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Sheila Newman's blog

About Sheila Newman, social researcher


Click on "About Sheila Newman, social researcher" to read more and for links to books by Sheila and reviews.

It is hard to label me conventionally because I really write in a new paradigm, in the spirit of E.O. Wilson's 'consilience', i.e. where social and physical sciences come together.

For sociologists an early start-point for my work was Catton & Dunlap. My first research thesis compared population, energy and environment policies in Australia and France.

Video interview: Tony Kevin's book Return to Moscow might help save the world yet

Recording of a timely and important interview with Tony Kevin, author of Return to Moscow UWA 2017. As a young Australian diplomat, Tony Kevin visited Brezhnev's Soviet Union in from 1969-1971. He returned on official business in 1985 when Chernenko was in power, then again, very briefly, in 1990. During these times he was not able to get to know the Russians due to the policy of both governments against fraternisation, thus Russia ironically became a source of growing fascination for him. He continued to inform his fascination from many sources, always at a distance. Concerned today by the threat to peace from US-NATO anti-Russian propaganda, and more fascinated by Russia than ever, he returned on his own to Russia (no longer the Soviet Union, of course) in 2016. Return to Moscow examines past and present attitudes to the people of Russia and to its leaders through empathic eyes and an understanding of the change in geopolitics from cold war to US interventionist.

On Putin: "Not since Britain's concentrated personal loathing of their great strategic enemy Napoleon in the Napoleonic wars was so much animosity brought to bear on one leader. Propaganda and demeaning language against Putin became more systemic, sustained and near universal in Western foreign policy and media communities than had ever been directed against any Soviet communist leader at the height of the Cold War. This hostile campaign evoked an effective defensive global media strategy by Russia. [...] A new kind of information Cold War took shape, with - paradoxically - Western media voices more and more speaking with one disciplined Soviet-style voice, and Russian counter voices fresher, more diverse and more agile." [Cited from Tony Kevin's book.] The interview in the video took place at Russia House in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. It was organised by Claire Woods of the Traveller's Bookstore. The interviewer was Associate Professor Judith Armstrong, former head of European Languages Department at Melbourne University.

Vic Auditor General Report shows Vic Planning and Development is reckless, incompetent; makes recommendations

The Victorian Auditor General notes that Victoria's population grew from 5.5 million in 2011 to about 6 million in 2016, and is expected to reach 10 million by 2051. That is in 34 years! Responding to this madness, the Auditor General has recommended the introduction of "a risk-based approach to development assessment processes and guidance materials, by developing clear, simple assessment pathways that ensure applications are progressed in a transparent way in proportion to the potential risk, impact and cost, and in accordance with community expectations reviewing efficiency indicators to support the application of a risk-based approach (see Section 2.2.2); [the strengthening] of accountability requirements for decisions by applying better-practice principles for discretionary decision-making and transparent public reporting, including publishing reasons for all planning decisions, and publishing advisory committee reports within three months of the committee handing its report to the Minister for Planning (see Sections 4.2 and 4.3.1). [It has also recommended working] with councils to complete the performance measurement framework for the planning system so that it provides the relevant information and data at the state and local levels to assess the effectiveness of the planning system, measure the achievement of planning policies and support continuous improvement of the planning system through monitoring the effectiveness of reforms (see Section 5.2)." Will this help Victorians and Australians to halt the environmentally dangerous and antisocial development push from growth lobby governments? This is an excellent and informative report that will be of use to anyone wanting to understand our current predicament and the relevant bits of the law. It includes the subject of loss of agricultural land and how so defined and a summary of the objectives of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, which have an ironic flavour under the present Victorian regime. [Emphases by candobetter.net editor.]

Vic Auditor General scrutinises Vic Gov's Environmental Effects Statements in property development

Successive Victorian governments too closely aligned with property development and investment have inflicted continuous rapid population growth on Victorians. This has had a terrible effect on democratic rights to object and protect property and the environment, built and wild. It has seemed that no power could hold the government up to any effective criticism. The Victorian Auditor General has tabled the following reports. We have included an extract from the report which shows a democratic deficit in the public review process. This report may be of use to population and environment activists and they should publicise it.

4Corners climate change propaganda against Syria by pre-Trump military establishmen

Don't mention the role of war in climate change and economic devastation. Why we shouldn't believe that the US military establishment is sincere on its warning to Trump (and the rest of us) on climate change. I would once have swallowed this whole. A bunch of military men from prior US administration proselytise about climate change on this 4Corners program. Of course they totally ignore the role of war in carbon emissions which is probably the greatest contributor to carbon emissions. This is my reaction to the Australian 4Corners program of 20 March 2017.

Syrian president says he did not invite Trump's troops into Syria

Disappointing to learn that Trump's troops are in Syria without permission. Today, 11 March 2017, in a Chinese publication interview (conducted in English), Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad described the US incursion into Northern Syria from Raqqa as 'raids' which he did not think would succeed against ISIS because they are not coordinated with the Syrian government and army. He said that Russia's military manoeuvres against ISIS have been successful because Russia coordinated with the Syrian government and troops, and was invited. Assad said that he had been more hopeful about the Trump administration vis a vis Syria but that he has yet to have any direct (as opposed to indirect and unreliable) contact with Trump. Asked whether he had opened the door to these American troops, Assad said, "No, no, we didn’t. Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other one."

Trump's boots on the ground in Syria may still surprise critics

Is Trump just falling in line with the evil establishment and going for more 'regime change' in Syria like Obama who preceded him? Is this another illegal invasion of Syria by the United States and NATO? Probably not, because the Syrian President would have complained, but has said nothing. Neither has Russia. Nor has Turkey. Something new is going on in Syria and it may actually be good. Could the end of this terrible war inflicted by US-NATO upon Syria finally be in sight?

RSPCA Vic Inquiry about to close but you could make a late submission

Candobetter.net has only just heard of this inquiry which closes today. However the Secretary of the inquiry has been contacted and she indicated that if individuals write in to this address: rspcavicinquiry@parliament.vic.gov.au and request to make a late inquiry, stating who they are and how much time they might require, such as a week or two, permission will probably be granted. The inquiry seems to have been poorly publicised because a lot of people have only just found out due to an animal rescue group writing to various other groups and individuals to complain that there are only about 16 submissions. But it seems that very few people were aware of this inquiry. So, please consider making a submission.

War on Syria - brilliant Iranian-led discussion clarifies much - Video

Brilliant Iranian interviewer Kaveh Taghvai's questions on the subject are inspired in this debate - more of a discussion - between J. Michael Springmann, a former US diplomat, and Michael Lane, the founder of American Institute for Foreign Policy, both from Washington. The two guests and the interviewer all have an unusually deep grasp of the drivers of turmoil in the region and of the foreign players involved. We get some very interesting new perspectives and interpretations of the latest moves around Syria. For instance, Turkey's position is often hard to fathom. We know it wants to take land from the north of Syria, whilst pretending to be maintaining safe zones. We know it wants to drive the Kurds back, but the usefulness of the refugee camps for Turkey as a military buffer may not have occurred to everyone.

Yet another view on Trump

If you take your information from the mainstream media, then you could have thought that, under Obama/Clinton/John Kerry, Syria and East Ukraine were being rescued from dastardly governments by a benevolent US-NATO, which is standing up to Grizzly-bear Russia. If you read the articles on Syria and Ukraine on this site, which takes its information from a wide range of sources, you would be aware of how scary the prospect of Hillary Clinton winning the US 2017 elections really was. Already guilty of tens of thousands of deaths in Libya and Syria as Obama's foreign secretary, she seemed to be enthusiastically marching straight into WW3 with the approval of George Soros, Obama, Merkel, Hollande, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia, Israel .... The mainstream press was encouraging everyone to get right in there behind her.

Sponsor an Australian Child - new ads on the internet

Ads are now appearing on the internet, asking people to sponsor an Australian Child. They are from the Smith Family charity. https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/sponsor-a-child They talk about how difficult it is for families to pay Australia's [world highest] rents, food and bills, then how difficult it is to finance the necessities for education. "One in seven Australian children and young people are growing up in poverty,[1] where even the bare necessities are hard to come by. In a family where there is no regular income, money goes on food, rent and bills. Finding money for a school uniform, proper shoes, textbooks or the next school excursion is often impossible."

Video: Alex Jones and Infowars on globalist reasons to overpopulate and overdevelop

Alex Jones! Infowars! I hear you say. Aren't they the far-right conspiracy theorists? Isn't Alex Jones a card-carrying nutcase? Well, that's what the mainstream press say about him and his followers, all 50 m plus.[1] Mainstream media is on the way out, but Jones is on the way up and he really puts on a show. Maybe judge the pudding by its contents, which vary. But sometimes Infowars seems to really hit the nail on the head. Before you scoff, check out the following video, which is about planning threats to self-government in Austin Texas. Remind you of Australia's cities and towns? You won't hear it on the mainstream news.

Ratepayers Vic gig Revised Rate Capping Guidance, Knox, 4 March 2017

There will be a Presentation/Workshop tailor-made to Ratepayers Victoria on 4 March 2017, 1pm-4pm, Knox Council Offices. See inside for details.

Working with the Local Government Inspectorate
Revised Rate Capping Guidance 2017-18
Presentation/Workshop tailor-made to Ratepayers Victoria

Call for Spring St to act: Knox Rally planned on height controls 27 Feb

Community outrage continues in the battle to protect the iconic Dandenong Ranges from inappropriate development following Knox Council’s recent failure to adopt the independent Panel recommendation for mandatory maximum height controls in the Upper Ferntree Gully Activity Centre. Knox Appropriate Development Alliance President, Catherine Kruse said that a petition to the State Government calling for their intervention is gathering momentum with interest from across Victoria. A rally is also planned for Monday February 27th at the Knox Council offices.

Julianne Bell Environment and Civil Rights activist - a firebrand extinguished

Funeral service Friday, February 3, 2017 at 2pm, St Michael's Church, 220 McPherson St., Princes Hill, 3054. Written by Jill Quirk and Sheila Newman. With the death of Julianne Bell at 5.00 a.m. on Friday, January 27, 2017, environmental activism in Victoria has lost a formidable force and a fearless friend. Julianne was a committed defender of nature and of our right to "keep public land in public hands" through environmental groups such as the Royal Park Protection Group and Protectors of Public Lands, Victoria (which she founded). She sternly opposed the encroachment of development on public land, such as the Commonwealth Games Village (a real-estate development which took a large slice of Royal Park and for which 2000 trees were removed).

‘Stop Operation Soros’ – Massive Movement to Overthrow Soros Takes Off in Macedonia

Article by Jay Syrmopoulos January 25, 2017. First published on the Free Thought Project Macedonia – Only a week after Hungary announced plans to purge all NGO groups funded by globalist progressive mega-donor George Soros, a new global initiative – Stop Operation Soros (SOS) – dedicated to the countering the influential political/social engineering the billionaire activist is now engaged in across the globe through his Open Society Foundations, was announced in Macedonia.

Vale Julianne Bell, community and environment warrior


Dear Members and Friends,

It is with sadness that we advise that Julianne died this morning.
A true warrior princess for Royal Park. Sometimes called a modern day Boadicea.

She was so pleased to receive your kind wishes

Over past days she has enjoyed recounting many past battles and the friendship and support of members and friends.

The funeral is planned for Friday. More details will follow.

Yours sincerely
Paul Leitinger
Convenor – Royal Park Protection Group Inc.

Web : http://royalparkprotect.com.au

Video: Anti-globalists speak at 'Freedom for Europe' congress, Koblenz, Germany

Video of conference inside: Speeches verbally translated in English, live. Leaders of several European nationalist parties gathered for the ‘Freedom for Europe’ congress, in Koblenz, on Saturday, January 21. The meeting was the first official appearance of Frauke Petry, chair of the AfD (Alternative for Germany), alongside Front National leader Marine Le Pen. Both were joined by Geert Wilders, founder and leader of the Dutch PVV (Party for Freedom), and Liga Nord leader Matteo Salvini. Dubbed a “European counter-summit”, this first-of-its-kind gathering was organised by the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group from the European Parliament.

Snubbing the Trump clan is the new fashion in the media

During the US presidential inauguration ceremonies Trump's elegant and disciplined clan members appeared brave in the face of multiple violent threats, fanned by a jilted mainstream press, for example, CNN's, "Disaster could put Obama cabinet member in oval office." Beside their chubbier leader, the females of the Trump clan, with their gazelle-like legs and long hair, flawless skin and physiques, seemed like avatars from another world.

Al-Qaeda Cut Leaves 5 Million Thirsty In Damascus - Western Media Unconcerned

There is a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Syria and the "western" media ignore it. On December 22 al-Qaeda aligned Takfiris in the Wadi Barada valley shut down the main water supply for the Syrian capital Damascus. Since then the city and some 5-6 million living in and around it have to survive on emergency water distributions by the Syrian government. That is barely enough for people to drink - no washing, no showers and no water dependent production is possible. Article originally published at Moon of Alabama. Sources of pictures and enlargements also available there.

Syria: Aleppo did not "fall." Aleppo was liberated

Interviews with Syrians in Aleppo regarding how they perceive the defeat of the 'rebels', whom they call terrorists. They feel they have been liberated and they consider that France and its allies (US-NATO) were keeping them imprisoned by supporting the terrorists. Arabic, French and English, with French and English subtitles. A number of christian church officials are interviewed.

Notice: Vandals tried to destroy candobetter.net over Xmas

Just a quick update for our authors and readers to explain how and why candobetter.net disappeared without explanation for several days after Christmas. We were hacked, yet again, by miserable varmints who don't seem to believe in freedom of the press and especially hate the alternative media. Our thanks to LVPShosting for their help in recovering the site. We have replaced nearly all the lost articles now. We will be establishing more secure sites over the next few weeks. We have had to close all the writers' accounts temporarily. If you are an author, please contact Sheila to have your account reopened and be sure then to reset your password. Seasons Greetings to all (except the keyboard spiders).

Syrian President on: How Obama helps ISIS and The Trump presidency

President Bashar al-Assad : “[The ]West is telling Russia that Syrian Army went too far in defeating terrorists … Daesh could only attack Palmyra the way it did with supervision of U.S. alliance”. President Obama’s announcement of a waiver for arming unspecified rebel groups in Syria came shortly before the terrorist group Islamic State launched a massive attack on Palmyra. Syrian President Bashar Assad believes it was no coincidence, he told RussiaToday. In the interview, the Syrian leader explained how his approach to fighting terrorism differs from that of the US, why he believes the military success of his forces in Aleppo was taken so negatively in the West, and what he expects from US President-elect Donald Trump.

Dick Smith Media Statement - Wednesday 14 December 2016

Dick Smith queries Lucy Turnbull’s Perpetual Population Growth Plan. In a half page advertisement featuring in major newspapers tomorrow morning, including the Daily Telegraph in Sydney,
The Sydney Morning Herald, the Financial Review and The Australian, Dick Smith is asking Lucy Turnbull, the chief planner for Sydney, just what her eventual plans are for the population of Sydney – querying whether it could be 16 or even 100 million.

Soldier meets parents first time in 5 yrs as Syrian Army liberates Aleppo suburbs and villages

The very moving video inside shows a soldier hug his family after 5 years of separation, as a major suburb of Aleppo is retaken by Syria from the terrorists. The fighting in Aleppo, Syria, has been particularly protracted as it has been one of the last bastions of the terrorist forces that are trying to take over Syria. These forces are backed by the United States and NATO and their allies, which, shamefully, include Australia. The Syrian Arab Army has lost about 80,000 soldiers trying to defend Syria, which has a secular government, from takeover by militant religious fundamentalists. Most remaining Syrians are sheltered behind lines held by the Syrian Arab Army, although Australia, NATO and the US view this army as the 'enemy'.

Islam & Blasphemy: ADHOC seminar for Secularism transcends politics of correctness

The two videos inside this article are Parts 1 and 2 of a seminar on "The Right of Blasphemy - No to Medieval Trials" which took place in Rome, Italy, on Sunday, October 30, 2016. The seminar aimed at raising awareness of the fierce campaign against the enlightening intellectuals in the Arab world. From assassinating the writer and intellectual; Nahed Hattar in Jordan, imprisoning the Islamic researcher; Islam Behery In Egypt, and the liberal blogger; Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, to sentencing the journalist; Mohamed Sheikh Walad Amkheter to death, to other, endless examples. “Blasphemy”is always a prefabricated accusation of anyone who tries to discuss or think differently. Of additional interest is the fact that the president of the secularist ADHOC organisation that held this very open-minded seminar was Syrian-born Randa Kassis, who recently met with Donald Trump Jr at the French 'think tank' the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, headed by her husband, Fabien Baussart, to discuss US-Russian cooperation. (See "Hope for Syria! Trump's son at Randa Kassis pro-Syrian French think tank in October."

Free Public talk on “An Economically Sustainable Australia” Saturday 19th Nov - Richmond

Free Public Event. Guest Panel, Q&A... 'An Economically Sustainable Australia' - Economist Leith van Onselen and the Hon Kelvin Thomson. WHEN Saturday 19th November, 2016. 2:45 for 3pm - 4:30pm, WHERE Upstairs at The Sporting Globe hotel, 288 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC. Opposite the Richmond Town Hall. Hosted by Sustainable Australia.

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