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About Sheila Newman, social researcher


Click on "About Sheila Newman, social researcher" to read more and for links to books by Sheila and reviews.

It is hard to label me conventionally because I really write in a new paradigm, where social and physical sciences come together.

For sociologists an early start-point for my work was Catton & Dunlap. My first research thesis compared population, energy and environment policies in Australia and France. For biologists and zoologists, my theory is compatible with Richard Dawkins' work.

Defending Australia without defending war: Alternatives to the Australia-US Alliance

This article describes, among other things, the relationship of the property development industry with war. The Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) recently asked for public submissions to its “People’s Inquiry Exploring the case for an Independent and Peaceful Australia.” It called for a “a people's-led national conversation about the US-Australia Alliance, including the social, political, military and defence, economic and environmental impacts.” The concept of a “people’s inquiry” implies a new attempt at democratic representation, assuming that Australians cannot be sure of being represented in a government-run inquiry, which will always be influenced by powerful groups. This article is based on my submission.

We need war drums like we need plague, starvation, drought and nuclear holocaust

Mike Pezzullo, Federal Government Home Affairs Department Secretary, a public servant, talked up war in an Anzac Day speech on 26 April 2021.
He was referring to China's ambitions to integrate Taiwan as a federation within mainland China government, by force or persuasion.

He cited Australia's 70 year old ANZUS alliance with the United States and New Zealand as a.

Finally, obscenely, he spoke of sending off, "yet again, our warriors to fight."

What kind of fight do a few Australian 17 or 18 year olds have with nuclear weapons and a Chinese army more than 2 million strong? What kind of war can you have to save "our precious liberty" from 'communism' [last I saw, China was a capitalist dictatorship] without simultaneously incinerating the rest of the planet, these days?

[Look up New Zealand's ideas on this]

International Symposium of Parliamentarians – Saturday 17 April 12pm noon BST (UK time)

There will be an international public symposium of parliamentarians and legislators who will discuss and examine the issues at stake in the Julian Assange case. The event will also be live-streamed by the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign on their YouTubeTwitter and Facebook channels.

All major Human Rights and Free Press Organizations have opposed Assange’s extradition including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch and many more. Newspaper Editorial boards including The Guardian, New York Times, El, Pais, Der Speigel, Le Monde, as well as major Journalist Unions including the UK’s NUJ and Australia’s MEAA have voiced their strong opposition to the proceeding against Assange and the threat it posses to Journalism and the Free Press.

Threat to Lorne Parade Reserve, Surrey Hills (Vic) - rally there 2pm, 18 April

The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) current design for the new railway station will permanently occupy a significant part of the Lorne Parade Reserve at the expense of open public parkland.

Despite lack of details from the LXRA, the public documentation provided indicates the permanent footprint of the Reserve could reduce by about 30%. LXRA is yet to confirm the physical and overshadowing intrusion from the new railway station and other railway infrastructure, whether there will be any level changes to the topography of the Reserve and the extent of vegetation removal proposed, but it is clear the infrastructure will have an intrusive presence on the Reserve.

Hands off Syria (Australia) seeks material for video by Tim Anderson

Syria continues under attack, Western criminal sanctions are further devastating the war ravaged country. The US maintaining forces there, holding onto the northern resources rich area, stealing the much needed petrol. Syrians in Syria are suffering with high unemployment, low wages, hyper inflation, no fuel, medicines and shortages of food, electricity, water and COVID 19 increasing. Hands Off Syria, Sydney, requests short videos (30 seconds or less) or photos opposing the sanctions against Syria. Those preferring photos please add a short statement against the sanctions, something as simple "I/we oppose the sanctions against Syria." Send your material to mlobeid@outlook.com Tim Anderson has offered to put them together to make a video. Please send us your short videos and pics by Wednesday 21 April 2021. [Depending on the number of responses, it will take us around 2-3 days to put it together].

Signatures needed - Government E-Petition: Suspend kangaroo harvest and improve counting method

Victorian Kangaroos need your signature on this petition! They have been decimated by bushfires and the Victorian Government estimates of numbers are way out. The Mornington Peninsula contains a landlocked group of grey kangaroos that are menaced by several processes, including increased development, traffic, fencing, shooting, and the so-called Kangaroo Harvest Program (KHP). These animals need our help and protection. The petition calls upon the Victorian Government to suspend its 'harvest' program. See below.

Azerbaijan President holds mirror up to BBC journo re ill-treatment of Assange and UK censorship

In this video, BBC journalist Orla Guerin interviews Azerbaijan President Aliyev, assuming that Azerbaijan press and politics are heavily censored, and presses him on that. He denies the accusation, then asks her why Julian Assange has been held inhumanely for years, if the British and western press are so free. The BBC journalist simply won't acknowledge the situation for journalists and the media in her own country, kind of proving the president's point. Transcript below, with the pithiest bits emboldened.

