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Bob Hawke and crackers

HawkeStrewth its getting to be a daily ritual for the ALP to drag out a new dinosaur to try to extort money form the party faithful in support  of the ever more desperate Rudd campaign. Maybe when it comes to the Labor government now would be the time to remind readers of that wonderful Monty Python Sketch about a certain Norwegian Blue…

Maybe Kevin is just pining for the fiords…

Cheers Comrades


The privilege of being an Australian

With Australia day coming up and the usual suspects from the left suggesting that we should take up sackcloth and ashes rather than to celebrate the country and its achievements I was rather struck by this little rave from “John the other”.

Although we are not a perfect society we do come pretty close in my humble opinion and personally I think that we are all privileged to be living here and that those who want to divide and deride by the citation of “privilege” are nothing but miserable fools who are welcome to get on the next plane outta here.
Cheers Comrades


Mary, Joseph, Jesus and paternity fraud


“Christ in the house of his father” by Millais

Given the time of year and the fact that Joseph was the archetypal parent who was not the father of the child he raised its probably quite timely to consider these two you tube vids about the issue of paternity fraud:

Does that make you think differently  about the  the Christian mythology about the concretion and birth of their saviour?

Cheers Comrades


This post is dedicated to my brothers who are Christians

From mindfulness and care comes civility , and civility is the foundation of a well functioning society

Mouse Jim

Of course the other side  to the online anonymity issue relates to the use of social media in and about the workplace, and its the possible employment  repercussions from online interactions that advocates for anonymity usually cite as a reason for their position on the matter. However I think that they are quite mistaken on a couple of levels.


click for source

Firstly  when you are on the boss’s dollar you really have no right to carry out personal business or commentary on  life instead of devoting yourself to the tasks for which you are being paid. It has never ceased to amaze me just how many people who comment on blogs (including my own ) or tweet madly away during work hours and this trend has become even more common with the advent of internet capable smart phones which circumvent any restrictions on the use of workplace  computers.

Secondly there is the matter of how what you may post on social media will reflect upon your employer and the incidents described in the image on the right  (from the AGE) are good examples of the possible negative consequences for being an online  fool or smartarse.

Rather than whining about employers taking note of stupid or malicious online behaviour perhaps those who advocate for the impunity of anonymity on the net should instead realise that the other side of the equation is that if people were as well mannered and respectful online as they are obliged to be in “real” life then the chances of them having any negative consequences for an internet presence will be very small indeed.

I have been blogging for exactly seven years this very day* and during that time I have seen a great deal of change in the online environment   the electric country has become populated with far more ordinary folk rather than being mostly populated by the early adopters of the personal computer and as the demographic has changed so to has the expectations of society about this online  part of life. No longer do is  anarchy and a mostly pseudonymous interaction the norm. Most of us have face-book, twitter or some other sort of social media presence and its up to us all to use our online presence with mindfulness and care for the consequences of publication. This is a good thing as I see it because from mindfulness and care comes civility , and civility is the foundation of a well functioning society, which is after all what we want isn’t it?

Cheers Comrades


*Happy Blog day to Moi 🙂  🙂

Pat Condell “Peace in the Middle East”

Pat is clear, lucid and absolutely right here, as I have said many times when faced with an enemy who will not compromise you have two choices, kill them all or surrender, as the latter is not an option then what can you do but try to kill those enemies?

Cheers Comrades

 DEDICATED TO Damian Doyle who is so  in love with the “religion of peace”.

Muslim Rioters In Sydney: Deport Them

Very well put Yale, Sadly even if these rioters have foreign citizenship it would be hard to deport them however we can live in hope that a way could be found to invite them to leave.

Social Media, Online Privacy and Free Speech Anonymity: a guest post by Fiona Causer

Freedom of speech is one of the most treasured rights of citizens of democratic nations around the world. Yet debate about freedom of speech continues in the twenty-first century as technology provides new methods of communication.  For with these new communication channels come new challenges to professionals in the position of protecting these free speech rights.  This makes the demand for savvier legal practitioners even greater than before.  In order to have a chance to defend future victims of violated online trust, many paralegal online education programs are tasked with providing technologically-aware graduates ready to face these potential violations to online privacy and free speech.

More than ten million Australians use Facebook and millions of others use other social media sites such as Twitter and YouTube to share information with friends and families and, sometimes, to express political opinions. While no one suggests that the explosion of social media use should be curtailed, many people are concerned over the forum social networking sites provide for anonymous comments, which can often contain vitriol that the posters would not necessarily express if they were face-to-face with someone with an opposing view.

Many Facebook users assume their posts are viewable only by their friends, but anything that has been posted online can be found and viewed by computer-savvy hackers, sometimes with dramatic consequences. Numerous people have been fired after making derogatory comments on Facebook or Twitter about their employers.

