Dubious Pipeline Assertions Become USA Today Headlines

Peter Hart, FAIR [19/1/12]:

Today's front page of USA Today:

The paper adds that "Obama was putting politics ahead of jobs and the nation's energy security by rejecting the pipeline now, Republicans and oil industry leaders said." It closes with this:

Business leaders and Republicans say approving the project now would create as many as 20,000 jobs for an ailing U.S. economy and lessen dependence on foreign oil.

"This political decision offers hard evidence that creating jobs is not a high priority for this administration," said Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

If the argument in favor of this pipeline is that it creates jobs, then reporters should look into the claims about job creation. USA Today doesn't do that, but others have. A piece by CBS reporter Alain Sherter (1/18/12) explained that the 20,000 figure, while lower than some estimates, still has some problems:

But subsequent analysis suggests that Keystone's job-creating potential is more modest. The U.S. State Department calculated last year that the underground pipeline would add 5,000 to 6,000 U.S. jobs. One independent review of Keystone puts that number even lower, with the Cornell University Global Labor Institute finding that the pipeline would add only 500 to 1,400 temporary construction jobs. The authors of the September report also said that much of the new employment stemming from Keystone would be outside the U.S.

Transcanada itself cast doubt on its employment forecast when a vice president for the company told CNN last fall that the 20,000 jobs Keystone would create were temporary and that the project would likely yield only "hundreds" of permanent positions.

Another reason for the discrepancy appears to stem from what that 20,000 figure really means. As Transcanada has conceded, its estimate counted up "job years" spent on the project, not jobs. In other words, the company was counting a single construction worker who worked for two years on Keystone as two jobs, lending fuel to critics who said advocates of the pipeline were overstating its benefits.

The inflated claims will continue to fly, though--especially when reporters don't push back.

A Palestinian man reacts upon the arrival of the body of a man, killed by an Israeli strike, at a hospital in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, January 18, 2012. REUTERS/ Mohammed Salem

Free Chocolate To Lovers Of Free Democracy?
Thank You Very Much!

Opening a dialogue in our public spaces for Real Democracy
Image: @OccupyMELBOURNE [20/1/12]
Good News!

Image: Chris Niblett [www.sixdegrees.org.au/gladstone]
Friends Of The Earth [20/1/12]:

Today in the Brisbane magistrates court, Magistrate Jim Herlihy gave the green light to environmental protestors in Queensland to take action to protect the environment from coal and coal seam gas development.

“This is a great day for Queensland, and a great outcome for the environment,” said Derec Davies from Friends of the Earth.

“Gladstone Harbour is sick, and protest action from the community has been validated today. Federal Environment Minister Burke and Queensland Environment Minister Darling, Fishery Minister Wallace, and the Premier Bligh have been slapped in the face today by the Queensland courts”.

On the 9 Nov 2011 environmental activist Derec Davies boarded and stopped the controversial dredging in Gladstone Harbour. Gaining national media attention and connecting dredging impacts to the Great Barrier Reef and the activities of Queensland's coal and coal seam gas industry.

“No fine, no conviction, and the damages claim thrown out. This is an exceptional win and sends a clear signal to Minister Darling that the environment and the concerns from the community will come before industry in the eyes of the law,” said Davies.

Today Mr Davies appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to fight the Gladstone Port Corporation's $35,000 damages claim.

Magistrate Herlihy stated:

“The courts are not in the business of closing down genuine protests.”

He then went on the discuss the merits of Gandhi, and noted the “dead fish in Gladstone”, and associated discussion around coal seam gas protest in the Senic Rim Region of Queensland. Australia's coal and coal seam gas development bubble has placed unprecedented pressure on the Great Barrier Reef.

“Minister Darling and Premier Bligh know the recent Gladstone Fish Health report and on-going community outcry is a huge embarrassment and challenge for their leadership. With pressure from the UN World Heritage Committee to stop the dredging in Gladstone, and now the Queensland Courts, when will Minister Darling face the people of Gladstone and hear their calls”.

“The risk to the Great Barrier Reef from 34 new coal mines, 4 coal seam gas ports is far to high. Queensland is fueling global climate change with our coal and gas exports. Our government should not destroy our reef for the profits and the energy needs of other countries”.

“Communities across the state are fighting back,” said Davies.

"The UN World Heritage Committee visit is scheduled for March 2012, the outcome of today's court paves the way for legitimate protest to continue,” he said.

LNP Policy Is To Expand The CSG Industry:
Australian Party Media Release [20/1/12]
State Leader of Katter’s Australian Party, Aidan McLindon, said that Campbell Newman’s coal seam gas rhetoric was designed to hide the fact that LNP policy was for the expansion of the CSG industry.
“Campbell Newman clearly states, on page 46 of his Resource and Energy Strategy policy, that ‘The LNP supports the expansion of the CSG industry’,” Mr McLindon said.
“This statement comes directly after the LNP recognises that ‘the expansion of the current CSG industry to an export LNG industry will dramatically increase the CSG industry’s impact on Queensland rural landholders’.”
“The LNP know that this industry will destroy farmers, the land and the Great Artesian Basin, yet in plain English they have printed that they support the expansion of the foreign-owned coal seam gas industry in Queensland.”
“No amount of rhetoric from Mr Newman about how much he pretends to dislike this industry can hide the fact that he supports the industry.”
“No amount of bluster can hide the links the LNP have to the industry.”
“Campbell Newman wants the CSG industry to go ahead so he can use the revenue to pay for his Ashgrove promises.”
“He is willing to sacrifice rural and regional Queensland to buy votes in inner-city Brisbane.”
“Katter’s Australian Party is offering a clear difference to voters. The Australian Party will impose an immediate moratorium on new CSG developments.”
“The Australian Party will make SEQ off limits to CSG.”
“The Australian Party will give landholders the right to say no.”
CSG Marches Closer To Brisbane

Queensland Country Life [20/1/12]:

South-East Queenslanders are for the first time facing the reality of the coal seam gas industry right on their doorstep.

Broadacre farm group AgForce said the current protest against Shell/Petro China’s Coal Seam Gas (CSG) exploration at Kerry in the Scenic Rim area south of Brisbane highlights the impacts this industry has on the day-to-day lives of Queenslanders right across the state.

Policy director Drew Wagner visited the protest today to explain AgForce’s concerns about the resources sector, particularly the escalating CSG industry.

“The latest action shows CSG is no longer an issue affecting areas 300 kilometres away across the Great Divide, but is now marching closer and closer to the Greater Brisbane area,” Mr Wagner said.

“The emotions and concerns about potential environmental consequences of this company’s activities at Kerry echo what we’ve seen for some years now across high quality agricultural land right around Queensland.”

AgForce sympathises with the farmers, tourism operators and locals around Beaudesert and again calls on the government and the Opposition to take community frustrations about this sector seriously.

“AgForce is not anti-CSG and recognises that the industry may deliver economic benefits to certain regions, but at what cost to the environment and longer-term agricultural production? Where is the balance?” Mr Wagner said.

“The questions the Scenic Rim community is asking about this industry are questions AgForce has raised for many years now without adequate answers.”

AgForce again calls on all sides of government to set clear boundaries on where the CSG industry can and can’t develop.

“The government says the gas sector is tightly regulated, but current laws only force companies to ‘make good’ damage they do to the environment after it’s done, which it too little too late as far as AgForce is concerned.

“What’s also not commonly understood is that recently introduced Strategic Cropping Land laws don’t protect farm land from CSG development as the industry isn’t deemed to permanently alienate the land from agricultural production.”

Source: http://www.agforceqld.org.au

Rubber Bullets, Pepper Spray Fired At UC Riverside

Reclaim UC - Provisional Home of the College of Debtors in Defiance [19/1/12]:

A beautiful book bloc -- appropriately featuring Foucault's Discipline and Punish -- faced off today against the cops called in to defend the UC regents. The LA Times takes a good picture, but writes a terrible article:

Two demonstrators were arrested for crossing the police lines at the Student Union Building, according to UC Riverside spokesman James Grant. No one was reported seriously injured in the incidents, although one campus police officer suffered minor cuts on his hand from a demonstrator’s sign, Grant said.

