Monday, August 31, 2009
Respected American scholarly group; Architects and Engineers for 9/11 truth-www.ae911truth.org-has released a shocking new video of the detonation of the South Tower of the World Trade Centre.
The South Tower was one of three World Trade Centre towers to be detonated by segments of the then American Government headed by the illegally elected George W. Bush, in an effort to gain further legislative advantage over American citizens, in addition to initiating invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq-which patently had nothing to do with the September 11, 2001 attacks, whilst allowing the propagation of the highly controversial and elitist Neo-Conservatist economic models into the Middle East, as well as allowing private ownership of key Afhani & Iraqi business' such as their Central Banks and aspects of the U.S military infrastructure such as transport, food, laundry and other services that were produced 'in-house' at a fraction of the cost.
Architects and engineers for 9/11 truth is a must visit site for freedom loving beings who want to investigate the real truth about what is known as the 9/11 inside job.
Then Australian Prime-Minister, John Howard, has never denied having prior knowledge of the 9/11 false flag operation.
This is a must watch video, and we ask that you show this to your family and friends; for even though most people accept that the oficial 9/11 excuse was a fabrication-many people do not know about the reasons why a government would take action like this gainst its own people.
It is known as the Hegelian dialectic; government creates a problem-privately-owned corporate media leads a chorus of outrage, demanding government action-government then poses a drastic over-reaction as a solution, which was its desired pathway all along.
Understanding this principle helps the interested student in understanding why opponents of the official 9/11 propaganda story are either lampooned, or ignored by the corporate media.
The key thing to remember is that a community is emblematic of our values and desires; so, if you do not like what is going on in your community, it is up to you to be the beacon of change in your community. Violence and anarchy is not, and never will be the viable pathway to change-please remember that and enjoy this short video.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Top 40 reasons to doubt the official story on 9/11
THE DAY ITSELF - EVIDENCE OF COMPLICITY
1) AWOL Chain of Command
a. It is well documented that the officials topping the chain of command for response to a domestic attack - George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Myers, Montague Winfield - all found reason to do something else during the actual attacks, other than assuming their duties as decision-makers.
b. Who was actually in charge? Dick Cheney, Richard Clarke, Norman Mineta and the 9/11 Commission directly conflict in their accounts of top-level response to the unfolding events, such that several (or all) of them must be lying.
2) Air Defence Failures
a. The US air defense system failed to follow standard procedures for responding to diverted passenger flights.
b. Timelines: The various responsible agencies - NORAD, FAA, Pentagon, USAF, as well as the 9/11 Commission - gave radically different explanations for the failure (in some cases upheld for years), such that several officials must have lied; but none were held accountable.
c. Was there an air defense standdown?
3) Pentagon Strike
How was it possible the Pentagon was hit 1 hour and 20 minutes after the attacks began? Why was there no response from Andrews Air Force Base, just 10 miles away and home to Air National Guard units charged with defending the skies above the nation's capital? How did Hani Hanjour, a man who failed as a Cessna pilot on his first flight in a Boeing, execute a difficult aerobatic maneuver to strike the Pentagon? Why did the attack strike the just-renovated side, which was largely empty and opposite from the high command?
a. US military and other authorities planned or actually rehearsed defensive response to all elements of the 9/11 scenario during the year prior to the attack - including multiple hijackings, suicide crashbombings, and a strike on the Pentagon.
b. The multiple military wargames planned long in advance and held on the morning of September 11th included scenarios of a domestic air crisis, a plane crashing into a government building, and a large-scale emergency in New York. If this was only an incredible series of coincidences, why did the official investigations avoid the issue? There is evidence that the wargames created confusion as to whether the unfolding events were "real world or exercise." Did wargames serve as the cover for air defense sabotage, and/or the execution of an "inside job"?
5) Flight 93
Did the Shanksville crash occur at 10:06 (according to a seismic report) or 10:03 (according to the 9/11 Commission)? Does the Commission wish to hide what happened in the last three minutes of the flight, and if so, why? Was Flight 93 shot down, as indicated by the scattering of debris over a trail of several miles?
THE DAY - POSSIBLE SMOKING GUNS
6) Did cell phones work at 30,000 feet in 2001? How many hijackings were attempted? How many flights were diverted?
7) Demolition Hypothesis
What caused the collapse of a third skyscraper, WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane? Were the Twin Towers and WTC 7 brought down by explosives? (See "The Case for Demolitions," the websites wtc7.net and 911research.wtc7.net, and the influential article by physicist Steven Jones. See also items no. 16 and 24, below.)
FOREKNOWLEDGE & THE ALLEGED HIJACKERS
8) What did officials know? How did they know it?
a. Multiple allied foreign agencies informed the US government of a coming attack in detail, including the manner and likely targets of the attack, the name of the operation (the "Big Wedding"), and the names of certain men later identified as being among the perpetrators.
b. Various individuals came into possession of specific advance knowledge, and some of them tried to warn the US prior to September 11th.
c. Certain prominent persons received warnings not to fly on the week or on the day of September 11th.
9) Able Danger, Plus - Surveillance of Alleged Hijackers
a. The men identified as the 9/11 ringleaders were under surveillance for years beforehand, on the suspicion they were terrorists, by a variety of US and allied authorities - including the CIA, the US military's "Able Danger" program, the German authorities, Israeli intelligence and others.
b. Two of the alleged ringleaders who were known to be under surveillance by the CIA also lived with an FBI asset in San Diego, but this is supposed to be yet another a coincidence.
10) Obstruction of FBI Investigations prior to 9/11
A group of FBI officials in New York systematically suppressed field investigations of potential terrorists that might have uncovered the alleged hijackers - as the Moussaoui case once again showed. The stories of Sibel Edmonds, Robert Wright, Coleen Rowley and Harry Samit, the "Phoenix Memo," David Schippers, the 199i orders restricting investigations, the Bush administration's order to back off the Bin Ladin family, the reaction to the "Bojinka" plot, and John O'Neil do not, when considered in sum, indicate mere incompetence, but high-level corruption and protection of criminal networks, including the network of the alleged 9/11 conspirators. (Nearly all of these examples were omitted from or relegated to fleeting footnotes in The 9/11 Commission Report.)
11) Insider Trading
a. Unknown speculators allegedly used foreknowledge of the Sept. 11th events to profiteer on many markets internationally - including but not limited to "put options" placed to short-sell the two airlines, WTC tenants, and WTC re-insurance companies in Chicago and London.
b. In addition, suspicious monetary transactions worth hundreds of millions were conducted through offices at the Twin Towers during the actual attacks.
c. Initial reports on these trades were suppressed and forgotten, and only years later did the 9/11 Commission and SEC provide a partial, but untenable explanation for only a small number of transactions (covering only the airline put options through the Chicago Board of Exchange).
