Miscellaneous comments from 13 January 2014

Comments made on the previous Miscellaneous comments page from 4 Dec 2013 can be found .

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 .


Immigration to Australia is increasing, and it's the highest it's been in four years - since Kevin Rudd's silent "big Australia" push - and scam "courses", and the huge list of bogus skills shortages scandal! There were 309,140 net permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia in the year to November 2013 – the highest level since November 2009 and representing a 55% increase from the January 2011", and more than double the long-run average. In the year to November 2013, permanent arrivals fell by 3% to 152,350, whereas permanent departures rose 3% to 91,940 – just off record highs. What's creeping up is the number of "temporary" visas. Much of the recent immigration into Australia has been temporary in nature. According to the Department of Immigration, around 30% of workers on temporary 457 visas end up becoming permanent residents, suggesting that actual permanent immigration remains at relatively high levels. It just shows that there's nothing more permanent than a "temporary" migrant! The focus on asylum seekers, dominating the "immigration" debate, is really hiding the flowing numbers arriving here legally - at a time of austerity, hardships, economic slowdown, and job losses.

2013 was Australia's hottest year on record; a record that would have been almost impossible without human-induced climate change. The new year has offered no relief. Yet, the climate change deniers are leading our nation and switching off any initiatives except "business as usual" and denying anything that might stifle economic growth! In an as-yet-unpublished study, Liz Hanna of the Australian National University in Canberra,and her colleagues, found that older suburbs in Canberra with more trees were up to 7 °C cooler than newer, less leafy suburbs. Some suburbs are planting more greenery to stay cool, but the federal government is sitting on its hands. "It's reluctant to do anything because that would mean admitting climate change is a reality," says Hanna. Without a concerted national effort, greenery will continue to decline as population density rises, she says. Trees act as evaporative coolers, with shade and moisture. They are being cut down to densify our city, with more concrete, ashfelt and high rise housing. It's a system of sclerosis that ends any natural defences to heat and extreme weather. The heat island effect actually exacerbates the heat rising from concrete and adds to the use of air conditioners, and the feed-back of more greenhouse gas emissions compounds the impacts. Anthropogenic climate change is being addressed by largely not for profit organisations, bleating about being more "sustainable". However, they mostly never touch on population growth! We can downsize our own carbon footprint, but with more "feet", they are a multiplying factor!

[Dud links on this comment have now been fixed.]

I believe that climate change debate has been somewhat hijacked to a global level which makes people feel that they have little to contribute at their local level. I'm afraid that I also suspect that this is intentional. I'm sorry, but I despair when I hear of huge marches through Melbourne supporting Al Gore but no-one down in Brown Mountain to support tree-sitters, or in Frankston, for that matter. I therefore welcome this attention to the need to plant and conserve trees. The temperature drop is obvious when one goes into a forest or a group of mature trees. By keeping trees within built areas we also conserve moisture in soil. Trees, through transpiration, put out heat above their foliage, like airconditioners, but unlike air-conditioners, they don't create carbon gases - unless you burn them. If forest cover is preserved inland, even without mountain ranges, wetter climates prevail. See the work in Russia on the Biotic Pump by Victor Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva, also mentioned in articles cited below.

So much more we can do for ourselves here

There is so much more we can do for ourselves, crucially by stopping removal of vegetation for population, infrastructure and economic expansion. For instance we have in Victoria a record of climate change related fires which can be linked at their worst to the thinned and managed forests here. See . We have climate refugees now living in tents in the winter cold as a result of these fires. Yet, in this most cleared of states, Mr Brumby is about to send in the loggers to Brown Mountain, where 600 year old trees testify to the very low risk of out-of-control fires in old growth forests. Most recently scientists have tied forest to inland rainfall and a huge environmental and political experiment in Borneo by Willie Smit demonstrated they are right . Climate activism is a huge source of organised public action in the name of which small groups should be able to act. Instead we see a crowd hypnotised by Al Gore and captured and harnessed by various local political groups in their usual quest for power and dollars. It amazes me that the Al Gore Climate Change activists, for all their repetitive noise are apparently unaware of or incapable of stopping the destruction of forests in Australia. Why are they not converging in busloads to stop the loggers and the developers' bulldozers?

