Arjay Martin
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Arjay wants to hear from you

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Various Articles on Local / National Issues.

N. B.  These are as they appeared in the articles - either Edited by Editors or otherwise.

What are your thoughts?  Use the Contact form on this website to let me know.


My comments are in Italics - some comments will be larger, some smaller, just to mix things up a bit.

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For ease of reading, my comments also appear here:


A big problem with 'Out of Court Settlements'... the Gag Order (surely the people should be able to privately tell government authorities so that things, if real, may be addressed).  Of course the risk of people not taking Settlements is that the opposition lawyer might well be 'better' at 'lawyering', for a fun word thrown in there, & lose all.  I am not for mixing toxic chemicals into coal/shale seams to liquefy it in order to release gas.  It is my understanding that this is the new process for the previous experiments utilising atomic weapons that was tried in the USA decades ago.  I believe that it is the case, or possible, that the gas and other chemicals do get mixed in with the water / artesian basins + get released elsewhere into the environment.

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Interesting - I've said before a photo on Credit Cards/Medicare Cards is a good idea - and Visa Dates on driver's licences, etc. issued to temporary visa holders. Driver's Licences/18+ cards should have to be shown to vote too with names then being marked off electronically across all polling locations (or could stain the thumb like they do in some countries - although not so hygienic). I'm not happy with the idea of stored fingerprint data for non-criminals.

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Outrageous - I understand the idea of 'Pensions' for politicians that the Chartists Demanded years ago to prevent corruption, that people should be rewarded for their clever / hard work (assuming that they do work hard / smartly), that good people should be attracted to the job (although I'd argue that Politicians shouldn't be 'in it' for financial or egotistical rewards, but should be about Representing the People, within the bounds of the Constitution and Natural Laws (e.g. not be a tyrant, nor have the potential to become tyrannical).  


Why should Politicians and other Public Servants get more superannuation / bonuses / etc. than the standard for everyone else?  If they were on a 'level playing field' with their representatives, and directly effected by their own decisions that they force onto everyone else (sometimes reasonably, other times not)... then they may start to make better decisions for everyone, as well as for the country as a whole.

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We have other problems within our military besides the following .

A big problem with 'Out of Court Settlements'... the Gag Order (surely the people should be able to privately tell government authorities so that things, if real, may be addressed).  Of course the risk of people not taking Settlements is that the opposition lawyer might well be 'better' at 'lawyering', for a fun word thrown in there, & lose all.  I am not for mixing toxic chemicals into coal/shale seams to liquefy it in order to release gas.  It is my understanding that this is the new process for the previous experiments utilising atomic weapons that was tried in the USA decades ago.  I believe that it is the case, or possible, that the gas and other chemicals do get mixed in with the water / artesian basins + get released elsewhere into the environment:

The Guardian, Australian Edition, Children given lifelong ban on talking about fracking.
  • Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, 06 08 2013.

  Two Pennsylvanian children will live their lives under a gag order imposed under a $750,000 settlement.  Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company.

  

The sweeping gag order was imposed under a $750,000 settlement between the Hallowich family and Range Resources Corp, a leading oil and gas driller. It provoked outrage on Monday among environmental campaigners and free speech advocates.

The settlement, reached in 2011 but unsealed only last week, barred the Hallowichs' son and daughter, who were then aged 10 and seven, from ever discussing fracking or the Marcellus Shale, a leading producer in America's shale gas boom.


The Hallowich family had earlier accused oil and gas companies of destroying their 10-acre farm in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania and putting their children's health in danger. Their property was adjacent to major industrial operations: four gas wells, gas compressor stations, and a waste water pond, which the Hallowich family said contaminated their water supply and caused burning eyes, sore throats and headaches.


Gag orders – on adults – are typical in settlements reached between oil and gas operators and residents in the heart of shale gas boom in Pennsylvania. But the company lawyer's insistence on extending the lifetime gag order to the Hallowichs' children gave even the judge pause, according to the court documents.


The family gag order was a condition of the settlement. The couple told the court they agreed because they wanted to move to a new home away from the gas fields, and to raise their children in a safer environment. "We need to get the children out of there for their health and safety," the children's mother, Stephanie Hallowich, told the court.

She was still troubled by the gag order, however. "My concern is that they're minors. I'm not quite sure I fully understand. We know we're signing for silence for ever but how is this taking away our children's rights being minors now? I mean my daughter is turning seven today, my son is 10."


The children's father, Chris Hallowich, went on to tell the court it might be difficult to ensure the children's absolute silence on fracking – given that their ages and that the family lives in the middle of a shale gas boom.


"They're going to be among other children that are children of people within this industry and they're going to be around it every day of their life, that if they in turn say one of the illegal words when they're outside of our guardianship we're going to have difficulty controlling that," he said. "We can tell them, they can not say this, they can not say that, but if on the playground....."


The court transcripts were released in response to an open records request by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which first reported on the children's lifetime gag order. The newspaper has been fighting for the release of all documents in the Hallowich settlement.


Campaigners say the secrecy has helped the industry resist more stringent environmental and health controls – by burying evidence of water contamination and health problems associated with natural gas operations. The Hallowichs' lawyer, Peter Villari, told the court he had never seen a gag order imposed on children in his 30 years of practicing law, according to the released transcript.


During the proceedings, the attorney representing Range Resources, James Swetz, reaffirmed the company sought the gag order on the children. "I guess our position is it does apply to the whole family. We would certainly enforce it," he told the court. Williams Gas/Laurel Mountain Midstream and MarkWest Energy were also defendants in the case.  However, once that gag order came to light, two years after the August 2011 proceedings, the company told reporters it did not agree with Swetz's comments. 


"We don't believe the settlement applies to children," a Range Resources spokesman told the Gazette. He went on to tell the paper that there was no evidence that the Hallowich family was affected by exposure to gas development.

• This story was amended on 5 August to include the name of James Swetz, the attorney for Range Resources.


http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/05/children-ban-talking-about-fracking

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Interesting - I've said before a photo on Credit Cards/Medicare Cards is a good idea - and Visa Dates on driver's licences, etc. issued to temporary visa holders. Driver's Licences/18+ cards should have to be shown to vote too with names then being marked off electronically across all polling locations (or could stain the thumb like they do in some countries - although not so hygienic). I'm not happy with the idea of stored fingerprint data for non-criminals:

One Nation's Website, PROOF OF IDENTITY IF ACCESSING TAXPAYER FUNDED SERVICES

Pauline Hanson, 28 07 2013


The ABC news reported, 47% skilled migrants and 40% of students from India arrive in Australia on false passports.

Until we take control of our borders, we will be taken for a soft touch by those who will use and abuse our system however it may suit them. 


These people coming to Australia are coming to stay and hopefully get lost in the system, otherwise they would not arrive illegally. They would only have enough money for an interim period of time, but not for the long term. The only way they would be able to survive would be to use family and friends to assist them. This may be way of housing, providing them with their Medicare cards to visit the doctor or hospital. Give information to collect welfare from Centrelink or provide them with employment in a friend or family business.


I visited Thailand in 2012 with Today Tonight to do a story on false identification that can be purchased off the streets in market stalls, at a price. Australians driver’s licenses, Medicare cards, Qantas security passes, truck drivers licences, nurses qualifications degrees to name some. Whatever identification you want can purchased. It was also possible to purchase an Australian passport.


Australians have always been very protective of their identity, concerned about big brother watching. Now is the time for us to consider introducing secure identification that cannot be stolen by others to defraud our welfare, medical, schools, pharmaceutical benefits and any other taxpayer funded service.


Chile as an example has the persons finger print on their passport and drivers licence. All new born in Chile are fingerprinted at birth. This is a system that cannot be rorted and abused by non-Chilean citizens.


Australia must consider introducing the same form of identification to protect our boarders with those entering illegally under false passports and our tax dollars from those who would abuse our system. 


It was brought to my attention that a visitor from another country borrowed his relations Medicare card, went to the doctor and was then admitted to hospital. Due to his illness he died. The owner of the card had to admit to authorities what he had done. He was not fined but had to pay for the hospital costs. This is not a rare case where people not entitled to benefits, use other Australian’s cards and identity to access medical care. The federal police informed me that in 1997 $1 Billion worth of drugs are procured in Australia by people visiting from overseas who use their friends and relatives Medicare cards to obtain drugs to take back to their homeland. 


For those who wish to access taxpayer funded services whether it be doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical, education, welfare or any other taxpayer funded service must prove that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident entitled to benefits or otherwise pay the full cost of the service.


Australians can be electronically fingerprinted and these machines can be used in doctor’s surgeries, Centrelink and any other government departments that require identification.


This is not an invasion of privacy. These days, there is all manner of information with regards to all of us, stored around the nation. This is ensuring that people no longer have the ability to defraud our system. 


In 1996-97 the health budget for the Commonwealth was approx. $36 billion. At that time our population was approx. 18,500,000. In 2013 14 the health budget for the Commonwealth is approx. $65 Billion. Our population now 23,000,000. The budget has almost doubled but the population has not. Even if we allow for cost increases, I believe our system is being abused and rorted.


It is also a known fact through media outlets that our welfare system is also being abused. If we are to have the finances to care for our aged, sick, homeless, education and infrastructure then we have to take control. Australians are one of the highest taxed countries in the world. Too many Australians are struggling to pay their bills. Many are waiting for housing or assistance that our governments are finding hard to provide.


I have no problem providing my fingerprint. Anyone who does, then has the right to forgo being fingerprinted and pay full price for all taxpayer funded services.


http://www.onenation.com.au/hot-topics/proof-of-identity-if-accessing-taxpayer-funded-services
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Outrageous - I understand the idea of 'Pensions' for politicians that the Chartists Demanded years ago to prevent corruption, that people should be rewarded for their clever / hard work (assuming that they do work hard / smartly), that good people should be attracted to the job (although I'd argue that Politicians shouldn't be 'in it' for financial or egotistical rewards, but should be about Representing the People, within the bounds of the Constitution and Natural Laws (e.g. not be a tyrant, nor have the potential to become tyrannical).  


Why should Politicians and other Public Servants get more superannuation / bonuses / etc. than the standard for everyone else?  If they were on a 'level playing field' with their representatives, and directly effected by their own decisions that they force onto everyone else (sometimes reasonably, other times not)... then they may start to make better decisions for everyone, as well as for the country as a whole:

One Nation's Website, PRIME MINISTER LURKS & PERKS

Author unknown -  Pauline Hanson?19 07 2013  


Millions of Australians are struggling to meet their ever increasing living costs. To put a roof over their heads, to pay for their children’s education and the ever increasing costs for decent health care. Our aged pensioners live from day to day afraid to put the heating on in winter or the fan on in summer due to escalating electricity costs or live on a staple diet of bread and jam because buying a steak would blow the budget.


When a loyal worker retires from his job he may receive a nice gift from his workmates and employers, a pat on the back then sent on their way. Not so with our 6 former Prime Ministers.  Gough Whitlam (1972-75), Malcolm Fraser (1975-83), Bob Hawke (1983-91), Paul Keating (1991-96) and Mr Howard (1996-2007) and now Julia Gillard (2010-13).


On top of their generous parliamentary pensions, former prime ministers are entitled to taxpayer-funded support, "in recognition of public service", in the form of domestic airfares - for themselves and family - an office and staff and a car.


Each former PM is entitled to at least two staff, including a senior private secretary, and the annual wages bill of each is nearly $300,000 (2010). Mr Howard's expenses blew out well in excess of the other four former prime ministers no longer in Parliament thanks to a $450,000 office refit in 2008/09 to his swanky digs in Sydney's MLC building, which already costs nearly $14,000 a month to rent.


Each PM can usually expect to receive about 70 per cent of the incumbent's salary, unless they chose to take a lump sum on retirement.


Kevin Rudd salary is approx. $507,000 per year. This would give our former Prime Ministers a wage of approx. $350,000 each if they didn’t take the lump sum retirement.


Our former Prime Ministers are also entitled to domestic airfares, car hire, phone, and family travel costs. We are also obliged to pay for governors-general, and Life Gold Pass Holders.


The more than 200 Life Gold Pass holders, who along with their spouses are entitled to domestic airfares, cost taxpayers more than $1.279 million for the year. Of that figure spousal travel accounted for $360,430 (2010).


What the five surviving former PMs cost taxpayers in 2010-11*:

  • John Howard...$297,765.27
  • Malcolm Fraser...$255,256.10
  • Paul Keating...$149,423.47
  • Bob Hawke...$144,603.30
  • Gough Whitlam...$137,832.20

Let’s not forget all the former PMs were voted out of office and a few, left a lot to be desired as leaders of this nation. Yet we still pay for their costs on top of a very well paid superannuation scheme. John Howard has been reported to command $50,000 for a speaking engagement. This is an absolute disgrace and each and every one of them should hang their heads in shame. 

I call on all political parties to address this outrageous cost to the taxpayer. There is no justification for anyone to have held a position for 3 years, yet still being able to claim expenses after 38 years out of office. As far as I am concerned you may get a pat on the back if lucky and your mates may give you a gift, no different to any other Aussie.  

