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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Andrew Bartlett, Clive Hamilton reveal what Peter Garrett can't say about major parties
Mood:  special
Topic: aust govt


The delightful news that Andrew Bartlett is committing to run for The Greens in a lower house seat in Brisbane, Qld, as former Democrats Senator, is a stark reminder of the lack of independence from the ALP of some senior environmental figures. A previous reminder was Clive Hamilton nominating with the Greens in ex Costello seat of Higgins by-election.

These public figures expose the hopeless lack of independence of 'team player' Peter Garrett as ALP Minister for Environment. And the fact the ALP are champions at pimping the environment - witness their coal policy dependence while spruiking a weak cap and trade regime.

Another, less well understood pro ALP figure, is Jeff Angel as director of the Total Environment Centre and favoured appointee to numerous NSW government committees. Angel is the brains behind the infamous and cynical Lake Cowal Environmental Trust Fund.  The LCETF is cover for the cyanide gold mine at the same location which has destroyed an ephemeral lake and water bird habitat in wet years.

Angel was in the news again yesterday complimenting the NSW ALP indeed excellent decision to support a gross feed in tariff for solar panels. Trouble is those who have struggled mightily for such an outcome were not quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald.

People like the solar energy activist academics Mark Diesendorf at UNSW, Dr Muriel Watt of UNSW or even Stuart White at UTS and no doubt others. But the lazy SMH goes with dial a quote Angel. He knows alot but he's undeserving, and undermines other environment groups for his own profile, and government access, and not just in our direct experience.

A story no doubt untold in Angel's alleged 'Insider account' published by the ABC. If we ever get the time we will read and deconstruct that for what it really is, probably with some choice primary documents over the same period. His book no doubt is an attempt to portray his legacy as he gets closer to retirement from his pro ALP perch.

The irony is surely that rough head Angel doesn't comprehend he is hardly the best presentation for the burgeoning NSW green movement in looks or voice but still wants that front man role. He's all chess, no charisma.

We know the ALP are anxious what to do once their man is gone from Sydney's TEC as the acceptable (ineffective?) face of the NSW green movement dependent on govt grants. Here's a hint - it's called Opposition.

Posted by editor at 11:05 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 11 November 2009 12:39 PM EADT
Meet The Press 10 do Media Watch's job on West Atlas oil spill figure
Mood:  loud
Topic: big media


Everyone enjoys Media Watch 'until they are on it'. Now we ask did the good and formidable Media Watch fall at the last hurdle in 2009?

Perhaps Media Watch won't enjoy this post either. A rolled gold case of apparent conflict of interest arose on the ABC national news machine this last 2 weeks. But Media Watch last episode for the year on Monday night didn't manage to cover half of it. Let us explain.

There was a cascade of embarrasing items on MW about Big Media in all it's diversity and MW would have have completed a strong showing with a swipe at it's own, you know for 'balance'.

What was the omission? Well it's this. ABC news constantly under report the actual metric of the West Atlas Oil spill over the last 10 weeks: A disaster putting strain on relations with East Timor, and Indonesian West Timor, fishing industry in north west Australia and environmentalists everywhere.

We could quote compelling chapter and verse of ABC alternatively going strong on the issue, and yet hashing the relevant metric on this story, and quite a bit is on SAM micro news here this last 2 weeks. But let's just go with this:

Meet The Press on Network 10 compere Paul Bongiorno last Sunday 8 am show refers to the 'four and half million litre oil spill' while interviewing guest Minister Peter Garrett. The figure is correct as a minimum based on the estimate conceded by company PTTEP at 400 barrels a day, much lower than some other estimates too.


Meet The Press 08/11/2009 seg 1 image

Meet The Press 08/11/2009 seg 1

Talks with Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

The same morning the ABC repeats in their 7.45am Sydney radio news (which covers Garrett home seat where he is most accountable, a coastal seat highly sensitised to oil spills) the wrong assertion of an oil spill of 'hundreds of thousands of litres'. Wrong number, wrong scale of disaster, wrong level of scrutiny and accountability.