One campus police officer suffered minor paper cuts on his pinky. Certainly, there were no students beaten with police batons or shot with rubber bullets.

Clearly, UC officials did not want a repeat of the controversial incident in November when UC Davis police pepper-sprayed student demonstrators at that campus.

Clearly, UC officials told the police to forgo the pepper spray and go straight to rubber bullets.

Fuck the police and their stenographers in the mainstream media. The real reporting's from our comrades at UC Rebel Radio:

The UC Regents' Meeting at UC Riverside began early today. Most mainstream media were inside the HUB building in which the Regents gathered. While we waited outside, reports from inside were telling that the public comment session was often interrupted by the Regents in their failed attempts to appease the student protesters who only had 1 minute each to express themselves. One comment was that regent Sherry Lansing tried to address the students by the usual means of misdirecting the students efforts towards the capital. The reports were that her comment was "useless and boring". After the public comment session was done with, the students offered their own meeting via mic check. But the Regents did nothing but hide in another room with very few people allowed in from the public. Police remained inside but did not move to arrest anybody. At around 1 p.m. everybody was running from the front doors of the HUB to the back doors through which the Regents were supposed to make their quick escape. Students took over a staircase and then another as police in riot gear blocked their way. Administrators were seen at the windows and balconies of the buildings while talking on their cell phones, taking video, and laughing at the people below them.

The police issued several orders to disperse and every time the students booed them and asked them "Why do we need to disperse? Give us a reason!" But the police only managed to repeat the same statement over and over. At one point the Chancellor of UC Riverside, Timothy P. White was seen on the balcony and was confronted by students asking to be allowed into the building and to the meeting. Upon being recognized, he quickly left the balcony and went back inside the building to never be seen again.

Later in the day, at around 3:30 p.m. the students were notified by scouts that the police were gathering in the back to make way for the exit of the Regents. Students split their ranks and took both exits, but no Regents were seen. At 4:30 p.m. (give or take) the Riverside Police Department sent in re-enforcements and the police line started their push back on the back side of the HUB building next to the parking lot.

Rubber bullets and pepper balls were fired. The police was chased over to the other side of the building. Over 5 people were arrested and there was a rumor that a fence was thrown at the riot police.

Word is that this face-off is still on-going.

We will keep you updated. ...

What Will Be The Consequences If We Do Nothing?
Support The Kerry Blockade! [VIDEO]
This System Is Ridiculous ...
Why Do I Have To Climb A Drill Rig To Have My Voice Heard?
Senator Scott LUDLAM - WIKILEAKS 2012 [VIDEO]
Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia talks to documentalist Cathy Vogan about Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, Occupy and the trouble with "expanding" definitions of terrorism. Skype link-up Perth/New York.
Throwing some kind of sticky liquid in front of a whaling boat; that's not terrorism. Exposing material that is in the public interest; that's not terrorism. Occupying a park or square because you are disgusted with corporate greed; that's not terrorism!
Dig Into The Sustainable Gardening Movement At Free Workshops:
GCCC Media Release [20/1/12]

Gold Coast City Council is ramping up its sustainable gardening workshops, free for all Gold Coast residents.

The first of the free monthly workshops will be held at Joan Park Community Garden, Southport, on Saturday 21 January between 10am and 12pm.

Chair of Community and Cultural Development Committee Councillor Bob La Castra said the sustainable gardening workshops have joined up with some of our Community Gardens to further promote the benefits of recycling to a key target group.

“Anyone wanting to start a garden knows that composting and worm farming are great things to do to ensure a thriving garden. These workshops are aimed at giving all Gold Coasters the best advice on starting, using and maintaining worm farms and compost bins. Not only is it fantastic for improving your garden but it is also a great way to recycle your waste,” he said.

“This year the workshops will also include advice on how to recycle waste by using bokashi bins, which are great for residents that live in units and apartments.

“The beauty of it is that you can use those everyday items that every home has – fruit and vegetable scraps, tea leaves, eggshells, house dust and even garden clippings - to make healthy soil. It’s not costly and fun to do.

“The community gardens are full of people interested in growing their own food and so it is a great opportunity to come along and learn about composting and worm farming – and meet some like-minded people. It is also a great way to get the kids outdoors and in touch with our environment as they get their hands dirty and enjoy the thrill of growing herbs and vegetables.”

The sustainable gardening workshops will be held once a month from January through to July on a Saturday between 10am and 12pm at the following locations:

• 21 January - Joan Park Community Garden, Southport
• 18 February - Nerang Library
• 17 March - Southern Beaches Community Garden, Tugun
• 21 April - Broadbeach Community Garden
• 19 May - Robina Library
• 23 June - Helensvale Community Centre

For more information or to register for a FREE workshop near you, call (07) 5581 6855, visit greengc.com.au or complete the online Sustainable Gardening workshop registration form

More Trees To Be Destroyed To Make Way For Light Rail To Nowhere?
Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach [19/1/12]
Repeat After Me: "CSG Is NOT An Election Issue In 2012!"

Fassifern Guardian [Facebook - 19/1/12]:

An excerpt from a press release we just received

- "At last we are getting through - after numerous approaches by phone, email and letter - at last the penny has dropped

Queensland's peak tourism industry group has backed protesters blockading a coal seam gas (CSG) drilling site south of Brisbane.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) says while mining plays a valuable part in the state's economy, extensive community consultation is imperative before exploration work goes ahead."

Qld Premier's Protection Of SEQ From Coal And Gas Shown To Be Hollow: Greens Media Release [19/1/12]

The Queensland Greens say that today's second blockade in the Beaudesert region proves how hollow the Premier's promises to protect southeast Queensland from mining are.

The Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic and Lock the Gate blockade of gas drilling in the Beaudesert region at Kerry was today extended to a rig at Boonah [Silverdale].

"The Premier promised to protect the scenic rim and its world heritage areas from mining when the strategic cropping land issue was being debated late last year," Queensland Greens state spokesperson Libby Connors said today.

"Now we find unequivocally that the promised protection of the Beaudesert region excludes coal seam gas and all existing mine and gas projects.

"Like all the other state government promises about tough environmental regulation and commitments to protect rural communities it turns out to be government spin.

"Either that or the Premier, like many of her ministers, has simply not understood how much has already been relinquished to the coal seam gas industry."

Spokesperson Libby Connors also called on Campbell Newman to state his position on coal seam gas drilling in the beautiful rural countryside neighbouring the Border Ranges world heritage area.

"Local members of the Queensland Greens have been at the blockade every day since it began and Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters visited to give support on Monday.

"Representatives of Katter's Australia Party have also called in to give support but the LNP are missing in action.

"We know the state government's view - the Tactical Response Group which was also used at the Tara residential estate blockades has been brought out in force to a peaceful protest and the word is that the instructions for them came "from the top".

"The major parties are ignoring this simmering election issue at their peril."

Pipeline Tribunal Must Hear Canadian Voices

Guelph Mercury [18/1/12]:

The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, running from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat, B.C., is in the first phases of public feedback, and already we have seen a storm of spin doctoring from the Conservative government.

They have called any opponents of the pipeline “radicals” and have claimed that they are “foreign backed.” The have chosen to ignore that of the 19 non-Canadians speaking to the tribunal on the pipeline most are representatives of the oil companies, all foreign-backed. Our government seems to think that foreign oil companies have our best interests in mind, while anyone else who doesn’t agree is against all things Canadian.

This is a dangerous tactic and makes for a very discouraging time in our democratic history. We are seeing more and more of the American political spin doctoring, more and more decisions for profits over people and our land.

In a time of climate change and peak oil, our government has decided to look at short-term profit, short-term job opportunities, and short-term environmental solutions to the most serious crises that our country and species have ever encountered. In a time where we need leadership, solution-based policies and development, and forward movement what do we get? Short-term thinking, lining the pockets of few, and complete denial.

Our government refuses to acknowledge that the expansion of the tar sands, the largest and dirtiest industrial project in Canada, will contribute to climate change. It pretends, by parroting the same words over and over, that by allowing the oil companies control over our natural legacy, they are somehow protecting the best interests of Canada.

