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Saturday, November 30, 2013

POLICE RESPOND TO HERALD SUN SURVEY IN FORCE

Keith Moor Herald Sun March 13, 2008

POLICE yesterday responded in large numbers to a Herald Sun survey of more than 11,000 officers. 
 
The online poll of Victoria Police officers was swamped with responses on the first day after they received letters inviting them to participate.

It asks them 20 questions about issues such as police numbers, work stress, weapons and whether Victoria needs an anti-corruption body to investigate public servants and politicians.

Details of how to access the anonymous survey were in a letter from Herald Sun editor in chief Bruce Guthrie, which was posted out with the March edition of the Police Association journal.

Questions in the survey were framed entirely by senior editors of the Herald Sun, without input from police command or the Police Association.

The Police Association's only role in the survey was to allow a copy of Mr Guthrie's letter, which contained the password needed to access the poll, to be included with each posted copy of its journal.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/police-respond-to-quiz-in-force/story-e6frf7kx-1111115783454 


Friday, November 29, 2013

BE WARNED: GOVSCHOOLS THREATEN PARENTS WITH ARMED, MILITARIZED RAIDS UNLESS THEY COMPLY WITH DEMANDS – DON’T MAKE US TELL CHILD WELFARE: SCHOOLS INSIST ON FORCED MEDICAL EXAMS FOR KIDS

Daisy Luther November 22nd, 2013



SHTFplan Editor’s Note: Nothing could be more terrifying than when agents of the government kick in your door to take your children, especially if you have done nothing wrong. 

But that’s exactly what school districts across the country are now telling parents is going to be done unless they comply with their requests. 

As you’ll see from the report below by Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, we have now crossed into a very dangerous time in America, and one in which snitches in all walks of life, including our childrens’ classrooms, are using the power of the state to force compliance, even with non-existent regulations. 

They don’t care about your ideals, your beliefs, or the morality of what they are doing. 

They simply want total control of every aspect of your life, even your kids. And if you don’t do what they say, they will send armed agents of a militarized government to do their bidding. 

Make no mistake. 

If you fail to comply, they won’t come knocking nicely. The reality is that you will have police cruisers and anti-terrorism teams at your doorstep. They’ll be fully armed and prepared to kill you if you fight back. And they WILL take your children should they decide they want them.

We are living in a police state… that should now be crystal clear.

Police State Raids(Pictured: Militarized Boston police raid homes following the marathon bombing.)

Don’t Make Us Tell Child Welfare: Schools Insist on Forced Medical Exams for Kids
 

By Daisy Luther via The Daily Sheeple

What would you do if you received a threatening letter from your child’s school, demanding that you take your youngster to a medical doctor and dentist at the whims of the school administrators, or risk being reported to the child welfare authorities?

Parents in at least two states have gotten exactly such letters. Police State USA reports:
Under the auspices of keeping children healthy, the government has usurped the role of “parent” away from actual parents.  The state — not legal guardians — is determining when and how children should be subjected to outside business influences.

The provisions establish that the state has taken the final say in parenting matters, undermining parents’ natural role in the child’s life as protector and final decision maker.  The provision invades the privacy of the family by giving the government access to private medical results.

Then there is the inherent problem of forcing people into unwanted business contracts, with parties they may not agree with, for services that may not be needed or wanted.  

The law states that the health certificates may only be signed by medical staff authorized by the state; meaning that parents’ alternatives to fulfill this mandate are limited down to allopathic, pro-pharmaceutical doctors.  Families who favor natural and holistic caregivers are undermined by virtue of exclusionary state licensing. (source)
First, the letter from New York:

NYS_DentalExamSchoolReq

Then the one from Michigan…

michigan letter

Let me emphasize the most important and terrifying line in this letter:
"It is our intention to work with you in this matter to avoid any involvement with child protection services."
This letter is threatening the parents of this youngster with child welfare agencies if they do not comply with the demands of the school. 

So, potentially, at the very least, the welfare agency could investigate the family, and at the worst, take steps to remove the child from the household, all because a parent might have different ideas about healthcare than those of the school system.

This brings us to some very important questions about privacy and the right to make decisions for your own children.
  • If you are anti-vaccine, will the doctor refuse to sign the letter? What happens then?
  • What if the medical or dental visit is not in the budget at the time the school demands it?
  • What if you choose to treat your child’s concerns with natural substances and diet, but the doctor wants you to medicate with pharmaceuticals?
  • What gives the school the right to tell you that you must take your child to a standard physician instead of a holistic practitioner?
  • What if you refuse to have your child’s teeth treated with toxic fluoride?
  • Will your child be subjected to nosy questions, such as inquiries about firearms in the home?
The US government seems more and more convinced that THEY own YOUR kids. 

Just this week, a Tennessee dad was arrested for picking up his young children after school instead of allowing them to cross into traffic as the school’s policy demanded. 

Some schools won’t allow lunches to be sent from home, and if they are, the school insists on supplementing those lunches at extortionistic rates in order to control the situation regardless of parental wishes. 

