Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another cop gets away with it

A cop drinks three 15 oz. glasses of beer in an hour -- which would put him well over the .05 limit -- and it is the guy who told of that who gets punished! The fact that the cop's friends in the force declared him under the limit would convince no-one. In Queensland, a "schooner" is three quarters of a pint

A QUEENSLAND barman has lost his job after he dobbed in a police officer for downing three heavy beers in an hour then driving home with his three children in the car. Craig Tomsett of Gladstone was sacked by his boss at the Gladstone Golf Club when the police officer in question made a written complaint about his behaviour on February 13.

In the letter, the police officer admitted to drinking three schooners of Toohey's Extra Dry in an hour then driving home with his children. He said when he was breath-tested at home by police he was "well under 0.05" despite having consumed the equivalent of 4.5 standard drinks.

"If Tomsett alleges I was intoxicated to such an extent that he was concerned about me driving a motor vehicle, the question begs asking as to why he continued serving me alcohol which is in clear breach of the Liquor Act 1992 and Liquor Regulations 2002," the officer wrote in the letter sent from Gladstone Police Station. "An offence which, if proved to be accurate, would lead to a substantial monetary fine for the Gladstone Golf Club."

He also claimed Mr Tomsett, 39, had a personal vendetta against him as a police officer and suggested the single father would be "well advised to look after his own back yard".

Mr Tomsett was sacked the day after his employer received the letter, which he has passed on to the Crime and Misconduct Commission. Police this week confirmed the Ethical Standards Command was investigating Mr Tomsett's complaint with the CMC overviewing.

Mr Tomsett admitted he and the police officer were former neighbours who had a falling out last year over the officer's dogs but he denied the drink-driving allegation was a payback. "I have an obligation of care to notify police. His statement in itself is evident that he was drink-driving," Mr Tomsett said.

Since making the complaint to the CMC, Mr Tomsett said he had been followed by the police officer in question and on Thursday his house was raided by police and the dog squad. Gladstone police said the raid was related to a separate matter but Mr Tomsett claimed he was the victim of intimidation. "I had an officer intimidate me and threaten to put my four-year-old son into child services. It just beggars belief. They found nothing," Mr Tomsett, who has previously been fined for possessing a small amount of marijuana, said.

Gladstone Golf Club manager Ivan Carr said Mr Tomsett was sacked because of his "inappropriate behaviour" towards the police officer but declined to comment further.


Australia's secretive internet censorship

The censorship is offensive enough by itself but the veil of secrecy over it is an open invitation to abuse by bureaucrats and politicians

SECRECY, said British judge Sir John Chadwick, is the badge of fraud. He was speaking in the context of financial fraud but it seems equally to apply in Australia where governments wear the badge while robbing us of our freedoms, all the while pretending to do precisely the opposite. We have over the past decade descended down a path of official deceit where governments erode our freedoms of association and expression while making it an offence to speak of their fraudulence.

It began in the hysteria of a post-9/11 world when the Government stole our presumption of innocence and the protections of habeas corpus under the pretext of protecting us, and then made it a crime to speak about its trespasses. Demonstrable incompetents were empowered to bang people up and, if their blunderings found nothing criminal, to release them under an oath of secrecy and pain of punishment if they revealed what had been done in the name of national security. Secrecy became an end to itself, behind which the Government and its minions were able to hide their worst excesses and intimidate their victims.

Now, under the pretext of protecting us from corruption on the internet, a government of a different colour hides its abuses of power behind another veil. And it threatens punitive damages against anyone who lifts the veil and exposes its stupidity.

Anyone who gives more than a passing thought to their rights should have been long concerned over the Federal Government's nobly declared but ill-considered and illiberal plan to filter the internet. More specifically, they should have been outraged over the Government's blacklist of 10,000 sites which were to be added to another 1300 identified by the unelected and faceless Australian Communications and Media Authority to be filtered out of our consciousness.

Just what might we be protected against? We may never know. The ACMA list was said to be mainly of child pornography sites, but last year Broadband and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy could not even define the grounds for restricting the 10,000, although they were supposed to contain "illegal and unwanted content". Now we learn the ACMA list of banned sites has mysteriously grown to more than 2300, with no public inquiry and no rights of appeal. Worse, we are not allowed to know what is on the proscribed list and anyone who wants to rescue us from our ignorance is threatened with up to 10 years in jail.

An outfit called Wikileaks put online a leaked list of what purports to be the banned list, including entirely innocent sites and blameless individuals. For its trouble, it was threatened with huge fines and placed on the blacklist. Conroy denies the veracity of the list but we may never know because it is a dark secret shared by the Government, the ACMA and a favoured few who stand to get fat by perfecting the internet filter.

For all Conroy's denials and sanctimony about irresponsibility, the expert opinion is that for the national filtering scheme to work the Government, through the ACMA, will have to be party to the distribution of possibly salacious, hurtful and erroneous information to a select few private companies.

And we, the people whose freedoms are curbed, will be forbidden under pain of penalty from ever knowing or speaking of what is hidden from our eyes.

What next? Who next? This is an assault on our freedoms, an insupportable presumption of power by government and its unelected officers that begins to erode freedoms guaranteed since Magna Carta. It is a Kafkaesque exercise in mindless tyranny that is unworthy of one of the world's oldest, proudest and previously durable democracies. Secrecy may be a badge of fraud. It is also the flag of frightened men.