The government forgets, perhaps, that Canada needs long-term jobs that could be found in the green energy sector, not short-term construction jobs that the pipeline promises. It forgets that Canadians care deeply for our natural world, including the last untouched temperate rainforest, which the pipeline would run through. It disregards its land treaties with the First Nations communities and makes paternalistic claims that the Canadian government knows what is best for these communities.

The government forgets, as well, that the majority of Canadians believe that climate change is a significant problem that we need to address.

It is clear, through the media coverage that the government is trying to close our eyes to the real environmental consequences of this project. Any opposition to this project is demonized as being anti-patriotic, a tactic used by the George W. Bush administration in 2003 to justify the war in Iraq, which was a horrible disaster.

It is time for Canadians to no longer be complacent. A majority government does not mean that Harper and his Conservative cronies have the last say in what happens in this country. As citizens, it is our responsibility to protect the land, to stand with our First Nations communities and call for long-term, sustainable solutions. We do this not just through letter writing, but through direct action. As a people it is time we stand together and say that we demand Canada takes real leadership on issues of climate change and moves away from short-term profits, delivered to a few corporate elite, to the long-term sustainability and prosperity of the average Canadian.

Amelia Meister, Transition Times

Bean Man Strikes Again!

Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach [19/1/12]

News International Settles 19 Phone Hacking Cases In Court

Hacked Off [19/1/12]:

News International has settled phone hacking cases in court this morning with 19 claimants, including Lord John Prescott and MP Chris Bryant.

Some claimants will receive £100,000 compensation, but most settlements will remain within five figures, the court heard. Other claimants settling today include Sadie Frost, Danni Minogue and Ashley Cole.

Solicitor Tamsin Allen, from Bindmans LLP, said: “The claimants now have some clarity about what happened to them in the years between 2000 and 2005 and satisfaction that justice has finally been done. Many of them have wondered for years how tabloid newspapers were able to obtain secret personal information about them, even suspecting their closest friends and relatives.

“Lives have been severely affected by this cavalier approach to private information and the law. News Group’s misguided decision to defend claims aggressively made matters worse. News Group have finally started to see sense and agreed to apologise and to pay compensation and costs in the majority of the remaining claims.

“The Leveson Inquiry will, in time, reveal to the public the full extent of the perversion of good journalistic standards at the News of the World during the phone-hacking years.”

According to solicitor Mark Thomson, from Atkins Thomson, a number of claimants are still pursuing the matter to trial and, as a result, NGN will continue to disclose further information and evidence.

Privacy proceedings were settled with large confidential sums being paid to Gordon Taylor and Max Clifford, leading to speculation about a cover-up, after the conviction of Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman.

In 2008, Stuart Kuttner of News of the World claimed “It happened once at the ‘News of the World’. The reporter was fired; he went to prison. The editor resigned”. In response to the Guardian’s allegations in July 2009 that phone hacking was widespread, Andy Hayman formerly the officer in charge of the phone hacking investigation, claimed in an article in The Times that there were a “handful” of victims and the police had “left no stone unturned”. John Yates supported that position.

The News of the World said “From our own investigation, but more importantly that of the police, we can state with confidence that, apart from the matters referred to above, there is not and never has been evidence to support allegations that ‘News of the World’ journalists have accessed the voicemails of any individual” and no evidence of “systemic corporate illegality by News International to suppress evidence”.

The PCC also investigated and concluded that phone-hacking was a minority activity, confined to one rogue reporter, and that the practice had been thoroughly investigated and stamped out.

Convinced that this defence was false, a determined group of claimants and their lawyers, mostly acting on conditional fee agreements, issued proceedings from 2009 onwards.

In early 2010, applications for disclosure were made in the case of Sienna Miller, forcing News Group to reveal evidence which referred to another senior journalist on the News of the World. This precipitated a new police investigation, and a dramatic shift in News Group’s public stance leading to limited admissions.

As more and more new victims were alerted and joined the litigation Mr Justice Vos decided in April 2011 that all the claims should be heard together with certain lead claims being treated as test cases. News Group continued to defend almost all the claims.

By October 2011, over 60 claims had been issued and 12 firms of solicitors were working together as a co-ordinated group. This group, in the face of significant opposition from News Group and its lawyers, obtained 9 separate disclosure orders from the Court. As a result, documents relating to the nature and scale of the conspiracy, a cover up and the destruction of evidence/email archives by News Group have now been disclosed to the Claimants. In the face of this overwhelming evidence, the “rogue reporter” position has disintegrated and the range, scale and extent of phone-hacking has become clear.

Despite its public admissions and expressions of regret, News Group continued to defend the majority of claims, arguing that interception did not take place or that the information obtained was not confidential.

News Group has never suggested there was any public interest whatsoever in voicemail interception.

As a result of the pressure exerted on News Group in these claims, public admissions of wrongdoing have now been obtained from News International and proper compensation will be paid to every victim. News Group has agreed to compensation being assessed on the basis that senior employees and directors of NGN knew about the wrongdoing and sought to conceal it by deliberately deceiving investigators and destroying evidence.

News Group has undertaken to continue to search its electronic archives so that all available evidence relating to unlawful interceptions will eventually be disclosed to the Claimants.

A number of Claimants are pursuing the actions to trial which commences on 13th February.

*Sources: court; press release from Bindmans LLP

No Deportations To Danger

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney [17/1/12]:

Sign our online petition to stop deportations to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

The Australian government is currently attempting to deport Afghan Hazara asylum seeker, Ismail Mirza Jan, to Afghanistan. Never before has an Afghan national been forcibly removed from Australia to Afghanistan.

This would be a new low in Australia’s refugee policy, with the Labor Government sinking even further than the Howard Government in pursuing deportations to danger. Even high-ranking ministers in the Western-backed Afghan government have questioned Australia’s right to forcibly repatriate Afghan asylum seekers from Australia. If Ismail is deported, this will open the way for the deportation of scores of Afghan, and potentially other, asylum seekers – back to war torn countries, impending danger, or even a death sentence. Two Tamil asylum seekers, Emil and Vithuran, too were only saved from deportation by last minute legal action in December.

Recently Ismail received a temporary reprieve when the Federal Magistrates Court questioned whether he received “procedural fairness” by the Australian government in their attempts to deport him. Ismail’s deportation case will come back to the High Court on February 8. The refugee rights movement, and all those who oppose this move to forced deportations, have a short window of opportunity to build a broad campaign against the forced deportation of Ismail, and the terrible precedent it would provide for further deportations.

Presenting: Clark Stoeckley
an EIDIA HOUSE project

January 20 to February 18, 2012

Live 24-hour continuous performance with reception beginning at 7pm, Friday, January 20

EIDIA House Studio / 14 Dunham Place / Basement Left (street level doors) / Williamsburg Brooklyn / NY 11211 / 646 945 3830 / eidiahouse@earthlink.net / http://www.eidia.com/

Hours: 1-6pm Wednesday – Saturday

EIDIA House announces its continuing exhibition initiative, PLATO’S CAVE. The twelfth artist in the series, Clark Stoeckley presents performance and in situ installation: Collateral Torture.

Collateral Torture

Clark Stoeckley’s 24-hour live performance will portray a day of Private First Class Bradley Manning's tortured imprisonment—commencing at 5pm on Friday the 20th and concluding at 5pm on Saturday the 21st. This performance will be recorded, and the documentation will be projected in Plato's Cave for the remaining duration of the exhibition.

Now an international figure with a huge following, Private First Class Bradley Manning has been ‘detained’ in solitary confinement since May 2010 for allegedly passing classified video and documents to WikiLeaks, blowing the whistle on war crimes in Iraq. During his imprisonment at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia, Manning was subjected to psychological torture. He was placed on a Prevention of Injury assignment, which meant that he had to sleep in only his boxer shorts, with no blankets or pillow, and was woken up every 5 minutes by guards. His treatment has been described as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid" by State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who resigned shortly after making those comments. He stood by his opinion stating "exercise of power in today's challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values." That same week Clark Stoeckley emblazoned a former U-Haul truck with signage that read "Release Bradley Manning", "WikiLeaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit" along with the WikiLeaks hourglass logo. He then drove it around the White House, and was quickly arrested and interrogated by Secret Service without ever being charged with a crime. His WikiLeaks Truck has been a staple of Occupy Wall Street since day one, delivering food and supplies to the revolution in New York, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, Newark and Bradley Manning's trial at Fort Meade in Maryland. Using multiple personas and costumes Clark Stoeckley mixes humor and political activism into a conceptual ‘stew’ that tackles head on, distorted and dishonest news headlines, to provoke action, comic relief and debate.

