Liberal Party member Chris Abood on the internet blacklist

23 03 2009

From his recent Online Opinion piece:

So how does one get blacklisted?

Quite easily.

There are two ways to end up on the blacklist, either through direct channels or inadvertently. Currently, if I come across a website that I do not approve of either because I believe it is illegal or does not suit my ideological bent, I can make a complaint to the ACMA. In order to make a complaint, I must be an Australian resident or a company that carries on activities in Australia, provide the internet address and/or sufficient access details to enable ACMA to access the online content and provide reasons as to why I believe the online content is prohibited. The ACMA will then make a determination as to whether that site is added to the blacklist. It is not clear how the ACMA makes this determination. It has also been reported that other bodies such as filter software companies can also add websites to the blacklist. It is not clear how this is policed.

So how does one inadvertently end up on the list? Imagine that Big Buba from the Buba crime syndicate published a websites called FriendlyTours.com. However this is a front for an illegal website publishing unsavoury pictures. The site is found, a complaint made to ACMA and rightly added to the blacklist. A few weeks later, Big Buba closes down the site and moves to a new domain called BubaTours.com to try and keep ahead of the authorities. This site is also added to the blacklist and a few weeks later the site moves again and again.

Meanwhile, Jan who has been working for a large multi-national for 20 years is called into her manager’s office and told that she is being made redundant. With her large redundancy cheque, she decides to pursue her dream of running a tour business. She calls her business Friendly Tours and finds that the domain name is available. She registers the domain name and has a nice website built.

Jim, a dentist, decides to have a website built for his practice. His Internet Service Provider assigns his domain JimsDentistry.com to an IP address that was previously occupied by BubaTours.com. Both Jim and Jan are friends of mine. I offer to help them increase their Google rankings by linking to their sites through my website, my blog and my Facebook page.

A few weeks go by and Jim and Jan start getting emails from people saying they cannot access their websites. They don’t know why. They try to contact me for an explanation but cannot get hold of me. That is because I am in court being fined $11,000 a day for linking to a banned site. The people who emailed Jim and Jan are also in court facing jail terms of ten years for trying to access a site contained on the blacklist.

This blacklist is to form the backbone of the government’s mandatory filtering regime. The leaked list apparently contains 2,395 websites. The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy wants to expand this to 10,000 websites. Will the ACMA be under pressure to find sites, any sites, to reach this number? The legitimacy of the blacklist will always be in question while owners of websites on the blacklist have no means of recourse especially if that site is legitimate.

Something I am curious about is whether this policy is unanimously supported or even popular among members of the ALP. If not, what are dissenting ALP members doing about it?





March in March

20 03 2009

I will be here in spirit:

WHAT

March in March is an upbeat event to give people an opportunity stand up, be heard, and hold the government accountable for their plans of forcing mandatory censorship on a very unwilling public.

With a mix of live entertainment of bands and DJs, speakers from all sides of the political spectrum and other special guests, the day will be topped off with the annual Canberran Skyfire Festival, just for us … okay, maybe not. [. . .]

WHERE

Parliament House side of Federation Mall, Canberra

WHEN

1:00 PM 21st of March, 2009

(Press conference at 11:00 AM)

WHY

The DLC have been organising rallies in capital cities for the past three months raising awareness as to the governments plans to censor the internet and the negative impact involved.

This is only the tip of the wedge of censorship being driven into our society by a vocal minority, as they say, the best time to defend your freedom is while you still have it.

While Senators change their minds daily, and the media report that the filter will go ahead, or won’t go ahead almost as regularly–the fact remains–this issue will not be put to bed unless Australians defend their democracy against the very ideology of censorship culture.

I’m not comfortable with the use of the sneer term “vocal minority.” For one thing, it misses the point: the clean feed is a bad thing regardless of whether it is advocated by a minority or a majority. But it also reeks of the kind of demagoguery that Conroy wields against those who oppose mandatory filtering: “If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree.” (In other words, if you oppose the Government’s plan, you must love watching kiddie porn.) We are all minorities, insofar as we are all individuals, whose rights and interests (including freedom of speech) are supposed to be defended against majoritarian tyranny—that is what has hitherto defined us as a robust liberal democracy.