Coincidentally, and we really do hope so, the ABC at this very same time since 4 November 2009 are promoting a funding pitch to the federal government to allow expansion of news services to Asia Pacific neighbours - like East Timor, West Timor, Indonesia etc. They have a good case too, unless their integrity of news is questionable:

The ABC and Australia’s strategic policy — playing our part Crikey Subscriber / Friday, 6 November 2009

Would neighbours get the wrong metric on West Altas oil spill? Last Sunday morning ABC radio prime news slot was only the last prompting several telephone calls to correct their ongoing errors. Calls direct to the radio news room from this writer. Direct to the office of the director of news also. So ABC can't say they aren't notified of the mistake in a corporate sense if not the MW show specifically.

Media Watch effectively fell at the last hurdle. And people (read parliamentarian(s)) know the ABC keep falling over the metric for the West Altas oil spill this last several weeks.

On 21st October 2009 sworn evidence was given to the Senate Estimates Committee by Fed Dept of Environment suggesting the oil spill could be as high as 2,000 barrels a day. That puts the oil spill at potentially 23.5 million litres, as if 4.5 million was not bad enough. And the ABC say, wrongly, it's hundreds of thousands of litres.

Heads should roll.


Postscript: The Greens have issued this presser yesterday:

Govt must investigate oil impacts on Indonesian fishers -

Greens release video footage by Indonesian fishers of oil-like substance and dying fish 

MEDIA RELEASE - Tuesday 10 November 2009

The Australian Greens have reiterated their calls for the Rudd Government to immediately send investigators to Indonesia to look into claims of impacts from the Montara oil spill on Indonesian fishing communities.

"The DVD sent to us this week by the West Timor Care Foundation is just one of many reports in the past several weeks about impacts of the oil spill on the people of Indonesia," the Greens Marine Issue Spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

"Today, we again call on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to publicly commit to investigating these claims, including testing samples of oil that have been collected in Indonesian waters to determine whether the oil has come from the Montara leak.

"The video appears to show that oil is impacting on legal fishing grounds for Indonesian fishers.

"We have also heard reports of oil much closer to the Indonesian coast during the past several weeks - and as yet these reported sightings of oil and dead fish are apparently yet to be investigated by Australian authorities.

"We hear that fish is an important protein to many poor villages on the coast of Timor and Rote - if people are unable to fish, their diets, as well as incomes, suffer," Senator Siewert continued.

"We therefore cannot ignore the potential seriousness of this for our neighbour.

"The Greens intend to supply this DVD, as well as any other information that may be relevant, to the Government's inquiry - as soon as advice about how submissions may be made becomes available."

Note to editors: The DVD footage is available on request.

Posted by editor at 8:49 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 11 November 2009 9:29 AM EADT
Tort law aspect of googling around Rupert's Paywall?
Mood:  not sure
Topic: legal



We responded to this editorial on Crikey yesterday ....

 Dear Sole Subscriber,

Rupert Murdoch has had a lot to say lately about the internet, and how a modern media mogul might milk it for corporate gain.

Paywalls appear to be a key to the Sun King's strategic thinking, restrictions around content to squeeze micro-payments from an eager readership. We already have one right here at News Corp, Murdoch enthuses.

"We have it already with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it's not right to the ceiling. You can get, usually, the first paragraph from any story -- but if you're not a paying subscriber to WSJ.com all you get is a paragraph and a subscription form."

We hate to break this to you Rupert, but the WSJ doesn't so much have a paywall as a permeable membrane. You can read anything you like on the site, in full and for free.

This is how you do it:

  • Go to the site's home page (here it is).
  • Look for a story with one of the little key symbols next to the headlines. This denotes paywalled content.
  • Click on that headline. When the locked story page opens, cut and paste the headline of the story, in full, into the search bar of Google. Google will pull that story up to the top of its search page.
  • Click on that headline link and there, hey presto, is the story in full for free.

We point this out just by way of showing what a tricky thing these internets can be. Sorry Rupe, but there it is.

