"Dean was the first woman partner at..Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartlett in 1987, before going out as a barrister sole in 1995. Through the 1980s she was the firm's sole woman litigator, a situation that has now reversed with Russell McVeagh's litigation team dominated by women.Speaking to the Herald this year, Dean said there was a growing recognition that the often understated, holistic approach sometimes favoured by women in law - as opposed to the aggressive male stereotype - could be far more effective. More and more cases were being resolved outside the court structure".
Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Resource Rent Tax
Applied Critical Thinking | www.SheldonThinks.com
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
"Rudd ... undoubtedly believes that with his intellect, his six years as a diplomat in the 1980s and his five years as shadow foreign minister, he has the background and the ability to direct Australia's foreign policy".
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
"There is a whole new generation, digital natives, born with the internet, that understands the freedom of communication....It's not a left-right thing anymore. It's a generational thing between the politicians who don't understand that it's too late for them to regulate the internet and the young who use technology every day".
Monday, December 06, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
The ascension and current persecution of Julian Assange reads like a plagiarised script of one of Ayn Rand's novels about the persecution of the individualist by the state. I am by no means a nationalist, but I am both surprised and proud to know that Julian Assange came from Australia. I would harbour this "criminal" anytime. You might ask why. There are a number of reasons:
1. The dubious arguments for persecuting him
I have just downloaded and read through all the reasons cited by people for the good and bad of Assange's WikiLeaks. These comments suggest that there are a lot of proud Americans, mostly military personnel I suggest, who love their country no matter what it does. One of the problems with these loyal foot-soldiers is they have no education, they come from broken families, and the love of their country is about all they have. They are as dangerous Neo-Nazis as the one's in the Middle East they fight....so I would not look for intellectual guidance from their 'carpet bombing' of CNN and Fox News stories. This is a US govt publicity machine easily mobilised by the US military hierarchy. The US govt is managing collateral damage – the difference is that they have the numbers – millions of military personnel, as well as other nationalists in the Christian mid-west…and that is just the Americans. This is an 'inside job' by an American...yet they paint it as the efforts of an anti-American Australian.
2. The efforts made to discredit him
The principle effort to discredit Assange was his alleged rape of two women in Sweden. When one reads the nature of the allegations and the prosecutor’s handling of the case, it very much looks like a political smear, with a Swedish public servant overruling ‘due process’. The problem of course for Assange is that he appears to be defying a judge by breach a court ruling. Fortunately, I guess he can argue ‘gone fishing…international politics is too stressful’. The problem with complying is that he can readily be assassinated by any government agency. He is proof of the fear governments have for accountability – and the efforts to which they will go to prevent its spread. This is the way government functions – by managing perceptions through intimidation. We see little in the way of regulating corporations. Instead they target and persecute high-profile people like Paul Hogan in Australia and Wesley Snipes in the USA. The Australian Taxation Office and the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are among the most pernicious authorities in the world. They do not care as long as they get their money and retain their power over unthinking or safe voters….who think they have a choice.
3. The nature of the people persecuting him
People have this misconception that politicians serve an important purpose. The argument is that government protects us from invaders, criminals and protects those who cannot protect themselves. They manage the economy and they preserve the ‘rule of law’. This is fallacy. It was never true. They were never advocates of your interests in the same way that your car salesman is not an advocate of your interests. Why? They are the legal authority, and they are less accountable than the car salesman, but they offer no guarantees or warranties. They do not pay any damages either – the taxpayer does. For CEO and bankers – it’s the shareholder who pays. Do you want to know what happens to one of the government’s own people – a public servant – who defied a government that has no real power to tax – they get persecuted. This women gave evidence in Aaron Russo’s film Freedom to Fascism. I am sure I will be registered on some CIA database for citing this movie.