This doesn’t even take into account the dumbed down Common Core curriculum, the absurd attempts to be politically correct, and the zero-tolerance insanity that causes kids to be charged with felonies for having loaded fishing tackle boxes in their vehicles or cutlery in their lunch boxes.

If you’re wondering why so many people homeschool, add this to the ever-growing list of reasons.

This article was originally published at The Daily Sheeple.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. 

You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

TREY RADEL, BUSTED ON COCAINE CHARGE, VOTED FOR DRUG TESTING FOOD STAMP RECIPIENTS

Posted: 11/20/2013 

WASHINGTON -- In September, Rep. Trey Radel voted for Republican legislation that would allow states to make food stamp recipients pee in cups to prove they're not on drugs. In October, police busted the Florida Republican on a charge of cocaine possession.
“It’s really interesting it came on the heels of Republicans voting on everyone who had access to food stamps get drug tested," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told BuzzFeed Tuesday. "It’s like, what?”
The House over the summer approved an amendment by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) that would let states drug test people on food stamps. The amendment passed by voice vote, meaning members' individual yeas and nays were not recorded. Radel later voted in favor of a broader food stamps bill that included Hudson's measure.
In support of his drug testing legislation, Hudson cited the many state legislatures around the country that had considered similar requirements for other means-tested programs in recent years.
"This is a clear and obvious problem in our communities as nearly 30 states have introduced legislation to drug test for welfare programs," Hudson said. "We have a moral obligation to equip the states with the tools they need to discourage the use of illegal drugs."
Most of the state legislation was authored by Republicans. Oftentimes, state Democrats responded by suggesting lawmakers should be subject to tests as well. If the government's going to make sure recipients of taxpayer-funded benefits are clean, the argument went, then why not also make sure the recipients of taxpayer salaries are clean, too?
In June, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) made that very suggestion when he questioned why recipients of crop insurance and other government benefits weren't also targeted for drug tests like people on food stamps.
"Why don't we drug test all the members of Congress here," McGovern said shortly before the drug-testing measure passed. "Force everybody to go urinate in a cup or see whether or not anybody is on drugs? Maybe that will explain why some of these amendments are coming up or why some of the votes are turning out the way they are."
The fate of the food stamp drug testing provision is in the hands of a House-Senate conference committee hashing out differences between food stamp and farm legislation that passed the two chambers. It's got a chance. Last year, Congress passed a law to let states drug-test some unemployment insurance recipients.
Radel apologized Tuesday for his cocaine bust and said he'd seek treatment.
"I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice," he said.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/19/trey-radel-drug-testing_n_4305348.html



'PLASTIC BODIES' SERIES BY SHEILA PREE BRIGHT WILL MAKE YOU THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT BEAUTY

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted:
We've seen what a Barbie doll would look like if modeled after the average 19-year-old woman. But when you juxtapose a doll's facial features with a real woman's, the results are startling.
That's what photographer Sheila Pree Bright did in her 2003 series "Plastic Bodies," which is currently part of the traveling art show "Posing Beauty in African American Culture." Pree Bright's work focuses mostly on women of color, exploring their complex relationships to white beauty standards by combining images of real women's bodies and faces with those of dolls.
Pree Bright shared the idea behind the series in an email to the Huffington Post:
American concepts of the “perfect female body” are clearly exemplified through commercialism, portraying “image as everything” and introducing trends that many spend hundreds of dollars to imitate. It is more common than ever that women are enlarging breasts with silicone, making short hair longer with synthetic hair weaves, covering natural nails with acrylic fill-ins, or perhaps replacing natural eyes with contacts. Even on magazine covers, graphic artists are airbrushing and manipulating photographs in software programs, making the image of a small waist and clear skin flawless. As a result, the female body becomes a replica of a doll, and the essence of natural beauty in popular American culture is replaced by fantasy.
Bright also drew from her personal experiences being a woman of color searching for an identity. In a February 2009 interview with photography blog Dodge & Burn, Pree Bright revealed that her upbringing in a military family exposed her to a variety of different cultures, prompting her to constantly question where she fit in.
"This body of work addresses the loss of personal identity many women experience, specifically women of color," Pree Bright told HuffPost. Check out some of the striking images in the slideshow below.

 All these pieces are by Sheila Pree Bright





 
The "Plastic Bodies" series can be seen in the show "Posing Beauty in African American Culture," curated by Deborah Willis, at the following locations:
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
September 5 - December 7, 2013
Atlanta, GA
Evansville Museum
January 19 - March 16, 2014
Evansville, IN
Virginia Museum of Fine Art
May - August 2014
Richmond, VA



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/22/plastic-bodies-sheila-pree-bright-beauty-identity_n_4324403.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular



 
k

Thursday, November 21, 2013

'BAILIFFS BROKE IN AND SPRAYED CHEMICALS IN MY DOG'S EYES OVER UNPAID GAS... AND IT WASN'T EVEN MY BILL'

'Bailiffs broke in and sprayed chemicals in my dog's eyes over unpaid gas... and it wasn't even my bill'
 

'When they sprayed him, he just collapsed on the floor. he was throwing up and his eyes were watering. I thought he was going to die'
 

Npower: 'All personnel on site adhere to strict guidelines and we feel they were fully complied with in this instance'

By Gareth Finighan 14 November 2011


Matthew Swale and Melanie Cunningham were terrified when they were woken up early one morning to see a hoodie-wearing gang armed with crowbars hammering on their front door and shouting obscenities.

