of a group of people, but only if it is done responsibly and with due care and attention to facts."

All you had to do was read the reported Court findings to realise that. But far be it for the Bolter to let facts get in the way of a good story.

There is a right way and a wrong way to go about things. In his usual, rightwing nutbag manner, Bolt chose a quite wrong and thoroughly despicable way of shooting his mouth off.  Given the quite incorrect and warped things Bolt stated in the articles, such as claiming Dr Heiss's aboriginality got her a position in radio, while conveniently failing to reveal that this was a voluntary and unpaid position, I think Bolt is quite fortunate so far to have avoided defamation proceedings. If it were me, I would have been hitting the pig where it really hurt - right in his fat wallet.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Bolter gets a bolt up the butt

Andrew Bolt is a well-known, rightwing nutbag who masquerades as being a journalist. He comes out with the most outrageous claims. For example, in the immediate wake of the nuclear disasters in Japan, he openly stated that not only was nuclear power entirely safe, that this was nowhere near as big a disaster as people were claiming. It is noticeable that he went quiet on that subject after it was conclusively shown to be a serious ecological, economic and social disaster.

Where the Bolter really crossed the line however was some two years ago when he wrote a series of columns against indigenous Australians that were nasty, spiteful and more akin to extreme rightwing Nazi propaganda than anything like responsible journalism.

It is with considerable satisfaction that I read that the Bolter has been given a serious bolt up his arse by the Australian Federal Court, who found the articles "were not written in good faith and contained factual errors."

You didn't have to be a genius to work out that Bolt was acting in a deliberately nasty manner, representing his own spiteful predjudices rather than anything remotely like acting in good faith.

The stunts that Bolt is prepared to pull were amply demonstrated earlier this morning on the blog of Dr Anita Heiss, one of the group sueing his fat arse:

"In his witness statement to the court Mr Bolt claimed to have used a photo of my mother on her wedding day as evidence to determine she, therefore I was of mixed-heritage and could not or should not identify as Aboriginal. The photo Bolt submitted was taken directly from my blog and a post I made on February 7, 2011, almost two years after he wrote his article, so his misrepresentations about me continued."

In other words, this supposed 'evidence' was not even available to him at the time he claimed to have used it ie he's a bloody liar!

I have said it before - live by the sword, die by the sword; write journalist crap and expect to get a bucketing.

Andrew Bolt, you are a despicable and hateful human being and the sooner the media can your arse the better for all.

Monday, September 12, 2011

How about a little humility?

Is it just me or is Julia Gillard's response to the High Court decision to essentially disallow Australia's attempt to bypass international treaty obligations with respect to refugees, a case of do it my way or I take my ball and go home. A quick caucus meeting yesterday to to enable the Prime Minister vow to fight on against this decision, making necessary changes to the law.

What a good idea.

Let's start applying that more widely across the board. Come the NRL grand final, if someone dislikes a call by the ref, let's hold things up, have a vote and change the rules according to whatever the team in the lead wants them to be. Same thing with tennis. Don't like the linesperson's call, then lets have a quick meeting to change the rules to move the line according to whatever the person holding serve at the time wants it to be. It's about that silly.

At the end of the day, the Australian government is trying to take a position that we should not have to abide by our international treaty obligations at all, at the same time that we expect others to. Sorry Julia, sweetheart - we can't have our cake and eat it too! Talk about colossal arrogance.

Speaking of tennis, how appalling was Serena Williams's outburst in the womens' final of the US Open? After initially boasting that she was going to cruise to a win in the final, once things weren't going her way, she became an absolute harridan. She was quite rightly docked a point for intentional hindrance for yelling as her opponent, Sam Stoser, was playing a shot. Sorry, Serena, the rules say you can't do that. But, oh no, Ms Williams decides that the rules don't apply to her. She abused hell out of the umpire, over and over, not letting go throughout the remainder of the game, using every opportunity to have another go, finally refusing to shake her hand at the end of the match.

The response from officials was to fine Williams a paltry $2,000 US. Big deal. That makes a huge dent into her total winnings of $1.4 million from the tournament, doesn't it. Back in 2009, Williams was fined some $80,000 for abusive outbursts and placed on probation. Remembering that she hardly plays any tournaments now, deeming anything less than a grand slam tournament as beneath her these days, that probation should have hardly taken hold. But in reality, officialdom has shied away from daring to take the next and quite appropriate step - that of acting on her breach of probation and giving her a ban for a while. Not for a period of time, but for a set number of major tournaments. Make it hurt. Make her realise that the rest of the tennis world is not subservient to her wishes. Nope, officialdom wimps out with not even a slap on the wrist.

Making things even worse was the crowd reaction. On the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon (how easily people forget the latter), the crowd was always going to be behind the hometown 'hero'. But after Williams's pathetic display, the crowd got on her side even more, hooting and shouting at Stoser. What an equally pathetic response by the crowd.

Stoser won, as it happens, conducting herself with dignity throughout despite the obvious provocation and I think it clear that not just the better player on the day won, but also the better person.

What a pity that when coaching her at tennis, Serena's father didn't coach her in a little humility and humanity at the same time. Perhaps he could have coached Julie Gillard in a little of it at the same time.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Quick addition re porkie's porkies

Just a quick further update. The other resident of the house that the police have claimed to have made certain statements ain't happy. Ploddy and his mates can expect a sworn statement from him now as well as me.

The most outrageous aspect of that part of their statement is that not only did no such conversation even occur, no member of the police in attendance so much as stepped foot in the kitchen/common area of the house as claimed.

What is this? The bad old days where the coppers are allowed to make it all up as they go along? If this were anyone else, we would be seeing them in court for defamation!

As I said in my last post, it's little wonder some call them 'filth'.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Complete and utter bollocks!

Well, well, well.

Constable Plod is becoming very inventive. I have just received a report into the 'investigation' of my complaint. According to Ploddly and his pals:
  • I never disputed access to the police
  • I was having a jolly discussion with police in the kitchen area until another member of the residence left his room and instructed me to cease speaking about the gentleman they had come to arrest.
What complete and utter bollocks! Absolute lies!

I told the police over and over that I wanted them to leave, that I did not want them there or entering the building. To claim otherwise is a 100% proof lie!