12) Who were the perpetrators?
a. Much of the evidence establishing who did the crime is dubious and miraculous: bags full of incriminating material that happened to miss the flight or were left in a van; the "magic passport" of an alleged hijacker, found at Ground Zero; documents found at motels where the alleged perpetrators had stayed days and weeks before 9/11.
b. The identities of the alleged hijackers remain unresolved, there are contradictions in official accounts of their actions and travels, and there is evidence several of them had "doubles," all of which is omitted from official investigations.
c. What happened to initial claims by the government that 50 people involved in the attacks had been identified, including the 19 alleged hijackers, with 10 still at large (suggesting that 20 had been apprehended)? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-worldtrade-50suspects,0,1825231.story
THE 9/11 COVER-UP, 2001-2006
13) Who Is Osama Bin Ladin?
a. Who judges which of the many conflicting and dubious statements and videos attributed to Osama Bin Ladin are genuine, and which are fake? The most important Osama Bin Ladin video (Nov. 2001), in which he supposedly confesses to masterminding 9/11, appears to be a fake. In any event, the State Department's translation of it is fraudulent.
b. Did Osama Bin Ladin visit Dubai and meet a CIA agent in July 2001 (Le Figaro)? Was he receiving dyalisis in a Pakistani military hospital on the night of September 10, 2001 (CBS)?
c. Whether by Bush or Clinton: Why is Osama always allowed to escape?
d. The terror network associated with Osama, known as the "data base" (al-Qaeda), originated in the CIA-sponsored 1980s anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. When did this network stop serving as an asset to covert operations by US intelligence and allied agencies? What were its operatives doing in Kosovo, Bosnia and Chechnya in the years prior to 9/11?
14) All the Signs of a Systematic 9/11 Cover-up
a. Airplane black boxes were found at Ground Zero, according to two first responders and an unnamed NTSB official, but they were "disappeared" and their existence is denied in The 9/11 Commission Report.
b. US officials consistently suppressed and destroyed evidence (like the tapes recorded by air traffic controllers who handled the New York flights).
c. Whistleblowers (like Sibel Edmonds and Anthony Shaffer) were intimidated, gagged and sanctioned, sending a clear signal to others who might be thinking about speaking out.
d. Officials who "failed" (like Myers and Eberhard, as well as Frasca, Maltbie and Bowman of the FBI) were given promotions.
15) Poisoning New York
The White House deliberately pressured the EPA into giving false public assurances that the toxic air at Ground Zero was safe to breathe. This knowingly contributed to an as-yet unknown number of health cases and fatalities, and demonstrates that the administration does consider the lives of American citizens to be expendable on behalf of certain interests.
16) Disposing of the Crime Scene
The rapid and illegal scrapping of the WTC ruins at Ground Zero disposed of almost all of the structural steel indispensable to any investigation of the collapse mechanics. (See also item no. 23, below.)
Mailings of weapons-grade anthrax - which caused a practical suspension of the 9/11 investigations - were traced back to US military stock. Soon after the attacks began in October 2001, the FBI approved the destruction of the original samples of the Ames strain, disposing of perhaps the most important evidence in identifying the source of the pathogens used in the mailings. Were the anthrax attacks timed to coincide with the Afghanistan invasion? Why were the letters sent only to media figures and to the leaders of the opposition in the Senate (who had just raised objections to the USA PATRIOT Act)?
18) The Stonewall
a. Colin Powell promised a "white paper" from the State Department to establish the authorship of the attacks by al-Qaeda. This was never forthcoming, and was instead replaced by a paper from Tony Blair, which presented only circumstantial evidence, with very few points actually relating to September 11th.
b. Bush and Cheney pressured the (freshly-anthraxed) leadership of the Congressional opposition into delaying the 9/11 investigation for months. The administration fought against the creation of an independent investigation for more than a year.
c. The White House thereupon attempted to appoint Henry Kissinger as the chief investigator, and acted to underfund and obstruct the 9/11 Commission.
19) A Record of Official Lies
a. "No one could have imagined planes into buildings" - a transparent falsehood upheld repeatedly by Rice, Rumsfeld and Bush.
b. "Iraq was connected to 9/11" - The most "outrageous conspiracy theory" of all, with the most disastrous impact.
20) Pakistani Connection - Congressional Connection
a. The Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, creator of the Taliban and close ally to both the CIA and "al-Qaeda," allegedly wired $100,000 to Mohamed Atta just prior to September 11th, reportedly through the ISI asset Omar Saeed Sheikh (later arrested for the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was investigating ISI connections to "al-Qaeda.")
b. This was ignored by the congressional 9/11 investigation, although the senator and congressman who ran the probe (Bob Graham and Porter Goss) were meeting with the ISI chief, Mahmud Ahmed, on Capitol Hill on the morning of September 11th.
c. About 25 percent of the report of the Congressional Joint Inquiry was redacted, including long passages regarding how the attack (or the network allegedly behind it) was financed. Graham later said foreign allies were involved in financing the alleged terror network, but that this would only come out in 30 years.
21) Unanswered Questions and the "Final Fraud" of the 9/11 Commission:
a. The September 11th families who fought for and gained an independent investigation (the 9/11 Commission) posed 400-plus questions, which the 9/11 Commission adopted as its roadmap. The vast majority of these questions were completely ignored in the Commission hearings and the final report.
b. The membership and staff of the 9/11 Commission displayed awesome conflicts of interest. The families called for the resignation of Executive Director Philip Zelikow, a Bush administration member and close associate of "star witness" Condoleezza Rice, and were snubbed. Commission member Max Cleland resigned, condemning the entire exercise as a "scam" and "whitewash."
c.The 9/11 Commission Report is notable mainly for its obvious omissions, distortions and outright falsehoods - ignoring anything incompatible with the official story, banishing the issues to footnotes, and even dismissing the still-unresolved question of who financed 9/11 as being "of little practical significance."
22) Crown Witnesses Held at Undisclosed Locations
The alleged masterminds of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohamed (KSM) and Ramzi Binalshibh, are reported to have been captured in 2002 and 2003, although one Pakistani newspaper said KSM was killed in an attempted capture. They have been held at undisclosed locations and their supposed testimonies, as provided in transcript form by the government, form much of the basis for The 9/11 Commission Report (although the Commission's request to see them in person was denied). After holding them for years, why doesn't the government produce these men and put them to trial?
23) Spitzer Redux
a. Eliot Spitzer, attorney general of New York State, snubbed pleas by New York citizens to open 9/11 as a criminal case (Justicefor911.org).
b. Spitzer also refused to allow his employee, former 9/11 Commission staff member Dietrich Snell, to testify to the Congress about his (Snell's) role in keeping "Able Danger" entirely out of The 9/11 Commission Report.
24) NIST Omissions
After the destruction of the WTC structural steel, the official Twin Towers collapse investigation was left with almost no forensic evidence, and thus could only provide dubious computer models of ultimately unprovable hypotheses. It failed to even test for the possibility of explosives. (Why not clear this up?)
25) Radio Silence
The 9/11 Commission and NIST both allowed the continuing cover-up of how Motorola's faulty radios, purchased by the Giuliani administration, caused firefighter deaths at the WTC - once again showing the expendability, even of the first responders.
