Friday, 20 April 2012

Melbourne Expansion Plan - Can Adelaide do this ?

I see there is a report in Adelaide's AdelaideNow about an expansion plan for Melbournes CBD. See the story here:

Brian Tee is obvioulsy against it, maybe he is just one of the visionless ones, who wants to hold everything back so it simply remains as it is ... the point I am making is at least people are talking about going forward rather than just sitting back and doing nothing.

Oh how I wish we could have visionaries such as Matthew Guy here in Adelaide instead of the old farts we have in the South Australian government and Adelaide City Council. Our people can't even plan what to do with Victoria Square let alone a gigantic plan like this. It's only now they are looking to revitalise the boring dark Torrens river precinct in a bid to copy Melbournes famed Southbank. The Government and Adelaide City Council seem to be oblivious to the fact that we have been yelling and jumping up and down for years for something like this to happen... but no ..... lets not change Adelaides backward thinking mentality and look to revitalise a somewhat boring city.

A friend of mine came over recently to stay in Adelaide for a few days - his first visit here - this is his very first text message to me after he arrived and got settled into his city based hotel. I quote (verbatim)

"Hi guys, its ??????. We are here in Adelaide!. What a strange city! Everything closes so early. We had McDonalds for dinner because we couldn't find any other places to eat. Me and ?????? are going to explore the city tomorrow then maybe we could all go somewhere for dinner".

I have replaced names with ???????

OK, in fairness to our quiet little city. Our visitors weren't aware of eateries in Gouger, Rundle and Hutt Street's. Well, they weren't aware the evening of their arrival anyway, but its such a shame that their first impression of Adelaide is of a boring nothing happening city.

We need to attract visitors to help our tourism and hospitality industries. We also need to attract investment and we need to appeal to people to want to move to Adelaide for a better life. I would rather have us appeal to the younger person to want to make the move here. How many times have we heard about the older retiree's selling up there modest house in Sydney or Melbourne and  moving to Adelaide, build their dream house and then fully retire. Great stuff, but we don't want to become known as a big retirement village.

We need people with real vision in the right spots in government and council. I dont know how many times I've heard of developments knocked back because of heritage buildings in the area .. blah blah. Thousands of other cities in the world seem to blend the modern with the heritage easily.. but not Adelaide. Rome is a perfect example. They blend the new and old together so easily, and in some cases, join new buildings with heritage Roman facades to create a totally new modern/heritage building. Is Adelaide just being over protective? Do we have the right people with the right vision in power?

When are we going to get action? I saw a plan two or three years ago for Victoria Square, and of course, nothing has happened. Then, the Adelaide City Council wastes money on  putting a bike lane into a road so wide you can fit three tanks into it, then pat themselves on the back for being creative. If Adelaide City Council were really concerned about bike riders, why don't they tackle the hard roads like King William Street, rather than wasting time and money putting bike lanes in Sturt Street which is already so wide, there is plenty of room for both bikes and cars as it is.

To make a point, I took the aforementioned visitors to Adelaide up to Windy Point to view the Adelaide lights. They were suitably impressed, and one asked "What's the black spot in the middle". I had to embarrassingly reply that that was Victoria Square - the centre of Adelaide. I often feel for the guests at the Hilton Hotel on the square, when they leave the hotel to be faced with a bleak dark boring nothingness which, if you're lucky, may have the fountain working. If the council is not going to do anything with Victoria Square, at least liven it up by underlighting the tree's with green and yellow lights, even put some fairy lights in the tree's. Colour the fountain lights in beautiful blues and reds every now and then for something different. At least, make the square something pleasant to walk through instead of the bleak darkness that it is.

Come on people, start jumping up and down for action. Everything just seems to take so long to do in Adelaide. I would like to see the Torrens precinct done before I die ... which hopefully won't be for a while yet! And to the designers and architects.. do it justice. Make our Torrens precinct something fantastic which overseas visitors will go back home and talk about for ages with their friends. At the moment, its dark and gloomy except for a row of lights next to the river. I would love to see restaurants and cafe's over looking the water which will have new water features and possibly a 'state of the art' dancing fountain to thrill on-lookers, just like Melbournes big flaming towers on Southbank. (As a side note. I would love those towers here along the banks of the Torrens from King William Street to the Morphett Street bridge, but that would be too copycat!! Damn!). Light up all the tree's in the Torrens precinct along War Memorial Drive and around the Festival Theatre!. How spectacular would that look whilst evening concerts are being held instead of the dark gloom that it is now?

Anyway, we'll wait (and no doubt wait some more) and see if anything happens. It is Adelaide after all.

Get Real

Why are religions homophobic ? Christian. Muslim. Islamic.

 The following story has been copied and pasted from AdelaideNow. My comments are in blue.

I would love some Muslim/Islamic people to comment on this story (or any faith for that matter). I scratch my head at times about this world we live in. At the end of the day, we all come under the umbrella of mankind. One would think that as the highest evolved species on this planet, we should have the capacity to understand and live peacefully with each other, but nothing could be further from the truth. If there is a God, he must be very disappointed with what he has created and the intolerance the various religions and religious followers have for each other. What really pisses me off about the following story, is that it seems in Iraq, you don't even need to have proof of a persons sexuality before action is taken against them. I certainly don't view ''emos'' as necessarily being gay, in fact, the (few) emo's I know are all straight - both guys and girls. I put the following questions to you:

1. How do you justify killing a person because of their sexuality?

2. Why does it appear to the Western world that the Muslim/Islamic religion controls its followers through the threat of violence and oppression? Is this perception real or misguided?

3. Why does the Muslim/Islamic religion not have tolerance towards people who are different (sexuality etc)?

4. Wouldn't the world be fantastic if we could all have respect and tolerance towards each other? We could each have our own religion and respect that our neighbour has his or her own religion, but that's OK, what my neighbour does has no effect on me.

5. Why is it, that certain religions have no tolerance of other religions?

6. Who or what gives any religion the power to say "Our religion is the one and only"?

7. If there was no threat of violence or death, I wonder how many religious people would change their religion or give up religion totally?

8. If you are religious, do you truthfully feel that your chosen religion is tolerant?

9. If you were Muslim/Islamic and living in Iraq, and your son decided he wanted to be ''trendy'' and dress similarly to an Emo, and then he was punished and killed for that even though he was heterosexual, how would you feel?

Do you support what the news story reports? Are you against it? I welcome all comments from any person whether religious or not.

Get Real

Morality police stone 'emos' to death in Iraq

"Emo" teenagers have been targeted by moral police. Picture: File
  • Fifteen "emo" teens been killed by morality police
  • Stoned, beaten to death or shot in path month 
  • "A new surge of anti-gay violence" linked to bashings 
IRAQI teenagers widely perceived to be gay are being brutally killed in Baghdad with Shi'ite militias distributing lists of targets warning of further assaults.
At least 15 teenagers, described as "emos" for their tight-fitting black clothes and alternative hairstyles, have been stoned, beaten to death or shot dead in the past month, medics say.
Reports have also said some of them had their heads smashed with concrete blocks.
Human rights groups say the death toll is far higher amid accusations of a cover-up by security forces.
Witnesses in the conservative Shi'ite Muslim bastion of Sadr City in north Baghdad say a militia group calling itself the Brigades of Anger has posted leaflets naming 22 youths to be "punished".
Medical officials said at least 15 have been killed in the past month, including seven who were stoned to death, five who were shot and one who was beaten to death. At least two victims were girls.
"Police generally take care of all these incidents," said one of the officials, who declined to be named. "They don't like medics or ambulances to take them. Two days ago, the body of a teenager was found in Bayaa - he was evacuated by police."
In Western youth culture, emo refers only to appearance and musical preference and carries no connotation about a person's sexual orientation.
In Iraq, however, the term is widely associated with being gay, which remains taboo in the conservative Muslim country.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, based in New York, said a "new surge of anti-gay violence" since February in Iraq had led to nearly 40 people kidnapped, tortured and murdered.
"There are no excuses for such heinous human rights violations," said Cary Alan Johnson, the organisation's executive director.
"We demand that the Iraqi government put a stop to the wanton persecution and killing of gay people, and that the perpetrators be punished."
Iraq's interior ministry said in a March 8 statement that it had not recorded any anti-gay or anti-emo killings. It said the recent murders in the capital had been for "revenge, or social, criminal, political or cultural reasons".
In a February 13 statement that remains on its website, however, it said emos were "devil-worshippers" and the ministry "has official approval to eliminate them as soon as possible".
In the statement, police Colonel Mustaq Talib Mohammedawi, described as chief of Baghdad's "social police", said his forces would enter the capital's schools as part of its efforts to target the "phenomenon".
The violence has drawn criticism from religious leaders, with Shi'ite cleric Mohammed al-Yaqoubi arguing that any response to emo teenagers should be confined to "advice, guidance and knowledge".
Iraqi human rights ministry spokesman Kamil al-Amin said any government response should not extend beyond "education".
Human Rights Watch warned in August 2009 of Iraqi militias torturing and executing men they suspected of homosexuality, and accused authorities of turning a blind eye to the violence.
The New York-based group said hundreds of men were kidnapped, tortured and killed that year in a wave of violence that began in the Sadr City stronghold of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
London-based Amnesty International wrote a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in April 2009 urging government protection for homosexuals.
Homosexuality is forbidden in Islam, frowned upon in Arab society and illegal in many Middle Eastern countries. Iraq has no law against homosexuality but prominent religious authorities have harshly condemned it.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

More information Google wants from us .. Not good

I went to log into my Google Blogger account today (this blog) and found Google asking me for my phone number ''for security purposes'' .. to make it harder for would be hackers to gain access to my blog. OK, I understand the security thing, but why does it have to be a phone number? Why couldn't it have been another password? This doesn't worry me so much as I'm reasonably secure online, but I'm sure there'll be many who just blindly give away their mobile or home phone numbers without a second thought.

Is this a big deal? Well consider this. Google already know who whereabouts you are .. what city etc. There are web companies that offer you to enter a phone number and it will show the address of that number, or possibly, Google has that ability itself. Suddenly, Google has your address and phone number now. It monitors all your web activity - at least through Google search - and no doubt through your emails, web activity etc through your Android mobile phone.

I've posted previously on Googles ever growing private data bank, and I'm certainly not the type of person who makes assertions about Big Brother and the like, but it still concerns me a tad over the amount of information being kept by companies.

The UK is in the midst of the government wanting to monitor all web and telephone activity by users. It wants to monitor numbers called, duration, the calling number, your IP address, the web sites you visit, how long you are on the site, the email addresses you send messages to .. and it's all under the guise of better protection againt terrorists. The government says the content of the emails is not accessed, nor recording of phone conversations. Would you believe your government when it tells you things like this? If I was in London right now, I'd be organising rallies and protests all around the country. We will not take it and don't want it. And of course, it's all being done for the good of the nation.

OK, many will argue that all these different types of intrusion don't mean anything if you are not doing anything wrong. I agree. But what I hate seeing is the greater and greater control and restrictions placed on us, all under the guise of being for our own good. Remember when US companies touted having your kids microchipped in case of kidnapping or the child being lost? Great, but what happens when the child grows up and is an adult. In the wrong hands - CIA or FBI  - could they use this for tracking purposes?

If you go and visit your 'secret' mistress 30 kilometres away and if you own an Android phone, there's a good possibility Google will know your whereabouts. This in itself is not a worry, but with the new Google privacy and data collection changes, what if Google start selling this information to private investigators through one of its "affiliated" security companies? Could a wifes Lawyer sub poena Google to hand over the information as to her husbands whereabouts so it could be used in divorce proceedings?

America is another example of citizens gradually losing their rights over time. If the Patriot act is enabled, a citizen just about loses all rights. And, of course, it's all introduced with the ''good of the nation at heart''. In addition, the American government have wanted to control the internet for a long time. I'm not sure what this would entail? Maybe a system similar to what the UK government wants to commit to ?

Australia is another country who wanted to introduce a 'net filter' to filter out undesirable websites (child porn etc). Great, I'm all for that, but may people who opposed the introduction saw it as a way for the government to gradually introduce tougher and harder regulation. The ''list'' of banned websites was (fortunately) leaked to the media, and low and behold contained websites that had absolutely nothing to do with child porn or even remotely terrorist. If I remember right, it had a hair salon website on it. OK, this was obviously a mistake, but it points to the fact that government very often don't get it right. Since the ''list'' of banned websites was supposed to be kept a secret - from the general public at least - the citizens of Australia were a little concerned that just about any website could be added to the list by current and future governments. A conservative government might add pro-abortion websites, Islamic websites ... Do you see what I mean ?

