SemiArticulate

Random Musings

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

November 9th, 2012 by Lucas

Royal Commission into Child Abuse

Following an interview with a senior police officer on ABCs Lateline last night, admissions of pack rapes of children there have been growing calls for a royal commission into the systemic cover ups of child abuses in the Catholic Church.

Up until now, Barry O’Farrell (Premier of NSW) have resisted those claims. Today he announced a Special Commission of Inquiry into the matter, which has rather narrow terms of reference.

I would argue  that this organisation, if found to be systematically covering up child abuse, be designated a criminal organisation, have all state subsidies removed (tax breaks etc).

In related matter the Australian Christian Lobby (or ACL, funded in part by the Catholic Church) has called for a mandatory internet filter to hide child abuse material, porn, and other things they don’t like from everyone on the internet.

June 26th, 2012 by Lucas

Urgent – Lobby Greens to Uphold High Court Challenge Ruling on Chaplaincy

Reblogging from http://thatsmyphilosophy.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/urgent-lobby-greens-to-uphold-high-court-challenge-ruling-on-chaplaincy/

National School Chaplaincy/High Court Challenge Update:

This is urgent. It would be great if everyone could get behind this today and promote it to your own networks. This is the time to mobilise folks.

The Federal government announced last night they are going to pass legislation to circumvent the High Court ruling on funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program. This is a cynical, underhanded move which, I imagine, won’t impress the High Court at all. It is not at all clear that this attempt to snub the ruling won’t end the government back in the High Court, but we have to wait to see their legislation first.

What we can do immediately, although it won’t overturn the legislation, is try to get the Greens to stand up in Parliament and oppose it – or at least demand amendments to the program. This will get publicity about what is going on and shine a spotlight on what the government is doing. But we need *you* and your networks to help.

As a matter of urgency, please send an email to the following list:

senator.milne@aph.gov.au, adam.bandt.mp@aph.gov.au, senator.dinatale@aph.gov.au, senator.hanson-young@aph.gov.au,
senator.ludlam@aph.gov.au, senator.rhiannon@aph.gov.au, senator.siewert@aph.gov.au, senator.waters@aph.gov.au, senator.wright@aph.gov.au, senator.whish-wilson@aph.gov.au

Here is a sample letter. You can use your own words if you like, but please use the three dot points as they appear so we present a cohesive message.

Subject: Funding – National School Chaplaincy Program

Dear Senators and Mr. Bandt

You will be aware the ALP are planning to rush legislation through parliament to subvert the High Court decision in Willams v the Commonwealth and Ors.

This is an opportunity for the Greens to hold the government to account. The High Court has made a ruling which provides a greater level of public accountability and now the ALP – undoubtedly with the support of the coalition – intend to circumvent that ruling through legislation.

This is an opportunity for the Greens to make a public stand for some incredibly important issues, including public accountability, separation of church and state and our children’s right to a secular public education system.

I would be grateful if the Greens would represent my views in respect to this matter. They are as follows:

1) I do not support the Howard-Gillard program that supplies chaplains of any faith in Australia’s public schools, and I urge you to prevent the continuation of chaplains in today’s forthcoming legislation.

2) If we are to have Commonwealth assistance supplied to schools in this manner then I am firmly of the view that they must be fully qualified as school counsellors, which means they are qualified teachers with a degree in psychology and postgraduate qualifications in school counselling, and nothing less can do.

3) It is time to stop outsourcing this work to third party contractors and these fully qualified school counsellors must all be employed as public servants in the relevant Education departments in each state and territory in order to ensure some high level of confidence in their training, integrity and the outcomes.

Yours sincerely

————————————

Fellow bloggers – can you please consider reblogging this – either cut and paste this post or rephrase as you see fit, but please keep the three dot points intact.

January 24th, 2011 by Lucas

HDCP Master Key

Another act of civil disobedience (see this post), and posterity, I’ll post the HDCP (think HDMI cyrpto):

hdcp-master.txt

Don’t ask me how to use it (there are some technical instructions in the file), as I don’t know and have never used it.

January 23rd, 2011 by Lucas

Australian National Classification Scheme Review

The Classification board is taking comments on the Terms of Reference for the upcoming Classification Review.

You can read about it here: Classification website. You can also submit your comments on line.

My submission:

With regard to the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the review of the classification in Australia, I would like to make the following comments:

The ToR seems to be based on the old-media view of the world – the use of the terms “industry” and “content and distribution industry”. Whilst a review of “industry” is warrented it is apparant from the experience of the internet that an increasing amount of content is user generated (think blogs, youtube etc). Distribution becoming end user to end user, rater than content producer to distributer to end user. The ToR does not take this into account.

The ToR does not not specify a review on whether classification is warrented (or appropriate) at all in the 21st century, or is appropriate for citizen to citizen communtication (think user generated content above).

The ToR does make reference to classification schemes in other juristictions, but does not specify if Australia should regognise classifications from country-of-origin (with the view to reduce classification costs, prevent doubling-up).

regards,
Lucas James

December 22nd, 2009 by Lucas

The Onion cracks me up

I was perusing the onion the other day, and found an article that reminded me of the ACL and Senator Conroy’s committment to ‘evidence based policy’.

Life imitating Art? As usual, the Onion is all TIC!.