26) The Legal Catch-22
a. Hush Money - Accepting victims' compensation barred September 11th families from pursuing discovery through litigation.
b. Judge Hallerstein - Those who refused compensation to pursue litigation and discovery had their cases consolidated under the same judge (and as a rule dismissed).
27) Saudi Connections
a. The 9/11 investigations made light of the "Bin Ladin Airlift" during the no-fly period, and ignored the long-standing Bush family business ties to the Bin Ladin family fortune. (A company in which both families held interests, the Carlyle Group, was holding its annual meeting on September 11th, with George Bush Sr., James Baker, and two brothers of Osama Bin Ladin in attendance.)
b. The issue of Ptech.
28) Media Blackout of Prominent Doubters
The official story has been questioned and many of the above points were raised by members of the US Congress, retired high-ranking officers of the US military, the three leading third-party candidates for President in the 2004 election, a member of the 9/11 Commission who resigned in protest, a former high-ranking adviser to the George W. Bush administration, former ministers to the German, British and Canadian governments, the commander-in-chief of the Russian air force, 100 luminaries who signed the "9/11 Truth Statement," and the presidents of Iran and Venezuela. Not all of these people agree fully with each other, but all would normally be considered newsworthy. Why has the corporate-owned US mass media remained silent about these statements, granting due coverage only to the comments of actor Charlie Sheen?
GEOPOLITICS, TIMING AND POSSIBLE MOTIVES
29) "The Great Game"
The Afghanistan invasion was ready for Bush's go-ahead on September 9, 2001, with US and UK force deployments to the region already in place or underway. This followed the failure earlier that year of backdoor diplomacy with the Taliban (including payments of $125 million in US government aid to Afghanistan), in an attempt to secure a unity government for that country as a prerequisite to a Central Asian pipeline deal.
30) The Need for a "New Pearl Harbor"
Principals in US foreign policy under the current Bush administration (including Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and others) have been instrumental in developing long-running plans for worldwide military hegemony, including an invasion of the Middle East, dating back to the Ford, Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. They reiterated these plans in the late 1990s as members of the "Project for a New American Century," and stated a clear intent to invade Iraq for the purpose of "regime change." After 9/11, they lost no time in their attempt to tie Iraq to the attacks.
31) Perpetual "War on Terror"
9/11 is supposed to provide carte-blanche for an open-ended, global and perpetual "War on Terror," against any enemy, foreign or domestic, that the executive branch chooses to designate, and regardless of whether evidence exists to actually connect these enemies to 9/11.
32) Attacking the Constitution
a. The USA PATRIOT Act was written before 9/11, Homeland Security and the "Shadow Government" were developed long before 9/11, and plans for rounding up dissidents as a means for suppressing civil disturbance have been in the works for decades.
b. 9/11 was used as the pretext to create a new, extra-constitutional executive authority to declare anyone an "enemy combatant" (including American citizens), to detain persons indefinitely without habeas corpus, and to "render" such persons to secret prisons where torture is practiced.
33) Legal Trillions
9/11 triggers a predictable shift of public spending to war, and boosts public and private spending in the "new" New Economy of "Homeland Security," biometrics, universal surveillance, prisons, civil defense, secured enclaves, security, etc.
34) Plundered Trillions?
On September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld announced a "war on waste" after an internal audit found that the Pentagon was "missing" 2.3 trillion dollars in unaccounted assets. On September 11th, this was as good as forgotten.
35) Did 9/11 prevent a stock market crash?
Did anyone benefit from the destruction of the Securities and Exchange Commission offices at WTC 7, and the resultant crippling of hundreds of fraud investigations?
36) Resource Wars
a. What was discussed in the Energy Task Force meetings under Dick Cheney in 2001? Why is the documentation of these meetings still being suppressed?
b. Is Peak Oil a motive for 9/11 as inside job?
37) The "Little Game"
Why was the WTC privatized just before its destruction?
The longstanding relationship between US intelligence networks and radical Islamists, including the network surrounding Osama Bin Ladin. (See also point 13d.)
39) Historical Precedents for "Synthetic Terror"
a. In the past many states, including the US government, have sponsored attacks on their own people, fabricated the "cause for war," created (and armed) their own enemies of convenience, and sacrificed their own citizens for "reasons of state."
b. Was 9/11 an update of the Pentagon-approved "Project Northwoods" plan for conducting self-inflicted, false-flag terror attacks in the United States, and blaming them on a foreign enemy?
40) Secret Government
a. The record of criminality and sponsorship of coups around the world by the covert networks based within the US intelligence complex.
b. Specifically also: The evidence of crime by Bush administration principals and their associates, from October Surprise to Iran-Contra and the S&L plunder to PNAC, Enron/Halliburton and beyond.
REASON NUMBER 41:
RELATED MOVEMENTS AND PARALLEL ISSUES
Ground Zero aftermath movements:
- Justice for the air-poisoning cover-up (wtceo.org)
- "Radio Silence" (radiosilencefdny.com)
- Skyscraper Safety (www.skyscrapersafety.org).
Election fraud and black box voting, 2000 to 2004. (nov9truth.org)
Lies to justify the invasion of Iraq. (afterdowningstreet.org)
Use of depleted uranium and its multi-generational consequences on human health and the environment.
Longstanding development of contingency plans for civil disturbance and military rule in the USA (See, "The War at Home")
Oklahoma City Truth movement. (okctruth.org)
Whether you call it "Globalization" or "The New World Order" - An unsustainable system of permanent growth ultimately requires warfare, fraud, and mass manipulation.
GOING FORWARD ...
"But an inside job would involve thousands of people! How could they keep a secret?" Counter-arguments, red herrings, speculations and false information.
Selected essays, books and websites that make the case for 9/11 as inside job. (See Resources)
Demanding a real investigation of the September crimes - Not just a patriotic duty, but a matter of survival.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Anger grows at Gaddafi visit
Ed Pilkington, New York
August 27, 2009 - 12:00AM
But reports that he is planning to set up camp in a small town in New Jersey next month have prompted outrage from US lawmakers and a diplomatic scramble in Washington.
Community leaders in Englewood, which includes 600 Orthodox Jewish families, are trying to block plans for the Libyan leader to stay in their area during his visit to the US next month. Colonel Gaddafi is believed to want to pitch an air-conditioned Bedouin tent outside a mansion house in Englewood owned by the Libyan embassy since 1982.
Local representatives have made approaches to the federal government to try to have Colonel Gaddafi's immigration permission revoked or restricted. It has been reported that the Libyans earlier requested permission to pitch a tent in Manhattan's Central Park but were turned down.
The warm welcome that Colonel Gaddafi extended to the recently released Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on his return to Libya has angered many US politicians.
The events, and Colonel Gaddafi's planned trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly next month, are particularly sensitive in the New York area in the wake of 9/11 attacks. Thirty-three people who died in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie came from New Jersey.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has faced growing criticism over his silence on Megrahi's release, said he was ''angry'' and ''repulsed'' at Libya's welcome home for the Lockerbie bomber after his release last week.
