Full marks to Robert Richter, QC, and Brian Walters, QC.
They have come up with a plan to extradite the Bali Nine to Australia to face conspiracy charges. The goal is to get them out of Indonesia before they're charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad.
I hope the Department of Public Prosecutions in Victoria co-operates, as should other state / territory governments and the Federal Government.
Our government may not have the political will to lobby Asian governments to forsake Capital Punishment, but with some smart legal manoevering we may be ale to use international law to make it more difficult for them - even if it is only when dealing with our own citizens.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Full marks to Robert Richter, QC, and Brian Walters, QC.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 11:47 AM
Friday, December 02, 2005
Singing The Spirit Home
Posted by Neil Ennis at 7:56 AM
Friday, November 25, 2005
Opposition Immigration Spokesman, Tony Burke, and his leader, Kim Beazley are totally correct. The immigration department was wrong to deport Robert Jovicic, and they should bring him home.
Until he was forcibly repatriated, Jovicic had never been to Serbia in his life, didn't speak the language, and had lived in Australia for 35 years.
He's as Australian as I am.
If he's guilty of crimes, then we should be dealing with the problem here - not exporting our woes to Serbia.
Why does the immigration department get it so wrong so often? Consider the cases of Vivienne Solon, Cornelia Rau, and now Fatih Tuncok who is facing deportation to Turkey after spending the last 33 years of his life in Australia.
I don't think its enough to say that the Immigration Department (DIMEA) "got it wrong" or "made a mistake". These are malicious actions by a dictatorial department that is drunk on its own power.
Someone with guts has got to take drastic action and sort DIMEA out once and for all - starting with the Minister and working right down to the gratuitous gnomes who perpetrate these mean and nasty policies.
Enough is enough.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 10:55 AM
Monday, November 21, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The Andrew Ollie 2005 Media Lecture was presented by John Doyle.
For those of you who haven't seen him, Doyle is "Roy Slaven" - part of the comical duo, Roy and HG.
Although John Doyle's lecture was very funny in parts, he delivered an incisive appraisal of the state of our world, with some intelligent suggestions on what could be done about it.
The text and mp3 download are available at:
If you ever find yourself questioning things like the "Dumbing Down" of commercial media, the future of the ABC, the facile nature of Talkback Radio, and the decline of the skeptical thought process, then you'll appreciate what Doyle has to say.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 11:36 AM
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Ideas are like viruses.
They spread from person to person. If a person is infected they can pass the idea on to someone else.
Some people are immune to some ideas. Others are susceptible to them.
Ideas change the people they infect. They can turn someone into a political activist, a religious zealot, or a suicide bomber.
Some ideas (like some viruses) can cause much damage. Consider the AIDS virus, or SARS.
Epidemeology is the study of the distribution of diseases. It is an advanced science and is vital for containing the spread of infectious diseases. It teaches us how to prevent infection, and how to treat those who are infected.
I think that we need an "Epidemeology of Ideas".
It is moot whether a particular idea is "dangerous" or not. I don't want to be drawn on which ideas are "good", "bad", "dangerous" or "helpful" because each person will have a different opinion depending on their point of view.
But a society may feel threatened by the spread of a certain philosophy. For example, western societies feel threatened by terrorism.
The usual response to this perceived threat is to increase surviellence, military presence, etc - trying to prevent terrorist acts.
I think this is akin to doctors trying to stop a runny nose, or reduce a temperature. It's dealing with the symptom rather than the cause.
We need to ask more probing questions such as:
- How is the destructuve idea communicated from person to person?
- What makes someone susceptible to such an idea?
- How do we prevent people from being infected by such ideas?
- Once infected, how do we remove the infection?
- Can someone not infected with such an idea still spread it? For example, someone who doesn't beleive in a certain philosphy might promote it for their own personal gain.
These questions raise more alarming questions about human rights, freedoms, democracy, freedom of the press, etc.
I'll try and explore some of these questions in my future postings.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 1:05 PM
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Well done, Senator Ian Campbell.
The Australian Environment Minister worked tirelessly to convince some wavering delegates to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to oppose Japan's lust for whale meat.
