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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.
 

Kangaroos win against Australian government trade machinations in California

Kangaroos won! Please share. Thanks to everyone who emailed Californian Senators. You joined up to 100,000 people around the world who signed petitions and contacted the Senators directly. The main use - or abuse - of wild kangaroos in California is for the manufacture of soccer cleats!

Angela Smith, SPPA environmental Candidate in Canning W.A. by-election 19 September 2015

Sustainable Population Party is pleased to endorse a truly local candidate for the 2015 Canning, West Australia, by-election - Angela Smith. Angela is an environmental scientist and resident of Canning, with links to the region going back 30 years.

The Violence of the Rainforest

The violence of the rainforest is slow

A tropical dance of death

A slow motion conga of

Glacial garrotting, woody twists and knots and turns,

Plaited hangman's nooses,

Gargoyle roots and towering ferns

“Australians for Reconciliation in Syria” (AMRIS) condemns Australian participation in an illegal war in Syria

This article has since been republished on the Syrian Free Press Network.

Following a meeting in Melbourne Australia of “Australians for Reconciliation in Syria” (AMRIS) today, 3 September 2015, spokesperson David Macilwain said that AMRIS unequivocally condemns atrocities committed by ‘Islamic State’ in Syria.

AMRIS deplores, however, the decision by the Australian Government to follow the lead of the United States in taking military action against IS within the borders of Syria, one of the founding members of the United Nations, without the consent of the Syrian Government.

Video: Syrian villagers try to make the world understand that “rebels”, NOT the Syrian government are killing them

While European governments cry crocodile tears over the mass migration of people from this region, Syrians are trying to get them and the US to stop backing so-called 'rebels' who are the very ones forcing people out of the region. The video inside came to candobetter.net from a source describing itself as 'a group of Syrian journalists (living in Syria) who have created a new Middle East Channel'. The video shows Syrian civilians who have come from near Idlib protesting outside the Red Cross in Damascus about the silence of the international press on the predicament of two villages isolated behind enemy ['rebel'] -held areas above Idlib, where two villagers have been kidnapped by Islamic extremists.

Why are there so many displaced people? Because US/NATO is destroying their economies and sponsoring terror

Below is a quote from Obama before he became president, counselling a completely opposite foreign policy to the warmongering one he now heads.[1] He calls for cooperation with Russia, a vigorous enforcement of nuclear non-proliferation, shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, pressure on the Saudis and Egyptians to stop oppressing their own people, and for an energy policy alternative to Big Oil's. Addressing the Bush government of eight years ago, he recognised the inflammatory and unfair process set in train by the United States in the Middle East. Yet now he pursues the same policy even more aggressively and dishonestly than Bush. He effectively heads a global coalition of war-criminals. Australia is a stooge in that coalition and so is the ABC, CBC, BBC, European Press, notably French mainstream press, and the Murdoch and Fairfax Press in Australia. Currently their greatest war-crime is to fail to reveal that President Bashar al-Assad is not an 'unelected dictator' but won overwhelmingly in a fair election in 2014 and currently offers protection to his people, but the Western allies and their corrupt Middle Eastern stooges - Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey - are driving the exodus from the Middle East by sponsoring terror-militia.

Growling Grass Frog growls for attention as Melbourne's growth corridors threaten annihilation

This scientific study into the endangered Growling Grass Frog was released overnight and looks at how the genetic diversity of the frog is being negatively impacted by the rapid urbanisation of Melbourne’s fringe. They were once very abundant in Victoria (so abundant that they used to feed them to the snakes the Melbourne Zoo!) and now only a few populations exist around Melbourne.

The scientists have found a population of the frogs in the Cardinia Shire, which has an increased genetic diversity that they hope to protect.

Claire Keely, the lead scientist on the paper, is both a PhD student and part of the Live Exhibits team at the Melbourne Museum (where they have some of the pretty green frogs in question).

Party for Freedom auction protests against foreign ownership at Sydney house sales

(Video inside.) Once again Nick Folkes and his Party for Freedom have come up with a very effective way to protest against foreign ownership and overpopulation through invited economic immigration and its impacts.[1] Other groups would do well to imitate these democratic initiatives especially if they differ with Party for Freedom on issues of multiculturalism but care about housing affordability and democracy, rather than simply trying to shut Party for Freedom up and, in the process, allow the growth lobby to destroy Australia. In this video Folkes and his Party continue their campaign to make real estate agents and property developers think twice about selling built property to foreign nationals. They focus on the preponderance of Chinese foreign nationals purchasing Australian property. This cannot help but get attention since the Australian mainstream media constantly popularises this issue, although it does not promote any effective way of countering it. (Note that Fairfax and Murdoch press are heavily invested in property dot coms that market Australian real estate to the world: www.realestate.com and www.domain.com). In the video inside this article Mr Folkes engages effectively with people who show both positive and negative interest in the protest for which he is a spokesperson. What next, Mr Folkes, a protest at an Australian international airport, or on the road towards it?

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