''When I met Colonel Gaddafi over the summer I made it absolutely clear to him that we had no role in making the decision about Megrahi's future,'' he said.
''Because it was a quasi-judicial matter, because it was a matter legislated for by the Scottish parliament and not by us … it was a matter over which we could not interfere, and [we] had no control over the final outcome.''
Meanwhile, the mayor of Englewood, Michael Wildes, said Colonel Gaddafi's planned visit to the area had caused much anger. ''We've seen him in recent days offer a hero's welcome to a convicted terrorist. This is a community that will never forget acts of terrorism.''
He will join other local politicians and residents in a protest rally outside the Libyan property on Sunday.
The lawn on which any tent would be erected sits next door to the house of rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who wrote in the Huffington Post this week that ''we don't want a terrorist funder and lover in our midst''.
The US State Department said it had not made a decision on the pitching of any tent. ''I would urge any foreign leader to be sensitive to the concerns of victims of the most horrific terrorist attack before 11 September affecting American citizens,'' a spokesman said.
This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/world/anger-grows-at-gaddafi-visit-20090826-ezqn.html
200 fined after fake sign erected: police
August 27, 2009 - 2:52PM
There is a reluctant hero lurking somewhere in the suburb of Beecroft, in Sydney’s north-west.
Fed up with hundreds of cars surging through tiny Albert Road each morning during peak hour on a rat run to avoid clogged Beecroft Road, the unknown person took matters into his or her own hands.
"The sign appeared about six months ago," Albert Road resident Mark Ratcliffe said.
"I was driving home along Beecroft [Road] and I was like, 'What the hell?' "
The sign, stating that "no left turn" was permitted between the hours of 7.30am and 9.30am, had been expertly nailed into a power pole on the corner of Beecroft and Albert roads.
It turns out the sign was a fake, erected without the knowledge of the RTA, which controls Beecroft Road, or Hornsby Shire Council, which has jurisdiction over Albert Road.
But residents and parents of children who attend nearby Arden Anglican School, who have campaigned for a decade to install such a sign, thought their prayers had been answered.
"Seven or eight years ago my parents wrote a letter to the council saying [Albert Road] needs to be made one way because it’s a hazard," Mr Ratcliffe said.
"It’s so small and with the primary school [around the corner], parents were coming out of the street and the rat runners were turning in and it was just chaos."
Hornsby Shire mayor Nick Berman even stood on the corner to accept congratulations, the Northern District Times reported. Cr Berman denied he was there but said he mentioned it at an Arden Anglican School assembly.
But the cars kept coming - one driver told smh.com.au it was barely visible from the road - so residents, assuming it was legitimate, called the police.
"No one policed it for ages until we started hassling Eastwood [police] and then they came out and started fining people," Mr Ratcliffe said.
Police said about 200 motorists were pinged over a three-month period, each of them fined $175.
Police urged all drivers fined for disobeying the sign to call the State Debt Recovery Office.
One woman who challenged hers said she was told by the office the offence would appear on her record for the next decade if she wanted to get out of the fine and keep her demerit points.
"After I drove off from being booked I saw what I believe to be a local resident stop her car and give the police a big thumbs-up for booking all the people," the woman said.
It is unclear when the penny dropped or who first worked out the sign should not have been there.
An RTA spokesperson said Hornsby Council approached it first.
"The RTA investigated and removed the sign," the spokesperson said.
The sign was taken down on July 1, police said.
Cr Berman said residents had made numerous representations to the council to have the sign installed.
"But at the end of the day, to actually put the left hand turn sign there is something the RTA would need to consider," he said.
Despite the appeals from residents and the school, the council's traffic management committee had never formally considered the request and the council had never asked the RTA to do something about the corner, Cr Berman said.
"If proper consideration is given to the problems around [Beecroft Road] there may well be other solutions out there ... but we're well aware of the traffic problems," he said.
Speculation on the sign's origins was rife today.
Many smh.com.au readers suggested parents of pupils at Arden Anglican School were fed up with the traffic volumes.
"I have complained multiple times to the school principle [sic] and council about parents double parking up and down the street blocking the flow of traffic in the morning," one reader said.
"It is only a matter of time before a child gets hit by a car.
"The parents seem to hate the through traffic and think they own the street.
"Many abuse the passing motorists."
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/national/200-fined-after-fake-sign-erected-police-20090827-f04q.html
Military courts in tatters
August 27, 2009 - 12:53AM
At least 170 cases heard by the court in the past two years are in question and may have to be reheard.
Amid the confusion, one defence force member held in a military facility was last night being prepared for release as a result of the unanimous High Court ruling.
The decision has forced the Federal Government to return temporarily to the discredited system of courts martial, in which personnel appeared before a panel of officers.
Defence Minister John Faulkner said the Government was seeking urgent legal advice on a new system to replace the military court, which was set up by the Howard government in 2007.
The challenge to the validity of the military court was brought by Brian George Lane, a former seaman who was charged by the Navy with indecently assaulting a superior after he allegedly ''tea-bagged'' an army sergeant.
Mr Lane allegedly placed his genitals on the forehead of the sergeant, who was asleep on a motel bed, at the end of a day of golf and drinking in 2005.
The two men were on a recruitment drive in the Queensland town of Roma.
Mr Lane, 40, who denies the charges, said he could not overstate his relief, although he could still be pursued under a future system.
''It's been quite harrowing,'' he said of the case. ''I've been sick in the stomach just about the whole time.''
Senator Faulkner said that of the cases heard by the military court and now hanging in the balance, about 40 per cent related to defence travel card fraud.
Others were for assault, theft, indecency and damaging service property.
Sentences ranged from fines and loss of rank and seniority to two months' detention.
The court was created following a damning 2005 investigation by a Senate committee that ruled that the military had failed to properly investigate cases of violence, abuse and racism over decades.
But the Howard government angered families of victims by rejecting the committee's call for civilian police and courts to deal with offences within the ADF.
The committee had emphasised that, to demonstrate its independence, the new court should be established outside the defence chain of command.
But the ADF argued this would undermine its system of discipline, and the Howard government opted for a form of tribunal with military judges.
The High Court judges said the military court had in effect been operating under the judiciary powers of the constitution, even though it purported to be a tribunal established under the defence powers.
Chief Justice Robert French and Justice Bill Gummow said the previous government had taken the risky approach of trying to give the military court the ''reputation of the judicial branch of government for impartiality and non-partisanship'' without using the judicial power, but that it had also gone beyond the defence power.
Constitutional expert Professor George Williams, of the University of NSW, said the decision showed the former government should have followed the Senate committee's recommendations more closely. ''I wasn't surprised. The body was set up in a way that was always constitutionally suspect,'' he said.
''They were always taking a risk doing it this way. Anyone subject to the jurisdiction … could have brought the case.''
He said it might be difficult for the Federal Government to retrospectively validate previous decisions through legislation, because further constitutional challenges could then be made.
ADF chief Angus Houston said an effective military justice system was crucial so that ''we are able to give impartial and fair justice to our people''.