And it comes down to this. In one of the world’s so-called robust liberal democracies, the Government equates free speech advocacy with pederasty. That is—and should be—nothing short of alarming.





Highlights from the comments at Catch the Fire (before they’re disappeared)

4 12 2007

Catch The Fire has been getting a lot of traffic, it appears, since it became apparent to all and sundry that God/Pastor Nalliah backed the wrong horse in the recent Federal Election. The administrators appear to have relaxed their unstated ban on critical comments, for now, and you can find some of those at the end of this post. But most of the following extracts of comments are from true believers, responding to Nalliah’s “explanation” for the miserable failure of his pre-election prophecy. I’ve separated them into categories . . .

Why, God? Why?

Many people from a number of Churches were gathering over a period of time and praying taht “God’s will would be done at this election”.

Does God not place any value on our prayers? (Richard–who I suspect might be one of ours)

Stock-standard lunacy

Apparently a psychic predicted a Rudd win. That alone tells me what Rudd is about and that I don’t want to be on side with these occult voices. (Aurora)

We were spoken to through Judges 20 in that there must be determination that the battle must continue, regardless of the defeats, for in this passage the Lord says go up, but they were slaughtered – and yet they came together as one nation – almost – at the time. Later you find they were not all together – there were still those who were not with them in chapter 21. But God gave them victory regardless – the third time. We also had a dream of 3 snakes which looked fierce but were easily destroyed. So, we continue to pray the prayers we were supplied with before the election, but must now pray them in the context of what the Lord will do. He is the God of miracles. (Ken & Adrianne)

I agree with what you have said, and I must admit when I heard the news of Labor’s victory, I was led to read from Lamentations. I believe God was grieving as I was. (Trisha)

Lawyering for Jesus

Some people may not be aware that prophecy is conditional: upon both prayer and obedience.(Pastor Marilyn McKenny)

I noted that when you declared what the Lord had told you, you included the word “IF”. While some would see this as a disclaimer for you to dodge criticism should the prophetic word not come to pass – the “IF” is meant to be an encouragement & motivation to the Church. 2 Chron 7:14 is an example of this type of condition. “IF my people….. etc”. Obviously, the condition was not met.(Pastor Bob Cotton, another Lawyer for Jesus)

We have had situations the same , where God made his will known but it went the other way because no one was listening or prophecies were misinterpreted through poor theology, or prayer was weak . (Des & Christine Gibson)

…. you did not get it wrong….. we the body of Christ did – oh for ears that will listen. (Allen Moore)

Thankyou O servant of the Most High God.
I don’t believe you got it wrong. I’ve never heard God say “oops”. (Robyn)

A while ago, before I knew of your election prophecy I had a vision of John Howard standing defeated he was a broken man in my vision weeping and worn out. It then troubled me because of what your prophecy had declared, I thought how could 2 opposite things come from the same source of eternal truth?

After you had pointed out that the lack of unity in the Body was the cause for Labor’s win (and many other problems we are facing) it brought a sense of peace(knowing that this vision was correct and from our Lord) and sadness too for I had wanted the Liberal party to win also. (Andrew, on how the power of Christ can resolve glaring contradictions)

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt

The people have demanded a king and God has given us one (I Sam 8) . You, the prophet, has faithfully warned the nation, but God is preparing David, even while Saul is in power. (Jill)

As to your question did I vote them in no I personally didn’t, I advised people who would listen and my children to vote family first so as not to go down the road of lust and lies in human nature so called…. My children listened but most others didn’t, while handing out how to vote cards for family first only over a period of 2 hours 2 people only asked for family first the rest graciously took all information handed to them.
Sadly we now have a party that tends to sway against biblical values and advise, but like the good book says it is our job as believers to continue to pray for the government elect and let the Lord God Jesus stir their waters and relies their ways, not to implement change that will bring the Christians
Down as God the Almighty will not allow this to happen and bad times will fall upon them in sickness and decease (Argument from consequences from Sharon)