I never even spoke to police inside the house prior to or during the arrest, in the kitchen or anywhere else for that matter, other than to say 'that's his room there,' and that was uttered while standing in the hallway. I never even had police stand in the kitchen or common area with me until after the arrest and after the time that police supposedly overhead that statement telling me to be quiet.

Another resident did indeed leave his room to find his doorway swamped with Blue Bottles and demanded to know what they were doing there. I then called him out to the common area which was completely free of the wallopers. There was most certainly no discussion as claimed by the police whatsoever and I would like to know who the hell said it did! It was not until after the arrest that I finally screwed my courage back up again to demand to know why all six of them had all entered the building contrary to my express wishes. I was rudely blown off with some crap about operational procedure. They then had the hide to return and ask me to give a statement against the arrested party - which I flatly refused to do. How much more of their dirty work did they expect me to do?

I have challenged all police involved in this affair to individually stand before a judge and give evidence on oath about this affair, in particular those statements that are complete bullshit fabrications. I'm quite happy to do so and my conscience would be clear. Which is a damned sight more than any of that lot would be if they continued to make those statements under oath.

Here's a little warning to you all. If you ever speak to the Australian Federal Police about anything, according to the information provided to me today by the Intrepid Investigator, you 'may' be called a 'complainant' thereafter, regardless of what you spoke to them about. You could be doing a Good Samaritan act, picking the wounded chap up and letting the police know you had found him. And that is enough to qualify you as being a 'complainant.' Of course, the Intrepid Investigator did say 'may' be called complainant ie you also 'may not' be called complainant. That does beg the question why they did so in this particular instance? Are they really so simple as to not realise that to do so would be causing trouble to be both identifying me and calling me a 'complainaint'? Of course at this point, I only have their word for how I have been described as so far I have been refused access to any actual information on the actual event itself. It's apparently fine and dandy to go naming people left, right and centre but how dare they ask exactly what it is that Ploddly and his mates are alleging you to have said or done.

So far the 'investigator' has successfully managed to 100% avoid any discussion about the officer who originally took my details and stated 'he [the ultimately arrested party] will not know it was you who made the complaint.' FACT: that statement alone makes it abundantly clear that the police were treating this as a 'complaint' from the outset. Never mind the fact that I repeatedly stated that I was NOT making a complaint. So then, just how does my name appear on AFP documents identified as a 'complainant' when there wasn't apparently even any need to refer to me as a complainaint? Doesn't really add up, does it? FACT: I had just been told by the police that I wouldn't be indentified anyway - and I was.

Just what the hell is actually going on here?

The police are also sticking to the story that they originally presented to the court that they had no knowledge that alcohol was involved until during or after (that's their words, not mine) the alleged 'welfare check.' This
investigator's report insists that is correct but also quite happily makes reference to discussions about the consumption of alcohol that occurred before they talked their way into the house for other purposes. Yet the arrest has been justified on the basis that they had no knowledge prior to entry of that existence of alcohol.

Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

Now back to the alleged 'welfare check'. The investigation has successfully managed to avoid any single reference to my complaint about the way this was undertaken - six armed officers, clustered over one individual, interrogating in a hostile manner and even loudly accusing him of spitting on them - I had a clear view of that incident and no deliberate spitting occurred at all. Oh no, this was all just fine and dandy, just another day of sunshine and daisies. Nothing to be worried about at all. As I have stated before - if this is how ACT Policing deal with 'welfare checks' then should not be allowed within a bull's roar of anyone needing one! The investigation has just breezily claimed in so many words that is none of my business.

The reality is that everyone there in that location is simply being lumped together as a collective of undesirables and thus it is apparently quite permissible to treat us all like some sort of filth on the sole of the shoe.

Now did I ever want to live at Ainslie Village community housing? No bloody fear. But I had nowhere else to go. I still don't. I am not allowed access to public housing and thus am one of those who continue to fall through the cracks. Attempts to resume working even part-time have failed and so I am reliant on my small pension - just enough over the general invalid pension to make me ineligible for any assistance whatsoever, my multiple health conditions apparently not worth considering, but sure as shit nowhere near enough to be able to live by myself anywhere. I have already gone over the reasons why I ended up there often enough - all thanks to the lies and machinations of my former employer, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in their desperate bid to avoid ever being found liable for any workers compensation cases at a time when they had openly confessed to staff that reducing the size of the annual premium was considered essential for future financial well-being. I still have all of these well-documented lies if anyone is every interested, not that anyone in authority gave a shit.

I used to think the idea of police treating those lower on the socio-economic ladder was a bit of a beat up. But now I have experienced it for myself. And I am not just talking about this latest mess.

Take for example the fun and games about twelves months when an evicted resident at Ainslie Village was found to have left a bomb and bomb-making equipment behind. The place was put in 'lock down' at mid-morning, with a civilian used to monitor traffic - not a member of the constabulary, not even an employee of the management company, but another resident at Ainslie Village. When I arrived home from my then-work at around 7pm, I was turned away from the entrance but had no difficulty penetrating the perimeter by foot over a footbridge. The police weren't even aware I was there until I approached them. Pretty good 'locking down' work there, boys. At that point I was still wearing my suit from work, and it was all 'yes sir, no sir, can we be even more obsequious sir.' However when a group of us, previously determined to have been safe, were kicked out at midnight, assured to be for only an hour or two, I was in a comfortable albeit tatty pair of trackpants and windcheater that wasn't much better. No more calling me sir! From then on I was lucky to get a 'hey you' for the rest of the night. And rest of the night it was - forced from one building into a supposedly safer location that was actually nearer the potential blast site, in direct line of site, with one side of the building facing open water and thus in even greater risk of ricochet and with the end of the building directly facing the blast, being all glass windows and doors. In reality we were much safer where we originally were. And from the moment we were summarily booted out, we were treated like absolute pariahs. The comparison in attitude to when I looked like just another 'suit' was very marked and not in any positive way!

Interestingly, the best way to become left alone by the police at Ainslie Village, seems to be by becoming a drug dealer. Little enough is ever done about it. Could it be possibly be that they have simply decided that 'all the scum are in one place so we know where they are?' So ignore all that, but by all means ginger up a story in order to make Ploddly and co look better!

