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Tuesday, 14 November


Live Video Presentation: Grand Jury Resistance : November 21, 8 pm Eastern Time "IndyWatch Feed National"

Resisting the Standing Rock grand jury.

On November 21, at 8 pm Eastern Time, we will broadcast our third live video presentation, in which an experienced legal support worker will explain what grand juries are, how they work, and how to resist themthen answer any questions you have. View the video here on this page or via

This follows up our earlier presentations, An Overview of the J20 Prosecution and The RNC 8, Standing Rock, and J20 Cases.

Over the course of 2017, anarchists and radicals have actively resisted grand juries from Standing Rock to North Carolina. Its vital to learn what a grand jury is and what tools of resistance our communities have against them. This presentation is intended to demystify a legal process that relies on secrecy, paranoia, and suspicion as a means to tear apart communities and resistance movements. One of our strongest weapons against this particular tactic of state repression is knowledgealongside bold acts of solidarity!

Tune in to learn about the grand jury process, its legacy of repression, and how you can support resistance to grand juries.


Deutsche Nazi's in Ukraine "IndyWatch Feed National"

Kampf gegen prorussische Separatisten

Deutsche heuern bei rechtsextremem ukrainischen Bataillon an

Das ukrainische Regiment Asow wirbt mit Flyern auf Neonazi-Veranstaltungen um neue Mitglieder - offenbar erfolgreich: Immer mehr Sldner schlieen sich an, um "Europa vor dem Aussterben" zu bewahren.


Australia should accept New Zealand offer to resettle refugees: UNHCR "IndyWatch Feed National"


SYDNEY (Reuters) The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday urged Australia to accept New Zealands offer to resettle 150 refugees from an abandoned Australian-run detention center in Papua New Guinea, as about 450 men remain barricaded inside without food or water.

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing and outdoor

An undated image released November 13, 2017 shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea. Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via REUTERS

The asylum seekers have been holed up inside the center for the past two weeks defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to close the facility, saying they fear for their safety if moved to transit centers.

With many detainees complaining of illness bought about by the unsanitary conditions in the camp, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged Australia to allow 150 of them to resettle in New Zealand.

We urge Australia to reconsider this and take up the offer, Nai Jit Lam, deputy regional representative at the UNHCR told Reuters.

Most of the asylum seekers are from Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Syria.

Australias sovereign borders immigration policy, under which it refuses to allow asylum seekers arriving by boat to reach its shores, has been heavily criticized by the United Nations and human rights groups but has bipartisan political support in Australia.

Australia says allowing asylum seekers arriving by boat to reach its shores would only encourage people smugglers in Asia and see more people risk their lives trying to sail to Australia.

Two motions introduced in Australias parliament by the Labor and Green parties, and passed in the upper house on Tuesday, call on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to approve the New Zealand proposal.

This is a foul and bloody stain on Australias national conscience, Greens senator Nick McKim t...


Explainer: Marriage equality in Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

All Australians should have the same opportunities for love, commitment and happiness.

The Human Rights Law Centre has been working with the Equality Campaign and LGBTI community organisations to campaign for a Yes vote in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. We believe marriage equality is a human rights issue which is about fairness and equality of for all Australians.

What will happen if its a Yes result?

If the result is Yes, the Coalition Government has promised to facilitate a vote on a private members bill by the end of 2017.

What private members bills are there?

There are currently two private members bills set to be tabled if theres a Yes result on 15 November 2017.

  1. Consensus Bill

    In August 2017, Liberal Senator Dean Smith released the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, which reflects the outcomes from a consensus cross-party Senate report released in early 2017. The report provides a pathway on how amendments to the Marriage Act could allow same-sex couples to marry while balancing freedom from discrimination and freedom of religion.
  2. Paterson Bill

    On 13 November 2017, Liberal Senator James Paterson released the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Protection of Freedoms) Bill 2017, which extends exemptions beyond the Senate report.

Consensus Bill

Who supports the Consensus Bill?

The Consensus Bill has cross-party support if there is a Yes result. Its supported by key members of the Liberal Backbench, Labor, and the Greens.

It is also supported by many LGBTI community organisations and supporters of marriage equality as a pathway forward to achieving marriage equality before the end of the year.

The primary concern raised about the Consensus Bill is that it allows existing civil celebrants to reclassify as religious marriage celebrants (within 90 days of the legislation coming into effect) and refuse to perform same-sex marriages, even if they do not have a formal role as a minister of religion. It has also been suggested the Bill could be improved by removing the specific exemption for religious organisations providing marriage related go...


UK Against Fluoridation "IndyWatch Feed National"

nunzio castiglione youtube
Published on 13 Nov 2017
Here is another Iconic classic natural health video from world experts ...I have been simultaneously listening to natural health videos from experts in the field for decades from sunrise to sunset (thats over 50,000)hours)on my outdoor speakers while concurrently working on my organic biodynamic permaculture farm Nunzio Castiglione Whittlesea Victoria Australia....I am interested in making some documentary films on natural health to upload on youtube but i do not have time since i am busy from sunrise to sunset working on my organic farm if you are an overseas visitor to australia I can offer complementary board and food in return for producing some outstanding youtube uploads and cultural exchange I have been on my organic farm since 1950 so i have a lot of knowledge in this field Published on Jul 10, 2017
Help support us at

Get the latest at

Dr. David Kennedy discusses what you're not being told about the use of fluoride in water and as a preventive dental measure. Find out what's being talked about and more importantly, what's not being talked about when it comes to fluoride and your health!


Hobart plumbs lowest vacancies on record "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Hobart stretched to break point

Hobart notched the lowest vacancy rate on record for any capital city at just 0.3 per cent in October 2017. 

With just 75 listings meeting the criteria for an a vacancy (of being advertised online for three weeks or more) it's not surprising that rents have been taking off.

And while there's been talk of land release to ease the pressure in Hobart, there's no imminent sign of matters improving for tenants.

Meanwhile the previously stagnant Adelaide market is also beginning to look at a bit tight, with the vacancy rate declining to just 1.4 per cent in October, and the vacancy rate in Canberra ticked down to 0.8 per cent.

In Sydney and Melbourne the rental markets look to be in relative equilibrium, with some sub-regional variations. 

The resources capital cities look to have turned the corner now.

In Perth the vacancy rate of 4.1 per cent was well down from 4.9 per cent a year earlier, while Darwin (2.5 per cent) also saw a much tighter result than a year ago (3.2 per cent). 

Even Brisbane appears to have entered a bit of a downtrend despite its inner city apartment glut, although there does tend to be a seasonal spike over the Christmas period. 

Overall the national vacancy rate of 2.1 per cent or 67,781 vacancies was lower than a year earlier at 2.3 per cent or 74,368 vacancies, with dwelling starts now set to decline and strong population growth having absorbed most of the increase in rental stock to date. 

Nevertheless, rental price growth remains quite modest at the national level. 


MACKAY Woman abuses boy and hits his mum over wayward ball "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY November 14, 2017 at 08:18AM ,

Woman abuses boy and hits his mum over wayward ball

November 14, 2017 at 08:18AM ,

Kate Alicia Perry?, 37, fronted Mackay Magistrates Court pleading guilty to public nuisance. A boy accidentally hit her with a ball, so she abused him

, ,

user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,

Filed under: Uncategorized

MACKAY Crossbows and car thefts: Man pleads guilty from jail "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY November 14, 2017 at 07:00AM ,

Crossbows and car thefts: Man pleads guilty from jail

November 14, 2017 at 07:00AM ,

Graham, who has no address listed with Mackay Courthouse, fronted Magistrate Scott Luxton in Mackay Magistrates Court on Monday, via videolink

, ,

user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,

Filed under: Uncategorized


Brisbane financial planner jailed for fraud after swindling almost $10m from elderly retirees "IndyWatch Feed National"

ABC News Australia

Brisbane financial planner jailed for fraud after swindling almost $10m from elderly retirees

14 November 2017


A former Brisbane financial planner has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for swindling millions of dollars in savings from elderly retirees.

Brad Thomas Sherwin, 62, has been sentenced in the District Court in Brisbane, after pleading guilty in September to fraud charges linked to a $60 million investment collapse.

The businessman faced 24 charges relating to the misuse of almost $10 million from 39 clients.

He received an additional 12 months in prison for breaching his duties as a director.

He will be eligible for parole after four years, on November 14, 2021.

Sherwin was the principal of Sherwin Financial Planners and director of associated companies, including property lending business Wickham Securities.


Nigel Jeffares speaks to the media outside the District Court in Brisbane on November 14, 2017.


He gave advice and helped clients set up self-managed super funds before the businesses collapsed in late 2012 and 2013.

On 26 occasions, Sherwin made transactions using his clients investment money, without the...


Student sexually abused by school teacher gets apology from NSW Education Department, 40 years later "IndyWatch Feed National"

ABC News Australia

Student sexually abused by school teacher gets apology from NSW Education Department, 40 years later

14 November 2017


A former school student who was sexually abused says he now has the apology he has been waiting for, after more than 40 years.

The New South Wales Department of Education was moved to apologise to the man, now in his 50s, after hearing of his grief through the ABC.

Robbie Gambley was just 15 years old when he was groomed by his science teacher, then coerced into living with him.

Mr Gambley said he was humiliated on a daily basis, with the teacher forcing him to ride on the front of his bicycle to school.

Once at school, the teacher monopolised the student, making him take recess and lunch breaks in the teachers office with him.

He would touch me every single day [in a sexual way], Mr Gambley said.

I had to leave my port outside the teachers private office. It was there for everyone to see.

Nobody ever asked if I was okay

Mr Gambley said at no stage did anyone question the actions of the sexual predator.

Bonalbo at the time was a population of 500 people. It was there for all to see.



Hillsong Founder the pedophile Frank Houston and boy victim WNZ1, the first known Wellington New Zealand boy victim "IndyWatch Feed National"

Brian Houston: I'm sorry the victims feel sad, very hurt and alone. I'll remember them in my prayers. Sorry I can't help the victims more.

Pastor Brian Houston the head of Hillsong Global Church. Heartless. Refuses to help the boy sexual  abuse victims of his father Pastor Frank Houston the founder of Hillsong Global Church in any way. Hid and sheltered his secret lifelong pedophile father Frank Houston for five years from 1999 to 2004 from the NSW Police and in doing this deprived the boy victims of Justice. Facing looming pedophile protection charges  Brian Houston: Im sorry the victims feel sad, very hurt and alone. Ill remember them in my prayers. Sorry I cant help the victims more.


Art and female agency in The Lady of Shalott "IndyWatch Feed National"

Generally, women in the Victorian era were unable to make decisions for themselves or move freely in public places. The Lady is doomed to a life of imprisonment if she stays within the tower, and likewise doomed to death if she leaves. Because her free will has been taken from her, the Ladys only activity is to weave. The origin and nature of the curse on her are mysterious, but its effects are not.


As Eighth Lawmaker Falls, Australias Citizenship Crisis Deepens "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reviews an honour guard during an anti-terror demonstration of Australian and Philippine soldiers at Camp Aguinaldo, on the sidelines of the Association of South East Asian Nations Summit, in Quezon City, metro Manila, Philippines, November 13, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Dondi Tawatao

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reviews an honour guard during an anti-terror demonstration of Australian and Philippine soldier...


Customers savage Ben & Jerry's for bizarre blog claiming choosing certain flavors 'might mean you are racist' "IndyWatch Feed National"

Virtue signalling officially jumps the shark: Customers savage Ben & Jerry's for bizarre blog claiming choosing certain flavors 'might mean you are racist' | 13 Nov 2017 | Conservative ice cream fans want Ben & Jerry's to 'stick to selling ice cream,' following a bizarre tweet and blog post which suggested customers might be racist for choosing certain flavors. The Vermont-based ice cream company posted a tweet asking its followers, 'What is implicit bias, and how does it shape our actions? The answer might surprise you.' The tweet linked to a company blog post titled, 'Scoop Shop Sociology,' discussing the idea of implicit bias -- the theory that people make unconscious associations with or stereotype groups.


Carbon Engineering, Bill Gates, And Long-Shot Answers To Climate Change "IndyWatch Feed National"


Carbon-dioxide removal could be a trillion-dollar enterprise, because it not only slows the rise in CO2 but reverses it. Photo-Illustration by Thomas Albdorf for The New Yorker

If you read the caption to the photo above, and then the first sentence of the story it headlines, you could come away with the thrilling sense that there is an entrepreneurial opportunity associated with climate change. There is something reassuring about the fact that Bill Gates has made some bets in this realm. Pasted below is also the last paragraph of the story. We recommend reading the whole long-form reporting that goes in between:

Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?

CO2 could soon reach levels that, i...


The Syrian War "IndyWatch Feed National"

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong, I greatly appreciate everything you do. I was moved when you ended your WEC in Orlando explaining that you see this as we are all in this together. You really make an effort to pass along sound advice without strings attached to solicit money. A very admirable effort I wish others would follow.

My question is this. At the 2015 WEC when Russia invaded Syria on the precise day of your model, you said this would be an important event moving forward. The entire refugee crisis began from that date and now they seem to be winning the war against these jihadists. Now the tensions are rising between Saudi and Iran. Is this part-II of the Middle East crisis? You said back in 2015 that the mere fact Russia entered Syria on the very day of your model signaled this will be the region we should watch. So will this escalate now?

ANSWER: Yes. I wrote in the 2015 War Cycle: It is extremely disconcerting that on the very day of the peak on the Economic Confidence Model, September 30, 2015 (2015.75), Russia began bombing forces trained and funded by the United States to overturn the Syrian government of Assad. In 639 AD, Muawiyah I (b. 602680 AD; r. 661680 AD) was appointed Governor of Syria as it fell to the Muslim Conquest. We are now in the 26th 51.6-year wave from that event which is a major turning point.

The focus is turning to Idlib, which is a city in northwestern Syria. It is the capital of the Idlib Governorate, which is about 59 kilometers southwest of Aleppo. Because the Syrian government wants to evacuate all jihadists to Idlib, this will present a problem to Turkey which it borders. The Syrian state has offered to give the jihadists safe conduct and let them go to Idlib. For about one to one and a half years, jihadist terrorists from all parts of Syria are being transported to Idlib.The majority of these militant fighters appear to belong to the al-Nusra Front. These terrorists are well armed and have between 30,000 a...


Australian Dollar and Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed National"

1.00 AUD = 0.0001 BTC
0.0001 BTC = 0.85 AUD


Synthetic drugs send users on 'rampage' through Missouri town "IndyWatch Feed National"

Several people went on a rampage in a small Missouri town that included barking like dogs, yelling, breaking into buildings and showering naked in soda water. The incident is being blamed on a synthetic drug that often causes extreme behavior. Police believe the man-made drug Flakka was the cause of the behavior, which left the town of Sullivan in eastern Missouri reeling and searching for answers, the Kansas City Star reported. Two people were arrested in relation to the incident, while several were treated at the hospital. The drugs recovered have not yet been tested, but police think the users mixed methamphetamine with flakka.


An English Teacher Explains 5 Reasons Todays Students Cant Write "IndyWatch Feed National"

(IT) One of the interesting things about working at Intellectual Takeout is hearing the personal experiences of readers regarding issues we raise and discuss in our articles. A more recent example of this is the individual who wrote that he had gone back to college as a middle-age student seeking greater career advancement. While there, a teacher pulled him aside and accused him of plagiarism on a written assignment. The reason? His grammar was far better than that of his younger college classmates.

Unfortunately, that teachers accusation, although misguided, is somewhat understandable. Only one-fourth of Americas high school seniors are proficient in writing, a fact which causes many headaches for todays college instructors, as was recently noted by Justin Parmenter in The Washington Post:

I reached out to postsecondary writing instructors across North Carolina to investigate trends in their students writing. The common refrain in their responses was that student writing skills had diminished over the past 15 years and that it appeared that writing had not been a priority in their students previous classes.

Many of these instructors spoke of their students inability to write in complete sentences with proper grammar and punctuation, to structure their writing effectively, and to provide support for their views. They told me students often didnt know how to research or how to paraphrase the words of others in their writing. Unable to make up the necessary ground in four years, these students are then entering the job market with subpar writing skills.

So whats behind these poor writing skills which seem to prevail across the board in American schools? Parmenter, himself a celebrated English teacher, lists five reasons for the decline in writing.

1. Over-emphasis on Testing Standardized appears to have exploded in the past decade, largely due to standards brought on through No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Parmenter believes increased testing is a primary reason writing scores have declined over the same time period.



U.S. Mass Shooters Are Disproportionately Veterans "IndyWatch Feed National"

By David Swanson, November 13, 2017, Lets Try Democracy.

Are veterans of the U.S. military disproportionately likely to be mass killers in the United States? Asking such a question is difficult, first because of concerns of profiling, discrimination, etc., and second, because its hard to answer.

Its important to answer because its important for us to know whether military training is contributing to this epidemic, a fact that (one must rush to say) would not somehow eliminate the roles played by gender, guns, mental illness, domestic violence, a violent culture, the mass media, economic inequality, or anything else.

Looking at this list of mass shootings in the United States, one notices the following:

  • ninety-eight percent of the shootings were done by male shooters;
  • the vast majority had mental health problems;
  • the racial breakdown looks roughly equivalent to that in the population as a whole;
  • the creators of the list have not bothered to create a thorough record of which shooters had been in the military.

Beginning to sort out an answer, one quickly discovers that many mass-killings by veterans have been excluded from this list. World War II veteran Howard Barton Unruh killed 13 people in 1949 in New Jersey, but that was too early to make it onto this list. Persian Gulf veteran Timothy McVeigh killed 168 in Oklahoma City in 1995 but didnt use guns. Persian Gulf veteran Robert Flores shot his three nursing professors in Tucson, Arizona, in 2002, but only killings of four or more have been included. The same restriction keeps out U.S. Marine Corps veteran Radcliffe Haughtons killing of three women in Wisconsin in 2012. Even the D.C. sniper, Persian Gulf veteran John Allen Muhammad, who killed 17 in the Washington, D.C., area in 2002, with a partner, and using guns, is not included perhaps because he didnt kill all of his victims at once.

Proceeding with this list nonetheless, we should be able to determine what percentage of the shooters on the list are veterans, and then compare that to the general population. But how exactly do we do that? It would be crazy t...


Watching the cops "IndyWatch Feed National"

It is hard to believe that the rates of incarceration of Aboriginal people are actually higher than the rates of incarceration of African Americans in the USA (2,346 per 100,000 in Australia, 1,408 per 100,000 in the US). The problems that flow from over policing are much better understood in the US, a country we like to think of as much more regressive in the quality of its policing. But Aboriginal communities and their allies can take lessons from the US in how to tackle over-policing.


U.S. Mass Shooters Are Disproportionately Veterans "IndyWatch Feed National"

Are veterans of the U.S. military disproportionately likely to be mass killers in the United States? Asking such a question is difficult, first because of concerns of profiling, discrimination, etc., and second, because it's hard to answer.


Buenos Dias, Your Honor "IndyWatch Feed National"

(L) Chief Judge Juan Torruella  (C) Cesar Baruja, MD   (R) Prof Jim Fetzer    

by Mary W Maxwell 

Something so strange has happened in my life this week that me poor old brain has no place to process it. Viz, the federal judge in Boston (not OToole but one of the three who will hear Jahars appeal in the Marathon case), has permitted me and two others to be amici.

Thats pronounced Ah Mickey!.  Emotionally at least, it gives me some sort of standing in this world. I have gone from being a housewife to being an amicus curiae, a friend of the court. Of course I was always a fri...


Reed-warbling "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Ive been trying for years to get some decent images of Australian Reed-warblers, especially that iconic shot of one perched sideways on the stem of a reed. It remains an ongoing project.

This bird was spotted singing in a small patch of Common Reed on the east side of the Joyces Creek bridge. It was so focused on calling that it pretty much ignored me as I approached slowly and managed this sequence.

Also, interesting to note is the psyllid damage on the River Red-gum leaves in the background on a couple of the images. Many of the local eucalypts are suffering at the moment. This post on the FOBIF site is an excellent summary of some of the issues.

Australian Reed-warbler, Cairn Curran, 12th November 2017


FYI: Australia's Plebiscite on Same-Sex Marriage "IndyWatch Feed National"

Same-sex marriage, Australian politics, religion and state


Fair Australia Prize 2017: the shortlists "IndyWatch Feed National"

We are pleased to announce that the shortlisted writers and artists for the 2017 Fair Australia Prize.


Sydney: Refugee solidarity protestors clash with police outside Liberal Party dinner "IndyWatch Feed National"

11 Nov Former prime minister Tony Abbotts sister, Sydney councillor Christine Forster, had her favourite jacket ripped as she tried to enter a Liberal Party fundraiser surrounded by hundreds of Manus Island detention protesters.

Riot police formed a human chain to shield guests arriving for a Liberal Party fundraiser from several hundred Manus Island protesters who had formed outside the Friday night event which was also attended by Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Cr Forster had to be helped through the crowds by police and had her jacket torn in the crossfire.

Basically a melee broke out, it was a riot, she said.

It was an extraordinary situation, it was very unpleasant, it was dangerous for everybody, it was an aggressive, awful, scary situation.

Im a local City of Sydney councillor and I dont want to ever have this kind of stuff happening in my electorate.

Cr Forster said people should able to walk into an event unmolested, unassaulted and unattacked.

It was shocking to me and it was dangerous. People were trying to punch us, people ripped the jacket off my back If you want to make your political protest, anyone can make a political protest anywhere in Australia, but you dont do it like that.

It was a very unpleasant, unnecessary, dangerous situation that those people put everybody in, she said.

It was a situation that I have never been in and I would never choose to be in ever again. Its my favourite jacket and its shredded sadly and it was shredded off me from behind.

It was a very volatile and extraordinarily surprising situation to me.

The protesters were calling for the Immigration Minster to restore services to the now-closed Manus Island detention centre and bring the remaining asylum seekers to Australia.

The Australian Government had officially closed the detention centre o...


Jacqui Lambie to resign from Senate - says she'll contest next election "IndyWatch Feed National"

.@JacquiLambie: I regret to inform the chamber of my resignation. I love my father, I don't blame him for this. Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 14, 2017 Jacqui Lambie in her own words, "Senator for Tasmania. Advocate for Australian war veterans and injured soldiers. Looking after Tasmania's...


The Ex-Worker #59: Surviving a Grand Jury "IndyWatch Feed National"

The post The Ex-Worker #59: Surviving a Grand Jury appeared first on It's Going Down.

What it means to resist a grand jury; stories from those who have; how to support North Carolina grand jury resistance.
In this episode, we share the first-person stories of three comrades on the frontlines of grand jury resistance. As the state escalates repression through a new grand jury investigation in North Carolina against longtime anarchist Katie Yow, this episode offers perspectives from those who have successfully fought a grand jury summons. Tune in to demystify the process of how and why to resist testifying at a grand jury. For more information on her case and to support Katie, check out and to learn more about resources available for those resisting and their supporters, check out

For more information on how to stay strong during state repression, see our article How to Survive a Felony Trial.

To hear more about North Carolina Grand Jury Resistance and other cases of ongoing state repression, listen to this episode of The Hotwire.

Notes and Links

  • Table of Contents:
    • Introduction: Grand Jury Resisters Past and Present {00:00}
    • What is a Grand Jury {01:17}
    • A Knock on the Door {4:51}
    • Breathing Fire {19:35}
    • Facing the State {24:19}
    • Life on the Run {35:11}
    • Trees and MirrorsSurviving Solitary {38:31}
    • Release {45:53}
    • Back from the Underground {50:47}
    • Conclusion: We Can Survive This {54:45}
    • Support NC Grand Jury Resister Katie Yow {56:16}
    • Statement from Katie Yow {57:17}
  • On November 21, at 8 pm Eastern Time, we will broadcast our third live video presentation, in...


CompuServes forums, which still exist, are finally shutting down "IndyWatch Feed National"

Before there was a World Wide Web, a sizable chunk of all meaningful conversation between computer users happened in the forums at CompuServe, which was the dominant online service until AOL came along. There was a CompuServe forum for everything from PC hardware to comic books, the signal-to-noise ratio was generally high, and if you

Before there was a World Wide Web, a sizable chunk of all meaningful conversation between computer users happened in the forums at CompuServe, which was the dominant online service until AOL came along. There was a CompuServe forum for everything from PC hardware to comic books, the signal-to-noise ratio was generally high, and if you had a question chances were that a fellow member would answer itjust to be helpful.

Read Full Story


Kristina Keneally on Tripodi, Obeid - and the possibility the Labor Party might draft her to Canberra "IndyWatch Feed National"

I spoke to Kristina Keneally in August 2011 and asked her about Tripodi/Obeid - and the possibility she might be drafted to Canberra.


Self sufficiency, comes at a price "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

IF you are one of my vegan friends, turn away, dont read this..  this morning, our two wethers met their fate and will be in our freezer next week.

I originally bought them 14 months ago with two young ewes, which have now both lambed, thanks to 20171104_184005Matt my neighbor who kindly allowed me to have them serviced by his ram. Its a cooperative thing, all his Wilties are now on our orchard, gorging on luscious grass now going ballistic. Weve had copious rain, and yesterday, today, and tomorrow, its hotter here than in Brisbane. and the grass loves it! Normal Tasmanian weather will resume tomorrow afternoon!

As I have mentioned here before, our farms land capability, as it is officially known, is class 4 which is perfect for pastures, and therefore grazing animals. We are also lucky that our pastures have actually been improved by previous owners, and its great animal fattening land. We are not exactly making the most of it yet, because fully one third of our property is yet to have more animals eating our grass.. most likely, Matts cows will be put to the test soon!



Arts Wednesday 15 November 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Sydney By Design continues this week at 10:40 am with Part 4. Ed introduces guest, Nicole Sullivan, from Green Star Solutions, continuing the conversation about buildings and sustainability.

My special guest at 11:00 am is Ian Hemphill, aka Herbie. Our conversation traverses the world of herbs and spices, from their history to their uses, with other aspects in between!

Music this week is mostly about you guessed it herbs and spices!

I look forward to your company!


The post Arts Wednesday 15 November 2017 appeared first on 89.7 Eastside FM.


On blogging networks "IndyWatch Feed National"

As many readers know, I run a group blog, The Asexual Agenda (TAA). Other readers might be aware that Im on this blogging network called Freethought Blogs (FTB). Still other readers may be aware of other blogging networks like The Orbit, or Skepchick. Have you ever wondered how these blog networks are organized?

This is something that interests me, as a group blog admin. But perhaps nobody else is interested, because I hardly ever see anyone else talk about it. Or perhaps people dont talk about it because the information is too sensitive. You dont want to give away information that is potentially embarrassing to other people on the network. Many blogging networks may even have formal rules against disclosing certain information. I myself am limited in what I can say. But theres some stuff that is public knowledge, at least in principle, so Ill talk about that.

TAA is a dictatorship, with a few democratic processes. We follow a formal voting procedure for important decisions, namely blogger additions, and blogger ejections. But there are also a bunch of decisions that you wouldnt even know were decisions, and things that dont lend themselves very well to voting. For example, how do we make decisions on web design? How do we set the direction of the network? What if the network needs to make a public statement about something? When do we call a vote for something? How is the vote conducted? The value of a dictatorship is that we dont need to prepare for every possible decision. Theres an easy answer to any question that will ever come upthe dictator decides.

FTB is more of an anarchy. People just argue until there appears to be a consensus. The person who determines whether theres a consensus, is whoever has the power and initiative to act. Sometimes there is no clear consensus. And sometimes when there is a clear consensus, nobody has the power and initiative to act. So things end up moving very slowly. Im not really a fan of this structure, and Im guessing that the people who left FTB to form The Orbit were not fans either.

According to public statements, The Orbit is a democratic and collectivist organization. I dont really know what that means, but it sounds complicated. Im guessing there are lots of different kinds of organizational structures for blogging networks. Were not comparing notes, so there arent any standard practices.

As I already mentioned, the most important decisions in a blogging network are who to add, and who to eject. Adding bloggers is important because of blogger attrition. Sometimes you have some bloggers who write and write forever, like me. But most b...


ALBUM REVIEW: Dusty Ravens Low Down Jimmy "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

It may seem a tad peculiar that a band from the Inner West of Sydney could breathe genuine spirit and authenticity into Mexican-infused country music but Dusty Ravens have done just that on their second album. Low Down Jimmy is the sound of desert dust, desperate souls, sin and salvation  all bathed in mood-heavy instrumentation. Continue reading


Contribute to our 2018 State Election campaign "IndyWatch Feed National"

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The SA state election will be held in March 2018, and in the lead-up we have the opportunity to run a high-impact campaign for both our sector, and for all low income and disadvantaged South Australians.


80 Million Year Old Dinosaur Era Shark Found off Portuguese Coast "IndyWatch Feed National"

Source: Truth Theory | by Fattima Mahdi

A mysterious 'dinosaur' shark was captured off the Portuguese coast by a fisherman and has been dubbed as a "living fossil" by scientists. The species dates back 80 million years and makes it one of the very few creatures from the dinosaur ages that is still around.

The discovery adds to the list of very few sharks recently found in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. This deep sea creature usually lies at a depth of 390 and 4,200 feet below the surface, which is one one of the main reasons it was not discovered before the 19th century.

The prehistoric fish is 1.5 metres in length and was caught off the resort of Portimao at a depth of 700 metres. With a long and slim body, the shark resembles a snake and bears 300 teeth. Judging by remains which have been previously found, the species has been swimming in the sea for a very long time.

Researchers were in the area working on a project when the beast was found. They are now studying the frilled shark and hope to learn more about the elusive species. This rare find means that there is plenty they can learn about how animals coexist in the depths of the ocean.

Image credit: SIC Noticias


ABC Media Watch Beggars Belief "IndyWatch Feed National"

(photo ABC)

by Dee McLachlan

Last night, on Monday as usual, ABCs Media Watch program rattled out another establishment piece this time about Russias interference in the US election.

Hello, Im Paul Barry, welcome to Media Watch.

And what exactly were the Russians doing that Americans failed to see? Tonight, in a special program, were going to look at how Facebook and Twitter allowed their platforms to be used by Russia to swing the US presidential election and divide America.

You can view, and read about the program here (Media Watch, 13 November, 2017).

I posted a comment on Media Watch about two hours ago (when it said 0 comments or no comments yet moderated). Later, I noticed that there were a total of NINE comments.

I have published all below. It seems the ABC is failing dismally to convince its viewers of its honesty...


Andrew Swift Announces New Album Call Out For The Cavalry Plus Exclusive Stream of Reckless Desires "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Image Courtesy of Andrew Swift Melbourne based alt-country singer-songwriter Andrew Swift has just announced plans to release his new album Call Out For The Cavalry, due for release on the 2nd March next year. The album follows on from Andrew Swifts eponymous 2015 release and was produced by sought after producer Matt Fell. Swift has []


The Hanging: Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Newell Harry, Circle/s in the Round, 2010, neon, 135 x 175 x 5 cm.
Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.  Document Photography, 2017.

It almost feels like a visit to a small scale museum of natural history, thats if the museum was also staging gut-wrenching irony.

This month, 4a Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is rethinking Australian history by digging straight to the roots of European settlement. Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu sees artists from Australia and New Zealand come together to reclaim ideas of Indigenous heritage, ecology and land by reviewing history as it were recorded post European settlement.

Entering the building, Newell Harry greets you with a whole lot of colour and text as he examines the crossover between power and language through art. Featuring glowing neon words and targets on the wall, the piece feels oddly disparate upon first inspection. What Newell wants you to think about is, that with little to no instruction, youre forced to assume meaning and to assign it without consent or permission. More importantly, is this act right or wrong? Has this lands history been recorded as such? 

This more or less gives you a tangible premise for the show. Newells work pushes you in to a space of critical thinking, which is to be affirmed by subtle tos and fros of commentary woven through the other artworks that await you. Theres taxidermy sparrows, paintings of Captain Cook, sacred objects of Maori heritage, and printed images of botanists at work are reflected onto mirrors. The key is to pick apart the elements of the work that might disrupt the initial image at play.




Gays would be worse off under Paterson bill: Law Council "IndyWatch Feed National"

The draft Marriage Amendment (Definition and Protection of Freedoms) Bill 2017 to legalise same-sex marriage, released by Senator James Paterson yesterday, represents an extraordinary and perilous winding back of Australias anti-discrimination laws under the cover of marriage equality, according to the Law Council of Australia.

President, Fiona McLeod SC, said while the Paterson Bill acknowledges concerns of those holding traditional views of marriage, it goes well beyond the issue of marriage in a number of crucial respects.

Australias anti-discrimination laws were amended in 2013 to enact important protections for LGBTI people in recognition of the unacceptable levels of discrimination. This Bill will encroach on many of these protections in an extraordinary and perilous way.

For example, the Bill would allow people to refuse to provide goods and services on the grounds of belief, thought and conscience taking us well beyond religious beliefs into unchartered waters.

You could potentially see a situation where a hire car company could leave their customers stranded on the way to a marriage ceremony simply because the driver held a thought or belief against it. This is even if the belief had nothing to do with religion, Ms McLeod said.

Ms McLeod said freedom from discrimination is a fundamental human right. Discrimination on personal attributes, including sexual orientation, is contrary to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and our international obligations.

The right to freedom of religion also appears in international law. While the freedom to have religious beliefs is also protected unconditionally, the manifestation or expression of those beliefs or religion may be subject to limitation where it impacts upon other fundamental rights.

Ms McLeod said the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, endorsed by five government members including Senator Dean Smith, already extended existing protections for freedom of religious expression in the context of marriage and was a reasonable compromise.

The Smith Bill supports the protection of religious freedoms in two key ways. It permits ministers of religion and religious marriage celebrants to refuse to solemnise a marriage and it allows bodies established for religious purposes to refuse to provide goods or services for the purposes of the solemnisation of a marriage, Ms McLeod said.

While the Law Council does not endorse every detail of the Smith Bill it represents a better balance from a human rights perspective...


Zero G - 13 November 2017 Episode 1159 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

ZERO-G #1159

Title: Supervising the Supers

Podcast Title:  Murder on the Poddient Express 1159

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Historical Radio with Rob Jan & Megan McKeough. This week: delving into ethics, power and responsibility with LIAM BURKE; and we hop aboard for MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS.

For playlists, show notes, and news see the 3RRR website at:

Follow @zerogrobjan on Twitter and Facebook:

Zero G broadcasts live from Melbourne Australia on Mondays at 1pm AEST


Security Threat Groups: The Industry of Gangs "IndyWatch Feed National"

The post Security Threat Groups: The Industry of Gangs appeared first on It's Going Down.

This following essay is written by anarchist prisoner, Sean Swain, and was originally released on the Final Straw Radio show. For more info about how to support Sean, go here.

In Ohio prisons, pretty much everyone is in a gang whether theyre in a gang or not. If youre an Ohio prisoner and youre not in a gang, prison administrators will put you in one. And if theres no gang for you, theyll just create a new one.

The reason is, its a federal bloc grant swindle. Heres how it works:

The U.S. Department of Justice keeps a kind of database on what it calls Security Threat Groups, or STGs, not to be confused with STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases. The Department of Justice does not monitor chlamydia or gonorrhea. Yet. At least, as far as I know.

What it does monitor, Security Threat Groups, includes groups like the Bloods, the Crips, the Gangsta Disciples, the Aryan Brotherhood. Those are the larger, more-recognizable so-called Security Threat Groups.

So, to keep a handle on these groups, the U.S. Department of Justice gives what it calls bloc grant funding to states. States like Ohio that participate in the STG-monitoring program maintain a database that it shares with the Department of Justice, keeping files on gang members and their activities. For each gang member the state monitors, the Department of Justice allots a certain amount of funds.
The more gang members, the more money the state prison system gets.

Back in the 1990s, you had a handful of gangs or Security Threat Groups. Each of those gangs had a handful of pretty visible members. There as an investigator at each prison whose job was principally something else, who kept files on these gangs.

Since then, with the availability of federal bloc grants, we now have seemingly hundreds of security threat groups, some of them having only two or three members, all registered in the computer database. We have seemingly tens of thousands of gang members filling the Ohio prisons. And we have not one but two investigators employed full-time at every Ohio prison, with their salaries covered by bloc grant funds; their offices expenses covered by bloc grant funds; their computer hardware for conducting their w...


Manus Island: Those For Whom We Cannot Grieve "IndyWatch Feed National"

As a nation, overcoming our fear of the other and exposing our own vulnerabilities is the key to ending the crisis on Manus Island, writes Elise Addlem.

The 600 men trapped between the Manus Island detention centre and the unknown that comes next are people defined negatively as individuals. They are not defined, as they once were, as a member of a country, as a father, a son, a partner, a friend. Now, they have been hollowed out of all of these individualising, humanising factors.

Their individuality has been replaced by their collective status as the other, as an us and them. This other that permeates Australian political discussion is boat people, a term which does a masterful job of at of once denying individuals and their lived experiences, and binding them together into a collective they never asked for.

Shop-Sparkke_Banner_300x250(GB)The current Australian government, and those which came before it, have been successful in moving refugees who arrive to Australia by boat not only physically out of sight, but out of the space in the human mind that is vulnerable to the suffering of others.

What I want to ask, then, is how do we give back humanness to those that have systematically been stripped of it?

Here Judith Butler is helpful. In her recent work, Precarious Life, Butler considers what counts as human and what counts as a grievable life. What we find in the language used to discuss those seeking asylum in Australia today, all the way back to the Howard era, is a refusal to acknowledge that these people are humans just like you and I. That in our human condition and the vulnerability that comes along with it, we are all human beings worthy of empathy.

The use of terms such as boat people, queue jumpers, as well as racially or ethnically based labels serve to push refugees out of this space of shared humanity. Of grievability.

However, Butler says that it is too simplistic to argue that the dehumanisation or derealisation at the level of public and political discussion gives rise to a physical violence enacted against people. The inverse likewise does not get at the complexity of the matter. Perhaps we can say that the ordering is not important, but that way we the dehumanise refugees in Australia (and much of the so-called West) forms a justificatory loop is such a way that it becomes seemingly self-perpetuating.



Naked People Terrorize Missouri Town, Synthetic Drug Flakka Suspected "IndyWatch Feed National"


Several people went on a rampage in a small Missouri town that included barking like dogs, yelling, breaking into buildings and showering naked in soda water. The incident is being blamed on a synthetic drug that often causes extreme behavior.

Police believe the man-made drug Flakka was the cause of the behavior, which left the town of Sullivan in eastern Missouri reeling and searching for answers, the Kansas City Star reported.

Two people were arrested in relation to the incident, while several were treated at the hospital. The drugs recovered have not yet been tested, but police think the users mixed methamphetamine with flakka.

We had multiple incidents this past weekend of people on some kind of substance acting out of their minds, Police Lieutenant Patrick Johnson said, according to the Sullivan Independent NewsBarking like dogs, running up and down the street entering peoples homes, breaking into a business, yelling outside of local businesses.

One business owner described a theft that took place during the incident.

My dad came in Saturday morning ready to open the place (up) and noticed that the doors by the machine area were opened up and came in and noticed one of our cash registers was knocked over on the floor, Alec Ockrassa, the general manager of Sullivan Bowl, told KSDK. The thieves took more than a thousand dollars from the register, Ockrassa said.

Flakka, which is also known as alpha-PVP, has a similar chemical makeup to drugs known as bath salts, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is typically sold in a white or pink crystalline form, and emits a foul smell.

Users consume the synthetic drug by either eating, snorting, injecting or vaporizing it in an electronic cigarette device, according to the institute.

Flakka also featured in several incidents last year in Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, according to the Star. It caused everything from overdose-related deaths to a slew of emergen...


Riders take scenic route "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

ONE of the most spectacular rides in Victoria was held in Inverloch on Sunday, November 12.

Hundreds of cyclists and their friends and families from all over Australia were in Inverloch for the 2017 Bass Coast Cycle Challenge (BCCC) and family festival.
The BCCC teamed up with the Inverloch Lions Family Festival once again which had all sorts of fun activities on offer such as a bike decorating competition for kids, face painting and billy cart races.

There were four different ride distance options available on the day including a 121km, 85km, 53km and a 40 km ride.

For those who arent cycling fans, a 10km, five km and 1.8km run took place.
The weather conditions were perfect for the scenic run and ride.

On the road: cyclists from across the region and beyond united for the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge held in Inverloch on Sunday.

Dylan Rielly from Wonthaggi participated in the 40km Bass Coast Cycle Challenge ride and placed fourth with a time of 1.41.34 on Saturday

John and Kate Mulvany from Koonwarra participated in the 40km Bass Coast Cycle Challenge ride on Satu...


Former locals win business award "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

FORMER Leongatha residents Lisa and Kurt Gowers showcased how hard work pays after winning the professional services category in the Hobsons Bay Business Excellence Award.

They opened Lavanya Spa Retreat in Williamstown more than five years ago. They started out in a single room in 2012 and have since expanded to a large day spa with seven staff offering a range of services from massage, organic facials and body scrubs to wraps, seasonal specials and group packages,

To enter the awards, they had to submit a 35 page application. It was later revealed their application was judged the most impressive.

They were then shortlisted as finalists, and they announcement they had won occurred at a gala dinner attended by 400 businesses.

Kurt said the win came as a pleasant shock.

It was a big surprise. The award was great recognition for all the hard work that we put in. To be recognised with an award like this gives us confidence we are on the right track and must be doing something right. We love what we are doing and like to think that this is reflected through our business, he said.

Kurt said the award has already done wonders for the business, creating more awareness across Hobsons Bay.

Weve had a lot of people say they didnt know we were here, so it has broaden our range of reach and given us more business. It has been great to get that kind of awareness out there, he said.

Kurt and Lisa both grew up in Leongatha, attending the local primary and secondary schools.

We are regularly visited by many Leongatha locals, which we absolutely love to see, Kurt said.




Achievement: from left, former Leongatha locals Lisa and Kurt Gowers recently won a Hobsons Bay Business Excellence Award in the professional services category for their business Lavanya Spa Retreat. They are pictured with staff member Skye Hawkins.


Roads, health boosts in mayors sights "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

BASS Coast Shire Council is ready to roll into a massive 2018, with projects in the pipeline.

In a show of unity, councillors re-elected mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield and deputy mayor Cr Brett Tessari for a second term to maintain balance and continuity.

Cr Rothfield said she was delighted to continue her role and to go in to the new term with knowledge.

You network and establish connections in the first year, and its wonderful to be able to build on that, she said.

As a council, we will be able to hit the ground running, and I feel confident in facing challenges like advocacy in this state election year.

During 2018, Cr Rothfield said council would work with VicRoads to upgrade roads, work to secure better medical facilities both in Wonthaggi and on Phillip Island, and work on recreational projects like the Phillip Island aquatic centre.

These may not all be achieved in 2018, but we will certainly continue to advocate for these projects, she said.

Coastal erosion is also a challenge council will be looking to face and is particularly important to tackle given the environment is the economy.

Cr Rothfield said she was proud of the community engagement that took place this year, which led to the council plan and the business case for the Phillip Island car ferry. Car ferry consultations will continue through the holidays with residents and tourists.

On top of this, Cr Rothfield was thrilled with the funding received by Wonthaggi Secondary College and the Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club.

Cr Tessari said seeing the council vote as a collective would continue to instil confidence in the residents.

Cr Rothfield and I have a rapport, and it would take time to start again with a new mayor. We have an advantage because we can continue as normal, and Cr Rothfield is fantastic in the role, he said.

He said he was thrilled with the open communication achieved between council and the community during 2017, as well as the announcement of the Wonthaggi education precinct.

Heading into 2018, he is looking forward to the completion of Jetty Triangle a plan to beautify Cowes town centre and foreshore as well as the development of the North East Wonthaggi precinct, which gives a clear vision of future expansion in Wonthaggi.

Cr Michael Whelan nominated Cr Rothfield to be mayor.

Giving people a go is not always in the best interest of the shire. We can continue to be a cohesive council, he said.

Cr Stephen Fullarton nominated Cr Tessari to be deputy mayor.

Cr Tessari has done a wonderful job in (Cr Rothfields) absence. This shows councils unity. In differ...


Sales awards for Landmark Harcourts "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

LANDMARK Harcourts Leongatha office has cleaned up two quarterly awards for sales following an awards ceremony at the Brighton International last week.

Barry Redmond, business owner and sales consultant took out the top spot, a Titanium Award, for the best sales in the state for most property sold (dollar value) across the Landmark Harcourts group. This awards places Barry at the top for the July to September quarter ahead of 400 other sales consultants in the state.

And nationally, Barry ranked number three in the rural sales category and number four for all categories for sales.

Mr Redmond said experience covering over 40 years and a lot of hard work is behind the success.

I thank all my clients for their loyalty over 40 years and it couldnt have come without their support and friendship, he said.

Barry wasnt the only person to take out an award with his daughter Kellie Thomas collecting a silver achievement award and a gold pin for her sales achievements in residential and lifestyle properties.

Having only commenced two years ago as a sales consultant, Kellie is off to a very strong start.



Sales achievements: Kellie Thomas, left, and Barry Redmond, right both picked up sales awards at a recent industry function for Landmark Harcourts across its Victorian locations.


Paella warms up Cup party "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE air was cold outside but not for the lucky guests inside at Meeniyans Paella Party at Trulli Pizzeria on Melbourne Cup day.

Inside these punters had the right idea, enjoying canaps and paella and a glass of Aperol Spritz as they watched the races on the big screen. There was even a bus to pick them up and drop them home.

Wearing suitable race attire inside, it was warm and cosy and for some a glimpse of sunshine had them venturing outside in the garden, even just briefly.

Trullis owners said it was a great experiment and were pleased how the day went and hoping it will catch on bigger and better if held again next year.

Friends party: enjoying each others company at Trulli Pizzerias Paella Party on Cup day were, from left, Zoe Sargant, Caron Bordonaro, Elyse Chapman, and Elise Neal, all from the Leongatha/Koonwarra area.

Sunny at times: Brad and Caron Bordonaro and George Broady of Korumburra venture outside for some brief sunshine at Meeniyans Paella Party.

Cup day: settling back at the Paella Party were Robbie...


School dollars roll in "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

TWO schools will receive funding from the State Government for vital maintenance.

Wonthaggi Primary School will receive nearly $110,000 to undertake structural works in the main administration building, and Foster Secondary College will get $1.3 million to replace the roof of the gym, music centre and surrounding walkways.

Foster Secondary College assistant principal Dean Duursma said the school started applying for funding to fix the leaking rooves around two years ago.

He said the roof leaked so badly in the boys change rooms it was posing a health a safety risk to students and teachers.

We are extremely appreciative for the funding. It took a long time before we could get it going, but it is underway now, he said.

The funding will also pay for new carpet in the music room, which was water damaged.

The school received emergency maintenance funding of around $120,000 for the administration building around two years ago, also to replace the roof.

Mr Duursma said the school was shared with the whole community and he was hopeful the new roof would last another 30 years.

The support from the State Government was appreciated at a time when the Federal Government seems to be devaluing state schools, he said.

It is important we have a world class facility.

Wonthaggi Primary principal Mark Chandler said the school was excited to get an opportunity to make some improvements to a building that was at least a century old.

He said the money would be used to complete maintenance works on the schools red brick building, which houses administration and some junior classrooms.

The money was tagged to a condition report undertaken by the school maintenance program around 18 months ago, he said.

It means we can reallocate some of our budget to other areas that will go towards improving the learning outcomes for the students rather than maintaining buildings.

Eastern Victoria Region MLC Harriet Shing said, These important upgrades will ensure that more school communities throughout Gippsland get the support and funding they need and will help more students to get the most out of their education.


New roof: Foster Secondary College business manager Colleen Smith and students Kurtis Storr and Ril...


Top quality silage tipped "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

SILAGE quality this year is said to be a lot better than last season, but there is loss of it in some areas.

Its hard to say which areas are producing more silage, PJ and NJ McNaughton Agricultural Contractors owner Phil McNaughton said.

The quality of the silage is really good compared to last year, however we are producing a little bit less.

The contractors have been collecting four to six bales per acre; thats 12 bales to a hectare.

Silage contractors always have a challenging relationship with the weather, as it plays such a decisive role in the process.

Mr McNaughton and his team were working in Korumburra last week and Leongatha the weeks before.

They started in Leongatha earlier because the red soil was a little bit drier and they have started on the later country in Korumburra where it is becoming drier now.

We started in Leongatha areas earlier a few weeks ago and the quality was quite good. Now were on to Korumburra and surrounding areas a lot later but its still fine quality, he said.

Its certainly still positive. Its all dependent on the weather and this week is looking good. Hopefully the worst of the weather is pretty much over.

Plastic wise, PJ and NJ McNaughton Agricultural Contractors have used green, clear, yellow, pink and blue and black is available.


Taking shape: the silage season is in full swing in South Gippsland and contractor Phil McNaughton of Kardellas PJ and NJ McNaughton Agricultural Contractors, is happy with the quality of the silage this season so far.


RSL seeks Vietnam veterans "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE South Gippsland Shire and the Leongatha RSL are working together to honour those from the area who served in Vietnam.

Currently the list has approximately 150 of veterans who live in South Gippsland and includes Wonthaggi.

Following a request from Richard Lester of Leongatha, Cr Maxine Kiel has taken on board the role of researching and documenting the names of local veterans who were either born in the region or who have come to live most of their lives in this area.

This is a long overdue project and I look forward to working with various organisations to complete a comprehensive list of our Vietnam veterans, Ms Kiel said.

Ive found there are a lot from Korumburra, Foster and Toora and not as many from Leongatha and Mirboo North.

If you are a Vietnam veteran and would like to be named on the Shire of Woorayl Honour Board being prepared, please contact Maxine on for further information or inclusion.

The Leongatha RSL officially opened the Leongatha RSL Business Hub on Saturday.

The hub is located just down the road from the Leongatha RSL on Bellingham Street in Leongatha.

A key note address was given by RSL Active convenor Harry Moffitt.

Harry is a serving soldier from the SAS Regiment with 25 years of service to his country and 11 overseas operational tours.

RSL Active is RSLs next effort to engage with young veterans, he said.

Were hoping RSL Active can provide support for that next generation.

RSL Active offers a myriad of events and activities, aimed at creating social networks, enhancing support circles, and improving mental and physical health outcomes.

The new RSL Hub is open to veterans, veterans families and veterans partners as a safe place to relax, socialise, connect or use a computer on Thursdays and Fridays.


Great respect: from left, Leongatha RSL volunteer Noel Laing, guest speaker veteran Harry Moffitt, South Gippsland Shire Council Cr Meg Edwards, Leongatha RSL secretary Ken Wanklyn and councils deputy mayor Maxine Kiel at the new Leongatha RSL Veterans Business Hub grand opening and forum on young ex-service members on Saturday.


Leongatha remembers fallen heroes "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A PATRIOTIC crowd gathered at the Leongatha Cenotaph at 11am on Saturday to acknowledge Remembrance Day.

SAS Sgt Harry Moffitt spoke after a minute of silence.

As a proud infantry young veteran, it is my obligation to urge other young veterans to step forward and carry out the remembrance of those who have gone before us, he said.

Sgt Moffitt is a serving soldier from the SAS Regiment with 25 years of service.

Ex-servicemen and women, members of South Gippsland Shire Council and members of the public, including Leongatha Primary School students, gathered to lay wreaths and remember those who sacrificed their lives.

World War Two veteran Tom Parsons of Leongatha laid a wreath he had been sent from the Thurrock Branch Legion in England in memory of the fallen Commonwealth Forces who gave their lives for Australians freedom.

Paying respects: from left, Ed and Bev Hanley from Leongatha, South Gippsland Shire Council Cr Meg Edwards and former mayor Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks outside Leongathas memorial hall on Remembrance Day on Saturday.


Prowler stalks Koonwarra "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

KOONWARRA residents continue to remain on high alert, with a prowler still knocking on doors late at night.

Reports of the prowler have prompted police to patrol the streets several nights a week in the hope of catching the offender.

Worried residents are installing security cameras around their homes in a bid to catch the snooper.

The perpetrator has been knocking on doors late at night and fleeing before occupants have a chance to identify them.

The Star issued a warning to the public on its Facebook page last week and that post reached more than 8600 people.

Senior Constable Nathan Grist of Leongatha Police said a tall, skinny male had been appearing on peoples back doors.

When they go and investigate, hes gone, he said.

S/C Grist believed the prowler had been frequenting properties in and around Kangaroo Rise, and had been moving through bush adjoining those properties.

If people hear or see anything, do not hesitate in calling triple zero at the time so that way we can strike while the iron is hot rather than chasing ghosts, he said.

S/C Grist did not believe the prowler could commit more serious offences.

Koonwarra resident Denis Hawkins experienced a stranger wandering around his Swan Road property around 10.30pm recently.

It sounded like there was someone lightly knocking on the door, he said.

I had heard about the prowler before this happened and I believe there is somebody hanging around.

I thought there was someone at the door and so I got up and had a look but didnt see anyone.

Ive got cameras that cover all around the house, however at the time I was in the middle of replacing them so they were actually turned off.

Mr Hawkins has sensor lights around his property and the front light turned on when he heard the knocking.

Some of the locals are frightened and have started installing cameras on their properties in Koonwarra, he said.

I dont want people to have to live in fear. People just need to be a bit more vigilant if there is a prowler around.

The Star has heard reports of a person recently entering a home in Koonwarra on, or near Kookaburra Drive, in the middle of the night.

The prowler activity is not only confined to Koonwarra, with Alana Anson of Wonthaggi also experiencing late night door knocking at her Merrin Crescent home.

I recently had someone knock on my door on a Monday at 3am, she said.

I woke up to the sound of the person knocking and when I was sitting on my bed they were still knocking so I...


Homes may go "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THREE Korumburra homes or one business shed could potentially be demolished by South Gippsland Shire Council and replaced with a community hub.

Korumburra residents had the opportunity to speak up about the Korumburra Community Hub plan at a pop in information session hosted by council in the Korumburra Meeting Room last Thursday.

Councils manager of planning Paul Stampton said three potential locations for the hub require land to be bought and the financial value of each option was within 20 percent of each proposal.

Three locations have been identified as the potential site of the hub.

Option one is the former kindergarten site and surrounds in Victoria Street which is comprised of a private dwelling and a commercial shed.

Option two is 22 to 28 Victoria Street which comprises four separately owned lots between and including 22 and 28 Victoria Street.

Three of the lots contain privately owned dwellings zoned commercial one, while 28 Victoria Street is council owned and contains the former council childcare centre.

Obviously we feel for the landowners personally but we spent a considerable amount of time speaking with each property owner, Mr Stampton said.

Option three is the Korumburra railway station yard.

Korumburra resident David Jackson said, My favourite is option three; it is the perfect spot for it because it has the view.

The houses in option two have got to be at least 80 years old. Theyre beautiful homes that will be taken away.

Option one is a good spot but the access is poor and dangerous. Its no good.

Mr Jacksons wife Maryanne likes option one because its close to their home but shes worried about the trees that will be chopped down.

The railway station option will make better use of the land compared to whats there because at the moment its a waste, she said.

FixedIt: Children cannot engage in sex acts "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Morning Bulletin reported on a man held on over 200 charges of rape, making child pornography and possessing child exploitation material, many of those charges related to children under 12.

Whatever the outcome of the court case, children under 12 cannot be engaged in sex acts. Sex requires consent, children under 12 cannot legally or morally give consent so it is not sex. Rape and sex are not the same thing and they can not be used interchangeably in headlines.

Here are the reasons this matters, in every case, with every headline.

The victim impact statements from child abuse trials are harrowing, a testament to the lifelong injuries suffered by people who were sexually abused as children. They are the litany of drug addition, alcohol dependence, gambling problems, depression, crippling anxiety, relationship breakdowns, suicidal thoughts, shame, self-hatred, mistrust of others and long term emotional damage so common in survivors of child sexual abuse. Children who have been abused are also significantly more likely to suffer further abuse, both as children and as adults.

The effects of sexual abuse of children then lead to the cycle of horror where victims become unreliable witnesses to their own abuse.

When the media, as it so persistently does, labels sexual abuse of children as child sex, we are weakening the public understanding of the extent and effect of such abuse. This has serious effects. A study conducted for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that juries who have a better understanding of the facts of child sexual abuse are less likely to make mistakes in their assessment of evidence given in court.

Children cannot have sex with adults. Sex requires consent and children, by definition, cannot give consent, so its not sex. Its rape, its child abuse, its sexual abuse, its any number of terms that accurately describe a crime. An act perpetrated on an innocent victim, someone who was unable to defend themselves from the violence done to them, and who suffers for years, possibly decades, from the trauma caused by an adults choice to commit that violence.

That word choice is the key. Sex is a choice made by every person involved. Rape and abuse are a choice made only by the perpetrator. The victim has no choice.



Service station excitement builds "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE new Evans Petroleum Westside service station in Leongatha should be open for business by mid December.

The project was setback due to wet weather throughout winter.

Its been a bit of a hit or miss with the weather, Evans Petroleum managing director Stuart Evans said.

We closed the site down at the end of February, and then there was a bit of time lag between the demolishing so its taken a little bit longer than anticipated, mainly due to weather though.

Mr Evans was hoping the project would have been finished by Melbourne Cup weekend and is now anticipating it will be finished before Christmas.

Leongatha building company Considine and Johnston, along with local sub contractors, have been undertaking the works.

Its important to hire local contractors to keep the money in the town, keep the locals employed and also because at times they are customers of ours and its reciprocal trade, Mr Evans said.

Considine and Johnsons project manager Gary Bullen said he appreciates Mr Evans giving locals a go at a project like this in town.

The new site is specifically designed to suit trucks. The shop will be a lot larger and there will be a greater product range inside.

Four 50,000 litre tanks have been installed, giving the service station a greater fuel storage capacity than previously offered.

We needed to do it for a while. The original site was well past its used by date and it was looking pretty shabby, Mr Evans said.

Getting there: Considine and Johnsons project manager Gary Bullen and Evans Petroleum managing director Stuart Evans are excited about the opening of Evans Petroleums new Westside service station in Leongatha in mid December.


New school building worth the wait at Burra "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

ITS the beginning of a new chapter for Korumburra Secondary College with students finally settling into the new building.

The building accommodates subjects such as art, food technology, wood and metal work.

Inside has been designed with a central open space for shared learning, with individual classrooms that can be isolated for private lessons surrounding.

The kids have managed it really well. Theyve just been fantastic in terms of how theyve transferred into there, Korumburra Secondary College principal Abigail Graham said.

Theyre finding it an awesome learning space.

This was the first stage of the schools $5.6 million redevelopment and the next step has just begun.

The old technology wing building has been knocked down and will be replaced with new basketball courts over summer.

Great outcome: from left, Tina Telfer, Emma Honan, Jacob Douglas, Beau Connell, Jayden Howlett-Bell and Ethan Hoult are all thrilled to be learning in the new building at Korumburra Secondary College.


Art to feed the hungry "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

ST LAURENCE Primary School, Leongatha students have started collecting canned goods to donate to people in need over the Christmas period.

The school is hoping to collect around 500 cans before November 20 when each class will create a mural using the donated cans.

All cans will be donated to St Vinnies, but first the students will construct the best mural they can in the school yard using the cans.

You can drop off cans to the St Laurence Primary School office or The Star office.

Great cause: from left, St Laurence Primary School students Lydia, Brad, Amy, Braydi, Angeline and Darcy are looking forward to receiving dozens of cans from the community to donate to St Vinnies after they use the cans to create murals on November 20.


Annie selection down to the wire "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

SOME 116 people turned up for Leongatha Lyric Theatres Annie auditions that started on Friday evening and went all weekend through till about 5.30pm on Sunday.

As for the title role of Anni,e 26 young girls auditioned and now there is a nervous wait this week with the selection down to the last four.

Lyric was pleased to see a further 51 young children try out for the orphan roles and while some 39 adults attended, the group is still looking for more men to get involved in this show.

Contact production manager Ann Hemming by email if you require any further information. Any interested men can also find out more about what roles are still available.


Nervous wait: Leongatha Lyric Theatre ran auditions for its 2018 Annie musical on the weekend and some of the Annie hopefuls included, back, from left, Lillyca White, Phoebe Collins, Jessica Geyer and Shontelle OConnor, and front, Cecily De Gooyer, already cast Sandy the Dog, Remmi Hemming and Taya Cameron.


Newhaven Colleges new $10M Senior centre nears completion "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

EMERGING from the dust and ready to soar in 2018 is the latest addition to Newhaven College, the awe-inspiring $10 million Senior School, Science, Art and Technology centre, due for completion this year.

The state of the art learning centre exudes style, commands an elevated position and is a credit to the Melbourne architect firm, Hayball Architects.

Funded with the assistance of a Federal Government $1.4 million grant for the Senior School, the science, art and technology wing was fully funded by the college.

The wing will feature five science labs including an outdoor lab, multi-media centre, makers room, three art spaces, dark room, textiles area, offices and toilet facilities.

The Senior School will offer spacious common rooms, including lounge space, outdoor social and study seating and tables, standing desks, brand new personal lockers, meeting rooms, specialist room and impressive lecture theatrette that opens to extra outdoor learning space.

The 85 Year 12 students will enjoy their final year of school with a dedicated common/lunch room equipped with microwaves, tea and coffee making facilities and outdoor study/social areas.

Teachers are well catered for with a spacious staff room, kitchenette, meeting room, break out areas and special areas for VCE teachers, and offices for heads of staff.

Builders and contractors have been putting the finishing touches to the state of the centre that, according to college principal Gea Lovell, should be complete by mid way through this month.

The Senior School will be finished mid-December and up and running for years 10, 11 and 12 students to start their 2018 school year.

While disruption to students at Boys Home Road has been kept to a minimum, Mrs Lovell said they have already started the final move from the Boys Home Road school.

We have moved the library over and as of November 20, all removable and workable screens and computers will be moved. Most of the honour boards and plaques have been brought over and hung, she said.

The Values Tree, a landmark of the Boys Home Road school, has been re-established with a newly planted Morton Bay fig tree that in time will provide a beautiful shady haven for the many generations to come.

Mrs Lovell said she believed in retaining the history of the college and has made every effort to ensure the history of the original school at Boys Home Road in Newhaven lives on at the current college site.

The rest of the move will occur once the Junior Presentation evening has been held in the first week of December and the staff will move in the week of December 8.

Overseeing every part of the build from endless site meetings, trips to Melb...


Bill Shorten getting a bit ahead of himself with Kristina Keneally "IndyWatch Feed National"

The next Member for Bennelong, @KKeneally Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 13, 2017 This took me 5 min to pull out of my files. Why do federal MPs need 21 days? #section44 Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) November 8, 2017


Sarah leads call to hook into fishing fun "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

SARAH Van Stokrom has always enjoyed the outdoors, from fishing to camping, and is now sharing her passion with the rest of Victoria.

The Inverloch woman is the state coordinator of Fishcare Victoria, a program that encourages responsible fishing and stewardship of the states fresh and salt waterways.

The community operated, not for profit group is funded by fishing licence revenue, through the Recreational Fishing Licence trust fund.

Ms Van Stokrom manages volunteer members of six groups across the state and is keen to establish a new group servicing South Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.

We are addressing sustainability and we want people to fish responsibly, but its about breaking down that stigma that fishing is hard to get into it, she said.

You can keep fishing as simple or as technical as you like. Its an intergenerational activity and we want to get kids interested in fishing and their parents too.

Volunteers deliver fishing clinics and workshops to children about caring for the environment, present at community events, talking with anglers, marketing and working with students on projects.

Fishcare members will be at the upcoming Yarram Agricultural Show, spreading the word about fishing.

When the kids catch a fish for the first time, theyre so excited and thats very rewarding, Ms Van Stokrom said.

Fishcare aims to teach people about the impacts of litter and pest plants and animals on the environment, how to handle fish when they are caught, and promote the use of environmentally sustainable tackle such as non-lead sinkers and circle hooks that are easier to remove than conventional hooks.

Its generating that change in behaviour to the younger generations to ensure they treat the environment with respect, Ms Van Stokrom said.

She works with a state committee and her role takes her across Victoria, from south west Victoria to Ballarat, and Melbourne to East Gippsland.

Anyone interested in joining a new group in South Gippsland and Latrobe Valley can contact Ms Van Stokrom on 0437 672 242.

We want to get younger adults who are interested in fishing as well as the older group, she said.

Ms Van Stokrom flagged the prospect of a monthly family fishing day at Inverloch and Anderson Inlet, with a barbecue.

Training is provided to volunteers, covering such skills as fishing rules, running a workshop, first aid training and a Working with Children check.

We are trying to get funding for an underwater activity to create an underwater environment in a pool for children to identify rubber fish and see plastic bags and hooks and the threat to the environment, M...


Stolen car set alight "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

POLICE are seeking the publics help after a stolen car was set alight at West Creek near Wonthaggi on Sunday morning.

The gold Holden Commodore was stolen from Lilydale on Saturday and was found ablaze at 12.30am Sunday on West Creek Road.

CFA attended and extinguished the blaze. Surrounding grass was burnt. Bass Coast Criminal Investigation Unit is investigating.

Anyone with information can contact Detective Senior Constable Peter Johnston on 5671 4100 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Gold no more: this Holden Commodore was gold before being stolen and set alight at West Creek on Sunday.


Prestigious role for Inverlochs Ken Lay "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

INVERLOCHS Ken Lay AO APM is the 14th Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria.

He was sworn in to the role last Thursday by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, at a ceremony at Government House, Melbourne.

Mr Lay has a distinguished career in public service, including as Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police from 2011 to 2015.

His professional achievements include establishing the Family Violence Command within Victoria Police, alongside his chairmanship of the Council of Australian Governments Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence Against Women and the Prime Ministers National Ice Taskforce.

This is a wonderful honour that I never thought possible. It has made both me and my family very proud, Mr Lay said.

I am looking forward to supporting Governor Linda Dessau in whatever way I can. She is a wonderful Victorian who has made a difference in so many different ways.

There have been some extraordinary men and women who have previously held the role as Victorias Lieutenant Governor. I feel very, very humble to now join that group of people.

The Governor appoints the Lieutenant-Governor under section 6A(2) of the Constitution Act 1975 on the advice of the Premier.

The Lieutenant-Governor assumes the administration of Victoria if:

  • there is a temporary vacancy in the office of the Governor;
  • the Governor of Victoria has assumed the administration of the Commonwealth in the absence of the Governor General;
  • the Governor is not in Victoria or is unable or unwilling to fulfil the role, for example due to illness.

Mr Lay replaces the Honourable Marilyn Warren AC, who has been Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria since April 2006 and has recently retired as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria the first woman to hold that office.

Premier Daniel Andrews said, Ken Lay is a highly respected and valued community leader in Victoria, with a deep commitment to improving peoples lives.

I know hell be an excellent Lieutenant-Governor and I look forward to continuing our positive working relationship as he takes on this new role.

State honour: Ken Lay AO APM is sworn in as Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria last Thursday with wife Chris Lay (left) and Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau AC. Photo by...


Video: Massive rally in Barcelona demands freedom for political prisoners "IndyWatch Feed National"


In a massive show of force, Catalans take to the streets of Barcelona on 11 November and demanded the release of arrested and detained political leaders, who are regarded as prisoners. Spanish police say that about 750,000 took part. Others suggest that the real figure was more than a million were there in a city of 1.7 million inhabitants. This suggest that the independence movement remains strong and may even cause an upset in the December election forced by the government in Madrid.

Video from Catalans for Yes


Massive crowd in Barcelona demanding the release of Catalan political prisoners. Wow.

Posted by Catalans for Yes on Saturday, November 11, 2017


The post Video: Massive rally in Barcelona demands freedom for political prisoners appeared first on The Pen.


Shape shires future "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council will begin consultation for Amendment C90 to the South Gippsland Planning Scheme this week.

The amendment will improve the Planning Schemes guidance of development and land use over the next 20 to 30 years. The function, size and services of the South Gippslands settlements plus the capacity of the environment to sustain development have been taken into account.

The changes are based on the recommendations of the South Gippsland Housing and Settlement Strategy 2013.

People will have the opportunity to learn more about the amendment at the public sessions being held this November and December.

Councils strategic planning officer Fiona Mottram said it was vital people considered the scheme and had their say. Amendment C90 includes Settlement Framework Plans and Restructure Plans which determine where settlement growth would be encouraged or limited, she said.

Community feedback is vital for this process so that we understand the implications these changes to the planning scheme may have for some owners.

We encourage community members to get in contact with us if they require any more information and highly suggest they attend a one on one meeting at the upcoming public sessions.

For more information about Amendment C90, the public sessions and how to make a submission please visit To book an appointment at one of the public sessions please contact the strategic planning team on 5662 9200 or email with your preferred session, time and contact details.

Planning ahead: from left, South Gippsland Shire Councils Vicki Bradley and Fiona Mottram at Jumbunna, urge people to influence development over the next 20 to 30 years.


The Suburban Series VOL 2 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Suburban Series  a music community-oriented event that has been on everyones lips since its first installment in August

But if you want something REALLY tasty on your tongue get ready for the announcement of your next five SAUCY, MOUTH-WATERING, MOREISH bands! Boasting a hugely successful introduction to the Brisbane music scene with a mega lineup and crowd turn-out to match, The Suburban Series promises that Volume 2 will prove just as rowdy.

Adhering to the series mission to showcase talent from not only Brisbane but surrounding cities and states, BREIZERS will be making their way up from that place down the road called Sydney to perform alongside some of BIGSOUNDs favourites WHALEHOUSE and Mary Handsomee, as well as the legends from Twinfolds and Gold Coast rockers Hot Reno

With 2017 rumbling to a close, the 23rd of December insists on making it into your top priorities for end of year celebrations. What better finale to this years local music froth-fests than five power-house bands under the one roof for an easy $10? AND what better way then with your extended family (the Brisbane music community!) celebrating a few hours at The Zoo with some Eggnog*?!

The Suburban Series is continuing to grow, and with it is the Brisbane independent music scene. Dont miss your chance to be a part of it. Saturday 23rd December, The Zoo, 8pm.


The post The Suburban Series VOL 2 appeared first on The Zoo.


Response to Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries Draft Planning Provisions "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) has submitted a response to the Victorian Government's Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries Draft Planning Provisions. View the submission here.

The Victorian Government's current proposals will do serious damage to the regenerative and small-scale livestock farmers of Victoria. See AFSA's media release regarding the proposed changes here.

AFSA's Response to Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries Draft Planning Provisions

Summary of AFSA's recommendations:

  • Recommendation 1: That the Government continue to allow low-risk, low impact grazing animals as an allowable use in the UGZ.
  • Recommendation 2: That the trigger to judge a pastured pig farm a Section 2 use (streamlined process) be set at more than 25 SPU/Ha, subject to meeting minimum standards.
  • Recommendation 3: That the trigger to judge a pastured poultry farm a Section 2 use (streamlined process) be set at more than 450 birds/Ha, subject to meeting minimum standards.
  • Recommendation 4: Treat all pastured livestock systems with supplemental feeding the same in the land use definitions and graduated controls, subject to meeting minimum standards.
  • Recommendation 5: That all pastured livestock are defined under Grazing Animal Production, but that the term be changed to Pastured Animal Production. We further recomm...


Jacqui Lambie to quit parliament after citizenship advice "IndyWatch Feed National"

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie. Photo AAP

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie. Photo AAP


High-profile Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie has become the latest casualty of the citizenship crisis engulfing federal parliament.

Senator Lambie the daughter of a Scottish-born father  on Tuesday revealed UK authorities had confirmed her status as a British citizen by descent.

As a result, she was ineligible to contest the 2016 election and sit in parliament.

I didnt think I actually had a problem with it, so I never gave it a second thought she told LAFM radio in Launceston of her newly-confirmed status.

Senator Lambie will make a statement to parliament about 12.40pm (AEDT).

Her replacement in the upper house will be determined by the High Court.

Steve Martin was next on the Jacqui Lambie Network Senate ticket at the 2016 election, but there are also doubts about his eligibility to sit in parliament.

Senator Lambies announcement came as the Turnbull government ramped up pressure on Labor Leader Bill Shorten over the citizenship credentials of opposition MPs.

Bill Shorten has been playing a very dodgy game in this business from start to finish, Attorney-General George Brandis told the Nine Network.

The onus was on the opposition leader to live by the same standard he has demanded of the government, he said.

A resolution passed in the Senate on Monday requires senators to make declarations about all relevant particulars of their citizenship in a special registry by December 1.

A similar motion is expected to be passed in the House of Representatives when it meets in a fortnight.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, speaking from Manila where hes attending the East Asia summit, said the registry plan would get all the facts on the table.

Then the House can consider them and then, if they wish, refer people to the High Court, he said.

The government is ke...


An open Letter to Attorney General Brandis "IndyWatch Feed National"

The following is the text of an open letter to Australias Attorney General, from Close Pine Gap.  It supports a group of Australian Christians facing up to 7 years jail, for entering the Pine Gap American military base near Alice Springs. Those who have signed see the arrests and charges an attack on the fundamental rights of all Australians. If you wish to sign the letter, you can do so through this link.

We seek your urgent intervention to protect the right to freedom of speech, expression, political communication and of religion for six Australian citizens who face up to seven years in jail for a peaceful protest in which they were praying and playing musical instruments.

In September 2016, several hundred Australians of diverse ages, professions and creeds gathered in Alice Springs to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Pine Gap Agreement.

As part of the peaceful protests near the facility, five Christians prayed and played a musical lament, regarding the role of Pine Gap in war-fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Syria. They were arrested.

The peaceful and symbolic ceremonies conducted by Margaret Pestorius, Tim Webb, Franz Dowling, Andrew Paine, Jim Dowling, as well as Paul Christie (arrested in a separate incident), were intended to bear witness to the death and suffering of civilians as a result of United States military operations, including drone assassinations, facilitated by surveillance conducted at Pine Gap.

Since their peaceful protests, more evidence has emerged detailing the role of Pine Gap in the activities that concerned the Peace Pilgrims. It implicates Australia in extrajudicial drone assassinations in countries with which we are not at war, in nuclear weapons targeting and in illegal mass surveillance.

Three months after the protest, you authorised the prosecution of these concerned citizens for unlawful entry under the Defence Special Undertakings Act 1952 (Cth).

That legislation was drafted at the height of the Cold War to secure areas for British nuclear testing, and it permits prosecutions to be held in secret, and for records of hearings to be destroyed, imposing penalties of up to $42,000 and 7 years in jail.

This prosecution occurs as Australia prepares to serve on the UN Human Rights Council and when UN Rapporteurs have criticised policies, laws and actions of your government that undermine freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the right to protest. These are fundamental civil rights, and they are profoundly important when governments are engaged in the sort of conduct which Pine Gap facilitates.

Five of the defendants are devout Christians. Their faith impelled them to give voice t...


All we want is freedom and not another prison camp "IndyWatch Feed National"

The article below was written by Manus Island refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani and published on 13 November 2017 (The Guardian). It discribes the inhumane conditions in which the inmates in the detention camp have been living, the impact that it has had on them and the reason why they are refusing to leave sand go the accommodation units in Hillside Haus and West Lorengau.

Manus prison has reached a historic landmark. Its a culmination of years of premeditated violence and affliction. For more than 10 days hundreds of refugees have been refusing to leave the prison camp and, as a result, the situation has morphed into a large-scale humanitarian crisis. If things deteriorate further, we will witness a disaster beyond imagination.

For many who are watching from Australia or other parts of the world, particular questions have arisen, including: why are the refugees refusing to leave the camp? From the perspective of someone who has lived in this prison for more than four years and who has been critically analysing the politics of offshore processing throughout this time, I am certain that there is a misconception of the main reason behind our resistance a misinterpretation of the principle driving the stand taken by the refugees. This mistake has both been made by people who are actively supporting the refugees and by individuals who have been indifferent toward the events in Manus and Nauru prisons all these years. And it also pertains to those who have supported the governments political strategy.

The misreading of the issue is reflected in government officials and the Australian prime minister attacking senator Nick McKim, refugee advocates, the Papua New Guinea immigration minister and a few incarcerated refugees, saying that they are encouraging and motivating the other refugees to remain in the prison camp. First, the PNG minister responded by explicitly stating that a few individuals who were leaders inside the prison were forcing the refugees to stay inside the detention camp.

These kinds of accusations are facile and unacceptable. It comes across as a form of degradation because it strips the refugees of agency, reducing them to children who cannot make decisions on their own. It represents them as humans who lack a decent understanding of what is unfolding around them. It degrades their dignity by assuming that the refugees cannot assess the situation.

On the other side, the refugee supporters announce that the alternative accommodation units in Lorengau, Hillside Haus and West Lorengau, are not ready yet. They also claim that Lorengau is not safe to accommodate the refugees and that the new camps do not provide medical facilities and are unsuitable for housing refugees....


Jury In Sen. Menendez Corruption Trial Say They Are Deadlocked "IndyWatch Feed National"

Two hours into deliberation, the jury deciding Sen. Bob Menendez and his co-defendants fate has announced they are deadlocked.

The Democratic senator and his deep-pocketed benefactor are on trial for a combined 18 counts of bribery and fraud. Prosecutors say Menendez took bribes from Salomon Melgen, a wealthy eye-doctor based in Florida in the form of campaign contributions, luxury vacations, and trips aboard a private jet. In exchange, the New Jersey senator allegedly lobbied top government officials to get visas for his married friends mistresses and even attempted to make a criminal investigation into Melgens fraudulent billing practices go away. Melgen was convicted of Medicare fraud earlier this year for robbing the agency out of up to $105 million.

On the first day of deliberations last week, a juror asked Judge William Walls: What is a senator? The judge declined to answer the question. On Thursday afternoon, a juror was dismissed to go on a vacation in the Bahamas. On her way out the door, Evelyn Arroyo Maultsby told multiple media outlets that the jury was leaning towards acquitting Menendez and that she thought the trial would result in a hung jury.

Maultsby also complained that she thought the other jurors were trying to run out the clock on her and that her fellow jurors tried to prevent her from getting a note to the judge. Walls dismissed Maultsbys claims: Every juror has the right to communicate at any and all times with regard to deliberations, he said. All you need to do is to step outside the door. The guards are there, and hes on hand to take whatever message you want to give to me in writing.

On Monday, Walls ordered the jurors to start afresh in their deliberations after several jurors admitted they had read media coverage about the dismissed juror.

You are starting fresh, he said, according to CNN. Forget about what happened last week. This is the jury.

Several hours into deliberations on Monday,....


MACKAY Mackay supreme court list "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY November 13, 2017 at 11:50AM ,

Mackay supreme court list

November 13, 2017 at 11:50AM ,

Ottawa and Welcome to our free online Criminal Law Directory which lists Court Lawyers that regularly appear in the Mackay Magistrates Court.

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MACKAY Mackay district court "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY November 13, 2017 at 09:55PM ,

Mackay district court

November 13, 2017 at 09:55PM ,

Practice Direction 8/2017 Supreme Browse the latest articles, photo galleries and videos relating to mackay magistrates court. mackay, appellant,

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MACKAY Mackay magistrates court mackay qld "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY November 13, 2017 at 11:33AM ,

Mackay magistrates court mackay qld

November 13, 2017 at 11:33AM ,

If you are due to appear in the Mackay Magistrates Court QLD, Mackay, QLD, view member profile or contact directly courtlawyers. Features: Half

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Liberals ponder future after poll dive "IndyWatch Feed National"

Acting PM Julie Bishop insists there's light at the end of the tunnel in the citizenship saga. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Acting PM Julie Bishop insists theres light at the end of the tunnel in the citizenship saga. AAP Image/Lukas Coch


Acting prime minister Julie Bishop says a drop in the polls for the government is not surprising, but insists theres light at the end of the tunnel in the citizenship saga.

With the coalition slipping further in the Newspoll behind Labor 45-55 per cent Malcolm Turnbulls lead as preferred prime minister over Labors Bill Shorten dropped five points to 36 per cent.

The gap between the two leaders has narrowed to just two percentage points compared to eight points two weeks ago and 17 points at the end of August.

It is the closest Mr Shorten has ever been to regaining the lead he enjoyed over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister.

The poll, published on Monday, also shows voters prefer Julie Bishop over Mr Turnbull 40-27 per cent as Liberal leader.

But coalition supporters still prefer Mr Turnbull.

The polls are not surprising, Ms Bishop told reporters on the Queensland state election campaign trail.

Ms Bishop said a motion had been negotiated with Labor to force all senators to reveal family history and citizenship details by December 1.

A similar motion will go to the lower house on November 27.

As well, the government is fighting by-elections in the seats of New England and Bennelong, triggered by citizenship doubts over former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and Liberal MP John Alexander.

What we have now is a plan to resolve this issue, then we can continue to govern for the Australian people, Ms Bishop said.

Turnbull supporter Christopher Pyne noted an election was not due until July 2019.

Polls come and go and people should remain unfazed by them, he told ABC radio.

Cabinet colleague Mathias Cormann, who agreed the m...


New Moore accuser steps forward "IndyWatch Feed National"

As is often the case, it takes just one person to publicly come forward with their story about being abused by powerful people to open the floodgates because other people, realizing that they are not alone, feel emboldened to tell their own stories. It seems like a day doesnt pass without someone new coming forward to say that former president George H. W. Bush is a disgusting lecher who groped her. And another woman Beverly Young Nelson has now come forward to accuse Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore of assaulting her, both sexually and otherwise, when she was just 16, after he had offered her a ride home from her job as a waitress.

She said Moore, then in his 30s, was a regular at the restaurant and often complimented her on her looks and would sometimes touch her long hair as she walked past his seat at the counter. One day, Moore offered Nelson a ride home after her shift ended at 10 pm.

Nelson accepted the offer and said that he drove around to the back of the restaurant and assaulted her in his car in a dark corner of the parking lot.

Instead of driving to the street, he stopped the car and he parked his car in between the dumpster in the back of the restaurant where there were no lines. The area was dark and it was deserted. I was alarmed and I immediately asked him what he was doing, Nelson recounted in a press conference with her attorney on Monday afternoon.

Instead of answering my question, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts. I tried to open my car door to leave but he reached over and locked it so I could not get out, Nelson continued. I tried to fight him off and yelled at him to stop, but instead of stopping he started squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch.

Nelson said she feared Moore was going to try to rape her and she began crying as he assaulted her.

I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him, Nelson said. I was terrified. I thought he was going to rape me. At some point, he gave up and he looked at me and he told me, Youre just a child, and he said, I am the District Attorney and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.'

Nelson recounted that after this she either fell out of the car or he pushed her out, driving away as she lay on the ground of the parking lot.

The passenger door was still open as he burned rubber pulling away as he left me laying there on the cold concrete, she said.

At a press confer...


Redheads "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

There has been much interest in birding circles lately concerning sightings of Scarlet Honeyeaters around Victoria in locations well outside their usual range. In our general area this stunning small bird has been seen in Yea and Seymour, but we are not as yet aware of any reports of the bird around the Flowerdale and []


One Nations loss of Fraser Anning is part of an ongoing sickness "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Joe Montero

Pauline Hansons leadership style  has certainly contributed to the departure of a growing list of departures of One Nations members of parliament. A party moulded around her personal image and wish, is bound to rankle with those feeling they are being denied a legitimate voice.

But on its own, this too easy an explanation for the depth of the troubles that are enveloping One Nation. There is  something more fundamentally wrong that cannot be explained away by focusing on the personalities.

Those of us who have insisted that at the most basic, the problem is the divide between what One Nation claims to be and what it does, is being proved right by the unfolding of events.

The latest incident is the defection of the new Senator Fraser Anning on his first day in office. He had just come in to replace Malcolm Roberts, who had lost his seat over the dual citizenship fiasco. But on his first day, Anning walked away from One Nation and became an independent.

Anning says he had been a long time personal friend of Hansons, but this came undone at a single meeting last week, which he suggests, went to hell in a handbasket. He says he was expelled from the party. Hanson denies it and insists Anning abandoned the party. Whichever claim is the truth, there was an argument was over who has the right to hire the members staff. Anning had included several who had worked for Roberts, but did not have the approval of Hanson or her chief advisor James Ashby, and he was smacked down for the impertinence.

Hansons dynastic style is not limited to this particular incident. There is a history of it and it has been becoming increasingly pronounced since the last federal election, as the duo consolidate their top down control, over all decision making and how the partys finances are spent.

This ties back to the assertion of the divide between the discrepancy between what the party claims to represent and what it does.

One Nation was born out of a reaction of perceived betrayal of the interests of ordinary people by traditional politicians. The revolt was most marked in National Party stronghold in Queensland and New South Wales,  which had gone backwards economically and residents resented the decline of services, lack of employment opportunities and left behind the rest of Australia. These areas are among the poorest in the nation. People who live in them believed that the new party would make a difference. Many of the original One Nation activists had played important roles in battles against privatisation of government services and other aspects of ne...


Turnbull bonds with Trump during Asia jaunt "IndyWatch Feed National"

United States President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull bond at the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum in Manila, Philippines, Monday, November 13, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

United States President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull bond at the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum in Manila, Philippines, Monday, November 13, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)


Malcolm Turnbull had a half-hour rendezvous with Donald Trump at his presidential hotel suite in Manila on the last evening of his six day Asia tour.

Both leaders have been in the Philippines capital since Sunday for the East Asia summit which wraps up on Thursday.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump bonded with some one-on-one time, without officials in the room on Monday night in a meeting that went for more than 30 minutes.

They had been due to catch up at a formal bilateral meeting earlier on Monday, however at the last minute the schedule shifted and the pair had a three-way chat with Japans Shinzo Abe.

Its unclear whether Mr Turnbull, at the evening meeting with Mr Trump, raised the prospects of speeding up the US refugee resettlement deal.

The stand-off with hundreds of refugees at the mothballed Manus Island detention centre continues.

Mr Trump reluctantly agreed to resettle up to 1,250 refugees but only 54 have gone to America so far.

New Zealands Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had been hoping for a second conversation with Mr Turnbull, following her trip to Sydney a week ago, to express her grave concerns about the ongoing Manus Island saga and reiterate her countrys offer to take 150 refugees.

Its understood, thats unlikely to happen.

On Tuesday, Mr Turnbull is expected to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the summit.

Mr Turnbull will also get together with leaders from the 15 other countries negotiating a China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership fre...


MACKAY Mental health battle resulted in dramatic city centre crash "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY November 14, 2017 at 06:03AM ,

Mental health battle resulted in dramatic city centre crash

November 14, 2017 at 06:03AM ,

Nevertheless, the crash landed the woman, aged in her late 20s, before Mackay Magistrates Court, pleading guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle

, ,

user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,

Filed under: Uncategorized


Voting For Your Rights, By Ron Owen. "IndyWatch Feed National"

Thoughts For The Week.

On election day 25th November 2017, either the 600,000 licenced shooters of Queensland will work together, to put Labor, LNP and Greens at the bottom of the voting ticket and pro firearm ownership candidates at the top, and giving the forces against us the biggest electoral defeat since Barrie Unsworth (NSW) in March 1988, or we will be further tyrannised for another 25 years. We have been waiting for this golden opportunity for a quarter of a century. If we cannot do it this time we do not deserve another chance.
Get Political for Two Weeks and Make a Difference to Our Future.

Never have the forces of evil been in such disarray. Never has it been so open and shut, we either work to put the minor pro shooting parties and independents in a coalition to improve our plight, or follow your family voting pattern, (vote LNP or Labor or Green) then hand your guns in, or go live in New Zealand. You are either with us, or against us.

Now, is the Time.
Now is the Time to get political, even if you have to miss out on a few shooting events.
Firstly, and most importantly contact candidates and check their credentials. Ask them to convince you that they will persistently work to achieve

A. The end of long arm registration,



Kraken comic "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

There are few regrets after Burning Seed but the habit of hugging people at the event is sorely missed afterwards.

I find myself wrapping arms around people and then registering their surprised look.


Surprising Study Suggests Gluten Sensitivity Isnt Caused By Gluten At All "IndyWatch Feed National"

After eating foods that contain gluten, do you tend to experience itching, irritability, bloating, or general discomfort? If so, youve likely assumed you are allergic to the protein found in a variety of grains. But according to a new study, gluten isnt the actual culprit. Rather, a sugar chain called fructans is to blame.

Approximately 1 percent of the population has celiac disease an autoimmune disorder that makes them react badly after consuming gluten proteins in wheat. An additional 12 percent feel bad after eating wheat-based foods, such as bread and pasta. This occurs, despite them not having celiac disorder. Since gluten became a buzzword, researchers have been stumped by the phenomena. But now, new research published in the journal Gastroenterology offers clarity on the topic.

Credit: Pixabay

Fructans are a type of sugar chain found in wheat, barley, and rye in addition to onions, garlic, chickpeas, cabbage, and artichoke. To test if those who have sensitivities to gluten are actually allergic to fructans, researchers from the University of Oslo in Norway and Monash University in Australia recruited 59 non-celiac adults following gluten-free diets to participate in an experiment.

First, they gave the volunteers three types of cereal bars containing gluten, fructans or neither. The participants ate one of these every day for seven days, waiting one week in between trying new bars. Because the bars are identical, the participants have no idea which ones consumed fructans, gluten or neither.

It turns out, the fructan bar triggered 15 percent more bloating and a 13 percent increase gastrointestinal distress compared to the control bar. The gluten bar had no effect. The findings are similar to those of a 2013 study, in which non-celiacs who ate gluten-free to relieve gut issues found no difference in symptoms when they ate identical meals that either lacked gluten or were full of it.



What does a pre-crash financial market look like? You're seeing one now "IndyWatch Feed National"

The only other times in our history when stock prices have been this high relative to earnings, a horrifying stock market crash has always followed. Will things be different for us this time? We shall see, but without a doubt this is what a pre-crash market looks like. This current bubble has been based on irrational euphoria that has been fueled by relentless central bank intervention, but now global central banks are removing the artificial life support in unison. Meanwhile, the real economy continues to stumble along very unevenly. This is the longest that the U.S. has ever gone without a year in which the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and many believe that the next recession is very close. Stock prices cannot stay completely disconnected from economic reality forever, and once the bubble bursts the pain is going to be unlike anything that we have ever seen before. If you think that these ridiculously absurd stock prices are sustainable, there is something that I would like for you to consider. The only times in our history when the cyclically-adjusted return on stocks has been lower, a nightmarish stock market crash happened soon thereafter... The Nobel-Laureate, Robert Shiller, developed the cyclically-adjusted price/earnings ratio, the so-called CAPE, to assess whether stocks are likely to be over- or under-valued. It is possible to invert this measure to obtain a cyclically-adjusted earnings yield which allows one to measure prospective real returns. If one does this, the answer for the US is that the cyclically-adjusted return is now down to 3.4 percent. The only times it has been still lower were in 1929 and between 1997 and 2001, the two biggest stock market bubbles since 1880. We know now what happened then. Is it going to be different this time?


Saad Hariri finally appears, gives awkward (scripted?) interview "IndyWatch Feed National"

When Saad Hariri appeared on Saudi state-run Al Arabiya television last week to deliver his "resignation" as the Lebanese Prime Minister, many felt that Hariri, who is also a Saudi citizen was being forced to resign by the Saudi regime. Several obvious inconsistencies were present in the original "resignation" speech. First and most strangely, he read a speech that was written in a Gulfi dialect of Arabic and instead of using familiar Lebanese terminology, he used Saudi terminology which is largely foreign among Lebanese viewers. Secondly, his resignation from foreign soil is not only incompatible with Lebanese legal procedure, but it is highly unusual in any context. Finally, as Hariri owns his own television channel, Lebanon based Future TV, it was considered strange that his speech was exclusively broadcast on a Saudi state-run network. Further evidence which emerged led Lebanese President Michel Aoun to join with other Lebanese parties including Hezbollah, the Amal movement and some members of Hariri's own Future Movement to say that Hariri had been kidnapped by Saudi authorities and is being held against his will. Last night's interview from Saudi Arabian soil on Hariri's Future TV was designed to assuage the fears that Hariri is a political hostage, but the interview left many more questions than answers.


Why won't Boris Johnson issue an unequivocal apology? "IndyWatch Feed National"

Last week Boris Johnson made one of the most extraordinary gaffes a British Foreign Secretary has ever made by uncritically repeating Iranian accusations against an imprisoned British citizen as if they were fact.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (who remains in an Iranian jail), her family and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office all consistently maintained that she was in Iran on holiday, with the purpose of introducing her young daughter to her Iranian parents. Despite this, Johnson decided to declare that she was in Iran "teaching journalism", which is precisely what the Iranians have imprisoned her for.

The Iranian authorities have taken Johnson's foolish remarks as confirmation that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in the country training propaganda agents, and the case against her has been reopened with the possibility of her jail sentence being dramatically extended.

After a week of blustering, evasions and carefully qualified non-apologies Johnson was called to parliament to answer urgent questions over his disgraceful handling of the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case.

Here's exactly what he said:
"I acknowledge that the words that I used were open to being misinterpreted and I apologise to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family if I have inadvertently caused them any further anguish."
As we can see, this is another half-apology based on the false narrative that his words had been "misinterpreted" rather than being completely at odds with the established Foreign Office position that she was there on holiday.



Why Blockchain has no economic future "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

When Bitcoin went public in 2009 it introduced to the world of finance and economics the technology of blockchain. Even the many who thought Bitcoin would never make it as a major currency were intrigued by the BlockChain technology and a large set of new companies have tried to figure out how to offer new services based on blockchain technology. It is still fair to say that very few economists and social scientists understand blockchain, and governments are even further behind.

I will argue that blockchain has no economic future in the regular economy. I will give you the bottom-line, then describe blockchain, discuss its key supposed advantages, and then take it apart as a viable technology by giving you a much more efficient alternative to the same market demand opportunities.

The bottom line for those not interested in the intricacies of blockchains and public trust

The essence of my argument is that a large country can organise a much more trustworthy information system than a distributed network using blockchain can, and at lower costs, meaning that any large economic role for blockchain is easily displaced by a cheaper and even larger national institution.

So in the 19th century, large private companies circulated their own money, in competition with towns and princedoms. In that competition, national governments won, as they will again now.

The reason that the tech community is investing in blockchain companies is partially because some are in love with the technicalities of blockchain, some hope to attract the same criminal and gullible element that Bitcoin has, some lack awareness of the evolution and reality of political systems, and some see a second-best opportunity not yet taken by others. But even in this brief period of missing-in-action governments, large companies will easily outperform blockchain communities on any mayor market. Except the criminal markets, which is hence the only real future of blockchain communities.

Why does politics matter? The key point is that nation states are the answer to the question of the production of mass trust. Nation states are unique good at creating trust, much better than any other entity, including all manner of networks, has ever been. Political scientists, who are very rare in Silicon valley, have known since Weber that the nation state is uniquely capable of producing mass trust, far better than any political competitor, and certainly far better than the anarchistic constructs of the blockchain adherents. This is why nation states run internationally trusted currencies, education qualifications, health insurance, life insurance, land registries, identification systems, etc.: most of the things the tech community believes blockchain will do on the internet are already do...


Bitcoin Continues Usage Acceptance Especially in Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

In Australia, an increasing number of Bitcoin automated teller machines (ATM) is being installed around the country due to its continuous popularity as an online currency.


We Dont Have To Wait For Due Process To Hold An Opinion On Roy Moore "IndyWatch Feed National"

Due process is a vital legal concept that establishes rules and procedures to guard against unfair, arbitrary, untrue, or unreasonable treatment that deprives Americans of life, liberty or property. Thats because anyone can lie including self-professed victims of sexual assault. You neednt look further than the numerous young lives that have been ruined on college campuses by fabricated allegations to understand why due process is important. And anyone can be railroaded. Witchhunts are real. Mobs tend to form rather easily these days. The politically motivated smear the innocent for partisan reasons. Biased organizations peddle innuendo and gossip to exploit the publics existing biases.

All of that is true. None of it means the allegations regarding Alabamas Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore are untrue. Dont let healthy skepticism transform into tribal denialism.

Did most of the establishment already detest Moore for his socially conservative views? Of course. Would The Washington Post pursue someone in the Democratic Party with the same gusto? Probably not. Its also true that the establishment media gave former presidents and senators who were likely sexual predators virtual free passes for decades. The treatment of the parties on this front will never be equal.

Still, none of that means the accusations about Moore pursuing sexual relations with teen girls when he was in his 30s is any less plausible. Unlike a number stories that have simply relayed abuse allegations without proof or corroboration, The Washington Posts article on Moore happens to be a solid piece of journalism with multiple sources and timelines that form a wholly credible, sordid story. Accusations of bias shouldnt convince the fair-minded person to dismiss the testimonies of (at least) four women who dont know each other but tell similar tales with some specificity.

Nor does media bias change the fact that many of Moores answers have been exceptionally unpersuasive to this point. Make what you will of Fox News Sean Hannity, but his interview with the Republican Senate candidate posed many of the right questions. When asked if hes dated 15-year-olds in his mid-30s, an ordinary healthy adult male does not answer, Not generally, no, as Moore...


WikiLeaks asked Donald Trump Jr. to appoint Julian Assange as an Australian ambassador "IndyWatch Feed National"

It turns out Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks direct-messaged each other more than a few times over the last year. According to a new report from the Atlantic, WikiLeaks first DMd the presidents son in September 2016, and Don Jr. even responded a few times. The messages reportedly continued until last June. Of the many

It turns out Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks direct-messaged each other more than a few times over the last year. According to a new report from the Atlantic, WikiLeaks first DMd the presidents son in September 2016, and Don Jr. even responded a few times. The messages reportedly continued until last June.

Read Full Story


Daily Quizzes to Train Your Verification Skills "IndyWatch Feed National"

You can read the original blogpost by Fiete Stegers, on which this article was based, here.

Where exactly was a photo on Twitter taken? When was a Facebook video recorded? Is that image fake, or authentic? These are just some of the common questions you can face when verifying social media content.

A few months ago, Julia Bayer (Deutsche Welle) started posting each Monday photo assignments on Twitter to train the verification skills of  journalists  and anyone else interested. Since then, a number of journalists have joined to provide new challenges ever day to test and train your verification and geolocation skills.  At an investigative journalism conference in Hamburg, she told me about her project, and I was happy to take the spot on Thursday.

The over 100 quizzes (and answers) are collected by Fiete Stegers (NDR) in a Twitter moment...


Doctor reveals how he escaped a 'three-metre great white shark' off Avoca Beach, Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

A British doctor has revealed how he punched a shark in the face after it mauled him while he was out surfing in Australia. Charlie Fry, 25, was bitten on his right shoulder by the shark on Monday while cooling off at Avoca Beach, on the New South Wales Central Coast. Mr Fry told The Daily Telegraph he felt something hit his right shoulder, and turned to look just moments before the predator sunk its teeth into him. The British man reacted immediately, throwing a punch that may have saved his life. 'I just punched it with my left hand and shouted out to my mates and paddled so hard back to shore,' he said.


BREAKING: 80 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur-Era Shark Found Off Portuguese Coast "IndyWatch Feed National"

By Fattima Mahdi,
A mysterious dinosaur shark was captured off the Portuguese coast by a fisherman and has been dubbed as a living fossil by scientists. The species dates back 80 million years and makes it one of the very few creatures from the dinosaur ages that is still around.

The discovery adds to the list of very few sharks recently found in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. This deep sea creature usually lies at a depth of 390 and 4,200 feet below the surface, which is one one of the main reasons it was not discovered before the 19th century.


The prehistoric fish is 1.5 metres in length and was caught off the resort of Portimao at a depth of 700 metres. With a long and slim body, the shark resembles a snake and bears 300 teeth. Judging by remains which have been previously found, the species has been swimming in the sea for a very long time.

Researchers were in the area working on a project when the beast was found. They are now studying the frilled shark and hope to learn more about the elusive species. This rare find means that there is plenty they can learn about how animals coexist in the depths of the ocean.

Image credit: SIC Noticias

The post BREAKING: 80 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur-Era Shark Found Off Portuguese Coast appeared first on TruthTheory.


Professors: Its Not Okay To Be White "IndyWatch Feed National"


Can my children be friends with white people?

This bizarre question is the basis of a New York Times op-ed published Sunday, and the author answers it with a no, albeit with some exceptions.

History has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people in this way [of genuine friendship], and these recent months have put in the starkest relief the contempt with which the country measures the value of racial minorities, writes Ekow N. Yankah, a law professor at Yeshiva University.


According to Yankah, examples of white contempt for racial minorities in recent months include concerns over the opioid epidemic, worries over rising unemployment among working-class whites, and criticism of NFL players kneeling for the anthem. Apparently those issues receive far more attention than the woes of African-Americans, thus revealing the secret disdain whites have for non-whites.

With that conclusion assumed, Yankah declares the lesson he will teach his kids.

As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible, the law professor argues. When they ask, I will teach my sons that their beautiful hue is a fault line. Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my boys safe, and so I will teach them before the world shows them this particular brand of rending, violent, often fatal betrayal.

Throughout the article, Yankah bases this pessimistic attitude not on personal experience he says his childhood hometown was remarkably free of racial tension but on Donald Trump being president and the violence in Charlottesville.

A large number of white people voting for Trump is the final push in giving up on Caucasians.

Of course, the rise of this president has broken bonds on all sides. But for people of color the stakes are different. Imagining we can now be friends across this political line is asking us to ignore our safety and that of our children, to abandon personal regard and self-worth, the professor asserts. Only white people can cordon off Mr. Trumps politica...


Australian Bauxite to produce aluminium fluoride "IndyWatch Feed National"

PERTH ASX-listed junior Australian Bauxite has inked a heads of agreement (HoA) with technology provider Refined Ore Industries (ROIL) to produce aluminium fluoride from bauxite.

Under the terms of the HoA, Australian Bauxite will have exclusive global rights to produce aluminium fluoride from the ALCORE project, which will apply ROILs patented ores-to-elements (CORE) process, which refines various types of ores using a combination of fluorine acids and related thermal energy process steps.

Australian Bauxite will also have the right to produce corethane gas from the refining of coal, to provide electrical power, heating and cooking for the bauxite refining plant, while also having exclusive global marketing rights for all aluminium fluoride and related co-products produced by other ROIL technology projects, unrelated to Australian Bauxite, in Australia and Asia.

In exchange, Australian Bauxite will issue 1.4-million of its own shares to ROIL.

Australian Bauxite told shareholders on Monday that the ALCORE project would be developed in two stages, with Stage 1 consisting of an engineering evaluation plant, which would likely cost between A$12.5-million and A$16-million.

The Stage 2 operation would consist of a 50 000 t/y production plant, which would cost about A$50-million to develop.

A bankable feasibility study for the plant is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2019, with commissioning to take place by the end of 2019.

Australian Bauxite said the ALCORE technology would add between $600/t and $1 000/t in value to the bauxite produced by the company. 

*Original article online at



Are Potential Peer Reviewers Overwhelmed Altruists or Free-Riders? New data reveal great inequality in peer reviewing in the social sciences. "IndyWatch Feed National"

This is a guest post submitted by Paul A. Djupe, Denison University Political Science, who is an affiliated scholar with PRRI ; Amy Erica Smith, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University; and Anand Edward Sokhey, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, as well as the associate director of the American Politics Research Lab and the incoming director of the LeRoy Keller Center for the Study of the First Amendment.

Google peer review crisis, and you will find dozens of pieces some dating back to the 1990s lamenting the state of peer reviewing. While these pieces focus in part on research replicability and quality, one major concern has been shortages in academic labor. In one representative article, Fox and Petchey (2010) argue that peer reviewing is characterized by a tragedy of the commons that is increasingly dominated by cheats (individuals who submit papers without doing proportionate reviewing). Other commentators describe the burden faced by generous peer reviewers who feel overwhelmed.

So where does peer review in the social sciences stand? Are academics overburdened altruists or peer-review free-riders? Our new Professional Activity in the Social Sciences data set suggests the answer is Neither. Instead, most academics get few peer review requests and perform most of them. Reviewing is strongly correlated with academic productivityresearch-productive scholars get more requests and perform more reviews. However, the ratio of peer reviews performed to article submissions is also lower for more productive scholars. Overall, this would appear to be a bit of a mixed bag from the perspectives of equity and representation in the academy. Here are the details.

In March, 2017 we surveyed 900 faculty in political science departments across the United States, asking about a range of professional activities.  In June we followed up with a second group of social scientists, surveying 958 faculty in U.S. sociology departments. More details about the design and sample are available here.

The figure below suggests that the peer review crisis may be overblown. The median political scientist and median sociologist in our data each report receiving five review requests a year. The median political scientist completes four of....

Monday, 13 November


Why Complaints About Paul Ryan Ditching Regular Order Are Political Head Fakes "IndyWatch Feed National"

Last week, Politico published an article talking about how the Republican House of Representatives under Paul Ryans speakership set a new record for the number of bills approved under closed ruleswhich prohibit members of Congress from offering amendments. Although the Politico story didnt use the term, it echoes the complaints of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) surrounding Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation this past summer: I want the regular order.

McCains comment invites a question: What exactly constitutes the regular order in Congress? Why do people keep calling for it? And if so many people keep calling for it, why doesnt Congress just restore the regular order already?

Unfortunately, the answers often prove cynics skepticism about Washington. Members of Congress support regular order only as long as it delivers the policy outcomes they desire. The second regular order results in a policy defeat, those who would lose in an open vote attempt to jerry-rig the process to achieve their desired outcomeand those who would win in an open vote complain, and call for a return to regular order. Lather, rinse, repeat.


Politico quoted House Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise Slaughter (D-NY): Under Speaker Ryans leadership, this session of Congress has now become the most closed Congress in history. To call Slaughters complaints about a closed process ironic would put it mildly.

Seven years ago, when she chaired the Rules Committee, Slaughter proposed having the Democratic House enact Obamacare into law without voting on it. The House could merely deem Obamacare approved as a result of passing some other measure.

While the House has repeatedly used this deem-and-pass strategy under both Republican and Democratic majorities, the optics of passing such a massive and prominent piece of legislation using such dodgy procedural shortcuts led Democrats to abandon the gambit, but not before conservative bloggers noted that Slaughter, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and others attacked the deem-and-pass maneuver when Republicans controlled the House in the 2000s.

To sum up: Slaughter was for an open process before she was against an op...


Nice Aeon article on biological individuality "IndyWatch Feed National"

Siphonophores by Ernst Haeckel

By Ernst Haeckel Kunstformen der Natur (1904), plate 17: Siphonophorae (see here, here and here), Public Domain, Link

Derek Skillings from University of Bordeaux/CNRS has a new article at Aeon about biological individuality:

For millennia, naturalists and philosophers have struggled to define the most fundamental units of living systems and to delimit the precise boundaries of the organisms that inhabit our planet. This difficulty is partly a product of the search for a singular theory that can be used to carve up all of the living world at its joints.

Skillings reviews the deep historical roots of the question, touching on the views of Charles Darwin and his grandfather, both Huxleys (T. H. and Julian), Herbert Spencer, and other 19th and early 20th century thinkers, as well as some more recent authors, including Daniel Janzen and Peter Godfrey Smith.

He argues for a pluralistic view:

But my view is that no such unified theory exists; theres no single answer to the question: What parts of the world are a part of you as a biological individual, and what parts are not? Different accounts of individuality pick out different boundaries, like an overlapping Venn diagram drawn on top of a network of biotic interactions. This isnt because of uncertainty or a lack of information; rather, the living world just exists in such a way that we need more than one account of individuality to understand it.



Do you wish more people could hear the Strong Towns message? "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Strong Towns movement transcends the normal answers to the very complex issues that our communities face... That is what it is going to take to bring real change, and that is why I am drawn to and supportive of this movement.
Brian Ludicke, Lancaster, CA

Our Strong Towns events are gaining momentum and size. Years ago, I would speak to groups of two or three people and was thrilled someone was interested. Now, we routinely present in front of groups of hundreds, and even groups of thousands.

Despite this success, one thing remains constant: every time I speak, people come up to me and say, I wish _______  had been here to hear this.

For example: "I wish our mayor had heard this message." "I wish our engineer had been part of this conversation." "I wish my good friend from the bakery had heard this." And on and on.

Heres the exciting thing: they can. And with your support this week, they will.

Today we start our winter member drive. We currently have about 1,700 members. Our goal is to get to 2000 members to be #2000Strong by the end of the week. Thats an aggressive leap, but we can do it. You can do it.

Join the movement

When you become a member of Strong Towns, you are saying that you want more people to hear the Strong Towns message. You want us to reach more communities, open up more minds and change more hearts. You want more people talking about the need to make our cities, towns and neighborhoods financially strong and resilient.

Chuck Marohn meets with residents in Santa Ana, California for an event earlier this fall (Source: AHOC)

Chuck Marohn meets with residents in Santa Ana, California for an event earlier this fall (Source: AHOC)

When you become a member of Strong Towns, you are helping grow a movement that is changing the way we talk about our places, from Main Street to Wall Street, from the corner cafe to the White House.

Ive been...


Trans-Pacific Follies: Australia Asleep as Canada Wakes Up "IndyWatch Feed National"

It was as dreary as listening to the formulaic assessments of political economy by an unreconstructed Leninist.  But Sunday morning with Steve Ciobo, Australias trade minister, was such an occasion.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, withering away on the branch of false optimism, has been an instrument of deserved suspicion and opprobrium from popular movements across countries suspicious about the paternalistic follies of their governments.  It was precisely opposition to such a proposed agreement, negotiated in total secrecy away from the prying eyes of public interest groups, that fuelled the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential elections.

Even Hillary Clinton, whose husband was a vital figure behind initiating the North American Free Trade Agreement during the 1990s, began to chew some of the anti-free trade cud close to her ignominious defeat.

No free trade faith quite matches the monomania of Australian governments.  Since the 1980s, liberalising and opening the economy has been an unshakeable trajectory, a punishing, stripping dogma that insists that being economically open is liberally good, and closed, parochially bad.

While other states have wised up to the idea that total openness is a recipe for local instability, estrangement, and disaster, the Australian response has been unshakeable: keep borders open and corporations content, except when it comes to refugees who arrive by boat.  As Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull has insisted with staid predictability, the TPP creates rules of the road to match the new economic world in which were living.

For all this, Australias own industries have been supplanted.  Energy and banking oligopolies have been given free rein to operate.  Property prices in Sydney and Melbourne are reaching stratospheric heights, and the current government is promising to partly subsidise what will become one of the worlds largest, and environmentally destructive, of white elephants: the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.

Most telling of all is that the free traders have no interest in considering data of such irrefutable weight it should put an end to that unfortunately lingering religion.  The US-Australian Free Trade agreement remains a matter of considerable loss to Australia, limiting rather than extending markets and access to Australian producers, and showing the countrys diplomatic crew as inept, ill-informed and, in the final analysis, sycophantic.

None of these points concern the bemused Ciobo. Ideology has already set the tone in this field. When the United States announced, through President Donald J. Trump, that it would have no truck with the TPP, the Australian delegation was left baffled but unmoved.  The remaining states would keep the ship steady.

Now t...


A Strategic View "IndyWatch Feed National"

My friend Aaron T. suggested this book to me.

Usually I read military history in an attempt to extract a big picture of events from the details.

Victor Davis Hansons new book is a strategic view of WWII [amazn] treating the war as a set of overlapping strategic problems that are discussed individually. To put it mildly, I find this fascinating. At first I felt a bit put off because some aspects of the war appear to be viewed repetitively I was wondering is this a bunch of articles that have been bound together? before I realized that the intent was to make his arguments stand on their own, in each area. When I read something critically, I am constantly weighing whether the author is pulling any tricks or putting his thumb on the scale and even with my skepticism sensitivity knob on 11 I dont catch anything in Hansons analysis that seems unfair. There are parts that make me uncomfortable, such as frank discussion of the value of the strategic bombing campaign and the question of how much it shortened the war (Hansons answer: it shortened it enough that it was probably a wash, trading dead Japanese and German civilians for dead Jews and Russian and other European civilians).

Im used to reading military history that focuses on a narrow area for example: the North Africa Campaign and the various events and trade-offs that theater commanders had to deal with. From that, I try to draw some conclusions, usually Wow, that was badly run or Rommel was overrated. Then, I check those conclusions against my memory and other things Ive read and see if they hold up. My experience reading this book is very different Hanson drops the conclusions and the facts from which they are drawn, and sometimes digs down to a necessary level of detail, but otherwise maintains his attention at the level of the big trade-offs: the axis did not coordinate its grand strategy effectively because Hitler was an impulsive gambler prone to sneak attacks. Reading an account of the Russia campaign, its pretty easy to see that Hitlers decision-making was bad, but Im not used to thinking about how Hitlers strategic blunders affected Mussolinis which, of course, they did.

When World War II broke out in 1939, Germany did not have a serious plan for defeating those enemies, present or future, that were positioned well beyond its own borders. Unlike its more distant adversaries, the Third Reich had neither an adequate blue water navy nor a strategic bombing fleet, anchored by escort fi...


Series of thunderstorms create massive lightning display over Perth, Western Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

Western Australia's south was treated to an evening show of light, sound and fury as a series of thunderstorms passed over the southern half of the state, producing hail, lightning and power blackouts. The most severe storm hit Meadow Springs in Mandurah, south of Perth, about 5:30pm on Sunday. Duty forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology James Ashley said a hot air mass combined with moisture in the atmosphere produced the stormy conditions. "Everything in the atmosphere lined up perfectly," he said. "We had a good upper-level disturbance move over the area and there was just enough moisture and lift to produce some really decent thunderstorms.


The Mayors of Bolingbrook: Nora Wipfler (1975) (Fiction) "IndyWatch Feed National"

In 1975, Bolingbrook celebrated its 10th birthday. Now it was officially the second largest municipality in Will County, and some predicted that Bolingbrook would soon reach 100,000 residents by 1985. If you were young and starting a family, Bolingbrook was the happening Chicago suburb. Old Chicago would open later that year, along with the Fountaindale Library. The future seemed bright.

The Babblers future, at the time, seemed uncertain. Following the loss of paper of record status, publisher John Olson was forced to make cuts. The page count was cut in half, and the number of enhanced photos per issues was reduced. Many believers feared that Chicagolands voice of truth could be silenced.

Though the Babbler was down, it was certainly wasnt out, as our first interview with newly elected mayor Nora Wipfler clearly showed.

Mayor Wipfler speaks: Romeoville wont eat us!

After avoiding the Babbler during the campaign, new Village President Nora Wipfler finally agreed to an interview! While obviously the powers that be prevented her from telling the whole truth about her plans for Bolingbrook, we found her relative openness to be quite refreshing.

Reporter: Thank you for the interview, madam president.

Wipfler: You can call me mayor. Everyone else does.

Reporter: OK. Well Mayor Wipfler, thank you for this interview.

Wipfler: Oh dont thank me. I just want to be able to go to sleep and not worry about a three AM call from your reporters.

Reporter: Fair enough.

Wipfler: But dont think that means Ill put up with any sexist questions.

Reporter: (Tears several pages out of his notebook.) In that case, my first question is, how do you enjoy being the most important mayor in the galaxy?

Wipfler: Galaxy? Oh, thats right. It feels just like being the mayor of a large village in Illinois. I enjoy it.

Reporter: Tell us about your first meeting with a space alien.

Wipfler: Now come on. You know that would be classified. I could tell you, but then a man in purple would have to slap you.

Reporter: Not a man in blue?

Wipfler: I meant a man in blue. Now, how about some questions that I can answer.

Reporter: OK. Our sources tell us that Old Chicago is being built over the Indian burial ground of ancient astronauts. Are you concerned that Bolingbrook could come under attack from a curse, the aliens decedents, or both?

Wipfler: No.

Reporter: Do you care to elaborate?

Wipfler: Old Chicago isnt being built on an ancient nuclear waste disposal site. The de...


Are Conservation Organisations Complicit in Ethnic Discrimination? "IndyWatch Feed National"

Answering this question with an example of blatantly racist and coercive imagery endorsed and propagated by two large players in the conservation world, both internationally and in India.

The main entrance to Manas national park. Credit: Sougata Sinha Roy/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

The main entrance to Manas national park. Credit: Sougata Sinha Roy/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

Trishant Simlai, doctoral candidate in geography at the University of Cambridge, is interested in the links between armed conflict, militarisation and conservation in India. Raza Kazmi, a Jharkhand-based conservationist, is interested in conservation militarisation, intersection of forest rights and conservation needs, and conservation in Indias conflict-ridden Red Corridor landscape.

Global wildlife conservation efforts have advocated the exclusion of local people from parks and areas considered to be of great value to biodiversity, often supporting coercive means to achieve this goal. Among the coercive measures often suggested, some dont shy away from even recommending violence towards offenders.

Governments, conservation agencies and aid donors have further legitimised this exclusion by frequently invoking the narrative of an expanding human population destroying pristine landscapes, often ignoring the role of over-consumption by urban actors or of states and corporate interests extracting resources. Such coercive conservation measures often base the...


Some whataboutery from Tim Nicholls "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Among the tools used to defend the indefensible, the most widely used is whataboutery. When faced with a criticism you cant answer, you point to something allegedly comparable done by someone supposed to be on the same side as your critic, and ask the critic what about

A recent example (Hat Tip Bill Wallace). Presented on ABC TV with my observation that his election promises represent an arithmetic impossibility, Tim Nicholls resorted to whataboutery, suggesting that I had gone easy on Anna Palaszczuk in regards to the use of transfers of debt between the general government sector, GBEs and public service superannuation. Oddly enough, Ill be covering this exact point in an article Im now writing for The Guardian. The relevant para

Labor has been able to improve the accounting performance of the general government sector by requiring public enterprises to make bigger contributions to the budget and by making transfers from the funds hypothecated to pay for public service superannation. This doesnt change the financial position of the public sector as a whole, but makes the budget sector look better. The relevant criteria is public sector net worth and net financial worth, which are unaffected by such manoeuvres. Fortunately, public sector net worth has never been a problem: the Queensland government had net worth of over $170 billion when the Costello Commission reported, a figure that is projected to exceed $200 billion by 2020.

Some broader responses:

* Whataboutery is a very weak defence in a clear-cut case like this. Even if I were an ALP hack (readers of this blog can judge for themselves), it wouldnt invalidate the point Im making

* I dont think Palaszczuk is open to the specific criticism Im making of Nicholls. She hasnt promised to cut taxes or improve the budget balance, and her election spending promises look to be the kind of thing that can be managed within the normal budget process

* Ive already been critical of both sides in this election campaign. My only published opinion piece was a criticism of Palaszczuks pro-Adani policy, which she has subsequently reversed (not claiming cause and effect here, of course). If Nicholls cares to put up an election platform that adds up and protects crucial services from cuts, Ill be the first to congratulate him.

A few more points:

1. The implied assumption in whataboutery is that people shouldnt comment on any issue unless they have a published position on every issue that might be remotely comparable. This obviously isnt feasible for someone writing in spare team, without a team of staffers and researchers to do the....


Australia sells weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia, that perpetrate human rights abuses "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Its a nearly impossible task to discover exactly what Australia is selling and to whom because the federal government refuses to say, but nuggets of information make it clear that Canberra is aggressively selling weapons and defence equipment to countries involved in conflicts where human rights abuses are being perpetrated.

In his seminal 2011 book on the global arms trade The Shadow World, journalist Andrew Feinstein exposes the fallacies of a nations expanding defence sector. The arms industrys economic contribution is undermined by the frequency with which its main players around the world, Lockheed Martin, BAE, Boeing, Northrop Grumman are implicated in grand corruption, inefficiency and wastage of public resources, he wrote.

Feinstein concludes that the arms trade often makes us poorer, not richer, less not more safe, and governed not in our own interests but for the benefit of a small, self-serving elite, seemingly above the law, protected by the secrecy of national security and accountable to no one. 

Murky business: Australias defence industry is growing, but at what cost?  SMH, Antony Loewenstein , 4 Nov 17 

This years Avalon Air Show in Geelong was the...


Red Gums: good news vs bad news "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

So, whats going on with our River Red Gums?

We noted last year how lots of them were looking pretty dire, and this year is, if anything, worse: whole roadsides and paddocks in this region and beyond are looking pretty desolate where the Red Gum is the dominant tree.

Damaged Red Gums east of Mount Alexander, November 2017: Psyllid attack is devastating the foliage.

The main culprit, it seems, is the Psyllid lerp, a leaf munching creature whose larvae suck out the nutrients from the tree leaf. The result is often the eventual death of the leaf, and the presently common spectacle of trees with sparse or dead looking foliage.

The good news is that these infestations come and go, and in the natural order of things, the trees come back. If you look closely at some of the apparently terminal trees around the place, you can see fresh leaf growth coming on. And weve had the experience of the Stringybark forests in the south of our region a few years ago being absolutely stripped by colourful but gluttonous cup moth larvae. They recovered.

Fightback: new growth emerges on damaged Red Gum, Campbells Creek, November 2017.

The potentially bad news is that distortions in natural conditions may make the trees less resistant to such attacks. Extended drought...


And on the subject of lerps, pardalotes and others "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

While were on the subject of encouraging good bird habitat, readers may be interested in these two events:

First, you can do your bit for the pardalote! Earth to pardalote is a workshop on how to create win-win gardens for people and wildlife. Its being run by Cassia Read next Saturday from 10 to 12 at the Diggers Store, 61 Main Road Campbells Creek. Shell be talking about the essential elements you can add to your garden to build backyard biodiversity and garden food webs; and will then run a workshop to guide participants through how they can nudge their own garden in a wildlife friendly direction. The cost is $15, and bookings can be made via this link:

Second, Either side of the big wet is a free seminar being run next Monday at the Arthur Rylah Institute [123 Brown Street Heidelberg] from 11 am. Southern Australia is expected to experience long sequences of severe rainfall deficits under climate- change models based on IPCC emission scenarios. These droughts, such as occurred from 1997-2010  (the Big Dry), are projected to be punctuated by short periods of above-average rainfall (e.g. the Big Wet of 2010-12).

The seminar will present research on the prospects for Box Ironbark flora and fauna under this scenario. And if you cant make it to distant Heidelberg, theres a webinar: details can be found at


It costs a bit to be a beach basher "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

It seems theres a niche market for whom theres nothing quite so enticing as sitting in your $85,000 4WD on a remote beach somewhere, enjoying the sight of your own tyre marks and muttering ecstatically, How pristine is that?

Its this niche, apparently, that the editors of the Age Drive supplement had in mind last Saturday when they did a feature on four different brands of these vehicles. These were pictured nicely posed on a beach, and the text noted, among other things, how well they handled sand.

Come to think of it, the drivers may not be examining the formerly pristine sand, but each other. Certainly they wouldnt be thinking about the creatures they might have crushed on the way down.

We had a go at the RACV a few weeks ago for a similar piece of crassness. The RoyalAuto editors were pretty impressive in their response. Maybe it would be a good idea for readers of the Age to ask its editors what values they think theyre promoting in features like these.



PNG to Begin Forceable Removal of Asylum Seekers From Manus Island Camp "IndyWatch Feed National"

Asylum seekers protest on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in this picture taken from social media November 6, 2017. Credit: Social Media/Handout via Reuters

Asylum seekers protest on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in this picture taken from social media November 6, 2017. Credit: Social Media/Handout via Reuters

Sydney: Papua New Guinea immigration minister Petrus Thomas said authorities would take steps on Monday to forcibly remove around 450 men who remain in an abandoned Australian detention centre without food or running water.

Hundreds of men have barricaded themselves into the Manus Island centre for more than 13 days without regular food or water supplies, defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to close the facility.

We will be taking steps with relevant authorities to move the residents based on serious exposure to health risk for the food of everyone that is remaining, Thomas said in a statement issued late on Sunday.

The timetable stokes fears of a potential clash...


On shedding the patronym "IndyWatch Feed National"

I think about the notable women who have chosen a mononym instead (Cher, Madonna, the French author Colette), but I decide unless I want to join the millennial poets of Instagram and Tumblr, the mononym isnt the right move for me as a writer. Even then, I learn that Colettes mononym was inspired by her fathers surname.

I start to wonder if I am reading too much into the whole thing, then decide that I am not seeking a name that is devoid of gender, just one that feels like mine.


Australian Dollar and Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed National"

1.00 AUD = 0.0001 BTC
0.0001 BTC = 0.85 AUD


Here is a trick "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Go into your pocket/wallet/purse and take out a bank note. Make sure it is an Aussie note.

Now look closely at it. What do you see? Do you see the 2 signatures in the corner of one of the sides. Do you know whose signatures they are? They arent the signatures of the Prime Minister or of the Governor General. Not the Queen or other representative of the Government or the people.

The signatures on Australian currency belong to the Secretary of the Commonwealth Treasury and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. The individuals may change, but signing Australian bank notes remains one of the privileges of the office. That with a large salary, generous superannuation scheme and the eventual Companion of the Order of Australia award for . services in doing the job you are already well remunerated for. Nice work if you can get it.

So basically, Australian currency is signed by 2 senior public servants. How very Australian.

Lets just segue for a moment.

The ever loved Australian banking systems shares an annual profit pool of over $40 billion and probably more. That $40 billion profit pool is highly dominated by the big 4 banks ANZ, CBA, NAB and WBC (in alpha order). Throw in Macquarie, SunCorp and Bendigo and you are probably accounting for over 95% of that profit pool.

The profitability of the big 4 Australian banks is the dream of other international banks yet for some reason, they seem impervious to competition. Could it be that the game is rigged?  Could they really be protected from competition by the imprimatur of Government? After all, $40 billion of profit generates $12 billion of company tax revenue.

But lets just have a look at the membership of the boards of the big 4. Lets just ignore for a moment the cross pollination of senior executives from one bank being on the board of a different bank.  Who are the standout directors on 4 of the big 5:


  • Jane Halton AO, PSM fomer Secretary of Commonwealth Department of Finance


  • Rob Whitfield former Secretary of NSW Treasury


  • Ken Henry AC, Chairman and former Secretary of Commonweath Treasury



Why India Should Be Wary of the Quad "IndyWatch Feed National"

Like it or not, the term Indo Pacific seems to be a means of including India in the military calculations of US strategy in the Pacific.

Narendra Modi, Shinzo Abe and Donald Trump

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Shinzo Abe and other world leaders at an ASEAN Summit dinner in Manila on Sunday. Credit: PTI

The second coming of the Quadrilateral alliance of the US, Australia, Japan and India to confront China in the Asia-Pacific may not be the proverbial farce, but it is close enough.

The first time around it collapsed when two of its members found it inconvenient to go ahead. And now, after a decade, in which China has militarily consolidated itself in the very region that the Quad had hoped to challenge, the chimera is once again being chased.

Mooted as an alliance of democracies, it seeks to upend everything we know about international relations, where the drivers are national interests, rather than values. Even that titanic struggle against evil in World War II, pitted a partial democracy (the US), an empire (the UK) and the communist Soviet...


False Memories, Part 2: I Dont Know Her from Anybody "IndyWatch Feed National"

(L)  Teddy Roosevelt, (C) Leigh Corfman, and (R) Judge Roy Moore

by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

This series of articles is mainly about the accusation that mind-control victims are making up the stories they tell of having been subjected to ritual abuse. (Ritual as in part of a rite, usually with human sacrifice on altars, persons in black robes, and so forth.)

Are they telling the truth? Yes, they are. Naturally the CIA could slip a few fakers into the mix just to cause trouble, but we now realize that rituals really do take place and they can terrify children for a lifetime. We should believe the children, as a rebuttable presumption.

That said (and I realize I have not properly defended my claim here), every story told by a child about abuse is not necessarily true. In a custody battle its fairly common for one parent to urge a child to tattle on the other parent. This could include allegations o...


Snowflake stress levels at their ABC so bad the union will force entry something....or something "IndyWatch Feed National"

Unions to force entry into ABC Ultimo headquarters over staff stress The ABC Head Office in Ultimo, Sydney, where 72 per cent of staff have reported dangerous workplace stress levels. The Australian 12:25PM November 13, 2017 STEPHEN BROOK Union officials will seek to force entry to the ABCs Ultimo headquarters...


Roundup November 13 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Breaking news! OMG Dan Mitchell has written a book! Support Connor Court. Buy Dans book!

The media watchdog. The cost, supply and use of power across the states. Cheap power in Tasmania today (2.30 pm). Coal-fired power Units Planned and Under Construction. China 583, Australia 0. Don Aitkin on the Claytons energy policy.

Power prices at 1.50 am. Queensland $64, NSW 69, Vic 74, Tas 78, South Australia 86. The joy of insomnia.

Alternative ideas. From the Centre for Independent Studies. Citizenship, the history wars and the staircase of opportunity for Aborigines. Lets not have a Universal Basic Income. Mark Steyn on line. A roundup from Heterodox Academy, the organization started by Johathan Haidt of The Righteous Mind. Mission: To improve the quality of research and education in universities by increasing viewpoint diversity, mutual understanding, and constructive disagreement. Intellectual Takeout. Accuracy in Academia. The American Scholar Inside the house that Stalin built.

Dan Mitchell. The triumph of communism. 100 years, 100 million deaths. The Senate tax pla...


Carbon emissions are falling but more is needed "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Ben Wilson

According to Professor Will Steffen of the Australian Climate Council, global greenhouse emissions have started to fall, because of the growth of renewable energy sources and therefore less reliance on the use of fossil fuels.

He says that emissions growth has flat lined and that this is a significant change for the better, compared to what the situation was a decade ago.

Driving this change has been that the number of solar and wind systems installed, which has doubled every five and a Half years, thanks to those who are taking action for change.  there is also the falling cost of alternatives that is now being eyed by some major corporations as a viable route to profit or savings in energy costs.

This does not mean that there is any room for complacency and that action to step up the turn away from fossil fuels is no longer urgent.

Although at the present rate, a carbon neutral goal can be reached by 2040, this is far from a done deal. It could go off course. There is also a need to go further and apply measures that will protect those parts of the environment that are already under serious threat.

Economies must be restructured, to operate sustainably in the future. This is a big task that requires working towards agreement within nations and across nations, involving a change in the way of thinking on how human beings relate not only to the environment, but within the economy, about decision making processes and how we share what we produce together.

Even in the shorter-term, here in Australia, it is critical to turn around the gridlock existing in the political system that is holding us back, and get some decisive action to get away from dependency on coal, oil and gas  and serving as an  incentive to encourage more use and not less.

The need to protect wilderness areas and farmland is important. Special effort is needed to stop the extinction of the Great Barrier Reef.

There is still a major battle to be fought and won.



The post Carbon emissions are falling but more is needed appeared first on The Pen.


Time for Costly Medicine Monopolies to Go From TPP Trade Talks "IndyWatch Feed National"

The latest plan to get the controversial trade deal up and running again after the withdrawal of the United States involves freezing some of its controversial rules.

New research in the Australian Health Review shows biologic drugs cost Australias PBS over A$2 billion in the year 2015-2016 alone. Credit: e-Magazine Art/Flickr CC BY 2.0

New research in the Australian Health Review shows biologic drugs cost Australias PBS over A$2 billion in the year 2015-2016 alone. Credit: e-Magazine Art/Flickr CC BY 2.0

Negotiators from 11 countries have been racing to resurrect the near-dead Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this weekend.

The latest plan to get the controversial trade deal up and running again after the withdrawal of the United States involves freezing some of its controversial rules. These include rules for biologic drugs, an expensive class of medicines often used to treat conditions such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

The market monopoly

Biologic drugs are ...


ZAP/POOFness Report: "Blowin' In The Wind" -- November 12, 2017 "IndyWatch Feed National"

"The Office of Poofness"

"Blowin' In The Wind"

Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down

Before you call him a man?

How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist

Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, and how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, and how many times must a man look up

Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take 'til he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind

The answer is blowin' in the wind



Video: LA cops plant drugs in black suspects wallet "IndyWatch Feed National"

This piece by TOM BOGGIONI  (Raw Story 10 November 2017), is a disturbing capture of an incident that looks very much another case of  racial profiling and setting up. The difference is that this time, the deed was accidentally recorded by the police themselves.

An investigation into what is being captured on the body cams worn by Los Angeles police has turned up evidence of officers planting drugs in a suspects wallet while believing their cameras were off.

According to CBS-LA, Los Angeles police are now wearing the body cams, but police officials are withholding the videos from the public. However, the station was able to acquire video of one black man being arrested for a hit and run, with the video showing something quite different from what was documented in the official police report.

The report documents the arrest of Ronald Shields, 52, in April when he was taken into custody for a hit and run. According to the police report, LAPD officer Samuel Lee stated that cocaine was found in Shields front left pocket

But the body cam of a fellow officer showed one officer picking up the small packet from the ground and placing it in the suspects wallet before making a show of discovering it multiple times for the camera.

According Shields attorney, Steve Levine, officer Lee seemed stunned when he was shown the video while on the witness stand, saying the officer, Looked dumbstruck to me. Period. He had really no answer.

According to an expert discussing how the body cams work, the officer may not have realized that the camera was running 30 seconds before he believed he activated it.

Confronted by CBS reporter David Goldstein, both officers involved in the bust refused to comments on the discrepancy between their reports and what was shown on-camera.

Video from GetThePoint




The post Video: LA cops plant drugs in black suspects wallet appeared first on The Pen.


The Clintons and our millions facing all sorts of scrutiny - just not in Australia. Yet. "IndyWatch Feed National"

I had a most encouraging call with a US colleague during the past week or so. The Clinton Foundation frauds are being investigated in a significant donor country - sadly not ours. On 15 November the Clintons face a tax filing deadline in the US. On my read, for the...


The Clintons and our millions facing all sorts of scrutiny - just not in Australia. Yet. "IndyWatch Feed National"

I had a most encouraging call with a US colleague during the past week or so. The Clinton Foundation frauds are being investigated in a significant donor country - sadly not ours. On 15 November the Clintons face a tax filing deadline in the US. On my read, for the...


Ecstasy, Misery and Revolver Upstairs "IndyWatch Feed National"

When I was 22, three things happened that will forever mark the narrative of my life. I graduated from university, I broke up with someone who I loved, and I fell apart.

Adulthood had arrived with an unwelcome suddenness, and, terrified of being rejected by my dreams, I instead retreated into a shimmering expanse of meaningless good times. And by that, I mean I made Melbournes choice den of debauchery, Revolver Upstairs, my home base. I became a mess, and in a way, it was exactly what I had always wanted.

Since the end of my 21st year, I have been kicked out of a club on six different occasions. I would go out at least twice a week, and going out meant getting as fucked up as I possibly could; meant blasting a hole through my consciousness. I wanted to embarrass myself, to have a good story to tell the next morning, to be able to play at self-disgust but really loving every second. Up until this time in my life, I was always afraid that I wasnt brave or interesting enough to disintegrate completely. Well, I disintegrated.

I threw up in bars and on bars, into gutters and into bins; I threw up on the Sandringham Line train so frequently that my friends referred to that act as doing a Jane. I passed out in toilet cubicles and at parties; a friend woke up to me passed out in his backyard with my shirt off on one occasion. I threw glasses across the dance floor and out of car windows; I pissed on the dance floor several times rather than line up for the bathroom. My feet, for a long time, were blistered and rubbed raw and spotted with blood from dancing for hours on end.

I would drink all the time. There was a bottle of wine perpetually next to my bed and I would start drinking out of it as soon as I woke up. I drank at work, either out the back or out of a glass I kept under the counter that I would top up throughout the shift. I would go into work cooked I would go to Revs at 9 or so in the morning, take a pill or two, and start work at 12. It isnt a huge surprise that the store closed down, with employees like me. I got a new job, and spent my first shift struggling through a comedown. My previous job I had quit because my panic attacks had gotten too intense for work.

In my room, dirty clumps of ash sunk into the paint of the windowsill, smeared into a permanent, think black layer. Cigarette butts clogged every available surface. The room the house, in fact stunk of smoke, sweet and stale, but I was in it so much I didnt notice. Plastic wine glasses and ceramic mugs, rimmed with the deep red of old wine, sat for weeks beside piles of dir...


New conservative Bill a Trojan horse to allow unprecedented discrimination "IndyWatch Feed National"

Today Liberal Senator James Paterson released a conservative marriage equality Bill which seeks to introduce new and unprecedented forms of discrimination.

Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the Paterson Bill was a bizarre attempt to entrench unprecedented forms of discrimination against LGBTI Australians.

If there is a Yes result on Wednesday, Australians will have voted for true equality for all Australians not an unfettered right to discriminate for people who voted No, said Ms Brown.

Australians are voting to make our country a fairer and more equal place, not to take us back to a time where people can be denied service at a shop. We call on Australian politicians to reject the Paterson Bill and pass marriage equality without allowing new forms of discrimination, said Ms Brown.

The Paterson Bill appears to propose the following new forms of discrimination:

  • All marriage celebrants could turn away same-sex couples and transgender and intersex people regardless of whether the discrimination is founded in religion or not.
  •  Individuals could refuse to provide goods and services to same-sex couples in relation to their marriage.
  • Immunity from legal claims including criminal offences for people who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The Bill extends protections to those who oppose marriage equality for both religious and moral reasons, enshrining the concept of conscientious objection, which was criticised in the cross-party senate inquiry report that Senator Paterson signed up to earlier this year.  

Allowing anyone to conscientiously object to someone else because of their sexuality, race or disability is unacceptable in modern Australian society it goes against the foundation of equal treatment enshrined in Australian law for decades. The entire purpose of anti-discrimination protections is to ensure that we are all treated fairly and equally in public regardless of who we are or who we love, said Ms Brown.

Exemption for all individuals and businesses in marriage related services

The Bill gives the green light to discriminate in the provision of goods, services and facilities related to marriage by any entity or individual, including commercial businesses.

This Bill will cause chaos and entrench deeply unacceptable discrimination that Australians rejected decades ago. A taxi driver could turn away a same-sex couple travelling to their wedding. A bank teller could refuse to authorise a personal loan for a same-sex couple for their wedding or possibly even their honeymoon. A hotel could refuse to take reservations of guests in town for their friend or family membe...


Can the EU regain its international climate policy leadership lost in Copenhagen? "IndyWatch Feed National"

This is a guest post from Axel Michaelowa  from the University of Zurich. He is also the lead author of the chapter on international agreements in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is the second in the series from our Bonn panel on leadership in the climate regime. 

For over a decade, the EU was the undisputed leader of the international climate policy process. It had a grand vision for a universal international climate policy agreement modelled on the Kyoto Protocol. This was to be crowned during COP 15 in Copenhagen 2009. So the shock was the greater when the EU was ignominously sidelined by an alliance of Barack Obama and the leaders of the large emerging economies. They did not like grand designs and instead embarked on a road towards a bottom up climate policy system.

Almost a decade later, the US has abandoned international climate policy leadership after it played a crucial role in helping France in the runup to the Paris Agreement. Can the EU now again lead? The answer unfortunately is No.

First, the EU is at the center of the global maelstrom of migration, terrorism and resurgence of populism, and even threatened by internal fragmentation as the case of Catalonia shows. This means that EU leaders are in perpetual crisis mode and cannot properly address long term issues auch as climate policy.
Second, the EU is lacking ambition. Several member states, including self-proclaimed climate policy leader Germany, are likely to miss 2020 emission targets by a wide margin. 2030 targets are generally not seen as very ambitious either.

Second, domestic mitigation policy instruments in the EU are suffering from serious flaws. The EUs climate policy flagship, the emission trading scheme has suffered from systemic overallocation ever since the economic and financial crisis struck in 2008. Thus, prices have remained low. The latest reform agreed just yesterday is a kind of band aid that does not resolve the broader challenge. In the context of renewable energy promotion, the widely successful feed in tariffs have now been replaced by auctions that may be able to reduce costs, but are equally likely to reduce the speed of renewable energy expansion. And many countries face the challenge that...


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Australia should think about getting a Receiver/Administrator in for a while. This bloke got 19 votes in his own right. From the weekend: 19 votes put Pauline Hansons man in The Australian (@australian) November 13, 2017 Pauline Hanson's ticket put him in the Senate. Now he's in the...

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