The cetacean slaughterers have dug in for a long fight, and have indicated they will ignore the IWC and continue their hunting anyway.
The IWC motion is a start, but ultimately, someone is going to have to start playing hardball with the whalers.
Last year the Navy hunted half way round the world to catch poachers of the Patagonian Toothfish. In the same way, I hope they go hunting for whalers soon.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 11:51 AM
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Greens Senator Bob Brown is right to call on Australian to close its ports to Japanese whaling vessels if they start hunting Humpbacks or increase their take of Minke Whales.
"Scientific Whaling" is bullshit. What's scientific about going out on a whaling ship, harpooning heaps of whales, slicing them up, and selling them. The sooner someone stands up to the Japanese and tells them to cut the crap, the better.
To make it worse, they're now bribing smaller nations in the whaling council to get them to either reintroduce commercial whaling, or increase the quota allowed under the terms of "Scientific Whaling".
If we let these butchers into our ports, and make it easier for them to do their grisly job, then we are complicit in their deeds.
I'd probably go one step further and suggest the Australian Navy use the whaling ships for target practice.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 9:49 AM
Saturday, April 09, 2005
The ALP is crying foul over the campaign run by the Coalition at the last election.
The basis of their argument is threefold:
1. The government claimed that rates would be higher under labor, but then the RBA lifted rates by a quarter of 1 percent.
2. The goverment quoted RBA figures during the election, and the RBA complained to the AEC that the government shouldn't be quoting the RBA during an election campaign.
3. The RBA complained to a coaltion staffer who authorized the ads who should have passed on the complaint to the coalition's campaign director.
Since the interest rate campaign torpedoed the ALP's chances of winning the election, they're not very happy.
Beazer's been telling anyone who'd listen that it's not fair, and his sidekick, Swannie has been repeating the message for us, just to make sure we didn't miss it.
Come on guys. Get over it. You lost. Voters decided that it wasn't smart to let you loose on the treasury benches just yet. Especially after what happened with interest rates in the late 80's.
In a footy game both teams go on the field, play hard, try a few clever tactics, and at the end of a tough battle, the stronger team prevails. If the losing side started behaving like Beazer and Swannie, the crowd would laugh at them and call them a bunch of wusses or pansies.
So we if had swallowed the ALP's bunch of porkie pies instead of the coalition, would that have been alright, Kim? Give Aussies a bit more credit than that. We're not dopes. We know the game that they play in Canberra, and we're pretty adept at sorting out truth from bullshit.
There's nothing inspiring or exciting about a potential leader crying in his beer.
It's just plain wussy.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 5:25 PM
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Peter McGauran must have rocks in his head to deport the Vaingolos family for visa infringements that occurred almost 2 decades ago.
Mafi and Hiki Vaingolos came to Australia just under 20 years ago on tourist visas. Since then they overstayed, married and have had 4 children. The eldest, Keliti, is a 14 year old boy who has shown outstanding sporting and acedemic achievments at Sydney's prestigious Newington College.
Their last chance to stay in Australia was an appeal to junior citizenship minister, Peter McGauran, who said "The Government is not going to reward people who knowingly and deliberately flout Australia's immigration laws and avoid detection for many years.
My guess is that unlike his relatively articulate predecessor, Philip Ruddock, Pete is finding the job a bit challenging. Rather than use scarce brain cells thinking about the issue, it's much easier just to say "no". Almost all the time. In fact of the 740 cases that have come to is short little span of attention since the election, he's only intervened 27 times.
And so, the junior minister who prides himself on the "Pro Family" policies of his party is breaking up the Vaingolos family. Mafi, Hiki and their two youngest children have to leave the country by the end of March, while the older children Keliti and Na'a are now Australian citizens and are allowed to stay.
Good on ya Pete. It's a literal "no-brainer". No need to think about it. Say "no" and send those illegals back to where they came from. Split the family up even though they paid their taxes, supported their local church, and (in Keliti's case) were chosen to play sport for Australia.
