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Brian Martin is an emeritus professor at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and vice president of Whistleblowers Australia.
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Further pieces of the puzzle have been revealed of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbulls corrupt conduct in the 1980s trying to conceal the crimes of Kerry Packer from the Costigan Royal Commission and later from the CDPP. Putting the pieces together it now seems certain that the former and first Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (1984-1989) 
Australia's Home Affairs Minister is investigating how to bring white South African farmers to Australia on humanitarian grounds. White farmers facing violence in South Africa "deserve special attention" from Australia, Peter Dutton said. He said he had watched television footage and read articles that convinced him the farmers needed help, and had ordered his department to investigate how to bring the farmers to Australia. He had "hope" some of the farmers could be settled in Australia, declaring: "We have the potential to help some of these people that are being persecuted." Violence on South African farms is a racially charged political issue. Afriforum, a rights group that mainly represents the views of the white Afrikaner minority, says white farmers are murdered at four times the rate of other citizens, but these figures cannot be independently verified and have been challenged. Mr Dutton said he wanted to explore whether the farmers could access visas or humanitarian programs. "People do need help and they need help from a civilised country like ours," Mr Dutton told News Corp.
Tired of the finger-pointing that the corporate media
and the Australian government endorse as rational comment on the
retired Russian spy poisoning affair? Worried that our leaders seem
to think grandstanding on a pile of nuclear weapons is some kind of
English language Press tv Iran conducts unusually frank and well-informed debates on international affairs all over the world, and this one is no exception. See how the non-Anglosphere perceives the UK poisoning affair. In this episode of The Debate, are James Jatras, a former US diplomat from Washington, and Jonathan Fryer, a writer and lecturer from London, to discuss London's claim about a Russian poisoning attack in the UK.
March 16th: A group of eminent doctors and psychiatrists write to the President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) in response to a press release issued by the Royal College.
Dr Kym Jenkins
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
cc Mr Andrew Peters
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
16 March 2018
Dear Dr Jenkins
Reply to the College
We refer to the press release issued by the RANZCP on March 6th 2018, relating to recent press reports in New Zealand regarding the risks of antidepressants. The College has stated that questioning the efficacy of psychiatric medication is stigmatising of people who have been prescribed them, and that drugs are only ever prescribed in partnership with the patient and after due consideration of the risks and benefits.
We believe there are difficulties with this view and that a more nuanced statement by the College would have been more helpful. The profession of psychiatry has an overarching duty to keep the community informed. The community is entitled to know that there is a large body of evidence that raises complex issues regarding the efficacy and the safety of psychotropic medications. The College statement appears to caution against open discussion of these issues, in part to avoid stigmatising those with mental health problems.
We are not aware of any evidence that informing the public would be stigmatising. We have not always been right about stigma. It was once held that the concept of mental illness as brain disorder was less stigmatising. In fact the reverse has been shown to be true: the brain disorder approach increases rather than decreases stigma.
21st Century Wire
Introduction by David Macilwain: Former Australian diplomat and recent author of Return to Moscow Tony Kevin, submitted the article below to a mainstream Australian newspaper on Friday, following discussions with the opinion editor. As he described it after detailed discussion with her of its proposed themes and conclusions before writing it, they said fine, it is an opinion piece, we have discretion to publish well-argued contrarian views. But then, in what he sees as chilling Orwellian censorship, the paper found a chemist who fact-checked the article and found it lacked a strong foundation.
Tony Kevin then sent the article to John Menadue for publication on his blog Pearls and Irritations to which he has contributed for many years, until recently when his pro-Russian views seem unacceptable even there. Menadue obligingly published my recent article calling for Australia to disengage from the US in Syria, but perhaps that was the limit; I also submitted an article for Pearls and Irritations yesterday, covering some similar ground to Tonys, but was declined on the basis that some of the language and claims seem a bit over the top and without hard evidence.
I think we could say that about HMG in the UK, though more convincingly some of their language and claims are extreme and highly disturbing, and lacking in any substantial evidence whatsoever. But as Tony says: This is the climate of renewed Cold War in which we now live. It is very worrying.
Article by Tony Kevin:
Skripal Affair: Western allies line up...
16 March 2018
In 2005 Japan raised the possibility of a separate grouping of four nations, Australia, India, Japan and the United States, as a potential counterweight to the growing power of China. It was an ill-considered notion then, and nothing has happened since then to make it a better idea. If anything, it is a worse idea now that was 12 years ago.
Notwithstanding the illogicality and counter-productive nature of the proposal we see the same four nations yet again raising the possibility of a Quad alliance. The one constant factor apart from the profound stupidity of the idea is that having an ambition to constrain China remains at the core. That Australia should even contemplate joining such an ad hoc alliance highlights the fundamental dilemma confronting Australias foreign policy.
On the one hand Australian foreign policy and defence commentators, strategists and politicians constantly reiterate that United States is the cornerstone or bedrock of Australias security strategy. The rhetoric surrounding this reached its apogee last year with Prime Minister Turnbull declaring that Australia and the United States were joined at the hip on defence and security issues.
On the other hand however, not only is Australia geographically located in the Asia-Pacific region, its trade and other relationships are increasingly integrated into what the Australian defence planners used to call Australias Near North.
The recently released trade statistics for the 2016-2017 calendar years are revealing. Of total exports of $291.4 billion, 71.8% went to the East Asia market (China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan). This compares with just under $19 billion for the whole of the European Union, and less than $17 billion for the whole of the Americas, from Canada to Patagonia. That latter figure was actually a decline of 5.9% over the previous year.
Conversely, trade with China rose 27.1%, Hong Kong 45.7%, Japan 17.4% and South Korea 15%.
In 2015 Australia signed both a free trade agreement with China, and also membership of the China initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
In December 2017 however, Australia was participating in a meeting in India, the so-called Raisina Dialogue, attended by the next US ambassador to Australia, well known Sinophobe Admiral Harry Ha...
Growth lobbyists outnumbered environment and democracy proponents three to two on Last Monday's Q and A on ABC 1, with Jane Fitzgerald (Property Council of Australia), Jonathan Daley (Grattan Institute) and Dr Jay Song (Immigration professional who arrived here two years ago) and Tony Jones (Compere) vs Tim Flannery (Population scientist and author of the famous Future Eaters) and Bob Carr, (journalist, environmentalist, and former Premier of New South Wales). The show started with a brilliant question from audience member, Matthew Bryan. He read it off his mobile phone, with a steely emotional intensity that only someone blinded by dollar values could have ignored, and all the growthists did, of course. Nonetheless since the ABC almost never invites representatives of the non-growth side, we could call this an improvement. Read on for a commentary on some of the highlights and lowlights of this historic confrontation between truth and lies and ignorance.
Most egregious in argument technique and substance was Dr Jay Song, described as an 'Immigration Expert'. Property Council of Australia's Jane Fitzgerald seemed to know enough to underplay the almost absolute power of the Property Council of Australia, which is on the way to running and ruining this country. Grattan Institute representative Jonathan Daley urbanely projected a dispassionate acceptance of growth as a given, and significant expertise in growth cliches.
Tim Flannery waved his hand like a man drowning at sea, yet often failed to get the attention of the moderator who seemed unaccountably fascinated by Dr Jay Song.
Water and the NBN
Flannery's suggestions for democratic decisions and common sense about Australia's vital resource poverty may have been overly sophisticated for the growthists and the commentator, who seemed unaware of the fact that we are 30% desert, 30% rangeland and only 4% truly fertile land. On the other hand, maybe they understand, but just didn't want to discuss anything real. Tony Jones actually implied that lack of water could be overcome by the rolling out of the NBN. Will we ever know if he was joking or serious?
The Tamil Refugee Council has condemned an early morning raid in which a refugee family was given just ten minutes to gather belongings before being flown to Melbourne and detained at the Broadmeadows detention centre (MITA Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation). Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and their daughters 9-month-old Dharuniga and 2-year-old Kopiga, born 
Once someone is a member of an Intel Community, they remain for life.
Intelligence Agency Internal Memos, Reports, and Files are usually fairly accurate. Particularly when it concerns Assets, Agents, and Operatives. And more so with regard to Trainee and new Field Operatives.
The politicising of released information, output, and activities, is a separate issue to what happens In House....
Without national discussion or debate and no hard questions from media Australia is pitching to become a major arms exporter. Dr Lissa Johnson weighs in.
On Wednesday morning I watched a live broadcast of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announcing the Australian Governments deal to procure $5.2bn worth of tanks (combat reconnaissance vehicles) from German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall. It has been hailed as the largest defence contract in Australias history.
In front of a brand spanking new tank stood Turnbull, a Rheinmetall executive, Defence Minister Marise Payne and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne. Together they sang the praises of their historic procurement project and Rheinmetalls state of the art combat vehicle.
Turnbull waxed lyrical about a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry, exciting opportunities and leading edge capability. The arms executive talked about a world class Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Queensland. Turnbull described his ambition for Australia to become one of the top 10 defence exporters in the world.
The whole performance looked like a marketing event at a boat show, except the boat was a tank.
Turnbull proudly described the deal in the context of Australias plan to spend $200bn on new military equipment over the next decade. He said that the arms deal was good news for Australian steel, good news for jobs, good news for Queensland and good news for Australia (Victoria, which bid to host the contract, missed out).Minister for Defence Industry The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC and The Hon Malcolm Turnball, MP, Prime Minister of Australia inspect the Rheinmetall Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV). (IMAGE: Jay Cronan, Dept of Defence)
Turnbull and Pyne cited the Rheinmetall tanks superior lethality as a key selling point. The arms manufacturer likened it to a Swiss army knife.
As I watched the broadcast my stomach churned, making it difficult to digest my breakfast. I had a few thoughts. One was that even if this deal is good news for Queenslanders as hyped, the whole $200bn ar...
Homelessness is actually 300,000 high and not only 116,000 homeless as according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. But what many of us have been barking about for years are both the number and the proportion of children aged 12 years and less who are homeless. Even according to the ABS figures there are 20,000 
When Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ordered the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat from Australia over the Dubai passports impropriety, Kevin Rudds days as prime minister would be numbered. The first two years of the Rudd/Gillard government were remarkable for their majority public support and for overwhelming public support for Rudd as prime minister. They were 
1808 Bishop Barker - the bloke not the beer glass - was pupped
today. Fred Barker became the Anglican Bishop of Sydney and, in
typical Aussie fashion, his tea-totalling ways were completely
respected in the naming of the biggest glass of beer in the late
1809 Bligh picked up his bat and ball and sailed, not for England as he'd promised those wiley NSW Corps, but for Hobart.
1826 Bushranger Matthew Brady, another naughty lad, was captured by John Batman near Launceston...my crystal ball tells me it'll all end in tears.
1843 Partying in style in Sydney during St Paddy's Day celebrations 2 Montgolfier balloons showed off gave an exhibition to wow the crowds.
1853 St Kilda road, Melbourne was the setting for many an armed hold up during the Victorian gold rush and today saw the last major robbery attempt...apart from the robbery real estate agents have been getting away with ever since.
1856 - The foundation stone of St Francis Xavier's Cathedral, Adelaide, was laid on this day.
1870 John Ross discovered and named the Alice Springs while exploring the route for the Australian Overland Telegraph Line.
1908 A.W. Canning, a forward thinking type of bloke, set out to equip a stock route between Halls Creek and Wiluna in Westralia. It is now known as The Canning Stock Route, perhaps named after the chap who sunk 52 wells by the time he finished in December 1909.
1910 Beating Harry Houdini by 1 day but being over-looked in the magician's smoke and mirrors, Fred Custance flew the first powered flight in a Bleriot monoplane in South Oz.
1942 Gen Douglas MacArthur rocked up to Oz and set up shop in Melbourne.
Ahh, the hardships people must endure in war time...
1943 General Douglas MacArthur more than slightly miffed the Aussies when he claimed that before he graced Aussie soil with his presence the govt was ready to hand the northern part of Australia to the Japanese.
1943 The Brisbane Courier Mail newspaper ran the article in which the Trade and Customs Minister announced in the Senate that unless more barley was grown the Aussie beer output of 7,200,000 gallons per month would have to be cut.
What, no green ale?!
1962 Today saw the grand opening/airing of CBN 8 Orange (CBN = Country Broadcasting New South Wales) a TV station that is now affiliated with Prime7.
Where they, no doubt, had a few sherberts in the green hue.
1967 And they most probably raised a glass or 3 at the official opening of the Honeysuckle Creek Space Tracking Station in Canberra on this day; this was the famous antenna that received, then relayed to the whole world, the TV images of Neil Armstrong taking a Sunday stroll on the Moon.
1969 Roma no aroma! Brisbanites were the sensible ones to be the first to use piped natural gas, piped in from Roma.
1984 Geoffrey Blainey, who had...
Industrial sites have spent millions on carbon credits under Direct Action's safeguard mechanism'Sixteen Australian industrial sites have breached government-imposed greenhouse gas emissions limits and had to buy millions of dollars in carbon credits to offset the infringement.The breaches came despite big emitters being granted generous carbon limits, in many cases above their highest previous pollution levels. Related: Emissions increases approved by regulator may wipe out $260m of [...]
EXCLUSIVE: In an explosive political revelation where salacious and illicit misconduct meets with good old-fashioned corruption, True Crime News Weekly can now reveal that recently fired Australian Border Force chief, Roman Quaedvlieg, was conducting a clandestine sexual affair and giving out subsequent job favours to a young woman whose parents had named him her godfather. [READ MORE]
Aboriginal land councils ramp up push for NT treaty promised 30
years ago - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
"The 30-year anniversary of the Barunga Statement represents
perhaps a unique opportunity to reset the process and ensure that
Aboriginal people are leading front and centre when it comes to
these kinds of things," Mr Morrison said.
He said an MOU would ensure Indigenous Territorians are driving the treaty agenda.
"We don't want to see governments and anyone else come up with ideas on behalf of Aboriginal people because we've seen the sorts of messes that unfold," he said.
Mr Morrison said the MOU should include formal recognition of past wrongs, and ultimately lead to a better future for Aboriginal people.
"I think there's a need for the levels of leadership in the Northern Territory and the Commonwealth to realise the deep injustices," he said.
A top Australian official has called for emergency visas for South Africa's white farmers, who are reportedly facing rising violence amid government calls for land expropriation in favor of black citizens. "If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it's a horrific circumstance they face," said Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. "I think these people deserve special attention and we're certainly applying that special attention now."
According to The World Happiness Report, Ustates has plummeted to 18th on the list. If you really want to be happy and feel secure, you need to go Nordic. Finland made the top of the list.
Finland was ranked number one on the World Happiness Report, compiled by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The country was joined by other Scandinavian nationsNorway, Denmark, and Icelandin the top four, followed by Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.
All these nations are based on strong social welfare structures, and look, people are happy! Looks like that evil socialism has a lot going for it. Turns out that when people feel secure, they tend to be happier and much more laidback.
I think there really is a deep and very unsettling signal coming through that U.S. society is in many ways under profound stress, even though the economy by traditional measures is doing fine, Jeffrey D. Sachs, an editor of the report, told the New York Times. The trends are not good, and the comparative position of the U.S. relative to other high-income countries is nothing short of alarming.
The drop followed President Donald Trumps first year in office, during which the majority of Americans reported disapproval of the countrys top elected official, and hundreds of thousands protested his regressive policies on immigration, womens reproductive rights, and gun controlas well as widespread concerns that the president is blatantly profiting off his position in public office.
The past year also saw reports of Americas widening wealth gap, with the average upper middle-class household holding 75 times more wealth than low-income families.
While other countries have focused on social welfare of all their citizens, Ustates has been in the process of removing rights and the very last s...
The perfidious role of human rights organizations in the war on Syria has been exposed again with the Amnesty International report on Syria for 2017/18, followed by an equally tendentious article in the Melbourne Age newspaper by Claire Mallinson, Amnestys national director for Australia. In the name of human rights these organizations have actually worsened the crisis in Syria. They have never dealt honestly with its primary cause, the determination of the US and its allies seven years ago to destroy the government in Damascus, as part of a bigger plan to destroy the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah strategic axis across the Middle East. Democracy, human rights and the best interests of the Syrian people were never on the agenda of these governments. They were cold-blooded and remorseless in what they wanted and the means by which they sought to get it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 9.4% of the American population had diabetes as of 2015, both diagnosed and undiagnosed. This disease occurs when the body is either unable to produce the insulin required to regulate your bodys blood sugar levels, or the production is insufficient.
High blood sugar levels have been associated with heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, kidney disease, dental problems, damage to your vision and more.
While there are some cases of diabetes that cannot be prevented, such as those linked with the genetic influence of a family history, experts have identified a number of risk factors that, when addressed, can help to decrease your chances of developing the disease. These include being overweight, physical inactivity and dietary choices.Source: GutundTasty | Pixabay
Weve all heard the warning at one time or another in our lives Avoid eating too much sugar or you will develop diabetes. While there is some truth to this claim, sugary foods arent the only items that we should be paying attention to. An often overlooked offender, carbohydrates are broken down into sugars such as fructose and glucose during the digestion process.
