Monday, March 1, 2010

Dumb & Dumber

What have dumb & dumber been up to lately?

Dumb Stephen Conroy (Minister of Enlightenment) in charge of censoring the internet in Australia, was sprung last week censoring his own website.

Andrew Ramadge -
The front page of Minister Conroy's official website displays a list of topics connected to his portfolio, along with links to more information about each one.

All the usual topics are there – cyber safety, the national broadband network and so on.

All except one.

It was revealed today a script within the minister's homepage deliberately removes references to internet filtering from the list.

In the function that creates the list, or "tag cloud", there is a condition that if the words "ISP filtering" appear they should be skipped and not displayed.

According to Google's cache records, the exception has been included on the minister's homepage since at least February 14.

I get the feeling that his office email has the same filter filter, because despite sending countless requests for answers on policy queries, I still await reply.

As for dumber Michael Atkinson (AG SA) in charge of censoring video games in Australia, he has been inconspicuously absent from the media since the infamous "Good Game" interview, see previous post - Who is Michael Atkinson?
"I feel that my family and I are more at risk from gamers than we are from outlaw motorcycle gangs, who also hate me and are running a candidate against me."

"The outlaw motorcycle gangs haven't been hanging around my doorstep at 2am - a gamer has."

I suspect with the South Australian election so near (March 20th), Atkinson can no longer afford to be recorded or reported making any public comment, as every time he does so, he does himself a huge disfavour.

Note of interest: video game retailer EB Games has collected 46000 signatures in the last 3 weeks, for a national petition in support of an R18+ rating for video games.

Being now starved of Atkinson’s Magoo like comedic prowess, possibly due to a self imposed media gag, I’ll add in a few more blasts from the past here which I didn’t quite fit into the previous post, cause everyone needs a laugh.

Recently Atkinson, in a feeble attempt to justify new South Australian law banning anonymous online political commentary during election periods, a law which he himself had sponsored, Atkinson said on radio the censorship was necessary because fictitious characters were being deployed by opposition parties to defame him.

Bryan Littlely, Greg Kelton -
"I'll give you an example; repeatedly in the AdelaideNow website one will see commentary from Aaron Fornarino of West Croydon. That person doesn't exist"

"That name has been created by the Liberal Party in order to run Liberal Party commentary."
When asked how he knew Mr Fornarino did not exist, Mr Atkinson said:
"Because I've been the member for the area for 20 years, I've lived here for longer.

"I have the up-to-date electoral roll and I just know West Croydon people very well."
But Mr Fornarino does exist. He lives in a flat on Port Rd, about 500m from Mr Atkinson's electorate office.

Mr Fornarino, 28, a second-year law student, moved to the West Croydon, address in September.

One of the all time classics from Atkinson was his tale about bikies barbecuing and eating a cat, in a public park just near his house.

The statement was made during debate after the Government had deemed it necessary to add extra amendments to an Act prohibiting the consumption of cats and dogs.

It was later revealed that they were not bikies, it was not a cat, it was no where near his house and the event had transpired some 13 years prior.

Poor confused Michael apologized in Parliament for his artistically creative comments:
"I apologise to the Gypsy Jokers, the Hells Angels, the Finks, the Rebels, the Bandido's and the Descendants and any other gangs the Member for Unley nominates as being cut to the quick by my remark during debate."

These examples demonstrate how readily Mr. Atkinson will utilize an imaginary premise to score points or secure support for unnecessary laws. The cat/dog Act amendments were passed.

On to a serious matter now that has Atkinson’s finger prints all over it, St Clair Reserve Woodville. Charles Sturt Council who owns this popular children’s play park, has given approval for a new housing estate to be built on the land.

Originally the land developers secured approval for the project on an adjacent, abandoned, industrially contaminated block but later withdrew due to the land remediation burden. Consequently a deal was struck to "swap" the land, put the playground in the industrial waste site and build houses on the playground.

Independent MP David Winderlich has been successful in calling for an investigation, he claims Atkinson offered one councillor his support for a Labor seat and another an appointment to chair a committee with a $3000 payment attached, in exchange for influencing Charles Sturt to go ahead with the land swap.

A couple of thousand residents have been furiously protesting the move, one of whom sent a series of emails to Charles Sturt Council commenting on statements made by Mr. Winderlich in parliament, which suggested Mr Atkinson’s staffers had intimidated residents.

The problem with that is that 12 of 17 Charles Sturt Councillors are members of the Labor Party and three are actually employed by Labor MPs. The confidential email was passed on to Mr. Atkinson by a source or sources within the Charles Sturt Council.

Acting on behalf of Michael Atkinson, Norman Waterhouse lawyers served notice on the resident in question, demanding $23,000 in damages and legal fees.

more info at

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