The bottom line is that the police behaviour on the night in question was a bloody mess. They have now seen fit to ginger the story up by denying I ever even objected to their presence, not mention inventing farcical conversations as taking place. I shall challenge Plod and his mates again - I dare you all to individually go before a judge, in my presence, and make those same statements on oath. I wonder if they all will decide to continue telling porkies before His or Her Honour?

Pathetic, Constable Plod, absolutely pathetic.

Honestly, is it any wonder that some call them 'filth?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Request lodged

I have now lodged a request for Freedom of Information access to try and find out exactly what this complaint is that I am supposed to have made against another individual that the Australian Federal Police used as justification to arrest that individual.

I still believe that it beggars belief that police are allowed to claim such information exists but despite it allegedly coming from me, I am not allowed to know what it actually is, let alone sight a copy of it.

Again I ask, why is it that an arrested party can be given that information but the person it is alleged to come from in the first place is not allowed to know anything about it?

As this is a simply outrageous position, I have also brought matters to the attention of the ACT Attorney General and the media.

Anyone prepared to wager that the AFP will be less-than cooperative in providing this information? If it even exists.

Exactly when did we become a police state?

Since posting my last entry, I have already had a couple of people querying this need to go through FOI systems at the AFP in order to find exactly what it is I am supposed to have made in a complaint against another person.

So in direct response to my express request for that information, I received the following by return email from the Professional Standards area of the AFP:

"Should you wish to obtain information in relation to any information held about you on AFP systems you may do so by placing a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982."

Later in the day this was endorsed by the officer assigned to investigate my complaint against the AFP:

"As pointed out by XXXXXXX below, the Freedom of Information process is the most appropriate way to request documentation or information held by the AFP about you"

Their justification? That they are not permitted to release anything to me about another person. Excuse me? Exactly when did I ask them to reveal jack shit about anyone else? I didn't. The immediate matters of particular relevance I have asked for:
  • for details of what the complaint is that I am supposed to have made
  • a copy of the documentation being handed to others that claims I made such a complaint against another person but so far has been denied to me
  • for any other information or documentation regarding me and this alleged complaint that is being held which may shed some light on the matter.
So exactly what is so secret that I am asking for? Where is all this information about other people that they have implied I was asking for? The bottom line is that the Australian Federal Police have arrested someone, supposedly on the strength of a complaint that I made against them, but I am not allowed to know anything about it!

So it seems that we have indeed descended to the level of police state, without any of us actually realising, that the police are apparently within their rights (at least in their collective minds) to refuse to tell anyone what they are alleging a person has said in an alleged complaint against another party. With that logic, they could make up any crap they like as justification for pinning anything on anyone. And then refuse to release it.

This matter has already escalated to such ridiculous levels that, as well as delivering my FoI request in the morning, I shall also be sending a complaint to the Minister in charge of ACT Policing and commencing a complaint with the Ombudsman.

The really sad thing about all of this is that I come from that lovely, safe middle-class sort of background that is taught to respect the police, that the police can be relied etc etc. Yet the events of the last eleven days will make it very hard for me to ever trust a copper again.

As for Constable Plod that the AFP tell me is now monitoring my blog, happy reading!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Q: When is a 'complaint' a 'complaint'?

A: Apparently whenever the Australian Federal Police feel like saying so, not letting the little manner of nobody actually making a complaint getting in the way of things.

For reasons of discretion, I have elected until now not make any further comment on my blog about the dramas with the police. However I have just been informed by the AFP that they are in fact reading my blog. All I can do is congratulate them on their taste! For the record, no, I did not expressly provide the link as an additional information, but merely it appeared as part of my signature block.

So here is an interesting little development. Quite a major one actually.

The other chap in this affair has apparently received formal documentation from the AFP, advising him that I both made a formal complaint against him and expressly requested police attendance against him. I say 'apparently' because I haven't seen it although a highly credible witness was shown it on Saturday and reported the contents to me on Monday. Since the emergence of that documentation. Mark has told me in no uncertain terms to get out of his sight and stay that way, so I am hardly going to be able to waltz up to him and ask to see it.

Now as a direct result of this stunt, to the vigelante-minded attitude of people in the immediate area I am a police informant and have had threats made against me- no, not by the other chap. The ever-so helpful attitude of the police to that was 'tell them it isn't true.' Oh yeah, while I'm on the ground, getting the shit literally kicked out of me, all I have to do is squeal 'it isn't true' and that magical mantra will make all the bad things go away back under the bed once more. That advice has now been updated to advise me to report any further instances of such threats. Hmmm let's see now. Police apparently making up a crock, gets me 'outed' as a police informant and cooperative. So that gets me in deep shit with some of the locals. And somehow, running back to the wallopers again is supposedly going to make it all better? Do these people even listen to what they are saying?

In discussion with someone from the AFP today, allegedly managing the complaints purpose, he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of any such documentation.

This has really put me in a most awkward spot. I have been protesting my innocence for days, claiming I did not make any complaint etc etc. And it turns out that the AFP have gone and handed out documentation informing people otherwise.

So I have been screaming at the police that I want to see a copy of this document, seeing as it makes such free use of my name. I want to see a copy of this complaint that I supposedly made. What about a copy of a statement perhaps? Of course they can't provide these because I did not make any complaint and flatly refused to give the requested statement against Mark. Or has the mere act of speaking to a police officer now sufficient to claim a 'complaint' has been made?

Now we come to the really lovely part. Despite the AFP openly describing me as having been a complainant etc, I am only allowed to see such alleged documents if I lodge a formal request under the Freedom of Information legislation. The ever-so-generous AFP, if they agree to provide me with the documents, will do so - at a charge of $15 per hour to find any such documents, plus photocopying costs, plus postage, plus fees for the time spent deliberating on the decision. Going by that scale of charges, why not also charge me for the cost of dunny paper from toilet breaks, plus an allowance for the biccies and coffee? To get out of those, I have to be able to demonstrate 'financial hardship' or that "the giving of access to documents is in the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public." And no, this allegedly making a complaint apparently does not fall within the list of things that may be released without resorting to formal FoI processes.

