Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Zealand gets its Maori criminals back -- and doesn't want them, unsurprisingly

There is already a big crime problem with Maoris in N.Z. itself. From much experience with Maoris I have observed that they have very little concept of private property -- other people's private property, anyway. The article below just refers to "New Zealanders" out of political correctness but if you didn't already know the real story, the names of the persons mentioned below give the game away. They are Polynesian names. So don't get a bad impression of our "Pakeha" brethren from the story below

Adversity is said to build it, and old houses to have it in bucketloads. But when it comes to character, Kiwis fail the test more than any other group, in the eyes of Australia's immigration authorities. The overwhelming majority of people sent packing from Australia for failing the character test are [Maori] New Zealanders, regardless of whether they have lived in Australia since childhood.

The New Zealand Government is not happy about it and has urged expats to seek Australian citizenship to protect themselves. This decade, about 30 New Zealanders have been sent home each year for failing the Migration Act's character test, according to the federal Immigration Department. The highest number was 41 in 2007-08, the last year for which statistics were compiled.

Kiwis dominate the statistics because as an immigrant group of half a million they are overrepresented, second only to the British. But they are also over-represented in prisons, making up 11 per cent of NSW inmates born elsewhere.

New Zealanders are the only nationality able to travel freely to Australia on special category visas. But these visas can be - and frequently are - cancelled when they break the law. This week a "one-woman crime wave" faces deportation after losing appeals to a 2004 ruling. Patricia Toia, who has been in Australia since she was one year old, was jailed 30 times for crimes including robbery, assault and trafficking heroin.

Australia is also about to deport Stanley Taurua, 47, who has been in Australia since age 14 and has served almost 10 years in jails for a series of violent offences. He told a tribunal: "Yous say my character is repugnant yet it is the very one Australian culture gave me."

A New Zealand Foreign Affairs official, who said the wave of deportations was "unfortunate", said: "Patricia Toia and Stan Taurua are essentially Australian in all but name [but not in ethnicity]." But because they had not taken up Australian citizenship, he said, they had left themselves vulnerable. [What's "vulnerable" about going back to N.Z.? They can have their own marae there, which they can't do in Australia]


Race and religion to be in Australian law review

These are basically anti-Jihadi laws but the focus on "inciting violence against an individual" is narrow enough not to offend against most concepts of free speech. Although I am not myself entirely convinced, it is widely accepted that incitement to violence is not entitled to free speech protection. What constitutes "incitement to violence" is the grey area

THE Rudd government will consider creating a new law making it an offence to incite violence against an individual on the basis of race, religion or nationality, as part of its broad review of Australia's existing counter-terrorism legislation.

In the next few weeks, Attorney-General Robert McClelland will release a wide-ranging discussion paper canvassing options for an overhaul of Australia's counter-terrorism laws introduced in the wake of September 11. Mr McClelland said last night the new offence would expand the opportunity for prosecuting those who attempted to induce others, including vulnerable youths, to commit acts of politically motivated violence. It would supplement the existing commonwealth offence of inciting violence against a group. "We also need to focus on targeted initiatives to identify those exposed to, or at risk of being influenced by, violent extremists," Mr McClelland told the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

He said countering extremism required a national response, with the Attorney-General's department now being charged to co-ordinate the work of federal, state and territory agencies in this regard. "The department is also leading work to streamline mechanisms for communities and governments to work more closely and share important information and intelligence. This will prove integral to better identifying issues in our communities and better informing counter-extremism initiatives," Mr McClelland said.

The Rudd government had identified four key areas to focus on as part of a national effort to counter extremism, while recognising that any solutions had to be implemented with the support of local communities. These included the identification and disruption of violent extremists as well as supporting at-risk groups and individuals in their communities.

ASIO was conducting a variety of activities to help identify individuals and groups intent on acting on extremist beliefs, ranging from constructive long-term engagement with influential community and religious figures and associations, through to investigations relating to specific extremists or extremist threats. "In co-operation with the states and territories, we are also looking into programs to help convicted violent extremists disengage from violence," Mr McClelland said. He said engaging families, communities and moderate religious leaders was a crucial element in any counter-extremism strategy.

In many instances community members were often more readily able to recognise extremist behaviour and could be more effective in combating those views before they took hold. "I see centres for Islamic studies at tertiary institutions as having a particular responsibility in this area," he said. He said effective communications were also critical with experience having shown that the language used to describe terrorism could cause anxieties among among Australians and create divisions within communities. "It is vital that the messages we send do not in any way glorify terrorism or suggest a war or clash between cultures or religions."


Leftist hypocrisy exposed once again

You can't call their principles rubbery -- because they don't have any

ALMOST the moment David Hicks was being measured up for his orange Gitmo jump suit, Get Up was up and running a very vocal campaign, castigating the evil Yanks for incarcerating one of our own and demanding that his rights be protected.

A petition was sent to then Foreign Minister Alexander Downer announcing that “All Australians have a right to receive a fair trial.” Then there were television advertisements, full-page newspaper ads and carbon-offset mobile billboards. Candlelight vigils were held, public addresses given and a “Postcards to the PM” campaign demanding action.

The Get Up guys say on their website that “we will continue to fight any infringements on the basic rights and liberties of all Australians.”

Ok, so where is Get Up on Stern Hu, the Australian-born Chinese Rio Tinto businessman who has been detained by Chinese authorities and apparently stands accused of espionage and stealing state secrets?

As The Herald Sun noted last week, “China's vague spying and national security laws give authorities wide latitude in deciding what to prosecute. The government treats a sweeping array of economic and other data as state secrets. The maximum penalty for a conviction on espionage charges under Chinese law is life in prison. A formal arrest in China means an almost automatic conviction.”