The Lord said to me the problem is the state of the hearts & the sin of His people who are blinded and have voted foolishly, so the Lord will have to allow the people to learn the hard way & to actually have to wake up by personal suffering & experience….
I too and many ohters I have spoken to suffered greatly on that first night really struggling with the Lord…and on Sunday night, the Lord lead me to Jn 11 and the Lazarus story, yet again (Emphasis and hyperlink added. Very cheeky, Hilary)

Praise the Lord and pass the tinfoil

I think we actually are going to experience some things that we need not have endured… ( like the 40 years in the wilderness.. due to the idolitary etc.. .. reminds me too ” oh foolish Galations.. who has bewitched you”…)
I also really feel deeply for John Howard,. (Me too, Marg. Me too.)

Very well written – couldn’t agree more; this nation is headed straight toward end times and has joined the ranks – need we have been surprised? (John & Louise)

I could hardly sleep last Saturday night for anguish as to what was happening in the election. I saw the jubilation from the Labor camp as releasing a demonic flow over the country, a vicious rabble that had been waiting, scrapping behind the starting barriers, to burst out upon their legal release: the announcement of Labor victory. They knew they were about to get freedom. They had already cornered and achieved confusion in Howard who, not having enough knowledge or power through the Holy Spirit, had crumbled on some major as well as minor issues, providing further fuel for the blind amongst Christian brothers and sisters to vote against him.(Clare)

Some months before the election I talked with a spirit-filled pastor who has a lot of contact with parliamentarians in Canberra. Not long beforehand he had been phoned up by Kevin Rudd asking for prayer. It wasn’t my place to ask more, but the pastor volunteered that Kevin Rudd was unequally yoked to Julia Gillard. She represents the socialist left wing of the Labour Party. While not electable in her own right as a Prime Minister, I expect she will use her anti-Christian influence as Jezebel did through Ahab. (Malcolm McCaskill)

Your reference to “wolves in sheep’s clothing” is particularly appropriate as this is the tactic used by the Fabian Society in the world and Australia – to subtly infiltrate the key areas of society and gain social change and power. I understand that the Fabian Society’s original symbol was a wolf in sheep’s clothing but was changed as this was too obvious to what they were on about. The Fabian Society has a long history of anti-Christian activity (including shocking acceptance of depraved sexual practices), and I understand that the current membership of the Australian branch is composed of Gough Whitlam (president) and a number of former Labor prime ministers. The Fabian Society’s links and debt to Lenin is alive and well, and their influence on the Labor spirit is also alive and well.

The Labor Party is actually not a political party at all – it masquerades as one. It is a religious party with its doctrine being humanism, atheism, and naturalism, and its god is man (that is, the glorification of man to solve all problems in the world and society to the blasphemous exclusion of its Creator – God). (David)

Theocracy

The Father did not ask His Children for much, not as much as His has asked of others; He did not ask us to be imprisoned for this election/He did not ask us to give our life for this election/No, all He asked was that we follow His Will (He wasn’t taking our freedom of choice He would never do that, He gave us a choice: Follow His Will/Don’t follow His Will)…it was all very simple what He was asking His people.

We as the Father’s Children were meant to stand in the gap for those who don’t know Him. (Cindy. That’s chilling.)

But I wonder how long the following comments will last . . .

Thank you for the explaination. But why are you so frightened by the ALP win?

I am a Christian – and I don’t believe I have to be Right-Wing to be so. I probably did not vote the way you did. Does this mean, in your mind, that I am not a listening, committed Christian.

I have close connections with your home country Sri Lanka. And I have seen what awful things happen in that nation when the Buddhists try to be involved in politics.

You claim that your prophecy regarding John Howard being elected was stymied by the Christians who did not agree with you. Were they not listening to God?

It is right that we test prophecy. I am sure you agree. Do you know that many Christians and Christian leaders in this nation were praying for an end to dishonest government and trusted that God would work through Kevin Rudd, another Christian?

