Debate: Russia-UK poisoning row

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 sport?
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.

Q&A Critique & transcript for "A Big Australia" Monday 12 March, 2018

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.

Lies and nothing but lies from the MSM on Syria and Gouta

The writer of this article has returned home to Syria, after emigrating to a western country years ago. He reports on his arrival in Damascus, the capital of Syria, which is where much of the population has taken shelter from the activities of western backed 'rebels'. He last visited Aleppo in Syria between 2015-2016, for 9 months, shortly before the Syrian Arab Army, with the help of the Russians, managed to drive out ISIS. Photo was taken by the author on his current visit. (We split it up into smaller images due to size of initial image.)

Response to Manipulative population interactive on ABC that tries to normalise the babyboom

The page I am writing about is on the Australian ABC website, entitled, "You decide Australia’s population, we’ll 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.[1] 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.

Oz Open Software OSIA slams DFAT's brazen denial of TPP secrecy

DFAT's CPTPP "Myth Busters" document[1] attracted further scrutiny today when OSIA criticised the document's brazen denial---despite a widely publicised history to the contrary---of the secrecy employed throughout the TPP (and subsequently CPTPP) negotiations. This follows hot on the heels of OSIA's criticism of the document's comments on economic modelling[2] and ISDS[3] as biased and misleading.

The DFAT document described as a myth that "The Government negotiated the deal in secret''. This belies a long and well documented history of the process's near complete lack of public transparency. Indeed DFAT themselves have said the exact opposite about TPP negotiations before: in 2013 DFAT Acting First Assistant Secretary Ms Elizabeth Bowes, stated in Senate Estimates " fact the process whereby the negotiating texts remain confidential is consistent with standard international treaty negotiating practice so that applies across the board."[4]

What Fitzroy Council says about the Local Government Act review - Submissions until 16 March

"There are three aspects of the draft Exposure Bill that are of real concern: the first relating to the role of a council albeit its relationship to its community, the second the role of mayor and deputy mayor in their relationship to other councillors, and the third the electoral system and its relationship to its electors. [...] A duly elected city council should not be subservient to the State or proscribed a role that undermines the capacity of a council to engage with its community on a broad range of issues that impact on our lives. [...] The view that what is good for other levels of government should be replicated at the local level. This reinforces that local government is ‘government’ and not an administrative arm of the State." [ Editor: The state government is obviously trying to remove the capacity of residents to affect what happens in their local environment and suburb. We already have almost no democratic power at state or federal level - just reduced to a risible function of voting for Tweedledum or Tweedledumber. But local government is where it all happens. This is the first line of population policy, because the councils say whether there can be subdivision or new housing, which is what dictates population growth. VCAT has been used and abused by the State government to overturn council judgment, as has the insertion of State-paid Council CEOs. This attempt to rewrite the Act risks annihilating local governments in all but name. See also 'Population and Development Battlefronts' at the end of the statement by Fitzroy Council.]

Video: Planned US-North Korea summit - Top interview w/former US diplomat

Press TV Iran produces superior, intellectual interviews and debates for the English language viewer and this interview is no exception. Waqar Rizvi interviews author and former US diplomat, Michael Springmann, from Washington, about the planned meeting between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Springman has a wry sense of humour and a good feeling for comparative history, which sets him somewhat ahead of many Washington commentators. If you are interested in how Kim Jong-un and the US president came to be nose to nose, you will enjoy this. If you are really worried about nuclear holocaust, it might make some sense out of our predicament.

Fatpocalypse: Is rising obesity contributing to America’s poor Olympic performance?

The article by Robert Bridge, quoted and linked to inside, speculates on obesity being a factor in the United States' poor performance in the PyeongChang olympic games. It includes a graph of order of obesity in OECD countries. Australia is the fifth highest obesity country. Japan is the lowest. My money is on high fructose additions to our diets, such as corn-syrup. Dr Lustig University of California San Francisco, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, has been putting this message out for some time in fascinating scientific videos, including, "Fat Chance" and "The skinny on obesity." I have embedded "Fat chance" in the quoted material from the article inside.

ABC: "We note your concerns" response does not cut it on Syria coverage

“We note your concerns” is a response that ABC critics are familiar with. It seems to mean, “We’ve ignored your arguments but made a small mark on the negative side of the “balance” tally.

ABC Australia fails basic war-reporting standards - Middle East specialist

"Before becoming an academic I was for many years a journalist, with the Herald and Age in Melbourne, with UPI and AP in London and with the 'daily star' in Beirut. Thus I have a reasonable idea of what journalistic standards should be, and again, in publishing Sophie O'Neill's report, 'bombed, starved, trapped: this could be the worst place on Earth to be a child', the ABC has again violated them." (Dr Jeremy Salt). Dr Salt is the author of The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands, University of California Press, 2008) See also

Q&A tonight: Upcoming ABC shows on population and a Big Australia

I note that the ABC is planning to air Four Corners and Q&A programs on the issue of population and a ‘Big Australia’. The topic of a ‘Big Australia’ is a contentious issue in public debate. Several opinion polls show more than 50 percent of Australians believe Australia has enough people or should not grow any larger than 30 million people. On the other hand, the major political parties (including the Greens) are in lockstep marching to the tune of a Big Australia. Thus there is a major gap between elite opinion and the general public. In view of this the ABC has a special responsibility to ensure that its Editorial Policy number 4 — Impartiality and Diversity of Perspectives — is fully achieved in this case.

Diversionary tactics, smokescreens and the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Bill 2017

To me the “Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017” is more of the same – putting out a spot fire/diversionary tactic. The bill may be aimed at so-called charities that provide political advocacy while at the same time accommodating such advocacy through the back door, the bill may claim some smaller fry that are, to the government, collateral damage. Instead of addressing political donations head-on, we pathetically tinker around at the edges. As the dust settles the sharks that were dominating the pond are still there while the sardines have been thinned out!

Australia and Singapore record overall decline in trust in institutions

Every year there is an international survey, called the Edelman “Trust Barometer” carried out in 28 countries to measure the level of trust its citizens hold with institutions such as Governments, media, business, and NGO's. Australia, for the second year in a row along with Singapore were the only countries that recorded an overall drop in trust in all categories. Across all 28 countries an average of 42% of people thought their government was the most broken institute but in Australia the figure was 56%.

What's going on at Seaford Rd intersection? Letter to Ministers and Councillors

"Until a few days ago, traffic travelling towards the beach on Seaford Rd in Seaford and turning right down railway parade would only back up in the worst of peak times. But several days ago the light sequence was changed, now it is almost permanently backed-up for several hundred metres, up on to the bridge over the freeway. [...] People in the local community are suggesting that the light sequences are deliberately being changed to cause jams so as to justify level crossing works. Certainly there is something suspicious about an intersection which rarely backed up several days ago and now is almost unusable."

Frightening new Victorian Local Government Act 2018 Submissions due March 16

“We are all an involuntary part of a social revolution, where political parties feel entitled to take ownership of our individual rights to real and personal property, and where our civil and political rights are abused and overridden by the many politically created entities within the Australian Government System.” (Larry Hannigan).

An ecological and humanistic response to Breunig & Fabian's defense of massive immigration to Australia

I found what struck me personally as egregious growthist propaganda dressed up as an academic research article on The Conversation, yesterday: "Blaming immigrants for unemployment, lower wages and high house prices is too simplistic." [February 23, 2018 11.26am AEDT]. The article was headed up by professor of economics, Robert Breunig from the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, and co-authored by Mark Fabian, Postgraduate student, Australian National University. Professor Breunig disclosed that he receives funding from the Productivity Commission, which I think is a leopard with continuously changing arrangement of spots according to whatever political background it needs to blend into for survival. Leith van Onselen's debate with Migration Council's CEO Carla Wilshire of the on the ABC’s National Wrapdocumented here, seems to illustrate this, but for all I know the professor and his student actually believe what they write.

Sustainable Population Australia comments on Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton on migration

Australia has no coherent population plan other than to inundate the major cities with people. Instead of a well though-out population policy, the strategy has been to stoke overall economic growth to support big business. This suits the property industry and retailers but GDP per capita growth is stagnating while ordinary Australians are worse off.

Australian ABC needs to widen sources on Syria - letter to producer

Dear Marina,

As producer of the segment this morning about the current campaign to liberate Eastern Ghouta from its terrorist besiegers, I would like to offer this alternative perspective on what is actually happening in Syria. I understand only too well that all Western governments, NGOs and UN organisations, including Amnesty International, speak with one voice, but they still present the situation in Damascus and its suburbs in completely misleading and false terms.

Demand on behalf of Melbourne Residents to stop St Kilda Rd damage

We, the residents of Melbourne demand that the
Government stop its plan to damage St Kilda Road and that
they make alternative plans such as an alternative route via
Kings Way and linking it into South Yarra Station, or deep
tunnelling the entire length or stop work , re-focus and re-
plan, in meaningful consultation with the people of

Voted on and approved unanimously by the attendees at the
Public Protest at The Domain Interchange on the 21 st
February 2018

Big line up of speakers at rally to save trees in St. Kilda Road

Yesterday between 1 and 1.30pm a rally was held to save the trees in St. Kilda Road destined for removal to make way for the new underground metro. It was organised by the combined forces of Planning Backlash, Protectors of Public Lands and Walk in St. Kilda Road and environs Approximately 80 people attended including the 9 speakers listed below. The M.C of the event was Mary Drost , Convenor of Planning backlash.Prof. Michael Buxton was unable to attend and Dr. Ernest Healy , Vice President of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria deputised by reading Prof. Buxton's speech. Feelings for the impending loss of ancient trees and for those already lost ran high. The general consensus from the speakers was that the damage envisaged for avenue of trees in Melbourne's beautiful boulevard, St. Kilda Road was not necessary to accommodate the project and that a better way must be found. A statement to this effect will be sent to Shadow Minister for Planning, to be read out in both houses of Parliament.

A marsupial in wolf's clothing - First 3D digital models reveal convergent evolution

Researchers from Museums Victoria and the University of Melbourne have CT scanned all 13 known Tasmanian tiger joey specimens to create 3D digital models which have allowed them to study their skeletons and internal organs, and reconstruct their growth and development. This has revealed important new information about how this unique extinct marsupial evolved to look so similar to the dingo, despite being very distantly related.

Women’s Rights in Syria - by Mark Taliano

Syrian women are helping to save Syria and all of humanity against the scourge of Western-supported terrorism. The Canadian government, [ editor: and others, including Australia's, supporting the US-NATO agenda] on the other hand, is destroying women’s rights (and all human rights) in Syria and beyond.  If the truth were ever accepted by broad-based populations, then our government, led by those who project progressive fronts, would be exposed as the misogynist, life-hating rot that it is.

Leith van Onselen tackles the growth lobby monster - by Leith van Onselen

Tonight, [Feb 18, 2018] I appeared on the ABC’s National Wrap to debate the Migration Council’s CEO, Carla Wilshire, on Australia’s mass immigration program. Below are notes from the debate explaining my position and refuting Ms Wilshire’s key lines of argument.

Protest: St Kilda Road vandalised 21 Feb, 1pm in front of the domain building

St Kilda Road, Melbourne's Champs Elysees, is being vandalised for population growth that we don't need, but big business is imposing. Join a public protest Wednesday 21 Feb 2018, 1pm-1.30pm. The meeting is now in the reserve which is outside 1 Albert Road. It’s a triangle of land in the fork of Albert Road. Some more details and yellow arrow on map inside.

Interview with Cristine Hong: What's happening on the Korean Peninsula

In this podcast interview inside, Christine Hong speaks about the Korean history not told in corporate media, present day moves towards peace on the peninsula, and more. The interview is by journalist Eva Bartlett.

Video: Koreans talk peace - positive analysis by Crosstalk

The games have begun. The younger sister of North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong-un has captured the attention of the media, while US Vice President Mike Pence was mocked as a dud, even undiplomatic. The two Koreas are engaging each other. This makes the Washington foreign policy swamp fume. CrossTalking video with Brian Becker, Gregory Elich, and Myung-Koo Kang. This Crosstalk video pretty much covers the major bases in 30 minutes, with a stunningly well-informed cast.

What is the most credible conspiracy theory you know? [Translation from French version]

[This is a translation from the French version, "Quelle est la théorie du complot la plus crédible que vous connaissez?"] The mass media is the mouthpiece of the corporate world. It pretends to reflect the opinions of we masses but, in reality, it tries to create a perception that the exploitative economic system benefits us. Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent is about this conspiracy. Chomsky shows how people are convinced that the corporate media reflects the opinions and thoughts of ordinary people, even if it isn't true. Ordinary people continue to read the corporate media, believing that it will represent them. They finish up adapting to what is presented to them as the opinion of their equals, even though this is rarely true.

The idea of 'fake news' is a feature of this propaganda machine, which now characterises all criticism of its prejudices as 'fake news'. This distortion of reality is more exaggerated and obvious in video games and social media, which exploit a younger, naive, social cohort, who lack classical education.

I think that one of the principal results of this media has been the stigmatisation of nationalism. When you think of it, what other concept can unite a country? Initially, small localities resisted the notion of 'nations' because they feared that nations would overwhelm their self-determination, their identities, their societiies and their local economies. In many cases, they were right, although the French system of communes within the roman (Napoleonic) system, resisted this better than the Anglosphere systems.

Quelle est la théorie du complot la plus crédible que vous connaissez?

Les médias de masse sont le porte-parole du monde des grandes entreprises. Ils prétendent refléter l'opinion de masse mais, en réalité, ils essaient de créer une perception que ce système économique exploiteur est à notre avantage. Le livre de Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, traitait de ce complot. En francais ce livre s'intitule, La fabrication du consentement : De la propagande médiatique en démocratie. Il y en a qui disent que depuis Chomsky a ete coopté dans la disinformation, neanmoins ce livre montre comment les gens ordinaires sont convaincus que les médias reflètent ce que les gens ordinaires pensent, même si ce n'est pas vrai. Les gens continuent à lire les mass media, croyant que cela les représentera et ils s'adaptent à ce qu'il leur present comme l'opinion de leurs egaux, bien que ce soit rarement la vérité.

L'idée de «fausses nouvelles» est une caractéristique de cette machine de propagande, qui désigne désormais toutes les critiques de ses préjugés comme de «fausses nouvelles». La distorsion de la réalité est plus exagérée et évidente dans les jeux vidéo et les médias sociaux, qui exploitent une classe plus jeune, naïve et sociale, plus bovienne, sans éducation classique.

Je crois que l'un des principaux résultats de ces médias a été la stigmatisation du nationalisme. Quand vous y pensez, quel autre concept unificateur peut unir un pays? Au départ, les petites localités ont résisté à la notion de «nations» parce qu'elles craignaient que les nations ne subsument leur autodétermination, leur identités, leur societés et leur economies locales. Dans de nombreux cas, ils avaient raison, bien que le système de communes français dans le systeme romane (napoleonique) ait résisté à cela mieux que les systèmes de l'anglosphere.

Trust me, I'm an economist

It seems that tax cuts are all the rage with the PM praising Trumps bold initiatives and vowing to push through similar (but smaller) cuts in Australia. Bill Shorten, while not opposed to this form of pea & thimble trick has tentatively suggested that the the government ought to say how these cuts could be funded. Well the answer is all there in the history books. Ronald Regan while not the first to use tax cuts was however the one who tried to justify it by claiming the cuts would so boost the economy that tax revenues would increase even more than the loss incurred by the cuts. It became know as trickle down economics which then morphed into voodoo economics when it was found that the national debt had doubled. To his credit John Howard learnt two things from this débâcle - tax cuts win votes and any problems created will be inflicted on the next government.

Is Melbourne Water removing trees near you? What about the wildlife? Locations inside

Animals are losing their trees in droves. The cause is population growth. There is a new tree removing policy for all dams and retarding basins in Victoria, treating small retarding basins as if they were big dams, and treating trees as problems, where previously they were considered desirable. See inside for locations. This policy applies in other states as well. VicRoads is also suddenly removing trees en-masse from roadsides and median strips! None of these policies gives adequate consideration to wildlife habitat or cruelty impacts. There is no overall coordinating policy for Australia to ensure the preservation of wildlife and wildlife corridors at local, state and national levels, nor to avoid heat-island creation and local climate change, or citizen despair. With constant clearing for new suburbs and roads all over habitable Australia, tree removal by governments and contractors is reaching the level of a national civil emergency.


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