Every year the fishermen of Taiji corral hundreds of dolphins into a secluded bay, select a few dozen for sale to aquariums and marine parks, and stab the rest to death for meat. Fishermen and divers have saved 25 dolphins from slaughter, but 250 of what's there now will be stabbed to death, for meat, and a few selected for aquariums to be imprisoned for life. Those taken away will witness the slaughter of their families and pods. The residents say the slaughter is part of their "cultural tradition"! There are other quaint traditions that could be justified in the same way- genocide, colonialism, bear-baiting, forest destruction, infancide, and war! Sea Shepherd warned that the dolphins would "face a violent and stressful captive selection process. Babies and mothers will be torn from each other's sides as some are taken for captivity, some are killed, and others are driven back out to sea to fend for themselves." Environmental activists warn that dolphin meat, also sold for consumption in Japan, contains dangerously high levels of mercury and other toxins. The Hon. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, Japan Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae Embassy of Japan in the United States? 2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W Washington DC 20008 Tel: 202-238-6700, Fax: 202-328-2187

US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy has sharply raised the focus on Japanese dolphin hunts, describing the corralling of the mammals for slaughter as inhumane.

Read more: , 20 Jan 2014 by Andrew Darby at http://www.smh.com.au/environment/us-ambassador-intervenes-in-taiji-cove-dolphin-hunt-20140120-3146r.html

The dolphins have been without food for 4 days, and netted dolphins were seen swimming around in shallow waters while divers selected individuals to be slung beside skiffs and carried away to a section under closed tarpaulin canopies.

Japan justifies it as "centuries of traditions" that can't be shrugged off! Apparently the dolphins die without bloodshed when their spinal cords are cut! It's not like The Cove, one Japanese official said!

Great that the daughter of US president is showing some integrity and using a voice for the animals. Traditions are human constructs, and not set in stone to have our actions, no matter how cruel, enslaved to them. Traditions must change, with better understandings of biology, the sentience of animals, and the broader knowledge we have of the Natural world. Japan, despite their great technological and economic advances, wants to live in the dark ages of brutality when is comes to the treatment of marine mammals.

Subject was : Aussie Women are not Halal Meat
Media Release - Party for Freedom.
by Andrew D. Shine

Rape and child sex predation is a vile practice that unfortunately exists in all countries and cultures, all classes and races. These crimes outrage society far more than the 'justice' system, which consistently fails to punish the perpetrators in a manner expected by the citizenry.

Over the last ten years a troubling trend has been developing in the larger Australian cities; that being the heinous sex crimes against women and children by foreigners on visas – asylum grantees or seekers. Often, but not always, the accused are Middle Eastern Muslims.

Just over a week ago a young woman was brutally raped on Sydney's Anzac bridge with the accused named as twenty six year-old Iranian asylum seeker Amir Mohebbifar. This appears to be just the latest in a long line of sex assaults on Australians by foreign nationals. A quick search of recent perpetrators of rape and child molestation in Sydney alone bring up such names as Mohammad Salem Nazari, Ahmed Abdelshafy Mohammed el-Kahly, Abdul Majid Qazizada, Daxchan Selvarajah. Many more examples exist for those concerned enough to investigate this issue further.

Party for Freedom, in its mandate to raise awareness and represent the Australian people, will be holding a peaceful protest on the Victoria Rd overpass near Anzac bridge to highlight two-weeks to the day of this tragic incident and to voice our disgust at yet another sex crime committed by unwanted guests in this country. We believe that Australian women should not feel threatened on our streets, and deserve the right to fair protection and representation from our government and the judicial system.

We insist the state government adequately punish all sexual predators, with tough sentencing including immediate deportation following the completion of punitive sentences on non-citizens convicted of these abhorrent crimes.

Join Party for Freedom in Sydney on Friday, January 24 to fight for women's rights of freedom and liberty on our city's streets!

NB: Australia's crime wave can't be attributed solely to residents of Arabic/muslim descent. However, it's a symptom of general malaise and dis-ease. Increasing fragmentation of society, of values, and culture creates anonymity, disquiet, distrust and wariness. Along with high rates of immigration, and rising unemployment, temporary and casual jobs, homelessness and renting, it means that people are more transitional without putting down roots. The "diversity" that's supposed to bring greater understanding and tolerance is overwhelming our society, and instead of being minority groups are becoming a majority - with a shrinking mainstream society to emulate and uphold.