For PLATO’S CAVE, EIDIA House founders Paul Lamarre and Melissa P. Wolf curate invited fellow artists who create installations along with accompanying editions for the underground space; PLATO’S CAVE. EIDIA House Studio boldly states that it does not function as an art gallery, but collaborates with the artist to create provocation in art forms, keeping within an ongoing discipline of aesthetic research.

Clark Stoeckley is a New York City based artist, activist, and performer working in wide variety of media and under several monikers. Stoeckley is a recent graduate from Brooklyn College's Performance and Interactive Media Arts program and now teaches painting, drawing, and digital art at Bloomfield College in New Jersey. Though widely covered by the news, the WikiLeaks truck and Stoeckley’s work is rarely noticed by art writers. However, the artist was featured in the December 2011 ARTnews in an article titled "The Joke's on Us", describing a hoax lecture about New York City pranksters that Stoeckley presented, dressed in NYPD Vandal Squad Task Force police garb. His art has shown in the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and the Detroit Institute of Art. Stoeckley maintains that the works he is most proud of are those visibly engaged in everyday life—experienced on our streets.

Stoeckley’s edition: WikiLeaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit consists of 33 of 3 different signed and numbered 11" x 14" digital photographs of the WikiLeaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit (a total of 99 photographs.)


Internet Fight Song! [VIDEO]
(Anti-SOPA/PIPA song by Funk Vigilante)
Police Use Aggressive Tactics Against Lock The Gate Protesters:
Media Release [19/1/12]
Members of the anti-CSG group Keep The Scenic Rim Scenic have been subjected to more aggressive tactics from police at blockades this morning.
The blockade at Kerry continued into its eighth day this morning, and protesters opened up a new front at an Arrow Energy drill site at Silverdale on the Cunningham Highway.
A local woman Linda Weston was arrested at 9.30 this morning at the Silverdale site for refusing to obey a police direction. Nearly five hours later she is still in custody in the Ipswich Watch House and she has been charged under the controversial Section 805 of the Petroleum and Gas Act which carries a potential $50,000 fine.
President of the Lock The Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, who was at the Silverdale blockade said this was a blatant attempt at intimidation by the Queensland Police and the Bligh Government.
"Ms Weston was standing on public land no more than five metres from the highway and offered no resistance when arrested by the police," Mr Hutton said.
The police also used other intimidating tactics.
At the Kerry site a police vehicle entered the blockaders' camp which is on property owned by a farmer sympathetic to the group and police continually threaten blockaders with arrest if they put one foot on the road.
"We generally have very good relations with the police and have no problem with them carrying out their jobs in a professional way, even if it means that on occasion they might arrest some of us," Mr Hutton said.
"However, I call on the police leadership to ensure their officers do not go beyond the limits of their professional roles."
Mr Hutton said he would consider having legal representatives and video cameras at future actions and he would not hesitate in making complaints to the Crime and Misconduct Commission if he felt police had crossed the line.
"The people who are conducting this non-violent resistance are conservative and law abiding and most of them live in the local area," Mr Hutton said.
"They are extremely concerned that their beautiful area will be turned into a mining wasteland and are acting in the tradition of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and many of the great democratic, non-violent campaigns."

Occupy Congress In Pictures

[Slideshow - Cool Revolution - 18/1/12]

Occupying the Rayburn Building

Occupy Congress Storms All 3 Branches Of Government [VIDEO]



Money Is Not Free Speech

Steps Of The Supreme Court [VIDEO]


Anonymous - Occupy #J17 [VIDEO]

Greetings, we are Anonymous.

To those who wish to identify us, know this.

We are teachers and doctors.
We are lawyers and judges.
We are soldiers and firemen.
We are factory workers and sanitation workers.
We are engineers and IT specialists.
We are the desperate poor you pass on the street.
We are the millionaires who have a conscience.
We are the people you look down on in the checkout lain.
We are the police who dare to disobey illegal orders.
We are the patriots who refuse to blindly obey and look away.
We are the old grey ones and the young new bloods.
We are your mothers, daughters, sons and fathers.

To all people at all levels of government agencies military and media.
You are living under the direction of a police state ruled by corporations and contractors. Your government has been overthrown from within. The scale of the corruption is beyond the ability of any presidential election to resolve.

Governments that do not exist by the consent of the governed to serve the needs of the people have no right to exist. It is your duty to dissent against the treasonous oligarchy that has usurped the rightful power of the governed on behalf of profit interests. It is up to you to dissent, silently and publicly, in words and in actions. It is your patriotic duty to oppose the tyrannical and despotic system that greed and apathy helped to create.

Their show of force is a show of their weakness, and a show of our strength. Through nonviolent resistance we can win this. But if you do not dissent your children will inherent a police state based upon social darwinism and the absolute authority of an illegitimate oligarchy in which politicians are prostitutes and functionaries of the will of corporations. If you do not dissent the next generation will know your country as a land of hopelessness in which speech and rights are determined by wealth. If you do not dissent every soldier who has died serving your country will have died to ensure the absolute profits of corrupt and treasonous contractors who abuse agencies as the private armies of banks industries and multinational corporations.

If you do not see the reality of these statements, go back to sleep. May you rest well in your slumber, lest you awake to absolute tyranny. But if you are aware of the truth of these statements, if this is not the world you wish to leave for your family, then know this. Anyone can be Anonymous.

The corrupt fear us, the honest support us, and the brave join us.
We are not the private army of any government politician religion or cult.
We are the people, the only system.

We are the DataAngels calling on every American at every level of government and media.
Leak Harvest and Archive all evidence of wrong doing, expose all corruption.

We must Dissent.

We Are Anonymous.
We Are Legion.
We Do Not Forgive.
We Do Not Forget.
Expect us. Join us.

What's Happening With Your Country Cousins?
Anti-CSG protesters at Silverdale continue their blockade today [Image: Seven News Brisbane]
According to a 'tweet'/facebook post from 'The Fassifern Guardian':
Protesters have left the site at Silverdale. The man who was atop the rig has come down avoiding arrest. Police subsequently arrested protester's mother, who refused to comply with officer's orders after being asked to move from the entrance. It is believed that she has been taken to the Harrisville Police Station.
Sydney Morning Herald [19/1/12]:

Activists have warned a mining company none of its coal seam gas (CSG) sites are safe from protest action.

Protest action targeting Arrow Energy spread on Thursday from an initial blockade at Kerry, south of Brisbane, to a second site.

A protester scaled a drilling rig at an Arrow Energy site at Silverdale near Aratula, an hour's drive to the west.

He climbed down from the rig on police orders and was not charged, but his mother has been arrested for failing to comply with police directives.

Lock The Gate Alliance leader Drew Hutton told AAP all of Arrow Energy's CSG sites in Queensland were fair game as protesters express fears over environmental effects.

"We now consider any Arrow Energy drilling rig as fair game in our campaign of non-violent civil resistance," said the campaigner, who was fined last year for his role in a CSG protest.

He said the action at Silverdale had held up Arrow workers, who wanted to dismantle the rig, for about three hours. Meanwhile, Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman had declined an invitation to visit the Kerry blockade after organisers said he must clarify his party's policy on CSG exploration.

"He said a couple of months ago there would not be coal seam gas mining in the Scenic Rim under an LNP government, but then he hedged his bets a bit," Mr Hutton said.

"We want a clear and unequivocal statement from him that an LNP government will ensure it doesn't happen in the Scenic Rim, but so far there's been no answer to our invitation."

But Mr Newman said he'd made his position clear during a trip to the Kerry Valley in October.

"We said no to open cut coal mining and coal seam gas exploitation in the Scenic Rim. I'm not going to go down there because I've already made my point known ahead of the game, before Arrow Energy went out and started this drilling," he told reporters in Brisbane.