Video: Tassie Greens Senator Whish-Wilson Speech to Biden Gov on Julian Assange

[See videoed 10 min speech inside.] "The new administration in the USA needs to hear from us. I recently stood in the Australian Senate and made a plea to US President Joe Biden and newly appointed US Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop all charges against Julian Assange so we can bring him home to Australia. It was a lie and terrible deception that led us to war in Iraq - a manufactured deception about weapons of mass destruction by some of the most powerful people on this planet. It is terrifying that foreign nations like the US could extradite and charge journalists who have exposed their wrongdoings. If we don’t defend press freedoms and learn from the mistakes and lessons of history we are bound to repeat them. Without a value on truth, there is only one path left to tread, and it gets more dark and dangerous from here – we must continue the fight to free Julian Assange.

Joe Biden and Merrick Garland: please walk away from any decision to extradite Julian Assange now. It's in the interest of democracy and humanity for you to do so.

The illegal, unilateral invasion of Iraq was less than 20 years ago, but seems to be largely forgotten already.

I invite you [people in Australia] to rally for Julian Assange at this critical moment in the campaign to bring him home to Australia. For more info, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/2757770894486415/#FreeJulianAssange"

Perth W.A.: Prof Fiona Stanley delivers 25,000 messages protesting destruction of 10 football fields of South West forests a day

Perth, West Australia: A delegation of community leaders will deliver over 25,000 messages calling for the South West forests to be protected at Dumas House tomorrow. The event is the, "Voices for the Forests - Grand Postcard Handover," Wednesday, 10th March, 12 noon, Dumas House, 2 Havelock St, West Perth. Professor Fiona Stanley, will be joined by climate scientist and IPCC lead author, Dr Bill Hare, acclaimed actor, Kelton Pell, and a number of other well-known and influential West Australians at the event.

"Stopping logging is something we can do immediately to improve climate change and environmental degradation," said Prof Stanley. "Continued logging and clearing of such carbon-dense and biodiverse forests really is a ludicrous situation which can be stopped immediately, and it has to be.

Ian Lowe and Peter Catt in non-gov inquiry on Australia’s future and an independent Australian foreign policy

Video inside with Ian Lowe talking on the impact of war on carbon gas production, and Peter Catt asking for people's views on the connection between war and refugees. The general public is invited to give their opinion in this democratic inquiry. The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) is a national network of community, peace and faith organisations, environment groups, trade unions and individuals concerned about the social, economic, environmental, military and political costs of Australia’s involvement in US-led wars. IPAN advocates an independent and peaceful Australian foreign policy. IPAN is conducting a broad People’s Inquiry examining the costs and consequences of Australia’s involvement in US led wars and the US alliance.

The Inquiry aims to give a voice to the community and increase public discussion on the social, economic, financial, environmental and political impacts. It seeks to inform and promote debate in the Australian community. The national Inquiry invites organisations and community members to make submissions on their views and concerns. We also invite submissions offering alternatives for the future. We are keen to develop a coherent and persuasive case for an independent and peaceful Australian foreign policy, and military and defence spending priorities. (See here for earlier information about the inquiry.)

Video and Transcript: Iran and Syria view of US strike with Sara Flounders and Daniel Kovalic

US President Joe Biden ordered military airstrikes against facilities belonging to anti-terror resistance groups on the Iraqi-Syrian border. The military action, the first of its kind under US President Joe Biden, has been met with negative reactions, with many observers likening Biden's approach to that of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

The military action was said to be in retaliation for recent attacks against American bases and missions in Iraq, which Washington has blamed on so-called "Iran-backed" Iraqi resistance groups. Australian mass-media has uncritically repeated these pretexts. Iran has, however, repeatedly rejected any role in the attacks targeting American bases in Iraq. Iraqi resistance forces have been fighting remnants of the Takfiri Daesh terror group across border regions of Iraq and Syria in coordination with the governments in both Arab countries. Damascus has censured the US air raid describing it as "cowardly" and a "bad sign" from the new US administration.

In the introduction, Mohammed Ali, in Damascus, Syria, gives that state's response to the attacks.

Discussing the issues with compere, Bardia Honardar, are Sara Flounders, National Co-Director, International Action Center, an activist group founded in 1992 by former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark. It supports anti-imperialist movements around the world, and opposes U.S. military intervention in all circumstances; and Daniel Kovalic, lawyer and adjunct Professor of labour law, University of Pittsburg, campaigner in International Human Rights, particularly in Columbia, where he has exposed murder and destabilisation programs by the United States and corporations.