** WARNING KEYBOARD ALERT **


Oh, No! It’s Making Well-Reasoned Arguments Backed With Facts! Run!

December 22nd, 2009 by Lucas

Senator Lundy is getting a clue

ACT Senator Kate Lundy (ALP) is getting more feedback on the ill conceived internet censorship policy. Her original blogpost was informative, as was all the feed back given.

One thing that stood out was her understanding that the mandatory nature of the censorship proposal was a election promise, and the subsequent objections were a mere misunderstanding of the promise.

In other words, there was an ambivalent reaction to the policy at the time of the election policy because it was not understood to be a mandatory filter for the general population.

Unfortunately the wording of the under-reported policy doesn’t support her understanding. We got exactly the meaning of the promise.

The offending wording is (from this ALP policy document from 2007 on page 5):

A Rudd Labor Government will require ISPs to offer a ‘clean feed’ internet service to all homes, schools and public internet points accessible by children, such as public libraries.

The use of the word ‘offer’, combined with ‘accessible by children’ would indicate it was very optional to childless homes, and optional to all areas.

I do understand the drafters may have intention of having mandatory, but the wording doesn’t bear that out. It may be the usual political use of weasal words to prevent them from being pinned to what they said, but unfortunately it has backfired.

I do hope that the good Senator does listen to the people she is supposed to represent, and vote against this policy. Both in the Labor caucus, and on the Senate floor (regardless of caucus outcome). I for one will not vote for, or give preferences to the ALP if this policy comes into effect.

March 14th, 2009 by Lucas

ACMA Censorship gone MAD

As reported in The Australian, the ACMA has issued a takedown notice to an ISP for a LINK to a website that is on it’s unwanted (potentially prohibited content) list, that is going to be the backbone of the government’s mandatory censorship scheme.

This is after the “good” senator promised that political content would not be blocked.

More at the EFA

As an act of civil disobedience, I’ll post the link here.

** WARNING ** WARNING ** the images on the following page are quite vile and disgusting, and I don’t think it is appropriate for anyone. It contains images of supposedly aborted fetuses. Don’t look at it if you are a bit queasy.

you will have to google “AbortionTV Pictures #6″ to go to the site, as AMCA have served a link deletion notice on this page.

** Edit: 18 Oct 2010 – Active link deleted due to ACMA link deletion notice.

October 6th, 2007 by Lucas

Quote of the day

Gleaned from slashdot user sconeu:

“People who need govt to enforce their religion must not have much faith in the power of its message.”

But I guess the fanatics won’t admit to that!

May 19th, 2007 by Lucas

The new Australian Citizenship test

Pilfered from: Helen’s comment on Larvatus Prodeo

Australian Government

Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

Application for Grant of Australian Citizenship

You must answer 75% (28 or more out of 37) of these questions correctly in order to qualify for Australian Citizenship

1. How many slabs can you fit in the back of a Falcon Ute while also allowing room for your cattle dog?
Read the rest of this entry »

May 15th, 2007 by Lucas

It’s not the economy, stoopid

Well, in today’s crikey, Charles Richardson opines that the masses have already chosen Kevin Rudd as the next prime minister in his article titled “Thanks for the Budget, but we’ve already made up our minds”

He proposes that the lack of bounce in the opinion polls shows that the average voter, whilst applicative of the budget, has not influenced their voting intentions.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 8th, 2005 by Lucas

London Bombings

I feel sorry for all the victims of the London bombings.

I feel sorry for all the britons that will have to endure even more draconian “security” measures that will do bugger all for security.

Like the new ID card scheme that looks like it will contain your life history on government-run servers (EEK!)

It will be interesting to see what the british government will do over the next six months or so.

Next thing we’ll need papers to do anything.. remind you of anything? USSR style? Nazi style?

And to those fanatics: Terrorism is NOT a part of islam (or christianity, or hinduism, or any mainstream religion for that matter)

July 3rd, 2005 by Lucas

Why I am not an Anarchist

In this article, esr describes the only solution to the problem of instability of a consitiutional democracy (as they exist today here in Australia, the US, and elsewhere) is a complete anarchy (or as he puts it “no government”).

I agree with the statement that the question of good government reduces to “who can be trusted to wield the first use of force wisely and morally?”, but my opinion diverges from that point on.

Read the rest of this entry »

November 5th, 2004 by Lucas

Terrorists

Well, America has spoken.

They have elected a terrorist with middle eastern connections.. Or as he is affectionally known here as the Little Shrub. (For those without a sence of humour: George Dublya Bush)

Nice to see the American are just as intelligent in their voting patterns as we Australians. It will be interesting how the Brits vote: It looks like Mr Blair has a challenge on his hands

To use that old quote: “The voters have spoken.. the bastards”

October 13th, 2004 by Lucas

Another Three Years

Oh well, Australia has voted the Howard Government back in for another three years. The politics of fear certanly work here (people tent to vote for the “devil they know” when scared by higher morgages/terrorism/the boogie man).

We did have a chance to rid ourselves of the right-wing little munchkin, but alas, not this time. I think the alternate (the Labour Party) ended up too far to the right themselves on a number of issues, and started to look too much like the Liberals.

My fear is that President Bush will gain a bit of milage from it.. Especially after what I read this morning: minor presidential candidates arested.. Land of the free? Bah! I’m just glad I don’t live in The Amerian Police State (formally known as the USA)