Not only do experts warn about the excessive consumption of carbohydrates, a study out of Harvard reveals that simple white rice may actually be one of the most dangerous foods in regard to your risk for developing diabetes.
The researchers analyzed data from over 350,000 participants across four different countries: The United States, Australia, China, and Japan. The data followed the participants for anywhere from 2 to 22 years, tracking both their food intake as well as their overall health and well-being. They revealed that those participants that ate a d...
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Brian Martin is an emeritus professor at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and vice president of Whistleblowers Australia.
| Published Friday 16 March 2018
Indonesias president Joko Widodo holds a cabinet meeting on a warship off the Natuna Islands, in what has been called Indonesias strongest message to China over assertion of the South China Sea.
SYDNEY: Indonesia has lobbied Southeast Asian countries to carry out maritime patrols in the disputed South China Sea, claimed in most part by China, to improve security, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Friday.
Indonesia says its a non-claimant state in the South China Sea dispute but has clashed with China over fishing rights around the Natuna Islands and expanded its military presence there, and also renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone, asserting its own maritime claim.
Austalian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister Marise Payne held talks with their Indonesian counterparts Retno Marsudi and Ryacudu in Sydney, ahead of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
Australia is hosting the meeting, despite not being a member of the 10-nation bloc, as it seeks to tighten political and trade ties in the region amid Chinas rising influence.
For the South China Sea, I went around to friends ASEAN defense ministers so that each country that faces the South China Sea patrols up to 200 nautical miles, around 230 kilometers, Ryacudu told reporters at a joint press conference.
HMAS Ballarat (center) conducts a passage exercise in the South China Sea with Japanese maritime self defense force ships, June 2017
Indonesia is focusing on three areas, notably the Sulu Sea, the Malacca Strait and the seas around the coast of Thailand, Ryacudu said, referring to existing cooperation with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines.
If we look at the (borders) from Vietnam down to Indonesia and to the Philippines, we can see we have secured almost half of the South China Sea (in areas) we are already patrolling.
China claims most of the South China Sea, an important trade route and which is believed to contain large quantities of oil and natural gas, and has been building artifici...
This video from Australia says about itself:
Scientists discover unique protein in platypus milk that could save lives
14 March 2018
CSIRO molecular biologists working with Deakin University researchers have isolated the monotreme lactation protein structure for the first time, identifying a novel three-dimensional fold that the researchers say could lead to the creation of a new type of antibiotics.
From CSIRO Australia:
Saving lives with platypus milk
March 15, 2018
A breakthrough by Australian scientists has brought the introduction of an unlikely hero in the global fight against antibiotic resistance a step closer; the humble platypus.
Due to its unique features duck-billed, egg-laying, beaver-tailed and venomous- the platypus has long exerted a powerful appeal to scientists, making it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology.
In 2010 scientists discovered that platypus milk contained unique antibacterial properties that could be used to fight superbugs.
Now a team of researchers at Australias national research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Oganisation (CSIRO), and Deakin University have solved a puzzle that helps explain why platypus milk is so potent bringing it one step clos...
SYDNEY: Countries must embrace free trade and not retreat from it, and they must do so on the basis of strong and transparent rules, fair and open competition, and non-discriminatory legislation, said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday (Mar 16).
Open markets, together with democracy, have been two of the most powerful forces in human history, and they have led to worldwide growth and prosperity, said Mr Turnbull, giving the assurance that Australia will continue to work with its closest neighbours in the region.
You dont grow stronger by closing the door to other markets. Protectionism is a dead-end. It is not a ladder to get you out of the low-growth trap its a shovel to dig it much deeper, added Mr Turnbull.
Mr Turnbull could be alluding to US President Donald Trumps controversial move to impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium, which could potentially affect Australia.
He described the free trade agreement inked with ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand (AANZFTA) as a demonstration to the world of what can be done by sharing ideas, expertise and new technologies for mutual benefit.
On the note of forging closer ties with ASEAN, Mr Turnbull announced that Australia will be working with the regional grouping to develop digital-trade standards, particularly for SMEs, in this age of technological advancements.
Nowhere is the potential for digital trade greater than in our region, said Mr Turnbull, who cited Google estimates of almost 4 million new users from Southeast Asia coming online every month, making it the fastest-growing Internet market in the world.
But he noted that the scale and pace in which things are changing is putting enormous pressure on existing regulations.
The ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards joint initiative provides both sides with a consistent framework to deve...
Facebook has banned Britain First and its leaders. https://newsroom.fb.com/news/h/taking-action-against-britain-first/ Why is it "taking action against Britain First" who preach for peace when it takes no action against Hizb ut-Tahrir who preach the Mohammedan command to Kill The Jews? March 14, 2018 Taking Action Against Britain First People come to Facebook...
Much is at stake in tomorrows Batman by-election, for both Labor and the Greens. Ben Eltham reports from his home electorate.
The inner-Melbourne seat of Batman is unusual in many respects. Stretching approximately 10 kilometres in a concrete ribbon north from Clifton Hill to the middle ring suburbs of Preston, Reservoir and Bundoora, it encompasses much of Melbournes diversity and dynamism.
On one analysis, Batman is the most left-leaning seat in the country. According to the ABCs Vote Compass, the seat scores the most leftwards on political philosophy of all 150 federal electorates. The demographics are a rainbow coalition of white and blue collar workforce, second generation Greek and Italian immigrants, with a large swathe of Melbourne hipsterdom and LGBTIQ voters predominant.
The seats retail artery, High Street, is an epicentre of Melbourne gentrification. Served by the famous (or should that be infamous) 86 tram, old shops are being knocked down and high-rise apartment blocks are sprouting. Just a decade ago, Thornbury was a sleepy middle-ring suburb known mainly for Italian grandparents. Now its one of Melbournes hottest restaurant and bar districts, with wood-fire pizzerias and small bars on seemingly every block. Men with beards and women with tattoos are everywhere.
In the centre of Batman lies the suburb of Preston, where I live. Made famous by Courtney Barnett in her song Depreston, Preston is a fast-changing mix of bucolic bungalows in cul-de-sacs, old factories and warehouses, and new apartments, cafes and bike repair shops. Depreston depicts a young couple considering purchasing a house out further from their usual digs in the inner city. A poignant four minute elegy to suburban anomie, the song describes Barnetts travails house-hunting, a rite of passage all too familiar to Batman voters. We dont have to be around all these coffee shops, Barnett tells her partner in the song....
The Canberra Times is engaged in a ding-dong battle with the ACT Chief Minister, and if you believe the letters to the editor page, it has staggering levels of support. John Passant is not so sure.
The Australian Capital Territorys Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, recently made some private comments about the mainstream media recently that have provoked massive outrage, at least in the letters page of the particular newspaper outlet involved, The Canberra Times.
First, some background. In the ACTs 25 seat Legislative Assembly there are 12 Labor Party members, 11 Liberals and 2 Greens. One of those Greens, Shane Rattenbury, is a Minister in the Barr Government. This ensures there is a functioning government. The arrangement gives an ALP/Greens majority on major issues.
What is it that Barr said that has so outraged the people of the ACT? To help explain let me publish in New Matilda my letter to the Canberra Times on the subject, sent on Tuesday 13 March and, as of Friday 16 March, still unpublished. I wrote:
Amid all the pro-Canberra Times letters expressing outrage over the comments of our chief Minister, I had been looking forward to reading a number defending Andrew Barrs fairly truthful analysis of our modern mainstream media. The fact that they have not been forthcoming suggests one of two things. Either every Canberran is incensed by Andrew Barrs comments, or The Canberra Times is exercising a benign censorship over the letters page. It would be interesting to see an analysis of pro- and anti-Barr letters submitted versus the number published.
I find it hard to disagree with this from Barr:
Im over dealing with the mainstream media as a form of communication with the people of Canberra. What passes for a daily newspaper in this city is a joke and it will be only a matter of years before it closes down
He then went on to say that the circulation of the print edition of The Canberra Times was less than 15,000.
These comments appear to me to have the ring of truth about them. So tell us, CT, what is the circulation of the print edition, and does management think it is in terminal decline? Is it making a profit or a loss? If it is making a loss what are the long-term plans for the paper if it continues its loss making ways?
Every move by the Canberra Times to address these issues such as the Fairfaxisation of the paper and now its Murdochisation only appears to exacerbate the fall in paid hard copy readership.
I only subscribe to the Canberra Times to support its cartoonist, David Pope, and for the cryptic c...
The tallest building in Kentuckys capital was demolished on Sunday 11 March, 2018. 38 floors came crashing down in a controlled implosion Sunday, delighting thousands of onlookers.
I gave a talk at a high school the other day about how conspiracies are formed. Nearly all of the enthusiastic students that packed the auditorium had heard of the Kennedy assassination. All knew of the collapses of the twin towers. Yet, almost no student was aware that a third skyscraper, Building 7, had collapsed on the 11 September, 2001.
The Fake News mainstream media have done an excellent job of deception. A deception that resulted in the murder of over a million people.
Photo sourced from Christopher Brooks Facebook page.
"I dunno if we're the best infantry in the world, but we're pretty bloody good!" Understatement of the century.
Fleetridge Financial, Inc. is a local accounting and tax preparation services office in Mission Valley San Diego California.
Fleetridge Financial, Inc. is a local accounting and tax preparation services office in Mission Valley San Diego California.
Today's post is being typed as I lounge by the backyard family swimming pool with a glass of Victorian Chardonnay at hand. It is a personal reflection of my recent review of several Australian UFO websites; over 60 Australian UFO Facebook pages; several Australian blogs belonging to individuals, and private email discussions with a number of selected high profile Australian 'researchers.'
No, not the android character from the Star Trek franchise, but pieces of information. Sightings of things in the Australian sky are reported to a large number of Internet sites. These range from overseas based organisations such as MUFON, to Peter Devonport's NUFORC, to local sites such as UFOR (NSW) Incorporated, and UFOR (Qld) Incorporated. Both Sydney and Perth observatories receive sightings, as do dozens of Facebook pages.
I can't find anyone who regularly monitors this vast area of data; collects it in one place and attempts to analyse it. The one exception to this statement is that for a period of 12 months, Melbourne based researcher Paul Dean and my co-blogger Keith Basterfield (on a long term break from UFO research at the moment) did just that. However, it is interesting to note that almost no Australian UFOlogists commented that they found it of any value to them!
Readers of my last few columns will be aware by now that the question of lack of interest in analysis of sightings by Australian UFO 'researchers' is a pet peeve of mine. Raw sightings contain valuable information about the UFO phenomenon. When was the last time you saw a table of numbers of reports versus time of day for Australian sightings? Or a breakdown of types of Australian sightings under the J Allen Hynek classification system, ie nocturnal lights, CE 1, CE2 etc? Or the number of witnesses per type of sighting? On the la...
I agreed with John Howard after the Port Arthur massacre. When he set up the buy-backs and gun amnesties I handed in our .22s and a shotgun. I thought he was right to ban semi-automatic weapons. I spent 8 years in the army and was awarded the crossed-rifles "Skill At...
The ABC reported on the inquest into Kerry Michaels alleged murder.
A number of quotes from the inquest were included in the article. Any one of them would have been a reasonable focus for a headline.