The consequences of some social media posts are far greater than an individual’s firing when the comments are of a political nature. For example, a private site on Facebook used by more than 1000 current and former members of the Australian military was discovered to have numerous posts that were offensive to women, Muslims and immigrants. Hundreds of the posts included expletives and hateful language. The discovery of the site, which has now been shut down, created a scandal in the Australian army and will likely result in the firing of the posters.
In another instance, Tony Mitchell, an Australian teaching English in Bahrain, was fired from his position and deported for writing about the political unrest in the country on his Facebook account. According to an article on NextWeb.com, Mitchell found out that his Facebook page was being monitored by people he had added as friends to his page who then forwarded the information to his university’s human resources department.

Situations such as Mitchell’s may encourage some social media users to create fake identities to protect themselves yet be open about their opinions. However, the ability to hide an identity on social media could lead to abuses if users use their anonymity to write inflammatory posts. If anonymous or false identities become too prevalent, it may be possible that restrictions could be put in place on social media networks to prevent this type of behaviour.

In order to take full advantage of the benefits of social media without compromising a person’s employment or safety, users of social media are advised to be careful about what they post. Embarrassing photos, rude comments about other people, explosive political rants and complaints about work can all cause personal problems such as loss of employment or the loss of important relationships. A good rule of thumb to avoid problems with social media is to assume that every item posted may be read by an employer and a close relative. Anything that would offend either of those people may be better left off a social media site. While freedom of speech is a right that every Australian treasures, with freedom comes responsibility.

Death of a vile anonymous attack blog, a victory to be celebrated and “moving forward”

This is a joint post by Iain Hall & Ray Dixon:

Ray Dixon: As many of you would be aware, Iain and I have been the subjects of a vicious on-line campaign conducted by certain anonymous cretins at an anonymously authored ‘hate-blog’ going by the name of ‘Stalk Watch’.

The SW blog, which has run continuously from late 2009 with literally thousands of often disgusting, untrue & defamatory comments, sanctimoniously claimed – without a hint of irony – to be dedicated to the eradication of Internet “scumbags” & “stalkers”,

HOWEVER, by its very nature and existence, the SW blog was effectively nothing more than a shady vehicle for pissants and cowards to stalk their perceived enemies on the flimsiest pretext of doing the Internet a ‘service’. Give …me … a … break.

The blog masthead depicting Robert De Niro’s Taxi Driver movie character ‘Travis Bickle’ (which name was also the blog author’s alias) with gun pointing, a support cast of creepy characters all using aliases (and many being the same person) and the nature of the commentary, were clearly designed to threaten & intimidate as well as inciting hatred and even violence. They actually made occasional death threats, or at least calls to violence, although were forced by the host WordPress to remove the worst of them. Thank you WP for the smallest of mercies.

You have to wonder what sort of insecure and malcontent people would go to the trouble of setting up and participating in such a hate-blog for the sole purpose of slagging the real life reputations of others. Repeatedly. To follow (i.e. stalk) their every comment and hang shit on their character, their families and businesses with outright defamation and crude insinuations.

There is no noble intent or justification in haranguing and harassing in this manner. The aim of the blog was clearly to do damage to our personal and/or business lives. As much as they could. To lie, embellish, denigrate and demean in a way that was ridiculously and absurdly out of proportion to whatever ‘sins’ they claimed (usually falsely) that we had committed.

Of course, not one of the people who participated in the herd mentality at that cesspit of a blog had the guts to write under their own name. Not one. Ironically and hypocritically, they claimed the reason for using anonymity was to guard against any repercussions on their real lives, which has to be the biggest bullshit defence ever written. In effect they were saying it was all okay and above-board for them to maximise the damage done to us, but not okay for us to seek to defend ourselves.

Their premise is the one of very weak individuals who have no self-esteem and, consequently, no respect for others or appreciation of their actions. It is the sociopathic profile of the classic stalker – a weak and insecure person, socially inept and under-achieving. Or, even if achieving somewhat, not entirely happy with their lot in life. That is why they love to bring others down to their level – because they are about as low as anyone gets … and they know it.

In short, the scum behind that blog are representative of life’s real losers, self loathers and pessimists. They hate. They hate themselves. They hate everyone else and the only thing that makes them feel the slightest bit better is to stick it to those who they see as easy targets.

All. From. The. Coward’s. Position. Of. Anonymity … of course.

Anyway, to cut a really long story into just a long one, earlier this month Iain & I decided that enough was enough and that the only way to bring these f*ckers to a heel was to take them on – full frontal. Which we did on a little-known and obscure side-blog of Iain’s that hardly anyone read. Well, anyone but the handful of twisted obsessives behind Stalk Watch.

From that small bastion of independence we hammered their credibility daily and drew their attention to their own hypocrisies, lies and poor behaviour. We stood firm and returned a lot better than we got; make no mistake, this was full-on ‘blog wars’. It soon became apparent that we had them rattled so we turned up the heat.

