30 March 2012


We received the following letter after sending a donation to assist in the payment of Bradley Manning's defence.

We felt that the message should be spread as widely as possible in the hope that protests around the world will expose the United States and the Obama administration's brutality and illegal and illegitimate use of torture against its own citizens who are incarcerated unlawfully and in appalling conditions.

When you have read the letter click on to the link to the Bradley Manning Support Group and help in any way you are able to:

The letter:

"With your help, we've been able to cover over $125,000 of Bradley's legal defense expenses so far! And we're building an international grassroots campaign in parallel to the legal efforts now underway.

In December (2011), we organized 300 friends of Bradley's to march on Fort Meade, Maryland, during his pre-trial "Article 32" hearing - his first court appearance following 18 months of confinement. I was able to sit a few feet behind Bradley during most of the seven day hearing. He looked healthy, which was a relief in light of the torturous conditions inflicted upon him during his nine months at the US Marine Corps Base Brig at Quantico, Virginia.

Back in May 2011, we won much improved conditions for Bradley at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas because 600,000 individuals took the time to write letters and sign petitions, because thousands called the White House, because 300 top legal scholars decried Bradley's conditions as a clear violation of our Constitution's 5th and 8th Amendments. We won this battle because a hundred citizens engaged in civil disobedience at the White House and at Quantico.

Bradley is again back at Fort Leavenworth awaiting court martial at Fort Meade this spring or summer. As soon as the trial date is announced, we'll again move to organize nationwide events and rallies.

"Brad is aware of the fact that events are happening [to support him]... He has asked me to express how very thankful that he is for the support that he has received so far. Brad has also told me he looks forward to the day that he can express his gratitude in person to those that have rallied to his defense." - Bradley's attorney, David Coombs

Please check out


today to sign the new public statement if you have not already.


Jeff Paterson

Courage to Resist project director for the Bradley Manning Support Network


DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA? with Nozomi HAYASE / Juice Media RAP NEWS from CaTV on Vimeo.

29 March 2012

SBS article in the Green Guide 8 March 2012 by Debi Enker

Those of us who watched SBS during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s watched it precisely because it provided the best news available on television in Australia and always superbly delivered by Mary Kosatakidis and Anton Enus.

The films they showed, the film reviews by David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz provided entertainment that was unique in the Australian context.

The advertisements were never in the middle of programmes and one was able to put up with them precisely because they didn't affect one's viewing pleasure.

This all changed dramatically at the end of 2006 because the person who was the CEO at the time, Shawn Brown, destroyed the jewel in the crown of Australian television in a matter of days.

Mary Kostakidis was insulted and treated appallingly so that her position became untenable and she had to leave.

That was the beginning of the end, and that was followed soon afterwards by the departure of David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz for the ABC. What was SBS's loss was in this instance, the ABC's gain.

SBS just went from one disaster to another and became literally unwatchable - a view obviously shared by many thousands of television watchers.

We are now watching with bated breath to see whether the management change will restore SBS to its former glory. It has a long way to go!!

Here is the SBS article in the Green Guide 8 March 2012 by Debi Enker

One of the dumbest decisions made by SBS in recent years was the introduction in late 2006 of advertising within its programs.

The desperate, short-sighted move by the cash-strapped network infuriated viewers, who were unanimous in their disapproval, and severely damaged the broadcaster’s standing, undermining its unique place in the media landscape.

Before 2006, ads on SBS appeared between programs, or during natural breaks in sporting events. The change in policy eroded precious goodwill and alienated viewers at a time when the free-to-air TV market was becoming increasingly competitive due to the proliferation of digital channels.

The intrusion of ads within programs made the multicultural broadcaster look like a cut-price commercial network.

Unsurprisingly, the initiative failed to provide the projected boost in revenue while also allowing governments that were not keenly committed to funding the broadcaster with a handy excuse to reduce their support.

Last week, a bill to phase out the disruptive breaks was introduced in the Senate by the Greens communications spokesman, Scott Ludlum.

