Sunday, November 27, 2005

Australia: Sunday political talkies

'To cap off the strong, bright, idealistic worthy interview with Nettle, hard nosed winning barrister Tim Robertson on human rights law acknowledged: "Senator Nettle is right, the Australian govt has dropped the ball" '

Ch. 10: Senator Nettle fronting compare Greg, Tom Allard smh, and another smartie woman reporter from (? The Australian? missed it, still waking up). Very moderate tone all round of the sympathetic collegiate bleeding hearts around the "grim" Van Nguyen execution obscenity.

Utility of the first 15 minutes slot on this good, but lowest on pecking order show, is that Nettle presented as a worthy competent 'sharp tool in the shed' unlike dime a dozen News Ltd smears: Good policy dexterity, pursuasive and factual answers meeting the weight of the questions, complete with savvy mannerisms of the professional politician, with high public speaking energy. A walking voice box and that after all is the business. Mannerisms noticeably small l labour union, curious given the middle class background, but reflective of the social policy focus.)

But she really did her Party and self a great service completely shafting the concocted cartoon Telegraph thesis of a shrieking kooky haradon: A timely public repudiation in tv footage of the fake bias of barking dog Akerman who was no where near the studio, and probably an unintended collateral damage of the segment.

To cap off the strong, bright, idealistic worthy interview with Nettle, hard nosed winning barrister Tim Robertson on human rights law led in with the acknowledgement: "Senator Nettle is right, the Australian govt has dropped the ball" or something like that, meaning 'by not doing the background work against the death penalty, exposing our country to profound critique of hypocrisy over support for Indonesian death penalty for terrorist "martyrs" in waiting, like Bali Bomber Amrosi.

How long till this writer's Birchgrove neighbour and Labor Lawyer, Tim Robertson who also has quite a reputation on environmental law, becomes a Green Pary voter? In any case he too was good talent on the show, speaking with real passion and righteous zeal about the 45 year campaign of Amnesty against the death penalty etc etc. "Not even any formal diplomatic protest by this govt only personal approaches", he jabbed into the rhetorical ether.

Channel 7, their satirical and very smart bloke Mark someone? (damn forgot his name)did another funny piece. But is he hiding his know how policy insight behind all these funnies? Probably needs a bit of serious juxtapose to better effect of both. Break it up a bit. Truth is though I missed it having focussed on Nettle bravura, just got the Downer howling to the moon footage at APEC or somewhere. Must have been a yearly roundup?

ch.9 with Laurie Oakes aka Sphere of Influence with Fed education minister Nelson boring as batshit, ignored it.

Instead watched Insiders. General thesis in first half is polls adverse to PM Howard are 'mere' rerun of Beazley '99 to 2001, WHEN THE ALP LOST.

Thus quite right to highlight Beazley credibility gap of recent political history of the country. Only this time Howard has his disastrous megaphone press conference rocks in his saddle bag.

Interesting on Insiders to confirm (like Ch 10) PM reported as reacting to ALP aligned NZ PM Clarke poker raising to lobby Singapore PM at CHOGM, as per ABC TV prime time news last night, by Howard matching her with an out of CHOGM (Valeta/Malta/junket) lobby of the Singapore PM.

Flicked back to channel 9 to see main quality story on difficulty of foreign adoptions and fighting to achieve that dream. Normal family holiday season content choice but not big on political radar, went back to Insiders.

Kelly, Schubert, Bolt, good humoured blather, then notably re-ran the excruciating Beazley Michelle Leslie stuff up interview brain blank out, but also for self preservational 'balance' ran prior to this John Howard criket playing stunt in Pakistan where he couldn't catch a ball literally from 3 feet away. Not really fair assessment as by his age almost certainly long sighted. But fair too to highlight it was a stunt.

But the news story running out of all these morning talkies seems to be Michelle Leslie case and as Barrie Cassidy has put it, isn't there a public right to know about the legal processes going on in Bali and Indonesia?

The PM's office has responded already saying she should keep quiet still even today. After the front pager in the SMH and presumably Age today with allegations of $600K from the $200M Sydney Suttons car/truck business. That is Australian money seeking to corrupt Indonesia making us look bad, as Bolt put it, but really both looking bad.

Leslie is having the whole story reported from under her. Sure its got a credibility gap of sensationalist and to some degree uncorroborated nature. If Leslie says nothing more it will fizzle and disappear. The SMH have responded to criticism around: that "content matters", the "Sydney Boring Herald", "a good paper is not affected by the number of journalists" in the Oz Media section talking turkeys no less.

But at what cost to the Bali 9, to Schapell Corby? Or is the democratisation through transparency of a 200M popolous of Indonesia worth even their misery and demise.

Ah, the Big Media. Must be just great playing God like that. Well no actually. It must be bloody awful knowing words have years of human life and blood on them. I do hope they reflect accordingly.

I myself chipped on 702 talkback last week in this context 'you can't guide history' when Marcus Enfield was saying go quiet for the sake of others, which seems just plain wrong on public policy grounds. Transparency International and all that. But I don't want to play God either: For instance when you are dealing with corrupt paradigm's a sort of moral relativism of real politik and common sense versus polyanna naivety surely plays its part. You don't play fair with a confirmed cheat if you like self preservation.

In simple cruel terms I would say on principle transparency is best for the Indonesians and Leslie and devastatingly bad for the Bali 9, Schapelle and inevitably others.
[See separate post on Pittwater and indy Mctaggart victory.]

By ecology action 27 November 05

Ecology Action Sydney

Thanks Tom one good turn deserves another...

The big thaw

Global disaster will follow if the ice cap on Greenland melts. Now scientists say it is vanishing far faster than even they expected.

CIA agent spreads terror fears in Australia

Rohan Gunaratna: Right person? Right time? Right place? Funny that!

An international CIA spy from Indonesia says there are many terrorist networks operating in Australia - meanwhile the bombs are going off in his own backyard. But don't you worry he gets paid well to promote fear because he's part of the program on the 'war on terror' (which is usually state sanctioned terror to promote fear most of the time)!

[The neo-liberal idea is to spread fear and terror to bolster support for the Coalition of the Killing's resource wars in the Middle East.]


Send a letter to Nguyen Tuong Van
Letter to PM Howard from Stuart Highway in Berrimah jail Darwin re Nguyen Tuong Van on death row in Changi Prison Singapore.

Please show clemency
As you read this email 25-year old Melbourne man Van Tuong Nguyen is sitting in a jail cell in Singapore awaiting execution for drug trafficking.

Singapore: Nguyen Tuong Van, 25, an Australian citizen of Vietnamese origin will be hanged within two weeks in Singapore after various pleas for clemency failed.

Exporting the death penalty - Bali 9
...and had observers present during one of the drug raids by Indonesian police claim they have - "ended co-operation with Indonesian police investigating the Bali Nine because they could face the firing squad if convicted."

Mr Howard has warned Japan that it faces global condemnation if it kills whales. Mr Howard is often quoted as saying he cannot and he would not interfere in the business and laws of sovereign states. Whaling is a part of the Japanese culture. The death penalty is also a part of many countries culture.

During 2004, at least 3,797 people were executed in 25 countries. At least 7,395 people were sentenced to death in 64 countries. These figures are only reported cases - the true figures were certainly much higher - many countries continue to execute people in secret.

WHY IS THE HOWARD GOVERNMENT PLAYING 'DEATH' WITH AUSTRALIANS: There has been much controversy recently on whether the Australian Federal Police should have tipped-off the Indonesians over the arrest of the Bali Nine. Due to the fact that Indonesia executes convicted drug-traffickers, ACADP believes that any evidence collected by AFP should have been withheld from Indonesian authorities until they have a written guarantee not to pursue the death penalty for the Bali Nine.

Death penalty-free zone in Europe and Central Asia
A coalition of non-governmental organizations is calling for a death penalty-free zone in Europe and Central Asia.

For death row inmates in Indonesia, execution usually comes on a deserted beach or remote jungle at the hands of a paramilitary firing squad. And, it rarely comes fast.

The Australian Coalition Against Death Penalty (ACADP) is (again) calling on U.S. President George W. Bush, to join the civilised world and destroy all chemicals of mass destruction, for the dignity and respect of every human life.

The difference between life and death can rest on the whim of a president or the ability of a lawyer. Whether or not the death penalty can be justified is very much up for grabs.

US: The American media reports that thousands of Iranians cheered, whistled and clapped as a serial killer was publicly executed in Iran last week.

The United States of America has withdrawn from an international agreement that gives detained foreign nationals the right to seek assistance and talk to their consular officers.

Corby lawyer pleads for Australian help
Schapelle Corby, 27, is accused of carrying over four kilograms of marijuana into Bali and could be sentenced to death if she is found guilty.