Again, to cut to the quick, it all culminated with this post I wrote yesterday directed squarely at the blog owner “Bickle”, letting him know that I had ‘his number’ (i.e. his full identity, employment, etc) and that I was ready to act on it. I wrote:

Bickle, I’m going to tell you something. Sit down, shut up, listen and think:

There is a point where ‘mockery’ crosses the line into harassment.
There is a point where ‘mockery’ crosses the line into defamation.
There is a point where ‘mockery’ crosses the line into bullying.
There is a point where ‘mockery’ crosses the line into criminal stalking.

You and your blog have crossed those lines a long time ago.
You continue to cross them.
You are in breach of several laws – civil & criminal.
You could be hunted down, arrested, charged, convicted and jailed.

That would do a lot of damage to YOUR reputation, not to mention your liberty.
You’d be stuffed. No one would listen to your advice. Ever. Again.
You are not so well off that you can afford for that to happen, are you?
You are not retired.
You rely on your ‘good name’.
All that will go if you are caught out for this activity.
You are risking everything here.
For what?
You are a fool.

Delete your blog before it’s too late.

And before you say, “Is that a threat”, I’ll give you the same answer as before:

Take it any way you like … just don’t take me lightly.

After a few hours the o-so-courageous “Bickle” put this tail-between-his-legs post up pathetically saying he was going to delete the blog (unless someone else took it over) on the grounds he no longer had the time to administer it:

Yeah, just like Senator Mark ‘Rat’ Arbib resigned for ‘family reasons’. Sure. So in the early hours of today I put this in the comments section of his filthy, stinking blog:

Then I had a shower (to wash the Stalk Watch scum away) and went to bed. Getting up this morning at 7.30 a.m. I switched on my computer and found this:


What a nice way to start the day. Cowards never win. Just remember XXXXXX XXXXXXXX, I know where the bodies are buried. Now it’s over to Iain.

Iain Hall: As of this morning “Stalkwatch” is no more,deleted and forever removed from the Internet.

Its tough writing under your own name sometimes especially if you start your blogging career by putting  out of joint the noses of some rather nasty and sanctimonious idiots who think that they both own the internet and that they get to set the rules of good online etiquette. You see when I naively made my first foray into the bloggosphere I did not know at all that some people so jealously guarded their true identities so that they could be uninhibited by the consequences of their bad behavior. I just thought that their anonymity was nothing of consequence. In the course of the last seven years I have discovered just how petty, nasty and venial some people can be when they have their masks dissolved and how they will stoop to any vilification to demonise the target of their bullying.

During the course of the last seven years I have had to learnt some handy self-defense skills, not in the martial arts sense mind you but in the sense of learning about precise way that the internet works and the way that we all leave electronic “paper trails” in our wake as we comment or publish our “words of wisdom”. Being ever on the lookout for the next underhanded attacker seeking to infiltrate my comment threads or to become my “friend” via email has made me rather too cynical about the new faces that turn up at my Sandpit and hopefully the demise of “Stalkwatch” will be a lesson to the rest of that deluded crew that neither Ray nor I are “easy marks” who will give in to bullying and piss-weak internet vigilantes who foolishly believe their own propaganda about their targets. Those who sought to punish Ray and I for some pretty venial sins have time and again made disproportionate responses because they were simply bullying boors who could not stand being out smarted or out lasted by an ordinary blokes from the back blocks of southern Queensland and eastern Victoria . They especially could not stand the fact that I have made a friendship and alliance with that  fellow blogger from eastern Victoria. The reason was of course that the alliance between Ray and I has shown then that the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts. They have thrown everything at us and “Stalkwatch” was just part of the story most of which is probably best kept private, not because the scum-bags who ran it and populated its comment threads deserve any mercy (they don’t) but because Ray and I are both sick and tired of the entire thing. Ray has his business to run and I have my  family to “do” for, projects to work on and well the bigger political picture is just so much more interesting than being obliged to do battle to defend our good names and reputations from the most vile smears and ongoing attempts at character assassination all made from behind the mask the  easy anonymity of the internet  .

So hopefully we can now move on and focus upon topics that will be far more interesting to the many casual readers of The Sandpit. Issues like the rise, fall and further fall of the Federal Labor Government. The most spectacular rise of the Newman administration up here comes to mind as well. The weird and wacky things that surface all the time and just beg for commentary. Heck I may even try to encourage Ray to increase the sporting and religious (AFL) content of the blog  as well. The world is , as it ever was, a wild and volatile place which offers plenty of opportunities to share and debate our opinions.  Old favorites like the loopy Greens and their religious faith in Climate change and their millenarian madness need much more attention and I for one am looking forward to giving these things and many more greater focus in the weeks months and yes, years ahead. I am very proud of the fact that here at The Sandpit we have a range of political views evident in the writing of its authors, it’s what sets us apart from other “group” blogs which can end up being too narrowly focused and too politically  incestuous. Anyway  on this beautiful day I’m lifting my coffee mug in salute to my friends and respected debating adversaries who make Blogging so rewarding and so much fun.

Cheers Comrades

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