Escape from lock-down

The girls needed a break. The university term had just finished and so had "lock-down". Students, Isla and her two housemates, Chloe and Emily, were anxious to escape Melbourne. Emily's friend Olivia who was studying at Adelaide University had been trying, for more than a year, to entice Emily over for a visit, and this seemed the opportunity. Of course all three girls would go over together and, as they all yearned for a seaside experience, after spending so much time in their rented inner suburban house, they booked into an apartment for five nights in Glenelg, not far from Emily. It would be great! They could go for walks along the beach every morning!

Inheritance

Jennifer was enjoying life, despite some milestone disappointments. Her 25 year marriage to Richard had foundered just after they moved away from the sea to a regional city in Victoria. Richard did not transplant well and he descended into a sombre depression. He became distant and eventually they separated. At 65 Jennifer embarked on a new life as a single woman. She had had plenty of practice, as she and Richard had not married until she was 36 and he 42. They had not had any children and, although Jennifer was disappointed about this, she had somehow overcome it, by nursing the strangely comforting thought that the looming situation with environmental decline and overpopulation would have been a burden on any children she may have had. A further disappointment was that her family had fallen away after the deaths of her parents and, although she made supreme efforts with cousins, she had only a sparse, although valuable, array of family still in touch.

Former Australian ambassador asks will Australia resist U.S. pressure regarding provocative actions in South China Sea?

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) is encouraged by recent statements by the Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon. Marise Payne, following the Australia-U.S. Ministerial (AUSMIN) talks in Washington, where the Minister indicated that Australia has no intention to injure our important relationship with China but instead seeks to ‘make our own decisions, our own judgments in the Australian national interest’. [To better situate the area in question, Candobetter has included a 2014 video about the disputed islands in the South China Sea.]

Q & A "Fight of our lives" - When economic ideology meets biological system

On Australian ABC's Q & A, 28 July 2020, "Fight of our lives," Bill Bowtell[1] alone seemed able to conceptualise the biological restructuring of our economic environment, although Gigi Foster, economist, NSW, seemed to know instinctively what she needed to combat in order to keep the global, privatised economy going. She advocated allowing people to die from COVID-19, Swedish-style, in order to maintain business more or less as usual. However, when it was put to her that this would make everything less predictable and also incapacitate our health-care system, with no end in sight for the virus, she could draw a logical conclusion, which was, "[...] If we keep our borders closed, until there is a vaccine, we have to restructure the industrial mix in Australia." But this conclusion, anathema to her ideology, seemed ridiculous to her.

Good neighbours

It was a stifling summer night with the usual crowd at the jazz venue Jonathan had frequented regularly for the previous few years. On this particular night he was introduced to Ruth, a rather earnest, slim, dark haired lady, in her early thirties. Jonathan, although somewhat lonely following the recent acrimonious break-up of his marriage to Danielle, and consequent distancing from his young son David, was not seeking a new partner. He felt the need to sort out his feelings and his finances before taking steps in that direction. He and Danielle had sold the family home in North Caulfield, and now he had to find another house with only half the funds, while house prices were sky-rocketing. He really needed to get away by himself to think about his future.

Ruth edged her way from the other side of the table to where his group were seated and suddenly she was sitting next to him. A cold and distant manner came naturally to Jonathan and he found himself using it, despite her insistent, tipsy, approaches. He needed something stronger than beer, but resisted the urge. He felt danger and knew he had to remain sober. In any case, he had to drive home shortly.

Governments in Australia please! Elimination strategy not suppression. Give this island a chance!

Early this year, as the COVID-19 virus gained a toehold in Australia, the message from governments, via the media, was that the aim was to "flatten the curve" so that case numbers would be such that our hospital systems would not be overwhelmed. It was not to eliminate the virus altogether.

Why would governments not want to flatten the curve right down to the x axis and eliminate the virus from our population?

NSW EPA orders Stop Work on forestry operations in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has today issued Forestry Corporation of NSW with a Stop Work Order to cease tree harvesting at Wild Cattle Creek State Forest inland from Coffs Harbour because at least two protected giant trees have been felled. No mention has so far been made of the always present danger of releasing new zoonoses into the human population when habitat is destroyed.

EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Carmen Dwyer said EPA investigations into operations in Compartments 32, 33 and 34 of the forest had revealed serious alleged breaches of the rules that govern native forestry operations, set out in the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA), in relation to the protection of trees that must not be felled.

Video: Robert Eggington eloquent on Rio Tinto crime against ancient Aboriginal site

The eloquent Robert Eggington, Director of Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation, denounces to the world, in fluent detail and with fury, exactly what Rio Tinto, on 24 May 2020, blew up forever in the 46,000-year-old Aboriginal Juukan Gorge caves in Pilbara, Western Australia, which dated back to the last Ice Age.

Video: Some blood-types are higher risk with COVID-19 - Medical review of literature

This video is from Dr Mike Hansen's excellent medical channel, June 16, 2020. Dr Hansen works in Emergency Medicine as a pulmonary specialist and has made a number of highly informative videos on the subject of covid 19.

Transcript for the above video, originally entitled, "Does Blood Type Matter for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?."

People have either blood type A, B, AB, or O.

Are people with blood type O less prone to suffer from COVID-19? And does blood type A make people more prone to COVID-19?

Let me first start out by saying that people of all blood types can get COVID. And people with all blood types can possibly die of COVID if they get the infection.

COVID-19 makes high-rise high-density living a dangerous anachronism

In Melbourne last Saturday nine public housing towers with 3,000 residents were shut down for at least five days, due to a large cluster of identified cases of COVID-19 within their walls. Since then, of course, the whole of Melbourne has been locked down for about six weeks. And this is a Melbourne burgeoning with high-rises. It seems a lifetime ago, but it is only about five months since the cruise ship, Diamond Princess, with identified cases of COVID-19 was unable to disembark in Yokohama, Japan. Her hapless passengers were confined to their cabins, in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus aboard the ship and on land. Predictably however, the virus spread through the ship and by early March there were six casualties.

Libya 2001 doco shows highly functional Libya before US-NATO attacks

This superb documentary, Libya's Forbidden Deserts, is remarkable archaeologically and anthropologically. Because it was made in 2001, however, we can see how functional Libya was under Gadaffi, who was so cruelly killed and defamed by treasure-seeking western powers. Once the richest African country in the modern world, that Libya is now a lost civilisation, as precious and unattainable as the ancient civilisations explored in this film. This film is a testimony to the terrible injustice, corruption,cruelty and wanton destructiveness of US-NATO.

Sociologist Review of Donna Ward's book on spinsterhood - She I dare not name

It's not an easy life described within the covers of Donna Ward's semi-autobiography, She I dare not name: A spinster’s meditations on life, Allen and Unwin, NSW, 2020. In a vocabulary measured with precision but rich with imagery, Ward evaluates her experiences as an unmarried woman who achieved this status without wanting it at all. The book is very honest in its descriptions of how this came about and the importance that it has in defining the course of Donna’s life. The term "spinster," is initially called up like some daemonic creature. It is something she almost dare not name! As we read on, we realise that spinsters are not gothic inventions, but human like their married counterparts, probably equally defined by hazard.

YouTube removes Michael Moore's Planet of the Humans - why?

Did you know that YouTube has removed Michael Moore's massive environmental film, "Planet of the Humans"? The reason appears to be a purported infringement of copyright, which its producer vehemently denies. They didn't like the message, he argues in this rivetting and educational interview. Michael Moore joins Rolling Stone's "Useful Idiots" show to discuss the removal of Planet of the Humans from YouTube, and addresses criticism he and the film have received. This fascinating interview has nearly as much to offer on the environmental movement and its problems - notably with corporate interference - as the film itself.

In Praise of our parks, especially during quarantine

During the lock-down, the only outlet for many, possibly most people, has been a daily walk in the local park. These areas became, and still are, life savers for a population denied their normal physical and sporting outlets. The following letter was sent to The Age letters editor on April 29th but not published. It appears on the Protectors of Public Lands Face Book page.

On-line event: Prof Clinton Fernandes “Australian foreign policy after Coronavirus: navigating the US-China rivalry”

Friday 29th May 630pm: Prof Clinton Fernandes is the guest speaker at one of Avid Reader bookshop online events. Co-hosted by Independent & Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and Just Peace Qld. The topic “Australian foreign policy after Coronavirus: navigating the US-China rivalry.” This is a great opportunity to hear from one of Australia's best foreign policy analysts. Having Vince Scappatura MC will make this event one not to be missed!

Community input invited for inquiry into ecosystem decline in Victoria

The Legislative Council Environment and Planning Committee has commenced an inquiry into ecosystem decline in Victoria that will look at measures to restore habitats and populations of threatened and endangered species. The submission closing date is Friday, 31 July 2020. Consider pointing out the impact of human population growth and infrastructure expansion.

The Committee is inviting community input to the inquiry, with terms of reference that include:

· the extent of the decline of Victoria’s biodiversity and the likely impact on people and ecosystems
· the adequacy of the legislative framework protecting Victoria’s environment and ecosystems, particularly in the context of climate change impacts
· the adequacy and effectiveness of government programs
· opportunities to restore the environment while upholding First Peoples’ connection to country.

Lower immigration: State Gov needs to rethink Plan Melbourne - Clifford Hayes MP

The Victorian Government’s master planning document, Plan Melbourne— which drives high density development throughout our suburbs—assumes continuing rapid population growth over the next decade. The coronavirus pandemic, and the Federal response to it, means this assumption has been overtaken by events, and that Plan Melbourne is out of date. The Morrison Government expects a fall of up to 300,000 people moving to Australia over the next 2 years. The Federal Government expects net overseas migration to fall by 30% in the current financial year, and to crash by 85% in 2020-21 to around 40,000.

Calls to Up immigration often ignore Australia's economic and social reality

Daniel Ziffer's journalistic effort for the ABC Saturday May 9th, "Calls to cut immigration often ignore Australia's economic and social reality," was sparked off by Shadow Minister for Immigration and Home Affairs, Senator Kristina Keneally's week old article, calling for a review of the numbers of skilled temporary workers. The purpose of the review she was calling for was to give Australians who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus lock-down, first preference in the job market when "normality" returns. This mild and reasonable suggestion has met with a frenzy of opposing articles in the mainstream media, and this ABC concoction is yet another of these.

Who does Labor MP, Anne Aly, work for, if not Australians?

Labor MP, Anne Aly, has been widely publicised objecting to immigration and population being mentioned together by Kristina Keneally, Shadow minister for immigration and citizenship, and NSW Premier from 2009 to 2011. Aly's tired cliches have predictably summoned up a dog-pack of growthists claiming to hear dog-whistles and to see Pauline Hanson look-a-likes. The growth lobby and its spokespeople are panicking, because the chickens of their land-speculation are coming home to roost, as COVID-19 dries up immigration. The more Anne Aly supports them, the more publicity she will get - always useful for an aspiring politician - and damn the consequences for Australians.

What does the future hold after COVID-19?

Will governments buy back vital resources and essential services from the embattled private sector, or will they allow the wealthy to pick up resources and monopolies cheaply, pressing the unemployed and endebted into slave-like conditions? Can we adapt to or avoid a future that appears to hold more and worse pandemics? If COVID-19 is a pandemic designed for elite purposes to cull the aged and weak, why have some governments tried to protect their vulnerable populations? We have obviously become too economically dependent on the model of continuous accelerated growth in human numbers and human activities globally to be able to protect ourselves from the pandemics that come with this economic model.  At the same time the long-predicted oil-resources breakdown in supply is looming. Can any good come of this? Is this an opportunity?

Do we really need The Economy? Article by Sally Pepper

In this article, Sally Pepper proposes that there is an economy with a small 'e' and The Economy with a big 'E'. As well as threatening its survival, COVID-19 has called the big E economy into question. Sally says, "The economy with a small 'e’ is a way of describing what we do. The Economy with a capital “E” is something we serve, whether we like it or not. To please The Economy we have to behave in such a way that it looks its best and is pleased with itself. The Economy seems to be like a teenage boy, with a voracious appetite. It never develops beyond the need to grow bigger, endlessly. It is like a monster that we have given rise to and are doomed to cater to forever."

Complaint about Dictation from The Conversation re COVID-19 article

Dear Censorial Overseers

The deletion of the comment quoted below in this notification is perhaps the most odious of all those made under this article today, all done without any clearly discernible reason but with quite evident rhyme. The comment below asks you to show respect for these commentators who have suffered deletion of their genuine and reasonable comment by providing an open advice as to the basis of that consistent disbursement of negative action.

Draft Yarra Strategic Plan - Submission from Ian Hundley

The draft Yarra Strategic Plan claims to deliver the first Victorian integrated river corridor strategy and to identify immediate actions for the river corridor, enabling long-term collaborative management between agencies and Traditional Owners. It is intended to guide local planning. We publish here a critical submission to this draft plan. Summary of submission by candobetter editor: Climate Change and human failure to interact safely with the natural world. Plan fails to adequately factor in transport interaction with Yarra. Lack of proper transport interconnectivity. Higher density depends on high quality public transport. Private car still dominates. Forecast population growth and new constructions will inevitably cause major environmental damage. North-East Link Freeway will comport massive land-fill problems, hardly referred to in Draft Plan. Likely potential for destabilisation of groundwater in the Yarra Valley in the Bulleen and Rosanna area as a consequence of the North-East Link Freeway project. Substantial areas of public open space is threatened by the project, together with about 25,000 mature canopy trees. Adverse human health effects of the project would include increased air pollution and heightened road noise. Lack of cycling provision on roads in cities of Boroondara, Banyule, Manningham and Maroondah and the Shires of Nillumbik and Yarra Ranges. Proposal in Plan to increase lanes capacity on the Eastern Freeway to cater for the North East Link project by over 40%, from 802,000 square metres to 1,127,000 square metres. Adverse environmental effects would include increased run-off of polluted stormwater into the Yarra River and elevated ambient temperatures as a consequence of the large increase in concrete and asphalt surfaces. Report of the Commissioner of Sustainability, State of the Yarra and its Parklands (2018), concluded that the status of the Yarra river was poor for 18 of its 25 environmental indicators. This can only deteriorate if planned stressors go ahead.

How will we cope with 8 million in Melbourne if we have another pandemic?

Over the last 30 to 40 years, an inexorable process has been in train in Melbourne.

A city that once boasted houses with gardens for the majority has given way to the cannibalisation of our gardens in the interests of accommodating an ever-increasing population. Thus, we have seen increasing medium and high density living in our suburbs, with significant and ongoing loss of trees, other vegetation, and space per person. At the same time we have seen encroachments on public land for ever more residential development. To name only two of many examples, there was the Commonwealth Games Village in Royal Park and the Eastern Golf Course in Doncaster which were both turned into housing developments. The State Government in Victoria now plans to facilitate development on golf courses, according to their definition by a committee of developers as redundant green amenity.

Can Australia's government learn from COVID-19?

Covid-19 is a warning. We can take it as such or ignore it if we get through it and come out the other side.

High density, high population, high throughput, globalised manufacturing, global high mobility, are not working for us now. When we first learned in January of the outbreak of Covid -19 in Wuhan my first thought was that "This will be in Melbourne soon." Thirty years ago, I would not have had such a thought because China was so distant and separate. I was right, within a few days it was in Melbourne. On January 25th Australia had its first four cases, the first in Melbourne and another three in Sydney. At this time the city of Wuhan in China was in "lockdown".

COVID-19: Time the unsafe Australian Construction industry stopped demanding special consideration

On 27 March 2020, the AWU and Master Builders Australia jointly called on governments to ensure the continued operation of the building and construction industry, claiming that without it the economic knock-on effects would be devastating on a scale that would dwarf what we have seen to date.

There is no question that many dependencies on this very costly and demanding industry would cause more economic disruption, but what about safety with regard to COVID-19? Although the industry argues that it can be safe, we will argue that the industry is not suited to workers keeping safe distances. On the principle that a stitch in time saves nine, it would be better to shut down sooner rather than later because the later action is taken, the worse the grip of COVID-19 will be on the economy. Since the virus has caused the government to cease the mass migration that has driven huge expansion in the construction industry, demand has dropped, and now is the perfect time to massively curtail construction industry activity. In the meantime, will the industry take responsibility for the return home of the many temporary migrant construction workers from China and Indonesia who, unlike international cruise-ship passengers, are already onshore, virtually invisible, but numerous? And an industry worker argues that the industry is not capable of adapting to safe distance practice.

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