This is a difficult post to respond to. It doesn't give reliable statistics, but it flags an issue which has a certain profile. Paul Sheehan's book, , 2006, went into this problem of middle eastern men who think of women as fair game in detail and is well worth reading. It is also true that a higher proportion of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers - from anywhere - are likely to have psychological problems of various kinds. These may include violence and trauma from wars and they may include criminal pasts. Alcoholics Anonymous talks about how drunks go on 'geographicals' - the move to another place in order to get away from the problem, but take it with them because it is themselves. Addiction to alcohol and other drugs often leads to loss of judgement, loneliness and isolation, violence and bent ideas. In general Candobetter.net is concerned about numbers and does not want to give the impression that it is keen to target different groups. We feel that overpopulation in Australia needs to be combatted by seeking solidarity among all Australians in order to work democratically against the elite growth lobby. Because part of the growth lobby agenda is, as the annotator to the post writes, to divide and conquer us, we cannot just shut people up when they want to protest a crime of any kind. If our governments must encourage us to 'celebrate diversity' then they should expect us to deplore some of its worst consequences. If many rapes in Australia are done by native-born Australians, this should not be used as an excuse to diminish the impact on the victims of those that are not. Rape is largely a sexist issue of violence against persons who are perceived as status objects. The act attempts to devalue the 'object' that is perceived to belong to men of particular status. Australian women's status as men's acquisitions is partly attributable to the long tradition and laws going back to the 12th century in Britain when women could not own or inherit land if there were a man in the family, and if those women married, the family land went to their husbands. These laws only changed in the early 1920s. Landed assets and other wealth were thus hugely concentrated in mens' hands in countries with British style legal systems. Women had to marry for status and security. It is the same in many Muslim countries, although usually much more extreme, where women end up with very few possessions and must also marry for status and security. Then there are cultures where women and men have separate land and separate villages. In Napoleonic (Roman) law it is illegal to leave any child more or less than his or her siblings and it is also illegal not to leave your estate to your children. This means that there is more material equality in Europe and probably goes to explain a better representation of women in most European parliaments than in Australia's. In my opinion it would be a good idea for half the seats in all Australian parliaments to be women's seats. This is not a quota idea; it is a constitutional reform suggestion whereby 50% of our parliamentary seats would belong to women. At the moment the few women in parliaments tend to have to fit in with the blokes. Women's seats in parliament would not mean that those seats would confine their representation to subjects like knitting and babies - to the contrary - given 75 women in seats guaranteed to be filled by their sex - I believe that we would then hear about the need for women's land and women's rights and how women should not be mistaken any longer for status symbols. This has been a quick comment written on a very hot night in Brisbane about a very difficult subject. Hopefully it will not be my last word.

A review at the federal government welfare system will look at the increasing numbers of people receiving the disability support pension and Newstart Allowance. Social Services minister Mr Andrews said that "We're in a very difficult budgetary situation." The review will consider changes to the rule that allows job seekers to turn down employment that is more than 90 minutes from their home. Does that mean 90 minutes walking, public transport (if it exists) or car (if the recipient can afford to have one)? More than five million Australians received a welfare payment in June 2012, including 827,000 recipients on the disability support pension and 550,000 on the Newstart Allowance. The Ponzi pyramid economic growth scheme is unravelling as the costs of our economy's growth is making it more and more uneconomical. As the pyramid size increases, more and more vulnerable are discarded on the way, as flotsam and jetsum of the pyramid's disintegration. It inevitably costs more and more to run this big economy, and the benefits end up dwindling. There's a desperate, intuitive push for "growth" to lift up the economy, to stop it stalling. However, it takes more than political intuition to know that it's growth that is compromising the quality of the economy. We should be guiding our economy into a safe, steady-state landing, not pushing ahead and leaving the unavoidable crash for the next generation, who won't have the resources for "growth"!

“The root cause of the violence is resources,” Nnamdi Obasi, West Africa analyst at International Crisis Group. Overpopulation, on a landscape of diminishing resources and desertification, is driving conflict and deaths. Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali have three of the world's top 20 fastest growing population rates, and fertility rates in Africa continue to be among the highest in the world. Burkina Faso, Malawi, Niger, Mali, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia populations are predicted to grow by 500% by 2100. Sadly, their real problem is very clear - massive overpopulation is causing conflicts between religions factions, and their refusal to keep their numbers at a sustainable level. Until they comprehend the massive implications of lack of family planning, and their inhibitions, they will face Nature's heartlessness and limits, and the violence that comes from humanity's ecological overshoot. It's easy to see the symptoms, but overpopulation is the root cause!

