Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ethnic squad titles 'racist'

I agree that the title of the squad is wrong. Israelis are from the Middle East and they are no particular problem. The squad should be called what it is: The Lebanese Muslim crime squad. Respect for Australian law and Australians in general seems rare among Lebanese Muslims and it shows in the behaviour of many of them. Many have been found with handguns, for instance, despite the ban on them

A LEADING Liberal MP has vowed to do all he can to abolish the Middle Eastern organised crime squad, saying ethnic branding has no place in crime fighting. John Ajaka is a lawyer and parliamentary secretary to the state Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell. He said his stance on the squad contradicted Liberal Party policy but many of his colleagues agreed with him in private.

Mr Ajaka, an MP in the upper house, said he wanted police to have more resources to arrest criminals, but he believed that naming squads after ethnic groups vilified whole sections of society. The NSW Police Force also has an Asian crime squad.

"There should definitely be an organised crime squad and we should have zero tolerance for crime. "I have no problems beating and bashing criminals in the metaphorical sense, but imagine the outcry if we had an Italian organised crime squad or a Hellenic crime squad or an Aboriginal crime squad. "I have lobbied the Government about this and I have lobbied my colleagues and many of them agree with my views and many have said it is something we should look at. "If we get into government I will be immediately pushing my colleagues for a new approach. The names of these squads isolates and vilifies these communities, but even worse, it can generate a hero worship situation with young people."

Mr Ajaka, born in the Illawarra to Lebanese-born parents, said crime crossed all sectors of society. He said people who moved to Australia tried to embrace the country but the Middle Eastern and Asian crime squads showed Australia was not prepared to embrace them. "We put them in pigeon holes and leave them there," he said. [So how did he get where he is today?] Naming squads after ethnic groups made scapegoats of whole communities for the sake of making others feel safe, he said.

Jack Passaris, chairman of the Ethnic Communities' Council of NSW, said organised crime squads "may well be one of the more effective ways of combating serious crime", but the names were a problem. "Police should be allowed to focus on crime while treating all communities equally," he said.

"Race-based crime squads like the Middle Eastern organised crime squad and Asian crime squad are counter-productive as they marginalise communities by associating them with crime. Moreover, the existence of such crime squads has the potential to create undesirable stereotypes within the police force."

The Middle Eastern and Asian squads are the only two squads with race-based names among the 12 state crime command squads. A police spokesman said the two squads did not target ethnic communities, only the criminals who worked within them. "These specialised squads are able to work closely with the communities to target those involved in organised crime," he said. "The NSW Police Force makes no apologies for targeting criminals, particularly those involved in high-level and violent organised criminal enterprises."


Thuggish and negligent Western Australian cops get off free

Pity about the little girl who died as a result of their behaviour, though

THE police who botched an investigation into an indecent assault by sex monster Dante Arthurs will face no further disciplinary action. The decision comes after a corruption probe found police made ``an honest error'' [What's honest about failing to order any scientific tests?] -- three years before Arthurs raped and killed schoolgirl Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu.

The Corruption and Crime Commission findings, released to The Sunday Times this week, determined there was no misconduct by police over their investigation of the attack against an eight-year-old girl in a Canning Vale park in December, 2003. The inquiry found that police made ``an honest error'' in failing to forensically test Arthurs' blood-spattered shorts after he was charged with indecent assault and deprivation of liberty over the incident.

Arthurs was charged by police at the time, but after a review of the evidence the DPP discontinued the prosecution. Police have been under intense scrutiny that their failure to test the shorts and the conduct of two officers in a heavy-handed video interview, deemed inadmissible by the DPP, may have ultimately contributed to Sofia's death by allowing Arthurs to go free.

But the CCC investigation found that any suggestion the events could have prevented Sofia's death, less than three years later, was ``no more than speculation''.

Eight-year-old Sofia's naked body was found by her 14-year-old brother on the floor of a toilet cubicle at Livingston Marketplace Shopping Centre at Canning Vale on June 26, 2006. In November 2007, Arthurs was sentenced to life for Sofia's murder, with a minimum of 13 years before being eligible for parole.

At that time, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said it appeared that police had bungled the investigation into the 2003 attack, in which the girl was grabbed from behind and dragged towards trees, but managed to bite the offender and free herself. He requested the CCC conduct an independent investigation.

In a statement to The Sunday Times, CCC Commissioner Len Roberts-Smith QC said he had sent a letter to Mr O'Callaghan advising that the CCC did not have the statutory function to comment about any possible impact the failure of the 2003 police investigation may have had on Sofia's murder. In the statement, Mr Roberts-Smith said the CCC had found that:

While the decision to not have Arthurs' clothing forensically tested was ``extremely unfortunate'', it was ``an honest error'' and there was no misconduct by the police officers involved.

While the two detectives who conducted the forceful video interviews with Arthurs in 2003 did not engage in misconduct under the Corruption and Crime Commission Act, they had not followed police regulations, and

The internal police investigation into the actions of two detectives who conducted the interviews with Arthurs in 2003 was conducted adequately.

Sofia's mother, Josephine, and the DPP yesterday declined to comment.