The flat-mates became even more distraught when the men sprayed chemicals through their letterbox in a bid to subdue Matthew's anxious Labrador, Jake.

But that fear has now been replaced by anger after it was revealed that last month's 7am raid was carried out by bailiffs sent to sort out an unpaid gas bill - which had been left by a former tenant.
Wrong target: Matthew Swale and his Labrador, Jake. 


He was eventually able to convince bailiffs they had targeted the wrong man by producing identification.

And now Matthew and Melanie are demanding compensation from energy supplier npower after having to pay hundreds of pounds in vet and repair bills.

Market trader Matthew, 28, and Melanie, 29, moved into the railway cottage in Grimsby at the beginning of September, and insist that they and their landlady contacted npower to inform them of the new tenancy.

But six weeks later, the company sent round the bailiffs because the previous tenant had still not paid bills totalling £980. The bailiffs were instructed to rip out the gas meter and replace it with a pre-pay one.

'I looked out of the window and saw a group of men wearing scruffy hoodies and tracksuit bottoms who had driven up in a pick-up truck,' Matthew told the Sunday Mirror.


'The man in charge was shouting, "It will make your life a lot easier if you answer the f***ing door".

'I thought they looked dangerous. They were kicking my front door and trying to open it with a crowbar. My flatmate was in tears.'

Matthew said he called the police rather than open the door because the gang - some of whom were sitting on the bonnet of his car - refused to reveal their identities.



After failing to gain access, the bailiffs shot chemical spray into the eyes of Matthew's labrador before breaking in through a back door.
Matthew was eventually able to convince them they had targeted the wrong man by producing his driving licence and his tenancy agreement.

He claims his dog needed £350 worth of veterinary treatment, and he has also had to pay out an additional £400 to get his doors repaired.

'Jake is the most placid dog you could imagine,' Matthew said.

'When they sprayed him, he just collapsed on the floor. He was throwing up and his eyes were watering. I thought he was going to die.


'Since this happened I have telephoned npower dozens of times but nothing has been done.'

Last month regulator Ofgem hit npower with a £2million fine for its sloppy customer service.

An npower spokesman told MailOnline that a trained dog handler had used the spray because 'the dog was still being aggressive and we were unable to gain access' - but insisted the spray was harmless and has no long-term effects.
 

Jake is the most placid dog you could imagine.  

When they sprayed him, he just collapsed on the floor. He was throwing up and his eyes were watering. I thought he was going to die'

The spokesman acknowledged that a door lock had been drilled out but that 'both the dog and the door were inspected prior to leaving by both the police and the agent and were deemed to be fine'.
And the company denied that Matthew had made contact to tell them he was a new tenant.

The spokesman said: 'We cannot stress enough the importance of letting your energy supplier know as soon as you move in to make sure you're not picking up the previous tenant's bills.

'We will only ever visit a property under these circumstances when all other options have been exhausted - and all personnel on site adhere to strict guidelines and we feel they were fully complied with in this instance.

'We would be more than happy to check any vet bills the owners says he has had to bear.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2061075/npower-bailiffs-break-house-7am-raid-unpaid-gas-bill.html#ixzz2lK5inlDE







NUCLEAR DEAL: AUSTRALIA'S URANIUM DEAL WITH INDIA MAY INCLUDE WEAKER MONITORING SAFEGUARDS

Australia's agreement to sell uranium to India could include weaker monitoring safeguards than the nuclear deals Australia has with other countries.

A third round of nuclear cooperation agreement talks are due to take place later this month and both governments say they want the deal settled quickly.

In the past, Australia has required countries to which it sells uranium to track the material more closely than is required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Andrew Davies from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says the IAEA tracks aggregate quantities of uranium but does not monitor exactly where uranium sent to India from Australia ends up.

"For example, if 100 tonnes goes into a civilian nuclear program and 90 tonnes of product comes out, they don't know where the missing product was diverted from," he said.

The ABC understands India says it does not have the capacity to provide additional monitoring beyond what is required by the IAEA.

Speaking in New Delhi, Australia's Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, told the ABC she was reluctant to comment on the talks while they were underway.

"I am not going to get ahead of the negotiations and consider hypotheticals," she said.

"We have our negotiating team coming here shortly and I am confident that we will be able to conclude an agreement that satisfies Australian standards," she said.

When asked if she could guarantee the agreement would be as strong as Australia's other nuclear cooperation agreements, Ms Bishop said "we will always act in Australia's national interests".

Relations between Australia and India soured when the Rudd-government cancelled plans to sell uranium to India as it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Gillard government reversed that position in a move supported by the Coalition.

India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and only in recent years started taking steps to separate its military and civilian nuclear programs.

Last year, a report from the Indian auditor-general found the country's nuclear safety regulator was weak and unable to properly monitor the industry.

Ms Bishop says Australia will support India joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-19/australia27s-nuclear-deal-with-india/5101030








'FIVE EYES' SAVING LIVES

Brendan Nicholson, Defence Editor
  • The AustralianNovember 20, 2013

  • Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station
    An aerial image of Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station at Kojarena. Source: Supplied

    IN Building M at the Australian Defence Force's Russell headquarters in Canberra, massive computers crunch their way through millions of phone conversations scooped up across the region hunting for clues to terrorist plans and other threats to Australia.

    At Russell, the Australian Signals Directorate (formerly the Defence Signals Directorate) uses key words and phrases across half a world of languages to find the scant clues left by plotters buried in the mundane discourse on everything from business deals to the state of baby's nappies.

    Australia constantly gathers vast amounts of information from its neighbours in a giant electronic eavesdropping operation that has long been regarded by its allies as one of its most important strategic assets.

    This silent surveillance of its Asian neighbours' civil and military communications covers a giant slice of the planet stretching from mid-Pacific to the middle of the Indian Ocean.

    As part of the "Five Eyes" alliance with the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand, linked ground stations at Kojarena, near Geraldton, in Western Australia, Shoal Bay, in the Northern Territory and Waihopai, in New Zealand, can intercept the civil and military communications of many regional nations.

    Key targets are the Palapa satellites that provide Indonesia's mobile phone and some radio communications, and similar telecommunications systems of nations including Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Papua New Guinea.

    That information flows on to Russell, where the computers sift out valuable information. That is supplemented by a mass of intelligence gathered by the ADF's submarines, warships and and aircraft.

    During the East Timor crisis, Australian Oberon-Class submarines loitering off Indonesia were gathering valuable information about Jakarta's intentions and the likely reaction to the Australian-led UN intervention in the territory.

    Leaks during the East Timor operation in 1999 also revealed that Australia was comprehensively eavesdropping on Indonesian military communications.

    The fact that both nations were spying on each other at the time was later acknowledged by 
    Indonesia's Intelligence chief, General Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono, who cheerfully admitted his men had "bugged" Australia's embassy in Jakarta.

    In 2004, Hendropriyono said he also tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit Australians as spies.

    The retiring intelligence chief claimed his agency tapped Australian civil and military communications and politicians' phone calls. 

    Hendropriyono's revelations were unusual in that, while everyone knew Indonesia and Australia spied on each other, they rarely admitted that they did it.

    The general, who headed the Badan Intelijen Negara (the National Intelligence Agency) under president Megawati Sukarnoputri's government, said it was well known that governments tapped each other's communications and Indonesia had much evidence its embassies abroad were bugged.

    "Here, also, we did the same thing. We want to know what is really discussed about us," he told the Nine Network's Sunday program. 

    "We can say this is a public secret. You know, secret but the whole public knows. This is quite common intelligence activity." 

    Hendropriyono said he presumed Australia did the same thing to Indonesia. 

    "She is silly if she doesn't do that, you know."

    Defence specialist Alan Behm, who was head of the international policy division of the Australian Defence Force during the Timor crisis, said at the time he was not surprised by the claims though there seemed to be "a bit of braggadocio" about them.

    He said Indonesia would certainly have wanted to find out, for example, what forces Australia was sending to East Timor.

    Hendropriyono said the spying had ended because Indonesia and Jakarta now faced a common enemy in global terrorism.

    The reality is that one of the main beneficiaries of Australian spying activity in Indonesia has been Indonesia - along with Australians visiting that country.

    While the role of Australian intelligence facilities in the region is usually a closely guarded secret, details of one classic example of close co-operation occurred in 2007.

    In June that year, Australian Defence Force and police personnel tracked the phone calls of two alleged terrorist leaders in Indonesia and gave Jakarta authorities the information they needed to capture the men. 

    With considerable enthusiasm, a senior Indonesian official quickly confirmed the Australian Federal Police involvement.

    A man known as Zarkasih, said to be the head of the group Jemaah Islamiah, and Abu Dujana, said to be the movement's military commander, were arrested in Indonesia on June 9, 2007, alone with six other JI members.

    Dujana was allegedly involved in the 2004 Australian embassy bombing and the 2003 Marriot hotel blast in Jakarta. 

    Indonesia police also said he had a role in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians.

    A top Indonesian counter-terrorism officer, Ansyaad Mbai, said AFP officers based in Jakarta were able to trace the two key terrorist suspects by monitoring their mobile phones and emails. 

    That work was the key to finding Dujana, he said.

    "The AFP are in charge of the hardware and the operational side of things, whereas the overall system, the satellites, are American," Mbai said in an interview with the US news agency, Associated Press.

    "I salute their work, they are very diligent. 

    They sit in front of the computer, tracing numbers. 

    They map them all, and follow the patterns."

    In reality, most nations assume that foreign diplomats in their capitals are likely to include some who are there to gather intelligence. 

    The main Australian intelligence agency operating on the ground overseas is the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

    ASIS answers to the foreign affairs minister. 

