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Further into the Afghanistan mission, after multiple deployments, soldiers began to refer to members going up the Congo.
Chris Masters, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 9, 2018
They operate with impunity in areas already deemed lawless by their civilising superiors. Afghanistan, derided as a country of anarchic sensibilities, was never going to be a place for those abiding by armchair rules. Whether it was the Soviet army engaged in strafing operations indifferent to combatant and civilian, or those subsequent intruders of the Global War on Terror the forces of the US-led International Security Assistance Force and associated allies the complement of atrocities was only set to grow.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has had an eye on Afghanistan for some time for that very reason. In 2016, she claimed in a report that, Members of US armed forces appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity on the territory of Afghanistan between 1 May 2003 and 31 December 2014.
The Central Intelligence Agency was not to be left out sulking on the side, with Bensouda suggesting that 27 detainees in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania had been subjected to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity and/or rape between December 2002 and March 2008. A true smorgasbord of violence.
In November 2017, Bensouda concluded, after a seemingly interminable preliminary process, that all legal criteria required under the Rome statute [of the ICC] to commence an investigation have been met. The investigation specifically into the conduct of forces in Afghanistan, she suggested, would cover the alleged perpetration of crimes against humanity including murder, targeting humanitarian workers, and summary executions.
Afghanistan has again become the site of interest for the maligned side of human nature, this time from the Australian angle. The weekend began with Canberra in a tizz over allegations that Australias special forces have committed war crimes since commencing operations in 2001.
On Friday, Fairfax Media revealed certain contents of a report written by Defence Department consultant D...
An Australian lawyer working against the death penalty in the United States will be back in Australia next month to speak. Stephen Keim SC and Madeleine Murphy are hoping people wont miss the chance to hear what he has to say.
We are all going to die, and we have no choice about that, but we do choose whether to kill or not, concluded Australian-born capital defence lawyer, Richard Bourke, during a moving speech he delivered at a TedxSydney event in early 2015.
Since then, the effectiveness and availability of various drugs employed in the lethal injection protocols of various US states has again brought the debate about the death penalty to the fore.
In its June 2015 ruling (Glossip v Gross), a five Justice majority of the United States Supreme Court ruled that use by the State of Oklahoma of the sedative midazolam in the lethal injection protocol does not violate the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. The finding was contrary to contentions by the Applicants that midazolam failed to render the person insensate (unconscious and without sensation).
In a dissenting opinion in which Justice Ginsberg joined, Justice Breyer wrote, Rather than try to patch up the death penaltys legal wounds, one at a time, I would ask for a full briefing on a more basic question: whether the death penalty violates the Constitution.
Recently, the United States Supreme Court has accepted for review, a challenge by a Missouri man to his death sentence on the basis that the combined effect of his particular medical condition and the drugs used in the lethal injection cocktail would result in a death which violates the same Eighth Amendment protections. That matter (Bucklew v Precythe) is due to be heard in the next sitting Term of the Court.
Richard Bourke is returning to Australia in July to speak at the Banco Court of the QEII Courts building in Brisbane in a joint initiative of Australians Against Capital Punishment, the Julian Wagner Memorial Fund; the UQ Law Alumni Association and the TC Beirne School of Law. Bourkes talk will be recorded for broadcast on the ABCs Big Ideas program.
Bourke often speaks of the dignity and humanity involved in the work of defending capital cases and it is certainly these words which come to mind when hearing his own story.
Last Friday a five-year-old boy was brutally stabbed and later died in hospital. The stabbing occurred in the family home and his 36-year-old father was charged with his murder.
Its too early to know circumstances and background of the murder and the fathers guilt or innocence will be determined by the court, not the media. Given that, it is as inaccurate and dangerous to describe him as a loving father as it would be to describe him as a brutal child killer. Despite this, a few outlets couldnt let go of the Good Man Who Kills People He Loves narrative.
The ABC devoted nearly a quarter of their report on the murder to commentary from neighbours about the man accused of murdering his son.
He said the father was an easygoing Aussie bloke and they would occasionally share beers and talk about cars and the footy.
He also described him as a doting father.
Its shocking, he said. He cared for that boy and held him and nursed him.'
The Australian, in an otherwise responsible report on the murder, also reported that a neighbour said the boys father was a lovely man who doted on his son.
News.com.au also reported on comments from neighbours: He cared for that boy, he was very patient with that boy and he held him and nursed him like he would his son. I cant imagine, Hank said.