.... as follows ....

Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 7:13 AM
Subject: your editorial, tort law and paywalls, for the future

I'd be a little cautious about that google method of going around a paywall, or promoting same. Forewarned is fore armed.
As true as it may be, it may be technically illegal to promote such a mechanism one day. Even if not currently, in the future.
Consider the tort (like negligence law but not negligence) called tortious interference in contractual relations.
So, say the News Corp website has a preface page saying, by opening this page you agree to our terms and conditions - no payment required. (A pretty common requirement on software downloads too, and who the hell reads them anyway.)
The terms and requirements tick the box would create 'a contract' - this is a technical issue itself (what is the contract?- Perhaps this: News corp provides webpage access to news precis, viewer agrees to terms and conditions like to not google around paywall, promise each way, contract? I do think so as former novice commerical litigator).
Now the viewer goes to news precis page, but now as a contractee not just a web surfer.
Now if other people (like Crikey etc) encourage a breach of the paywall then you will be exposed to a legal claim of tortious interference in contractual relations. That is you will have interfered in performance of a legal contract by tempting people into illegal non compliance. It looks quite arguable to me anyway. 
The tort originally was designed to prevent meddlesome third parties from frustrating normal commercial relations between folks as a public value in the emergence of capitalist society, but surely applies in the web 2.0 world.
And it probably matters not (?) if the interference is to the benefit of one or other party (by helping the viewer avoid the paywall fee).
Sure enforcement will be a big issue. But then the law is catching up with hackers too. Prison even.
Disclaimer: You will need to get your own legal advice. I don't have a principal solicitor in NSW only a restricted practising certificate and can't sell legal advice as a sole practitioner. Consider this an academic article.
Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin [Editor of this micro news website]

Posted by editor at 8:04 AM EADT
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Sunday political talkies: Defeated Howard emerges like Thing from the Swamp to hurt refugees
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: aust govt


Author’s general introductory note   

This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies in Big Politics and Big Media. Perhaps the greatest utility is the headline synthesis above of the 3 or 4 shows followed in this session.


For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.


Other sources of pollie talkies on Sunday include SkyNews paytv Sunday Agenda, Radio National Monica Attard Sunday Profile show. And of course Sunday night shows SBS Dateline, Sixty Minutes and now Sunday Tonight on 7.  


Media backgrounders.  

1. ABC 7.45 am run wrong figures on oil spill ‘hundreds of thousands’. Meet the Press run the right level at 4.5 million litres even then low estimate at 400 barrels a day (conceded by company), Fed Dept says ‘up to 2,000’.


1A. Resources Minister Ferguson has done a lot of cynical bully boy tactics to shrink the true scale of the West Altas oil spill.


2. Ex PM Howard keen to talk about figleaf boat people issue, but not his promotion of record immigration levels. Says it all really. Big business donate to prop up competition for rental business (shops, housing) driven by … some 3-400K a year immigration when including student visa, and tourist overstayers etc. Better to take 50K refugees and cut economic immigration to 200K.


3. Howard also not keen to talk about the million deaths direct and indirect in Iraq for no weapons of mas destruction/deception. The man is monster with no credibility on foreign relations, let alone our biggest Muslim neighbour.


4. Our choice of headline relates specifically to the eyebrowed one John Howard with reddish visage in the middle pages of the Sunday Telegraph. A swamp thing.


4A. Big media complaining PM Rudd gave 14 interviews but didn’t say anything. In a hole stop digging. But can’t take his interview and complain about him saying what he wants to say. Something vaguely undemocratic about that. However shaky his message.  What might go better is if Rudd refered to ‘strong on people smugglers and fair go for refugees’ not humane so much as fair go which is strong Australian value.


5. John Hatton former cross bench MP in NSW on abc Stateline refers to ICAC as “a dud” for not getting to Maquarie St level of corruption. Says as many years on ICAC oversight committee ‘I know what corruption is. I know what evidence is’. As sponsor of critical Wood Royal Commission mid 90ies into police corruption Hatton has a lot of heft.


6. Regarding Cripps refer our backgrounder about Dixon Sands here on SAM involving it seems their counsel Jerold Cripps meeting Planning Dept fixer Haddad in 2000 for special favour/approval outside the normal planning system in 2000. Cripps became ICAC commissioner appointed by parliament via NSW Govt until this year. Hatton says ICAC has never got to ministerial level on planning scandals including after Wollongong systemic corruption.


7. By coincidence (?) the NSW Govt has advertised both main press this weeken for more Acting and full time Commissioners at the Land & Environment Court. And note our backgrounders here on C’er Brown approving a 20 year sandmine extension based on the wrong EIS submitted to the court, and ignoring evidence of a 40% exceedance from previous (dubious) approval. Bad, bad, bad.


8. Crikey’s blog Poll Bludger had the huge comment string and consequent deep analysis on the potentially ‘rogue’ Newspoll with over 2,000 comments with 500 in less than 12 hours.

9. New media conference at ABC late last week but there is still alot of angst about democratising the high paid old media judging by the gatekeeper sledging of expert bloggers, previously known by journalists as 'sources'.  

10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am 

Promo preface is rip of Thin Red Line music and Miranda Otto cameo. Nice.


Lead in Swan on economic success to date, Hockey debt line, rate rise historically low. Turnbull rate of increase due to stimulus. Boat people re Newspoll, other polls not following.


Garrett is the guest. Press roundup. Business on tax review (?). Howard Sydney News Corp, Sex ed in Sydney Fairfax. Building green specs.

PG on boat people, argues Opposition lack of policy alternative. Boilerplate on sensationalism, subtlety, values, perspective. Burrow ACTU refugees safe haven.What’s wrong with safe haven at Christmas Island. Argues Indonesia joint approach.

Green specs for buildings. Argues lots of work being done. Humour out take


Adbreak with Pages River threat from Bickam coal mine advert again – Jack Thompson, Peter Andrews, high production values.


‘4.5 million litre oil spill’. Panel is Hall abc World Today, and Milne News Corp. Why no public inquiry? Avoids question, says option, strong terms of reference. Waffle answer. Up to Commissioner re public. [outrageous response.] Any reason at all for this to be private presses. Milne and Hall go hard and his ACF previous settings much greater concern. Garrett motor mouths it with no content. “Govt played it down” “Green Senator has a point.”


Won’t agree to publicity of any oil spill, only notifications to govt like secretive Puffin oil field secret for 7 weeks.


Sea rise debate, Lateline quotes scientists up to 6 metres by end of century. 750,000 structures in the coastal zone and 250 billion of value at risk.


Q on decision on Traveston Dam, release all documents about that? Statement reasons cross referencing but no release in effect. Waffle about understands emotion. Says reason not released by previous. Humour out take is Rudd picks Melb cup winner, and interest rates cartoon ‘is shocking’. Pages River threat from Bickam coal mine advert again – Jack Thompson, Peter Andrews, high production values.


Sri Lanka High Commissioner – denies anything to hide in leadership refusing to answer UN questions,  argues economic migrants not refugees in effect. Argues friends and and relatives welcoming them. Alex spokersperson “people smuggler”, deported from Canada, street gang in Toronto. Bats off Hall question, denial by Alex. What would happen to them on return? Brought to justice, if no offence let go. Pained expression from Eleanor Hall looks pained, knowing the slaughter that’s happened in SL.



Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.


Riley Diary 7, from 8.40am 

Kevin hero worship theme with Spongebob squarepants  cartoon character, and PM Rudd on asylum/refugee issue, with PR old media offensive last week. Direct clash with Oakes interview.