Kerry Michael, 44, had been repeatedly bashed with a rock and left about 200 metres from the summit of Mount Roland, in Tasmanias north, in 2015.
Detective Bryan said Michael told him he was just trying to hurt her, I was hitting her with rocks and stuff I was like a deranged lunatic.
Dr Lawrence said she was struck between three to eight times, with at least one of the blows delivered while she was lying on the ground.
Instead, the ABC chose to use the jealous husband snapped angle. This language has been highlighted in a huge number of reporting on how the media fails to report violence against women accurately. There are too many to list them all, but here are quotes from a few of them:
Myths and misrepresentations still find their way into reporting. 14.8 % of incident based reporting offers excuses for the perpetrator, like he was drinking, using drugs, jealous/seeking revenge, snapped or lost control.
Though we know the news media can be a powerful source of information for women looking to leave a violent relationship, only 4.3 % of news reports included help seeking information (1800RESPECT or others).
Victorian Council of Social Service: Five Things Men Say to Justify Violence Against Women
An all too common barrier to change can be the perception that our behaviour is out of our control at times. Many men I work with are reluctant to describe choices of violent behaviour they have made, instead using language that suggests a lack of responsibility; I just snapped, just lost it.
Ombudsman Western Australia: Understanding family and domestic violence
The research literature suggests that perpetrators of family and domestic violence will take steps to avoid being held accountable for their behaviour, including that perpetrators will attribute their behaviour to having lost it,’...
Olive oil is something that is used by people all over the world, not just for its rich and robust taste but for its numerous health benefits. What people do not realize is that a lot of the commercial olive oil brands are not olive oil at all. If you are getting fake or even rancid olive oil you arent able to reap any of those benefits.
When it comes to picking out your olive oil you should be looking at quite a few different things. If you are getting good quality legitimate olive oil it will taste completely different from the rest. You have to be sure you are without a doubt getting what you are paying for. Below you will find a list of things you should know when it comes to picking out your olive oil and/or deciding if the olive oil you have should be thrown out.
At least seven of the biggest olive oil manufacturers here in the United States have been cutting their products with inferior oils. Oils like sunflower oil or canola oil. They are doing this in order to cut back on the cost of production but for people who try to use olive oil as a healthy alternative to other oils, this is a huge slap in the face.
The oil is mixed, fragrance, and flavored before being shipped out to stores. It is marketed and sold as extra virgin. Testing done in Australia found that in 2012 none of their brands labeled extra virgin were pure olive oil. This finding led to a study carried out by the University of California.
In this study 124 imported brands of extra virgin olive oil were tested and over seventy percent of the samples were proved to be fake olive oil. Just which brands were shown to be fake and which brands were real?
Bariani Olive Oil
McEvoy Ranch Organic
California Olive Ranch
If you dont live in an area where olive oil is produced you cannot go directly to the source. However, if you do live somewhere you can go directly to the source, do so. Find out if the olives are processed within 24 hours of being harvested and see if it tastes right. If things taste mol...
The page I am writing about is on the Australian ABC website, entitled, "You decide Australias population, well show you how it looks," by journalist Inga Ting, Mark Doman, Ri Liu and Nathan Hoad. The arguments presented are a kind of demographer's fantasy. Demography is not population science; it is maths and statistics. Maths and statistics are not themselves science. They can be used as much for population science, to test theories, as they can be used for advertising and propaganda. Demographers are often also economists and they usually try to establish trends in population numbers in isolation from the environment, social values, or deep history. What they call population science is usually only economics, which many people think is now practised as a dogma. They do not tend to challenge propaganda and, for this reason, they are very useful for governments and corporate media that want to push peoples' thinking in a certain direction about population. This interactive article on the ABC gets the reader to make certain decisions, comes up with biased feedback, and then invites the reader to change their minds. To be unbiased, this interactive would need to list the positives of lowering population growth. It fails to. It does mention some as opinions, but it does not employ related arguments in its presentation of demographic trends in Australia.
The message of "You decide Australias population, well show you how it looks," is that if we choose low immigration, the size of the population over 64 will be greater than the size of the population under 15 yrs old. It compares the size of the post WW2 baby-boomer population, as if this were a norm, with the projected elderly population.
"In 2101, one in eight Australians will be children, compared to nearly one in three in 1960. At the same time, one in three will be 65 or older, compared to one in 10 in 1960."
There are a number of flaws in this.
1. The baby boomer population was the first of its kind, and should not be used as a norm.
2. There is an insistence on maintaining and increasing our current population in Australia and, by implication, everywhere else, but our current populations are the largest by an order of magnitude that have ever existed. They are not 'normal'. They are out of proportion to all human h...
Proposed amendments to the Turnbull Governments secrecy laws are a step in the right direction but dont go far enough, the Human Rights Law Centre told a parliamentary committee this morning.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is holding an inquiry into the proposed espionage and foreign interference legislation, which would overhaul Australias secrecy offences, and introduce a range of other national security offences.
Following strong criticism by the Human Rights Law Centre, Law Council and other organisations, the Attorney-General, Christian Porter, has proposed a range of amendments. However people who expose government misconduct would still face up to 20 years in prison under the bill.
Dr Aruna Sathanapally, a Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said that while the amendments respond to some of the serious concerns, others are yet to be addressed and the laws are still not fit for a democracy that values healthy public scrutiny of government.
"Whistleblowers shouldnt face imprisonment of 10 to 20 years for exposing government wrongdoing. This is not the message we should be sending to conscientious public servants, civil society or the press. Thats not the type of country we want to be," said Dr Sathanapally,
The Attorney-General has proposed improvements to the defence for journalists, and cut back on some of the excessive protection of government information with little connection to national security or public safety. The changes would also introduce separate criminal offences for public servants, and for those outside the public service, such as the press, civil society or the general public.
However the new laws would still criminalise the mere receipt of government information classified as "secret", with no requirement that any harm was caused to national security.
"It is deeply troubling that a member of the public could still face a prison sentence merely for receiving classified information, for example, as an anonymous tip off to an advocacy group," Dr Sathanapally said.
The amendments largely leave the other offences in the bill untouched, including broad espionage offences and the expansion of the definition of "national security" to include Australias economic relations.
"These new laws risk capturing legitimate international cooperation on global issues, and activities in the regular course of journalism, research or advocacy. They need to be comprehensively reworked."
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is due to deliver its report on the proposed laws in April.
My investigation in the Sydney Morning Herald/Melbourne Age:
The legal pursuit in Israel of alleged sexual predator Malka Leifer took a strange turn this week.
As she fought extradition attempts by Victoria Police over 74 charges of child sexual abuse, the 54-year-old first gained, then lost the support of influential Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman.
Grossman is a highly respected rabbi in Israel. He was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement in 2004 Israels highest cultural honour and hes the founder and head of Migdal Ohr, a major NGO that helps children and underprivileged teens across Israel.
But last week, in a surprise appearance before the Jerusalem district court, he pledged to monitor Leifer under house arrest if the judge agreed to her release from police custody.
It was humiliating, he claimed, for Leifer to remain incarcerated, and bad for her mental health.
The court apparently agreed and authorised her release.
Leifer is a former teacher and principal at Melbournes ultra-orthodox Adass Israel girls school, who fled Australia with the aid of the Adass community after her alleged offending was revealed.
One of Leifers alleged victims, Melbourne-based Dassi Erlich, was gutted at the courts decision.
We are trying so desperately to hold onto hope and trying to desperately see justice. We want to hold onto the fact that we will see her back in Australia one day, she said.
However, early this week, Grossman reversed his position and withdrew support for Leifer, citing the perception that his backing had been interpreted as supporting an attempt to avoid trial.
There are many confounding aspects of this case including the role of Rabbi Grossman.
Grossman has assisted accused sexual predators before, including Breslov Rabbi Eliezer Berland who fought extradition to Israel from South Africa. Grossman went to South Africa twice and...
Australian Taxation Office warned public to beware of scammers requesting tax payment via Bitcoin, crypto. #NEWS
Your what hurts? Via: JAMA: In 2016, the US spent 17.8% of its gross domestic product on health care, and spending in the other countries ranged from 9.6% (Australia) to 12.4% (Switzerland). Life expectancy in the US was the lowest of the 11 countries at 78.8 years (range for other countries, 80.7-83.9 years; mean 
While it is a popular assumption that millennials have developed an over-inflated sense of ego thanks to their digital technologies, todays brand of narcissism is radically different and detached from that of the 1980s yuppie narcissism familiar in books such as Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho and films such as Wall Street, which turned 30 in December.
Bill Shorten had his time as a government and we saw his wares. We experienced what he was about. He sold himself as someone from within a union championing minimum standards for the worker. But he sold out this sell when he was the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation. He 
An intensifying tropical low north of the Tiwi Islands is moving southeast across the Arafura Sea and is expected to turn south towards the north coast of the Top End on Friday. This system is expected to reach Category 1 tropical cyclone intensity on March 16 and...... Read more
South Africa has demanded Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton withdraw comments suggesting persecuted white farmers need protection from a civilised country.
Canberras high commissioner has been hauled in for a meeting with officials in Pretoria after Mr Dutton said the farmers deserved protections under special visas from Australia.South Africa has rejected his suggestion that white farmers are facing horrific circumstances.
I do think, on the information Ive seen, people do need our help and they need help from a civilised country like ours, Mr Dutton had said, suggesting an announcement could be made soon about special visa support.
But Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has defended Mr Duttons remarks, denying theres a double standard in him speaking up for white South African farmers but not Palestinian farmers persecuted by Israel.
I reject that what we do in our humanitarian visa program is assess visas on their merits and thats what Peter Dutton as home affairs minister does everyday, she told ABC radio on Friday.
But she said she and Mr Dutton were working to determine if any changes were needed to the offshore humanitarian visa program.Ms Bishop wouldnt comment on High Commissioner Adam McCarthy being hauled in for a meeting, but said he was in regular contact with the South African government about Australian concerns.
She said Australia wanted the nation to ensure the safety of all citizens, and ensure any changes to land ownership wont disrupt the economy or lead to violence.
Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program
Sacred Fire of Liberty, Jonathan Emord, Kim-Trump summit, tax cut triumph, Hillary blame game, Tillerson tweet firing, space travel DNA, Homeopathy action alert, Indiana CBD bill, surfing for PTSD, Klingon language course and MORE! "GroovUs Feed Npodcasts"
North Koreas foreign minister visits Sweden amid talks of Kim-Trump summit North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho is making a rare and surprise visit to Sweden amid speculation that Stockholm might be the location of the planned summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sweden is the diplomatic liaison between the U.S. and North Korea. Swedish officials have offered their country as a possible summit site. Talks will focus on Swedens consular responsibilities as a protecting power for the United States, Canada and Australia, the ministry said in a statement, but they also will address the security situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Thomson Reuters FoundationTropical storm Fifteen is forecast to strike Australia at about 06:00 GMT on 16 March.Thomson Reuters Foundation... * Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation. Tropical storm Fifteen is forecast to strike Australia at about 06:00 GMT on 16 March. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon ...and more
National Close the Gap Day
An annual event to raise awareness of the health experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Evidence indicates that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a life expectancy approximately 10 years less than other Australians. The day aims to promote health equality within a generation.
1774 - Cat lovers, unite and celebrate with some fermented catnip!
Or purchase a Catshead apple tree from Rippon Lea to mark the occasion!
Matthew Flinders, explorer, navigator, author and faithful servant to his cat Trim, was pupped on this day in Lincolnshire.
1787 - The (rabble was rousing) First Fleet was gathering at Mother Bank off the Isle of Wight.
1791 - The first bush blocks land grants were made to free men ie those without either type of ball and chain.
The most authoritative study of its kind reveals how fracking is contaminating the air and water and imperiling the health of millions of Americans
Our examinationuncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health, states a blistering 266-page report released today by Concerned Health Professionals of New York and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group, Physicians for Social Responsibility. Drawing on news investigations, government assessments and more than 1,200 peer-reviewed research articles, the study finds that fracking shooting chemical-laden fluid into deep rock layers to release oil and gas is poisoning the air, contaminating the water and imperiling the health of Americans across the country. Fracking is the worst thing Ive ever seen, says Dr. Sandra Steingraber, one of the reports eight co-authors, a biologist who has worked as a public health advocate on issues like breast cancer and toxic incinerators. Those of us in the public health sector started to realize years ago that there were potential risks, then the industry rolled out faster than we could do our science. In recent years, the practice has expanded from rural lands to backyards, farms, and within sight of schools and sources of drinking water. Now we see those risks have turned into human harms and people are getting sick, says Steingraber. And we in this field have a moral imperative to raise the alarm.
Grant Township, Pennsylvania, population 741, has became the front line of a radical new environmental movement and theyre not backing down
The researchers behind the report, titled Compendium of Scientific, Medical and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking, are quick to point out that fracking, or unconventional oil and gas extraction, extends far beyond the idea of a single well obediently gurgling up natural gas or oil. Fracking is part of a complicated extraction process with a spider web of infrastructure that extends many miles from the well pad. At virtually every turn, the process contains public health hazards. Residents living near an active site breath air laced with carcinogens, including benzene and formaldehyde, and research has shown an increase risk of asthma, a decrease in infant health and worrisome effects on the development of a fetus, such as preterm births...
Amid the rising number of crypto-related scams that are coming about with the ever-increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra outlined his concerns over the recent rapid boom in the popularity of the coins in a six-page letter to the Dutch House of Representatives and the Senate.
Hoekstra argued that there has been little time to understand and react to the changing landscape, and that the current supervision and regulatory framework is ill-equipped to deal with it; because of the cross-border nature of the technology and markets, closing those gaps requires a unified approach across governments and borders.
Like many other policymakers, Hoekstra sees the value in promoting and developing the technology behind cryptocurrencies specifically blockchain technology. However, in addition to the concern over fraud and hacking, the minister also expressed concern over the immature and unregulated nature of the market and how to better inform consumers of the potential risks.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has also issued a warning to the public: be wary of scammers impersonating the ATO and demanding Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for fake tax debts. Officials in other countries are calling governments and citizens alike to be wary of cryptocurrencies, too. According to a statement from the agency, so far, $50,000 has been paid in Bitcoin to scammers claiming to be its representatives and this number is sure to increase.
Kath Anderson, the Assistant Commissioner of the ATO, describes the situation as follows: Cryptocurrency operates in a virtual world, and once the scammers receive payment, its virtually impossible to get it back. Scammers are constantly adapting their methods to maximize their chances of picking your pocket. Unfortunately, it was inevitable that scammers would target cryptocurrency given its current popularity and anonymity.......
In one of a suite of new submissions to a Senate inquiry, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies academic Juan Carlos Bou warned that unless Australia radically overhauled its fiscal regime, it would mean the second lowest share of government revenue from oil and gas in the world.
Most Australian gas is exported, and by 2020, Australia expected to become the worlds number one exporter. At present only Qatar exports more.
But as little as $600 million is expected to paid back to Australia this year. In contrast, Qatar, which will export slightly more than Australia will get $26.6 billion. This is a huge difference, and there is no way to justify it.
The 30-year-old petroleum resource rent, provides oil and gas companies with generous concessions, allowing them to offset the cost of exploration and claim tax credits on decommissioning plants in the future. Only 5 percent pay any resource tax at all. Taxpayers are therefore subsidising a generous portion of their operating costs.
In addition, energy prices have climbed by six times the average pay rise on Australias east coast. Oil and gas companies are taking a slice of this bounty. Oil prices have surged since 2000, because the Australian government tied domestic prices to international prices, while continuing to allow tax avoidance.
Carlos Bou singled out Australia and the United Kingdom for having an alarming downward trend in petroleum and gas revenues.
Using loopholes in the system, these companies have been part of the practice of transferring revenues to tax free havens.
The Senate inquiry will hear about allegations that US multinational Exxon Mobil, which controls 19 percent of east coast LNG gas, deliberately misled the Senate by not revealing its Dutch parent company had based some of its operations in the tax havens of the Bahamas.
Tax Justice Network spokesman Jason Ward said the company earned $7.2 billion in revenue in 2016 but only a recorded an operating profit after tax of $38 million after paying interest and finance charges to related parties in unknown locations.
Exxon, and other multinationals, particularly in the resources sec...
Koky the sheep was 4 years old, but his fleece had never been
shorn which nearly cost him his life.
Pam Ahern, founder of Edgars Mission, a sanctuary in Victoria, Australia, had gotten a call about Koky from local officials.
Credit: Edgar's MissionHe was surrendered to them after reports [circulated] from members of the public concerned for his welfare, Ahern told The Dodo. Due to the overgrown state of his fleece, they [the council] knew his level of care required more than they could provide, so he was directly handed to us.
Credit: Edgar's MissionSeeing Kokys overgrown fleece in person was a shock to Ahern.
Credit: Edgar's MissionHaving such thick fleece wasnt just uncomfortable it was dangerous.
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