Seriously interesting new way to track politicians' votes on all issues!

Open Australia is a website that makes Hansard more accessible and searchable. But now Open Australia has come up with a fantastic democracy tool. You can put in the name of any politician, or a policy, and see how they voted on it. Not only that, you can see a history of their votes, whether they tend to cross the floor, whether they tend to vote unusually, and who else in parliament might be their ally! There are also heaps of clickable explanations of parliamentary jargon and details of matters voted on.I'm really impressed! Whoever wrote this program deserves congratulations!

Book Review: Michael Duffy's Drive By: Inside a Western suburbs crime family - Reviewed by Katharine Betts

Michael Duffy, Drive By, Allen and Unwin, 2013, reviewed by Katharine Betts. This is Sydney, bulging with criminals, ethnic gangs, new immigrants, dropouts, and wealthy professionals hiding their sorrows.

‘Pause and Review of All Prescribed Burning’- Conference in Melbourne 9th Nov

Conference: November 9, 2014 Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc, Kindness House, 288 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Melbourne Vic 3065. Gold coin donation - bring your lunch! Speakers include Wildlife Rescuers and National Parks.
RSVP: Maryland Wilson 0417 148 501 or (03) 5978 8570. "Wildfires are horrendous enough, but to deliberately burn bush where native animals find refuge is absolutely criminal" (Hans Brunner, forensic biologist on fire protection in Victoria). "Do the math. At the rate prescribed for burning off bushland, at 5% per annum, it could all be gone in 20 years." (Sheila Newman, Environmental Sociologist.)

Gough Whitlam's Childhood Home in Kew Given an Interim Protection Order Against Demolition

Yesterday, Thursday 23 October, was another turbulent day in pre-election Melbourne as the fate of the childhood home of Gough Whitlam at 46 Rowland Street Kew hung in the balance. We were under the impression that the demolition of the house would continue so I dressed in black and went to the site about 1 pm with flowers to leave on the fence and so pay a suitable tribute to Gough Whitlam. (I called up lots of people as the Leader Newspaper said they would send a photographer.) Imagine my shock at seeing a media scrum in the street outside the wire fence with more cars arriving all the time. (Included at the end of this article are the NFIRB's guidance notes on foreign investment in real estate.)

Invitation to Green Wedges Coalition AGM & election forum next Tuesday 28 October

SavingVictoria: Invitation to Green Wedges Coalition AGM & election forum next Tuesday 28 October; Wildflower walks in the western grasslands, PPL rally vs the EWL.

1. Please consider the Green Wedges when you vote next month. With this in mind, the Green Wedges Coalition is hosting an election forum at our AGM, at 1pm on Tuesday 28 October, in the Legislative Council Committee Room at Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne.

Judith Sinnamon "Wallum" Australian flora paintings Brisbane October 24 - 8 November

Opening today, Friday 24 October 2-4pm.. Judith Sinnamon's paintings are notable for their portrayal of Australian banksia flowers in their many manifestations, although she also paints other plants and subjects. Her style is meticulous, yet cheerful, free and full of light. This will be her third exhibition at Edwina Corlette Galleries in Brisbane. You will have to be quick to snap one up. Paintings may be pre-purchased via the gallery. "Wallum," the title of her exhibition, or "wallum country", is an Australian ecosystem of coastal south-east Queensland, extending into north-eastern New South Wales. It is characterised by flora-rich shrubland and heathland on deep, nutrient-poor, acidic, sandy soils, and regular wildfire.

Event: Rolling 'Freedom Forums' - local environment & population speakers - Nov 1 -23 (varies with state)

Event includes population speakers. "Australia should be one of the wealthiest nations on the planet, but driven by primal greed, the country is being bled dry by rampant out-of-control ‘corporatocracy’. The Australian version of ‘democracy’ requires public apathy … but is everyone really going to sit back whilst the socio-psychopathic global corporatists rip out the heart and destroy the soul of the nation?" (Forum spokesperson, Simone.) The "Freedom Summit" gives a forum for a range of speakers on the issue of "We all know something is wrong, but what is it?" The forum will be running in several cities in Australia, starting with Perth on the 1st November, followed up by events in Sydney (8/9 November) Melbourne (15/16 November) and then closing in Brisbane (22/23 November). "All proceeds from the Freedom Summits go towards supporting Free to Shine in their mission of equipping young Cambodian girls with education to prevent sex trafficking." (Source: http://101.0.76.10/~fsorg/philanthropy/

Ebola: Statement from the Nurses re gross negligence at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital

This is the shocking inside story of total incompetence and negligence from some registered nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who know what happened at that hospital following the positive Ebola infection of first the late Thomas Eric Duncan and then a registered nurse who cared for him, Nina Pham. The Registered Nurses contacted the nursing union, National Nurses United, because of the highly risky lack of training and preparation. They apparently chose to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. The fact that nurses everywhere, including in Australia, now fear speaking out on anything demonstrates how bad for our health is a deregulated employment sector based on dreadful job security, hiring of young rather than older, more experienced and confident nurses, and imported nurses, for anti-social economic, organisational, and insurance reasons. Originally published on the website of National Nurses United, where you can also comment.

Another take on Whitlam, Population, Energy Resources, and the Khemlani loan scandal

   

The Australian government seemed to be boldly seizing the initiative to defend Australia's energy resources against a background of worsening international events. As other old colonies across the sea rose up and nationalised their oil reserves, there are signs that the Whitlam Government was planning to do the same, when it was cut down. When I was engaged in a research thesis that I finished in 2002, I approached the history of the Whitlam government at an angle from which it had not previously been approached. This article is based on an extract from Sheila Newman, The Growth Lobby and its Absence in Australia and France, 2002. (This is a new URL that does not require log-ins)

Vale Gough Whitlam - last real ALP foe to the Growth Lobby

There had been almost continuous high immigration from 1949-1970 – although immigration from 2009 dwarfs those figures now. Whitlam related population growth statistics to high land prices and the need for more appropriate management of development. Menzies had brought in policies that favoured the private housing industry over the public housing supply. Whitlam would try to counteract this tendency which now drives homelessness and overpopulation.

In 1973 land prices increased by up to 46 per cent in Melbourne and Adelaide and 34 per cent in Sydney. The highest increases were in outer-metropolitan areas where rapid population growth exceeded the supply of serviced blocks. The Whitlam government attempted to establish Federally funded public land development agencies in each State which would "establish a presence in the market sufficient to influence the general level of land prices and the rate of development of particular areas". This was intended to "create direct competition with private developers" "with a vested interest in the escalation of land prices" by "selling to home builders at the cost of production of the block." Whitlam also attempted to stabilise Australia's population numbers and to plan for Australia to become self-sufficient. See the full thesis.

Contamination of Ecuadorian rainforest: Canadian Bar Association withdraws support to Chevron due to protests

by Telesur, published on Global Research

, 17 Oct 2014.

The Ecuadorian embassy in London has provided refuge for Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks and candidate for the Victorian Senate in the 2013 Federal elections.

Facing a large backlash, resignations, and protests, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has decided that it will not make an intervention at the Canadian Supreme Court in the case involving Chevron Corporation’s contamination of the Ecuadorian rainforest.

Greens remind Victorian voters that the East-West Link was approved by Labor

See also: Issues that should be decided at the 29 November Victorian State elections (14/10/14).

On 18 November, the Melbourne Age reported in Greens campaigning hard on East West Link in Melbourne inner-city seats:


Ellen Sandell, Greens
Melbourne candidate

"The Victorian Greens have pledged to continue to campaign against the East West Link in marginal seats despite Labor promising to scrap the project if elected.

As the Greens aim to win a balance of power in the upcoming state election, Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said the party was campaigning fiercely about the East West Link in a number of inner-city marginal seats.

...

"In the hotly contested seat of Melbourne, Greens candidate Ellen Sandell criticised the opposition's stance on the East West Link.

Northern Territory Greens oppose privatisation

Media release from Northen Greens, 17 Oct 14
See also: Issues that should be decided at the 29 November Victorian State elections (14/10/14) on candobetter.net.

Federal and NT Greens have come out in opposition to the CLP's agenda of selling public assets like Power and Water Corporation, the Darwin Port Authority and the Territory Insurance Office.

"Let's call a spade a spade. This plan is all about balancing the books today by selling assets which belong to the people and which make it possible for us to manage costs in the future," said NT Greens candidate for Casuarina Dr Michael Connard.

"This is a short-sighted move. What happens when the NT has no public assets left to sell?"

NATO's ISIS pretext to invade Syria thwarted by Kurdish defence of Kobani

Story 1 includes video (9:50).

See also:
People of Ayn al-Arab regain control of cultural center and 48th Street
(17/10/14) and People of Ayn al-Arab repel new ISIS assault, recapture more areas (18/10/14) from SANA and Mythology and The Islamist State (18/10/14) by William Blum on Global Research.

Update, 17 Oct 14: from Syrian Free Press and RT: Kurdish forces repel Daash-ISIL mercenaries from Kobani. See Appendix.

In an interview, conducted with Press TV on October 15, 2014 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya explains in the reasons behind the ISIL (also known as ISIS) attack on the Syrian town of Kobani (Ain al-Arab) in the Syrian Kurdish autonomous region. Mahdi shows that the supposed campaign of bombardment against ISIS is illusory, with few bombs being dropped on ISIS fighters and far more being dropped on Syrian infrastructure. Turkey, whilst pretending to oppose ISIS is supporting ISIS against the Syrian Kurds to the point of provoking mass unrest against the Turkish government in which 40 Turkish Kurds have died.


Female Kurdish fighter
featured in the film

The Virtual Interview: Edward Snowden – The New Yorker Festival

In a one hour interview, Edward Snowden, who as a private contractor, worked for the United States' National Security Agency (NSA), reveals all about the NSA's dragnet surveillance program. This program has captured and stored everything we have ever communicated through the Internet or telephone in recent years. He reveals that this program has not stopped one act of terrorism. Near the end, Edward also provides practical suggestions about how you can protect your on-line privacy.

Ebola risk - some questions from an old RN

I recently received a message from one of those petition organisations, which advocated sending Australian volunteers to Ebola stricken countries. I used to be an infection control nurse union rep in a detox at the time when HIV and various more infective new hepatitis bugs were becoming too obvious to ignore. Although I have not worked in the field for a year, the messages I am getting from the media and other contacts lead me to think that the problems of infection control I discuss below continue in our health-care and lay community. Chief among them are a confusion between virocides (which kill viruses) and a motley series of bacteriocides (which kill selected bacteria). I welcome comment and discussion and apologise to health professionals out there who I may have underestimated. I have written this article because I am a bit worried.

Will Washington succeed in having Northern Syria ethnically cleansed?

by Thierry Meyssan (15/10/14). first published on Voltaire Net.

At Kobané and in its region, where more than 300,000 Syrian Kurds are threatened with extermination by the Islamic Emirate, everyone can take the measure of NATO’s duplicity. As the commander of the US Coalition declares he is fighting against the Islamic Emirate, a NATO member, Turkey, furnishes the latter with the military and medical assistance they need, preventing civilians from fleeing and PKK fighters from coming to their aid.

The tragedy that is being played out at Kobané (Arabic Ain al-Arab) was written to conclude with the announced genocide of 300,000 Syrian Kurds. The Islamic Emirate has already taken control of several parts of the city and many surrounding villages. If the Syrian Arab Army fails to breach the lines of the Islamic Emirate to save them, they will all be killed.

Macedon Ranges really needs your help

We are asking (pleading) for everyone’s help to convince the State government to give Macedon Ranges the protection it promised in 2010: State policy in the form of a Localised Planning Statement [LPS] that retains Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 [SPP8].

Macedon Ranges Council has hijacked the ‘protection’ process by producing its very own LPS that isn’t SPP8 but a blueprint for growth and development that damages what everyone values about Macedon Ranges. It won’t keep Macedon Ranges rural; it won’t stop suburbia; and it’s definitely NOT protection. It’s less than we have now.

Video: Open Mike session at Thomson vs Doyle Population Debate 13 October 2014

Audience with open microphone, commenting and asking questions of Kelvin Thomson and Mayor Doyle at the "Big Population Debate" on 13 October 2014 at Deakin Edge, Federation Square, which attracted well over 200 people from peak ratepayers, planning and environmental groups. It culminated in a call by Mary Drost, of Planning Backlash, for a referendum on Australia's population growth. Both Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Doyle agreed that this was a good idea.

Video of Kelvin Thomson vs Robert Doyle in Great Population Debate (October 13, 2014)

Video inside: The Big Population Debate at the Deakin Edge in Federation Square, Melbourne, on October 13, 2014, between Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, was a fantastic success in terms of numbers and outcome. Given the utter inertia of political process in responding to this democratic emergency, Mary Drost's call for a Referendum on Australia's Population Growth was a great idea to go forward. With both Kelvin Thomson and Mayor Doyle agreeing that a referendum on population is a good idea, Victorians and other Australians have something concrete to go forward with. The film here is of the debate. The referendum is on the open mike section, which is the next film that will be published. The debate embedded here showed that Mayor Doyle really doesn't have a handle on the issue at all, except as a loyal servant to the business end of growth. Kelvin Thomson's ability to debate the subject would make him a world leader in this area. This is a very important and historic record. Congratulations to Mary Drost of Planning Backlash for making it happen. Sheila Newman produced the video.

‘Our President is a pro judo wrestler’: Russian diplomat slams Aussie PM intention ‘to shirtfront’ Putin

First published on RT (14/10/14).
See also: Complaint re ABC handling of Tony Abbott's insults and unsubstantiated allegations against Putin (14/10/14) by David Macilwain.


Prime Minister Tony
Abbott, whose threat to
'shirt­-front' The Russian
President over his baseless
allegations that he was
complicit in the MH17
tragedy was labeled
'immature' by
Ambassador Odoevsky

A Russian diplomat in Australia called the remark of Australian PM Tony Abbott about his intention to "shirtfront" Vladimir Putin "immature." He reminded the Aussie politician that he might be "very fit" but Putin is "a professional judo wrestler."

Abbott's scandalous remark came on Monday after he told journalists that he is going to "shirtfront" the Russian president on the sidelines of G20 summit over the tragedy of the Malaysian airliner crash in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine in July.

"I am going to shirtfront Mr Putin – you bet I am – I am going to be saying to Mr Putin Australians were murdered, they were murdered by Russian backed rebels," Abbott said.

Shirtfront is a football technique for a front-on chest bump or rough handling aimed at knocking your rival backward to the ground. Its "a reportable offence and considered illegal," says the Australian Football Rules website.

The Russian Embassy in Australia, however, didn't let Abbott's remark go unnoticed.

Third secretary of the Russian Embassy in Canberra, Aleksandr Odoevsky, told the Australian Associated Press that the remarks of the Australian PM were "immature."

Complaint re ABC handling of Tony Abbott's insults and unsubstantiated allegations against Vladimir Putin

David Macilwain again complains to the ABC about their uncritical recycling of propaganda about the MH17 aircraft downing. He also expresses his disgust at the posturings of Tony Abbott with regard to the G20 and Vladimir Putin, based on this propaganda.

Issues that should be decided at the 29 November Victorian State elections

Victorian voters could on Saturday 29 November begin to take back their state Parliament from the vested interests that are now running Victoria.

If presented with open, informed discussion there is every reason to hope that a far larger proportion of Victorians than in previous years will vote for good independent or small party candidates and not for either of the two major parties.

Video: Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle supports Referendum on Population Growth

I must start by extending a vote of appreciation to the Mayor for agreeing to debate population growth with Kelvin Thomson. Both debaters and the Moderator respectfully acknowledged the original owners of the land upon which the debate took place, the Wurundjeri.

Mayor Doyle took the position that would guarantee that the ongoing dispossession of the Wurundjeri should continue at an ever escalating rate because it was "inevitable". Kelvin Thomson's position was more respectful of the Wurundjeri and took the opposite view.

Update 14-10-2014: Doyle vs Thomson: Big debate on Victoria's population increase - 13 Oct 2014

UPDATE: For the film of debate click here. The debate was attended by a 200 plus audience. The Lord Mayor showed courage under fire as he went down in the debate with only a pea-shooter of light-weight fashion statements like how many coffee shops Melbourne has vs a steady stream of deadly facts from Mr Thomson. The editors of candobetter.net are working to bring you a film of the debate, plus commentary and interviews with people who attended, ASAP. Mary Drost is to be resounding congratulated for achieving this important democratic event and also for calling for a referendum on population increase, which both Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Doyle agreed would be desirable.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and Kelvin Thomson MP will debate the topic of Victoria's rapid and increasing population growth at Deakin Edge in Federation Square from 5.30-7pm on 13 October 2014. A few months ago Planning Backlash leader, Mary Drost, challenged Melbourne Mayor, Robert Doyle, to debate much loved Federal Member of Parliament, Kelvin Thomson, who retained his federal seat by a huge margin in an election where most other members of his party lost their seats. In 2014 Mr Thomson established Victoria First, a not-for-profit NGO to safeguard and enhance Victoria’s way of life against overpopulation. He is the only politician in Victoria to represent the people against the big business drive for rapid population growth.

Flyer attached as PDF, Word.

Attention Mr Shorten: IMPORTANT: MH17 and Australian leadership at the G20 summit

This letter, written to Mr Bill Shorten, leader of Australia's opposition, criticises the basis of his position on MH17 and the attitude he has officially expressed towards President Putin of Russia's attendance at the G20 summit. The letter cites scientific analysis that casts huge doubt on the involvement of a missile. It points out that there has been no official report on the results of any investigation of MH17's fate, notably nothing to implicate Russia. Unofficial copies of documents (samizdat)[1] are thought to indicate that the countries participating in the MH17 investigation have signed a secret non-disclosure agreement where any participant (including the very suspect Kiev) has the right to veto publication of the results without explanation. The truth about the cause of the horrifying fate of the 298 appears to have been subsumed by propaganda to which Australia's Prime Minister and opposition leader both shamefully bow. The letter suggests that Australia should not subscribe to baseless attacks on Putin in order to help the US's bid maintain position in a unipolar world. The BRICs countries and Indonesia and Argentina - arguably our natural allies - are unlikely to be impressed by such dishonesty and it serves no good cause.

NATO games in Ukraine push world 5 minutes before nuclear midnight -– Stephen Cohen

Published on Global Ressearch, 13 Oct 2014. Update 14 October: Transcript from Sophie and Co added.

The West and Russia can't seem to get over their differences, with the tensions between the Washington and Kremlin changing the stakes for the whole world. How far would this confrontation go? Is there another Cold War coming? And finally, will the world once again know the horror of a Nuclear War looming over the humanity? We ask these questions to a prominent American scholar on Russian studies, Professor at New York University and Princeton University. Stephen Cohen is on Sophie and Co today.

Video: Keiser report debates causes of democratic paralysis in UK and US

Similar to Australia. Lack of media diversity. Unaffordable housing. Ruling classes above the law. Law applied brutally to everyone else. Debt, the illusion of productivity, decline of empathy. In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert host a two part interview with award-winning film and television actor, Alec Baldwin, and comedian, actor, author and host of the Trews, Russell Brand, about revolution, the media, ultra low interest rates, cobblers and their little helpers. They also discuss whether or not Sean Hannity has the talent to be a ‘terrorist’ and Russell Brand gives his opinion on the role of Fox News

Novorossiya must bring Kiev's war criminals to justice: A legal analysis

By Dr. Jonathon Levy. First published on Global Research (12 Oct 2014).

Under the influence of an intense disinformation campaign much of the world has tried its best to ignore the existence of the sovereign state of Novorossiya (Federativnoye Gosudarstvo Novorossiya). The Western media when it does mention Novorossiya applies denigrating terms like self declared state, unrecognized state and even puppet republic to describe the status of Novorossiya. In fact under international law, Novorossiya has the same status as any other member of the community nations it is a sovereign independent nation.

Hilarious debate on gay rights and population politics between Irish Senator David Norris and Oksana Boyco

World and European overpopulation as viewed by a warm, humane, generous, down-to-earth and witty Irish senator in a surprising response to an interview about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights (LGBT rights). I am a great fan of the interviewer, Oksana Boyco, but in this episode her interviewee outshines her in my opinion, making for a most unusual program. David Norris, who speaks Irish and Hebrew, and has lived in Israel, is also famous for a recent parliamentary speech on Israel and Gaza, which I have embedded at the end of this article.

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