With JOEL GIBSON, PETER GREGORY
This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/national/military-courts-in-tatters-20090826-ezr7.html
Microsoft apologises for changing race in photo
Spot the difference ... (top) the advertisement in the US, and (bottom) the altered advertisement in Poland.
Software giant Microsoft Corporation is apologising for altering a photo on its website to change the race of one of the people shown in the picture.
A photo on the Seattle-based company's US website shows two men, one Asian and one black, and a white woman seated at a conference room table. But on the website of Microsoft's Polish business unit, the black man's head has been replaced with that of a white man. The color of his hand remains unchanged.
The photo editing sparked criticism online. Some bloggers said Poland's ethnic homogeneity may have played a role in changing the photo.
"We are looking into the details of this situation," Microsoft spokesperson Lou Gellos said in a statement Tuesday. "We apologise and are in the process of pulling down the image."
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Corbett Report
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
In an interview released today by Digg and the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pressured about the growing popular movement to Audit the Fed spearheaded by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. A visibly uncomfortable Geithner attempts to dismiss the question by stating “I’m sure people understand that you want to keep politics out of monetary policy.” When Geithner is again pressed on the issue, he makes the stunning assertion that conducting an audit of the Federal Reserve—something never before done in its 96 year history—is a “line that we don’t want to cross,” proclaiming that such a move would be “problematic for the country.” Watch the interview in the player below:
Geithner’s response that auditing the Fed would give politicians dangerous control over American monetary policy is mistaken at best and a deliberate lie at worst. Allowing the public to know what happened to their $24 trillion in bailout money does not give undue control of monetary policy to the people’s elected representatives. Instead, such an audit would finally allow the public to see how their money has been spent in the midst of the largest spending binge in the history of the world’s economy, hardly an unreasonable demand given the well-documented revolving door between the Treasury and Goldman Sachs, the main recipient of bailout funds. Ultimately, the Treasury Secretary is left spewing the absurdity that “I think even the sponsor of that bill recognizes how important it is to us to have the Fed independent of politics,” which can only be said to be true insofar as Ron Paul—the sponsor of House Resolution (HR) 1207— wants to abolish the Federal Reserve system altogether.
That the Wall Street Journal would even pressure the Treasury Secretary on serious issues like the Audit the Fed movement may be surprising, given that the Wall Street Journal is a mouthpiece of the financial oligarchy and that editor Paul Gigot, like Geithner himself, is a Bilderberg attendee. Needless to say, this was not a typical inside-the-beltway interview. Instead, questions were submitted and voted on by the Digg community, with the top 10 questions being posed to Mr. Geithner.
As a result, the Secretary was bombarded by pointed questions about his documented tax evasion from 2001-2004, the wisdom of spending trillions of dollars in the light of long-term dollar devaluation and even, in the words of one particularly irate questioner, “Why are you running the Treasury Department?” Despite presumably having had time to prepare responses to each question well in advance, Geithner is still visibly discomfited by the entire exchange, picking at his shirt cuff and coughing nervously throughout the interview.
In one particularly telling moment, Geithner even admits “We have been forced to do just extraordinary things and, frankly, offensive things to help save the economy.”
That these questions are only being asked now, almost a year into the bailout and several months after the new administration has taken office, further highlights how the controlled corporate media is doing everything in its power to keep to well-trodden and uncontroversial areas in their interviewing of key administration officials. This interview is testimony to the power of the citizen journalism movement that is attempting to hold those in power accountable for their actions. We can only hope that the Obama Administration lives up to their promise to be the “cyber” administration by allowing more such question-and-answer sessions in the future.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Terror suspect hates Australians, court told
August 25, 2009 02:26pm
ONE of five men charged over an alleged suicide terror plot hates Australians and anyone who does not follow Islam, a court has been told.Boilermaker Saney Edow Aweys, 26, of Carlton North, allegedly conspired with his co-accused to launch an attack on the Holsworthy army barracks in NSW and is one of three men applying for bail in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court today.
Police allege he was involved in recruiting people to fight in the civil war in Somalia.
He is also facing charges relating to the provision of about $2700 to Walid Osman Mohamed, whom police belive to be in an armed conflict training camp somewhere in Somalia.
Aweys' lawyer Rob Stary asked federal agent David Kinton whether investigators had planted a covert operative amongst the group of accused.
Agent Kinton will seek legal advice as to whether or not he will answer that question and may claim public interest immunity so he does not have to respond.
He said police had secretly intercepted telephone conversations between Aweys and Mohamed.
"We have conversations that indicate that Walid Mohamed has been directly engaged in armed conflict and has ... admitted to killing a number of people over there,'' he told the court.
Agent Kinton said police were unaware of who was running the camp and of its exact location.
Mr Stary said the prosecution case against his client was weak and allegations relating to the civil war in Somalia could not be supported due to the complex nature of the transitional government there.
Aweys is a father of three children and his wife is due to give birth again in October, the court was told.
Agent Kinton said Aweys intended to travel to Somalia with two of his children.
"Mister Aweys is, I suppose (the) common theme is, hatred towards Australia and Australian people and anyone who doesn't follow Islam,'' he said.
During a secretly recorded telephone conversation with his wife on May 8 this year, Aweys allegedly said: "I am going to fight, why would I not enter paradise?"
His wife allegedly replied: "Why not? Four small kids."
"There is a war going on between Muslims and infidels,'' Aweys allegedly said.
"You are not going to paradise because you have got four small kids to support,'' his wife replied.
Nayef El Sayed, 25, of Glenroy, and Yacqub Khayre, 22, of Meadow Heights are also applying for bail.
Co-accused Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed, 25, from Preston, is expected to apply for bail at a later date. Another co-accused, Wissmam Mahmoud Fattal, 33, has not applied for bail.
Magistrate Peter Reardon has indicated he will make some comments later today relating to people not standing in court.
During previous court appearances relating to the charges, both Fattal and El Sayed have refused to stand when asked by Mr Reardon.
Their lawyers have indicated they stand for no one but God.
El Sayed has stood when required during the current bail application, which is continuing.
ECONOMIC CRISIS PARTICIPANT REWARDED WITH REAPPOINTMENT FOR ROLE IN ENGINEERED FINANCIAL CRISIS-FURTHER PROOF OF THE LEFT/RIGHT WING FANTASY
That this W.Hitler Bush nominee is about to be reappointed by Barack Obama is further proof that the old lies about the left and right political wings are merely ruses to mislead a time poor or ignorant public into believing that we actually have a choice-WE DO NOT.
Whether its the war on terror-really a war on OUR FREEDOM, the failed oilvasion of Afghanistan and Bali, the United Nations led one world government, false flag operations such as Port Arthur, Bali or 9/11,the callous indignity heaped on the the poor, or a bi-partisan approach to the torture of innocents such as David Hicks at Guantanamo, there is no discernable difference between the left and right of poltics.
This coming announcement by Barack Obama that he will keep the W.Bush appointed Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke on after the deliberately engineered economic crisis, illustrates that that not only is loyalty rewarded, but that there loyalty is ultimately not to you, but to the corporation which they ran/run.