    The so-called "Five Eyes" intelligence sharing agreement is better known as UKUSA - the United Kingdom-United States of America Agreement, which also includes Australia, Canada and New Zealand and other nations as third-party members.

    The alliance had its origins during World War II but was expanded in 1947 as the world shivered into the Cold War.

    Australia has been part of that highly sensitive intelligence-gathering alliance since 1947, when the move was approved by the Chifley government. 

    Its very membership was top secret for 40 years until revealed by strategic analysts Des Ball and Jeffrey T. Richelson in their book, The Ties That Bind.

    Ball told The Australian recently that the fact this nation was a member of the alliance made it unlikely that the US was listening to Tony Abbott's telephone. The US was unlikely to risk the flow of valuable information by doing that, he said.

    Most people have no problem with their nation's spy agencies tracking the activities of terrorists. 

    That has undoubtedly saved lives in Australia and abroad.

    But the whole issue has started to unravel with the revelation that Australia was monitoring the phones of Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and many people close to him.

    Leaked documents from US fugitive Edward Snowden show that, under the Labor government, the DSD targeted the mobile phones of 10 prominent Indonesians in 2009.

    They included the President, his wife, the Vice President and the then foreign affairs spokesman.

    The DSD appears to have then distributed its material to key allied agencies in a PowerPoint form that was childishly gleeful over the motto : "Reveal their secrets, protect our own."

    Behm, the former senior defence official, told The Australian yesterday that a big problem was that the PowerPoint deck, a supposedly secret document, was "hubristic and boastful".

    "It's saying, 'Hey look how clever we are', and, 'We've go all this'," Behm said. 

    "That's juvenile cockiness. 

    What was the purpose of writing it down. 

    Was it to impress somebody?"

    "That sort of stuff should certainly not go into a PowerPoint that was distributed widely enough for the US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to get hold of it along with a mass of other material.

    "Why did we convey such information on a PowerPoint, for God's sake. 

    And how did this deluded Lone Ranger get his hands on it?"

    Behm said if an Australian agency had lost material that caused this sort of embarrassment for the US, the Americans would have been extremely upset and would have made no secret of that fact.

    The revelations had thrust a huge spanner into Canberra's relations with Indonesia, he said, adding it was very likely that there would be defence implications for Australia in the episode.

    "The Indonesians could, for instance look at the way the Indonesian navy communicates with the Australian navy in the Timor Sea," he said. "

    They could direct their navy to be much less accommodating. 

    They could also wind back some of the defence co-operation between Australia and Indonesia."

    And the episode would be embarrassing for the Indonesian government, Behm said. "This is a highly complex country. 

    We have an election campaign unfolding in Indonesia, both a parliamentary campaign and a presidential campaign, where nationalism will be a subtext. Australia suddenly becomes a lightning rod for xenophobia.

    "This has shown that the Indonesian president has a public vulnerability in that he can't get on his mobile phone to ring somebody up without Mr Abbott listening to him."
    - See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/five-eyes-saving-lives/story-e6frg6z6-1226763777156#sthash.DgUa6Wuh.dpuf

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    AUSTRALIA, US ON TRACK FOR EXPANDED "DEFENCE" TRAINING IN NORTHERN TERRITORY

    AAP November 21, 2013
    Julie Bishop and John Kerry
    Defence Minister David Johnston, left, and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, second left, greet US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel (2nd-R) ahead of the Ausmin talks. Source: Getty Images
     
    AUSTRALIA and the United States have signed an agreement to cement co-operation on deployment of US Marines for training in Australia's top end.

    US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says plans for expanded training of US forces in Australia, announced when United States President Barack Obama visited two years ago, remain on track, with 1100 Marines visiting next year.

    Mr Hagel says Australia and the US were now working side by side in the Philippines relief mission.

    "As we continue to implement our force posture initiatives with Australia, we also agreed today on a statement of principles that we just signed that will ensure these efforts are closely aligned with both our nations' shared regional security objectives," he told reporters after the annual Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) talks in Washington.

    Mr Hagel said Australia and the US would start negotiations next month on a binding agreement that would govern these initiatives and further defence co-operation.

    He said Australia and the US were continuing to implement the agreement on relocating an advanced space surveillance telescope to Western Australia, announced at last year's AUSMIN in Perth.

    AUSMIN, attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Mr Hagel and Australian Defence Minister David Johnston is the premier forum for Australia-US strategic talks.

    This was the first for the new Abbott government, with both sides reaffirming the strength of the relationship.

    Mr Kerry said the US could ask for no better friend than Australia while Senator Johnston said this was Australia's most strategic alliance.

    Mr Kerry, speaking at the end of AUSMIN talks, refused to buy into the diplomatic row between Australia and Indonesia over spying claims.

    ''We just don't talk about intelligence matters in public and we're not going to begin now,'' he told reporters when asked whether the US had asked Australia to tap the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle.

    The talks touched on a broad range of security issues and Mr Kerry made another significant announcement with implications for Australia.

    He said the US and Afghanistan had finalised the language of the bilateral security agreement which will govern the ongoing presence of US and other international forces once the NATO mission in Afghanistan officially ends.

    AAP 
    - See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/australia-us-on-track-for-expanded-defence-training-in-northern-territory/story-e6frg8yo-1226765002274#sthash.SAsqPSIF.dpuf 

    CAMPBELL NEWMAN TAKING LESSONS FROM VLADIMIR PUTIN

    November 21, 2013 Peter Callaghan SC
    Campbell Newman, like Vladimir Putin, has forgotten there is more to democracy than winning elections, says Peter Callaghan SC. Campbell Newman, like Vladimir Putin, has forgotten there is more to democracy than winning elections, says Peter Callaghan SC.

    OPINION

    There is actually more to democracy than winning elections. 

    We know that the Newman/Bleijie government won an election last year – so did Vladimir Putin's. 

    What makes our democracy different is respect for conventions like judicial independence, engagement with the parliamentary process, and adherence to the rule of law.
    the way a government behaves towards the democratic process is only a manifestation of the way they would behave towards each of us individually 
    With its rash of mandatory sentencing provisions and petulant outbursts about judges, the government revealed its attitude towards judicial independence. 

    It is, for them, a plaything to be tossed around for sport, and discarded when inconvenient.

    And today we can again gauge, precisely, the amount of respect that the government has for parliamentary process. 

    A parliamentary committee that ought to be given at least a month to look at these laws has all of one day. 

    That task cannot be completed in that time, at least not with intellectual rigour. 

    One senses that even this act of tokenism is viewed as an inconvenience. 

    You can almost hear muttering to the effect that Putin does not have to worry about the scrutiny of parliamentary committees.

    It is not as if the Bill is uncontroversial. In fact, it cloaks daggers aimed at the heart of the rule of law. 

    For example, once this law is passed, a citizen's liberty will potentially be affected not just by what they did, or what they belonged to at the time of an alleged offence. 

    Freedom is now to be threatened if a person is or at any time has been a member of a relevant organisation. 

    It is sickening to think that the language of Joseph McCarthy is now part of the Law of Queensland. 

    And remember, “organisations” are not limited to groups of “bikies”.

    It is just wrong to change someone's status in the eyes of the law because of something they did long ago, back when that something was perfectly legal. At any given time, the law must be certain. 

    All citizens are entitled to know the laws that apply to them on any given day, and not to have their conduct condemned years after the event.
    It is sheer folly to claim that such a change can ever be justified because of an “emergency”. 

    An executive government that thinks it can legislate retrospectively is a government for which anything is possible, because it can provide its own definition of “emergency”. 

    If it thinks it can legislate retrospectively, there is nothing to stop it from removing long-standing pension entitlements because of a financial “emergency”, or retrospectively invalidating a well-established planning law because of a housing “emergency”.

    It is hard to see how the fact that someone belonged to a motorcycle club 40 years ago could create a sense of panic in anyone. 

    It is actually doubtful whether the majority of Queenslanders were feeling any sense of “emergency” that could justify a law like this. 

    But a different sort of problem does now confront us, as it does any society that allows legislation of this kind.

    Retrospective legislation is condemned by every civilised nation in the world. 

    These countries hold to the values expressed in Article 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a Covenant supported by most countries on the planet. However, there is a short list of places in the world – such as North Korea – where the beliefs that underpin that Covenant are clearly not valued.

    It cannot be good for Queensland's "brand name" to be associated with the countries on that list. 

    But we are now a place where, at any given time, the law should be considered uncertain. 

    That is not good for business.

    It would be nice to think that the discussion about this issue could take place in language at least worthy of a high school debate. 

    Instead, we can anticipate repetition of clich├ęs and parroting of the term “tough new laws”. 

    Understand this – our laws were always tough. 

    Whether the police and the CMC were sufficiently resourced to enforce them is another matter.

    The same politicians who control those resources should not be allowed to distract from their failings by describing retrospective legislation as “tough”. Call it – and the rest of this nonsense - what it is: radical, disproportionate and obnoxious.

    It should be remembered that the way a government behaves towards the democratic process is only a manifestation of the way they would behave towards each of us individually – by definition, we are the democracy.

    And when any one of us senses that we are being treated with utter disrespect, it does not take long for that feeling to become mutual.

    Peter Callaghan SC is president of the Law and Justice Institute (Qld) Inc.

    CAMPBELL NEWMAN ACTING LIKE 'DICTATOR': CLIVE PALMER

    Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Photo: Glenn Hunt

    The Queensland premier is behaving like a little dictator intent on undermining democracy, wannabe federal MP Clive Palmer says.

    Premier Campbell Newman has clashed with the legal fraternity after rushing through tough anti-bikie laws and other laws that allow the attorney-general, not the courts, to decide which sex offenders stay in jail indefinitely.

    Mr Newman has accused judges and lawyers of living in ivory towers and of not doing enough to protect the community.

    Clive Palmer. Mining magnate Clive Palmer. Photo: Glenn Hunt

    He has also called critics of the sex offender laws ‘‘apologists’’ for pedophiles.

    Mr Palmer, who hopes to win the still-undecided federal seat of Fairfax, says the Liberal National Party should expel Mr Newman if he continues his criticism of judges and the legal system.