Australia's population rises dramatically

The increased immigration was explicitly sought and encouraged by Australia's new Leftist government

The population of Australia experienced its biggest increase last year as the birth rate soared and migrants flooded in. The population rose by 390,000 - the equivalent of a city the size of Canberra - to reach 21.5 million people. Until two years ago, the annual population growth had never exceeded 300,000.

The growth rate of 1.84 per cent was the highest since 1970, after which advances in birth control and lower migration sent population growth plunging, dropping below 1 per cent for most of the following 30 years.

Although both birth and immigration rates can decline with a recession, the rapid population growth of recent years is expected to soften the impact of the global downturn. "The faster rate of population growth means that the economy can grow at a faster pace," Commsec chief economist Craig James said. "More people in Australia means greater demands for houses, roads, schools, hospitals and a raft of retail goods, and as such is providing much needed stimulus in trying times for the global economy."

Nationally, the birth rate is almost [1.84 is "almost" 2.1??] up to replacement rate, having risen from 1.72 births per woman in 2003 to a rate of 1.84, the highest in 21 years.

KPMG demographer Bernard Salt said the growth figures reflected the boom, which did not end until late last year and that it was no accident women had started having more than two children each in the resource states of Queensland and Western Australia. Tasmania has been above that level for three years.

NSW has the lowest birth rate of 1.79, while the rate is about 1.95 in Victoria and South Australia.

Australian National University demographer Peter McDonald said the recession might bring only a small fall of 10,000 to 20,000 in the number of births, which reached 295,000 in the 12months to September. Professor McDonald said it was hard to tell how long the trend would last, but the long decline from the 1970s, marked by women postponing their first child, appeared to have reversed. The change in the birth rate had been most marked among women aged between 28 and 40 years, he said.

Family benefits and other supports for women in the workforce appeared to explain the change, he said. Advanced nations with low birth rates of about 1.2 all lacked effective family policies.

Perth mother Justine Giles already had three children when she gave birth to twins Bryn and Tassia in November. "It was a bit of a shock, but we're delighted now," she said. Ms Giles, 38, said many of her friends had stopped at two for financial reasons, but she and her husband had always wanted more. "I grew up in a family of five and I had a large extended family and I've always really enjoyed the company of my extended family," she said. The baby bonus was not a factor because "$5000 doesn't go very far in raising a child".

The ABS said 60 per cent of the population growth came from migration, with people who were here for at least a year reaching 235,800. This is 33.5 per cent more than a year earlier, and more than double the immigration rate of four years ago.

Although there were reports that the applications for 457 temporary work visas had fallen sharply, there were still strong flows of students and working holidaymakers, Professor McDonald said. "If you add up the categories, I don't think you'll see much fall in migration as a result of the Government's cuts," he said, referring to the decision to reduce the intake of skilled workers by 14,000 a year.


Some sense about crocs coming?

The people-hating Greenies will go hysterical, of course. Even with 80,000 of them, crocs will still be "endangered"

TOURISTS could soon be allowed to hunt crocodiles with the Northern Territory Government renewing a push to allow safaris to help cull the predators. The government is expected to increase the crocodile cull in the rural area, following the death of 11-year-old Briony Anne Goodsell in Lambells Lagoon, reports the Northern Territory News.

Tourism Minister Chris Burns said he still supported calls for crocodile safari hunting. This has renewed calls for crocodile safaris to help with the cull. "When I was Environment Minister, I was front and centre, lobbying Canberra to have very limited croc safaris," he said. "I'm still a supporter of that."

The previous federal government knocked back several applications for the Territory to set up a croc safari.

Dr Burns suggested a new application could be made to the Rudd Government as part of the latest review of crocodile management. Environment Minister Alison Anderson said the government remained in favour of croc safari hunting "particularly as an enterprise opportunity for traditional owners". She promised to pursue the issue with Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

Mr Garrett's office said no proposal had been lodged for a crocodile safari. But spokesman Ben Pratt said the minister would consider an application under the legislation if one was lodged.

Ms Anderson said crocodile safaris would not solve the problem of increasing interactions between humans and crocodiles in the rural area. "Management in these more densely populated areas requires a range of strategies, including monitoring, removal and community awareness." She said those strategies would be set out in the updated Crocodile Management Plan, to be released soon.

The previous federal government stopped international hunters from shooting crocodiles in 2005 by banning export of trophies – skin and skulls. However, the death of Briony Anne Goodsell's has prompted the NT Government to implement tighter controls of the crocodile population, recently estimated to be the highest in Australia at more than 80,000.


Australia ready to boycott Durban II

Australia said it will boycott the Durban II anti-racism conference unless the heavily anti-Israel conference draft document is changed. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said in federal parliament March 12 that Australia would join Israel, Canada, the United States and Italy in withdrawing from the United Nations-sponsored conference pending a revision of the text of the draft documents for next month's conference in Geneva. “If we form the view that the text is going to lead to nothing more than an anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic harangue and an anti-Jewish propaganda exercise, Australia will not be in attendance,” Smith said.

“We will give the working group every opportunity to revise the text in a qualitatively improved way to ensure that that does not happen, and we will make our judgment at a time of our choosing when we have given all nation-states concerned the opportunity to add qualitatively to the text to enable it to form the proper basis of debate at the conference," he said.

Numerous Jewish representatives have lobbied the federal government to boycott the April 20-24 conference, which they fear will be a reprise of the U.N. World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that took place in 2001 in Durban, South Africa. Israel and the United States walked out of the conference, which they criticized as an anti-Israel hate fest.


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