Are we wrong and you are right? Have you seriously searched your heart about this? (Bryan)

I thought the correct answer was YES I did get it wrong!!!

However you won’t publish any comments that differ from your point of view.

Thank God that His wisdom is greater than your’s. I will pray for you. (Rod)

Danny,
I know the Lord has plans for good for all who follow his word and accept his son Jesus. You spoke at my church and I believe your prophesy extended to Peter Costello. Could you please comment.

Also you published on your website a prophesy of Kenneth Copeland:

“God’s man in Australia stood up and publicly declared Australia a Christian nation! ‘If you want to come here and join us in our Christian faith you are welcome here but don’t think you can come in here and try and force some other religion here on us and don’t think you are going to tell us how to believe God and who we are going to worship.’ He publicly did that,

now this is no time for that man to be defeated. Well he’s not going to be. Amen.

He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. He is Lord over Australia! It has been announced! Amen.”

It would appear this prophesy was false? Could you please comment. (Brendan Willis)

Commenter James Garth published his “Open Letter to Pastor Nalliah” on his own blog.





The Wonderful World of Magical Thinking XXXIV

27 11 2007

The week in fundie . . .

  1. The Opus Dei wing of the Liberal Party is being blamed by moderates for the fall of the Howard Government. (While they’re at it, they might also throw some blame at Howard himself for backing Silas in Mitchell.) (Sydney Morning Herald)
  2. The Australian Christian bookstore chain Koorong (along with other Christian book retailers) has indicated that it will be unlikely to stock a new Bible study guide challenging the notion that the Bible excludes same-sex relationships. (The Age)
  3. A British primary school teacher in the Sudan faces a maximum of 40 lashes, six months in jail and a fine for the dastardly crime of “allegedly insulting Islam’s prophet by allowing children to call a teddy bear Mohammed.” You have got to be fucking kidding me. (AFP; see also Pharyngula)
  4. I’ll let this grab from a Cutting Edge radio transcript speak for itself:
    The demons of Satan’s army will soon physically manifest themselves as Aliens, arriving in armadas of space ships which we have heretofore called UFO’s. The plan calls for them to suddenly appear at many places on Earth simultaneously. Some will appear at the White House to confer with the President; some will appear at the United Nations; other aliens will appear at key governmental buildings all over the globe. Aliens will appear in some people’s homes or on their front yards. The world’s peoples will literally be shocked out of their minds. This is the Plan. This may occur before the worldwide Rapture of the Church; we must be prepared to deal wisely with this planned phenomenon.

    (Via Fundies Say the Darndest Things)

  5. “Nice soul you have here. Awful shame if something were to happen to it.” More standover tactics by Catholic clergy (obviously from the Pell wing) in the US. (The story comes via Fundies Say the Darndest Things. The mobster reference should be credited to Denis Loubet of the Non-Prophets)
  6. I just had a look at the Australian Christian Lobby’s list of what it considers are the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian Greens’ policies. Among the “weaknesses” the Lobby identifies are the Greens’ support for a Bill of Rights, and their support for the extension of anti-discrimination legislation to (partially-taxpayer-funded) private schools as well as public schools–a reminder, if any were required, of how the ACL and the Religious Right in Australia generally are no friends of liberal democracy.

UPDATE: Off-topic, but Phillip Adams really sums up why Labor’s victory is so sweet.

Humor via Atheist Media:





Don’t let the door hit you on your way out

25 11 2007




Election ’07: Whither the religious moderates?

30 10 2007

“The centre needs to be reaffirmed,” says Alister McGrath. “I want to make it clear, I have no doubt there are some very weird religious people who might well be dangerous, but those of us who believe in God, know that, and we’re doing all we can to try and minimise their influence.” I seriously doubt it. All I seem to hear from religious moderates nowadays is bitching and moaning about how the mean and nasty atheists–sorry–”new atheists”–don’t understand religion and how wonderful it is. (There are exceptions, of course). Even McGrath is “doing all he can” to minimise the influence of the religious nutjobs: he’s in Australia “helping evangelicals brush up on their arguments against The God Delusion” (emphasis added).

