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To the aged (and soon to be aged) of Australia - Article by Vanda Amandanstone

From the Minister for the Aged:

I need to let you people know that you have had it pretty good so far but you cannot expect things to continue as they are. You Baby Boomers are in fact an impending liability on the country. Having said that (and in a way, I wish I hadn't) you are probably mostly still in the workforce, but think what a drain you will be when you have finished your useful, paid, working life. I warn you that you will all need to pull in your belts, in the interest of Team Australia (pardon the expression but it is so very suitable in this context!)

Video: Mark Allen, planner: Fast population growth and poor planning - a vicious circle

“So, increasing the population – fast population growth and poor planning – they’re like a vicious circle. When I worked as a planner, I’d go to VCAT and, quite often, development applications would be turned down by councils and the developer’s argument would be, ‘I know, ideally, this isn’t the best place to build this development, but you do know that Melbourne’s population is going to double by 2040-something and so, therefore, we’ve got to start building high-density in areas where we wouldn’t normally build it, because, you know, unless we’re just going to sprawl outwards forever…’. But both are going to happen, so we’ve got to understand that rapid population growth and developers who are making sure that they’re taking control of the planning system - they’re intertwined.” Mark Allen, former planner, of Population, Permaculture and Planning in a speech at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne, 14 February 2016.

New Research: Mussels are fighting back against ocean acidification

The gradual rise in oceanic acidity is weakening the shells of shellfish, corals and sea urchins, making them vulnerable to predation and damage from oceanic movements.

Many marine animals produce protective shells and exoskeletons from calcium carbonate from seawater, but higher CO2 concentrations absorbed into seawater from the environment is lowering the oceanic PH.

Kelvin Thomson objects to motion to disempower environmental groups

This article contains a speech by Kelvin Thomson, critical of a motion to change environmental law by George Christensen, Member for Dawson, Queensland. Monday, 8 February 2016, House of Representatives, Chamber Speech, page 22 Hansard proofs.

Kangaroo culling trial: unwise call for extension to petfood trial in Victoria

National Party member for the Victorian seat of Lowan Emma Kealy has called on the state government to extend a kangaroo culling trial to West Wimmera Shire.

(Click link to vote on poll).

The government introduced a two-year trial to cull kangaroos for pet food in 2014.

A State Government trial involving Ararat, Horsham, Northern Grampians, Yarriambiack, Southern Grampians and Pyrenees local government areas is due to conclude in June.

Aussie WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the UK, UN panel finds

5 February 2016 – The founder of the WikiLeaks website, which published confidential diplomatic information, has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London in December 2010, as a result of the legal action against him by both Governments, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said today.

Californians for Population Stabilisation: Fight immigration myths in 2016

Malls and “destination” shopping are something I avoid, but I found myself in a retail center on January 2 to exchange a gift for another size. (My dislike for the mall world is such that if the transaction could have been handled online, I would have.) The relative tranquility in Los Angeles between the Christmas and New Year holiday due to significantly fewer people in town was gone by then, and the mall parking lot traffic lanes were filled by vehicles with nowhere to move – complete gridlock in a parking lot. Find original article here.

Victorian Forests: 20 year legal exemption must go

Wednesday 3rd February marks the 19th anniversary of an agreement that has allowed the logging industry a legal exemption from Australia’s environment laws. Jill Redwood from Environment East Gippsland, where this exemption from commonwealth laws was first introduced says the Turnbull government is planning to instate another 20 years of this special treatment. When the agreement between the state and federal govt was signed, EGipp was promised a multi-million dollar economic boost – 400 new jobs – a bright future. There were 20 sawmills at the time – it’s now down to 5. It employs less than 0.05% of the regional workforce. The joint MR of 3rd Feb 1997 promised world class protection of old growth and biodiversity – both of which have declined rapidly in that time.

Video Interview: Danish Parliament member recommends Australian refugee processing system

A frank discussion about the consequences of Merkel's open borders on Denmark, with a number of references to the Australian system for processing refugees. Note, however, that refugees do not usually achieve permanent resettlement in Europe, whereas they usually do in Australia. When European governments talk about taking in refugees, they are talking about a temporary situation. In this interview Oksana Boyko of RT asks Ft. Anders Vistisen about the Danish plan to confiscate valuables from refugee applicants to pay for their costs and how many more refugees can Denmark accept. Why is Denmark moving refugees to rural camps? Won't that detract from their integration?

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Please enter all topics that the article may discuss. Before adding a new topic, please check 'tag cloud' on left side bar to see if an equivalent topic already exists. Where applicable, enter one or more political groups, after checking 'tag cloud' in box also on the left. Also, where applicable enter the name of a cause or campaign after checking the list of causes on the menu also on the left hand side.

Miscellaneous comments from 28 Jan 2016

Comments made on the previous Miscellaneous comments page from 11 Nov 2015 can be found here.

