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Good News! Reconciliation, peace and return home of Syrian refugees in two Syrian locations due to Syrian Government efforts

Videos inside: These films are dated 21 January 2016. They show successful attempts by the Syrian government to make Syria safe again. The government has been able to reconcile with 'rebel groups' that recognise that war is tearing their country apart. Refugee activists please take note. Nearly the biggest problem that Syrians continue to face is the refusal by US-NATO and its allies, such as Australia, to recognise that we must all work with the Syrian Government to make Syria safe. Because of these evil US-NATO policies, it is most unlikely that these positive developments will be promoted in the Australian media, if they are transmitted at all. So, please send these films round to everyone you know, to help end this war and place pressure on western governments to stop intervening.

Fed Square: Mark Allen and Mark O'Connor do Population at Sustainable Living Festival 2016

Sunday 14 Feb 2016 at 12-12.30pm: Mark Allen of Population Permaculture and Planning asks: Is it possible to accommodate a growing population without unacceptably high density living and urban sprawl? If so, what rate of population growth should we be looking at and what types of community should we be creating? This workshop discusses the merits of village style living in combination with permaculture principles and asks the question, where do we go from here?

Sunday 14 Feb 2016 at 12.30-1pm: Mark O’Connor, co-author of Overloading Australia, will look at why environmentalism is almost meaningless when there is no plan to limit growth of population, why this issue is often ignored, and what a better form of environmentalism could and should do. What are humane and practical ways to limit Australia’s and the world’s population? (Sustainable Population Australia - Victorian Branch (SPA Victoria) organised this event.)

Bernard Salt reverses take on Australia's population as aging

A business blog, calling itself, The Advisor, is advertising its 'Better Business Summit' with an article quoting the well-known population growth spruiker, Bernard Salt, who they describe as 'One of the nation’s leading demographers'. This would hardly be news for candobetter.net, except that Mr Salt, who does a line in growth 'demography', has suddenly changed his well-known tune. Previously a household word in pushing the aging population bogey, Salt has suddenly begun describing Australia as 'young and vibrant'.

Diversity does not justify war, chaos and social disenfranchisement in Europe or the Middle East

The term 'diversity' is being used as a euphemism for chaos and social disenfranchisement in mass people movements which are politically packaged as both positive and inevitable, much as slavery was in the 18th and 19th century. UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson has said that 'the refugee crisis in Europe has created fear and hatred among local residents, which should be combated by bringing to light the positive contributions of migrants to creating a diverse society'.[1]

See also: The phoney « refugee crisis » (7/9/15) by Thierry Meyssan | VoltaireNet and other articles about the European refugee crisis.

Martin Smith's documentary, "Inside Syria", on SBS

On 10 January 2016 SBS (Australian multicultural television) screened Martin Smith's Inside Assad’s Syria. Australia is blatantly aligned with US-NATO forces that seek to remove the Syrian Government and Australian media propaganda means that we don't usually hear from the other side. Surprisingly Smith interviewed many supporters of the Assad Government and the Syrian Arab Army. But it was as if, to get this other view onto SBS the [almost theatrically grim-faced, suspicious and disapproving] journalist had to use some standard anti-Assad techniques:

Does Bashar al-Assad really have to go? Cartoonist Bruce Petty talks to Dr Jeremy Salt.

Video & transcript: Bruce Petty interviews Dr Jeremy Salt, Middle Eastern scholar. Bruce Petty is a highly regarded political satirist and cartoonist as well as an award-winning film maker.