According to Gates in another decade no country will be as poor as any of the 35 countries that the World Bank classifies as low-income today even after adjusting for inflation. In his idealist and cornupocia concept, Gates said, "Every nation in South America, Asia, and Central America (with the possible exception of Haiti), and most in coastal Africa will have joined the ranks of today's middle-income nations. More than 70% of countries will have higher per captia income than China, and most will be wealthier than India. Billions of people will have been lifted out of extreme poverty through economic development. Many countries that were poor in the past now have thriving economies. He's extrapolated some countries' trends to the globe, and is forgetting the costs of economic growth of emerging nations. Pollution, food insecurity, land grabs, soil and water depletions, ecological destruction, finite natural resources, climate change and over population. There are only a few of the "challenges" that will stifle the utopia of almost full planetary wealth. , 23 Jan 2014 from Saving lives leads to overpopulation, and foreign aid is a big waste, he says. Planned Parenthood, for instance has received $34 million from the Gates Foundation out of a total of $10.5 billion worldwide. The Bill Gates foundation has provided in excess of $10.5 billion earmarked for Planned parenthood programs other than the provision of abortion.

This is typical of a problem where physicists, zoologists, and now software developers all imagine that because they know something about their own field, they must know what causes overpopulation. It must be simple - right? because it involves social science or something. Only idiots do social science, so any intelligent bloke in some other field should be able to sum the situation up. Wrong. A halfwit with their eye on the ball could probably tell Billy Gates that he's reiterating the same tale that's been around now since the 1950s. The tale goes, "In 10 years poverty and overpopulation will all be fixed by development." Read Mr Gates - the development fix for overpopulation and poverty is actually the cause of overpopulation and poverty. It really isn't as simply as you think.

Japan's whaling mothership has been awarded a halal certificate to prove the whales it takes from the Antarctic Ocean are slaughtered in accordance with Muslim law, a company spokesman said Wednesday. The inspectors advised workers on the factory ship to change the disinfectant liquid used for cleaning hands to avoid any possible contamination from the alcohol solution, the owner of Nisshin Maru said. It's this cosmetic window-dressing that will give a tick of approval to killing protected whales, and one that ignores the greater evil of killing the whales - to the hand-wash used! Whale meat be made halal to increase the choice of meat available to Japan's Islamic community. Muslims are barred by their religion from eating pork. It's a desperate attempt to encourage more of the public to eat the by-product of this bogus "research" - even though the Japan Muslim Association told AFP there were only around 100,000 Muslims in Japan -- less than 0.08 percent of the population. Not only is Japan operating a war against whales in the Southern Ocean where whaling is illegal, they are slaughtering bottlenose dolphins in a "hunt" that they claim is a centuries old tradition.

A mother dolphin committed suicide after her rare albino calf was captured by Japanese fishermen, animal activists have claimed. Sea Shepherd members livestreamed the ritual of rounding up of hundreds of dolphins, which sees dozens of dolphins captured for live sale to aquariums and other customers, while others are killed for food. They report that "Our volunteer Cove Guardians documented and witnessed the grieving mother repeatedly spy-hopping, looking for her calf, before lowering herself into the water, never to resurface." The captured dolphins for the "hunt" includes a rare albino calf worth millions. Dolphins are known to commit suicide. Cathy was a bottlenose dolphin, one of five activist Richard O'Barry trained for the 60?s television hit Flipper. Her death in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium changed his world and set him on a course of activism. "I knew she was tired of suffering," O'Barry says. According to O'Barry, Cathy chose to stop breathing, something dolphins are physiologically capable of, and he believes it was an intentional act brought on by her captivity. In several cases, the creatures repeatedly slammed their head against sides of a pool - or simply stopped coming up for air. The fishermen say the hunt is part of their tradition and call foreign critics who eat other kinds of meat hypocritical. Humanity seems to be damned by inability to empathise with animals - and their greed for resources overrides any concern for their welfare.

One of a number of recent oversights on the part of candobetter is the civil strife in the Ukraine. (Another is the failure to report on , (aka "Land Destroyer") has written much. The fact that the likes of US Senator John McCain as well as neo-Nazis, have protested against the elected Ukrainian government must indicate the nature of this protest movement. For up-to-date information, see on .

Conservationists have spent decades fighting to protect Tasmania’s old growth forests and the agreement between the industry and green groups is truly remarkable. But if Abbott gets his way it could set things back decades and reignite a bitter feud. His recklessness is putting 170,000 hectares of forest at risk -- including many old growth areas protected for the first time under the historic agreement. Tony Abbott wants to strip Tasmania’s forests of their World Heritage listing -- even though everyone from environmentalists to logging companies want the forests protected! The lure of profits for logging and mining companies is too big to resist. Even the Forestry Industry Association is asking the government not to interfere. But Abbott’s determined to undo this historic agreement to save the forests, unless we can show him the public won’t accept it. Sign the urgent petition to Tony Abbott telling him to save Tasmania’s precious forests now.

The West Australian Premier Colin Barnett is struggling to sell his shark killing policy.

Most people are against the shark cull policy. Sharks play an important part in maintaining marine ecosystems.

With heavy population growth in WA, more people than ever are swimming in the coastal waters. Western Australia has the fastest population growth of any Australian state, there is likely to be an increasing number of people venturing out into our coastal waters every year. Thus, the likelihood of someone encountering a shark increases and with it a corresponding increase in shark bite incidents.

New research shows that rip currents are the cause of an average 21 confirmed human fatalities per year in Australia, compared with 7.5 for cyclones, 5.9 for bushfires, 4.3 for floods, and 1 for sharks. Do we stop people entering the water, or change the currents?

With the correct information, we can make an objective judgement as to whether or not we accept the risk to enter the oceans.

"We need to educate people about the risks involved when entering the ocean" says University of WA's Oceans Institute expert Dr Collin. Currently testing new methods of shark deterrents using light, sound and walls of bubbles, through funding from the WA Government.

Mr Barnett said today that steps would have to be taken to control the southward drift of crocodile populations in WA's north. So, kill the sharks, kill the crocodiles, clear the land, chop down the tall trees of the Carnaby Black Cockatoos and amass more and more people for housing profits until the land is denuded, hot, dry and barren!

Many people don't realize it, but The Native Title Act of 1993 section 211 still allows the hunting of endangered and vulnerable species within our country. Dugongs, turtles and fifty other Australian animals are hunted and inhumanely slaughtered in large numbers, under the guise of traditional hunting practices. This outdated act does not reflect the endangered status of these animals and we demand they be protected. No one is starving in Australia, one of the most affluent countries on the planet - and there is no need to hunt these animals for food. The killing has to stop. Dugongs and turtles are endangered, and we are witnessing a rapid and unwarranted decline. We can no longer stand by and watch, witness to the impending extinction of this precious marine life. We therefore call for an urgent change to the Native Title Act 1993, so that any endangered or vulnerable animal or marine life is excluded from hunting by any means, for any reason. Petition to Environment Minister Greg Hunt by Colin Riddell

UK Home Secretary Theresa May introduced an amendment to an immigration bill which would allow a British passport to be removed from any naturalised person whose conduct is deemed 'seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK'.

This is part of a Conservative-led coalition government's attempts
to toughen up the immigration system, with a general election due in 15 months' time and the anti-immigration UKIP party applying pressure.

'Citizenship is a privilege, not a right. These proposals will strengthen the home secretary's powers to ensure that very dangerous individuals can be excluded if it is in the public interest to do so' said immigration Minister Mark Harper. Just this week, the UK Tory govt. shelved a report on EU immigration, especially related to current hot air surrounding Romania and Bulgaria.

Someone said: "They can't bring themselves to publish the report before the European elections because they would have to admit that freedom of movement is a good thing. ..."

At least the whole libertarian concept of open borders and citizenship is being questioned, and the "right" to citizenship is being questioned.

See also: , republished on 28 Dec 2013 from of same name of 16 Aug 2014 by on Russia Today. - Ed

Actually this makes sense. It's kind of what we have all been arguing for, right? A country has to be based on something, or else the existance of the country makes no sense. It used to be that Western nations were based on a common nationhood, culture/ethnicity/race, that that was their reason for existing. But since we've determined in this age that this is wrong, you have to find some other basis for a nation. So the UK isn't a nation for 'a people', but a nation based on people who share an idea. This is what we say about Australia all the time, right? That being Australian is just a matter of what ideas you hold and accepting the Australian proposition? So if the common idea is the basis for the country, then to maintain the country, you have to control ideas and speech. It's just more difficult, because our old ideas of nationhood just meant keeping people out, whereas now, because people can change ideas and they aren't inherited, they have to be policed more.

The Syrian government continues to defy attempts by the governments of the United States, Australia and their allies to replace it with a more government that is willing to impose the dictates of the International Monetary Fund on the Syrian people.

California is being loved to death! We should take a warning from California's drought, the worst in 500 years. 17 rural communities providing water to 40,000 people are in danger of running out of water within 60 to 120 days. This latest development has underscored the urgency of a drought that has already produced parched fields, starving livestock and pockets of smog. The State water authority did not have enough water to supplement the dwindling supplies of local agencies that provide water to an additional 25 million people. Farmers and businesses use 80 percent of the water, a rate that's driven by human demands. Researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years, yet the population of California in 2013 has recklessly continued to swell to an estimated to be 38,041,430, which is the largest population in the United States. Demographers and economists said the state’s slowly improving economy is attracting more foreigners to California. Similarly, our country's population growth is hovering near 1.8%. This is despite Australia being the driest continent, vulnerable to extreme weather events and a high rate of extinctions. With the addition of climate change, we have a deadly convergence of less rain, more heat, the heat-island effect of our concrete cities, and swelling populations! Our governments celebrate growth as being an indication of consumer confidence in our economy. However, any nation comprises of more complex values, and profound dimensions, than what monetary values can include.

Japan on Monday said it was asking the Netherlands to take 'practical measures" against a Dutch-registered vessel that collided with a Japanese whaling ship in the Southern Ocean.

The Sea Shepherd environmental group said the Japanese had attempted to damage the fleet's propellers with steel cables, had thrown projectiles including grappling hooks at a second Sea Shepherd ship, the Steve Irwin, and fired water cannon on the Bob Barker's crew as they tried to cut the cables from a small boat.

Read more: - Latest - New Straits Times at http://www.nst.com.my/latest/japan-asks-netherlands-to-act-against-anti-whalers-1.476175

In Australia, the Federal government's lame "anti-whaling" policy is to do nothing! Their inaction on whaling has been likened to bushfire fighters coming across arsonists armed with flame-throwers - and being told to do nothing.

Bob Brown, former Greens leader and chairman of activist group Sea Shepherd Australia, says a clash between the Sea Shepherd vessel, the Bob Barker, and Japanese whalers on Sunday amounts to brigandry.

'Either these governments support whaling or they oppose it. If they oppose it they should get down to the International Whale Sanctuary and stop it' he said.

Nobody believes the "scientific research" claim, yet each side continues the theatre of believing it, and the brutal lethal hunt continues, with high-powered harpoons. It's like hunting in a national park, in which the native species are protected by law.

Then Environment Minister Greg Hunt, instead of doing the job of upholding the legality of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, says that "whalers and activists must respect the law..." The laws are there to be enforced, not just be "respected" while allowing the eco-criminals to continue!

Mr Hunt said while the alleged incident occurred in New Zealand waters he had ordered an investigation and briefing on the matter. For years the Australian government's promises and posturing on Japan's illegal whaling has come to nothing but empty words and futile platitudes.

The United Nations appealed on Monday for more than $US2 billion ($2.28 billion) to feed and care for a record 20 million people across Africa's Sahel belt. Sahel forms a transitional zone between the arid Sahara (desert) to the north and the belt of humid savannas to the south. The Sahel stretches from the Atlantic Ocean eastward through northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, the great bend of the Niger River in Mali, Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), southern Niger, northeastern Nigeria, south-central Chad, and into The Sudan. Aid workers said they feared donor fatigue and a weak global recovery may prevent them from reaching the target. The pleas for aid are surmounting to massive $$ and numbers of aid workers, quantities that should be national budgets, not one-off "aid". Read more: at A prolonged drought has devastated the already dry Sahel region of West Africa. Crops have failed, and the lean season – when food from the last harvest has run out – has arrived early. In order to respond to the urgent needs of farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists affected by repeated crises in the Sahel, FAO seeks USD 115 million in 2014. The November 2013 floods were preceded by inundations in August and December 2012 that resulted in local economic losses estimated at close to $20 million, and again in August 2013. The area is also home to an estimated 37,000 people who have fled fighting in northern Nigeria, a massive refugee influx that has placed further pressure on the meagre resources of communities. This accumulation of factors often forces people to take drastic and ultimately self-defeating steps to survive. As the global population grows from 7 billion to almost 9 billion by 2040, and the number of middle-class consumers increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years, the demand for resources will rise exponentially. By 2030, the world will need at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy and 30 per cent more water — all at a time when environmental boundaries are throwing up new limits to supply. Violence in northern Nigeria, northern Mali and the Central African Republic combined with high fertility rates have fueled food shortages and high food prices across the savannah region. In Niger alone, the fertility rate is 7.6 children per mother. at The convergence of overpopulation with increasing scarcities of natural resources and the devastation of climate change results in more conflicts, and the cry for "aid" and charity is becoming an increasing demand on developed countries. Aid must become irrevocably linked to the implementation of family planning, and reduced fertility rates.