OHIO: Appeals court tosses death sentence for U.S.-British citizen
In Cincinnati, a federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out the conviction and death sentence of a man with dual U.S.-British citizenship who was convicted of killing a 2-year-old girl by starting a fire in his ex-girlfriend's apartment.

If you haven't heard about it yet, you will. There's a celebration in the air: Kenny is an innocent man living on death row in an Ohio prison and the authorities may finally acknowledge what we've known all along.

To prepare for Connecticut's first state-sanctioned killing in 45 years, the state Department of Corrections has spent more than US$33,000 on such items as training personnel, drugs (poison), intravenous catheters and tubing, portable restrooms, mobile offices, lighting and curtains for the witness observation room.

Child Offenders on Death Row
Recent Australian studies of alcohol and cannabis use show that girls are increasingly inclined to behave boldly. But boys out number the girls, two to one; and three to one in the juvenile justice system, mortality figures, speeding infringements and car crash statistics.

US death row numbers don't change policy?
The number of prisoners on death row in the United States appears to be falling, mostly credited to a single Governor who commuted the sentences of all the death row prisoners in his state.

Despite Drop in Crime, an Increase in Inmates
US: The number of inmates in state and federal prisons rose 2.1 percent last year, even as violent crime and property crime fell, according to a study by the Justice Department released yesterday.

How Denying the Vote to Ex-Offenders Undermines Democracy
For starters, hundreds of thousands of people who are still eligible to vote will not do so this year because they will be locked up in local jails, awaiting processing or trials for minor offenses.

DNA Evidence of Bipartisanship
Last week the U.S. Congress passed the Justice for All Act, which includes provisions of the Innocence Protection Act. As of this posting, the legislation has not yet been signed by President Bush. Attached is an analysis of the legislation prepared by the Justice Project.

Our Two Priority Bills sent to White House
US: The 8th National CURE Convention last June lobbied on Capitol Hill the Innocence Protection Act in the Senate and the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2004 in the House. On Sunday, October 10th, Congress passed both bills and sent them to the President to be signed.

US: A Californian man who beheaded a german shepherd dog he had named after his girlfriend, has been sentenced to 25 years to life under California's three-strikes law.

SAVE THE LIFE OF NGUYEN TUONG VAN:A PLEA TO SINGAPORE PRESIDENT On behalf of the Australian Coalition Against Death Penalty (ACADP) and in the spirit of respect for human life, I make a heartfelt plea for clemency, compassion and mercy, to spare and save the young life of Nguyen Tuong Van, currently under sentence of death at Changi Prison in Singapore. Nguyen Tuong Van, is a 23-year-old Australian man of Vietnamese origin. Nguyen was arrested at Changi Airport in December 2002, whilst in transit from Cambodia to Australia. He was later charged and convicted of drug-trafficking. In March 2004 he was sentenced to death for his crime.

A long-standing convention not to extradite people out of Australia if they face the death penalty has been abandoned.

Kids from 3 to 83 years old beat candy labeled "Justice" out of a big Texas-shaped piqata on Aug. 1 as dozens gathered in the Houston City Hall Park to celebrate the 30th birthday of Nanon Williams, an innocent person on Texas death row.

THE LAND OF BIBLES, GUNS, PATRIOTS AND THE 'WORLD ROLE MODEL' FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: The state of Alabama, USA, executed James Barney Hubbard. So what? ... you might say ... America executes prisoners almost every week!

Appealing a Death Sentence Based on Future Danger USA-HOUSTON, June 9 - Texas juries in capital cases must make a prediction. They may impose a death sentence only if they find that the defendant will probably commit more violent acts.

Forensics? In proposing a new death penalty for Massachusetts last month, Governor Mitt Romney offered firm assurance that no innocent people would be executed: Convictions, he said, will be based on science.

Silencing the Cells: Mass Incarceration and Legal Repression in U.S. Prisons People without a voice are not people in any meaningful sense of the word. Silenced people cannot express their ideas; they can neither consent nor protest. They are reduced to being pawns in the schemes of the powerful, mendicants who must accept whatever is imposed upon them. In order to keep people in a state of subjugation, silencing their voices is essential. Nowhere is this clearer than in U.S. prisons.

U.N. Group Seeks End To Executions The United States, Japan, China, India and Muslim nations including Saudi Arabia opposed the resolution. Burkina Faso, Cuba, Guatemala, South Korea and Sri Lanka abstained.

