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by Richard Tonkin on March 22, 2012 - 1:03pm

That business on 4Corns a couple of weeks back of the NSW police officer shouting "Taser Taser Taser" before killing someone with a pisto should've been enough warning that police officers might be thinking both weapons from the same headspace.  Here in SA they aren't worn on the belt, but kept in the boot of specially deployed cars.  Police get a whole two days training with them!

My biggest worry is that those who join the police to become bullies now have the chance to  litterally make people twitch.  The use of several tasers by several police on one "perp" always carries the odour of such a style of bullying

by Paul Walter on March 22, 2012 - 12:22am

Tasers are a loathsome development, not just in Australia but everywhere they are used.

They were introduced with honeyed words, on thebasis that they would only stun, but dozens, perhaps hundreds of people throughout the world have died through the application of them, often in situations where their use was hardly necessary. 

 They have brought out the absolute worst in many police, used as a means of bullying and torture or even amusement in closed locations, or behind cell doors. 

They and capsicum spray are peripheral to genuine law and order, but central to the underlying task of suppressing the sort of dissent that was occurring last year during the Occupy movement's attempts to challenge the 1% and its global oligarchy.  

by Paul Walter on March 22, 2012 - 12:11am

Hi Hamish, very sorry for so many reasons about this lot.

The mulish Qld public itself, the LibNats for being Joh-descendent 19th century asshats, certain union formations for forcing Labor into bad policy decisons, Katter for last week's utter stupidity, big developers and mining companies set to wreck the place and Labor for blowing a golden opportunity they fashioned for themselves, last election.

 Seriously, you can't make promises like the one Labor made on election eve last time, on an issue as fundamental as privatisation and then just turn around and break your word, Bligh Labor was voted in on an honour test and failed dismally.

John Olsen, the SA Lib premier did exactly the same thing in the late nineties, suffered a massive swing and remained bogged down in scandal till Rann Labor pitched them out a decade ago.

I think QLD is set to go very "Red State", like some of the really weird and cranky states in the US south west. 

by Paul Walter on March 21, 2012 - 4:44pm

Another antic the Australian community are to be subjected to is the Pacific Free Trade Treaty negotiations, to be held largely in secret, if Christine Milne and her site and other sites are correct. 

Am moved to comment on this, on Richard's ETS observation but am disappointed of course, the Chaser team has been driven off the ABC, so there will be no cavalcade this time. 

Marilyn 's comment also. Marilyn realised a long time ago that the detention of boat asylum seekers provides marvellous opportunities for offshore corporations like Wackenhut and Serco and like Richard grasps that the main purpose of the Australian community is to operate as a cash cow for offshore corporations largely involved in the merchandising of snake oil.

 Am just listening to the tyro Senator from NSW, Bob Carr, delivering his maiden speech before the august body of the Australian Senate. He is delivering a rational comment on global warming in contrast to his immediate predecessor, Sen Matthias Corman, who was disturbed that mining magnates should cough up a few billion on a mining tax, despite these being nurtured to undreamed of opportunites in the very bosom of one of the world's advanced democracies.

But beyond this, one worries.

 Why are trade negotiations negotiated in, and the results largely kept secret, if international business practice is in step with humanitarian social and ecological concerns.

 Surely, "reform" in this context means closing loopholes of the sort that have had LYNAS rare earths processing with its toxic byproducts moved to heavy populated Malaysia from its source out in the WA desert; surely a safer place for integrated mining and processing.

Currently, it seems, the plant goes to Malaysia, gerry-built with little concern for safety and ecological concerns, arguably to save a few bob for the company. Arguably this occurs because of current trade treaties health and safety factors are now subservient to the whims of corporations and others will point out that poor countries with corrupt governments will bow to corporate pressure under circumstances of economic necessity.

The issue for me is, if there is nothing to hide in these treaties, why are the contents hidden?

Perhaps it is more to the point perhaps alluded to by Prof John Quiggin, at his siteconcerning the attempt of the US on behalf of US pharmaceuticals to in effect dismantle Australia's superior health system to enable another rigged market for companies posing as medicines manufactures who are actually rent-seekers.

Quiggin appears to be suggesting that the current negotiations will be not so much about fair, rational free and open trade, as an attempt by the US to wipe out anomalies in  previous treaties, bought about by resistance to the worst excesses of virtual gunboat diplomacy.

The new treaty in effect apparently supercedes the AUSFTA as to things like drugs and gas fracking offshore companies, as concerns the relative inputs, for fair reasons, of local communities and the narrow interests of off shore corporations. 

 Once again I ask, if free trade treaties are such marvels, why the secrecy? 

by Michael Talbot-... on March 21, 2012 - 1:15pm

The ancient Athenians invented direct democracy.  We have what we call representative democracy, but is it democracy at all?  Is it democracy when it creates a caste of superiors who scheme to get re-elected and then receive large payments from us to scheme among themselves, play the silly game that is politics at our cost, and when they have amply demonstrated in all fields including foreign affairs that Marilyn Shepherd's description of them as mental pygmy ants is accurate?

An important difference, apart from direct voting on issues, was that the Athenian leaders were elected from the citizenry, but they were elected not by the citizens voting for candidates, but by lot.

Election of our representatives and ministers by lot would give them total independence from all the interested parties who want to manipulate politics and policitians for their own ends.

And the draw would be much cheaper than elections.

It would be like being called up for jury service, except that one would be called up to sit one term in parliament and draw a parliamentarian's salary for that term, and one of us would be called up to serve one term as prime minister.

The worst  that could happen is that some of the people elected by lot would be mental pygmy ants.  On the other hand, the calibre of ministerial advisers would improve.

Our pretend democracy was invented by people who were afraid of democracy, whose principal concern was to protect property.

by Marilyn Shepherd on March 20, 2012 - 7:02pm

Now borders on persecution as he has not been found to have done anything remotely criminal, has been charged with no crime, found guilty of no crime and yet the media go on and on an on and on even when he is bloody sick.

They need to leave him alone.

by Marilyn Shepherd on March 20, 2012 - 6:58pm
The current lot of pollies are mental pygmie ants.
by Richard Tonkin on March 20, 2012 - 6:29pm

Years of crap, from the orignial thoughts of an ETS onwards, lead to last night:s whimper-not-a-bang.  Fankly, I'm over this game.

So, it would seem, is Slipper.  I enjoyed yesterday's Question Time.  All those games under Jenkins are being tossed out the political window.


by Paul Walter on March 20, 2012 - 12:42am

 And the Senate has passed the mining tax, but Abbott promises to rescind it, should he gain government

 Any suggestion as to why Abbott would think this promise to be a vote grabber at next poll day? 

by Michael Talbot-... on March 13, 2012 - 1:23pm

Yet Iran, when it has succeeded in manufacturing a hydrogen bomb, will of course be compelled to wipe out India as its first priority, and only then turn to Israel, because Iran is run by Muslim fundamentalist fanatics who would welcome Armageddon, but the Israelis are people of the Book whereas Indians are Hindus and the Koran clearly directs that such pagan polytheists must be killed.



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