This is beyond ridiculous. It is quite alright to formally advise someone else that I made a complaint against them but I'm not allowed to know anything about it or even get access to the alleged information without invoking external legislation. So one man was thrown in gaol as a direct result of police deliberately conning me and abusing my trust, and now it also seems that they have decided to ginger the story up by making outrageous claims of me being a complainant against the other, making matters still worse by doing everything they seemingly can to block me from getting at any of the actual information. I do hope they are not thinking I will just go away if they stall long enough.

As Agent Muller used to say, 'the truth is out there' even if our alleged custodians of law and order seem intent on placing as many barriers to that truth emerging as possible.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

On Friday evening, one of my housemates arrived home around 10pm, a little under the weather but also greatly upset about something. We had a bit of a chat. He seemed calmer and went to his room. Shortly afterwards, he began shouting and screaming.

I have had manic episodes in the past and I have been around others who have had them. And this is just what that sounded like. I stepped outside to try and think about what to do next. At that point I found something outside belonging to my housemate that was of great value to him. It had been torn to pieces. This wasn''t just a result of a drunken lashing out or something but a deliberate and sustained effort to achieve that degree of demolition. Then the stereo went on - loud. He has never done that before at night, being too considerate of others in the house. And the shouting and screaming were going on over that.

By now, I was getting really worried. Walking  around puzzling over what to do  next, I saw a police car  arrive at the complex.  I approached the two police officers who exited the vehicle wanting to speak to them and get their opinion. Initially they did not want to, explaining they had been called to a disturbance elsewhere. But after explaining my concerns about the extent of my friends outburst, they agreed to come and have a listen. However by the time we were back at my place, all had gone quiet. I said if he had enough control to turn the stereo off then things can't be quite as bad as I thought. I apologised for wasting their time and the police gave me every indication that they were now leaving, telling me to call them if any problems arose.

I now walked up to the nearby vending machine for a can of drink. By the time I had returned to the house no more than three minutes had passed but there were now seven police at the rear of the building. I was first introduced as the person who had called them. What? I soon put that straight. I hadn't called anyone and they then backpedalled, admitting that they had originally been called for something else.

I insisted that all was now quiet and there was no problem. But I had seven police, all taller than me (including the single female officer) and staring me down, continually insisting that they needed to enter the premises to do a welfare check. I refused, again insisting that all was now quiet. They continued to argue with me that this was essential.

I then stated I did NOT want all of them coming into the house as that would only be provocative and cause trouble with someone who was already obviously upset over something. Two police then accompanied me back into the house. Perhaps foolishly, I left the rear door open. I pointed the two towards the relevant bedroom door and then stepped back out of their way. Next thing, four more police decided to let themselves into the building and went trooping down the passage to join their colleages.

When my housemate opened his bedroom door, he was now confronted by six police, all grouped around him and staring him down.

According to the subsequent police report, all they were doing was a welfare check. What complete bullshit. The report implies they had no knowledge the individual had been drinking, until during or after the welfare check. Yet more bullshit as they had gotten that out of me earlier.

The police approach in supposedly doing this 'welfare check' and their report says that was all they were doing, was to be hostile, aggressive, demanding and interrogative. I was becoming furious now. They had conned their way past me, not to do any welfare check, but to very obviously act in a provocative manner. They got what they were after. I defy anyone to keep their cool in front of that. At one point my housemate was accused of spitting on one of the officers. Excuse me - I had a clear view of that supposed deliberate spitting. He was answering a question for fuck's sake and a stray bit of spittle may have gone from his lips and landed on the officer's front. That hardly justifies accusing him of deliberately spitting! Yet my housemate apologised and said he had not meant to spit. He admitted to being upset but was not that keen on revealing all the details. He asked the police to come into his room for a talk. They flatly refused.

In the end, they got what they wanted. All of a sudden, my housemate was swamped, handcuffed and dragged away under arrest. As they were leaving, I asked why had they all come into the house and thus directly causing that confrontational situation that I had repeatedly stated I wanted to avoid. I was fed some b.s. that all officers 'called' to an incident 'must' be present in the building. What a load of crap. For that matter, they were not 'all' in the building. Only six entered - the seventh went around to the front of the building and we later realised had let himself into the greenhouse attached to the front of the building. He left both front and back doors open and we found numerous pot plants knocked to the ground and damaged.

I made repeated calls during the night trying get through to the Watch House, to check on my housemate's state and try to the get message across that  I was greatly concerned about his mental state. I finally got someone at the City (Canberra) station talking to me. In response to my concerns, I was basically told 'don't worry your little head about that' sort of thing.

I attended court the next morning in an attempt to try and give evidence in a bail hearing. For reasons that still escape me, the magistrate refused to hear that particular application, requiring it to be held over until Monday. My housemate has now been transferred to a gaol just out of town. He is still wearing the same clothes he wore on Friday and I have no way of even getting a change of undies to him. All I can hope is that someone at the court may allow me to give them a change of clothes for him to change into down in the cells before being brought before the court Monday morning.

I should note that while waiting for my housemate's application to be heard, I listened to one made by another person who had breached their bail conditions, being found highly intoxicated in the city centre the preceding evening, despite bail conditions of (a) not entering the CDB between the hours of 7pm and 6am, (b) not consuming alcohol and (c) not entering any licensed premises. Their explanation for why they had breached all three was "I forgot." But it gets better. They then denied entering any premises, arguing that they only drank what they were able to get outside on the street! Oh yeah, we all manage to get skin-full walking around the street. "Hey mate - got a spare schooner? Can you spare a rum and coke, missus?"

To my amazement, the magistrate bought this crap, continuing that individual's bail and letting them go.

Meanwhile, my housemate, who was arrested as a result of my concerns about his mental health, only because I was conned by the police into allowing them into the house, not to do any welfare check but to engineer a confrontation which is what they bloody well did, was refused a hearing and is now sitting in gaol.

I then got to see what I can only call, police stupidity.

