Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another IP block

For such a pleasant chap I do seem to have the knack of pissing people off. I still haven’t resolved the ragebot block and now I’m blocked from updateamerica. It is curious for a couple of reasons; first they are the only privately hosted blogs on my list and second, I have hardly been blogging lately.

Mind you, my previous blog was a dig at poor ole Sol Trujillo and his racial sensitivities. But I’m sure Sol has better things to do than screwing up my limited blogging activities.

Oh well, I guess this just give fewer distractions from the research I’m currently engaged in. It also adds Sol to my list of subjects.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We aren't racist, just don't like asSols

Controversial former Telstra chief Sol Trujillo has taken a swipe at Australia, describing the nation he called home for four years as racist, backward and like "stepping back in time". SMH

Never mind Sol, we weren’t taking the piss over you being an escapee from the barrio, we were more concerned about your destruction of our premier communications company. I guess you didn’t give a fig about us customers, but even the finance community believe you are a loser.

Talk about ‘stepping back in time’, rather than bring our communications infrastructure into the 21st century you allowed it to degrade to mid 20th century or worse. No Sol, it ain’t racism, just the recognition of a true asSol.

See Video

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nothing like a low to get you down

Here in this ‘South Pacific Paradise’ we can expect several intense low-pressure systems, knows as East Coat Lows (ECL) each year, apparently mainly through autumn and winter. We seem to be up to six or seven now since the start of summer, through almost to the start of our winter.

While southern Australia still suffers drought we are drowning further north. Just since the start of the year we have had three serious flooding episodes, including the one currently occurring. Here in Port Macquarie we are reasonably safe from the flood threat, but the gale force winds are causing their share of drama.

ECLs can generate one or more of:

  • Gale or storm force winds along the coast and adjacent waters
  • Heavy widespread rainfall leading to flash and/or major river flooding,
  • Very rough seas and prolonged heavy swells over coastal and ocean waters which can cause damage to the coastline.

This is the third day of this ECL and we have at least another to go. Reports have put it at an equivalent to a cat 2 cyclone. While floods are causing havoc further north the winds are doing most of the damage just now, including deaths; one on Queensland’s Gold Coast when a window flew out of one building into another.

I’m just suffering sleep deprivation as the wind explodes against the building and windows day and night. The explosion of wind gusts is disconcerting, even worse when it comes to the accompaniment of tinkling glass. So far none of the glass is landing on me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gang laws a cure worse than the disease?

While my blogging has dropped off research on a book concept continues apace. Criminal gangs are the focus, particularly where there is apparent sponsorship or involvement of authorities.

Because the ideas necessarily reflect concepts of conspiracy, with evidence often difficult to uncover, the research so far is aimed at gaining an understanding of how organised crime is really organised.

Some of the information I’m dealing with is strictly historical, but being compared with current organisation trends of crime gangs. Bikers are in the forefront now, to the degree that special laws are being promulgated to deal with them. One question is; why are authorities suddenly so aware of that menace?

I recently had a sort of run in with our local chapter of the Banditos. Well not close up and personal, but through associate drug dealers. With some neighbours we had approached police with evidence of drug dealing in our unit block.

The response came not from the police but from an associate returning from a club meet. The polite suggestion was that we refrain from contacting the police; that one of the people being complained about was the sister of the local biker’s sergeant at arms and we would be dealt with if we continued to make waves.

We were also told that the information was passed on by a police officer, with the suggestion that complaints to the police were not safe. On the other hand, our concern was noted and the dealers were to be moved on. Obviously business is the chief concern.

New Laws

Through all this our state government, along with others in Australia, were passing harsh new laws to deal with the biker/drug menace. Part of the reason for the apparent inconsistency is the changes occurring within the biker gang structure here, you could sum them up by asking; what bikes?

Increasingly the old gangs are becoming Nike clad, white tee-shirted SUV or big V8 drivers. The old gang structures, which had their established police connections, are going it alone; too arrogant and confident to want any protection beyond their own. Criminal gangs tend not to last too long without some sort of sanction from ‘authorities’.

But these new laws share much with the maligned anti-terrorism laws of the past decade. Not only will they fail, but police and governments will end up with more egg on their collective faces. The highly respected Director of Public Prosecutions in NSW (Nicholas Cowdery QC) says the laws represent "another giant leap backwards for human rights and the separation of powers - in short, the rule of law".

But one of his Canadian counterparts, Mr. Richmond, Quebec's deputy chief prosecutor for organized crime claims “It can take literally months to make this evidence before the court. This constant requirement that we prove the same thing over and over again is monopolizing valuable resources that could be used elsewhere in the fight against organized crime.”

I’m with Cowdrey on this, the processes of law have developed over centuries to provide fair and thorough systems. Regardless of their failings these processes are al that stands between we the people and outright tyranny.

As with terrorism criminal laws are in place to do the job, perhaps many of our current police and prosecutors are simply not up to the task. Certainly where a suggestion clearly exists of police passing information to the criminals rather than pursuing law breakers there is cause for concern.