CLONCURRY has been forced to plan for an evacuation of its entire population of 3000 because it is running out of drinking water. The drought in Queensland is now so severe that some towns are moving to severe water restrictions as their supplies dwindle. More than two-thirds of Queensland is now officially drought declared. A lot of farmers are quite desperate, and they've had quite a few suicides recently. A grazier who had to shoot a hundred cattle then he shot himself. Cloncurry mayor Andrew Daniels said the shire did have a disaster management plan in place in line with current government regulations that had provisions for a complete evacuation of the town as a last resort in instances of extreme water shortages. Already restricted to using water only for the bare essentials of bathing and cooking, locals may soon have to resort to the "third world" option - as the local mayor, Andrew Daniels, calls it - of boiling bore water to drink. The "Food bowl of Asia" is hardly based on reality. There are limits to any growth - but stealth fully being ignored by cornucopia government attitudes.

Cloncurry is the Hon Bob Katter MP's stamping ground. Check below for some press releases he has made on these matters. It is sickening to realise that Australian suburbs and farmland are being marketed for sale to people all over the world rather than being protected for Australians. Ours is indeed a very harsh land to farm, especially when forced to compete with the absurd rates of profit in the speculative real estate and mining sector, which mean that banks view most other activities with disdain. It is not surprising that farmers commit suicide in the face of the manifest lack of support from their political representatives. We are abandoning the people closest to the land and responsible for Australians' capacity for basic survival (over and above making money on the market). Of course the suicide rate is also up in the cities, where lack or representation, role or a future also erodes citizens' capacity to survive. Some press releases from Katter below. Katter and Barnaby Joyce are pushing for a bank to serve the rural sector better than the corporates ever will. Note that Katter and Joyce are Catholics and a big population enthusiasts like their counterparts (who also has a cattle station) Mr Hockey and Mr Abbott. The Santamariarist nuances tickle the imagination. I would love to publish more articles on rural and related matters. "KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has welcomed Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s position on pushing cabinet for $7 billion in relief aid to farmers. Ultimately however, the proof will be in the pudding with the pressure on Minister Joyce to deliver outcomes for Australian agriculture. Mr Joyce’s announcement follows a crisis meeting of farmers in southwest Queensland last weekend. Mr Katter said he was pleased to hear that Minister Joyce supported calls for an Australian Reconstruction and Development Board (ARDB) to be formed within the Federal Reserve Bank to buy bad rural loans from the private sector. “I strongly urge the Federal Government to adopt this proposal as the crisis will dramatically worsen if the banks and the Government do not come to the party,” Mr Katter said. Mr Katter reiterates that without this assistance and the ARDB, Australian cattle will continue to die at a rate of five to 10 thousand head daily. Rural debt has become a major crisis with the average farm debt rising from $700 000 two years ago to now being over $2 million per farm, and without immediate action Mr Katter warns, the debt will only grow larger. “It is vital for everyone to grasp the ARDB model and understand that the initial approach will cost taxpayers money but ultimately makes money for the taxpayers; the concept is to reconstruct loans in the industry that can be rescued. "The $7 billion request by Minister Joyce is a culmination of two years work for all those that have been associated with the National Rural Debt Crisis Council, under the great leadership of Rowell Walton and the Cattle Crisis Council with Barry Hughes at the forefront," Mr Katter praised. Mr Katter, unmistakable for his unshakable resolve in pushing for a sustainable Australian agriculture industry, said "whether we agree with Minister Joyce’s approach or not, it is imperative for each of us to stand as a force behind Australian farmers and Australian industry". For more information about the bill to establish the ARDB ." Here is what Katter has to say about the Libs policy on rural industry assistance. "KAP Federal Lead and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has forecast a great tragedy after the Federal Government’s checkmate move denied SPC Ardmona’s request for industry assistance. “The decision by the Federal Government to do nothing about SPC Ardmona is the same decision to do nothing about Holden,” Mr Katter said, who has previously moved a motion in Parliament for Government to protect Australian food producers. Mr Katter said, “It is about time that the farmers and workers of Australia realised that they have a commonality of interest, which is not served by a Liberal Party that caters to the slithering sharks and snakes of big cities. "It is completely hypocritical that the government was able to give $16 million to Cadbury’s Hobart factory, while denying $25 million to SPC Ardmona. “Let every Australian understand – SPC Ardmona is not just our country’s last fruit processor; it is also the Goulbourn Valley’s biggest private employer, injecting some $63 million into the local economy through almost 900 direct full-time staff and supporting a further 2700 jobs,” Mr Katter said “It is not only the factory workers that will go down, so will the farmers that grow the fruit and vegetables and if we lose the packaged market in Australia, farmers will watch their produce rot on the ground,” Mr Katter said. Mr Katter condemns the Government for facilitating the unfair playing field that is the “free market”, demanding direct and immediate action to protect Australian industry. Mr Katter estimates that as a result of the Government’s failure to assist SPC Ardmona more than half of all foods will be imported. SPC Ardmona, Simplot, McCain’s and Golden Circle, accounts for 83 per cent of all packaged foods on supermarket shelves. Mr Katter is calling on all Australians to support Australian producers in buying Australian farmed and processed canned products."