The relationship between the father and the son next door was a doting relationship. He cared for that boy, you could see the boy run to the dad when he needed help.
The Daily Telegraph led with the loving father narrative: Neighbours of a five-year-old boy who died after being stabbed in his Carlingford home this morning said he was a bold, charming and happy boy who enjoyed a close relationship with his father.
If he is guilty, he is not a loving father, hes a man who stabbed his own child to death, taking an entire life and future from a child who deserved his love and protection, and leaving the boys mother and family dealing with unending horror.
If he is inn...
Media and politicians have made a lot of noise lately about the oppression of women. But not all women, writes Michael Brull.
Moutia Elzahed, a Muslim woman who wears a niqab, was recently convicted of 9 counts of disrespecting court. Specifically, in 2016, the state government passed legislation imposing an $1,100 fine, or 14 days in jail, as maximum punishments for those who disrespect courts. This legislation was more or less in response to media hysteria at Muslims who purportedly disrespected the courts by not standing for the judges. As Gabrielle Upton noted, it was about widespread community concern at the supposed lack of respect shown to courts.
Elzaheds case relates to events in 2014. Elzaheds husband was convicted of recruiting people for ISIS. As one might imagine, this hasnt endeared her to media, which never tires of complaining about Muslims, and highlighting links between Muslims and terrorism. Thus, in counter-terror raids in 2014, police raided her home. Elzahed alleges that police assaulted her, and abused her and her family. She alleges that police punched her in the ear, eye and head. She alleges that she was handcuffed in an aggressive manner, called a bitch, and two of her sons were called terrorists by the police.
Elzahed sued the police for this abuse. However, her allegations essentially remained unheard, as the court refused to listen to her. District Court Justice Audrey Balla was offended at the notion of evaluating Elzaheds evidence whilst Elzahed wore a niqab. Originally, Clive Evatt, Elzaheds barrister, explained that she would only briefly show her face, and only to women. The NSW Police lawyer said Were content with that. District Court Justice Balla was not, saying Its not something I have to live with, and asked the lawyers Do either of you have something to say about that? Having telegraphed her opinion in advance of hearing submissions on the subject, Balla DCJ duly refused to hear from Elzahed whilst she wore a niqab.
After weighing up the allegations without hearing from Elzahed, but hearing the police account, Balla DCJ ruled that there was no evidence the police had assaulted Elzahed, and...
SYDNEY, AAP Activists say the security operation at a Sydney music festival was a serious abuse of police powers after ticket holders were denied entry and banned from the Olympic Park site for six months based on the reactions from drug detection dogs.
The Above & Beyond festival went ahead on Saturday evening after it was plunged into controversy this week by a NSW Police threat to ban revellers if a dog reacted positively, even if no drugs were found.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge says the Sniff Off campaign team had spoken to numerous people who were refused entry after being sniffed and searched, even though no drugs were found on them.
(They) were issued with banning notices preventing them from returning to the entire Olympic Park site for six months, he said in a statement on Sunday.
This is a serious abuse of police powers and has caused substantial distress to those who were unfairly excluded.
Two detection dogs were used on crowds on Saturday night in a search area beyond an initial entry point and out of the reach of media cameras.
The Greens claim sniffer dogs can get it wrong in up to 75 per cent of cases and argue police should adopt harm-minimisation tactics instead.
Mr Shoebridge said NSW Police had ignored public opinion and run right over well established civil liberties with heavy-handed punishment of concertgoers who were the victims of drug dog false-positives.
As well as the more than $100 for the ticket, many attendees have also paid for flights and accommodation, meaning the denial of entry has put them substantially out of pocket., he said.
The move was also criticised by civil libertarians and even a former Australian Border Force commissioner as an overreach.
Activist Tom Raue, who was at the concert, said officers ordered his volunteers to stop handing out pamphlets about the drug dog program, citing a 2012 regulation governing the entire Sydney Olympic Park precinct.
An attempt by Mr Raue and other plaintiffs to secure an injunction that would have prevented the police plan going ahead fell flat on Friday after a judge ruled they had no cause to complain about alleged injustices in advance.
The Greens said they would challenge the move by police in both the parliament and the courts.
In The Western World Truth Is An Endangered Species: Come To Its Support
Paul Craig Roberts
Nowhere in the Western world is truth respected. Even universities are imposing censorship and speech control. Governments are shutting down, and will eventually criminalize, all explanations that differ from official ones. The Western world no longer has a print and TV media. In its place there is a propaganda ministry for the ruling elite.