4. The value of the material he is releasing
The value of the material being released by WikiLeaks is that it will show a number of things. It will highlight the nature of the actions by politicians and bureaucrats; it will give approval to the release of more content by other people. There is a strong divide between the public servant and the corporate world. The reason why politicians prevent private citizens breaking into the political world is because it has its own culture. It is the culture of a 'foot soldier' who unthinkingly performs a "service" in accordance with the rules. The rules are not questioned in this culture. You simply just act. The reason why private people are persecuted by this culture; the reason why the private sector is locked out of this culture is because with private 'infiltration', the culture and its legitimacy collapses. This is why private workers are not able to become public servants. It is why you are either born into or 'migrate' into such jobs. The other powerful consideration is that public servants struggle to get jobs in the 'commercial' arena, so government is a monopoly, so you don't want to upset your single employer, because you quickly run out of options. The same is true for political party-appointed judges. They serve the two major parties because they are the only people who can remove or discredit them....and then where would they work? So much for judicial independence...and of course they are appointed by the two major parties. After a lifetime of court rulings you would think that the political parties would have a good sense of which High Court judges are not going to engage in 'judicial activism'.
World governments are going to persecute Assange like no one else. I am actually surprised he is still alive. I guess the reason is that he has been smart enough to establish a group of geeks who share his values. It is harder to discredit an organisation which is as dispersed as Al Queda. But that is about as far as the analogy goes. These guys use lawyers and the 'rule of (bad) law', so I know the governments will win.....but bad law takes time to make determinations.
5. The values of the people persecuting him
The hypocrisy is not an accident...and its probably organised. I don't think I have been to a country where there are not a plethora of stories of US personnel raping people...Japan, the Philippines, Korea...and yet we have military personnel smearing him....not the US military personnel who leaked the material...something very asymmetrical about that. Killing the messenger? Why this messenger...not the US personnel. The leaker is a US soldier...he is the traitor, yet the focus is an Australian. On this level, he is smeared as 'not journalism' because he just publishes. Yes, that's right. His material is completely uncensored. This makes it particularly embarrassing to the US government. They have no capacity to argue that it is not true; that its 'bias'. Its fact..it was said. No one person, even an organisation, could write all this content. This is like a Mars Rover satellite sending back gigabytes of information on the soul of the US government and its says CORRUPT! CORRUPT! CORRUPT! People have to realise that this is not one corrupt man at the top. This is corruption on a systematic scale. This is an Obama administration defending the efforts of previous administrations, knowing that his party is equally culpable.
6. The lengths they will go to stop him
We can expect that the US government will go to any lengths to stop WikiLeaks publishing his materials. I would encourage everyone to download the material and read it themselves from www.wikileaks.org. I expect that the US will attempt to use its political links, even coercion and blackmail to shut down the sites; it will use all manner of hacking tools to perpetrate the WikiLeaks site, but also the sites of anyone who supports him. I expect I will be a marked man for supporting him. Frankly I suspect that I am already on a 'blacklist' for governments around the world. One realises when one has been placed on a blacklist. It happened to me in Japan. Suddenly your material does not get published. The large media companies have lists of people for whom they will not publish. Whether its a disdain for ideology or a government list, who knows? Certainly there is a close relationship between the two party duopoly in each country, which have 'rules of engagement' to protect their 'market share', or entrenched political position. Democracy in democracy - nonsense. We are as 'two party' as Russia is a 'one party' state; and as they say, there is not a great deal that divides them.
Aside from the attacks on his website and allies, we can expect the US government and allied governments to take measures to discredit him. We have seen this already, and we have seen people avoiding the intellectual issues by simply smearing him as a 'pervert', a 'rapist'. This is military personnel posting this 'smear'.
I urge you to read the bias of the mainstream US media, and read the contents from people on the website. We might consider them spammers. They have a political agenda, whether its personal-political or organised/paid by the US government. I have seen the same done by the Aquino Administration in the Philippines when he was discredited after his election and gaff over his handling of a mass-murder of HK tourists by one of his police officers. This was a case of govt versus government. Assange will be persecuted by all governments. He represents a threat to all unaccountable, disreputable government.
Author - Andrew Sheldon
Thursday, December 02, 2010
We are told that the US military embody 'our finest'? Might it be they are generally the 'lowest' of US values. i.e. mid-Westerners with no purpose, few career prospects, little education or opportunity. Not their fault. That is their educational context. But having being an apologist for it for 17 years because the US govt needs cheap cow fodder for its overseas excursions, might we ask, does the Us military embody US values? When I look at military forces and police around the world, I see tolerance for the worst forms of culture, closer to fascism/collectivism than the freedom/individualism that they purportedly protect? don't we require more than an opinion poll to tell us that they are ready for change?