If you have anything you would like to raise, which is likely to be of interest to our site's visitors, which is not addressed in other articles, please add your comments here.

Australia Day ambivalence

Back in 1788 on 26th January, the First Fleet of British Ships arrived at Port Jackson, New South Wales, having landed a few days earlier at Botany Bay. The British flag was raised right there at Port Jackson by Governor Arthur Phillip and the previous inhabitants were summarily and officially dispossessed. The First Fleet comprised six convict ships lead by two Royal Navy escort ships. There are varying accounts of the number of convicts who arrived in the First Fleet but I conclude after looking at a number of relevant sites that over 700 convicts arrived of whom about a quarter were female.

Male-skewed immigration to Europe and sexist violence: Oksana Boyko interviews Prof Hudson

The assault and robbery of scores of women in Cologne on New Year's Eve, allegedly perpetrated by groups of migrants, has fanned the flames of the refugee crisis in Europe. And while European leaders introduce stricter measures to deal with offending asylum seekers, many are questioning the wisdom of the policies that brought them there. What's behind the seemingly increasing wave of violence by migrants and is the predominantly male migration skewing the European demographic profile, thereby predisposing its societies to even more crime? Oksana is joined by Valerie Hudson, a Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University, to explore these issues.

Video & transcript: US involvement could tip South China Sea into war - Asia studies head - Shevarnadze interviews Dongxiao Chen

North Korea has apparently just tested an H-bomb - a shocking development, even though some doubt it actually was a hydrogen bomb. Already, Washington lawmakers are grabbing the moment to push through reinforcement of America’s presence in the Asia Pacific, already catalyzed by the “pivot to Asia” plan aimed against China. As Europe lines up to strike lucrative deals with Beijing, Washington is growing increasingly worried, even counter-attacking with the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. The world is already an uneasy place, with Jihad rampant and now we have potentially deadly armament at the hands of unpredictable Pyongyang. Will the US and China be able to co-operate? Why is the West is so afraid of Beijing? This program dives deep into the world of Asia Pacific political games with the president of the Shanghai Institute of International studies, Dongxiao Chen, on Sophie&co. This interview was first published at https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/328252-us-china-sea-war/ on 8 Jan, 2016 09:53

Who shrank Australians' backyards?

In a piece in The Australian[1] Dec 24, 2015, entitled "Honey, we shrank the backyard," population growth promoter for the property investment sector, Bernard Salt, observes that the block size of ordinary Australian houses has shrunk due to lifestyle changes such as after school organised sport and other after school activities and women working. The backyard, Salt acknowledges, was a “wondrous place” where children used to play in a relatively unstructured space, unobserved by parents, during an unsophisticated era devoid of today's patios and outdoor eating. The conclusion is that, after all, shrinking backyards come with bigger cities, and and a “leaner, cleaner more efficient way of living”.

Aussie MH17 Coroner Ignores Police Evidence, Rules in Favor of Dutch Government Investigator


The Australian
coroner makes a
bizarre ruling.
Why?

Amazingly, 17 months have passed since the crash, and the investigators still can't establish who shot down the plane. Our correspondent digs in to the latest developments

The Victorian (Australia) state coroner Iain West has concluded a 60-minute inquest into the deaths of Australians on board Malaysian Airlines MH17 by issuing a statement of findings contradicting the coroner's own statements, as well as the evidence of reports from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and courtroom testimony from the senior Australian police officer investigating the MH17 crash.

This article was originally published on 16 December on johnhelmer.net (aka 'Dances with Bears'). This article was republished on 17 December on Russian Insider. Other articles concerning the MH17 cover-up include The little Dutch boy, his finger, and the leak in the dyke story – make that the BUK story (22/12/15), Australian police, Dutch prosecutors break with Dutch Safety Board at first coroner's court inquest on MH17 crash (15/12/15), ...

New book: Internet Wars by Fergus Hanson

One of the most critical emerging power struggles of the 21st Century is taking place – the battle to control the Internet. The Internet offers up the opportunity for exercising extraordinary political, economic, and military power. Already exploitation of this super-network has helped create the world’s most valuable company, toppled governments, led to the largest wealth transfer in history, and created the most extensive global surveillance system ever So who won the Internet Wars in 2015? E-diplomacy expert and author of the recently released Internet Wars Fergus Hanson has delivered the verdict.

Video: Syria: University students in Homs celebrate Syrian Arab Army gains over IS

Video inside:Syrian students and teachers of one of the country's biggest universities gathered in the centre of Homs, Wednesday, to thank Russia for its role in the Syrian conflict. You can hear them chanting Bashar al-Assad and they are carrying banners featuring Assad and Putin's faces. The Australian and US press mislead us all into endorsing a war that Syrians do not want. The latest is Tanya Plibersek's pathetic complaint that Australian should be included in the NATO war-party on Syria. " Tanya Plibersek: Australia deserves a seat at the table in Syria negotiations." As aufinm remarked in the discussion under the Guardian article, "'Deserve' is a very weird word to use. This is a war, not a bloody christmas party planning committee." Check out the comments under Plibersek's ignorant article. They are unusually perceptive and well-informed on Syria.