US: Execution Dear Friends, this is so sad especially for our dear friend, San Nguyen. San who lives in Oklahoma worked very hard with the rest of the Vietnamese community to stop Mr. Le's execution. You may remember San from being at CURE's First International Conference in New York City in 2001. San also plans to be at the 8th National Convention this June in Washington. Charlie

Please contact the Governor The Vietnamese-American Community, the ACLU, and many others want the March 30 execution of Huang Thanh Le commuted.

Cherie Blair attacks US over death penalty in Catholic paper Cherie Blair has renewed her attack on America's use of the death penalty. In a book review in the Catholic journal The Tablet, under her maiden name Cherie Booth, she says: "Capital cases are uniquely prone to error and thus call into question whether we can ever be really sure of obtaining the just result.

Death penalty: a lawyer sees the light The observation "Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus" is illustrated by the two nations' differing reactions to the use of the death penalty as a legitimate punishment for murder.

OHIO: Judges join dissent on execution delay In Columbus, 5 federal appeals court judges say a convicted killer's request to delay his execution was illegally denied because 2 senior judges participated in the vote.

Stephen Romei: Death knell sounds for US capital law GEORGE Ryan gets my vote as Australian of the Year, even though he's the outgoing governor of the US state of Illinois. There's just no one I admire more right now, not even Greg's Kables Community News Newtwork..

Mexico Awaits Hague Ruling on Citizens on U.S. Death Row Sbaldo Torres, a convicted murderer on death row in Oklahoma, should have been dead by now, his appeals exhausted, his time up.

Jury Passes On Business Of Killing US: This drives the death penalty crowd in the legislature nuts. Yet another jury - another 12 men and women, tried and true, who had all attested to their belief in the death penalty - has refused to join in the killing business.

Ultimate Punishment Scott Turow has long juggled two careers‹that of a novelist and that of a lawyer. He wrote much of his first and best known legal thriller, Presumed Innocent, on the commuter train to and from work during the eight years he spent as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, and he has churned out another blockbuster every third year since joining the firm of Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal in 1986.

A Question of Innocence Rubin Carter: Day after day, week after week, I would sit in that filthy cell, seething. I was furious at everyone. At the two state witnesses who lied, at the police who put them up to it, at the prosecutor who sanctioned it, at the judge who allowed it, at the jury who accepted it, and at my own lawyer, for not being able to defeat it.

Amnesty steps up campaign to abolish death penalty Human rights watchdog Amnesty International is urging people around the world to pressure countries to abolish the death penalty.

'LAND OF THE FREE' SET TO EXECUTE TWO PRISONERS BY FIRING SQUAD: Wanted: Willing executioners for two convicted murderers. Must be psychologically sound and familiar with .30-calibre rifles. No victims' relatives need apply.

TEXAS EXECUTES 300th PRISONER Keith Clay was executed tonight, becoming the 300th prisoner in Texas to die by lethal injection since the rogue state resumed the death penalty 20 years ago.

AUSTRALIAN COALITION AGAINST DEATH PENALTY " ... Our nation was built on a promise of life and liberty for all citizens. Guided by a deep respect for human dignity, our Founding Fathers worked to secure these rights for future generations, and today we continue to seek to fulfil their promise in our laws and our society.

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Please note the following article shows clearly the hateful, uncaring and anti-human rights attitude as reflected by the Governor of Texas (and most other elected Texas officials).

Bush rules out death sentence review US President George W Bush says has dismissed any chance of a review of America's system of capital punishment.

Amnesty urges Bush to shut death row Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has urged US President George W. Bush to take a "moral stand" and abolish the death penalty after the Illinois Governor dramatically emptied that state's death row.

USA - A NATION IN TURMOIL: As the year 2002 draws to a close, little if anything, has changed in the United States in regards to state-sanctioned killing. Various campaigns, calls for clemency, petitions, and international condemnation, have failed to humanize U.S. politicians.

Here come de Judge - Time to Leave [266]
There have always been examples of rulings and interpretations that have supported the saying "The law is an ass". This is increasingly the case, because even the best intentioned judges are now facing an avalanche of new technologies and social change. But, it is no good making excuses for the judiciary and continuing to accept their strange interpretations. We must recognise that not only judges but the whole legal system will struggle more and more. In the end the whole system will become a farce. This is the way empires end.