The various governments around the world already do clandestine stuff behinds our backs, which is why the Wikileaks drama was so intense. The governments got caught out, in particular the American government. It embarrassed the shit out of them which is why they made it their target to get Assange at all costs, and I would not be at all surprised to know that the so called sexual assault charges against Assange are all trumped up to get hold of him and get him onto American soil.

The lesson to the American government should be easy. STOP STICKING YOUR NOSES INTO EVERYONE ELSES BUSINESS. You will not achieve your aim of turning the world into a mini America. The rest of the world know the American government only get involved if there's something America can make out of it. Nothing is done for the sake of another nation and the goodwill of that nation.

To end a long post, the point I am making is don't be fooled into giving up your private information willy nilly. Look at what your information could be used for. Even if it's harmless advertising landing on your doorstep, it can be more than that. Google asked for my phone number to further verify my login to Blogger. I didn't give it, but it's only optional now, but will probably become mandatory. In this case, I'll give a false number. In reality, they probably have my number anyway? Also, don't be one of the persons who just sits back and lets the government (and Google) just introduce stuff .. all for our good of course. Email and write to the people concerned and tell them you are against the introduction of 'so & so'. It still may be introduced, but if the government were to know if they introduced monitoring of the internet, the people will have them out at the next election, they'd think twice.

It's about PEOPLE POWER. In South Australia, like many other capital cities, we are currently undergoing major price hikes in utilities - electricity, water etc. Just imagine SA Waters response if 100,000 water users refuse to pay their bills? It would be impossible for SA Water to cut off all those meters, and at the end of the day, would create a huge cash flow problem within SA Water. Got them by the balls? YEP. The government would no doubt intervene in the matter, and maybe its a good thing that we would push the government to do something. It's long been shown that privatisation DOES NOT MAKE THE PRICE COME DOWN despite the government telling us it will. But, just imagine the worldwide publicity it would generate, and it might just make people get off their bums and start standing up to companies such as Google and even the peoples own governments.

People Power, People

Get Real

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Derryn Hinch and THAT pedophile - Name and shame the bastard

Derryn, you are one of the most honest blokes in Australia and I applaude you for taking this stand against that pedophile. You can access Derryns website at:

If the website falls over. I have copy and pasted the story into an internal file on my computer for keepsake. Email me if you want a copy.

What was District Court Judge Ken Taylor thinking when he granted a suppression order? What a load of bollocks, and it truly goes to show how our legal system and judges are out of touch with reality and the expectations of society. They live in a fairy world and apparently don't care much for the victims rights.

Who gives a fuck that the accused will have a reduced ''earning capacity'' when he gets out of jail ? Did anybody ask the victim if she's had a reduced earning capacity after being molested ? NO. District Court Judge Ken Taylor, I think you really should look hard at yourself after granting that supression order. Get your priorities and the rights of the victim in line first, before the pedophile in question. You are supposed to be upholding law and order and be on the victims side.

As for the victim, you have to be strong, as you are indeed a role model for other people in your position. If you continue to cower and hide from this pedophile, even from jail, he has you frightened and in his grasp.

Anthony Bellanto, QC, what can we say... you were under instruction from your client. I'm sure you felt disgusted having to apply for a supression order, but given you were being paid and under instruction, you have no choice in the matter.

As a post script, I love the way that electronic media is changing the unfair ways of the legal system. We had the case in South Australia of Jason Downie who has pleaded guilty to murdering 3 members of the Rowe family at Kapunda. His name was suppressed, but due to the diligence of Facebook and other social networking site members, the unfairness of the supression order was bypassed. I understand that some supression orders are granted so as to not create situations whereby an accused is believed guilty by the public even before it gets to court. The double standard with this is that it tends to be widely reported that ''an offender was arrested with the help of DNA evidence'', and so, given the general public have been brainwashed into thinking that DNA evidence is totally infallible, it's fair to say the general public will automatically assume the accused is guilty. Some of these people in the general public may then end up being on a jury for the accused. Surely this is another way a case can be tainted (in the favour of the prosecution).

I believe there are times when supression orders are allowable but certainly not to protect a pedophile found guilty by a court of law.

Good on you Derryn, keep up the good work. And to the Judges that hear these cases, get real. I would have named the pedophile on this blog myself, and even though I'm not in NSW, I don't want to tempt fate just in case I'm wrong.