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Jeremy Bowen BBC interviews President Assad and what this has to do with Australia

The full text of the interview has been published by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

The interview inside between a BBC journalist, Jeremy Bowen BBC, and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, is wonderfully calm, logical and informative despite the interviewer's many tendentious questions. Assad's analytical answers invite the viewer and journalist to logically evaluate reports which Australians are used to having presented emotively by anti-Assad forces. Assad's English syntax is sometimes unusual and the journalist at times fails to follow his statements and arguments. For instance, towards the end of the interview, Assad is asked if it is true that his government denied aid convoys access to areas held by the enemy. Assad's answer is that if they could stop aid convoys they would presumably be able to stop arms convoys. Since the areas are being bombed by 'rebels' continually, obviously they are unable to stop those arms. If his government were to stop any convoy, military interests would suggest it would be one bearing arms, not one bearing aid. Conversely, if the enemy fighters are able to import arms, then they should be able to import food. If so-called humanitarian organisations report that food is not arriving, but acknowledge that arms are, then the enemy is responsible for lack of food in a situation of well-armed violence.

Pope Francis's ideological blinkers betray his values and ignorance of history

"Every people deserves to conserve its identity without being ideologically colonised," the Pope said. But, during his trip to the Philippines the Pope defended traditional Vatican teaching, which opposes artificial contraception. [1]

He said this after commenting that, "Progressive, Western ideas about birth control and gay rights were increasingly being imposed by groups, institutions or nations there, often as a condition for development aid."

I am Charlie but I don't think the Western newsmedia is a free press - that's our problem

This article argues that you could probably get away with some nasty cartoons in a truly free press because such a press would freely report all sides to a dispute and not leave whole regions and classes of people with no expression in an international argument mediatized by the very same bunch of pillaging and plundering power elites, corporate and government, who profit from their silence. The article also wonders (but does not profess to know) whether the cold blooded assassinations at Charlie Hebdo were really an act of Islamic terrorism, or another false flag, on the principle of cui bono.

Queensland Authorities fall back into old dingo mismanagement habits

See also: Help Save Koalas From Extinction! (9/1/2014) on the Australian Wildlife Protection web site.

With the destruction of yet another juvenile dingo on Fraser Island, the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) and the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program (NDPRP) today issued a joint criticism of the Queensland Government for its continuing mismanagement of the Fraser Island dingo population.

The juvenile male dingo was destroyed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service staff this week after it allegedly stalked tourists near Eli Creek on the Island and nipped an 11 year old child.

PPLV news: Authority behind East West link disbanded and other news

It is believed that up until two weeks post election 457 visa workers from Spain and their families were still arriving to work on East West Link. However the latest news is that the Authority behind the East West Link is being disbanded by the Andrews Government. There are, however, still many issues left over from the Napthine Government and East West Link that need to be carefully monitored in the area of environment, democracy and heritage.

Local Workers Sold Out

A new temporary entry visa for skilled migrants, without any of the safeguards of labour market testing and English language requirements, would be a betrayal of Australian workers.

Unemployment has risen to 6.3 per cent. Over 775,000 Australians are out of work. The total number of hours worked in Australia in November actually fell by 0.3 per cent. Youth unemployment is at a 15 year high of 13.8%. In the northwest of Melbourne it is 17.2%, up from 13.1% in 2013. Originally published on Kelvin Thomson's website at http://kelvinthomson.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/local-workers-sold-out.html

English translation of Etienne Van de Walle: “French fertility in the 19th century,” by Sheila Newman

Subject: The 1789 Revolution and Fertility in France. This work is of great interest because it contradicts what we are constantly told by the growth lobby, the ABC, SBS, and the Murdoch and Fairfax Press. In clear historical terms the findings in this article, long accepted in France, contradict the so-called demographic transition, which says that populations reproduce to the maximum until they have completed industrialisation. France arrived at a steady state of population subsequent to the French Revolution and industrialisation had nothing to do with it. In my opinion the author's excellent historical demography is interpreted within a flawed paradigm, which is the notion of social and material progress as a some kind of chronologically programmed biological evolution for humans. Leaving that aside, this article is a rich resource which has, as far as I can see, been neglected since its publication by mainstream Anglophone demographic ‘theory’, presumably because it undermines the notion of overpopulation being inevitable and shows that a free people can run its own affairs without some overarching authority of centralised church or government. I translated this article because I could find no previous translations, although the author went to live in the United States where he was well known and wrote the piece (in French) from there. I could see its importance because the relationship between the revolution, population dynamics and localised self-government is the subject of my upcoming third book in the Demography, Territory Law series, which will be called: Land-tenure and the origins of democracy in France.

What difference could 62,000 visa overstayers make for Australia?

[Changed from original title of "Quantifying 62,000 visa overstayers in terms of population impact and our history".] The Australian Immigration Department has released a report, "Migration Trends 2012-2013," in which it estimates that 62,100 people were unaccounted for in Australia during 2014 - roughly 1.2 per cent of the 5.5 million people who enter the country each year on temporary visas. Visitors (44,800) and students (10,720) were the largest cohort of visa holders to overstay their permitted time here, and people from China (7690), Malaysia (6420), the US (5220) and the UK (3780) led the field. In this article I try to quantify and qualify this number of people and their impact in the Australian system.

Video lecture: Did Australian Aboriginals burn the bush as we are told? Joel Wright, "The language of fire."

Note: This introduction has been edited for a number of small but important inaccuracies. Candobetter.net editor 29/12/2014.] Fuel reduction and ecological burning etc. are based on the assumption that all Aboriginal people undertook fire-stick farming. Joel Wright, traditional owner in southwest Victoria, is an indigenous language, culture and history researcher. He finds no evidence of wide-scale burning in Aboriginal language and culture, but does find other explanations for the history of aboriginal fires observed by Europeans. These were often smoke-signals exchanged between clans, for general communication and warning of approaching Europeans etc. There was also defensive burning to hinder explorers by burning feed their for their stock. Other fires were to 'cover their tracks' when they were being pursued, etc.. Many of these fires were mistaken for landscape burning. Joel also found one record of burning small portions of dry grass around marshes to expose an area to attract birds to scratch for food there, making the birds potential meals for the indigenous hunters. Nowhere did he find anything to justify the destructive and dangerous annual incineration of the landscapes of the Gunditjamara by the Victorian Government. He was concerned that burning the bush as we do now kills the birds and animals so important to vegetation stories, removes scar and burial trees and 'burns micro particles from axes and spears that holds the clues as to what they were used for.The video was recorded from Wright's presentation at Australian Wildlife Protection Council Fire and Wildlife Conference, "Pause and Review Victoria's Fire Management." November 2014

Finding the right size - Ockham's razor show interviews Melvin Bolton on population and other size matters

"In a country with baby bonuses, paid parental leave schemes and a high immigration intake, to argue that rapid growth can't be avoided is like claiming that speeding is inevitable while your foot is on the accelerator." (Melvin Bolton)

We so often hear about Melbourne's 'livability' according to the specious and self-fulfilling criteria of the 'Economist group' that it is nice to hear about "Another major liveability index for cities is produced by the American consulting firm, Mercer. "The Mercer Quality of Living Survey for cities is continually being updated and it ranks more than 220 cities on scores under dozens of different criteria of liveability. In this list Vienna has come top for three years in a row and Sydney has come in at number ten, also for the past three years. Melbourne doesn't make it to the top ten and the other nine have populations smaller than Sydney's." (Melvin Bolton)

Sophie Shevarnadze interviews Iran Interior Minister on ISIS, US policy, nuclear, women, drugs and life in Iran today

The Pentagon has issued an official statement saying Iran has conducted air strikes against the Islamic State, but Iran denies this. The minister says this is "psychological warfare intended to antagonize Muslims in the region. We support the people of Iraq and Syria in their fight against the Islamic State by offering organizational and advisory assistance. And we do this openly. Why? Because these are extremist and criminal groups operating against the people of Iraq and Syria. We oppose them and consider them to be a threat to the entire region. But air strikes can’t be effective, and we don’t conduct them. He also denies any problems with Iran's sunnis. [...] We don’t trust the Americans. We think it’s the US that helps breed these extremist groups in the region. They arm, finance and train them. That’s why we feel that this US-led coalition is a puppet show that won’t yield any results. The Islamic State fights a guerrilla war on a vast territory in desert terrain, that’s why air strikes are a non-starter. We think that the only way is to mobilize the people, and we’ve seen some good progress when the militants were forced to retreat and leave the cities they previously captured." (Article's original source is "Iran interior minister: US bred ISIS, now tries to fight them with useless airstrikes" on SophieCo, RT.

Video: The importance of cobalt in world conflict and Congo genocide

RT's Abby Martin interviews Kambale Musavuli, Spokesperson for Friends of the Congo, about the vital role of cobalt in many industrial and electronic manufactures and the use of cobalt in predator drones. The interview connects the genocide of many Congolese with corporate and government cobalt mining. Entire villages have been bulldozed to around mines.

Immigration Dept seeks online comment re The 2015-16 Migration Programme - ends today 5 December

Are you interested in Australia's 2015-16 permanent migration programme?
It has just come to the attention of the Sustainable Population Party that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is seeking your feedback - by 5 December 2014 (tomorrow).

Guardian article pushes right wing line of open borders for immigrant labour and Naomi Klein's new book on climate change

Migration is hardly a solution to world poverty and conflict, but the mainstream media predictably push this line. Even the Guardian, for all its purported democratic values, continuously pushes for open borders without disclosing that these also facilitate a right-wing agenda for cheap imported labour sources and the crushing of local industry and employment. Its recently issued 'special report' entitled, "Hardline Australia, confused Scandinavia and tense Russia: the global immigration picture" http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/30/hardline-australia-confused-scandinavia-and-tense-russia-the-global-immigration-picture has been described as 'an appalling, if predictable, piece of propaganda."

Another port in the storm: The real reason for the East West Link by Jenny Warfe and Matthew Mitchell

With Victoria going to the polls on Saturday, Jenny Warfe and Dr Matthew Mitchell present compelling evidence the real reason for the East West Link is not road congestion but a superfluous new port project. (Article dated 27 November 2014 republished from Independent Australia)

Video of Surf Coast Energy forum - Growth: Is Bigger Better Forum Highlights

Watch highlights of the Surf Coast Energy Group Forum. The issues of population, climate change and pressures on our bio-diversity are addressed. Kelvin Thomson attended, Prof Ian Lowe was a speaker and the audience was large and varied.

ABC Australia apologises for bias against Russia in reporting MH17 crash

"7.30 has acknowledged your concern and agrees it was inaccurate for the program to state as fact that flight MH17 was shot down by “Pro-Russian militia” and “Russian backed rebels”. The program understands the cause of that incident remains unresolved and is the subject of ongoing investigation." (ABC Corporate Affairs). After David Macilwain, candobetter.net author and 7.30 Report viewer, complained, the ABC has made editorial changes to a report entitled, "Tony Abbott promises to ‘shirtfront’ Putin at G20 Summit." Mr MacIlwain's complaint appears under this ABC response. This is a positive response from the ABC since the kind of unfounded bellicose reporting that MacIlwain complained about is helping to move the world rapidly towards another world war. The ABC can help the world by reporting truthfully and respectfully. (Also published by AMRIS at https://susandirgham.wordpress.com/abc730-editorial-correction-mr-bill-shorten-president-putin-and-mh17/

Video: Australian ex-PM: Alliance with U.S. may end up pulling Australia into war (RT)

Here the beautiful and intelligent Sophie Shevarnadze of RT interviews Malcolm Fraser about why he thinks Australia should distance itself from the United States and his fears that we are being dragged to the edge of a third world war. Fraser may have helped stuff up our democracy by replacing Gough Whitlam, but he seems to be trying to make things better these days. Article includes transcript from the original interview, of which the URL is http://rt.com/shows/sophieco/208155-pacific-region-us-china/

Video: Oksana Boyko of RT interviews Bob Carr about Tony Abbott and the G20

Watch an old reporter turned politician do a few rounds in the ring with skilled Russian interviewer, Oksana Boyko of RT. Oksana gives him his head initially and he struts predictably, but things get interesting later, particularly on the issue of Australia's role and responsibility for the mess in the Middle East and Syria. (Bob Carr was a recent foreign affairs minister for Australia.) For me, it was fascinating listening to Carr's 'justifications'. Could a grown-up really believe this stuff? Who knows when Western leaders may really be called to account for their removal of order and warmongering in the Middle East. I wonder if this troubles them, if they lie awake at night going over their stories.

Victorian Candidates who support wider public debate on stable population - per SOS survey

Save our Suburb's Planning Survey exposes some fascinating trends among independents and small parties on population policy. I have put together some data on Victorian candidates for this coming election with regard to the population question on the poll plus any remarks. This was a late night operation and some candidates' remarks were partly obscured in the copy I made. Some Greens said they were in favour of such a policy, but I note that their own policy has for years avoided mentioning immigration and places the issue at a vague global level. It is well-known that this is a contentious issue with the Greens and that members and candidates tend to get punished for mentioning it and every attempt at workable local policy is suffocated from the top. Two Labor candidates - amazingly - said they were in favour of the policy. Note that the responses to the whole questionnaire are available here: http://sos.asn.au/vic/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/141117-Planning-Survey-of-Candidates-RO.xlsx UPDATE: As the survey is updated every 48 hours to include candidate responses, It might be best to use these links: Trend results and Individual candidate responses

Video: Steven Armstrong - Albert Park Independent supported by Sustainable Population Party

Population numbers are now a democratic issue because the two big parties and the Greens are colluding to push extreme population growth. People will vote against population growth if given the opportunity because it is causing a decline in urban lifestyle. Some of the problems it is causing is severe competition for schooling, hospitals, housing and places on public transport. People are upset by the destruction of established built environment to keep pace with this imposed population growth. If we were able to achieve zero population growth over time and reduce our per capita consumption, we would use less coal, possibly even stop needing to use it and we would never need to turn on the desal plant. It's a no-brainer really.

Video: What's wrong with private development in our Point Nepean National Park? - features Craig Thomson, Greens candidate

Craig Thomson, Greens candidate for Nepean, is an indigenous vegetation expert and rehabilitator who works mostly on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. When he heard that the outgoing Liberal Government had quasi locked-in a private public development of hot mineral baths with a 50 yr lease in Victoria's Point Nepean National Park, on the day that government went into caretaker mode, he was horrified. This short video was made very quickly before the election black out in the hope of educating people about the value of Point Nepean National Park, of all public lands, and the need to preserve it for ourselves, our children and our indigenous animal and plants. Craig, who is a candidate for the Greens in this election (Victorian Elections November 2014) is also a wildlife rescuer with Animalia. He is a kind and inspiring man with a love for plants, animals, fairness and his community. In this film we also catch glimpses of his daughters, Eve and Rose, who Craig cares for as a single parent.

Immigration numbers are a STATE election issue

The Federal Government is not the sole responsible for Australia's planned and economic immigration; in fact the States seem to be leading it. State governments and political parties tend to try to mislead Australians on this very issue, so I felt it was time to write an article. Now is the time to head to your local member's office and ask him or her what he or she is going to do about this. If you don't get a sensible answer, vote small parties before Lib, Lab or Green.

The one dollar contraceptive set to make family planning easier - BBC News

(By Jane Dreaper Health correspondent, BBC News) The new easy-to-use contraceptive device will be available to women in poorer countries for just $1. The new easy-to-use contraceptive device will be available to women in poorer countries for just $1. An agreement has been signed which will make contraceptive injections available to women in 69 of the world's poorest countries. It is an injection - but not as you know it. The special device, with a smaller needle and no traditional syringe, will be sold at just $1 a unit. An agreement - signed in the past few days - will make the new way of giving contraceptive injections available to women in 69 of the world's poorest countries. The deal has been reached between the Gates Foundation, the drug company Pfizer and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation. Previously the technology has been used for giving hepatitis B jabs in Indonesia. Burkina Faso was the first country to use it for contraception.

Environment Minister Hunt negative on population policy or maybe just spooked

What is a normal response from an environment minister to a straight question to a matter that alarms about 80% of Australians, as even self-styled demographer, Bernard Salt of KPMG admits? [1] Mr Kelvin Thomson, ALP member for Wills, asked Greg Hunt, the Liberal Government Minister for the Environment, whether the Government would consider adopting a stable population policy to avoid new infrastructure imperatives. Minister Hunt responded bluntly that "the answer to the honourable member's question was: No."[2]

Stooging a Generation - by Kelvin Thomson

I have often expressed concern in the last few years that my baby boomer generation has pursued policies such as rapid population growth which have damaged the chances of the next generation. Recently I have referred to the Axis of Financial Evil confronting our children – student debt, job insecurity, and housing unaffordability.

Support for this concern comes from a report released yesterday by the Foundation for Young Australians. The report expressly says that today's young people face very different prospects from their parents: higher unemployment, large education debts and even larger housing debts, which will put home ownership out of the reach of many.

Development caused overpopulation in Ethiopia

There is now a long record of interventions in foreign countries that have been followed by floods of refugees. For Ethiopia modern development began at the end of the 19th century. In a recently recirculated 2008 article, Irish journalist, Kevin Myers wrote despairingly of Ethiopia's overpopulation and the hopelessness of giving more aid. "By 2050, the population of Ethiopia will be 177 million; the equivalent of France, Germany and Benelux today, but located on the parched and increasingly Protein-free wastelands of the Great Rift Valley." Myers grimly anticipates a massive overflow of emigrants with poorly nourished brains to Ireland, to America, to Australia.[1] So, why is Ethiopia in such a mess? Was it always thus?

United Nations Demographic Transition Seminar - 13 November, Melbourne

Note that the United Nations is made up of many associate members, and this event includes the National Bank as a sponsor. I am publicising it because Katharine Betts will be speaking at it, and she has a good scientific approach to the issues around the concept of an 'aging population'. The notion of a 'demographic transition is also controversial.

Tonight! Box Hill - 6 Nov 7.30pm: Speakers: 'Peacemaking in Islamic Traditions' and 'Valuing Secularism in Syria'

Speakers are Susan Day Dirgham, on “Valuing Secularism in Syria” and Fr Bruce Duncan, on “Peacemaking in Islamic traditions”. This is a Social Policy Connections Public Forum at The Study Centre, Yarra Theological Union. Best entry via 34 Bedford Street, Box Hill. The forum will go from 7:30pm - 9pm, Thursday 6 November.

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