ABC Australia D-Day on Press Freedom in the Public Interest

The core question:  is Australia democratic now?

I wish to start this with Edward Snowden in his interview with Guardian. Selected para phrases as follows:

What made him leave everything behind and become a whistle blower… He believed the outcome of his disclosures nothing would change, he knows the lengths the government will go to grant themselves powers to grant themselves control over American society and global society but they won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things to force their representatives to take a stand in their interests… it is only going to get worse… time when policies will change… only thing that restricts the surveillance state is policies… a new leader will be elected he flip the switch we need more power more authority and nothing the people can do to stop it.  It will be turnkey tyranny.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance

I sense this is the real issue. 

 

https://www.9news.com.au/national/abc-raids-australian-federal-police-scott-morrison-ita-buttrose-talks-media-news-australia/f3a74c30-db49-494b-a9b7-0346e02c6f6e

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose to meet with Prime Minister over AFP raids

 
 
Political storm erupts over AFP raids
  • Political storm erupts over AFP raidsNOW
    Political storm erupts over AFP raids
  • Federal police defended journalist raids as "independent and impartial" amid international condemnat
    Federal police defended journalist raids as “independent and impartial” amid international condemnat
  • Gold Coast man's mistress questioned by Australian Federal Police
    Gold Coast man’s mistress questioned by Australian Federal Police
  • David Eastman is accused of gunning down Colin Winchester.
    David Eastman is accused of gunning down Colin Winchester.
  • ABC's Sydney studios raided by the AFP
    ABC’s Sydney studios raided by the AFP
  • Sydney man to face court over importing 1.28 tonnes of cocaine
    Sydney man to face court over importing 1.28 tonnes of cocaine
  • AFP excluded politicians from raids
    AFP excluded politicians from raids
  • Michelle Guthrie departs role as ABC boss
    Michelle Guthrie departs role as ABC boss
  • Sacked ABC boss accuses former chairman of ‘inappropriate touching’
    Sacked ABC boss accuses former chairman of ‘inappropriate touching’
  • Former ABC managing director paid $730,000
    Former ABC managing director paid $730,000
  • AFP seizes record amount of drugs in Melbourne
    AFP seizes record amount of drugs in Melbourne
  • Press freedom battle
    Press freedom battle
  • AFP raids Home Affairs offices
    AFP raids Home Affairs offices
  • Missouri highway pile-up
    Missouri highway pile-up
  • Motorcyclist allegedly knocked off bike by learner driver
    Motorcyclist allegedly knocked off bike by learner driver
  • Energy providers offering huge discounts on power bills
    Energy providers offering huge discounts on power bills
  • New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern arrives in Australia
    New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern arrives in Australia
  • Beverage companies promise to do better
    Beverage companies promise to do better
  • Lives at risk at the new Royal Adelaide hospital
    Lives at risk at the new Royal Adelaide hospital
  • Gold Coast theme parks expecting a busy weekend
    Gold Coast theme parks expecting a busy weekend
Protests are planned outside the office of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s communications minister following raids by the Australian Federal Police on the Sydney headquarters of the ABC.
 
The public broadcaster’s chair, Ita Buttrose, is now weighing legal options ahead of a planned meeting with Mr Morrison this afternoon.
Ms Buttrose last week complained to federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher of the “sweeping nature” of the AFP warrant “clearly designed to intimidate”.
190611 ABC raids Australian Federal Police Ita Buttrose Scott Morrison talks media news Australia
ABC Chairwoman Ita Buttrose will meet with Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the Australian Federal Police raids on the public broadcaster’s Sydney headquarters. (AAP)
The raid came off the back of stories published by the ABC in 2017 alleging Australian soldiers may have carried out unlawful killings in Afghanistan, based on leaked Defence papers.
This, along with another raid on the Canberra home of a News Corp Australia reporter, has sparked a political debate in Australia over the freedom of the press and protections for journalists.
190611 ABC raids Australian Federal Police Ita Buttrose Scott Morrison talks media news Australia
The raid came off the back of stories published by the ABC in 2017 alleging Australian soldiers may have carried out unlawful killings in Afghanistan, based on leaked Defence papers. (AAP)
190611 ABC raids Australian Federal Police Ita Buttrose Scott Morrison talks media news Australia
This, along with another raid on the Canberra home of a News Corp Australia reporter, has sparked a political debate in Australia over the freedom of the press and protections for journalists. (AAP)
Ms Buttrose said the broadcaster had consulted lawyers about its options and would ensure it was “in the strongest available position to defend ourselves” and its journalists.
The ABC has two weeks to appeal the warrant and seek the return of the documents. But if an appeal is unsuccessful or does not go ahead the AFP would be allowed to examine the documents.