Cloncurry is on the brink of being evacuated because it is running out of water and beasts are dying in droves, yet the dryland sharks in Queensland government are still trying to get migrants to settle in regional Queensland - for property developers!

"In my 20-plus years of working with jellyfish, it is the largest jellyfish I have seen. It really is gob-smackingly huge" said CSIRO scientist Lisa-ann Gershwin. She said the newfound specimen should also belong to the Cyanea genus, which is called a lion's mane jellyfish or a "snottie" thanks to its extremely slimy disposition and can grow to 3 meters across. Gershwin said is unprecedented for the area—much bigger, denser, and longer than previous years.

Dr Gershwin has been working on jellyfish for 20 years and says it is probably the biggest the state's ever seen, and could rival interstate finds.

"There's something going on that's causing a whole lot of species to bloom in staggering numbers and we don’t know why yet," she said. "It's so thick with jellyfish that it’s like swimming in bubble tea."

Recent media reports have created a perception that the world's oceans are experiencing increases in jellyfish due to human activities such as global warming and overharvesting of fish. As the world's oceans absorb excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and become more acidic, coral growth is inhibited while jellyfish populations expand.

Have a look at this article on giant jellyfish : Wed, 2013-10-09 13:37 — Alice Friedemann "Move aside Steven King, jellyfish are worse than any of your demons, worse than any Grade-B monster that’s graced the silver screen. Unlike The Blob, which can be stopped by freezing, you can’t kill them. Not with chemical repellents or biocides or nets or electric shocks or introducing species that eat jellyfish like the striped sea slug. If you shoot, stab, slash, or chop off part of a jellyfish, it can regenerate lost body parts within two days. Not even the past 5 major extinction events which killed up to 90% of all life on earth, killed off the jellyfish."

Common design faults in digital drawing pens & pads needs simple fix. I have been using digital drawing hardware for years now. With some exceptions, most pens and pads are black and the pens, particularly, are in constant danger of being lost in dark spaces. They usually come with pen rests, often inkwell shaped, which you lay the pen on or stand it in. The pen rests are also black and easily lost. The pads are also black and fairly hard to pick among various tools and electronic ware. But the worst thing is dealing with three separate pieces. When I travel, I tape my pen to its pad. And I immobilise the pen in a desk recess, using bluetack at home. However I use more than one computer. Here is a proposed solution. Put grooves and holes in both electronic pens and pads so that they can be connected with fishing line. It is ridiculous to have to make these modifications oneself to these otherwise wonderful electronic tools.