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The Blog archives, a measure of the fundamentals of the world

The Blog Archives

This is the page that brings together all entries from our Blog. They are manually entered, so please accept apologies if sudden and new entries are not posted to this page immediately.

There are two other places where all Blog entries are found. You can find them in the List of All Posts on the Blog itself, and you will also be able to find all posts listed on the Blog Feed explanation page.

About the images: the little images used as 'bullet points' leading the Blog summaries are all over this website. Whenever you see one, you will know that the item described is an item from the Project SafeCom Blog.

27 May 2005: Kim Beazley and the Georgiou Bills - Kim Beazley should stop playing politics in relation to the Liberal backbenchers' Private Members Bill or he will risk a similar revolt within his own backbench.

18 April 2005: Lynton Crosby: globetrotting, spreading dirty dog whistles - Crosby employs a particular nasty brand of politics, and it seems his consultant strategy works...

The Isolation Unit shower in the Baxter detention centre7 February 2005: Finding Anna: when Immigration gets it really, really wrong - Astounding is the word, but I guess the story is familiar by now. 'Anna', or as we know now, Cornelia, an Australian citizen, went missing, and based on the fact that she was disoriented, spoke some German, and could not be identified, she ends up in Baxter's punishment block, after 'having been assigned' to DIMIA, the Department of Immigration, for being an alleged 'illegal immigrant'.

21 January 2005: Ardeshir Gholipour: how we torture a distinguished Iranian - It really is astounding that Ardeshir Gholipour has spent the last five years in an Australian detention centre. He's been left to dry in Australian detention centres since 1999; he's been in the Port Hedland detention centre and now he's in Baxter.

12 January 2005: The man with the gag: witnessing a forced deportation - It had to happen sooner or later: someone on a flight, bound, gagged and muffled, moved under the highest secrecy, deported by force, not only with duct tape over his mouth, but the entire story covered up. Using the Christmas holidays, the absence of the lawyers, the expected silence of those advocates that can block their work...

8 January 2004: The manipulated US Presidential Election of 2004 - The US election in 2004 was rigged. So they say. Sloppy security safeguards, or lack of any security systems whatsoever, that should have governed the system of computer voting, led to an introduced bias and stacking of votes for the Bush camp, or so the claimants claimed.

31 December 2004: Changing worlds: the coming of envirogees - They will be coming in boats, in trucks, on trains - and in lorries, in aircraft wheel housing spaces, crouched.... An exploration of some Australian and global issues associated with ecological and seismic disasters, and the links between the two aspects of a planet under pressure - and the implications for a world community 'on the move'.

Amina Bakhtiari's last peek at Australia 4 January 2005:  Deported: the case of Ali Bakhtiyari - After their five-year struggle to get acceptance for their refugee claim, the Bakhtiari family was finally deported in the middle of the night shortly after Christmas 2004. This is the story of what wass reported as the last phase of their struggle, but we hope that the Bakhtiari case will haunt some agents in the Howard government for a long time - and realistically speaking, we don't expect it will.

27 December 2004: Australia's Christmas gift to the Sri Lankans - Last week, on Christmas eve, many Sri Lankans living in the community around Australia received a letter from the immigration minister Amanda Vanstone. Bluntly speaking, the letter said: "Get your bags, organise the contents, and bugger off outta here".

26 December 2004: Bakhtiyari bungling and the DIMIA media set - Politicians are notorious for their inferior skills in clinically assessing and promoting the facts, but they're masters in stating their own case, defending conclusions, elaborating on them, and "selling them", provided they get their policies successfully backed up.

24 December 2004: Baxter hunger strike reaches medical emergency stage - and ends for Arabs - Reports of the sixteen hunger strikers, although the wording is minimal, indicate that the strike has reached a stage where critical organs start to be damaged beyond recovery. A supporter in Port Augusta wrote yesterday evening: "I just received a message from a hunger striker in Baxter...

21 December 2004: Christmas in the wilderness, keeping Howard intact: Bakhtiaris - So it's true then. The Bakhtiaris may soon be expelled to Pakistan in the dark of night, to a country they don't know anything about, whose language Roqia does not speak. All of these silly and upsetting, traumatising enemy and war games, just to feed the Canberra gang, who, right until the end, want to persist in the suggestions, fed by Mr Ruddock...

20 December 2004: Hungerstrike in the shadow of Bakhtiari case - The hungerstrike at the Baxter detention centre is still on. Fifteen men are still part of the team, even while the attention of all of Australia focuses on the Bakhtiari family. My advice is, don't stop what you're doing, what you're planning and what you stand for, because the leopard hasn't changed its spots.

17 December 2004: Baxter, Bakhtiyari and bullshit: the battle over DIMIA's accountability - The start of this fifth report on the Baxter hungerstrike makes for depressing reading, but I intend that to be the case. I could have easily spared you and myself this introduction, which may come across as just an unwelcome diversion into matters not directly related to the strike.

16 December 2004: Baxter: eleven days on a tin roof, Orwellian lawyers in the Courts - Day 11 for the first man on the roof of the Baxter gymnasium, and temperatures at Port Augusta are soaring towards the Centigrade mark: as I look at the temperature at local time in SA of 16:00pm,'s gauge stands at 35 C. The Department of Immigration has gone silent; Your Right To Know does not play a role.

14 December 2004: Baxter hungerstrike: health deteriorates, calls for independent intervention - The situation in the Baxter detention centre is deteriorating. Two of the men who had stiched their lips, were taken to the Port Augusta hospital yesterday. Independent from the hunger strike, lawyers for another man who takes part in the hunger strike, filed an order in the court for the man to be released from the Baxter centre for a full and independent psychiatric assessment.

13 December 2004: Undermining Civil Rights in the USA - and in Australia? - News gathering is illegal under the new Patriot Act II: Section 102 of the new Patriot Act ll states clearly that any information gathering, regardless of whether or not those activities are illegal, can be considered to be clandestine intelligence activities for a foreign power. This makes news gathering illegal.

12 December 2004: Baxter Iranians start second week of hungerstrike - The hunger strike at the Baxter detention centre has entered its second week, and as the Iranians slowly loose their mind and their physical strength, Project SafeCom remains adamant that the reasons for this hunger strike point squarely at the feet of...

lip stitching5-25 December 2004: The hunger strike of the Iranians at the Baxter detention centre - In the excruciating desparation of being locked up for up to five years, the Iranians started a hunger strike in December 2004. Up to 27 men were involved, and Project SafeCom's office was operational during the entire period, while we kept in touch with the supporters' network around the men, and briefed reporters to keep the issue in the news. We wrote seven reports.

11 December 2004: Internet freedom threatened: the Copyright Legislation Amendment Bill 2004 - "The bill will mean internet companies will be forced to take down websites and hosting services merely on the basis of a claim they are infringing copyright. This has caused big problems in the US. This bill will have an impact on anyone who uses the internet and should be given proper scrutiny and debate in Parliament and not rushed through before Christmas."

7 December 2004: Palm Island: will Indigenous people get justice for Doomadgee? - "Cameron Doomadgee was found to have suffered four fractured ribs, a ruptured liver and torn protal vein. He died from these injuries he sustained while in police custody on Palm Island. Apparently he sustained these injuries when he fell off a table. Yeah, sure he did."

5 December 2004: Tony Kevin: Howard in Vientiane - another own goal - Here we go again - another avoidable Australian failure of regional diplomacy, but spun to a credulous media at home as a success; even the spurious backgrounding argument that "we were ambushed by ASEAN over this" and that we were somehow clever and tough not to be caught in their trap.

4 December 2004: Escape from Australia: WWII role models mix with civil disobedience - This week refugee activists in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane had their homes raided as several were charged with passport forgery offences, allegedly committed to assist asylum seekers with their escape from Australia to countries such as Canada and New Zealand...

30 November 2004: Australian Courts free themselves from draconian Migration Act laws - Moves are afoot from the judiciary, indicating it's sick of the intransigence of the Howard government's Department of Immigration, the draconian Immigration legislation as laid down in the Migration Act, and the deepseated misery it has created amongst asylum seekers and refugees.

28 November 2004: Antony Loewenstein: Australia reports Arafat's death and legacy - The death of Yasser Arafat will not, despite the rhetoric suggesting otherwise, inevitably lead to a more likely resolution of the Israel/Palestine conflict, although if one only read the Australian media after the PLO leader's death, one could be forgiven for thinking that a road block to peace had been removed.