Did you know that the corporate name of the United States is the UNITED STATES?
Yes, exactly the same as the CITY OF MELBOURNE, THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA, OR VICTORIA.
PROOF POSITIVE OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE CORPORATION KNOWN AS THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA......BUT IS IT LISTED WITH THE U.S SECURITIES AND EXCHANGES COMMISSION?
Obama to Nominate Bernanke to 2nd Term as Fed Chief
The nomination, while expected, comes after Mr. Bernanke has had perhaps the most tumultuous term of any Fed chairman, helping to steer the economy through its greatest downturn since the 1930’s. Mr. Bernanke is a Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush. Mr. Obama’s plan was confirmed by Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary.
A top White House official said Mr. Obama had decided to keep Mr. Bernanke at the helm of the Fed because he had been bold and brilliant in his attempts to combat the financial crisis and the current deep economic recession.
"The president thinks that Ben’s done a great job as Fed chairman, that he has helped the economy through one of the worst experiences since the Great Depression and that he has essentially been pulling the economy back from the brink of what would have been the second Great Depression,” an administration official said on Monday night.The president will make the announcement at 9 a.m. on Tuesday in Oak Bluffs, Mass., taking a brief reprieve from his weeklong vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, and he will appear with Mr. Bernanke
TAKE a look at our top 20 ticket-busting secrets.1. BIG footy matches are a ticket bonanza. The bushfires tribute game in February, the NAB Cup grand final in March, Ben Cousins’s first game with the Tigers and the Collingwood versus North Melbourne match in May accounted for four of the top five most ticketed days.
The Mikiverse says; The City of Melbourne is a corporation that needs to make a profit according to the appropriate legislation,needs to make a profit. This goes a long way towards explaining why ticket inspectors posses such a zealous attitude toward your parked motor car/motor vehicle.
In addition to football matches, cricket, concerts and other events are generally viewed by parking inspectors as income opportunities.
And, isn't it nice of the City of Melbourne to be so opportunistic, as to prey on people who are offering tangible financial support to the victims of those horrific bushfires?
And, what are we to make of the foreign owned Herald Sun REFUSING TO SUPPORT these humanitarians who gave their money and time-only to be slugged with a 'fine' by the City of Melbourne.
This organisation is headed by Robert Doyle who while on A.B.C radio this morning, revealed to Jon Faine that he needed to be given more power to 'deal' with the so-called violence that the tabloid press have been driving as part of their agenda to exploit and profit of people's emotions.
Robert Doyle is the failed State Liberal leader who Victorians DID NOT WANT as their premier-so, the obvious question is why would we want him to have more power than he seems to posses at the moment?
Councils already have a reputation for arrogance-look at how Port Phillip Council callously ignored the wishes of their community to formulate contracts for the controversial triangle project that might end up killing the St.Kilda foreshore, coastline and scores of local business'.
No, we do not want over zealous failed politicians with a lust for power, or for councils to achieve their dishonourable desires.
Oh yes, did you know that a parking ticket is really a notice, or a bill that offers you an invitation to enter into a contract to pay an amount of money to the poster of the bill?
YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY A "FINE" IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO!!!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
New laws would also pave the way for “streamlined” mass cremations
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The British government has drawn up plans to create mass graves to deal with deaths resulting from the promised swine flu outbreak this Autumn.
A newly drafted Home Office document, entitled The Framework for Planners Preparing to Manage Deaths, states that mass burial sites may be required to cope with the pandemic.
The 59-page document originates from a meeting of government officials and council leaders held last month to discuss emergency procedures in the event of a “second wave” of H1N1 flu.
It states that the number of burials could more than double within a few weeks of a full-blown pandemic and suggests that cemeteries “may experience shortage of grave space, in particular in inner city areas”.
“As a back-up option for higher fatality rates, cemetery managers should plan alternative ways of providing graves,” the document says.
A potential solution, “which can allow interments to be undertaken more quickly”,
according to the document, would be “a grave that is for a number of unrelated persons, excavated mechanically in advance and designed for efficient preparation and use.”
Local government officials should consider the preparation of a “burial site for multiple graves and consecutive burials”, the paper comments, adding a stipulation that “marking of the position of individual burials” must be carried out. The report also notes that such procedures “could not normally allow for the adjacent burial of family members.”
The discovery of the published document was highlighted in reports from the Daily Mail, The Press Association, The London Metro and The Sun, which carry a scan of plans to increase mortuary capacity (below).
(Article continues below)
Elsewhere within the document are proposals to store and transport vast numbers of dead bodies.
The paper suggests that “inflatable storage structures”, which “come in various designs and can be customised and deployed to a range of terrains”, could be used as temporary mortuaries. Shipping containers are also cited as a possibility, although the document notes “These are likely to require shrouding, body racking and power generators.” The paper also concludes that “refrigerated vehicles and trailers should not be used”.
The report also carries advice on funerals, stating that “Those arranging and conducting funerals should prepare for basic and shorter services at the chapel, or for memorial services to be held at other venues (eg the home or place of worship).”
The document suggests cemeteries and crematoriums should liaise with local officials to “move to 24/7 working” and hire more staff, and that retired doctors should be called back to work to issue death certificates.
It also suggests that new laws could be passed to allow “streamlined” mass cremations with furnaces burning 24 hours a day.
These would be used In central London due to a lack of space in its three outlying cemeteries.
John Barradell, Westminster’s deputy chief executive, said the council had to plan for the worst, adding: “We have a flu pandemic plan in place which has been rigorously tested.”
So far, 44 people in England have been confirmed as dying after contracting swine flu and another five have died in Scotland.
While medical professionals have predicted a fresh surge in H1N1 this Autumn, new cases of the virus have fallen sharply from a peak of over 110,000 a week in late July.
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Two million shots for most at risk of swine flu
Ben Packham and Stephen McMahon
August 20, 2009 12:00am
EXCLUSIVE: MILLIONS of Australians will be vaccinated against the deadly swine flu within weeks.
Pregnant women, health workers and the chronically ill will be first to get the medicine.
The Federal Government will take delivery of two million doses of the vaccine by the end of next week.
More than 450,000 doses have been earmarked for Victoria - where 22 people with the disease have died.
Special immunisation clinics are likely to be set up in major hospitals, while GPs will also administer the vaccine.
Vaccinations could begin by September 7 if approval is given by Chief Medical Officer Jim Bishop and a team of health experts.
The Government has ordered 21 million doses of the swine flu vaccine, enough to protect every Australian.
Pregnant women, especially those in the second or third trimester, and anyone with a respiratory illness, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis, will be vaccinated first.
Cardiac patients, cancer sufferers, the morbidly obese and those with type 2 diabetes would also get priority, along with doctors, nurses and other health workers.
Federal health authorities are still awaiting safety data from vaccine manufacturer CSL before approving the massive vaccination program, which will be closely watched overseas.
It is believed the Government is not fully satisfied with initial information provided by the company.
CSL spokeswoman Rachel David said the vaccine was almost identical to its seasonal flu formulation, and trials had revealed no unanticipated side effects.