"And furthermore, prior to Christmas I personally conveyed to Arrow Energy that we did not support their plans for CSG in the Scenic Rim council area.

"If other politicians are down there wanting to get on the bandwagon blatantly, that's their call."

Independent Candidate Calls For Immediate Ban On CSG Mining:

Media Release [18/1/12]

Dr Patricia Petersen, independent candidate for Ipswich, has pleaded with all local politicians and political candidates to 'stand up' to the Labor state government.

Dr Petersen has urged all Ipswich politicians to band together to stop coal seams gas mines being peppered throughout the Ipswich greater region.

Dr Petersen will join protesters at a coal seam gas blockade at Silverdale (5173 Cunningham Highway, approx 30km south-west of Brisbane), this morning.

Dr Petersen said that the government's claim that CSG mining is good for jobs and the economy, is 'absolute rubbish'.

"The Labor state government is being deliberately duplicitous when it says that CSG mining will provide jobs and boost our economy. It knows that the economy will only be boosted in the very short term," she said.

"The LNP is also supporting CSG mining. I'm pleading with them to change their policy. Ipswich and the rest of Queensland will be damaged for decades and decades to come if they win government and whack in tens of thousands of coal seam gas mines," said Dr Petersen.

"Toxic coal seam gas mining so close to Ipswich will cause catastrophic economic, health-related and environmental problems down the track," she said.

"We don't want our underground aquifers and ultimately the Bremer and Brisbane Rivers being polluted," said Dr Petersen.

"We know from the overseas experince of coal seam gas mining, that the 'fracking' process leads to toxins and pollutents leaking into underground waterways, creeks and rivers," she said.

"CSG has been linked to cancer, miscarriage, deformities in the unborn. It's dangerous and should be oulawed immediately," said Dr Petersen.

"The government claims that extensive CSG mining will create jobs, increase levels of infrastructure in small towns and improve the state's ailing economy. This is a blatant lie," she said.

"Queensland's economy heavily relies on exporting food. If tens of thousands of coal seam gas mines go in, currently rich fertile agricultural and food growing land will become unusable. Why? Because the pollutants from the gas mines will flow into aquifers, local waterways and ultimately the soil," said Dr Petersen.

"In the long term, if this fiscally ill-thought out scheme goes ahead, farmers will no longer have livelihoods, there will no longer be food to export, livestock won't survive, whole communities will be wiped out from serious health ailments such as cancer from drinking toxic water," she said.

"We won't have locally grown foods to eat. This issue will not only impact on farmers, it will adversely effect all Queenslanders. When food is scarce, prices skyrocket. Most of the fruit and vegetables we eat in Queensland is already inferior, imported product from China and elsewhere. If we don't stop this, we will, within a decade, be paying exorbitant amounts for basic food items such as potatoes, carrots and pumpkin," said Dr Petersen.

"I am not against mining per se. I'm a 5th generation Ipswich girl, whose great grandfather was a local coal miner. However, I am against the new form of mining which will environmentally, socially, and economically, cripple us," said Dr Petersen.

"The government has committed to putting in these mines. The LNP has stated that if they win government, they will put them in. This is a very serious situation indeed," she said.

"The LNP, like the ALP, have ruled out changes in legislation which would allow landowners to stop mining companies from drilling on their land. I am for changes in legislation which would allow landowners to determine whether they would like their land mined or not. Landowners should have the right to remove mining companies from their land if they don't want them on it," said Dr Petersen.

UN Agency Seeks $300 Million To Assist Palestinians In West Bank And Gaza: Media Release [17/1/12]

The United Nations today launched an emergency appeal for just over $300 million to assist Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank who are still dealing with the effects of the conflict that ended three years ago as well as various humanitarian needs.

Israel launched a three-week offensive in Gaza in December 2008 with the stated aim of ending rocket attacks by Hamas and other groups. At least 1,300 Palestinians were killed and some 5,300 were injured in the heavy bombardment and fighting in densely populated areas, which reduced homes, schools, hospitals and marketplaces to rubble.

“The effects of the war still persist today and the humanitarian needs of the women, men and children of Gaza remain widespread and acute,” said Margot Ellis, Deputy Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The appeal focuses on three strategic priorities – food security, protection and emergency response capability. Eighty per cent of the requested funds will be used to promote food security through food assistance, cash assistance and job creation programmes. A sizeable portion of the appeal also aims to protect the rights of refugees and improve their access to basic emergency health, water, sanitation, education, and temporary shelter.

Speaking at the Agency’s headquarters in Gaza, Ms. Ellis told reporters that “despite an easing of access, Gaza remains under a blockade and its population subject to collective punishment, an act illegal under international law.”

Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza for what it called security reasons after Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, ousted the Fatah movement in the Strip in 2007. Despite the ongoing blockade, UNRWA has continued its reconstruction efforts, the Agency stated in a news release.

Out of a $667 million reconstruction plan, UNRWA has been able to complete 22 projects worth some $22.5 million and is presently working on implementation of further projects worth some $115 million. UNRWA noted that while this is a sizeable amount and reflects good progress, dozens more schools and thousands of homes still need to be built. It welcomed the steps made by the Israeli authorities in approving projects, while stressing the need to step up the pace of reconstruction.

“Three years on, UNRWA calls on the international community to work with the relevant parties to ease further the restrictions, give swifter approval for more projects and put an end to the blockade,” it stated.

The Agency added that the continuing blockade and the restrictions on exports have far reaching consequences which increase poverty and aid dependency and the demand for UNRWA’s emergency services.

A quarter of the UNRWA appeal is for the West Bank, where, according to Ms. Ellis, “forced displacements, settlement expansion, and settler violence are taking a devastating toll on the communities UNRWA serves.”

Since the beginning of 2011, nearly 1,100 Palestinians, including 618 children, have been displaced due to demolitions in East Jerusalem and Area C – the over 60 per cent of the West Bank where Israel retains control over security, planning and building – according to UNRWA.

UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for nearly five million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight.

Kerry Valley Blockade [VIDEO]
January 18th 2012, the Kerry Valley Blockade continues to protest against drilling for CSG in the beautiful valley below Heritage Listed Lamington National Park. The valley is farmland.
You can't eat gas ... you can't even drink the water it pollutes.
Refugee On Hunger Strike After ASIO Inaction [VIDEO]

Protesters have gathered at a detention centre at Broadmeadows in Melbourne's north in support of a man who was deemed a genuine refugee but remains in custody. [18/1/12]
... What's so amazing
That keeps us star gazing
What so we think we might see? ...
Nothing but smiling faces at Main Beach [18/1/12]. Rupert hates people engaging in any activity that is free - and involves enjoying the environment - that's why his publications beat up incidents of surf rage, which are then unquestionly regurgitated by your Local ABC Radio.
Broadwater [18/1/12]
Smart Policy
Schools A Priority For 2012: Greens Media Release [18/1/12]
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today released a background paper on schools funding and said the Gillard government should commit to introducing and passing legislation for the reformed schools funding system this year.

"Australia is long overdue for a multi-billion dollar injection into public schools. We also need to better fund the teaching of Indigenous languages that are at risk of disappearing, as well as boosting Asian languages, science and music," Senator Brown said.

"There is an urgent need to reform federal funding of schools, which will be become more apparent with the release of the Gonski review. We advocate a public school system which sets the standard for education across the nation.

"Australia's OECD ranking is disastrous with its public investment in schools at only 3% of GDP compared to an OECD average of 3.5%. Australia ranks 24 out of 30 on public investment in schools.

"The Gillard government, with the support of the opposition, passed legislation last year to extend the current inequitable funding model for another year, until 2013, setting up a gap of at least six years between the government's announced intention to review funding and any future change for the better."

Key ingredients for change, proposed by the Australian Greens:

Multi-billion dollar additional investment in public education;
A new funding model for non-government schools which breaks the old nexus between government and non-government school funding;
The Commonwealth to have a role in determining which non-government schools receive funding including consideration of a school's enrolment policies;
Significant investment in Indigenous education to ensure Indigenous students can be schooled in their own languages and addressing the hearing needs of many Indigenous students using modern technology and special classrooms;
Ensuring that there are the necessary increases in funding for students with a disability or with special needs to meet the commitment of providing a high-quality education for all;
Additional funds to increase the teaching of Asian languages in Australian schools and providing music educational opportunities in public primary schools and to boost science education; and
Legislate a new funding model in 2012.

"In the middle of a mining boom, in one of the richest countries in the world and at the richest time in history Australia should have the best public education system in the world, not the 24th best," Senator Brown said.

"The Gillard government should remove the link between the resources received by government schools and the public funding of private schools. Private schools should no longer get automatic benefits from a rise in public school funding.

"If government funds are to flow to non-government schools, the federal government should have a role in determining conditions for the funding, and insist that non-government schools cannot refuse children with special needs."

Dumb As Dogshit Policy

ABC, World Today [18/1/12]:

... TREVOR COBBOLD: Year 3 and year 5 now, it's like sitting a Year 12 exam. Last year it was really interesting because there were common anecdotes around about NAPLAN belly. It became a new ailment last year.

ALISON CALDWELL: That's Trevor Cobbold. He's the national convenor of the group Save Our Schools. He fears Australia is following the United States and Britain, where cheating continues to flourish after two decades of testing.

TREVOR COBBOLD: I mean cheating and rorting is just one part of the problem. The other part of the problem is that NAPLAN now dominates school life for almost the first half of the year. And what that leads to is boring classrooms devoted to route learning and endless practising of tests and the sidelining of other subjects, such as science, health, languages and the arts.

None of the cheating, none of the rorting of school results, none of the narrowing of the curriculum or teaching to the test was happening in the standardised tests prior to the introduction of MySchool and the publication of league tables. It's all the result of the publication of school results. It creates such pressure on classrooms, such pressure on principals and teachers, that some look for short-term results. ...

Brisbane Curios [17/1/12]

Gearing up for Occupy Art Attack on February 12 with some craft at Kangaroo Point


New York, London, Paris, Tokyo & Nambour!

Burnett Lane

Murdoch’s Dream Come True?

AVAAZ [18/1/12]:

Free reign to control every last newspaper, TV and radio station in Australia -- Rupert Murdoch’s fantasy could become a frightening reality unless we stand in his way right now.

A government review is recommending we eliminate ownership limits -- exactly what Murdoch asked for. But we have two weeks to flood the review with objections to their plan during the public comment period before they finalise the report.

Unless thousands of us speak out, the recommendations could go forward unchallenged. Nobody -- especially not Rupert Murdoch -- should be allowed to own all of our media.

Let’s wake up the review with our call -- and prevent the Murdoch Mafia from growing even larger.

Ian Hislop Asks Leveson Inquiry To Bring In David Cameron, Tony Blair And Gordon Brown

Mirror [18/01/12]:

Ian Hislop yesterday demanded that PM David Cameron, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown be grilled by the Leveson inquiry over their relationship with media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

The Have I Got News For You star said politicians had become too close to the News International chief, who closed down the News of the World last year over the phone hacking scandal.

Hislop, who is also editor of Private Eye magazine, said: “Our politicians have been very, very involved in ways that I think aren’t sensible with News International.”

Mr Hislop rejected calls for statutory regulation of the press, saying there was already legislation in place to tackle abuses like phone hacking.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger also questioned the dealings politicians had with Mr Murdoch regarding his bid to buy BSkyB.

The inquiry into press standards continues.

You Can't Believe The Media And The Mayor On Anything To Do With Occupy Brisbane And Post Office Square

Post Office Square [17/1/12]

Perfect example! During today's [18/1/12] 3 PM news bulletin broadcast on ABC612 Brisbane (and Coast FM 91.7 Gold Coast), someone felt that it was important to mention that the shooting at the White House last November occurred "during the Occupy protests in Washington".

ABC [18/1/12]:

A man accused of firing shots at the White House in November has been formally charged with attempting to assassinate US president Barack Obama.

A preliminary psychiatric evaluation in December found Oscar Ortega-Hernandez competent to stand trial.

But now federal prosecutors are asking for more extensive tests to ensure he can be held legally liable.

The 21-year-old Idaho resident has been in police custody since his arrest in November.

He allegedly fired on the executive mansion with a Romanian-made semi-automatic weapon on November 11. Mr Obama was in California at the time and no-one was injured.

Ortega-Hernandez faces life in prison if convicted. His attorneys have argued he is not guilty.

Secular Public Education Lobby News [VIDEO - 18/1/12]

Minimum qualifications for Julia Gillard / Peter Garrett born again NSCP are a cruel hoax - an absolute con job.

Pointless Advances
Brisbane Square Library [17/1/12]
Update From Kerry Blockade 18 Jan
Protester roughed up at Kerry CSG Blockade
Image @coalseamgasnews

* UPDATE * Nine MSN [18/1/12]:

An elderly man who fell from his wheelchair during a police arrest was left lying on the ground as workers drove their cars around him at an anti-coal seam gas blockade south of Brisbane, protesters say.

The incident happened on Wednesday morning as police from the tactical response unit set up an exclusion zone and ordered demonstrators to move away from the entrance to Arrow Energy's drilling site on a farm at Kerry, near Beaudesert.

Blockade representative Heidi Ross said an elderly protester with a broken leg asked another protester to push his wheelchair onto the entrance driveway.

"The man pushing him was arrested straight away and, as I understand it, the elderly man fell out of his wheelchair and remained on the ground as the workers' vehicles drove around him and onto the drilling site," she told AAP.

"Police didn't arrest the elderly man and he was unhurt, but everybody just drove around him as he lay on the ground."

Ms Ross said drilling had resumed for the first time in five days, since NSW schoolteacher Daniel Robins scaled the drilling rig and halted operations.

"We're disappointed but there is certainly no weakening of resolve. If anything there's a strengthening of resolve among members of the local farming community.

"We will maintain this blockade."

Via Tracey Larkin Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic:


Lock The Gate

ABC [AUDIO - 17/1/12]:

Aidan McLindon spoke to Steve Austin about his party's policy on CSG, his party's prospects and when the state election might be held.

Petition: Arrow Energy - Community Consultation And A Baseline Water Study


Why Is Bob Your Uncle?

A collection of bargains purchased at the Lifeline Book Fest in Brisbane - including 'Fascinating Facts & Curious Questions: Why Elephants Can't Jump, Why Sheep Don't Shrink and Lots More!' [Arcturus Publishing 2005]
So why is Bob your uncle? Well according to the book:

The phrase 'Bob's your uncle', meaning a sure thing or something happening fast, probably comes from an event of nepotism in 1887, when Lord Salisbury - known to his friends as Robert or Bob - appointed his nephew to the position of Chief Secretary for Ireland. The implication being that, if Bob's your uncle, things will happen quickly and the outcome is sure to be favourable!

Once Again Bligh Government Insults The Sensibilities Of Queenslanders

Another monstrosity - this time at Kangaroo Point Park - where not so long ago there was a perfectly acceptable educational institution.

Do you remember being asked about this - or anything else the Bligh Government and Newman administration have inflicted upon Brisbane?

In 2010 Queenslanders voted in an online poll for a major artwork design for Kangaroo Point Park. The most popular design was by English artist Wolfgang Buttress, with his concept for a sculpture titled 'Venus Rising'. The Venus Rising sculpture will be installed in Kangaroo Park early in 2012.

Confrontation Expected At Kerry Blockade: Lock The Gate President To Attend: Media Release [17/1/12]
The president of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, will be visiting the Blockade of the Arrow coal seam gas drilling site at Kerry, near Beaudesert, tomorrow (Wednesday).

The blockade, organised by the Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic group (which is part of the Lock the Gate Alliance), has been in progress for seven days.

There has been no drilling for four days and 13 protesters have been arrested at the site.

The blockade is occurring at a farm on Noondooinbah Estate Road (5 kms off the Kerry Road) and it is expected that confrontations will begin when work is due to commence at the site at 6 a.m.

The blockaders have stated they will not disperse until Arrow agrees to baseline underground water studies before commencing drilling.

The two sides are currently at a stand-off.

Mr Hutton, who returned today from overseas, said he was looking forward to seeing for himself how the blockade is progressing.