Meanwhile, the loudest and most influential voices in Australian Christendom belong to the Religious Right. You don’t believe me? Back in August the Australian Christian Lobby was able to organise a National Press Club event, broadcast live across the country, in which both John Howard and Kevin Rudd addressed 200 church figures. That’s influence.

Whither the religious moderates when this was taking place?

Want more evidence? Try this one on: it is actually possible, in a secular liberal democracy such as Australia, for someone who advocates the teaching of faith-based pseudoscience in the science classrooms of public schools, and who considers homosexuality to be a “perversion,” to gain preselection as a candidate in a major political party. Instead of laughing and mocking him all the way back to his megachurch, enough party members consider him a suitable representative of their political organisation.

Whither the religious moderates in the Liberal Party, and why aren’t they doing all they can to minimise the influence of this breed of nutjob, not to mention his supporters?

Now the Australian Christian Lobby has set its sights on Labor. Kevin Rudd wears his love for Baby Jesus on his sleeve, so the ACL is seeking to wedge him on the issues that should be closest to the heart of any Christian. No, not poverty. No, not the environment. I mean the really important stuff, like “family values”–which basically translates as gay marriage, abortion, porn on the intertubes and gay marriage. The Religious Right was able to wedge Labor on the gay marriage issue back in 2004, and Labor of course dropped its pants, bent over, stuffed the ball gag into its mouth and willingly submitted. Will it happen again? Probably.

Whither the religious moderates in the Labor Party? Kevin Rudd marked his ascendancy to the leadership of the Labor Party with a Monthly essay that, with its emphasis on the social-gospel element of Christianity, threatened to pull out the rug from beneath the Religious Right. He had the cojones to stick it to the fundies back then; does he still possess them now, or will he be reduced to shameless pandering? The ACL certainly hopes so.

Meanwhile, Australia’s foremost member of the Spanish Inquisition has offered an apologia for the continued legal discrimination against gays. “Same-sex marriage and adoption changes the meaning of marriage, family, parenting and childhood for everyone, not just for homosexual couples,” says Cardinal Pell, without offering any supporting evidence. His comments have the support, naturally, of the ACL’s Jim Wallace, who says:

[Discrimination] is not something that is necessarily a bad concept, [. . .] I think what we’re talking about here is making sure that while we remove unfair discrimination, that we do not allow a very small part of the population to force their model for relationships to be adopted as the community norm, when it isn’t.

OH NOES!!! Ending discrimination against gays = MANDATORY BUGGERY!!!

[Wallace] says the problem is that equal rights for gay families complicate the definition of family.

“It confuses children and it’s suggested that this is a normal and healthy alternative,” he said.

OH NOES!! Ending discrimination against gay familes = LITTLE CHILDREN BEING SEDUCED INTO A LIFETIME OF BUGGERY!!!

Whither the religious moderates on this issue? Why aren’t they doing all they can to minimise the influence of this Bronze-Age model of morality?

No, I guess it’s easier to whine about the mean and nasty atheists not understanding religion and how wonderful it can be. Meanwhile, the Religious Right’s two-pronged (Protestant-fundie, and Catholic-fundie) assault on secular liberal democracy continues unabated. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now: we need people in Australian politics who are willing to speak up for the Enlightenment constituency (and religious moderates, frankly, can’t be trusted to do it). We think, and we vote.

P.S. I wasn’t the only one unimpressed with the recent Religion Report interview with Alister McGrath. It is being roundly panned on the ABC Guestbook.





Election ’07: What’s in it for secular democracy?

14 10 2007

You will be aware by now that a federal election has been called for November 24th–an election anticipated with a faint whiff of hope by those of us on the latte left, and undoubtedly with dread by those on the Nescafe right. (A recent poll indicates that Labor has an eighteen-point start on the Coalition.)