Whistleblowers are prosecuted and imprisoned despite their protection by federal statue. The US Department of Justice is a Department of Injustice. It has been a long time since any justice flowed from the DOJ.
The total corruption of the print and TV media led to the rise
of Intermet media such as Wikileaks, led by Julian Assange, a
prisoner since 2012.
Assange is an Australian and Ecuadorian citizen. He is not an American citizen. Yet US politicians and media claim that he is guilty of treason because he published official documents leaked to Wikileaks that prove the duplicity and criminality of the US government.
It is strickly impossible for a non-citizen to be guilty of treason. It is strickly impossible under the US Constitution for the reporting of facts to be spying. The function of the media is to expose and to hold accountable the government. This function is no longer performed by the Western print and TV media.
Washington wants revenge and is determined to get it. If Assange were as corrupt at the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, National Public Radio, MSNBC, etc., he would have reported the leaker to Washington, not published the information, and retired as a multi-millionaire with Washingtons thanks. However, unfortunately for Assange, he had integrity.
Integrity today in the Western world has no value. You cannot find integrity in the government, in the global corporations, in the universities and schools, and most certainly not in the media.
After leaving Assange, an Australian citizen, to Washingtons mercy since 2012, belated pro-Assange protests in Australia forced the US vassal state to come to Assanges aid before the new corrupt president of Ecuador sells him to Washington for muilti-millons of dollars by revoking his asylum.
When the story was printed in the Sydney Morning Herald, the incompetent or brainwashed, or bought-and-paid-for journalist, Nick Miller, wrote:
Assange entered the embassy on June 19, 2012, after he had
exhausted his appeals against an extradition order to go to Sweden
to face rape and sexual assault allegations.
Swedish authorities have since closed their investigation, saying it couldnt continue without Assanges presence in their country....
1770 - Jimmy Cook was having a sinking throw-out sale, scribing
in his Dear Diary.
"Six of our guns ... our iron and stone ballast, casts, hoop staves, oil jars, decayed stores, and many other things that lay in the way of heavier materials ... are thrown overboard with the utmost expedition."
1795 - Collins revealed his private opinion about the inter-racial conflict to Surgeon Edward Laing:
The natives at the Hawkesbury are murdering the settlers Abbott & MacKellar with Co [New South Wales Corps] soldiers are in turn, murdering the natives (but it cannot be avoided).
1813 - William Davis was hanged for cutting and maiming William Mason with a knife during a drunken brawl at Ultimo.
1818 - George Gray was hanged at Hobart Town for murder.
1818 - William Trimm was hanged at Hobart Town for sheep-stealing.
1824 - Lachlan, of the former Governor variety, having said a leisurely farewell to the king, the Duke of York, Bathurst and others, preparatory to returning to Scotland, woke feeling ill, suffering a great deal of pain from his old bowel complaint and from strangury (a condition caused by blockage or irritation at the base of the bladder).
Ahh, an ill wind blows!
1828 - John Timmins was hanged at Sydney for robbery of Stephen Hunter at Cornwallis.
1828 - Thomas Ford was hanged at Sydney for robbery of Stephen Hunter at Cornwallis.
1832 - 'One of the Aboriginal women, fishing outside the South Head on Monday, had her leg bitten off by a shark,' the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
1845 - The good folk of Sydney said, "Bye Felicia!" to the not-so-good Gov Gipps.
1849 - A public meeting at Circular Quay protested against the arrival of convicts in the ship Hashemy.
The meeting was attended by few men of standing, but its vehemence was alarming.Gov FitzRoy's quiet strengthening of the guard at Government House was blamed as a show of military force, and his cool reception of a deputation from the meeting was blamed as discourtesy.
1851 - Spreading our colonial lurve around the world San Francisco vigilantes lynched Aussie John Jenkins (aka John Simpton) on Portsmouth Square for stealing a safe. He was part of contingent of ex-con Australians known as the Sydney Ducks.
1854 - Today witnessed the consecration of the church to be known as Trinity Lutheran Church on - guess what? - the Feast of the Holy Trinity.
1855 - Those Batmaniacs aka Bearbrass-ians or garden variety peeps of Narrm (Melbournians) got a bit more culture than a yoghurt pot when the first Opera 'Norma' was performed in Melbourne at the Olympic Theatre.
1855 - Revelling in their wee yoghurt pot the Parliamentary Peeps assented to The Chinese A...