"We have given the Government an initial safety update on the swine flu trials, which confirms there are no untoward or unexpected issues with adverse events," she said.
"We will continue to monitor this throughout the trial and after the vaccine is released to the market."
CSL will deliver the vaccine to the Government in batches until January.
Victoria has been hard hit by swine flu, with almost 3000 confirmed cases and thousands more going undetected.
Across the nation, there have been 32,224 confirmed cases and 121 people with the virus have died.
A Department of Human Services spokesman said 22 Victorians were in hospital with the disease - nine in intensive care.
"People at risk and front-line health care workers will be the first groups of people to get the vaccine," he said.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
No exceptions to immunization of 12 million, says health minister
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, August 3, 2009
Greece has become the latest country to announce it will enforce a mandatory swine flu vaccination program, despite fears about the jabs containing mercury and squalene.
Despite the fact that there have been no deaths whatsoever from swine flu in the Mediterranean country, the Greek government has resolved to immunize its entire population of 12 million, all but guaranteeing that several thousand at least will be injured or be killed by the vaccine which is set to be fast tracked in Europe with no human testing at all.
“We decided that the entire population, all citizens and residents, without any exception, will be vaccinated against the flu,” Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said after a ministerial meeting.
“We are only waiting for the European Union’s approval to start vaccinating everyone,” a Health Ministry official told Reuters.
As we highlighted last week, many batches of the H1N1 vaccine will will contain mercury, a toxin linked with autism and neurological disorders. Cases of autism in the U.S. have increased by 1,500 per cent since 1991, which is when vaccines for children doubled.
The swine flu jab will also contain the dangerous ingredient squalene, which has been directly linked with cases of Gulf War Syndrome and a host of other debilitating diseases.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
Squalene “contributed to the cascade of reactions called “Gulf War syndrome. (GIs developed) arthritis, fibromyalgia, lymphadenopathy, rashes, photosensitive rashes, malar rashes, chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, abnormal body hair loss, non-healing skin lesions, aphthous ulcers, dizziness, weakness, memory loss, seizures, mood changes, neuropsychiatric problems, anti-thyroid effects, anaemia, elevated ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Raynaud’s phenomenon, Sjorgren’s syndrome, chronic diarrhea, night sweats and low-grade fever,” according to Micropaleontologist Dr. Viera Scheibner.
Health authorities in both the UK and the U.S. have implied that the upcoming mass vaccination program against H1N1 will be mandatory, but no formal decision has been communicated to the public. However, both countries are in the process of purchasing enough doses to cover the entire population.
A member of the public who was concerned about a mandatory mass vaccination program in light of the swine flu pandemic called the Arkansas State Health Department for advice only to be told that mandatory vaccines were constitutional and could be enforced at gunpoint by the government if necessary.
Pharmaceutical companies can be assured that they won’t face reprisals for the many thousands of injuries and deaths that will inevitably occur as a result of exposing millions to mercury and squalene during a mass vaccination program, because the government has already acted to provide them with blanket immunity from lawsuits.
“Vaccine makers and federal officials will be immune from lawsuits that result from any new swine flu vaccine, under a document signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius,” reported the Associated Press last month.
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There are a couple of interesting elements to this tabloid story.Read the original Herald Sun story here;
The Herald Sun has presented this story to us as some kind of tax the rich story, but this story goes off on a tangent that is more interesting for us.
“There has been no request from the Government to the Australia's Future Tax System review to model such proposals,” the statement said."
There is an erroneous belief that we have to pay income tax. We don't. There is no law that reuqires us to pay income tax. There is a law for local corporations and local artificial persons (YOUR NAME SPELT IN CAPITAL LETTERS)-but multi-national corporations do not have to pay tax in Australia.
So, siven that is the case; why do we have a Future Tax System? Why a G.S.T? To maintain the hegemony of dominance that the government has created over you, without your knowledge.
What does Treasury do with your income tax?
It uses it to pay off its debt to the IMF/World Bank/United Nations. The debt that was created by Treasury when you were registered with a Birth Certificate by your parents.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The T.A.C-like a lot of governmental agencies-are seemingly quite happy to mix a bit of propaganda, or even outright lies in their messages and advertisements. This is a good example; "There's no excuse for speeding" is the slogan from the ad on the right, as if it is true. Truth is, the concept of 'speeding' is an abstract idea that interferes with your major responsibility on the road, which is to drive safely. You are not driving safely if you are 'clock watching'-you are not even watching the road, let alone other traffic, pedestrian's, intersections or changes in road conditions. The concept of speeding is about establishing a power relationship, of convincing you to give up your higher status to politicians and government agencies. It is also about establishing a contract with you, whereby you become obligated to perform certain acts or face 'penalties' or 'fines'. The fact that you have a common law right to travel privately is never offered to you as a choice. Although related, that is a different topic for a different time.
Here is another thought for your consumption; "if everybody's speeds, how come you are passing them?"-because if everybody is 'speeding', it is obviously a practical demonstration of what the community desires, so governments and agencies who are our servants, need to respect that, and stop harassing good people with their attempts to raise a controversy via the propagation of claims, notices, fines or threats.
This ad is all over the place, but you can go to this herald sun web page to view it yourself-until it is remved, of course.
This madness must end. We are 100% wrong. WE MUST LEAVE THE MIDDLE EAST-NOW.
This has gone on for too long. It will be 8 years in October-WORLD WAR 2 ONLY LASTED 6 YEARS!!!!
"200th British soldier dies in Afghanistan
Article from: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in London
August 16, 2009 08:08am
A BRITISH soldier has died of wounds sustained in operations in Afghanistan, bringing to 200 the number of British troops to have died since the 2001 US-led invasion, the Ministry of Defence says.
The soldier, from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, died in hospital in central England on Saturday after being injured in an explosion while on vehicle patrol in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on August 13.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the milestone was "deeply tragic" but said British troops were on a vital mission to stop the al-Qaeda network using Afghanistan as a base for attacks on Britain and elsewhere.
"Today is a day of mourning, and also a day of reflection. I want to thank the entire armed forces and the families and communities which sustain them. We owe it to you all never to forget those who have died," he said.
"But my commitment is clear: we must and will make Britain safer by making Afghanistan more stable. We will honour and support those who have been killed or wounded in the field of battle.
"And we will give those who fight on all the support that they need to succeed in this vital mission."
At least 168 of those killed died as a result of hostile action. The rest died either as a result of illness, non-combat injuries or accidents, or have yet to be officially assigned a cause of death.
Thirty-one British troops have been killed since the start of July. The spike in deaths came as British troops launched Operation Panther's Claw in the build-up to the Afghan presidential election on August 20. "
This is a very interesting ABC interview transcript from 2005 featuring people who have been messed about by Centrelink for no reason at all. Don't forget, if you are having issues with Centrelink, you can defend yourself against this corporation with love, peace, honour and goodwill; take a look at centrefunk.com or you can drop us a line here at the mikiverse; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The World Today - Former Centrelink managers speak out
[This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2005/s1404889.htm]
The World Today - Friday, 1 July , 2005 12:15:00
Reporter: Karen Barlow
ELEANOR HALL: Problems at the Government's welfare delivery agency, Centrelink, have turned personal today.