An accused drug dealer was also facing a bail hearing. The police opposed him being granted bail. Given the amount of drugs found on the premises, I don't blame them. However the main thrust of their argument as to why he should not be granted bail was that he did not have any income including no welfare receipts, did not have any employment and thus would continue to deal. The police evidence had already stated that they had been investigating this individual for some time. Yet when questioned by the legal aid representative, who had only had a quite short to question her client that morning, the police admitted not knowing he had been in full-time employment until two weeks ago, thus, according to the Legal Aid rep, some of the money found in the premises was part of his final payout. Next the Legal Aid rep asked if they had checked with Centrelink to ascertain the precise state of her client's receipt or non-receipt of welfare monies. No, was the admission. Well if you had, advised Ms Legal Aid, you would have discovered that my client is not only a full-time student, he has an application for AusStudy before Centrelink, currently waiting on the outcome.

I sure as hell don't want drug dealers walking free. But if this is an example of how well the Australian Federal Police investigate a criminal matter, then God help us all. No wonder the Australian Capital Territory has one of the worst conviction rates going around!

I became even further incensed in listening to the police report of the incident at my place the night before. They claimed to have been expressly called to the house in relation to a disturbance. Bullshit. They implied that they had no knowledge of alcohol consumption until during or after the welfare check. Even more bullshit. Not only had they managed to get that out of me earlier, one of the officers subsequently asked me to make a statement about that consumption of alcohol for the police to use against my housemate. In view of their earlier behaviour, I did something I have never done before. I flatly refused a police request. It should also be noted that this report made no mention of my repeated concerns about my housemate's mental health, nor that I had made repeated calls during the night to try and ascertain his state of health and continuing to express those concerns.

On arriving at the court, I had with me some of the remains of the item he had torn to pieces as evidence of my housemate's state of mind. These were some shreds of light wood, some 3mm thick. Security refused to let me bring them into the building as they were a security risk. For crying out loud, I could have done more damage with the pen in my pocket, or the keys in my pocket or the clipboard and pad in my backpack, but they were allowed in. But not evidence relevant to the hearing!

How on earth can we be expected to respect the police and the judicial process when stunts like these are pulled? The law is supposed to be blind - not entirely fucked up! But then again, this is the same system that happily let a notorious drunkard sit as a Justice.

I have already lodged a written complaint to the AFP's Professional Standards area about the conduct of those officers. I can only hope that Monday morning's hearing will be conducted in a much more sensible manner.

Of course, I also have to live with the fact that it was my actions and my letting myself get conned by the police that directly resulted in my mate being dumped in gaol.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Confidence in ‘No Confidence’ convoy

Oh boy. This was going to be bigger than Ben Hur. Organisers were at one point touting that between 5,000 and 10,000 vehicles were going to be taking part in the Convey of No Confidence, intended to display dissatisfaction with the current Australian Government of Julia Gillard.

Towns along the route were warned to expect large numbers of travellers arriving en route to Canberra. The Canberra populace were warned to expect major traffic disruptions. Parliament House staff were geared up for the thousands that the organisers insisted were going to be arriving for the protest on the lawns in front of that edifice.

Instead, the whole affair came and went as a major anti-climax. I have three separate reports of there being 180, 200 and 300 vehicles that took part. Even the highest of those three estimates is a long way short of what we all were told to expect. Organisers are now back-pedalling claiming ‘oh, we never actually said how many would be coming.’ Rubbish. It was being bleated far and wide, not least of all by Sydney DJ, Alan Jones.

Never one to shy away from creating controversy, Jones addressed the ‘rally’ claiming that police had been turning vehicles away from Canberra’s border. More bullshit. But this is Alan Jones after all. Don’t expect him to ever let the truth get in the way of a good sound bite. Al-baby wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him on the arse.

Jones supposedly later recanted the statement. But as a caller to Canberra local ABC radio pointed out this morning, it wasn’t Jones who made the retraction but merely his radio station on his behalf. Well, really, did anyone expect Jones to actually admit that he was wrong? He was quite possibly mislead by the organisers, but isn’t the onus on him to get his facts right? But then again this is the same clown who thought it was a great idea to actually advertise the Sydney race riot that spilled over from the beach to the streets and public transport system. He read out text messages on the air that said where and when. And he escaped unscathed from that mess. How he has any credibility left at all after the infamous Cash for Comment scandal is beyond me. I’d probably get more accurate information on pretty much anything from Dodgy Brothers’ Used Cars than from Alan Jones.

The whole Convoy thingy has been a fiasco. At present it is the local Canberra taxpayers who have to bear the cost of all the infrastructure movements set up in expectation of the vast hordes, expected to be the biggest and baddest flock of visitors anywhere since the Vandals decided to go on a package holiday to Rome. Reports have also emerged of the organisers contacting businesses on the travel route, asking them to be ready to cater for large numbers. Instead, hardly anyone showed, leaving said businesses out of pocket for all the perishable food stuffs brought in at the request of said organisers.

Do I have confidence the Gillard government? No, not really. But nor do I see the Jug Ears Abbott’s Opposition being much chop either. Sadly Australia has gone from being essentially a ‘two’ party system (remembering that the Liberals only get government from their Coalition with the National Party, who are increasingly becoming non-entities anyway) with some minor players at the fringes, to a No Party Worth Jack-shit system. I suspect the lack of confidence in the Convoy of No Confidence suggests public apathy more than anything.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An open letter to Miranda Devine

Dear Miranda

You really stirred up a shit storm with your recent column about the perils of the 'fatherless society'. And now in your follow up, you stir even further.

Now if what you claim in that follow up about persons inciting others to harass and bully your Facebook friends is true, then that is unacceptable. Before firing up, I will agree that you did indeed make some positive comments about Senator Wong and the impending birth. And I will also happily agree that 'Twitterverse' can soon distort a story. However your earlier column is nowhere near as innocent as you are making out.

"We are supposed to ignore Tony and Margie Abbott’s three daughters because every time he is seen with them it is some sort of unfair snub to Julia Gillard and reflection on her marital status."

What complete and utter crap. I have never once heard ANYONE make any such claim or suggestion. What about all the media coverage last election where Tony Abbott spent several weeks hardly making a move without the girls being seen with him? How does that exactly equate to us being 'supposed to ignore' them?

"The traditional heterosexual norm of a nuclear family and children is something to be kept in a closet like an embarrassment."