Remembrance Ride Oz
Born Rob Eade
Cessnock NSW 1945
Served in the defence force for 21 years 1965-1986
1st intake national service 1965/67 served two years and took discharge and completed 1 year in Royal Australian Emergency Reserve (RAER), re engaged full-time service 19/07/1968, served Vietnam 17/12/1969 to 12/12/1970 my posting in Vietnam 101 Battery 1st Field Regiment and continued with 107 Battery 4th Field Regiment both being Artillery units, my trade was that of a ( Cuisine Technician) Cook, continued my full time service until retirement 18/7/1986.
New venture 2016 Im intending to ride my trike (motorised) towing a small trailer around Australia and place a small hand held Australian flag with the detail of service personnel who paid the supreme sacrifice from the Vietnam war through to the current war/conflict/s in their birth/enlistment town memorial. I estimate a possible three year journey to accomplish this endeavour . 18-06-2016 My first town will be Collie south east of Perth continue on southward thence up to Kalgoorlie cross the Nullarbor and continue through SA , Vic, Tas, NSW, Qld NT and finish back in Perth with the finale (of flag presentation) at King Park War Memorial and the ride officially finishes at the TPD Baldivis whence I started. It has been one hoop of a ride and very heart rendering in that the people I have met and the knowing the finish date has come 12 months earlier than first anticipated the completion date is now the 17-06-2018.
The Case of Julian Assange
Julian Assange is a journalist, not a spy. Because he published leaked material that proved the duplicity and criminality of the US Government, Washington has had him locked up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 and is now negotiating with the new president of Ecuador to revoke his asylum and turn him over to the US. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49590.htm
Assanges fellow Australians are organizing a rally in his defense in Sydney on June 17. https://candobetter.net/node/5518 People throughout the Western world need to rally to the support of this man who has worked to provide truthful information in place of elite-controlled explanations.
I use mulch everywhere in the garden. In the vegetable garden, the orchard, the cutting garden and ornamental areas.
What is mulch- It is anything that covers the soil and excludes light. It is usually some form of organic matter, but it can also be inorganic, such as stones or pebbles. Stones are only suitable for permanent easy-care gardens, for annual plantings such as in the vegetable garden I like to use an organic matter that will break down quickly.
Why do I use mulch?
It adds organic matter which keeps the soil full of life and nice and healthy. All organic matter will break down to release nutrients into the soil and increase the humus content of a soil.
It retains moisture by creating a barrier to evaporation. You must make sure the area is moist before putting it down so water well or apply after good soaking rain.
It acts as insulation blanket keeping soil cooler in summer and warmer in winter- though in a cool climate it can prevent soil warming up in spring which can delay spring planting. But this is easily overcome by scaping it back for a few weeks at the end of winter exposing the soil to a few weeks of warm weather and then planting up and replacing the mulch.
But my main reason for using mulch is to prevent weed germination. Both weed seed in the ground or stray weeds that either fly in or are dropped by birds and animals. Mulching will not prevent the growth of persistent weeds like oxalis and onion weed or runner grasses like couch and Kikuyu
Weeding any type of garden can be soul destroying activity and can consume a lot of time that is better utilised planting, harvesting and eating your produce.
Weeds are designed to germinate, grow quickly and stabilise any bare ground- it is natures way of preventing soil erosion. So, if you have exposed soil it will soon be overrun with weeds.
The secret to weed control is to never leave soil bare
Always cover it with mulch or groundcover plants.
In any type of planting there will always be some gaps, as all plants need room to grow and mature. By applying a layer of mulch to the area around all plants you will be coving up any bare ground which wi...
Liverpool plains farmer Megan Kuhn says cows are being slaughtered because there is no way of feeding them after years of extreme weatherIn the south-west corner of NSW's Liverpool plains, in an area called Bundella, farmer Megan Kuhn runs beef cattle and merino sheep with her husband, Martin.They have 400 breeding cows that will calve in six weeks. Shortly, 89 of those cows will leave the property, sold to an abattoir because the cost of feeding the animals during drought has become too [...]
1770 - Jimmy Cook was bobbing about in his boat when the
Endeavour found the Great Barrier Reef the hard way.
1770 - Jim Cook waxed lyrical about the inlet he knighted as Trinity Bay...
"The shore between Cape Grafton and Cape Tribulation forms a large but not very deep bay which I named Trinity Bay after the day Trinity Sunday on which it was discovered."
Cook hauled his tub, the HM Bark Endeavour into Mission Bay, at the southern end of Trinity inlet, and went ashore for a short time with Sir Joseph Banks near the present site of the Yarrabah Aboriginal community.
1812 - The ship Campbell Macquarie had a nasty mischief on Macquarie Island and fell to bits.
1817 - Lachlan, of the Gov Macquarie flavour, was aghast at the shocking state of the Sydney-Parramatta road after a deluge or 3 washed it into a series of pot holes so he sashayed over to the Strong Work Gangs, selected 3 of the same and set them forth to whip the roads into a decent shape.
1824 - Governor Brisbane requested of the Colonial Secretary, Bathurst, that a troop of colonial cavalry be raised not only with a view of keeping the Aborigines in check against whom Infantry have no chance of success, but also for the general Police of the Country. The strength of the troop was to be 29 men and three officers.55 This was the foundation of the Mounted Police.
1834 - In April 1834 Aboriginal resistance leader, Calyute, also known as Kalyute, Galyute or Wongir, had led a raid on a flour mill near Perth; the raiders were captured by troopers during which Calyute was bayoneted and the others wounded by gunfire. They were taken to Perth where, despite their injuries, they were flogged in the main street, Calyute receiving sixty lashes. As the raiders' ringleader, he was confined at Fremantle prison until this day.
1835 Australia's first political party, the Australian Patriotic Party, was founded.
1838 - A group of white settlers murdered 28 Aboriginal men, women and children near Myall Creek Station in northern New South Wales, near Bingara. Seven of the killers were tried and hanged.
1854 - Bushranger Mad Dan Morgan, although not yet known by this moniker as he was waltzing about the shop as jockey "John Smith:, was sentenced to twelve years hard labour for highway robbery at Castlemaine.
1860 - Congregational minister and journalist George Wight flung open the substantial Wharf Street Chapel in Brisvegas.
1867 - All the 'Rat gossip on hand, Gents!
Today saw the Very First Ever issue of the celebrated fish wrapper the Ballarat Courier.
1867 - Poet Adam Lindsay Gordon's first volume of poetry, Ashtaroth, was first published for the great unwashed masses who apparently didn't appreciate it.
Well I'll be damned, it's about time. According to a new report by the Sydney Morning Herald, officials from Australia's High Commission have just been spotted leaving the Ecuadorian embassy in London, accompanied by Julian Assange's lawyer Jennifer Robinson. Robinson confirmed that a meeting had taken place, but declined to say what it was about "given the delicate diplomatic situation." So, forgive me if I squee a bit. I am aware how subservient Australia has historically been to US interests, I am aware that those US interests entail the arrest of Assange and the destruction of WikiLeaks, and I am aware that things don't often work out against the interests of the US-centralized empire. But there is a glimmer of hope now, coming from a direction we've never seen before. A certain southerly direction.
(CJ Opinion) Well Ill be damned, its about time. According to a new report by the Sydney Morning Herald, officials from Australias High Commission have just been spotted leaving the Ecuadorian embassy in London, accompanied by Julian Assanges lawyer Jennifer Robinson. Robinson confirmed that a meeting had taken place, but declined to say what it was about given the 
The following has been adapted from Global protests to demand freedom for Julian Assange (2/6/18) | Class Consciousness.
In the coming weeks, including on 19 June, rallies have be organised for Julian Assange have been organised across Australia and across the world.
Demand that the Australian government act to abide by its duty of care to any Australian citizen and send to London a contingent of Federal Police to escort Julian Assange back to Australia.
Sunday, June 17th 1-3 PM, Socialist Equality Party Rally, Sydney Town Hall Square : Speakers include John Pilger and James Cogan SEP National Secretary. Endorsed by Julian Burnside QC and Terry Hicks (Father of David Hicks), Chris Hedges (Pullitzer Prizing winner Journalist), Professor Stuart Rees Facebook event and website
Tuesday June 19th 9AM 1PM British Consulate Gateway Building, 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney
Vigil outside British Consulate, Tuesday 19th .: Vigil will be attended by Julian's father, John Shipton and other young member of Julian's family will be in attendance. Julian is totally isolated from his friends and family whilst trapped in the Ecuadorean Embassy.
Speakers include :
Shirley Shackleton:whose journalist husband Greg was murdered by Indonesian force in Balibo on the eve of the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. Shirley fought for decades for the East Timorese and against the Australian government's cover up of her (and four other journalists).
James Cogan: National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP):The Socialist Equality are playing a leading role in the campaign to defend Julian Assange and fight internet censorship. They have also called protests in Sydney, Tamil N...
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