    ‘‘Campbell Newman should apologise to the judges of Queensland,’’ Mr Palmer said in a statement on Monday.

    ‘‘Mr Newman’s behaviour is unacceptable and is frighteningly an example of extreme right-wing politics.

    ‘‘This sort of behaviour from a premier acting like a little dictator is a threat to the long-standing separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary.’’

    He said Mr Newman was attacking fundamental foundations of democracy.Comment is being sought from the premier.

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/campbell-newman-acting-like-dictator-clive-palmer-20131028-2waz8.html#ixzz2lGNXNeP3



    PREMIER CAMPBELL NEWMAN SHUNS 'PROCESS' IN PICKING TOP BUREAUCRATS

    Sean Parnell and Michael McKenna The Australian March 28, 2012

    Campbell Newman
    Premier Campbell Newman has defended his decision to reward political allies with top jobs in Queensland's public service. Picture: Glenn Barnes Source: The Courier-Mail
    PREMIER Campbell Newman says he did not call for applications for new department heads in Queensland because "we've been processed to death". 
    Mr Newman has picked two political allies and raided the offices of his former fiefdom at City Hall to fill the top jobs of his new-look bureaucracy following the sackings of several departmental heads of the Bligh government.

    After repeatedly accusing former premier Anna Bligh in the past year of politicising the public service, Mr Newman yesterday announced six new department heads that include one-time Queensland Liberal MP and party president Michael Caltabiano, and David Edwards, the son of Joh Bjelke-Petersen-era deputy premier and Liberal leader Lew Edwards.

    On ABC radio this morning, Mr Newman was asked how he could know Mr Caltabiano was the best man for the job of transport department boss if he had not advertised the position and called for applications.

    “Look, you know, we've been processed to death these days,” Mr Newman said.

    “I've been in political life for almost 10 years now and when I have been responsible in the lord mayoralty I have filled appointments in both ways.”

    Mr Newman yesterday defended his appointment of Mr Caltabiano to transport, saying he had formerly worked in the public service, had run his own business and although he was a “political player” he was also “well-qualified as a civil engineer”.

    “Here's the difference - he's a civil engineer, he's a project manager, he's qualified to do the job,” Mr Newman said. “They (Labor) appointed people who didn't have a clue what they were doing, it's as simple as that.”

    The remaining four appointments, who will oversee the dismantling of the Bligh government super-departments, all worked for Mr Newman during his seven years as Brisbane's lord mayor.

    The LNP leader has conceded the appointments could draw criticism, after being asked if it was a case of “jobs for the boys”.

    But Mr Newman said all six new directors-general were well-qualified and were selected on merit.

    “I accept that criticism could be there, and I'm saying to all Queenslanders these are people who'll do a fantastic job,” he told a press conference yesterday.

    “These people will perform and deliver on the promises we have made,” he said.

    This is about making the whole process, the change we are after, come through.

    “This will make our state go forward at a rate of knots.”

    Mr Newman, who is now leading the government with a cabinet of just two - Treasurer Tim Nicholls and Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney - will hold a party room meeting today of his 73 confirmed MPs before announcing his new-look ministry on Friday.

    It is understood Mr Newman will elevate several first-term MPs to his frontbench, including Brisbane lawyer Ian Walker, tipped to be the state's attorney-general, and former Australian Medical Association state president Chris Davis, who will serve as a junior to the new health minister, tipped to be Mark McCardle, who was the opposition's spokesman in the health portfolio.

    Parliamentary tyro Saxon Rice, who defeated Labor deputy premier Andrew Fraser, will be elevated to the ministry with new Nanago MP Deb Frecklington and Dale Shuttleworth, who won the seat of Ferny Grove, both set to be made “assistant ministers” in roles that were previously known as parliamentary secretaries.

    Opposition frontbenchers Jann Stuckey, Ray Stevens and Jack Dempsey are expected to be sent to the government backbenches.

    On ABC radio this morning, Mr Newman said ministers “will go” if they do not perform, but cautioned that they should perhaps be given a two-year honeymoon period, as many were inheriting a “schemozzle” from Labor.

    Mr Newman also said he would support increasing the parliamentary term from three to four years, but would need to talk to the new opposition leader first, and pledged to fully resource the Labor team in the Legislative Assembly.
    - See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/premier-campbell-newman-shuns-process-in-picking-top-bureaucrats/story-fnbsqt8f-1226312203314#sthash.CeYgySaK.dpuf



    Sunday, November 17, 2013

    ATK PRODUCING AMMO FOR HOMELAND SECURITY


    March. 13, 2012

    ANOKA, Minn., March 13 (UPI) -- As many as 450 million rounds of .40-caliber ammunition are being produced for U.S. government agencies by ATK of Minnesota.
    The order comes under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for HST bullets.

    "We are proud to extend our track record as the prime supplier of .40-caliber duty ammunition for (Homeland Security), ICE," said Ron Johnson, president of ATK's Security and Sporting group. 

    "The HST is a proven design that will continue to serve those who keep our borders safe."

    ATK was the incumbent and won the contract with its HST bullet. 