"There always has to be a 'madman' in the Middle East," explains Jeremy Salt, when asked why we constantly hear that 'Bashar al-Assad has to go'? Of course Bashar al-Assad is not really mad. Jeremy explains how the west, in its long exploitation of the Middle East, has invented crises that it then pretends to help with, and these tend to feature a 'madman' whom the people have to be saved from. In reaction Middle Eastern governments tend to be defensive and authoritarian, in order to survive constant foreign interference. Even if Bashar went, the Syrian state would remain the same. Salt gives a fluent history of how the west has used the Middle East, and how western politicians expected to knock Syria over easily, but underestimated it. All they have done is weaken it and assorted armed and dangerous groups including ISIS have risen up through the cracks they have created. But many Syrians really like Bashar al-Assad and think he is their best chance for reform. (See the third part in this series, "Has the Syrian president killed more than ISIS and other questions," to hear about how al-Assad is actually legally elected and had brought in reforms prior to the current crisis.) Petty asks about beheading and the role of religion and Islam in today's crisis. Salt agrees that Islam has been taken over by conservatives and extremists, but precises that this is a political ideological take-over that has little to do with Islamic religious base.

Book Review of 'Soumission' by Michel Houellebecq - A satire about an Islamic government in France

Developments in the current French elections, with Left and Right exchanging preferences in order to defeat the National Front have become a case of life imitating art, specifically Houellebecq’s art in his latest novel, Soumission, which has just been translated into English.

Who really won the North Sydney by-election? Article by Andrew McNamara

Andrew McNamara is former Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation in Queensland. He argues here that the Sustainable Population Party (soon to become the Sustainable Party) was the real winner of the North Sydney by-election; that all other participants showed diminishing or one-off results.

AWPC Wildlife Planning Officer says, "Don't cull roos; Plan wildlife corridors!"

“Avoid culling roos for development by planning wildlife corridors,” says Craig Thomson, AWPC’s new Wildlife Planning Officer. In the face of state planning avoidance of obligation towards wildlife, Mr Thomson and AWPC want to crowdfund the purchase of private land to preserve wildlife corridors from being fenced off by farmers or built over by suburbia. The situation is increasingly dire for kangaroos and koalas particularly. Please consider helping this initiative. Contact details at end of article.

Cartoonist Bruce Petty and Dr Jeremy Salt: Where news comes from: reporting on the Middle East

Video and transcript inside. Second in series. First one, on Bashar al-Assad, is here. The third one is here. Australian cartoonist, Bruce Petty, & Dr Jeremy Salt, Middle East scholar and former journalist discuss news reporting on the Middle-East: Do we live with false assumptions? Bruce Petty and Dr Salt knew each other when they both worked for Australian newspapers and Bruce asks Jeremy for his recollections about mistakes in reporting on the Middle East. Jeremy Salt is the author of The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands, (University of California Press, 2008). Until recently, Dr Salt was based in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, where he ran courses in the history of the modern Middle East, in politics and in politics, propaganda and the media.

Cartoonist Bruce Petty asks Dr Jeremy Salt: Has Bashar al-Assad killed more people than ISIS? and similar questions

Bruce Petty is a highly regarded political satirist and cartoonist as well as an award-winning film maker. He went to Syria in 2009 (before the war) on a project to interview Syrian intellectuals and university students about their political views. Dr Jeremy Salt is a former journalist, turned academic and is the author of The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands, (University of California Press, 2008). Until recently, Dr Salt was based in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, where he ran courses in the history of the modern Middle East, in politics and in politics, propaganda and the media. The story behind this series: On 16 November 2015 a small group of concerned Australian citizens got together to talk about the problems of getting real information out to Australians and other US-NATO allies about war in Syria, in spite of mainstream press efforts to confuse the public. Bruce Petty and Jeremy Salt were part of that group. Inside is the transcript of the embedded video. (There are two other videos in this series: "Cartoonist Bruce Petty and Dr Jeremy Salt: Where news comes from: reporting on the Middle East." and "Does Bashar al-Assad really have to go? Cartoonist Bruce Petty talks to Dr Jeremy Salt")

Poll shows most hate population growth: Lessons from Queensland in polling reliability and interpretation

This Queensland Survey demonstrates how superficial questioning about population growth as an abstract good or ill gives a completely different response from deeper, prompted questioning on the matter of experienced impact of population growth. Deeper questioning elicits a profound rejection of population growth and the colourful graphs reflect the real trends. We publish this analysis because of the counterintuitive results of two much publicised recent Victorian polls, by Roy Morgan and by the Australian Institute of Progress. Those poll results and methods are analysed in another article, "Evaluating Surveys that find Australians want higher immigration and a bigger population.". The author would like to thank M.R. for drawing her attention to the subject of this article and for some valuable discussions.