27 November 2004: Eureka 150 years: Howard snubs Australian history - It really is a remarkable state of affairs when the Head of State of The Australian Commonwealth, John Howard, snubs a major historical event such as the 150-year anniversary commemorations of the Eureka Stockade, which started yesterday with a major celebration in Ballarat, and with events planned in all States and Territories around the country.

27 November 2004: The Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2003-2004 - Project Censored is a media research group out of Sonoma State University which tracks the news published in independent journals and newsletters. From these, Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media.

26 November 2004: Fallujah, The US Elections and 9/11: A matter of normalising the unthinkable - In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger demonstrates how the attack on Fallujah has been 'normalised' by the media. The same process of suppression has been applied to the 'blizzard of platitudes' that was the US election campaign and, as if nobody noticed, to the revelations of the Kean report on 9/11.

24 November 2004: Got a disability? "Get over it, get a job", says Howard - Here we go folks - first it was refugees and asylum seekers, last week it was High Noon for Australian Indigenous people, and today Wild West Honest John targets people with a disability.

24 November 2004: Feed them mushrooms: the reporting failure from Fallujah - "Even for a hardened cynic like me, the brazen enormity of Fallujah as a successfully spun and covered-up massive US atrocity against what was 16 days ago a dissident but functioning civilian city of 300,000 people - the "city of mosques" takes my breath away." -Tony Kevin.

23 November 2004: SIEV X: Where Do We Go From Here Now? - Three years ago, 353 people drowned on 19 October 2001 when their criminally overloaded refugee boat sank 60 nautical miles south of Sunda Strait, in international waters that were being intensively patrolled and monitored at the time by Australia's defence force, under the major declared border protection exercise Operation Relex.

22 November 2004: The ongoing drama in Fallujah - After the cowardly attack on Fallujah, an American soldier was captured on film and sound, shooting a wounded un-armed Iraqui resistance fighter in a mosque. Bound not to be an isolated incident but the inevitable result when cowards release the dogs of war.

13 November 2004: Refugees: ensuring renewed national attention - A massive contingent of refugee advocates, supporters and activists is expected to descend on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra this Tuesday under the theme "Stand Up for Refugees" to make their presence felt during the opening day of the new parliament and the start of a new term of the Howard government.

11 November 2004: Howard's way with The First Australians: shame, shame, shame - Welfare for showering yourself with soap - today is Howard's day for Howard's way with indigenous people. The PM is quietly, bit by bit, announcing his hardline welfare policy for indigenous people, he raids the only Indigenous newspaper we have, the National Indigenous Times.

10 November 2004: John Howard refuses protection for Australia's Highest Court - This surely must be a deliberate refusal on the part of the Howard government to protect Commonwealth legislation as vested in the High Court of Australia, and it leaves no choice but to conclude that the Australian Prime Minister is seriously in contempt of Australian law, and in contempt of The High Court.

9 November 2004: Falluja: All the makings of a war crime - We need to be clear on what is about to happen in the Iraqi city of Falluja, about 64 kilometres west of Baghdad and a key centre of Sunni population in Iraq. This city has for many months held out as a centre of Sunni-based political-military resistance, refusing to accept the authority either of the former US-led occupying authority...

9 November 2004: Tony Kevin: No need for a dirt unit on John Howard - Watching Mark Latham confronting allegations from his first wife, disgruntled local councillors, and the alleged Howard government 'Dirt Unit' in recent days, left me wondering - why are Howard's alleged serious crimes of state still not being properly discussed or investigated?

8 November 2004: The Politics of Fear - The scare campaign is one of the most powerful weapons of modern politics. From the yellow peril to McCarthyism, law-and-order and interest rates, the right-wing has always used the politics of fear to great effect.

8 November 2004: Tony Kevin: "Another Country: Writing from Exile" - Many of the people I have tried to engage with the SIEV X story over the past two years may have felt like Coleridge's wedding guest being importuned by The Ancient Mariner. They didn't want to hear but, fascinated in spite of themselves, they were unwillingly forced to...

8 November 2004: We are just being born... - (on the 2004 Australian Federal election outcome) At first it seems that something may have died within us on October 9th. This is reflected in the quietness that has descended. There is an inability to talk about the depth of despair we feel, as the reality of the democratic verdict is too painful.

7 November 2004: George Bush, Peter Singer, God and Family First - I don't think the last word has been said about the US elections in November 2004 ... one of the main issues of debate that's starting also, both in the US and here in Australia, is what may well be the rise of the new religious right, for us in the form of Family First.

4 November 2004: Arundhati Roy: Peace & The New Corporate Liberation Theology - "The assault on vulnerable, fragile sections of society is at once so complete, so cruel and so clever - all encompassing and yet specifically targeted, blatantly brutal and yet unbelievably insidious - that its sheer audacity has eroded our definition of justice."

4 November 2004: Robert Bosler and John Howard - "This painting questions John Howard's fitness to serve. It is not about evil. It's not about the bible. It's about John Howard purposely allowing himself to be susceptible to forces of negativity."

2 November 2004: Brendan Nelson: First strike in Howard's Culture Wars - Howard's appreciation ratings have never been high enough to even rate in any rankings. While Latham has a PhD and has written several books, and also has several biographies on the bookshelves, Howard remains absent in the hearts of Australians, and I think he knows it. So, after getting our votes, he now wants our minds instead.

29 October 2004: Australia's 2004 Report Card on Press Freedom looks concerning - Australia has ranked dismally in a global index on media freedom released by Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Australia could only manage 41st position in RSF's third annual index of press freedom, lagging behind some former Eastern bloc nations, including Hungary (28), Czech Republic (19) and Poland (32).

29 October 2004: Educating Laurie: More letters - "Federal Labor's new immigration spokesman, Laurie Ferguson, has angered refugee advocates by claiming that many asylum seekers have fraudulent claims and are manipulating the legal system. Refugee support groups have begun a campaign called Educating Laurie and are urging the public to send letters and emails."

29 October 2004: Cedric Beidatsch: Coming to terms with the 2004 election - Although the pundits suggested there was a possibility of a victory by the opposition Labor Party, most people expected the incumbent Liberal - national coalition under the rat cunning John Howard to be returned....

29 October 2004: Cedric Beidatsch: The aftermath: moving ahead from the 2004 election - Now is the time to be creative; to try new ways, to think new thoughts; to experiment with political forms; to revisit and learn from old traditions and forgotten histories with new eyes. "Let 100 flowers bloom, let 1000 schools of thought contend".

28 October 2004: Educating Laurie: Letters - The Uniting Church today said that it is disappointing that the new Shadow Minister for Immigration, Laurie Ferguson, has already shown that he knows nothing about the procedures for assessing refugee claims.

28 October 2004: Labor for Refugees: leaving the ALP? - The ALP is undemocratic and secretative. Members are work-horses who are trotted out around the streets during campaigns. New policies are developed by a small clique for campaigns. Sitting candidates learn of new policies when they are announced to the press.

28 October 2004: Fixing Australia: 100 words - Responses to the challenge to send a summary of "exactly one hundred words including your title - yes, you need to count them, because we will. Your story will become part of our permanent website repository."

27 October 2004: Mr Laurie Ferguson's email to me - Well - we have a new shadow immigration minister: Laurie Ferguson, Member for Reid. Watch out for how this feisty ALP member will deal with "those refugee advocates" ... below is the original communication between Mr Ferguson and myself.

27 October 2004: Not advocating for Labor - I have been wondering about continuing to live in Australia since 2001. There now is the added dimension where the human rights abuses of the Howard government have become institutionalised in law.

27 October 2004: Democracy itself is now at stake - Democracy itself is now at stake in Australia, and this is such a serious threat that I believe that people of all parties and political persuasions are concerned and would respond to a call to work together to save it.

26 October 2004: The ALP: did we vote for this? - Has right-wing neo-liberalism invaded the ALP so much that all hope for a good Labor Party as we know it should be abandoned? And, if that is so, should the backbenchers leave and become independents or Greens?

26 October 2004: Fixing Australia in one hundred words - Since the recent Federal election, which I had hoped would turn out as a notice of eviction for the Howard government, it has been quiet, strangely quiet. I sense a despair amongst many people when I ask them to talk and share their thoughts....