Where the hell did you come up with that piece of tripe? How about having a look at your own paper some time at the number of 'traditional heterosexual' marriages being reported on and included in the classifieds? Yeah, that's really pushing it all into hiding in the closet.

"In countries where [same-sex marriage] has been legalised, there has been no rush to the altar."

At the risk of sounding Hansonesque - please explain; how about some figures to back that one up? I'd go and look for myself, but hey - you're the one being paid to write that crap, not me.

The real gem however was "You only had to see the burning streets of London last week to see the manifestation of a fatherless society."

The rest of your article up to that point had opened with focusing on Penny Wong and her partner (and no, they cannot call each other anything other than 'partner' cos they ain't allowed to get married, are they), then fired salvo after salvo against same-sex marriage. From there, 'fatherless' children (which by definition includes those of two-female-parent families) were now the cause of the London riots. Now if you really weren't trying to give the impression that lesbian couples with children weren't part of that problem of rioting fatherless children, then why in hell did you even bother introducing the subject in the first place? Sweetheart, you've only got yourself to blame for that backlash.

I shall happily take your word for it that Britain is "reported to have the highest proportion of single mothers in Europe and nearly half of all children suffering family breakdown by the age of 16." But...

Miranda, honey, I think you better have a bit of a think about a little thing called cause and effect next time. It is not the lack of the father per se that is the cause of those problems including the rioting (and indeed the problems on housing estates that your friend referred to) but the fact that it is a single parent trying to cope with it all. Then there is the little thing called parental responsibility and example. By your argument, it necessarily follows that put a father in the scene and hey presto - the problem is gone. Golly - didn't the Moran family of criminals have a dad? Why yes they did. Two of them over the years in fact. And the Moran boys turned out to be such pillars of society, didn't they.

I have experienced single-parent families with children running wild but I have sure as hell have also experienced 'nuclear' families that were absolute hell on wheels. My aged parents went through an unbelievable time with a 'nuclear' family terrorising their entire street. I grew up right next door to another such family. And I have also experienced single-parent families that do not have any such problems whatsoever. In fact I was having coffee with a single-mother only earlier today and I can 100% guarantee you that her child is about as well-behaved as you're going to get. Then there is another friend of mine who finally threw her junkie husband out and is raising their three girls on her own. And those girls are as polite, respectful and well-behaved as you're going to get. Oh yeah, they really need their Dad back in their lives, don't they!

A breakdown in family structures is definitely a social problem. No argument there from me. But don't deliberately try and paint a picture that same-sex marriage is bad then leap into suggestions that the fatherless (ie including the product of all-female-parent families) were the cause of the London riots only to put your hands up and try to claim innocence afterwards.
It isn't a matter of having presented 'unfashionable mainstream views' (although isn't that something of a misnomer?). It is a matter of you writing a distorted mess that leaps about all over the place and crying foul afterwards when people follow your arguments to their logical conclusions.
Live by the sword, die by the sword; write journalistic crap, expect to receive a bucketing afterwards.
Politically incorrect love and kisses

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pathetic, Telegraph. Bloody pathetic

There will be people who would ask 'who's Robert Crumb?' But a great many of those would recognise some of his artwork.

Crumb is a cartoonist. Some of his images are absolutely iconic, like these two:

Now I find some of his stuff quite vulgar and tasteless. And others are clever, funny and even thought-provoking. But, please, let's put this in its rightful place. Crumb and his work came out of and to prominence in that quite wild and strange place and time - the late 1960s US. Guess what - a lot of things have changed since then. Things found funny then would not necessarily be seen as funny today.

Here's another thought. Does every artist think everything they have ever done is forever beyond reproach? Of course not. I had the good fortune to spend some time with Tim Ferguson about 18 months ago. I took the opportunity to ask a few things about those heady days with the Doug Anthony All Stars. Tim freely admitted that sometimes they would go off-stage and ask themselves 'Oh God - did we actually just do/say that?' In talking about some of the old DAAS stuff, Tim actually became a little embarrassed.

So what does that have to do with Robert Crumb? I watched a quite interesting documentary about him a few years back. In that, Crumb admitted somewhat shamefaced that some of his work was pretty terrible in what it depicted.

In a simply staggering display of gutter journalism and hopeless fact-twisting, the Daily Telegraph produced this piece of absolute shit. Crumb is depicted as some sort of crazed sexual deviant, not fit to be let loose on the streets. They then attempt to give this garbage some validity by having anti-child abuse campaigner, Hetty Johnson, giving her take on this 'depraved' person ie let's give the world the impression that he's a child abuser as well.

Here's a little test for y'all. Go and look up Robert Crumb artwork in Google. Or better yet with Bing as I believe that is a better search engine for finding images. I'll just sit here, sip my coffee and daydream a bit while you do it. Go on - I'll still be here when you get back.

Jessica Simpson...big Hardy...veggies...have I done the shopping yet...did I remember to throw that old milk out this morning?

Oh you're back. Goodo. Did you find some tasteless and vulgar stuff. Yep. OK, now how many child molestation images did you find? I couldn't find a single bloody one. T & V does NOT equate to perverted etc etc.

Now for the next question. According to the Telegraph, "A spokesman for the federal Attorney General's department told The Sunday Telegraph that Crumb's work cannot be shown in Australia unless he submits his illustrations for classification. The spokesman said his work would almost certainly be refused classification."

What? We now supposed to believe that ALL of Crumb's work will now "almost certainly be refused classification?" Oh give me a frigging break. How many decades has 'Stoned Agin' been sold on posters, t-shirts and Lord knows what else in Australia. C'mon Tele - give us a name and prove that complete utter bullshit quote.

How the Daily Telegraph can justify calling itself either 'news' or 'journalism' is getting well and truly beyond me. Why don't they just pack up and piss off to the UK - the Poms seem to appreciate gutter journalists and journalism there. That way you pack of fucktards won't have to ever worry about letting the facts get in the way of your story ever again. As for Hetty Johnson - hey lady - how about worry about the REAL issues rather than pandering to cheap, nasty sensationalist so-called journalism.

Pathetic, Telegraph. Bloody pathetic.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

When is information actually information

OK, I'll admit it. I have a secret guilty little pleasure that I sometimes get to indulge. I enjoy Judge Judy. OK, there - I've admitted it. Now I rarely get an opportunity to watch the old girl given that it was on at 3pm on the relevant network here.

Note the use of past tense - WAS on at 3pm. Some weeks ago, I noticed on one of my rare opportunities to actually be home and indulge, that Her Honour had been cut in half for a so-called 'encore's screening of the latest 'reality' program on that network. Followed by an 'infomercial. But today I realised that Her Honour has been given the boot entirely, replaced by a 30 minute-or-so 'informercial'. Of a fat guy selling cookware.

Rather annoyed, I did something I have never done before. I telephoned the television network in question to complain about their programming choices. The invidual concerned with programming for that particular channel was not available however I spoke to someone else. While that person could not discuss my specific programming concern, I took the opportunity to have a good old whinge about the proliferation of these bloody 'informercials'.

'Whyy not be honest and just call them what they are - half-hour advertisments," I said.

"Oh I don't think that would be accepted very well," was the reply.

Now come on, commercial television networks. Do you really think we are all so simple and feeble-minded that we haven't realised that these 'informercials' are nothing more than extended commercial advertisments? Is it really necessary to talk down to us like that, treating us like small children?

For that matter, an encore is something that occurs in response to an enthusiastic audience response, calling for me. Now just how many people have been standing up, crying 'Author! Author! We want it repeated at 3pm in the afternoon!"

I think at the end of the day, it has been a case of dump the program they have to pay for in favour of (a) a solid half-hour block of pretend advertisment of a fat guy selling knives and cooking appliances, and (b) a repeat of something local we have already paid for.

While I'm on the subject of 'infomercials', do the producers of a certain anti-acne preparation think we're all equally as dumb as the commercial televsion stations all think we are? We're supposed to accept a barely pubescent boy who has most likely only just started getting his big boy hairs, and one look at his baby-soft skin makes it quite apparent he has never had anything remotely like an acne problem, is suddenly supposed to be a believable spokesperson for getting rid of pimples? Oh please! But of course, he is a celebrity and therefore we are assumed to automatically think 'oh - he is a best-selling recording artist to the bubblegum tenny boppers - obviously he MUST be an expert - I better start getting the stuff in by the pallet!'

How thoroughly demeaning and insulting to our collective intelligence. And I still think Her Honour, Judge Judy was a vast improvement!

Here endeth the rant

Interested in what I had to rant about? Feel free to lodge a comment or tell someone else.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In this lesson, you shall learn...

A tweet from Sir Tessa (not sure I should post her actual id or even her name so I shall play it relatively safe) has prompted this post.

"Protip: always confirm the presence of toilet paper committing to a cubicle"

Words of wisdom indeed.

This made me think not just of my own proclivity in trying to ensure at least some source of paper is to hand (surprising how well an old supermarket docket can do the deed), but also of one of the slightly more bizarre methods I have learned of in the past.

Back in the day, I was in the SAS (Saturdays and Sundays). That's right - I was a proud serving member of that august body dedicated to defending our right to get shitfaced in the mess, the Australian Army Reserve.

Now like all good little footsloggers, I put on my 'L' plates and toddled off to recruit camp (what the Seppos call Boot Camp). There I learned the use of the special toilet paper that came as part of the ration packs issued to you when going bush. This special toilet paper was shiny, tough and made far better writing paper than it did a bum-wiper. The number twos did not so much get wiped off as pushed around from one spot to another if used in the conventional manner.

You see, there was a special trick to using this toilet paper.

It came already folded in half. The trick was to then tear a small square from the middle of said folded sheet of toilet paper.

Now place that small square safely to one side - don't lose it as it plays a particularly important function.

Unfold the square of arse-wiper and stick your index finger through the hole so it is sticking up out of said square.

Proceed to wipe your bum-crack with your index finger. Once said crack is sufficiently wiped to your satisfaction, pull the paper back up your finger, wiping it clean.

All done.

Oh, and the little torn-out square I told you to save? Use that to wipe under your fingernail.

Ahhhh the joys of serving your nation!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Return of the cultural cringe?

Remember those 'good' old days when we Australians had this terrible cultural cringe about our own inadequacies? At least those in charge of the arts thought so. The best example was that of the theatre - a major production could not go ahead unless a 'name' was imported from the US or Britain to play the lead.

It seems those bad old days are not so far behind us as we all thought.

Not long ago, the Red Roughy aka Prime Minister Julia Gillard, embarrassingly grovelled to the US Congress, tearfully exclaiming that the US can do anything, like some sort of overly-excited six-year old having just met her favourite member of The Wiggles.

Then we had Oprah bring her show to Australia. Oh, the things this was going to do for the Australian economy. Nay-sayers were howled down. This was Oprah, people - Oprah!

Except now the figures are starting to come in.

The Australian taxpayer coughed up some $5 million to bring Oprah and her show out. Heavens knows how much Oprah, her organisation and the television network made out of it all. But it wasn't just Oprah, it was the grand lady herself along with 92 companions. Read the list of freebies handout out to them during a short, three-day visit to Melbourne alone.

But this was Oprah, people - Oprah! The tourism dollars were going to start flooding in. Why, the tourism places were going to have to start buying new wheelbarrows to be able to cart all their takings off to the bank! This was going to be the biggest tourism bonanza since Paul Hogan conned the Seppos that we all waste good shrimp by throwing them on a barbie instead of the snags and chops! Oprah - Oprah!! squeeeeeeeeeeeee

Except - US tourism has actually dropped since then.

In other words, the Australian taxpayer was sold a super-size lemon. Perhaps not quite as big a lemon as the millions thrown away on a ridiculous bid for the FIFA World Cup. But that's another rant for another time.

Now this is not a dig at Oprah. Why wouldn't she make the trip? After all, it wasn't costing her damn thing. I doubt we shall ever know exactly what the Oprah machine made out of it all. But it was Australian authorities who thought it was such a brilliant idea that they just threw money at her.

Just like the bad old days, now we are apparently unable to sell the touristic delights of our own country without someone being imported to do it for us. And now, just as then, it is a load of crap.

I am left wondering, just who on the Australian side of things made money on the deal? Obviously not the tourism industry!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The medical crap continues

Well, the medical crap still keeps going.

After the assurances that my aneurism was suitable for being treated by a far less-invasive procedure and then going through the surgeon doing nothing with the file for a full month rather than referring it to the hospital that could do that particular procedure. It turns out that the aneurism is not suited to said procedure, so all that delay was completely pointless.

When a senior hospital administrator called me to resolve the mess, almost a month ago, I made it very clear that in the event of the procedure not being suited, I wanted another surgeon. But, as usual, my wishes were ignored. I have been pretty much told I have to go see this surgeon. So I have to go for a further review in a week's time. It is only four days short of two months since I first saw this clown and frankly we absolutely no further ahead with treatment of what he assures me is a serious matter requiring attention.

I am being treated for a couple of other things as well. The doctor looking after one has been wanting to increase my medication for about two months now. But the medication could potentially increase my blood pressure which would be a rather irresponsible thing to do with an untreated aneurism in my brain. So now I have been unable to be properly treated for this other condition because of the hospital's irresponsibility.

So here's a question - who is responsible if the aneurism crashes while the wait for treatment continues? Or if the other condition becomes even worse because of the forced delay in treating it properly?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is it just me or what?

Back in May I was admitted to a local hospital with breathing difficulties from a severe respiratory infection. A scan was taken of my head which revealed a hitherto unknown and unsuspected aneurism. An 'immediate' referral to a neurosurgeon resulted. I saw said neurosurgeon on May 23rd. He impressed on me the serious of the aneurism and its location, informing me that I did need treatment. The good news however was that he believed it could be successfully treated by a far less invasive procedure called 'coiling' as opposed to actual brain surgery. But as Canberra does not yet have a facility to undertake such procedures, the case needed to be referred to the Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Sydney.

Today, having heard nothing further for a month, I telephoned The Canberra Hospital to see if they had heard anything further from RPA. After being bounced around all over the place and being given ridiculous information such as a denial that I had even been there to see said neurosurgeon, I was finally put onto someone who did know something about the matter.

The location of the aneurism is such that I am advised should it leak or worse, I would most likely lose cognitive functions. And any brain aneurism can cause death. This is serious stuff. So perhaps you can imagine my considerable upset today to learn that the file information was still sitting in The Canberra Hospital gathering dust a month later.

I am told that I am to reduce stress in deference to the condition. Being made to wait in the dark for a month only to discover that everything has been dumped in a pile somewhere and just left there, is hardly conducive to stress reduction!

I am under psychiatric care but the psychiatrist is loathe to do anything with my medication at present as this may interfere with treatment of the aneurism. So through no fault of mine, I cannot even get proper psychiatric treatment now because of this ludicrous and entirely unnecessary delay by The Canberra Hospital and its staff.

So I decide to lodge a formal complaint and see if that can get something happening. The only problem is actually trying to find the appropriate area to lodge a complaint with. I found their website feedback but last time I used that in relation to an important matter, it look a long bloody time for anyone to bother doing anything in response to that online submission. So I hit the telephones. In the end I had to be put through to nothing less than the office of the Chief Executive of ACT Health. That or go to the Human Rights Commission.

Do I really have to go through the Human Rights Commission? Is going through another agency entirely actually going to speed things up? Not bloody likely. In my experience, involving another agency merely slows matters down further. So in the apparent lack of ACT Health actually having an area to which you may direct complaints, you have to talk to the staff in the Office of the CEO.

This is bloody ridiculous. Why is it that whenever I am forced to rely on something through the public health system, I am subjected to outrageous treatment. Take for example the arsehole alleged case manager, David Kendall (and I am quite happy to name him as the documentary evidence exists to defend my claim), who flatly refused to even allow my name to be added to the waiting list to see a psychiatrist for eight months. Not eight months on the waiting list - that's eight months trying just to get added to the waiting list. When I eventually complain, Kendall thinks it quite alright to telephone me at home at 8:06 am to start abusing me. He routinely canceled appointments, continual blaming this later on a single absence of 2-3 weeks some time previously. Multiple complaints against him achieved nothing other than assurances matters would be 'dealt with'. Once Kendall deigned to allow my name to be added to the sacred waiting list, I eventually did get to see a psychiatrist. Kendall then invited himself into the consultation and proceeded to utter the most outrageous lies including that there had only been a delay of a few weeks. He even feed my GP that line of bullshit. I was later informed by an insider that they received more complaints against Kendall than any other of their staff. So why was he allowed to get away with that shit? Why were continuing complaints ignored?

Fortunately I no longer have to deal with that shaven-headed arsewipe and access to psychiatric care is now much easier than it was under Kendall's regime. But I have that really terrible feeling that this is now all starting all over again.

Failure to access proper medical care in the past cost me pretty much everything. About all that is left for me to lose now is my life. Not that this is any great deal. And the neurosurgeon allegedly in charge of my 'care' seems quite happy to let that happen. Just leave the file on the counter beneath a pile of crap and dirty coffee mugs - she'll be right. Oh, he's dead? Oh well, never mind.

So, friends, if in the near future my friendly little aneurism does indeed decide to burst, leaving me with the cognitive abilities of a mouldy carrot, or if I'm lucky, dead - you all know who to blame.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Scammer warning

Be warned - the scammers pretending to be from Microsoft are hard at work in Australia.

I received a telephone call late yesterday from someone claiming to be from Microsoft, claiming that my computer was sending error messages to Microsoft and this call was to resolve these.

I hung up.

I telephoned the telephone company, Telstra, hoping to be able to trace the call and pass that information to the police. Unfortunately they were unable to advise me of the origins of the call.

During subsequent discussions with both Telstra's Unwelcome Calls Centre and the ACCC's Scamwatch, I learned that these thieving scum are very active. The reason why they are so active is because they are finding people who fall for their b.s. and give them the details needed to perpetrate their scam.

There are a couple of points of concern with this matter.

One - why are people still falling for this? There has been report after report about this in the media. Microsoft do NOT telephone people as some sort of courtesy.

Two - all the relevant authorities are well aware of the activities of these scammers, so why is it they are unable to close them down?