Waihopai jury – I’m on your side.

March 20, 2010

The next tinpot “security expert”, armchair jurist or newspaper columnist who farts on about how the jury in the Waihopai sickle-slash case “got it wrong” is in for a big surprise.

I am [note to dribblejaws],” metaphorically”, not literally, going to ride my bike over to their place and slash them a new wingnut with my scythe.

The jury made a decision based on the evidence and the arguments presented. A not guilty verdict is still a verdict.

Leave it at that, but no…this is political, so the jury’s fucked and the law’s an ass. At least that’s true if you think the war in Iraq and the presence of Kiwi SAS troops in Afghanistan is a good thing.

Well I don’t. I think the jury got it right and I think that the verdict shows that ordinary New Zealanders are sick and fucking tired of the lies about “freedom” and “defending” our way of life while we [the major western powers] casually murder women and children “over there”. al Qaeda is not coming to the rugby world cup, so we should leave the Afghan people alone too.

Waihopai jury: congratulations on a sane and honourable verdict.

[Sunday morning update: I know I’m right, Michael Laws takes a reasonable stand:

12 completely mad Wellingtonians staged their own protest and found three guilty “peace” activists not guilty. Lord knows why. A protest at the food, or the rate of pay? A sick St Patrick’s Day joke? Whatever the spite, it was a perverse finding. (Deluded jury lets greenies plant seeds of terrorism)

Blame the jury Michael, that’s the ticket]

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Three strikes in one day for brave judge: silly man

January 20, 2010

A Christchurch judge has probably brought his tenure to a premature end after a  comment from the bench in an opposed bail hearing. Brave and right but probably career-limiting.

Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders made some very apt political comments from the bench about the government’s ridiculously popularist, but pisspoor “three strikes” legislation for punishing habitual offenders, most of whom are likely to be pisspoor and P-addicted.

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Four interesting items in the New York Times

September 12, 2008

I picked up the New York Times yesterday, it’s a thinsheet too, like the LA Times.I ripped out four pages from the newspaper, only one of them was a piece of journalism.

Columnist Bob Herbert wrote a great piece about the proud achievements of what Americans coyly call “liberals”. That is US citizens with a modicum of intelligence and a social conscience.  I put that last bit in there to distinguish them from intelligent conservatives-they’re the ones who know they’re f&8k9nG the rest of us over and get sadistic pleasure from it. They’re the ones who know it’s torture, think it’s OK and actually enjoy it being done to “terrrrists”.

Herbert’s column’s called “Hold your heads up” and it argues well that American liberals should be proud of who they are and not ashamed to be identified as liberals, even though it’s a swear word in the red states.

The other stuff I pulled was a series of interesting display ads.

[dribblejaws alert-you should go here]

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Gopalan Nair – a new charge and a tight chain

June 17, 2008

Singapore blogger, lawyer and general pain in the ass of the Singapore government, Gopalan Nair was back in court Monday. He is now facing new charges and his bail conditions mean that he has to report to the police station every morning at 9am and can be held there all day.

His life is on hold, but there is virtual silence from the blogosphere. What’s happened to all of the hype about freedom of expression.

Turn your back until it’s your turn to be persecuted, then wonder why you’re alone.

Do not forget the case of Gopalan Nair. Singapore today, where next?

Chia Ti Lik’s update 17 June 2008

Gopalan Nair free on bail – still facing charges

June 6, 2008

I just saw an AFP news feed, 8 hours ago [around 7 on Thursday evening Sydney time], saying the Singapore blogger Gopalan Nair has been released. As of now I can’t find any coverage in the NZ Herald or the Dominion Post.

Nair posted $5000 bail and walked out of prison after four days, but without his US passport. Nair arrived in Singapore on 25 May and challenged authorities to come and get him from his hotel.

He had posted his room and phone numbers on Singapore Dissident [link inside]. Gopalan’s charged with insulting a judge in a defamation case involving two of his political allies. His blog, regularly criticises the government.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is protesting Nair’s arrest. He was in Singapore to cover the defamation trial involving Democratic Party activists Dr. Chee Soon Juan and Chee Siok Chin.

That trial is also a story worth following as Nair is trapped in Singapore and now facing serious defamation charges himself.

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Solidarity with Peter McGregor

August 28, 2007

I reproduce here a news piece written by my friend Antonio about another friend Peter.
Civil liberties in Australia are under threat and the right to protest is very limited indeed.

This story will be published on Saturday in City Hub. As Dr. Maria Angel (UWS) said: “Peter may not do things the way that each one of us might choose to, but what has happened to him is a breach of civil liberty and the principle of free speech.”
A group of UWS academics have written to Hilmer, Dr. Williams and Dr. Lynch requesting to drop the charges against Peter McGregor – a former UWS academic.

Too much law and liberty

By Antonio Castillo
Arresting academics for speaking out is usually associated
with dictatorships and governments unable to deal with
When former academic Peter McGregor was arrested and charged
last July while attending the Gilbert & Tobin Symposium on
“Law & Liberty in the War on Terror” at the University of New
South Wales, the irony of the situation was quickly replaced
by outrage.
A group of academics from the University of Western Sydney
where Mr McGregor was a well-respected lecturer wrote: “To
prosecute Mr Macgregor for exercising the rights the Gilbert
& Tobin Centre and its staff have been on public record
supporting and advocating would seem to be contradictory and
hypocritical. We believe that Universities need to be places
where robust debate and differences of opinion can be
expressed without fear of reprisal.”
The arrest of the former academic followed his attempt after
the symposium proceedings to peacefully protest against the
presence of Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock, the keynote
speaker. He was removed by police from the event and informed
that his permit to attend the event had been revoked by the
organisers. He was then charged.
“When I registered to attend the Gilbert & Tobin Symposium on
“Law & Liberty in the War on Terror” I was appalled to see
that Attorney-General Philip Ruddock was a ‘keynote’
speaker,” Mr McGregor said. “And that there were two other
speakers from the Attorney-General’s Department and one from
the Australian Defence Association but no speakers from the
anti-war movement, or even the Council for Civil Liberties.”
In a letter to the event organisers Dr George Williams and Dr
Andrew Lynch, University of Western Sydney Law School
Associate Professor Michael Head requested the charge be
dropped. “I call on you to immediately contact the police and
request that the charge be dropped. It would be entirely
hypocritical of you not to do so, while at the same time
writing publicly in defence of the civil liberties of Mohamed
Haneef. McGregor, a retired academic, was wrongly evicted
from the symposium for seeking to make a peaceful and
legitimate protest against the presence of the Attorney-
General,” he said.
Associate Professor Head said many participants had objected
to the false report given to the symposium that McGregor had
“rushed at” Mr Ruddock. “McGregor, who is a well-known
political figure, simply rose to address the audience before
he was frog-marched out by police. Unless you intervene with
the police, you will be involved in using similar methods of
slander and smear as those being used in the attempt to
convict Dr Haneef,” he said.
Mr McGgregor – a member of NSW Council for Civil Liberties –
has pleaded not guilty and the trial will begin on Wednesday
September 5 at Waverley Court.

Addendum: this is going to make some recent visitors Ethical Martini salivate, for others it’s a sad indictment of the current poor state of democracy.