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A protest rally in support of the ABC will be held on Tuesday outside Mr Fletcher’s electorate office in Lindfield, in his seat of Bradfield, on the upper North Shore.

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I will publish the ABC story in the next blog.

GET A CUPPA TEA:  I HAVE MUCH TO SAY HERE:

My observation that warrants were observed given Australian Federal Police raids were interesting given the cyber intelligence today whereby any person of interest can have their encryption for privacy, broken.

We are moving into times where the lines are blurred between who has integrity and who doesn’t.  A long list of eminent judges came out asking for an Integrity Commission which is a sign they have concerns about corruption at the highest levels.

Here is a quote:

“…There is a growing public distrust of federal government with a recent poll finding 85% of Australians believe there is corruption in federal politics.  In addition, there is overwhelming public support for a National Integrity Commission…”
 
The design of a National Integrity Commission is critical. That design must incorporate features which ensure that the commission increases public trust in government. It must therefore be such as to allow corruption and misconduct to be properly investigated and exposed without improperly and unfairly prejudicing the innocent.

This briefing paper was prepared by the National Integrity Committee
to establish design principles for a national integrity commission that will ensure it is given the strength and tools to effectively do its job effectively and fairly.  http://www.tai.org.au/content/corruption-fighters-and-former-judges-design-national-corruption-watchdog

There are real issues about Australia’s involvement, in what Scott Ritter (former weapons inspector in Iraq) called ‘wars of aggression‘.  Serious questions have been raised around the world in relation to the US Oil interests and strategic interests under the guise of the war against terrorism. Another important question is – why are wars conducted in civilian areas? Serious questions have been raised about 911 and growing fears it was a inside job.  The close relationship of the Bush family with the Saudi Royal family and the growing evidence of their sponsorship of terrorism given their interests in spreading Wahhabism. The Saudi crown prince had a nickname Bandar Bush, that should raise concerns about the Bush/Saudi Royal Family. 
 
Here are recordings from my radio program ‘Bridges to Peace’ refer choice cut of interviews https://www.worldpeacefull.com/peace-journalism/
 
Scott Ritter the former weapons inspector (CIA) raised questions about the Prime Minister John Howard involvement with the US government when there was no direct threat to Australia.  Moreover, Andrew Wilkie, who is now an Independent MP in Tasmania, was an analyst in the Office of National Assessment on the Iraq desk.  I interviewed him for my radio program and he raised the fact that there was a low threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction yet our Government was getting involved in the War in Iraq that had nothing to do with our country.  It appeared an alliance based on conservative values and unconditional involvement rather than carefully measured sovereign decisions in the Australian interest.  Andrew Wilkie talked about politicisation of the security intelligence agencies.  I have met military personnel who had real concerns about government decision making in respect to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There were 250,000 people who marched here in Melbourne against war, a similar figure in Sydney and a general Australian sentiment of not to go to war.  This was ignored.  It raised the question – in whose interests are we going to war in Iraq? 
 
This article shows how John Howard thought at the time, he refused to hear the will of the people.  https://www.smh.com.au/national/howard-rejects-global-protests-20030217-gdga9s.html
 
I interviewed Scott Parkin from the United States who had been involved in training protestors in nonviolent activism against Halliburton (Dick Cheney was former CEO) in Sydney.  Halliburton were contractors in Iraq profiting from the absolutely carnage in this country.  They just viewed it as a lucrative market opportunity not a blood bath where so many innocent civilians died and were deliberately targeted. https://www.globalresearch.ca/more-u-s-troops-killed-by-halliburton-than-by-iraqis/5510395
 
I saw cross hair targetting footage from helicopters provided by an Iraqi doctor at the ANU in Canberra revealing the deliberate targetting of civilians.  I literally saw the soldiers move the target from a building to a group of people.  I met Iraqi’s who told me that had the middle class been developed in this country they could have overthrown Saddam Hussein peacefully. This is where corporates could be serving humanity rather than fuelling hostilities.  Saddam was a dictator but the US didn’t seem to mind that as they helped supply chemical weapons and considered him an ally.  Donald Rumsfeld was the envoy sent to the Middle East who knew about Iraq having chemical weapons.  Apparently the CIA was involved, and at the very least nodded tacit consent to use these weapons to win wars.  This article outlines the US attitude to chemical weapons citing declassified information https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/26/exclusive-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran/
 
The point being developed here is clearly the US attitude to war and its own crimes, withholding information and the often counter strategies when it comes to waging and winning wars.  The public are indeed caught in the cross fire or cross hairs, and this can be deliberate.
 
The war in Afghanistan is another theatre where the same issues play out.  In this case the Taliban (orphan children raised in Madras’ Northern Peshawar) are learning Saudi style Wahabbism.  This is why they were extreme.  Refer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism The Afghans as a people were gentle and closer to Sufism then Islam but it infiltrated, most likely influences Pakistan. The children did not speak Arabic they spoke Pushtun and learned the Koran by singing it and not understanding one word, this is programming of an uneducated innocent people. The Mullah’s translate for them and tell them this is the word of truth, so is this evil or indoctrination given ignorance?  If they had have bee educated in history, languages, culture, peace education, critical thinking, global issues then they would not be easily controlled.  The orphan children had no concept of family life or women and merely repeated what they learned believing it as truth as they had no other reference. This is an example of why education is critical in the world if you want peace. Yet it is viewed as motherhood, not as exciting as the fight and fantasy of heroism. So the children were shaped by the Mullah’s.  The Mullah’s regard women as less and apply strict interpretations of the Koran and the control comes down hard.  Anyone that steps out of line experiences brutal reprisals or death.  The morality police or propagation of virtue or religious police scan the streets for those who do not comply with strict Islam. This is a compliance society not a democratic one.  Refer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_for_the_Propagation_of_Virtue_and_the_Prevention_of_Vice_(Afghanistan)
 
For the people of Afghanistan the Taliban were a nightmare.  I have spoken with Afghan women who had a memory of freedoms under Socialism where they could go to university, hold down jobs.  Others wree doctors.  I was informed how difficult it was to conduct surgery with a chaldari on.  Their rights were completely revoked when the Taliban rose.  There was a woman’s group RAWA – Revolutionary Afghan Womens Association refer http://www.rawa.org/meena.html.  Their leader Meena rose up bravely attempting to empower, educate and protect women, their leader was killed.
 
This is her story and why people need a voice: 
MEENA (1956-1987) was born on February 27, 1956 in Kabul. During her school days, students in Kabul and other Afghan cities were deeply engaged in social activism and rising mass movements. She left the university to devote herself as a social activist to organizing and educating women. In pursuit of her cause for gaining the right of freedom of expression and conducting political activities, Meena laid the foundation of RAWA in 1977. This organization was meant to give voice to the deprived and silenced women of Afghanistan. She started a campaign against the Russian forces and their puppet regime in 1979 and organized numerous processions and meetings in schools, colleges and Kabul University to mobilize public opinion.
 
Living in extreme Islam means a woman can’t go out without a male relative, she can’t go to school, if she is raped she needs three men to witness her 1:3 is truth, she is not believed.  She is blamed for the rape.  For non compliance there were stonings, beatings, beheadings in the Football Stadium and hangings in Kabul.  The warlords were not loyal to anyone and could change sides quickly and some of the leaders were incredibly brutal.  The conflict kept the people under a constant siege. It was described to me like having a cannon watching you constantly (not unlike surveillance), there was no place where you never felt safe.  Boys were taken to the front without their families knowledge, the mothers never knew when or if they would return.  So many were killed, many had no idea. The mothers were deeply angry with the wars and suffered in ways none of us can imagine.  They became more political but in an environment where they are chattels, it is not easy, they had had enough so they spoke up, their country was in crisis.  The starvation was so great that there were times where they were eating dirt, some became prostitutes and the drug trade flourished as it is in tandem with the arms trade and the youth became hooked, more casualties of war doctrines.  It was horrendous for the people who had nothing. 
 
I recall British soldiers on a documentary giving a bereft Afghan father wads of money (inflation there) to pay for killing his family by accident. He just sat there so wounded inside, so distraught, their families mean everything to them, his world collapsed, he had nothing to live for.  How can you insult a man by paying for his families deaths as a form of reparation? How would you feel?  The British soldiers didn’t know they were dishonouring and insulting the man. He said nothing. Such is the cultural Gulf far wider than any Gulf war. 
 
Scott Ritter made the point at the University of Melbourne where I recorded his lecture, that US soldiers know nothing of the culture, he said they go in gun ho with all their technology and air superiority but the Afghan’s and Iraqi’s have in truth what they don’t.  They have community, they have an ancient civilization, they have beliefs, they know love.  Many are artists. Many are poets.  Same with the Iranian people, they are more similar to the feminine as cultures despite popular perceptions.  The citizens of all three countries hated extreme Islam yet were positioned in the media or by PR spin as Islamic and potential terrorists. The ignorance of the West, not unlike the ignorance of the Taliban, believed what they were told, both uneducated about life and different cultures.  They deeply care about each other far more than western families do, the bonds were nothing I had ever experienced, I felt an emptiness in my own culture when I experienced these cultures.  I learned that in the West our culture is undeveloped when it comes to social emotional intelligence. I say that without disrespect, it is blunt but that is what I noticed.  Yes they were ignorant of the world, but there was an innocence in the people that I saw.  They knew what was important, each other.  Perhaps that is why empires come to die in Afghanistan!  I wonder if we can learn to live!
 
The destabiliation of this country has a history dating back to Genghis Khan.  The suffering of the people has no words to make real to those who live in a safe country like Australia.  We have no idea of the reality on the ground.  Australian troops went to Afghanistan due to our military relationship with the United States, Australia had no war with Afghanistan, there was no threat, yet again.  Were there killings of innocent civilians? Of course.  It was US Major Rokke (former expert Pentagon, Depleted Uranium) that war is about killing, period.  In every war the civilians are killed. Vietnam was another forum where innocent civilians were napalmed, murdered, raped and so on as the US soldiers didn’t know who was the enemy.  The fog of war took them in to war based on untrue assumptions, it was Robert McNamara who coined that term.  The enemy mentality is the weakness in warfare as it is programmed to see an enemy not solve the overall problem, including looking at the motives of their own politicians who use warfare for extension of power. 
 
The wars today are happening in civilian areas and traditional soldiers do not know who the enemy is or how to respond to unconventional spontaneous fighting with cultures who think very differently, different planets in actual fact. Rather than fighting conventional wars in urban areas there should be a strong push for conflict resolution and cultural exchange (not military) but learning about each other to ensure no misunderstandings. The problem is when you have leaders who enjoy war, who seek to deepen nationalism (bring the country together to deflect from their own issues), who are seeking the glory of old, who trot out the same mantras of fighting for peace or democracy, who believe projection of power (power over) is freedom you end up with endless wars in my view, it matters not the label.  The core problem is the profit from it and the industries built up around keeping the hatred and fighting going at the detriment of civilians. The Industrial Military Complex is behind this push and have a vested interest in conflict.  That is institutionalised violence that expands economic growth.  How do we rationalise that? How do we find the balance between real security and freedom from a democratic perspective, where democracy is not just a word but an actual way of life where respect of diversity is internalised.
 
It was Rumsfeld who called Afghanistan a pile of rocks, no real targets to his disappointment.  No fun in that.  I would like to include this article as it reflects the use of heavy metal music to pump the soldiers, to create false bravado.  It is like a military column going down Swanston Street killing people with music blaring.  We seem to accept unquestioningly when it is another country but outrage would be evident and war crimes tribunals if it was our own. Such is the fog of our war mentality and the profits that go with it.  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/7558783/US-special-forces-use-heavy-metal-music-to-fight-Taliban.html.
 
The Afghan people knew who the talibs were, the Australian soldiers would not have known, as all look the same.  All Asians look the same etc.   I spoke with Australian soldiers (Rotary) who told me their experience and their suffering and their disagreement with the wars. I met with US refuseniks, ex US servicemen protesting the war in Iraq.  I heard lecturers at the Shrine here in Melbourne by Australian soldiers describing the fear of soldiers when confronted with war. I saw footage of the Mountains of Afghanistan.  It is not a simulated violent video game or training app, it is terrifying and real and the bombs are so powerful that whole areas are wiped out. Those nearby disintegrate, no need for Geneva Conventions no injuries or captured, they are obliterated.  There is chatter in the helicopters as if it is a war game, all are objects (targets) no sense of common humanity, civilians, people just like us.  There is no mercy by those who drop bombs or shoot automatic weapons, it is like a remote viewing an experience as technology crates that separation and training conditions people to believe in what they are doing – saving lives! they say.  Cluster bombs are dropped, they explode above ground and drop and bomblets spreading across a wide area.  I recall learning they were in the shape of toys, the Russians dropped them as ‘birds’ so kids pick them up.  There should be a global outrage at this, we get upset with child abuse but what of children’s limbs blown off. Princess Diana tried to raise the issues but she too died.  At what point do we point human interest ahead of national interest? Refer https://www.mei.edu/publications/afghanistans-children-tragic-victims-30-years-war

Charlie Wilson’s war depicts the range of war perspectives – Joanne Herring the wealthy Texan socialite and honorary consul to Pakistan won the congressional medal for inciting a war.  https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Socialite-Joanne-Herring-may-get-a-Congressional-6031259.php
In the case of Joanne Herring she is reported in the film to believe it was important to arm the Afghans as religion is denied. No mention of love your neighbour there.  She had powerful contacts, she knew every politicians in the House of Reps and targeted Charlie, slept with him to gain his allegiance.  He was a congressman who had an electorate that wanted nothing, he was free to vote whatever way.  He said he was Israel’s man on the Hill.  That should raise more than eyebrows.  Wilson called the staff of the United States House Committee on Appropriations dealing with “black appropriations” and requested a two-fold appropriation increase for Afghanistan. Because Wilson had just been named to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense (which is responsible for funding CIA operations), his request went through.  The Saudi’s were matching this dollar for dollar, the big question would be why?  Similar answer to Syria.  This is on the side of Muslims, after 911 they are against them ‘war on terror’.  This is not international peace making.
 
The US decide to get involved as Charlie Wilson got behind it with an endless covert budget.  He does deals with the Pakistani’s and Israelis to hide US involvement in arming the Mujaheddin.  They see as men, it is a fair fight that the Afghans are doing their job. They say they love killing Russians as that is their perspective.  The arms dealers see profits, they rush to supply the fearful need to kill other humans. At the end of the film Charlie tries to get funding for education, as the majority of the population are under 15. This would have been an act of peace.  The congressmen around the table make superficial comments calling Afghanistan Pakistan.  Charlie reads the disinterest in the room, as they all thought they had moved on, winning the war was all that mattered.  He makes a powerful comment at the end…

“…These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world… and then we fucked up the end game.” 
 
This is the war of men which they include us all.  Women do not want war at all, we want peace. We want social reconstruction and a world that is peaceful. 
 
I realised that all wars are against women and children today.  It is families that suffer in this endless war doctrine that refuses to look into the mirror of its own making and the greed that drives it as freedom when it is enslavement.  Yet on it goes in the name of peace when the two realities cannot coexist no matter the propaganda.
 
I am inserting here a little boy sitting next to me who is around 5 years old.  He is using high powered weapons where he is learning young how to use a gun.  It is a gun with bright yellow wings and red colours.  He blows up eggs.  He travels in the game through rooms and shoots an egg on a chair that is mean. He now selects the egg and places a skull and cross bones.  He now has a different gun, runs upstairs, the word “death thriller’ come sup.  He gets points.   He plays the same actions over and over.  What I know as a peace educator is that he is being trained to anticipate the target.  He is learning that you destroy the target with the gun.  He gets words coming up ‘you were killed’.  So he is being trained by the game.  So what does that tell us about what we are doing in our so-called democracy when children are learning to kill.  This is the deception we tell ourselves that we are peace loving.  This boy is not learning how to solve problems, he is not in a peace game, he is not learning to solve problems just target and kill, blow up and be rewarded. This is operant conditiong.  My REAL HOPE program was to develop children’s social emotional skills so they could know themselves and learn how to work with other children.  I was teaching them anti-bullying and the consequences of violence.  I do not see this boy next to me in the library getting any such training.  Refer https://schools.worldpeacefull.com/anti-bullying/
 
The propaganda spins on stories of male heroes with media tag lines to feel good about murder.  To be strong, to project power, to believe in their own myths to justify the most horrendous acts of violence and then say to their own communities don’t commit crime.  But no-one, I repeat no-one sees the suffering of the people.  I have seen it first hand and it is unbelievably sad.  The Afghans are an innocent simple people who were target practice for a lot of men who were trained to ignore feeling, many care nothing for the civilians and the life long trauma of children (becomes the next generation of those feeling hate as hurt).  The players just see what they want to see as painful truths are buried as body bags are buried but in unmarked graves, as it is our humanity that dies each time.  They care nothing of what the people in these war zones want.  And for me, this is the real issue of war. The people are not served at all. Those in power make the decisions and many suffer the consequences. Particularly the children of the next generation
Did you know the war in Afghanistan cost $1.07 trillion dollars?  Do you think this taught freedom and democracy by example? 
Of course not. It brought pain and misery and destabilised a region for the few who profit from oil and finance. These are the ones who put politicians into office, they are the ones who call the shots behind the scenes, they are the ones who make violence necessary when it isn’t. They are the ones who won’t face a war crimes tribunal a they pay others to do, as intelligence agents say, ‘do their dirty work’.   In truth wars work against global interests as money is diverted from where it is truly needed.  Corporations dictate the terms now and the public are losing their voice, for some they have no voice at all.  So much for democracy.  If a mere 10% of that 1.07 trillion was spent to alleviate poverty, hunger, sanitation, health care, education, hospitals and cross cultural understanding, imagine the world we would have today. I believe we are held back by thinking that uses fear to hold onto power and control. 
 
So where do Australian’s go when their government ignores them?  The media.  This is a forced decision in many cases as exposure holds people in the spotlight of possible public ridicule and harassment.  But the reality is we do not have effective checks and balances. 

So when I witness on television the raid by Australian Federal Police on the ABC in Sydney I do not feel confident that the government is protecting the national interest. I am concerned about vested interest and foreign interests!  I am concerned that cyber surveillance occurred at the ABC which prompted them to get a warrant. The government under the recently passed National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 indicates that a citizen deemed a Person of Interest (POI) can be identified and intelligence can access encrypted emails etc.  The surveillance community have been doing this on mass for years.  The whistle blower Edward Snowden has made a powerful case about intrusive government mass surveillance and interference into the public.  It can be foreign as would be the case in the five eyes surveillance network (AUST, CAN, NZ, UK, USA). I had the FBI on my friends phone, I am sure it was about me as years ago I saw FBI counter-terrorism on my website listing of visits.  I am a Rotary Peace fellow, studied peace and conflict studies, travelled to Asia, travelled the world as a peace clown and am a trainer in peace education, anti-bullying, wellbeing and have been on radio as a community journalist discussing issues about whistleblowers.  My life experience in repoted in my book A Fool for Peace on my website.  https://www.worldpeacefull.com/author/  In addition I write thousands of blogs and increasingly I am revealing more information in the public interest as I become more concerned about deception in governance and world affairs in critical times.  I regard myself as in service to the public.  I am a public reporter, I work for free, as freedom is critical in order to have your own voice without interference. 
 
I reflect on these ancient words of Lao Tzu (600BC) as my intent:

“it is the duty of those who know to tell the blind horseman on the blind horse that he is heading towards the abyss”. 
 