According to Foreign Minister Stephen Smith after consular officials visited the detained Australian, “Mr Hu appeared well and raised no health or welfare issues during the meeting." Heck. What a surprise. A man held by Chinese authorities is reticent to complain about his treatment.

So far we don’t know what Mr Hu has been charged with. He appears not to have access to a lawyer and has no contact with his family. This is sounding like a fairly clear infringement of the basic rights of an Australian. So Hu can surely look forward to a vocal and passionate campaign from our ever-vigilant human rights activists to free him from the clutches of a Chinese justice system that is hardly known for delivering justice. Or perhaps not.

I checked Get Up’s website. Nothing there. It was a case of Mr Who? Same absence of interest over at Liberty Victoria. But let’s be fair and give them time. Maybe we will soon hear from Amnesty International, the various trade unions and civil libertarians who so eagerly became involved in the Fair Go For David campaign and the International Day of Action for David Hicks? Will we see a Fair Go For Stern operation? Or could it be that the brigade of do-gooders who paraded their commitment to human rights for David Hicks were largely driven by the fact that Hicks was imprisoned by Americans under the watch of President George W Bush?

Poor Mr Hu had the misfortune to be arrested by the Chinese hence there appears to be lacking the same level of angst for human rights among our activists. No doubt Mr Hu’s status as a businessman, rather than a restless young man from Adelaide who went off to Afghanistan to fight for the Islamists also accounts for a certain lack of fervour for Mr Hu’s human rights.



By Ezra Levant

How would censorship work in the Internet age? Australia gives us a sneak preview of the gong show that ensues when medieval thinking is applied to a wired world.

Australia’s government nannies have officially banned 1,370 web sites. They’ve drawn up a blacklist, just like the medieval index of banned books. Right now it’s a voluntary pilot project to which Internet service providers can submit. But if the trial run is deemed a success and made law, anyone who links to a blacklisted site can be fined $11,000 a day. That means it will be a crime not just to provide the contents of a web site, but to merely reproduce its address.

That’s not just like banning books. It’s like banning books, and banning saying the banned book’s title. It’s a lot of banning.

But here’s the tricky part: the government won’t even say what those 1,370 banned web sites are. It’s secret. So there are 1,370 web sites out there that could result in your criminal prosecution in Australia. But you won’t find out what they are — until you link to one of them. That’s right out of Alice in Wonderland. The pretzelian logic goes like this: if the Australian government were to list those 1,370 banned web sites, then not only would they be breaking the rules themselves, but that list would serve as an advertisement. Out of the billions of web pages on the Internet, 1,370 would be given special attention, inviting anyone curious to check them out.

Of course, people who compile the secret blacklist know what’s on it. But apparently they can be trusted not to succumb to the temptation to look at the sites. And the list was sent to selected Australian Internet companies for a trial run. That didn’t work out quite as well. The list was leaked to Wikileaks, the web site that specializes in publishing confidential documents, especially embarrassing internal government memoranda.

And that’s when things got even weirder. Wikileaks published the entire blacklist on one of its pages. So now that Wikileaks page, too, has been added to the blacklist. It’s number 1,371.

Needless to say, I was tempted to skim the names of the banned sites. Most of them are porn sites, and some have names that suggest child pornography, which is a crime. But that’s what we have courts for. The Australian blacklist wasn’t written by a court; there was no hearing where evidence was brought that these sites were criminal sites. A group of busybody human rights activists simply wrote the blacklist. Sounds Canadian, actually.

Many banned sites are merely offensive, but not illegal. And some sites are perfectly innocuous. For some secret reason, the web site is on the blacklist. If you’re not in Australia, feel free to give that one a click. It’s not a pornographic site. My Dutch is rusty, but it appears to be a web site for a forklift rental company in Holland.

How did Van Bokhorst get on the blacklist in Australia? Nobody knows because the process was kept secret, even from Van Bokhorst. It’s unlikely that Van Bokhorst had any Australian customers. But that’s not the point. Someone is making these clandestine decisions about what Australians can or can’t see.

We’ve seen this sort of censorship in other countries — and not just from the likes of communist China. Thailand brought in a similar blacklist in the name of protecting its citizens from child pornography. But — surprise! — within months, the blacklist had other web sites on it, including 1,200 banned for criticizing the Thai royal family. A secret list, in the hands of a government, practically guarantees that sort of political abuse.

Australia’s trial-run blacklist has plenty of questionable items on it, and not just Dutch forklift companies. Hundreds of Internet poker sites are banned. Poker, unlike child pornography, is not a crime. It may be a vice, but how to handle that is a political debate. Australia’s blacklist ends that discussion with force.

And now a web site about abortion politics is on the blacklist. You can probably guess which side of the debate is being censored, but either way, it’s abominable censorship.

That blacklist was sold as a way to stop child porn. But that’s the thing about slippery slopes, isn’t it; you don’t really see the dangers until you’ve started sliding into them.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission wants an Internet blacklist, too. It wants to expand Canada’s to cover political sites, not just child porn sites it targets now.

We associate book burnings with witch trials and the Nazis, not with mild-mannered bureaucrats. But book burnings in the 21st century require no matches — just self-righteous censors and a somnolent public.


These proposals were put up by the previous conservative government as an anti-pornography measure but the recently-elected Leftist government has embraced them as a way of barring ANY site that they regard as "undesirable". Because of widespread opposition and ridicule from both sides of politics, however, they are unlikely to become law

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