Revelations yesterday of a bungled bank debit operation by Centrelink angered clients already frustrated by the system and highlighted ongoing problems with the way Australians receive payments such as Newstart, the aged pension and disability support.
Now former Centrelink managers are also speaking out about the agency, as Karen Barlow reports.
KAREN BARLOW: Vic Roberts was a welfare recipient for seven years, three while studying at university.
She now has a full-time job, but is still paying off a debt she says was incurred by a number of Centrelink mistakes.
VIC ROBERTS: My experience is that they've stuffed me around a fair amount. They lost my tax file number a number of times, even though I'd been getting Newstart Allowance for a number of years.
KAREN BARLOW: They lost your tax file number?
VIC ROBERTS: Yeah. So they said that I would stop being paid until I gave it to them again. So I'd go obviously for maybe a fortnight without being paid.
KAREN BARLOW: How did that affect you?
VIC ROBERTS: Well it meant that some days I couldn't go to university when I was studying because I didn't have my bus or train fare to get there. And it also meant that I was having a hard time paying my rent every month, and also going grocery shopping.
KAREN BARLOW: Centrelink claims to have an 86 per cent customer satisfaction rating – a level of service rejected by Vic Roberts and other clients.
VIC ROBERTS: I think that Centrelink has just fallen into this pit of, I don't know, hell or something – they treat their customers really badly.
VOX POP 1: Centrelink have insulted me.
VOX POP 2: I would be surprised if even 40 or 50 per cent said that they would be happy with the way that they have been dealt with by Centrelink.
KAREN BARLOW: Former Centrelink manager Rod Whyte, and author of Australia's Artful Dodger – Centrelink Exposed, says he's not surprised by the double-dipping bank debit bungle.
ROD WHYTE: Obviously the problem that occurred with the double dipping was to do with the system, and not necessarily to do with the people that input the debts into the system. So, I mean, there's a question now about the assurance of them payment system itself, and the debt recovery system itself, that is of concern.
KAREN BARLOW: So you can't pin it down on one thing – computer problems, staff, managers, attitudes? It's a myriad of things?
ROD WHYTE: Oh yes, most definitely.
KAREN BARLOW: Centrelink says the double-dipping bungle was a one-off incident that it has apologised for.
Centrelink General Manager Hank Jongen says Centrelink has a difficult job.
HANK JONGEN: This is an extremely rare occurrence that happened the other day, and we've contacted those people, we've apologised to them, and we will ensure that they do not incur any financial cost. But I make this point as well – we are one of the few organisations, government organisations, with the courage to measure our performance every month across every one of our customer service outlets. We engage in independent market research to measure customer satisfaction. And our customer satisfaction, despite the fact that we do a good job, a tough job, we have to say no to people, we have to knock people, we have to say to people you're not putting enough effort to get a job. We raise debts against people if they haven't told us. Despite that tough job that our staff have to do, our customer satisfaction is sitting at 86 per cent.
KAREN BARLOW: But could that be because the clients of Centrelink are too afraid to actually say that you guys aren't doing a good job?
HANK JONGEN: Well again, critics such as Rod Whyte would try and make these contentions. There's no evidence that that's the case. The research that we undertake to measure attitudes towards Centrelink is undertaken by professional independent market research companies, who make it clear to our customers who are randomly selected, that they have no association with Centrelink.
KAREN BARLOW: Hank Jongen says Rob Whyte is a disgruntled former junior manager who hasn't been on the inside of Centrelink for several years.
He also accuses him of making money off the woes of Centrelink clients – a claim Rob Whyte denies.
However, Hank Jongen doesn't shy away from all criticism of Centrelink.
HANK JONGEN: It's inevitable that on occasions we will get it wrong, and I don't walk away from that. We are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But I also know how hard-working and dedicated our staff are, and how genuinely committed most of our staff are to providing high levels of customer service.
ELEANOR HALL: Centrelink General Manager Hank Jongen ending that report from Karen Barlow.
Interesting article from 'THE AGE'; a Melbourne newspaper. Although it is four years old and we have had a change of government, many of you will not be able to discern a noticeable difference.
Even though we call it Democracy, it is not, and it can't be defined as such, if both sides are essentially the same. This was George Orwell's major point in his book 'Animal Farm'; that the pigs are the same as the farmers, that Labour and Liberal, Democrat and Republican, Labour and Tory are ostensibly the same. The Mikiverse will write an article for your consumption on this topic in the future, but in the meantime, enjoy this trip down memory lane.....
June 19, 2005 - 4:00AM
Centrelink has dismissed allegations its staff reject welfare claims in order to meet performance targets.
A new book by a former Centrelink manager and whistleblower, Rod Whyte, details examples of massive hidden errors within the welfare agency, a lack of payment scrutiny and a culture of assumed guilt on the part of welfare recipients.
Only five per cent of Centrelink decisions are checked, despite evidence more than half of transactions for some pensioner types are wrong, Mr Whyte says.
In one case, a new welfare applicant was denied her payment so that the Centrelink worker could meet their performance indicator, he said.
"This highlights the extreme pressures that Centrelink staff are under in their performance ... and also throws into doubt every single decision that Centrelink has ever made," Mr Whyte writes.
Mr Whyte estimates Centrelink is responsible for around 80 per cent of all debts it raises because of mistakes, a failure of duty of care, and a failure to inform welfare recipients of their rights.
"I don't believe there would be one Centrelink customer that has not been affected at some stage by a Centrelink mistake," he said.
Many of the problems came from saddling staff with too much work and too little time to perform their duties, he said.
The welfare agency, however, has hit back at the allegations in the book, describing them as inaccurate and out-dated.
"This is essentially a re-print of the same book the author released last year in which the broad-brush allegations were also rejected," Centrelink general manager Hank Jongen said in a statement.
"Centrelink is already one of the most scrutinised agencies in the land.
"We are transparent, accountable to parliament, and customers can ask for a review of absolutely every decision we make."
Mr Jongen also accused Mr Whyte of trying to make money by generating fear and alarm.
But Mr Whyte says every claim in his book is backed up by evidence.
"It's certainly not over-inflated ... Absolutely everything that I've got in that book is backed up," he told AAP.
"It's disappointing ... They're attacking me personally when they can't really attack the book."
Labor says there have been concerns about internal Centrelink processes for some time.
"Labor's been very concerned about the breaching and suspension regimes for a long time in Centrelink and this government is all about punishing the least privileged in our society rather than helping them," opposition social security spokesman Chris Evans said.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), which represents Centrelink staff, said they were under a lot of pressure at work.
"It hasn't always been adequately resourced by the government, particularly when the government is making new demands on it," CPSU spokesman Paul Ingwerson said.
Mr Whyte's book, Australia's Artful Dodger: Centrelink Exposed, is due to be launched next month.
The welfare provider distributes payments to about 6.5 million people nationwide.