"The Lock the Gate Alliance is stepping up the campaign against coal mining and coal seam gas all around the country," Mr Hutton said.

"We will not just lock the gate on them but also block the gate if they attempt to establish a foothold in communities who don't want them."

"They own it, someone sold it to them, and I'll tell you who it was - it was the Australian federal LNP government and the state ALP government."

Nine MSN [17/1/12]:

Queensland Labor will take a hit at the state election over its support for the coal seam gas (CSG) industry, federal independent MP Bob Katter says.

Mr Katter, whose fledgling political party is contesting the poll, visited an anti-CSG blockade on a farm near Beaudesert, south of Brisbane, on Tuesday.

Police have arrested and charged 13 people since the protest camp was set up on a farm at Kerry on January 12.

"There is a terrific community build-up on coal seam gas, and if that reflects itself at the polls in the state election, which I think it will, then it'll be a wake-up call for the whole of the rest of Australia," Mr Katter told reporters.

He said CSG companies had no interest whatsoever in the people of Australia.

"Just remember this - fossil fuel will run out, and we don't own it. So if you want some of it, too bad, you can't get it.

"What are we going to do, pick a fight with China? Not bloody likely!

"They own it, someone sold it to them, and I'll tell you who it was - it was the Australian federal LNP government and the state ALP government."

Mr Katter said that within four years Australia would not be able to feed itself.

"What we are fighting for is enough food to feed our kids."

Greens Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters told protesters that governments supporting the CSG industry had been blinded by profits and royalties.

"And they are risking our water and our food," she said.

"It's not on. That's certainly not the sort of future I want as a Queenslander.

"We want to make sure our land and our water is safe for future generations, to keep feeding us and sustaining communities."

Harvey's Complaints Justified

Letter To The Editor, 'Australian Financial Review' [17/1/12]:

I sense some bitterness in Keiran Kelly's "Please stop the whingeing, Gerry Harvey" (Letters, January 12). In speaking his mind, Kelly must also be disappointed at the poor contribution of Harvey Norman's share price to his Sirius Fund Management results.

But the real issue is our government's policy on not charging or collecting GST and duty (usually a total of 15 per cent) on online imports that takes away the profit margin of local retailers.

As employers of many, many Australians, Flight Centre Ltd knows this as we do $30 million of sales in our retail and wholesale bikes business and nearly 20 per cent of bike transactions in Australia are now made from overseas websites where they pay no tax.

So why do the Gillard government and the Productivity Commission refuse to act on collecting the money?

Flight Centre Ltd, along with others like Dick Smith and, I am sure, Gerry Harvey, would put a challenge to the government to collect the 10 to 15 per cent GST and import tax. We will set up a business, take half the 10 to 15 per cent, and give the other half to the government on any online imported goods over $0.

But this online policy seems to be a deliberate government and Productivity Commission policy to destroy many Australian online and offline retailers and the many jobs associated with it.

Gerry Harvey's whingeing, to me, is totally justified and Australians need to do something about it.

Graham Turner,

Chief Executive,

Flight Centre Ltd.

Brisbane Qld.

ONO - Talking To The Universe (Richard Morel Vocal Mix) [AUDIO]

Beaudesert: CSG Blockade Continues

Bob Irwin & Daniel Robbins - protester released on bail after 2 nights custody for climbing Arrow Energy drill rig - Image: @sallyeeles

Nine MSN [16/1/12]:

Anti-coal seam gas (CSG) protesters say they will maintain a blockade in southeast Queensland for "as long as it takes", after promised negotiations with Arrow Energy stalled.

The blockade - at a farm at Kerry, near Beaudesert - was set up on Thursday by local landowners angry at what they viewed as a lack of community consultation.

The protest has interrupted Arrow's exploratory drilling works since Friday and led to the arrest of 13 people.

Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic spokesman Innes Larkin said the group wanted three things - bore water testing for landowners, underlying aquifer testing for the region and community consultation - before drilling commenced.

Arrow agreed at the weekend to meet with protest representatives on Monday to discuss a resolution to the impasse.

But the talks did not take place as Arrow representatives wanted to change the location and time of the negotiations, according to Mr Larkin.

"At 10 o'clock we received a phone call from Arrow saying to us that they weren't going to come out to the drill site," Mr Larkin told AAP.

"They said they wanted to discuss the water studies and the details, and that wasn't the agreement we had.

"The agreement was about a commitment by Arrow to the three simple requests, and then the details would be coming later."

Mr Larkin said he expected hostilities to resume on Tuesday, after both parties had called a "ceasefire" at the weekend.

"We'll be up again tomorrow morning and we fully expect Arrow workers to arrive for work at 6 o'clock," he said.

"But we'll be here for as long as it takes to get the outcome we're after."

Mr Larkin said he was happy with support for the blockade, with around 140 people at the site on Monday.

Comment was being sought from Arrow Energy.

Australian Open: Transcript Of Interview With The Gold Coast's Bernard Tomic - Who Won His First Round Match [16/1/12]

... Q. Other players in Sydney talked about the experience they feel playing before Australian crowds. Is there any pressure, especially when you were 2Love down?

BERNARD TOMIC: There is. You hear that a little bit. It's the hardest thing when you're losing and you know you want to do as best for the crowd and you want their support as much as you can. When they start leaving, not believing in you, it's a tough feeling. You think you can only turn it around and make them come back.

Q. You talked about the crowd helping you out. You're not necessarily someone who interacts with the crowd and shows a lot of emotion. Does that feel like a disconnect for you?

BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, you know, it's tough. You focus on your tennis game, win the next point, little things. The people screaming, it's tough. You can only hear so much. There's so many things going through your head. In a way it helps when they scream out the right things. There were a few comments today that motivated me and made me play good from the public.

Q. Have you had a standing ovation before?

BERNARD TOMIC: No. This was the first time. ...

This Is How Savage Australian Society Has Become

Demolishing perfectly good libraries is acceptable:

Helensvale Library has been demolished to make way for what the GCCC say is a $22 million community centre (to be completed in Autumn 2013)

In the meantime, this is the Helensvale Library (Discovery Drive)

And it doesn't bother anyone when, rather than questioning or addressing the reasons why homeless people might or are being excluded from Gold Coast libraries, a candidate in the upcoming Council elections suggests ...
ABC [16/1/12]:
Local mayoral candidate David Power wants to start a street library here on the coast, regardless of whether he is elected or not.
David Power begins his mayoral campaign this week, aiming to knock on the doors of homes and businesses in 80 per cent of Gold Coast suburbs.

One idea that he'll be talking to residents about is his plan to start a mobile library for homeless people who are unable to access free community libraries. David says the idea for the library came from a project already running in Sydney and other regions.

"It's quite extraordinary, it's referred to as a 'footpath library' - you get donated books, they do have to be of a certain quality and nature, you lay them out on the footpath, the homeless are able to come and take those books," he says.

"They can obviously read them, bring them back at a later time and swap them, or they can actually take them and sell them to get a little bit of income to assist themselves with buying food etcetera." David adds that while some may criticise the idea as being more of a romantic concept than a practical one, real results are being seen in places where the program is already running.

"Sydney has been going for about ten years and the most profound thing I found when doing my research is that the short term homeless, it motivated them to get their lives together and to get back into the work force, rebuild their lives.

"And with the homeless, that lack self confidence, a lack of belief in themselves when they've lost everything, it's so vital to restore that, and activating their brains is one way to do it." He says that regardless of the outcome of his Mayoral campaign, he is very passionate about getting this project off the ground.

"I've spoken to quite a few people now. In fact I've had so many people offering donations of books that I've had to tell them to stop until we actually get the structure in place, particularly somewhere to be able to store these books because we want to be able to treat them with respect before we make them available."

Is it any wonder medicine use by the elderly is soaring in this smug, clueless and atomised yuckville?


Maurizio Savini's Bubble Gum Sculptures

Deutsche Welle [VIDEO - 14/1/12]

Dutton Park Police Seek Owners Of Recovered Jewellery:

Queensland Police Media [16/1/12]

Have you had jewellery stolen from you in the last few years? Then some of these might be yours.