Brilliant! Especially considering the government is raising its skilled migrant intake because of a local skills shortage. (See ABC news article http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200503/s1315485.htm)
Obviously there's a skills shortage in competent citizenship ministers. Perhaps we should deport the current plodder and get a real one.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 8:15 PM
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Labor Leader Kim Beazley's attacks over the possibiity of interest rates rising in the next few months are a beat-up.
The U.S. federal reserve is considering a hike of maybe a quarter of one percent sometime soon, which may cause rates to rise by a similar amount in Australia.
Beazley seems to think this somehow means that John Howard was being economical with the truth when he campaigned on interest rates at the last election. Howard claimed that Coalition policies would be more likely than Labor policies to keep the lid on rate rises. Now that there is upward pressure on interest rates, Beazley is claiming that Howard has been "caught out".
So rates might rise to 6.25 percent as a result of external pressues, and Howard is to blame?
Give it a break Kim. It just doesn't make sense to anyone with at least half a brain.
All I can say is thank heavens we're not now suffering interest rates of 17 percent like when Beazley and Keating ran the country.
If you're going to try to be effective against the government, ask questions that are relevant. You don't do yourself or your party any favours making false claims based on questionable economics.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 8:59 PM
"Dreamtime" by Phillip Adams in the Weekend Australian is a classic.
I don't agree with Adams on some issues. I agree with him on much more, even though I come from a much more conservative viewpoint than he does.
More than most journalists in Australia today, I think he has earned the right to be heard and respected.
Phillip Adams has a heart as big as Uluru. He writes with a compassion and wit that can't be denied, but without any soppy sentimentalism. Like a loyal friend, he never tells you what you want to hear - he tells you the truth as he sees it.
Give us more people with this sort of integrity. I don't care if you disagree with me about something - just tell me the bloody truth. I'll respect you for it, and always will listen to what you have to say.
Spin doctors, and propagandists deserve the skepticism they receive. If you want that sort of tripe, watch Fox, listen to Laws or Jones, or some of the other cold leftovers they serve up on talk back radio. Like candy for the mind, it will rot your brain.
But if you want to work a bit harder, read Phillip Adams. He won't dish up policies from thinktanks. He'll just talk to you straight from his heart.
Phillip, thanks for sharing your dream this weekend. We'd be lucky if even half of it came true. I'm sure we could negotiate which half :)
Posted by Neil Ennis at 8:48 PM
Democrats Senator Brian Grieg has shown courage in supporting Clerk of the Senate Harry Evans' decision to allow Mamdouh Habib the right of reply to a senate committee investigating allegations made against him.
Evans said that Habib would be given the right of reply in writing to a Senate committe which had heard evidence of involvement in terrorism that had been been given against him.
Both the Goverment and the ALP don't want to be perceived as supporting someone who has been accused of supporting terrorism. Beazley said that he didn't think Habib should have a right of reply, and that "we shouldn't waste a minute on him in the Senate".
On the other hand, Senator Greig showed good sense in stating that Parliament needed to play the issue with "a straight bat", and that Habib was entitled to "natural justice" on the issue.
At least one parliamentarian was prepared to actually stand up for justice.
Is is a sad state of affairs when politicians make allegations about any citizen, but then don't want to "waste time" listening to what he might have to say for himself in reply. Perhaps it could be one of us in a few years time at the centre of public allegations made under parliamentary privilege. Goverments must always be held accountable. That means giving people a right to speak out, even when you don't like what they say. It's the sort of duty you expect a credible opposition to perform.
Unfortunately, in this situation, it was a bit too difficult for the opposition. Especially with such a hot issue as terrorism allegations.
Good on you, Grieg, for having the guts to say what most of your colleagues were too afraid to say.
Posted by Neil Ennis at 8:08 PM
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Let google be a snoop for you.
Imagine that you want to track what a particular organization, political party or competitor is doing.
Google Alerts (http://www.google.com/alerts) will do it for you. It will send you an email every day of any new news articles, or web sites that refer to the topic that you're interested in.
Just to be on the safe side, why not set up a google alert for yourself to make sure you're aware of what everyone else can find out about you!
Posted by Neil Ennis at 6:30 PM