VicForests facing legal action again - Environment East Gippsland

East Gippsland: VicForests is being very cooperative in giving Environment East Gippsland (EEG) new grounds for legal action. Not only had they just commenced logging in an area which EEG believes is a rich stand of forest for rare wildlife, but bold as brass, their contractors yet again cleared right to the edge of a patch of rainforest leaving no buffer. This, after all the bad media they received when found to have destroyed rainforest near Hensleigh Creek earlier this year.

Peace Delegation to Syria: Report by Shrikant Ramdas

The photograph to the left is of a young Syrian boy at his father's funeral. He saluted those present and gave a defiant and hope-filled speech in memory of his father, a soldier in the Syrian Arab Army. This article is composed of reports from two members of an international peace delegation led by Mairead McGuire, and hosted by Mother Agnes Mariam. This article is written by Shrikant Ramdas, one of the members of the delegation.

Polls finds Bashar al-Assad has more support than the Western-backed opposition - Article by Steven Gowans

Suppose a respectable opinion poll found that Bashar al-Assad has more support than the Western-backed opposition. Would that not be major news? Here are results of surveys that tried to find out what Syrians actually want in terms of government, rather than what foreign forces wish to impose on them.

Assange to take part in RT panel on security & surveillance today (Thursday 10 Dec 2015)

Australian freedom fighter and political refugee, Julian Assange, will take part in a discussion dedicated to information privacy and security in the digital age, organized as part of an RT conference on media and politics. Watch conference live.The WikiLeaks founder will tune in from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He has been shamefully abandoned by the Australian government. (Introduction to this article which was republished from the RT site was by a candobetter.net editor).

Proposed massive over-development of Yarra Riverbank

We are a small group of Yarra River users : walkers, cyclists and rowers, and we are absolutely appalled by a proposed new apartment development by Salta on the Yarra Riverbank in Abbotsford. The developer is submitting in the busy period before Christmas, and before more onerous planning controls apply in 2016.

The proposed development at 647 -649 Victoria Street, for a 14 level building with 109 apartments, is the closest development to the river ever submitted. It is 26.5 meters from the river. The river itself is only 26 meters wide at this point.

Turkey: Russia - Breaking news about what's keeping ISIS afloat

video inside:In a huge stunning announcement yesterday by the Russian Foreign Minister, Russia presented direct evidence of Turkey buying illegal oil from the black market supporting terrorists. In this video change.org goes over the important revelations by the Russians, their consequences and the shift of the geopolitical field. The western mainstream media is simply not reporting this because it runs totally counter to their spin. If the western media were to properly bring this news to their readers, they would have to explain the torrent of lies they have issued forth so far in order to justify war. The western media is historically pro-war and Australians, Americans, British and Europeans who rely on the mainstream media alone never hear both sides.

From Pol Pot to ISIS: The blood never dried - Article by John Pilger

Following the ISIS outrages in Beirut and Paris, John Pilger updates this prescient essay on the root causes of terrorism and what we can do about it. In transmitting President Richard Nixon's orders for a "massive" bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, "Anything that flies on everything that moves". As Barack Obama wages his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and Francois Hollande promises a "merciless" attack on the rubble of Syria, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger's murderous honesty.

As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery - including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields - I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today's Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia. Article first published on 16 November 2015 at http://johnpilger.com/articles/from-pol-pot-to-isis-the-blood-never-dried

John Pilger on John Pilger on Paris, ISIS and Media Propaganda - Interviewed on "Going Underground"

Video inside:One of NATO imperialism's greatest chroniclers, Australian award-winning journalist and filmmaker, John Pilger, tells us how Washington, London and Paris gave birth to ISIS.

Kangaroos must be “culled” for urban sprawl - Article by AWPC Editor

Update: See new article, "AWPC Wildlife Planning Officer says, "Don't cull roos; Plan wildlife corridors!"" A wildlife “consultant” has called for a radical new plan to cull kangaroos along Melbourne’s urban fringe before there is any more housing development.  What’s “radical” about this solution to wildlife?  Due to lack of vision, foresight and planning, it means killing them!

This new “plan” is about caving into the whims of property developers, and the plans of our State government to blow out our urban fringe for more growth-gluttony  and housing.

First published on Australian Wildlife Protection Council website here: http://awpc.org.au/kangaroos-must-be-culled-for-urban-sprawl/

Why the Greens' Plan For a Liveable Melbourne Will Not Save Melbourne - Article by Mark Allen

On Thursday the fifth of November 2015, local, state and federal representatives from The Greens launched their plan for a “Better More Liveable Melbourne” but what impact will this plan have considering Victoria's population is increasing by a hundred thousand a year (especially when most of the growth is in Melbourne)?

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