Detectives from Dutton Park Criminal Investigation Branch(CIB) recently recovered a large amount of stolen jewellery during investigations in South Brisbane.

The jewellery is believed to have been stolen over a period of several years, and Dutton Park Police are looking to reunite them with their owners.

If you believe any of the jewellery photographed belongs to you, please contact Dutton Park CIB on (07) 3020 8150.

To view the full gallery of recovered items, visit www.bit.ly/qpsduttonparkjewellery

Proof of purchase and other material such as photographic evidence may be asked for in order to confirm ownership.


FLASHBACK: The Queensland Museum [Channel 7 Brisbane VIDEO]

For the past 150 years the Queensland Museum's been collecting the state's treasures, and celebrates its birthday this week.

Bill James - Candidate For Surfers Paradise In The Upcoming GCCC Election - Has A Policy Involving Free Public Transport
Notice that he's only copped a blacked out tooth and not the usual fangs, devil horns, Hitler moustache or other enhancements - unlike politicians whose policies have no perceivable community benefit?

John-Paul Langbroek's Shakespearean enhancement in the form of a tidy goatee, moustache and tattoo teardrop, snapped on Bundall Road, Bundall [13/3/09]

'FTW Racing': "Wettenhall, who is the State Member for Barron River, and is standing for jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs, is bringing out his feminine side. [State Election, 2009]

Candidates for the upcoming GCCC election might bear in mind that the majority of the citizenry aren't uncaring, self-centred, Murdoch Press reading zombies.

We care about the natural environment and decent public amenity.

We also notice things.

Like how the GCCC erased the meaning and the memory of Southport's Anzac Park.

Over the last few weeks even the 1950s era "Anzac Park" sign has vanished.

Shaded beneath the fig trees, the original Anzac Park formed part of the historical memory of the Southport township. There is no more room at the new location (Broadwater Parklands) which sits in the glaring sun and is stark and ugly.

These pretty, and historical garden beds surrounding the memorial statue of the soldier at the original Anzac Park, Gold Coast Highway, Southport were ripped out in March 2009

Speaking of parks and gardens, it will be interesting to see if rooftop gardens will actually ever be established on the rooves of the highrises of Surfers Paradise.

After years of GCCC announcements, broken developer promises, brochures, websites and general piss farting around, vested interests have ensured that a community/permaculture garden has never been established in Labrador

A grassroots campaign of guerilla gardening might be the only way we can have a real community garden.

Fencing off a vacant block of land usually indicates it will be sitting idle for a while. Wouldn't it make sense for blocks of land such as this one, on the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Imperial Parade, Labrador, to be put to use for the benefit of the community? It would not take much effort for this block to be transformed into a community garden until such time that the land is developed.

Where Do South East Queenslanders Think Their Food Is Going To Come From If The Land And Water Is Poisoned?
Roadside Stall, Scenic Rim

Poison Town

we all live in poison town
and though it sometimes makes us frown

we won't complain or make a fuss
if the trains are sh*t and full is the bus

there is no point 'cos even if you do
the people in charge say "well, screw you"

they treat the citizens with contempt
and bang on about how Joh was bent

no upper house and plenty of hoes
if you're in the loop, anything goes

poison town oh poison town
essentially a dumping ground

they cover up fumes with an ugly tower
and it's all about coal fired power

where creativity sells lots of cars
and footballers rape young women in bars

they smash up everything that's nice
and build hideous architecture for a price

we've got fluoride, we'll drink poo
we'll do anything the paper tells us to

if you visit please leave an oil slick
we like being f*cked over by useless pricks

'cos we all live in poison town
and know to keep our little heads down

Spain’s High-Speed Rail System Offers Lessons For California

Tim Sheehan, California Watch [15/1/12]:

MADRID – It’s 8 a.m. at the Puerto de Atocha train station in central Madrid. Business travelers armed with cellphones and laptops, and pleasure travelers toting cameras and carry-on bags, make their way through security to board the high-speed trains that connect Spain’s capital to cities across the nation.

The sprawling station, which dates to the 1890s, serves not only the AVE, or Alta Velocidad Española high-speed trains, but also the city’s metro subway and commuter trains. It sits amid a bustling district of offices, hotels, restaurants, museums and other businesses.

This is the vision shared by backers of California’s proposed, but controversial, high-speed rail system. And there are lessons – from both successes and mistakes – that California can learn from Spain’s 20-year history with high-speed trains.

Top among them is just how hard it is to be self-sufficient, even when conditions seem ideal, as they have in Spain.

Despite popular and political support from the very beginning, the AVE rail system faces a tougher future in the midst of Europe’s financial crisis.

Already, service between some smaller cities has been cut because too few people ride the trains. Some wonder if it is anything more than a luxury commuter service.

Among the growing fraternity of nations with high-speed trains, Spain is considered the best geographic and cultural analogy to California and its train plans. The long-distance AVE trains and their regional cousins Avant and Alvia, which share the high-speed tracks, connect major urban centers but pass through smaller cities and stretches of rural farmland, just like what is planned for California.

They’ve gotten people out of their cars and off airplanes, sliced travel times, and attracted millions of riders a year – just what California rail boosters hope will happen here.

Since the late 1980s, Spain has spent about $60 billion to build and equip its high-speed network. ...

Occupy Sand!
Imagine Peace pinwheels occupy Main Beach [14/1/12]
Ani Di Franco Visits Occupy LSX [VIDEO]
... Here's To, Being Connected To Everything ...
Shot on 12th January 2012 + Archival footage [Filmmaker Inka Stafrace]
Calling America, Electric Light Orchestra [VIDEO]
Keep The Scenic Rim Scenic
Ben Carey, Weekend Notes [13/1/12]:
... This protest is happening right now and will likely continue for many weeks and perhaps months to come. One farmer said that he was "preparing for Christmas". The affected locale is Beaudesert, Boonah, and surrounding areas, however, if any water supply there were to be contaminated it would affect a far greater area. And once the door is opened to the energy companies to start mining for CSG it may never stop.

This is an immediate problem for the Beaudesert and Boonah communities, but it is also a very real problem for the entirety of Brisbane and anywhere else in Australia which is considering CSG mining. If you already support the cause or want to, then join the protest currently taking place on Nindooinbah Estate Road in Beaudesert. If you support the cause but cannot attend personally then you can also donate money to Keep The Scenic Rim Scenic to pay for posters, food, and other things necessary to keep the protest alive. Don't give in to apathy. This affects you too. ...

Kerry Blockade - Latest Update

Scenic Rim News:

Arrow Energy met with ‘Keep The Scenic Rim Scenic’ (KTSRS) yesterday afternoon, and reached agreement on a ‘cease fire’ for 24 hours:

Our requests:

all drilling stops until:

1. all landowner bores are tested, so if contamination/drawdown does occur, landholders are able to prove their bores have been affected.
2. an independent study into aquifers below the Scenic Rim and interconnected water systems – with the study to be undertaken by a mutually agreed party, and the report made Public
3. genuine community consultation – including public meetings where you can hear people who know the issues ask questions you might not have thought of
4. Arrow Energy not press charges against Daniel Robins – the person that staged a 24 hour + protest at the top of the drilling rig - noting that Daniel is still facing police charges

As your representatives in these negotiations, we can tell you that Arrow Energy yesterday told us they did feel they could work with our reguests and they would come back to us within 24 hours. This is however not an issue that we believe can be resolved in hours. We will need to seek legal advice to ensure our agreement is watertight ,as well as other expert input.


COME DOWN AND STAND WITH US! today is peaceful 'truce' period, so let's make sure Arrow Energy sees strong community unity in this matter. This deal may ensure no drilling in the Scenic Rim for an extended period, but it cannot be achieved without local pressure. As your representative in these negotiations, we feel we are making progress, but we know we must maintain the blockade, by showing a united community in opposition. People from CSG affected communities across Australia are also joining us to show strenth in numbers. See our website for location info.

Reflections on our progress from Bob Irwin, father of the late Steve Irwin, who stood on the blockade with us yesterday:

"KTSRS have made more progress in 24 hours than the combined anti-CSG movement has made in 6 months. This is truly a watershed moment for the fight against CSG"