Read more: 

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http://www.onenation.com.au/hot-topics-voting/prime-minister-lurks-perks

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We have other problems within our military besides the following:


Herald Sun,  All the tanks to defend our continent

Andrew Bolt AUGUST 02 2012


Want proof of how the defence budget has been slashed to ribbons, leaving Australia almost defenceless?

What you see in this Gladstone paddock is every tank we have that’s ready for action - and not in mothballs, maintenance or training. One big bomb, and they’re all gone.

Reader Ian:


It shows no less than 29 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks of the Army’s 1st Armoured Regiment awaiting transport back to Darwin following the conclusion last month of Exercise Hamel in Shoalwater Bay, Queensland.

If ever there was an image that captures the paltry state of the Australian Army’s much-anguished over heavy armoured capability in this Rudd/Gillard era of defence neglect, this is it.

We bought a total of 59 Abrams tanks from the US in 2005/06, with first deliveries in 2007. Of those 59 tanks, only 41 are actually available for operations – the remainder being set aside for training and attrition stocks. In time of conflict, 41 tanks is all we would have available to send on operations.

Those 41 tanks are operated by 1st Armoured Regiment in Darwin, which is our only tank unit.

Now comes the Govt intention, announced during the May Budget, to ‘mothball’ a squadron of tanks, bearing in mind there are 14 tanks in a squadron. Therefore, 41 minus 14 = 27 tanks left.

So in fact the photo you see shows 2 tanks too many! The actual number will be 27 tanks.
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Retired Major General Jim Molan confirms that this would indeed be our entire tank regiment in the field, and says no defence cut is more serious than those which have shredded our armored division.


“The centre of the army is firepower, and the firepower of the army centres on the tanks.”


For comparison, when Molan was chief of operations of all coalition forces in Iraq, fighting an insurgency, he had 400 tanks at his disposal, most of them US.


In Afghanistan, Australia had not one of its own.


Look again at the picture. Think also that we’re lucky to be able to deploy just two submarines at any one time, and that our fighters are ageing, but their replacements have just been delayed for budget reasons.

How defenceless do we now look? 

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Interesting replies on there:

Dougal replied to michael
Thu 02 Aug 12 (06:05pm)

Take your pick from any of the following reasons:

1. The military stood in the way of their utopia of World Communism for 50 years.

2. The defence forces have no Union influence or control.

3. Defence spending does not benefit Unions or their members with vastly inflated wages.

4. Why spend on defence when you can legitimately dismantle borders yourself and allow a slow but endless invasion of the country?

5. The military stands for tradition, pride, discipline, hard work, love of country and freedom; principles that are anathema to the left and must be eradicated.
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I no longer view this government as a Joke. 

I am actually a little scared at how totally incompetent they are.

The world is and always has been a competitive place. About 3 billion new players are on the field competing for the same standard of living as we have.

I fear that the government is totally unaware of this situation and hence we have the reverse tariff of the carbon tax and empowered special interests of the union movement actively neutering our national interest.

This is indeed a disturbing Australian Moment.

Jeremy of Brisbane (Reply)
Thu 02 Aug 12 (05:18pm)
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None of this makes sense. There can’t be too many explanations other than this government hates Australia and is taking steps to set it up to fail. Perhaps is all part of the grand plan to introduce the NWO. Who knows?

Whatever their motive, there is no doubt our national sovereignty is already under attack:

1.  Cull defence spending so we’re vulnerable. 
2.  Make sure the borders are porous. 
2.  Understate the need for viable defence of our nation. 
3.  Trivialise the value of serving defence forces. 
4.  Vilify those who seek sensible increases in defence spending as hawkish warmongers. 
5.  Trust that the US will bail us out if we get into trouble.

Plenty to spend it on in the meantime - pink batts, school halls, desalination plants, wind farms, ferrying and housing illegal immigrants, installing an outdated NBN, overseeing the breathing tax....

Oblique123 (Reply)
Thu 02 Aug 12 (08:32pm)
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Jim Molan is wrong. The centre of fire power of the Army is it’s Artillery: the “Queen of the Battlefield”. Which makes the decision to cancel the 155mm Self Propelled guns an appalling mistake.It was the Artillery which saved D Company at Long Tan and has done so and will do so in many engagements.
Shelldrake of The Gap 4061 (Reply)
Thu 02 Aug 12 (09:16pm)
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And we sold off our Leopards instead of handing them down to Reserve units!  :-(
The Old Man of Dandenong (Reply)
Thu 02 Aug 12 (10:02pm)

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/all_the_tanks_to_defend_our_continent/
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