Now, the reasons for voting out the Coalition government are manifold: Workchoices, the underfunding of public education, teacher-bashing, material support for the Burmese military junta’s repression of pro-democracy groups, homophobic marriage laws (and opposition to civil partnership legislation), its disgusting treatment of asylum seekers, its equally disgusting policy on African refugees, the politicisation of the public service, the injustices meted out to David Hicks and Mohammed Haneef, the AWB scandal, and the intimidation and attempted silencing of its critics. By no means is that list exhaustive–I’m sure you can think of more reasons.Actually, I can. There can be no doubt that the Howard years have been–to say the least–detrimental to the health of liberal democracy in Australia. And one the main vehicles of the Howard Government’s assault on liberal democracy has been its alliance with the religious right–modelled, surely, on a similar alliance between the GOP and the (Christian) religious right in the US that, until the 2006 Congressional elections, proved to be a successful formula. The alliance has manifested itself overtly at times: Government figures falling over themselves to address megachurch congregations and endorse Christian Right initiatives like the National Day of Thanksgiving. (Sadly, Labor figures have also jumped on the bandwagon.) At other times, the religion-baiting has been more subtle: witness the “values debate” regarding public schools, for instance, or the school chaplaincy programme. Furthermore, the Howard Government has not been above backroom deals with sects at the more extreme and ultraconservative ends of the Catholic and Protestant spectra: Opus Dei and the Exclusive Brethren.

Surely, for the secularist, there can be no question regarding who not to vote for on November 24th. But how secular-friendly–and therefore how democracy-friendly–are some of the other parties?

Labor: On various issues–most notably the 2004 Federal ban on same-sex marriage–Labor has marched in lockstep with the Howard Government, and has been–probably for reasons of political expediency (though Labor still got its arse handed to it on a plate in the 2004 election)–equally keen to kowtow to Christian fundamentalists. Kevin Rudd, however, has sought to reposition, or perhaps re-emphasise Labor as a party of the religious left: his Monthly article “Faith and Politics”, besides marking his own entrance onto the main stage of the Australian political scene, brilliantly undermined the dominance of conservative voices in Australian Christianity by reminding Christians of the social-justice traditions of their faith. (And in retrospect, his appearance at the Australian Christian Lobby’s Fundython in August probably needs to be seen in that light.) If The Australian‘s Paul Kelly is to be believed, a Rudd Labour government–given the willingness of its leader to wear his Christianity on his sleeve–does not bode well for secularism in Australia. But I don’t know. I daresay that, on the whole, the religious left is certainly more secular-friendly than the religious right–despite the boneheaded remarks of Jim Wallis–and Rudd’s brand of religio-politics would surely be an improvement over the Howard model (and a damn sight more cerebral).

The Greens . . . well, it is difficult to find much on the Greens wrt secularism, and that is probably a good sign. They are strongly in favour of abortion rights, stem cell research, and LGBT rights, for starters, and as a consequence have found themselves the subject of attacks by the Christian Democratic Party, Family First , the Catholic magazine AD2000, Sydney Anglicans and the Exclusive Brethren. Their education policies in particular are–on the whole–sensible and fair, but I’m especially impressed by their call to “extend to private schools the anti-discrimination measures that apply in public schools.” Two thumbs up.

The Australian Democrats: Of the “major” minor parties, the Australian Democrats stand alone in openly advocating the separation of church and state. They have also called for a Bill of Rights. Therefore: three thumbs up, since on many other issues that have some bearing on secularism or the relationship between religion and politics, their policies are very similar to the Greens’.

Family First: Erm . . . how did they get in there?

One Nation: What the hey?

I should also give a shout-out to the Secular Party of Australia, which will be running for Senate election in the upcoming election.

Fun fact: A 2006 study found that “Less than half Australia’s young people say they believe in a god, and many believe there is little truth in religion.”





Anti-Howard propaganda on YouTube

17 07 2007

The “Search for a Scapegoat” series is brilliant:

Episode 1

Episodes 2 and 3 over the fold . . .


Episode 2

Episode 3

Stay tuned for further episodes.

Also:

John Howard Asleep on Climate Change (ALP ad)

The Complete Walks of John Howard (The Chaser)

John Howard on Climate Change and Global Warming (Clarke and Dawe)








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