Afghans in Indonesia 'paid to return'

It looks like Australia's policy of seeking Indonesian co-operation in stopping illegals is paying off. The illegals arrive in Indonesia on regular airline flights from Pakistan and then pay people smugglers thousands of dollars to take them via small boats to Australia. So they are obviously far from destitute and already had refuge in Pakistan. So they are clearly economic migrants, not refugees. Afghans are primitive Muslims who customarily settle disputes with violence and respect no law other than the law of the tribe so are very undesirable as migrants

Hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers detained in Indonesia as they sought to reach Australia have been sent home in recent months after allegedly being offered a financial inducement. The Age newspaper says the asylum seekers desperate to flee their war-torn homeland had also allegedly been told they had next to no chance of being resettled in another country.

Indonesia's director for immigration law enforcement, Muchdor, told the newspaper 376 asylum seekers - almost all of them Afghans - had been repatriated recently, flown to Dubai and then Kabul under a program managed by the Jakarta office of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The Age claims a surge in repatriations has prompted criticism from refugee advocates that the policy is endangering lives, and represents a recasting of the Howard government's abandoned Pacific Solution with a similarly inhumane "South-East Asian solution".

It comes as Indonesian authorities said they had detained 56 Afghans off the eastern island of Lombok who were attempting to travel by wooden boat to Australia. Three Indonesian boat crew were also arrested.

Australia provides funding for the IOM in Indonesia, including its repatriation programs. It also funds the detention centres that hold asylum seekers in Indonesia.

The Age reports that asylum seekers say they are placed under extreme pressure and feel they have no choice but to take up the offer to go back to Afghanistan, currently in the grip of its worst violence since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. "The IOM officials come around and they tell us 'don't bother, nothing is going to happen for you'," said one asylum seeker, who asked The Age not to be named. He said the IOM was offering individuals about $2000 in cash payments to return. It is understood that families get more.

Australia allocated $8 million for the IOM in this year's budget. A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Evans rejected the notion that the sharp increase in repatriations had been driven from Canberra.


Economic Nostradamus John Talbott fears another bust

HE could be the modern-day Nostradamus of the finance world. In his books he predicted the and housing market crashes. Investment banker turned author, John Talbott, is accusing big business of bribery and predicts another crash is just around the corner. In his latest book, The 86 Biggest Lies on Wall Street, Talbott says: "I know what you're thinking. How was I able to narrow it down to just 86?"

His 2003 book, The Coming Crash in the Housing Market, saw through the housing market boom. "I really wasn't a housing expert at the time but I think that played to my advantage," he said while in Australia as a guest of the Brisbane Writers Festival. "Everyone that was (an expert) was conflicted because everyone was making so much money and didn't want to blow the whistle on a corrupt system."

The book riled real estate agents and the flak he took for that propelled him to write another book, Sell Now - the End of the Housing Bubble. The book was released in February 2006 before the crash at the end of 2008.

Talbott is now warning of another impending implosion of the global economy. Any signs of economic recovery being seen around the world are due to huge stimulus packages, which will only prop up economies for about a year. "Where is the consumption demand going to come from to drive the local economies?" he asks. "I can tell you it's not going to come from US consumers any more - they are tapped out."

Crippling debt, high unemployment and the retirement of baby boomers means people's ability to spend will diminish.

"Stimulus (packages) around the world are a mistake because if government could create jobs we wouldn't need private enterprise," he said. "I mean if all you had to do was go and spend a trillion dollars as a government we'd never have recessions, depressions and the greatest socialist countries in the world would be the richest - but just the opposite is true. "What they're really doing is applying trillion-dollar bandaids."

While Talbott gives top marks to Australia for keeping its head above water during the global financial crisis he brands the government's stimulus package as a mistake. "They will have some stimulatory effect for a six to 12-month period but I don't see that they're going to create enormous new jobs," he said. And consumer spending sparks a rise in inflation, which pushes up interest rates, he warned.

The high price of gold is evidence investors are concerned currencies will devalue over time because governments have been printing money to bail out banks and industries, he said.

Corporate giants are a poison chalice to politics - big business and politics shouldn't mix, he said. "Let's get control of this corporate-dominated society," he said. "They're not just dominating the banks and the financial system. They're not just dominating the economic market place. "They have now crossed the border into the political arena, to political discussions to bribery of American officials and Congress and huge donations to presidential runners. "And they don't belong there."

The big corporations only have one objective and that is to maximise profit and shareholder value. The most recent example in the US came after the financial crisis when government used taxpayer money to fund executives' salaries and save banks. "I would challenge your readers to ask the question: 'Are they (corporations) too involved in the Australian economy as well?'"

Talbott also has reservations about Australia's reliance on China as he thinks the economic giant may have cooked its books about the scale of its recovery. "The strength of the Australian economy now is directly related to China," he said. "The question is whether the Chinese growth is even accurately reported - which I don't think it is - and whether it's real - and it's not real. "It's being generated by a huge half-trillion-dollar stimulus plan of which 95 per cent went to their state-owned enterprises. "These are the worst people on earth you want spending your money."

Conversely although Australia's reliance on China could leave it vulnerable, its geographic position that was once an impediment is now an asset in surmounting the financial crisis. This is thanks to the rise of China and India, the author said. "You did all the right things and you did them well and now the world's come your way," he said. "You are the geographic outpost of the biggest economic explosion in history - 1.4 billion Chinese and one billion Indians have decided to be capitalists and you're sitting here with the rule book on how to play capitalism. "You're beautifully positioned."


No comments: