Friday, October 24, 2014

Evil US corporation targets Aussie battler pirates

It's official. US corporations are on the war path out to get Aussie pirates. Are they frustrated with the slow progress of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and have entered the fray on their own? Or are they just so mean that they won't even give us the crumbs from their table?

I'm a pensioner. Worked 30 years before my body failed in a hard physical industry. Bought up a daughter in that time and cared for the family, me being the mainstay wage earner. I am the quintessential battler. Now we're fighting to keep a roof over our head. We battle on. 

So we download the odd show for free online. Whatever. We've got fuckin nothing. Surely a bit of free entertainment in our own home isn't going to send the corporations broke?

Well apparently so. Anyone is Australia that has downloaded the movie "Dallas Buyers Club" is now being targeted by the corp that made it. As the laws here protect such people as me who download for domestic purposes (similar to recording a VHS in the old days) from being subject to these copyright laws, the corp has tried to go around it in the courts, challenging these laws in a test case:
In the United States, the people behind Dallas Buyers Club had already filed 66 lawsuits by June and targeted more than 1000 alleged people who downloaded the film via BitTorrent 

They were asking for settlements of up to $US5000 per offence, or more in some cases. 

Now they're taking their battle to Australia, applying to the Federal Court that it have iiNet and other local ISPs hand over the identities of the alleged pirates. 

Chief Regulatory Officer Steve Dalby told TorrentFreak that iiNet will oppose the move made by Dallas Buyers Club LLC. 

"iiNet would never disclose customer details to a third party, such as movie studio, unless ordered to do so by a court. We take seriously both our customers privacy and our legal obligations," Dalby says. 

iiNet does not support piracy, but it is concerned about the way Dallas Buyers Club and its studio Voltage Pictures will use the information. Dalby says that while it may seem reasonable for a movie studio to ask for the pirates identities, if would only be so, if they intended to use information fairly and let the alleged pirate defend themselves in court. 

"In this case, we have serious concerns about Dallas Buyers Club's intentions. We are concerned that our customers will be unfairly targeted to settle any claims out of court using a practice called 'speculative invoicing'," Dalby says. 

He is referring to a practice, where a company mails 'invoices' to the alleged copyright infringer to get a cash settlement while trying to discourage them from appearing in court. It was a controversial scheme, that did not survive legal scrutiny in the UK. 

Dalby says that because iiNet have opposed the Dallas Buyers Club LLC application for the identities, it will now be up to the Federal Court, whether iiNet should do so. Read more  

Australian pirates outraged over leaked TPP proposal!

Australia leads the world in piracy as we know. I think we wear the crown proudly. Most likely inspired by distance and the most horrifyingly inconvenient timezone, never the less we have become the biggest ever pirate down loaders in the world. *trumpets sound*

To solidify this new found proudness, I notice that there's even an Australian Pirate Party. Check it out :)  

So imagine our horror now, as we learn that if the TPP goes through in it's present (leaked) form, it will criminalise people like me (ie. pensioners) downloading The Walking Dead for free to watch at home. What? Outrageous! No fuckin way man!
Overnight, Wikileaks published a leaked draft of the intellectual property chapter of the TPP. It reveals, among a number of other moves to tighten countries’ IP regulations, that those caught conducting copyright infringement activities online (‘Internet piracy’) could face criminal charges. 

The leak caused instant outrage in Australia, with a wide range of groups active in digital rights issues raising an outcry regarding the stipulations of the trade agreement. 

“CHOICE is deeply concerned at a proposal from the United States to expand criminal liability for copyright infringement. This would mean that domestic non-commercial infringement could become a criminal act,” said Alan Kirkland, chief executive of consumer advocacy group CHOICE, in a statement issued this morning. “While CHOICE condemns copyright infringement, we certainly don’t agree that an individual downloading Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones for personal use should be open to criminal prosecution.” more
Hah, take that evil corporations! We found out about your dastardly plot to suck money out of innocent pensioners!  What do they want, every last fuckin cent?


QLD coal too risky an investment - new report

Those pesky "market forces" interfering with the gov's ideology! Damn it!

You'd think as an astute investor, that the Queensland gov might take a look at the value it's getting for it's $billions in coal subsidies. The market has collapsed. Why would you pour good money after bad? 
In fact, says Sanzillo, who is IEEFA’s director of finance, the projects’ huge scale, greenfield nature and foreign ownership introduce “an almost unprecedented level of financial complexity and risk.” 

The projects he is talking about include the multi-billion dollar development of what would be one of the world’s biggest coalmines, largely earmarked for export to India. 

In 2012, India’s Adani Group announced plans to proceed with its $10 billion development of the massive and as-yet untapped Carmichael coal deposit, including large-scale rail and port infrastructure investment, that would create 9,000 jobs, and export coal to India from 2016. 

Last year, a $1.25 billion debt issuance was proposed to help refinance Adani Abbot Point Coal Terminal, the 99-year lease for which was bought for $1.8 billion in May 2011. 

But IEEFA’s Sanzillo says the project faces an increasingly difficult hurdle in securing funding due to the rapid deterioration of coal project profitability following a halving of the coal price, and the increased probability of a structural decline in thermal coal. 

“The Galilee coal project proposals are highly unlikely to proceed without the support of the four Australian bank majors, plus some of the nine leading global investment banks,” Sanzillo said. 

Just this week, anti-coal campaigners began targeting Australia’s Big Four banks, starting with ANZ, to protest their funding of fossil fuel projects. Meanwhile, some of the world’s leading investment banks have already joined the growing fossil fuel divestment campaign, in keeping with their commitments under the Equator Principles. more  

Churches respond to Ebola - blame the gays - Liberia

More love from the christians.

At least it wasn't HIV this time. I guess it does confirm though that Ebola is now the new HIV. This is exactly what happened early on in the 1980's, very much so in the church ruled parts of the conservative US.

Well Liberia is the first off the blocks this time. Officially I guess. As it seems it's a very united church announcement. Yes folks, the best way to treat Ebola is to kill the gays....... No doubt the christian fundies in the west will jump on this one.
Earlier this year, the Liberian Council of Churches said in a statement that God was angry with Liberians "over corruption and immoral acts" such as homosexuality, and that Ebola was a punishment. 

In May, Archbishop Lewis Zeigler of the Catholic Church of Liberia said that "one of the major transgressions against God for which He may be punishing Liberia is the act of homosexuality," local media reported. 

Francois Patuel, Amnesty International's representative in West Africa, said there had been reports of threats and violence against the LGBTI community in Monrovia since the incendiary remarks made by the local Christian leaders. 

"Amnesty has received pictures of cars that reportedly belong to gays with their windows smashed as well as reports that gays have been forced from their homes and had to go into hiding," Patuel told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 

Neither the Catholic Church nor the Liberian Council of Churches could be reached in Monrovia. Representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Episcopal Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment. more   

Dying with dignity - Peter Short terminally ill

Dying With Dignity advocate Peter Short, is now terminally ill with only 10 or so days to go. His wife has posted a video online:

Donate here.

This is the clip of the movie they're crowdfunding: 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Greedy "drive by doctors" - US

This shit is mental. The stuff they get away with over there in their privatised medical world. Imagine being the patient in all of that.


Andrew Wilkie writes to ICC - gov aslum seeker treatment

Independent senator Andrew Wilkie has written a very direct letter to the International Criminal Court, naming the Australian gov as being implicit in the violation of these people's human rights. The PDF is here. A snip:

"Gays are terrorists" - US christian maniac

More love from the christians.

I wonder how this bloke would go if he crapped on like that on Australian telly? I suggest he might run afoul of some of the anti-discrimination laws here?

Yeah, stop the gays, that'll save us.....


Centrelink lost the Carers Allowance application

Good grief 
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Are we just having a bad run with Centrelink, or I wonder how many other people have their Centrelink payments fucked up by Centrelink? First it was the other week when they cut David off Newstart because the Centrelink computer suddenly decided that it didn't have my tax file number (it did). Now this FFS.

So the other day I suddenly realise, "Fuck, how long ago did David put in the Carers Allowance application? Seems like ages". Asked David and he reckoned at least a month. In preference to ringing I did what I did another time and complained through their online complaints form. It takes about 3 working days before someone will ring you but that's lightning speed for Centrelink. David got a call earlier.

Turns out it's actually been over two months since he put in the application. We've had so much else going on it's impossible to keep track of everything, we just forgot about it. It also turns out that somehow Centrelink managed to loose the application, at the same time as not losing the medical report from my GP :s   Copious apologies on the phone to David from the Centrelink lady, and they're backdating the payments to when the application went in as the medical certificate now has the Centrelink stamp of approval. Although there is the snail mail thing; they're sending David another application bit to fill in and take down to Centrelink before payments can proceed.


It's not much, only $120 a fortnight, but it will go a long way to actually being sort of able to get by on what we get. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hello Vietnam :)

Forgive me northern hemisphere-ians for being southern hemisphere-centric, but well you know our century is coming. As long that Abbott fuckwit gets out of the way, but don't worry southern hemisphere-ians, we're sorting that bullshit out as I write. Abbott has about as much chance of getting another 3 years in office as pigs flying.

But I digress.

So this post is to say G'day to Vietnam, who is the latest southern hemisphere country to appear on the top ten list for the last week. And even better, at the same time as China (China has been in and out of the top ten for about a year now I think). Although China is pretty much northern hemisphere (*goes all defensive and suspicious*) but really China is a new economy with new ideas. They are the future, and seem to be creating some sort of balance between maniacal capitalism and gov control. Something I must say the west has lost of late. Their economy works, ours are failing. We gave our economies to the capitalists. The East and Asia Pacific are resisting such doctrines. Australia, if it's to be a part of the new world economy, surely must embrace such moderation of the capitalist doctrines.

So Hello Vietnam!

Ebola shows US healthcare for what it is

I know someone who works in a private hospital nearby to us here in Sydney, and he says himself that he'd never let himself be admitted to a private hospital. Lack of procedures, corners cut, nurses not educated, all the sorts of things that are well and truly covered in the public hospitals here. 

I look at this video from the US about how those two nurses were infected with Ebola in complete shock. It sounds like something out of the third world. What? They don't have national standards for infection control? No universal rules to follow? Piling infected sheets to the roof of the room because there's no procedure?

I present corporate health care:



The Greens on Gough Whitlam

Like I've said many times before, the Greens are the only party left with a decent social conscience. Milne remembers and celebrates Whitlams accomplishments. Today the Greens are probably the only party that's got the guts to want similar things now. Labor should be ashamed of itself for abandoning Goughs progress to cow tow to racist rednecks in Western Sydney.


Housing form lodged

We walked down the road to the local NSW Dept of Housing offices and lodged the application for priority housing there. The lady said everything looked fine except for one thing. Although it may be negated by another factor.

So this is our current situation. My partnered DSP is just enough to pay the rent ($760 a fortnight). I don't see a cent of it. David's Newstart/sickness thing is $470 a fortnight. That's what we're supposed to live off, both of us.  Making a grand total of $1,230 a fortnight, the rent is 61% of our income.

However the NSW gov has some other weirded out way of calculating this to make it look like you're paying less of a percentage of your income in rent than you actually are. No I don't understand it either. So we're sitting there with the lady explaining that bit to us, that the gov considered we were only paying half our income in rent. When we're paying 61% of our income in rent. Somehow, even though we're a couple, they split us up and calculate it somehow that way and come out with this bullshit percentage figure. It's been explained to me a couple of times by the ACON bloke as well but I just can't follow how they make that calculation and come to such a bullshit conclusion.

Anyway, turns out this place we're in now has a terrible mould problem that upsets David's asthma no end, so the place is therefore considered "unsuitable" for us, which negates their weirded out money calculation anyway.

From here it's a 4-6 week wait before we're informed by Housing of the outcome. We'll see what happens. Have already been told to expect to have to make an appeal. 

Historical pension increases by gov

I wonder how many pensioners voted to "stop the boats"?


Abbott cuts funding to ACON - Housing service ends

We're sort of ready to lodge the Housing form. Under construction for some time, it's about half a centimetre thick. There was more that could be done for it but there's already so many documents in it of proof of this and that the best thing to do is lodge it and take it from there. The bloke helping us at ACON with it reckons it'll probably be rejected first off and then we can appeal to a board of impartial and independent people. I dunno we're just doing what he reckons is the best way to go as he knows all about it.

The application is for priority housing, which apparently you have to just about give an arm and a leg to get on that list. Although we would fall back to the normal list which has only a small wait of 15 years if the whole thing was knocked back. 

Fuck what do you have to do to prove you're eligible? If we aren't who the fuck is? Currently I don't see my pension at all, it pays the rent. That leaves his Newstart for both of us, $470 a fortnight. That's let alone all the health and psychological issues involved, just the money side of it. Still haven't heard WTF Centrelink is doing with this Carers Allowance claim, it's taking fuckin ages.

Another thing that came to light yesterday at the housing meeting was that ACON is ending it's Housing assistance service this month. HIV people will no longer be able to go to ACON for Housing issues. The bloke helping us had been there for twenty years doing housing for HIV people and now was becoming unemployed. Guess why?

The Abbott gov cut the funding. 

So from here we'll be dealing only with our social worker for appeals and the like with this housing application.