I feel it as a duty of care not activism, not rebellion, not incitement, not anti, not angry but to start by informing myself as I have witnessed corruption and spoken to those who have come out bravely against it.  I am not feeling the public are safe or others acting in their interests. Ignorance is not bliss it is disempowerment and lost potential.
 
The a case for privatisation is a national issue in my view as there are parties in the background who do not want democracy and are disempowering the public by indicating information cannot be fully disclosed given private interest, corruption, illegality, non disclosure contracts, security etc.  I think that sense is being felt by all Australians. Certainly the ones I’ve spoken to.  They worry where we are going as they can see the change happening and the lack of values exhibited publicly. 
 
We saw what happened in the detention centres with innocent refugees fleeing persecution and the lack of application of basic human rights, conditions, treatment and adherence to international laws. In Australia even boundaries were changed or off shore detention created in order to place the problem of refugees onto other countries when Australia is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention.  We have all seen the boats, the images of distress, lips sown, self harm and deaths.  I have been in a detention centre and saw children.  It was a maximum security jail I entered as a clown.  They were in prison for what? Fleeing violence.  They were framed by those in power as potential terrorists, queue jumpers and made up stories, a danger etc.  They had no rights clearly.  They were displaced persons.  I interviewed refugees on radio and one I recall swam through crocodile infested waters, was shot at by soldiers, ripped off by smugglers and landed on an island only to be incarcerated without trial. What it shows me today that the most vulnerable are at the most risk as they are not valued economically.  This is in my experience as a person who is homeless.  If people bring out these problems who care about the wellbeing of refugees then there are moves to vilify, undermine, suppress or silence people if it doesn’t reflect well in the media or brings international condemnation. 
 
So stories must be told.
 
If we are talking about companies or contractors then their share price goes down and they will fight tooth and nail to suppress anything detrimental to their public image. The issue of Trans Pacific Partnership comes up here – what happens if they sue the government because of public protest?  How is it okay for a company to abuse people and protect itself legally against critique when that is in the public interest.  So private interests becomes another war zone rather than communities resolving problems to ensure safety and wellbeing for all. Suddenly “the enemy” is identified rather than a problem to be solved.  Then it is “us vs them” rather than a conflict to be resolved so both can coexist.  This is where the public/private boundary blurs and is hard to find.  It becomes more complex with non profit spin offs, start ups, industry preferential treatment and on it goes. 
 
We see detention centres/prisons run by private unaccountable foreign contractors where the public has no say in what is happening. Public/private partnerships are out of sight.  Who owns what?  Who is accountable?  Does this work for the public interest or against it?  How does privatisation (private interests) create greater freedoms or democracy? Or is it talk?  
 
Governance in my view should not be directly engage in business at all, it should not have subsidiaries as it compromises neutrality and makes it a player rather than a neutral regulator ensuring all sides or competing interests are balanced in the public interest.  That must be absolutely top of mind.  Government should be primarily about representing the public interest.  If that is not the case does that mean government for the people collapses? What next.. Feudalism? Fascism? Full spectrum dominance etc.  The public has a right to know as their lives are affected directly.  If they don’t know they will believe they are in a democracy and suffer from being ignored, treated like they have no rights but confused as they thought they did.
 
We absolutely need an impartial media, the commercial media is not impartial and their standards are nowhere near as professional across the board as the ABC. That is not to disrespect other great journalists in the commercial area but they are less free to challenge the establishment, as they are in a money making enterprise run typically by powerful families. These families can be very conservative.  The commercial media sell us info-tainment to dumb down and keep us distracted not documentaries and human interest stories to inspire, inform and open our world to other ways of seeing.  to look at the facts, to go deeper than a superficial overview but to really feel how others may feel and what impact does that make on us – do we feel indifferent or do we feel passionate?  Why do we need to know? what is the truth? what are the complexities? how does it impacts our way of life? Does it make us more fearful or positive?  What happens when crimes are left unchecked given those in power are typically not accountable (my direct experience there).  News and current affairs mirrors back to us who we are in the face of that issue, it helps us decide our values.  What are our values?  Who are we?  Who is the other? That is what excellent investigative journalism does for me.  I do not want a world where it is shutdown. 
 
I want a world of real transparency, authenticity, truth speaking and community so we can be informed to make decisions about what is in the public interest rather than be spoon fed through clever PR campaigns about what others think we should think so others can basically do what they want. In the present time what I see is a collapsing ecological environmental crisis, it is urgent.  I see a dying world economic order fighting for control! I see it out of touch with the public and what is truly needed for our species to survive.  I see children protesting in the streets.  I see pedophile rings not broken up, I see child abuse still occurring and the breakdown of the family.  I see the juggernaut of capitalism making money the primary reason for living rather than focusing on the expression of our highest potential.  I see trade wars masking deep insecurity and playing the same game of dominance and self interest of the few at the expense of millions if not billions of people.  I see cyber unaccountable surveillance, control paradigms, smart cities, intrusive monitoring, data gathering, meta data, high technocracies emerging, the loss of privacy and the loss of real freedoms.  I see 5G, health effect, sickness, autism, chemtrails, corporatising public assets etc.  This is the time we need to be heard as a society. 
 
This is the time for those in positions of power who are decent people, to stand up, they must blow the whistle if they know corruption is happening.  We need to stand up for who we are as Australians what we truly value.  To do this with humour and positive intentions. 
 
This is the time we need to know the true state of our national debt, budget and tax base. Are we going into recession? 
 
We need to know the cost/benefit of the public private nexus and whether that serves business or community needs on balance. 
 
We need to know if we are involved in wars of aggression that are crimes against humanity given our defence relationships. Is the negative rhetoric about these conflicts and wars placing Australians at further risk as we become viewed as a target.  We had three Chinese warships waltz into Sydney Harbour unannounced, they were not singing Waltzing Matilda mate!
 
We need to know if defence industries are serving foreign multinational companies coffers. We need to know about the power of multinational companies and who they have purchased in their own government who then speak to our government encouraging trade deals.  We need to know whether they truly serve the Australian public interest or the economic interests of others. Are they harming the public in other countries? Are they influencing positively guns, violent video games and working against peace etc.
 
That is what truth and visibility looks like.  It must be fearless and open.  It must be kind but firm.  It must be reflective of what is real not fake. It must be motivated by truth (sometimes we get it wrong, then have a forum and get it right).  For in this contrasting of opinions, perspectives, ideas and passions – only then are the people served, truly.   Each gets to choose.  We choose again.  Or does this land me in jail as I broke some law I didn’t know about because the statements or questions evoke a threat?  I would say is it a threat? or life showing you another point of reference? What if life always create the opposite?  Yin/Yang?  What you resist persists what you look at disappears!  Face life as it comes with peace in mind would be how you deal with dissent or different views.  Seek if you can to stand in their shoes.  Try to find the middle ground.  Work together.
 
What I can say lastly, for me, I have needed to speak up as it is who I am.  I have confronted many challenges which nearly took my life.  I realised I do not feel safe when I am disempowerment, that is when I have no say over what impacts my life.  I think everyone feels the same. They do what they can to take their power back as many feel they are spectators rather than participants.  They are told they have a voice but the reality is different. As many in power well know, most people feel they are unheard and can’t do anything.  This renders them anxious and depressed.  I believe empowerment is what is wanted.  Good quality information provides that empowerment.  I do not believe it serves those in power or those in the public to withhold or shape change the knowledge economy to be in your image rather than a convergence of views which produces better outcomes.  I believe democracy truly lived is the real security.  It is not a question of security means giving up freedoms.  I know this in my own life the more free I become the more secure I feel.  I believe it is fear that causes people to feel insecure not security systems or risk management.  Law of attraction states – what you believe (repeatedly) you attract.  So our world becomes a projection of what we think.  I believe freedom is harmless openness that opens new vistas to new ways of seeing, I believe it is essential for evolution.   We need to learn how to coexist with difference rather than trying to force everyone into the same mold.  I world of conformity, where nothing is spontaneous, where it is all routine dulls us, it dumbs us down and reduces what we could become as a species.  I know there are interests who want this, but I choose growth.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Mohandas Gandhi

“Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.”

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