9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.44 am 

Cage match clash with Riley Diary. Barnaby Joyce National Party MP from Qld argues “illegal arrivals” treated tougher. Won’t say if pay for their own detention. Won’t say take back to Indonesia. Says take back to Sri Lanka as if “safe” there. [Joyce confirms he’s a killer in a suit given slaughter in SL to make that incredulous proposal]


Argues against ETS, gesture, massive tax. Argues no effect ‘pretty good scare campaign’. John Howard was wrong? Says yes. Tax prior to Copenhagen frothing about debt burden. Loses it with rats and mice urinating on something or other. Q re lack of team spirit from Joyce quoting shadow minister McFarlane. Q about Liberal Party discipline on Joyce? Sounds puzzled or even confused about the question, though member of LNP state division of federal Liberal Party.




Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Riley style package of Rudd PR media offensive re Newspoll changeover, with Idol winner guy soundtrack. Shocking horse winner Melb Cup, PM pick.


Akerman on panel re Howard 2 years later interview. Rests on record and Rudd is do nothing govt, same refugee policy. Middleton refers to failure to implement green energy on parliament. Marr re Rudd backed Rees yesterday.


Grab on Copenhagen pollie of some kind. Panel guest is Treasurer Swan live from London re G20 and sober economic reading globally. Boilerplate answers, competently,  and funny question about bunny hopping the economy like a teenage driver on the clutch.


Costello too strict as Future Fund board member. Defends Costello’s qualifications on FF despite different philosophy. For instance access to FF on NBN broadband $43 B project. Advises on investment plans. Compere goes hard on Costello ill suited to an ALP Govt.


Asylum seekers debate – quote of Barnaby Joyce. Marr notes psycho political aspect of boat people symbolism. Akerman says soft aka humane. Moderate style


New settlers 182K of which 2K will be boat people [doesn’t include tourist overstayers and student visas and working visas too as high as 300-400K]. Akerman argues Australians want an orderly refugee migration policy. Analyse Rudd interviews not saying anything new. 14 in interviews in 3 days but only once to most Australians. Rail against spin [big media can’t have it both ways making himself available and complaining about what he says?]


Paul Kelly on refugees boat policy is not working. Grab of Rudd at Lowy “very aggressive speech” re “stop putting Australia’s children at risk of climate change threats’ as if not interested in a deal.




Inside Business with Alan Kohler 

Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/ 


Posted by editor at 11:15 AM EADT
Friday, 6 November 2009
Crikey's Poll Bludger goes nuclear on latest Newspoll analysis
Mood:  surprised
Topic: independent media


Forget ABC Q & A clunky interactivity on Big Old Media. We saw the Establishment being paraded - again. Boilerplate posturing as usual.

If you really want a piercing commentary and analysis of the latest 'shocking newspoll' 7 points change around from ALP to Coalition with Greens no change, then go to Crikey.com.au Poll Bludger.

For educational purposes we read 550 comments on Tuesday, comments added since last Monday night. A which point we started going a bit mad. We noticed it was up to 950 yesterday morning. We well expect it over 1,000 today.

And once you weed out a few nongs and ideological comments and synthesise all the comments, it's very deep analysis. Maybe we have this synthesis approach down pat. Either way it's far more satisfying media experience to understand the truth of the Newspoll result which is driving most of the politics this week.

Better than Q & A last night, or naive questions on abc Cameron morning show cross to Alison Carabine, as enjoyable as those segments are.

Posted by editor at 9:45 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 November 2009 9:48 AM EADT
Opinion: Minister Ferguson as poacher/gamekeeper in West Altas Oil Inquiry farce
Mood:  loud
Topic: aust govt

It's a sham. It's a lie.

The resources minister responsible for managing oil drilling in a safe manner controls the terms of reference, the choice of presiding officer, whether it will be public or not. What's wrong with this picture?

The same minister who orchestrated backgrounding to veteran journo Laurie Oakes (4th Sept 2009 all News Corp syndicated press) arguing his critics in The Greens were full of hyperbole. Only to have the Greens vindicated by sworn evidence of Federal Dept of Environment officials that the oil blow out was 'up to 2,000 barrels a day' and not the company estimate of 300 to 400 barrels on 21st October 2009. Refer Senate Economics Estimates Committee page E84 exchange between Senator Siewert and Mr Squires of the Dept.

Meanwhile a gormless ABC news standard bearer have been hashing this critical metric of the scale of disaster (while otherwise doing a good job this last week) in informing the high population South East Austalian precinct. At first they attributed the company (PTTEP Australasia) estimate of a lower 400 barrels  per day leak (PM show), then repeat it as fact with no attribution (tv prime time news), then alter to "an estimated". Then again we hear 2 days ago it's 'hundreds of thousands of litres of oil spilled'. Trouble is even applying the company's low estimate it is millions of litres spilled:

70 days x 400 barrels x 42 gallons per barrel x 4 litres per gallon = 4,704,000 litres of oil spilled,

Notice international metric comparison with infamous Exxon Valdez of 10.8 million gallons oil spill, that would make West Atlas at 1,176,000 gallons.

But the real figure is 'up to 2,000 barrels per day' according to Geo Science Australia brief to Federal Environment Department in sworn evidence to the Australian Senate Estimates Committee on 21st October 2009.

The total spill figure may well be:

70 days x 2,000 barrels x 42 gallons = (up to) 5,880,000 gallons (or half infamous  Exxon Valdez spill). Or to put in litres 23,520,000  or 23.5 million litres.

The company reports the cost so far is $170 million in costs of the disaster with about $6M of that being clean up. We can assume higher figure is the replacement oil rig (probably insured and therefore not a real cost?) and the latter figure cost of chemical dispersant flown into the area to break up oil before it reaches coastlines of Australia, West and East Timor and other island coastlines. This suggests the oil and chemicals are all on the sea bottom and in the water column poisoning the ocean public environment for years to come.

Minister Ferguson gave new exploration licences to the same PTTEP company AFTER the oil blowout occured in the last month. Thanks for nothing Minister Ferguson. It was on your watch. The favourable decision post oil blowout was all yours. And the extent of damage and delay in plugging the blowout is your responsibility. 

On ABC radio national earlier today they go back to the figure of '400 barrels a day' flow rate of the spill as bald fact, no company attribtution, earlier today in an otherwise suitably strong preface to a live interview with Minister Ferguson: References to East Timor Govt concerns 250 km away.

It seems repeating a lie about the actual metric of the scale of the disaster often enough is the same as fact in the Big Media, even the best at ABC. Which somehow reminds us of this famous set of lyrics (from Talking Heads):

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...

Water dissolving...and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Posted by editor at 8:23 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 November 2009 7:11 PM EADT
Opinion: Ex PM Howard used 'boat people' to cover record immigration Big Business racket
Mood:  irritated
Topic: big media

Our truck driving landlord says 'mother earth' can't cope with 35 million population here in Australia, or 9 billion on planet Earth generally.

The biggest increase factor is record immigration as distinct from morally defensible/decent refugee policy for 'boat' or indeed 'plane' people.

To see ex PM John Howard with a disastrous murderous Iraq war behind him with a million deaths, direct and indirect, preach this last 24 hours about boat people policy is a joke.

He has as much credibility about boat people policy as WMD - weapons of mass destruction - never found in Iraq.

Indeed his successor leader of the Opposition Brendan Nelson revealed it really was a war to secure oil supplies - at least in part - when Nelson was Defence Minister prior to the election. He hurriedly tried to clarify in a later interview but the truth was out of the bag like a wild feral cat racing out the window. And what an ugly, srawny, flea bitten, fur ripped critter it was.

This issue of credibility is easy to make, only current PM Kevin Rudd was agnostic on the war in Iraq in 2002-03 because as Opposition Foreign Minister his careerism depended on amicable relations with the W Bush presidential regime in the USA. Thus Rudd is too compromised to raise issues of credibility over the cause of that war, and dealing with the obvious consequence of refugee sanctuary. More's the pity.

But getting back to Howard exploiting boat people as a controversy. He used this figleaf to increase immigration levels to record levels because the big shopping centre moguls like Westfield's Frank Lowy and high rise developers like Harry Triguboff, are both big donors and supporters of hyper immigration. They need high immigration around 400,000 a year taking into account student visas and all the categories, for competition and business for their products. In other words a political economy racket. Population policy in Australia has no efficacy, it is all weasel words. Better to scapegoat boat people refugees who actually have a strong case for being permitted into Australia under the Refugee Convention we signed.

Lowy and Triguboff and similar construction captains of industry donate big money to both sides of politics. Against that money politics refugees and justice have little or no chance. How cynical and evil.

Posted by editor at 7:45 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 November 2009 8:34 AM EADT
Opinion: Glover ABC 702 hashes New Media debate
Mood:  energetic
Topic: big media

We caught the Glover radio show yesterday while living our New Media lifestyle - driving a box of activist files to a chicken farmer at Mangrove Mountain.

No conference attendance at Media140 event. No interest in Facebook or twitter either which are just Sienfeld style fodder for Big Old Media on so many levels.

Here is an open email to Glover who is amongst the better Big Media practitioners:

Richard, you 'hashed' the discussion on new media and even you didn't sound convinced.

It's demonstrably NOT radio to television again because the set up costs are so small making the proverbial printing press AKA the web available to everyone.

It's relevant but insufficient that Old Media continue with big ratings.

Big Media now know they can be contradicted with evidence ... publicly .... referenced by google search. No doubt that creates fear and loathing. Too bad, suck it up. It also creates a better editorial process.

Secondly, who are journalist sources? Experts obviously. But the experts are cutting out the middle person and blogging it themselves.

Now corruption in the Big Media is better exposed as overpaid, patronising, intellectually corrupt or simply wrong and that's essentially why web 2.0 exists. To promote freedom from corporate hegemony.

Social media is indeed like Seinfeld trivia but that's a straw man argument beloved of Big Old Media. It's the serious blogging that keeps you on the run.

Like exposing the generally excellent ABC news errors of '400 barrels a day' figure for that oil leak at West Altas. The figure is a company estimate contrary to evidence to Senate Estimates (Economics Committee) by Federal Dept of Environment officials on 21st October 2009 at 'up to 2000 barrels a day'. Easy to find via the web.

The other day ABC said it was 'hundreds of thousands of litres' spilled. But even at company estimate - 70 days x 400 barrels x 42 gallons per barrel x 4 litres per gallon = millions of litres.

Like also the Poll Bludger blog on crikey.com.au with over 1000 comments since last Monday night on the latest Newspoll much more probative than Maxine McKew on Q&A last night. Indeed Q&A is simply a parade of the Establishment.

And so on ....

Anyway, I do enjoy the tone of your work this last year too. You seem to have reached a happy space in your life.

Yours truly

Tom McLoughlin, solicitor/editor


Posted by editor at 7:30 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 November 2009 7:39 AM EADT
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Australian unions call for humanitarian approach to refugees
Mood:  bright
Topic: human rights



Posted by editor at 10:26 AM EADT
Comments captcha code guide for SAM micro news blog
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: CommentCode

Perhaps the 2nd worst sin on the web behind lack of connectivity is lack of interactivity.

SAM here has never been very concerned about comment interactivity, relying more on 'beltway' interest and perhaps google referencing. Now we realise after 2 years (derr) that the captcha code for entering comments is particularly intimidating. We have been told this before but never worried about it. It's the host server design actually.

Now that we have worked out the captcha code from the USA based host server we provide some basic guidelines for users after working it through. It's not so hard after all.

In short, focus on the LARGE capitalised numbers and letters strictly from left to right no matter if it is high or low on the box. Just ignore the little numbers, concentric circles and lycos branding which are the very confusing items.

If you don't pick it first time you get a prompt in quick time. Here are some examples: First and Third are right. Middle one is no good.

1. Correct going strictly left to right, only large capital letters and large numbers. Notice tricky capital C is correct. Ignore little numbers and lycos brand.

2. Below, incorrect. 8 low in the box is correct going strictly left to right, error is last large capital letter J not K.


3. Correction of 2 above, ignore the little numbers and lycos brand




Posted by editor at 10:14 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 3 November 2009 10:20 AM EADT

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