Evaluating Surveys that find Australians want higher immigration and a bigger population

What gives with surveys that tell us that most of us want more immigrants and a bigger population when, all around us, we suffer the effects of faster and faster population growth in groaning infrastructure, costly housing, road congestion, and rising costs for power and water? If we examine such studies, we will find that they pose their questions in the abstract and do not prompt people to make concrete associations about the effects of immigration and population growth. This is a bit like asking people how they feel about war compared to asking how they feel about war in their suburb. These polls also focus on ethnicity of immigrants rather than environment and planning impacts of mass migration. This article looks at recent polls by the Australian Institute of Progress, Roy Morgan Research, the Australian Election Study and Queensland Growth Management Summit 2010, Social Research on Population Growth and Liveability in South East Queensland". The Queensland survey is the most detailed and valid and has been discussed in its own article, "Poll shows most hate population growth: Lessons from Queensland in polling reliability and interpretation."

Book Review: Kenneth Eade's Thriller faction series highlights GMO industrial politics in US and Ukraine conflict

Review of Kenneth Eade's The Involuntary Spy: Who among us realised that Monsanto has huge plans for Ukraine? We learn that Ukraine's current president, Poreschenko, has been in cahoots with the US for years, and that Monsanto has been buying up land and lobbying to change Ukraine's anti-GMO laws, inserting a key clause in an EU Association agreement.

If you wonder what on earth the US is messing around in Ukraine for, this thriller series may actually have some of the inside story.

Kenneth Eade is an international and internet lawyer whose expertise includes the scientific history and laws associated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). He writes terrific novels around these themes.

'Up yours' posting shows logger contempt for environment, process and trees

A logger recently posted this nasty message to forest activists on a day when they were meeting to negotiate the protection of giant trees.

Congresswoman Calls US Effort To Oust Assad "Illegal," Accuses CIA Of Backing Terrorists - Article by Tyler Durden

One point we’ve been particularly keen on driving home since the beginning of Russian airstrikes in Syria is that The Kremlin’s move to step in on behalf of Bashar al-Assad along with Vladimir Putin’s open “invitation” to Washington with regard to joining forces in the fight against terrorism effectively let the cat out of the proverbial bag. That is, it simply wasn’t possible for the US to explain why the Pentagon refused to partner with the Russians without admitting that i) the government views Assad, Russia, and Iran as a greater threat than ISIS, and ii) Washington and its regional allies don’t necessarily want to see Sunni extremism wiped out in Syria and Iraq. Article by Tyler Durden dated 31 October 2015 republished from Zero Hedge http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-31/congresswoman-calls-us-effort-oust-assad-illegal-accuses-cia-backing-terroists

North Sydney By-election 2015 - a chance to change your fate

The Sustainables are pleased to endorse a truly local candidate for the 2015 North Sydney by-election - our party president William Bourke. William has a background in small business, finance and marketing, as well as a passion for nature and sustainable living.
His platform in this election includes:
Saving Royal North Shore Hospital from public land sell-offs
Education and childcare places for all
Stopping our rampant overdevelopment
Housing affordability for renters and first home buyers
Reducing the rapid population growth that's part of our growing local problems

Video: Mark Allen workshop on Population, Planning and Permaculture

This population workshop took place in Melbourne's strongly multicultural northern suburbs, at a Community house open day in Thornbury. It deals with Australia's population and planning problems from the point of view of socially and ecologically sustainable future. What is causing Australia's very high population growth? How to preserve Australia's established multicultural communities? How to limit growth. Democracy and planning. Relocalisation and planning. Interactive with audience. Mark Allen studied town planning at the University of South Australia and has worked as a planner in three states. His frustration at the planning system's inability to deliver sustainable outcomes led him to leave the profession in order to concentrate on spreading awareness about the important role that town planning can play in mitigating climate change, biodiversity loss and social isolation. Mark's approach to sustainable planning is heavily influenced by two of his mentors, permaculture co-founder David Holmgren and labor MP Kelvin Thompson who advocates for a slower more manageable rate of population increase.

Chelsea tonight: 19 October 2015: Researcher speaks on Coastal Vegetation as best carbon sinks

7 pm, Longbeach Place, 15 Chelsea Road, Chelsea. Monday, 19th October 2015. Recent research has found that vegetated coastal habitats –seagrasses, salt marshes and mangroves are amongst the most effective carbon sinks on the planet – up to 40 times terrestrial habitats.

What’s Wrong With the China Free Trade Agreement? Article by Kelvin Thomson

In this article, Kelvin Thomson lists six things wrong with the China Free Trade agreement: Sumarised, these are: We don't need it. It weakens rules about employment of Chinese nationals in Australia. It fails to create a level playing field for Australian industry. It helps Chinese companies to import Chinese labour to Australian jobs. It does away with mandatory skills testing for imported Chinese labour. It provides for overseas companies to sue Australian governments for actions that disadvantage them.

Czech media: ‘World leadership should be given to Russia, not the United States’

Having brought chaos, lawlessness and terrorism into Libya and Iraq, the United States is now trying to do the same in Syria. Europe has become fed up with Washington’s wrongdoings and says Russia should become a new world leader, Czech journalist Jiri Vyvadil wrote for newspaperParlamentnilisty.cz.

The White House wants the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad gone and will do whatever it takes to achieve its objective — even arm Islamic militants to fight against government troops, creating a civil war that resulted in millions of people fleeing the country to save their lives.

Washington’s method of conducting foreign policy is to create chaos at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and destroy entire countries in the name of US economic and political interests. However, the US has constantly failed at it — all of its wars in the last two decades have ended in a fiasco, but Washington still hasn’t learned and keeps sticking to the same destructive policy which hasn’t worked, the Czech newspaper said. This article first published on NOVOROSSIA TODAY at http://novorossia.today/czech-media-world-leadership-should-be-given-to-russia-not-the-united-states/?_utl_t=fb on October 3, 2015.

Sifting through the mainstream media's desperate talking points on Russia in Syria

This is a really good podcast discussion about what Russia is doing in Syria. The mainstream western media is desperately trying to come up with any reasons it can to say that Russia fighting ISIS is a bad thing. Tim Kirby and Robert Bridge rip through the hysteria and get to the bottom of what the mainstream is trying to obfuscate. (First published at http://www.rt.com/shows/tim-kirby/317446-syria-russia-strikes-media/ on 2nd October 2015.

https://soundcloud.com/rttv/sets/kirby

Putin's great speech for world peace to UN Monday 28 September

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday and said sadly that the West was making an "enormous mistake" by not cooperating with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the struggle against ISIS. With regard to US-NATO conduct in Middle Eastern affairs he said,“I cannot help asking those who have caused this situation: Do you realize now what you have done? [...] "[...]It is hypocritical and irresponsible to make loud declarations about the threat of international terrorism while turning a blind eye to the channels of financing and supporting terrorists, including the process of trafficking and illicit trade in oil and arms. It would be equally irresponsible to try to manipulate extremist groups and place them at one's service in order to achieve one's own political goals in the hope of later dealing with them or, in other words, liquidating them. To those who do so, I would like to say — dear sirs, no doubt you are dealing with rough and cruel people, but they're in no way primitive or silly. They are just as clever as you are, and you never know who is manipulating whom. And the recent data on arms transferred to this most moderate opposition is the best proof of it."

Syria: World Vision's Tim Costello, SNHR and Irin war propaganda on QandA

The Syrian Network for Human Rights and Irin both purport to be disinterested information sources on conflict in Syria and boast that the UN relies on them as its primary source. But they are not disinterested. There is abundant evidence that they promote the 'rebel' or terrorist side of the conflict and that their funding is from organisations and countries aligned with US-NATO support for aggression in the region. They are in fact promoting war propaganda against Syria and it is amazing that people one would expect to be more discerning, take this on face value. In this article I try to find out why Tim Costello, of World Vision, came to accuse the Syrian government of killing more people than ISIS without taking into account that these deeds were actions by a national army defending its people from multiple assaults by violent gangs, including ISIS, many of them supported by US-NATO funding and arms.

Time to stop bombing and make peace in Syria and Yemen

Multi-signatoried letter to UK Guardian Saturday 26 September 2015: We are gravely concerned at the possibility of a parliamentary decision to bomb Syria. David Cameron is planning such a vote in the House of Commons in the near future. He is doing so in the face of much evidence that such an action would exacerbate the situation it is supposed to solve. Already we have seen the killing of civilians and the exacerbation of a refugee crisis which is largely the product of wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.
The US and its allies have dropped 20,000 bombs on Iraq and Syria in the past year, with little effect. We fear that this latest extension of war will only worsen the threat of terrorism, as have the previous wars involving the British government. Cameron is cynically using the refugee crisis to urge more war. He should not be allowed to.

New St Kilda Triangle and Warning about the Catani Gardens

For all those who fought "Chadstone on Sea" in the St Kilda Triangle here is the new interim Master Plan.
See http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/lean-and-green-the-st-kilda-triangles-new-angle-20150923-gjsvxw.html "Lean and Green: The St Kilda Triangle's New Angle" The Interim Master Plan by Bianca Hall 23 September 2015 The Age. Letters to the Editor have expressed doubts over the new plan purportedly to have open green space with a "Pleasure Garden" and "Pavilions"!

October 24, 2015: Rod Quantock speaker at Royal Park Protection Group AGM

Notice of Annual General Meeting and call for Nominations. Take the opportunity to catch up with other members over a cuppa. Consider nominating for a position in this historic group for the protection of Melbourne's oldest public park.

Kelvin Thomson: Australia's Rapid population growth – the Witches Hats claim another casualty

In 2005 John Howard had been Prime Minister for nearly a decade and didn't look particularly vulnerable. But then he decided to ramp up Australia's migration intake. Net overseas migration jumped from the 100,000 it had been in 2004 to over 200,000 in just a couple of years. In 2005 migration overtook natural increase as the dominant driver of population growth, and we entered an era of rapid population growth, which we are still in. Our population now increases by a million people every three years.

International Trade Union Conference for Solidarity with Syria kicks off

Damascus, SANA- Under the patronage of President Bashar al-Assad, activities of the International Trade Union Conference (ITUC) in solidarity with workers and people of Syria against terrorism, blockades and economic sanctions kicked off Sunday at Sahara hotel in Damascus.
 
The two day conference, organized by the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) in Syria in cooperation with World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions (ICATU), includes sessions discussing terrorism and its threats on the working sector and people in addition to the means of fighting it alongside with blockades and economic sanctions imposed against some peoples.
 
In a speech during the opening of the Conference, Assistant Regional Secretary of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party Hilal al-Hilal said “Holding the conference under the patronage of President al-Assad reflects the importance of bringing????? 2 elite members of the trade unions together in Damascus, the beating heart of Arabism, and President Bashar al-Assad’s keenness on making this event a success.”
 
Al-Hilal highlighted the importance of the conference which shows that the Syrian people are not facing terrorism alone as they have been supported by the trade unions which are one of the most qualified social segments that are eligible to play this role and they are one of the most important national axes that play a significant role in achieving political stability of societies.
 

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