This would be a good time to contact your local member of parliament, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy or shadow minister Malcolm Turnbull, urging them to fund the multicultural broadcaster properly, support moves to end a spectacularly unsuccessful initiative and bring to a close a bleak period that has succeeded only in driving SBS viewers to change channels.

12 March 2012


The silence of the cloth under siege
Chrissie Foster

March 10, 2012

Chrissie Foster and her husband, Anthony, with a portrait of their family, torn apart from church sex crimes. Photo: Craig Sillitoe

FORGET religion. Forget God. This is about the safety of children.

The landmark Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children inquiry, headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, Philip Cummins, has made powerful recommendations about Victorian churches' handling of child sex crimes.

Citing the Catholic Church's system as an example of inadequate child protection, the Cummins report said: ''Any private system of investigation and compensation which has the tendency, whether intended or unintended, to divert victims from recourse to the state, and to prevent abusers from being held responsible and punished by the state, is a system that should come under clear public scrutiny and consideration … Crime is a public, not a private, matter.''

The inquiry believes the closed doors of the Catholic Church need to be opened. Recommendation 48 declares: ''A formal investigation should be conducted into the processes by which religious organisations respond to the criminal abuse of children by religious personnel within their organisations. Such an investigation should possess the powers to compel the elicitation of witness evidence and of documentary and electronic evidence.''

For a long time, victims and their families have been arguing for a royal commission on the Catholic Church's mishandling and cover-ups of child sex crimes. We were pleased with, indeed much relieved by, the findings of the Cummins report.
It is frightening that the church's so-called Melbourne Response, and the similar rest-of-Australia scheme ironically called Towards Healing, have been operating unchallenged by the state for 16 years. In that time the church has minimised payouts to victims and locked away the truth that could make for a safer future for children.

Church authorities keep the facts to themselves. But let us consider, on the evidence that is available to us, just how damaging these schemes have been.
We know that between 1993 and 2011, 65 Victorian Catholic priests and brothers have been convicted in the courts. A further 53 different Catholic priests and brothers have been involved in out-of-court settlements.

That is a total of 118 clergy offenders in Victoria alone. But 118 is not an accurate number. It is a minimum. Many more clergy offenders have eluded media scrutiny and still more have been secreted away in the church's self-serving internal systems.

Only the church knows the true number of offenders. It is time for us all to know.
The career paedophiles of the Catholic Church, who had trust, authority and access to endless numbers of Victorian school children, were living the dream of every paedophile. History tells us the only sanction paedophile priests faced if discovered to be criminals was relocation to another parish. Never laicisation. Never police intervention.

Sexual assaults are costly both to the child and society. Victims suffer directly, and taxpayers foot the bill in supporting and repairing these broken lives.
But the highest price of all is suicide. Clergy childhood sexual assault costs lives. Victoria Police investigations over the past 10 years have shown 35 suicides, most from just two clergy. There are other suicides from other clergy offenders; my daughter is one of them. Sometimes I wonder if these suicides are murder.

In July 2010 the Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, wrote a pastoral letter, stating: ''Since 1996, we have introduced procedures to protect parishioners and children against sexual abuse, and processes have been developed and applied.'' But only seven months earlier, my husband and I had wanted to visit the shower room in the school hall where our paedophile parish priest had raped our five-year-old daughter. We learnt that, 20 years later, the priest was still the only person possessing a key to this secluded room.

Archbishop Hart's letter to parishioners also announced: ''Seminarians are required to undertake study of the church's code of conduct for priests.''
I had to wonder what effect the church's ''code of conduct'' - mere words on paper - would have in deterring a paedophile.

In the past, no threat of the wrath of God from God's law, no threat of laicisation from canon law and no threat of prison from civil law - all words on paper - had ever worked.

But now, time is up for the church. The cries for justice for Victoria's children must be heard. The state government must say yes to a state-led inquiry, as called for by the Cummins report.

Our state must protect our children. We must have a royal commission now.

Chrissie Foster is the co-author of Hell on the Way to Heaven (2010).


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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm