It begins: Freedom of the press under threat in Australia

Make no mistake.

This government in coalition with the Greens cannot handle any criticism whatsoever, and even though most of the media here has a demonstrably left-wing bias this isn’t enough for them.

The Greens are a Marxist/Totalitarian party, who support BDS in Australia - even though some deny it.

The Labor Party is showing its true totalitarian/Fabian Socialist roots.

Not only are they introducing a National Broadband Network that will be obsolete by the time it is completed - read 'censorship', but now they want to censor our media.

Of course it goes without saying that this is an attempt to censor any conservative-leaning writers and bloggers.

Their disregard for democracy knows no bounds.

I have often wondered if I will ever see another election in this country, and the USA as well.

These people must know they will be thrown out of government and yet it doesn't bother them one bit!

Voters' opinions are not important to them at all.

Both have very low approval figures.

Maybe they know something they don't want to let us in on.

Note as mentioned in the article below, this also gives them an excuse to go after the Murdoch press Downunder.

NEWSPAPERS could face scrutiny from a government-funded regulator as a result of a new media probe, but they would not fall under government control, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said today.

Senator Conroy confirmed a single media regulator overseeing all print, online and broadcast media could be one of the changes to flow from the government's independent media inquiry launched yesterday.

He agreed the days of the Australian Press Council, which he called a "toothless tiger", could be numbered

But he rejected the suggestion a single regulator would hand the government control of newspapers.

"That's absurd. The government doesn't have any more control or reach about how Channel Nine or Channel Ten or Channel Seven or even the ABC under the existing laws today," he told the ABC.

"To suggest that because the Press Council might become a more professional organisation of part of a merged entity that suddenly the government has got more control is just wrong."

Senator Conroy said the inquiry covered a specific area not covered by a separate review looking at the convergence of media types.

He said Labor had set the terms of reference, staring down Greens Leader Bob Brown who wanted to use the inquiry to further his campaign against News Limited, publisher of The Australian.

Senator Brown continued his attack News Limited today, accusing it of mixing news with opinion and of conducting "witch hunts".

"This (inquiry) is in the public interest," he said.

"It's the public that absorbs the information and that depends upon the media for information in a healthy and functioning democracy and we need the media and it's a very important part of our lives.

"The Murdoch empire is relentless about wanting inquiries into politics and politicians, and that's how it should be, but they don't like it when it's the other way around."

And furthermore it seems that bloggers and tweeters could also be at risk.

From the press conference yesterday of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy:


But you’d also have to define who could be complained about and what the penalities would be once they were complained about? A tweeter, a blogger, a…


Well, as you said. Now you’re canvassing areas that I think will be richly canvassed in the inquiry, and these are the sort of… these are, the questions is… you’re asking all the legitimate questions.

Further reading: Andrew Bolt’s take.


Obama to visit his Aussie counterpart PM Julia Gillard

Obama's golf visit out of bounds - From the Age

I wonder if he knows that there is a comedy series on the tax-payer funded ABC about Gillard's life in The Lodge - the Aussie equivalent of the White House?

Here’s a taste!

Then there’s this piece of garbage from Bloomberg: Obama’s soul-mate Gillard.

This contains a sentence that is totally untrue:

"Yet Gillard inherited a long to-do list because Rudd (2007 to 2010) and John Howard (1996 to 2007) had largely left the economy on autopilot."

John Howard’s government paid down the debt he was left from previous Labor governments and Kevin Rudd, who called himself a ‘fiscal conservative’, spent tax-payers’ money like a drunken sailor.

Still, we are all getting so good at predicting how the left-leaning media reports things.

I guess we will have to wait and see if he has a round of golf or not.

I am pretty sure he will be able to borrow some clubs if he needs them.

THE United States President, Barack Obama, has been advised to leave his golf clubs at home when he visits Australia in November.

Although the trip will coincide with the Presidents Cup tournament in Melbourne, a side trip to visit the US team is being advised against because it would be a bad look at home.

The White House and Gillard government confirmed yesterday that after two aborted attempts the President will visit on November 16 and 17.

The visit, to mark the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty, will be sandwiched between the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Hawaii and the East Asia Summit in Bali.

In the same week Mr Obama is in Australia, the best US golfers will be playing their non-European counterparts at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, which last hosted the event in 1998. Australia is the first country outside the US to host the biennial tournament twice.

Mr Obama is a keen golfer and was the honorary chairman of the 2009 tournament. Julia Gillard is the chairwoman of this year's event.

But diplomatic sources said as well as visiting Hawaii and Bali, his trip would include the G20 in Cannes. Under domestic pressure over the economy, the spectre of the President at a golf tournament on top of three holiday destinations would not go down well.

Mr Obama cancelled a trip in in March last year due to a crisis over healthcare reform in the US. He was then due to visit in June 2010 but cancelled because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The same week, Kevin Rudd was rolled for the leadership.

The Sydney Morning Herald understands the US government has been putting out feelers to ascertain how stable Julia Gillard's job is.

As Ms Gillard informed Parliament of the visit yesterday, she was taunted by Coalition MPs who claimed she needed the visit to boost her own flagging fortunes.

After question time, Tony Abbott clarified that the Coalition meant no disrespect and Mr Obama was welcome.

Further reading: The ANZUS Treaty


The UN's Durban 111 Conference: An Arab's point of view

From HNY

Arab dictatorships and Muslim fundamentalists will get a morale boost next week when the United Nations hosts its "Anti-Racism" Durban III conference in New York. But it is not only Israelis and Jews who eventually pay the price for this type of incitement -- it is also the few remaining moderate Arabs and Muslims.

As in the past, the conference will serve as platform for all those who hate Israel and Jews and seek to destroy the Jewish state.

The UN conference's anti-Israel and anti-Semitic messages and rhetoric will once again be used by the enemies of peace and compromise in the Middle East to justify their violence against Israel and Jews.

The mob that attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo last weekend will undoubtedly use the messages coming out of the conference to justify their crime. Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Hamas and Hizbullah proxies will say that the conference proves that their right when they for the elimination of Israel.

By hosting speakers like Ahmadinejad, the UN is helping spread his message of hatred and anti-Semitism.

Ahmadinejad and his allies are always happy to exploit such gatherings to promote their denial of the Holocaust and desire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

This year's UN conference is being held at a time when anti-Israel sentiments, especially throughout the Arab and Islamic world, are on the rise. It also coincides with a "diplomatic intifada" that the Palestinian Authority is waging against Israel in the international arena.

This is an "intifada" that is primarily designed to isolate Israel in the international arena by depicting the Jewish state as a source of instability because of its refusal to comply with the Palestinian Authority's demand for a full withdrawal from all the 1967 territories.

The Palestinian Authority is hoping that membership in the UN would give its representatives access to many UN organizations, where they say they want to prosecute Israelis as war criminals and have Israel expelled from these bodies.

The "Durban III" conference is being held almost on the same day the Palestinian Authority is planning to ask the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state –- a move that is likely to end the peace process and plunge the region into a dangerous period of uncertainty and tensions.

In the region, there is already much talk of a possible violent confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis as a result of the UN statehood bid.

The anti-Israel messages emerging from the conference will only increase tensions and accelerate the eruption of another "cycle of violence."

The conference is taking place at a time when Hamas and Hizbullah have tens of thousands of missiles directed toward Israel and ready to be used at any time. Those who are chanting "Death to Israel" on the streets of Cairo and Amman will be happy to see that their messages are being echoed in the corridors of the UN next week.

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad will also benefit from the "Durban III" conference as it will distract attention from the daily massacres that his security forces are perpetrating against the Syrian people.

It would have been better if this year's UN conference had been dedicated to discussing human rights conditions in Syria and the rest of the Arab world. But by singling out Israel, the UN conference is playing into the hands of the radicals and dictators in the region by providing then with the legitimacy they need to pursue their dream of destroying the Jewish state.

What the Middle East needs is conferences that promote peace and coexistence, not hatred and violence.

Mark Steyn on Free Speech in the West - September 2011

TO be honest, I didn't really think much about "freedom of speech" until I found myself the subject of three "hate speech" complaints in Canada in 2007.

I mean I was philosophically in favour of it, and I'd been consistently opposed to the Dominion's ghastly "human rights" commissions and their equivalents elsewhere my entire adult life, and from time to time when an especially choice example of politically correct enforcement came up I'd whack it around for a column or two.

But I don't think I really understood how advanced the Left's assault on this core Western liberty actually was.

In 2008, shortly before my writing was put on trial for "flagrant Islamophobia" in British Columbia, several National Review readers e-mailed from the US to query what the big deal was. C'mon, lighten up, what could some "human rights" pseudo-court do? And I replied that the statutory penalty under the British Columbia "Human Rights" Code was that Maclean's, Canada's biggest-selling news weekly, and by extension any other publication, would be forbidden henceforth to publish anything by me about Islam, Europe, terrorism, demography, welfare, multiculturalism, and various related subjects.

And that this prohibition would last forever, and was deemed to have the force of a supreme-court decision. I would in effect be rendered unpublishable in the land of my birth. In theory, if a job opened up for dance critic or gardening correspondent, I could apply for it, although if the Royal Winnipeg Ballet decided to offer Jihad: The Ballet for its Christmas season I'd probably have to recuse myself.

And what I found odd about this was that very few other people found it odd at all.

Indeed, the Canadian establishment seems to think it entirely natural that the Canadian state should be in the business of lifetime publication bans, just as the Dutch establishment thinks it entirely natural that the Dutch state should put elected leaders of parliamentary opposition parties on trial for their political platforms, and the French establishment thinks it appropriate for the French state to put novelists on trial for sentiments expressed by fictional characters.

Across almost all the Western world apart from America, the state grows ever more comfortable with micro-regulating public discourse-and, in fact, not-so-public discourse: Lars Hedegaard, head of the Danish Free Press Society, has been tried, been acquitted, had his acquittal overruled, and been convicted of "racism" for some remarks about Islam's treatment of women made (so he thought) in private but taped and released to the world.

The Rev. Stephen Boissoin was convicted of the heinous crime of writing a homophobic letter to his local newspaper and was sentenced by Lori Andreachuk, Alberta's "human rights" commissar, to a lifetime prohibition on uttering anything "disparaging" about homosexuality ever again in sermons, in newspapers, on radio-or in private emails. Note that legal concept: not "illegal" or "hateful," but merely "disparaging."

Dale McAlpine, a practicing (wait for it) Christian, was handing out leaflets in the English town of Workington and chit-chatting with shoppers when he was arrested on a "public order" charge by Constable Adams, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community-outreach officer. Mr. McAlpine had been overheard by the officer to observe that homosexuality is a sin. "I'm gay," said Constable Adams. Well, it's still a sin, Mr McAlpine said. So Constable Adams arrested him for causing distress to Constable Adams.

In fairness, I should add that Mr McAlpine was also arrested for causing distress to members of the public more generally, and not just to the aggrieved gay copper. No member of the public actually complained, but, as Constable Adams pointed out, Mr McAlpine was talking "in a loud voice" that might theoretically have been "overheard by others." And we can't have that, can we? So he was fingerprinted, DNA-sampled, and tossed in the cells for seven hours.

In such a climate, time-honored national characteristics are easily extinguished.

A generation ago, even Britain's polytechnic Trots and Marxists were sufficiently residually English to feel the industrial-scale snitching by family and friends that went on in Communist Eastern Europe was not quite cricket, old boy.

Now England is Little Stasi-on-Avon, a land where, even if you're well out of earshot of the gay-outreach officer, an infelicitous remark in the presence of a co-worker or even co-playmate is more than sufficient....

Read it all in The Australian