    The HST is a hollow-point round that holds its jacket even after passing through barriers.

    ATK said the contract features a 12-month base performance period and four option years.

    The ammunition will be produced at the Federal Cartridge Company facility in Anoka, Minn., with deliveries of the rounds to begin in June.


    QUEENSLAND POLITICIANS TO GET $105-A-DAY MEAL ALLOWANCE ALONG WITH MORE PERKS

    Robyn Ironside The Courier-Mail November 15, 2013

    QUEENSLAND MPs will be able to claim an extra $105 a day to cover the cost of meals while at State Parliament. 
     
    The MPs have been granted the payment despite having access to taxpayer-subsidised meals for as little as $4.20.

    Eighty of the 89 MPs who have free accommodation at the Parliamentary Annexe will be eligible for payments, with no receipts needed.

    Nine mostly city-based MPs who are not provided with a room because of space restrictions can already claim a $315 daily travel allowance for an overnight stay in Brisbane.

    The changes are included in the latest determination released by the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal last night.

    MPs who have a room in the parliamentary annexe can stay during visits to Brisbane for sitting days and other business, but currently do not qualify for daily travel allowance.

    "Effective from October 15, 2013, MPs who are provided with overnight accommodation in the Parliamentary Annexe will be able to make a claim for one-third of the capital city Daily Travel Allowance amount for an overnight stay in Brisbane when conducting parliamentary business," said the determination.

    MPs and their guests currently have access to taxpayer-subsidised meals at the parliamentary canteen with hot dinners for as little as $4.20.

    At the Members' Dining Room, a buffet breakfast can be had for $6.65, and a three-course meal for $10.55.

    The tribunal found motor vehicle allowance should remain unchanged but increased the daily travel allowance.

    Instead of $305 a day when visiting capital cities in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, MPs will now receive a payment of $315 to cover food and other expenses.

    The allowance for visiting regional towns will rise from $240 to $270 a day and the overseas daily travel allowance of $333 remains the same.

    All payments are in addition to a "general travel allowance" of between $18,360 and $61,720 to cover the costs of commuting from electorate offices to Parliament.

    Last month the tribunal granted MPs an 8.5 per cent pay rise, or $12,000 a year for backbenchers, taking their base pay to $148,848.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-politicians-to-get-105aday-meal-allowance-along-with-more-perks/story-fnihsrf2-1226760294214 

     
     

    POLICE DEFEND ACTION TO BREAK UP EAST WEST LINK PROTEST AT LEND LEASE HEADQUARTERS

    Updated Wed 6 Nov 2013
     
    Police have rejected claims they used excessive force against protesters demonstrating against the East West Link in the Docklands today.

    Demonstrators formed a human chain at the headquarters of construction company Lend Lease in an attempt to block entry to employees.

    But they were met with opposition by police.

    They targeted Lend Lease because it is on the short list of possible builders for the $8 billion project. 

    Organisers say they were pushed, kicked and in one case, punched in the head.

    The protesters chanted "No tunnel, no way, we're going to fight it all the way."

    "We demand Lend Lease stop all work on the project," one protester said.

    Inspector Peter Ward says appropriate force was used.

    "It's my opinion that police used reasonable force to facilitate access to the building for those that required it," he said.

    "It was reasonable force in the circumstances to achieve what we needed to do."

    Several protesters appear to have suffered minor injuries in the scuffles.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-06/police-defend-action-to-break-up-east-west-link-protest-at-lend/5073106?section=vic 



    ANTHONY MUNDINE'S BOXA BAR IN HURSTVILLE FIREBOMBED IN OVERNIGHT ATTACK

    Phil Rothfield  The Daily Telegraph November 14, 2013

    A BAR owned by controversial boxer Anthony Mundine has been destroyed in an overnight fire bombing.
    Police are investigating if the incident and will interview Mundine this afternoon.

    Mundinecafe
    Anthony Mundine's firebombed Boxa Bar at Hurstville. Source: Supplied

    The Boxa Bar coffee shop in Hurstville was a known hangout for Mundine and his associates and had most of his memorabilia on the walls.

    “The police are onto it and I’m meeting them this afternoon,” a shocked Mundine told The Daily Telegraph.

    “I’ve got ideas but I don’t want to assume or speculate.”

    Asked if he was frightened: “At the end of the day god is the greatest. I fear god. I don’t fear anything else.

    “You do bad, it will come back to bite you. God takes care of that.”

    Boxa Bar
    Anthony Mundine at Boxa Bar in 2005. Picture: James Croucher Source: DailyTelegraph

    He says he is unsure if the bombing related to his upcoming fight with Shane Mosley on November 27.

    Mosley arrived back in Australia today after skipper the country three weeks ago when his payments could not be guaranteed.

    “The timing makes you wonder what all this is about,” he said.

    Mundine v Mosley boxing presser
    Anthony Mundine and 'Sugar' Shane Mosley face-to-face. Picture: Nic Gibson Source: DailyTelegraph

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/anthony-mundines-boxa-bar-in-hurstville-firebombed-in-overnight-attack/story-fni2flhh-1226759765880