Video & transcript: John Shipton (Assange's father) speaks of descent into barbarity away from 20th C human rights achievements

In this video, on Friday 26 February 2021, John Shipton, Julian Assange's father, launches the Julian Assange road-show, with an interesting and moving speech on human rights, history, and current trends. The bus you can see behind Mr Shipton, will travel from Melbourne to Canberra, via Broadford, Castlemaine, Bendigo, Albury, Wogga - and other country towns, reaching Canberra within a few weeks, in time for opening of the second session of Parliament. There the road-show members will work with the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Julian Assange, to try to convince the Scott Morrison Australian government to bring Julian home.

Pouring super onto the overheated housing market will make the nation's retirement savings go up in flames

A fundamentally flawed proposal to bust open super for first home buyers housing deposits could hike the nation’s five major capital city median property prices by between 8-16%, preliminary analysis from Industry Super Australia shows.

Allowing couples to take $40,000 from super would send property prices skyrocketing in all state capitals, but the impact would be most severe in Sydney, where the median property price could lift a staggering $134,000. (see table 1 below)

Australian premiere of childfree documentary to be screened late February

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) are partnering with filmmaker Maxine Trump on the Australian premiere of her award winning film To Kid or Not to Kid in Melbourne and Perth on the 26 and 27 February. The documentary is being screened as part of SPA’s ‘Stop at Two’ campaign. This will be the first time the film will be screened in theatres before being released on Amazon Prime on February 27th.

BREAKING: Facebook is stopping Australians from joining their unions. This is happening RIGHT NOW.

Facebook’s news ban has just hit the Australian Unions website.

This means that workers cannot join their unions via our website if it is posted on Facebook.

This is a disgraceful attack on Australians’ right to join a union and a serious undemocratic act of censorship.

Facebook already has a record of empowering anti-union corporations with tools to de-unionise and undermine workers’ rights – for example, last year they gave employers the power to blacklist terms like “unionise” from their Facebook pages.

You can fight back against big tech’s anti-democratic, anti-worker actions by joining your union and passing this email and QR code onto others who are not yet members.

Facebook’s attempts to quash workers’ organising won’t stop us. We know that thousands of Australians just like you won’t let their right to join a union be taken away by big tech.

Australia: Crocodile tears for journalists in China; silent on UK, US torture of Assange

Foreign Minister Marise Payne's double standards

In contrast to her loudly intervening on behalf of journalist Cheng Lei, and writer Yang Hengjun, who are both currently detained on criminal charges in China, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, in concert with this and former Australian governments, has ruthlessly turned her back on journalist and publisher, Julian Assange. Julian Assange, arguably of greater stature than any other journalist in the world, remains in the dungeons of the corrupt UK government, which is in league with the United States and its war machine. Assange's 'crime' was to expose United States war crimes (and those of other states) to the world. It is indicative of America's despotism that its allies will do its bidding against their own citizens, helping the US to try to destroy Assange as a warning to any journalist who might try to write the truth about war and corruption when it involves powerful people. It is shocking that President Trump pardoned the perpetrators of what came to be called 'Collateral Murder', but backed the continued persecution of Assange. Behind his saccharinely benign grandpa mask, Biden takes a similar stance. [Candobetter Editor: Title change on 10 Feb 2021]

Assange: Brit Magistrate cans Public Interest defense but prevents extradition on medical grounds

This household had a moment of great joy last night, to hear that Judge Vanessa Baraitser, presiding at the Magistrate's court, has disallowed Julian Assange's extradition on medical grounds. She found there was a high risk of his suiciding if confined in a US prison. However, she apparently threw out the grounds of public interest (protection of journalists); political persecution, and oppression. She also seems to have upheld the honouring of the UK treaty obligations to the United States, as the only public interest matter. For some of us, her decision on medical grounds, that Assange would probably suicide in US prison conditions, is equivalent to preventing the extradition of a prisoner to Nazi Germany, on grounds that they would probably not survive the concentration camps. The US prison system actually allows major corporations to benefit from slave labour of prisoners; it conducts secret trials; and it holds prisoners indefinitely without trial - as in Guantanamo Bay prison. The war crimes and international surveillance of governments and private individuals that Julian Assange exposed show the United States as a totally rogue state. It is not even a party to the International Criminal Court. Julian Assange's defense team called the UK treaty obligations with this rogue state into question. We need an international media and state denunciation of state alliances with the United States, but that would, ironically, require journalists to run the danger of being pursued by this rogue state, just as Julian Assange has been. One hopes that a defense of Julian Assange against the US appeal would benefit from a higher court looking again at the points of law disallowed by Judge Baraitser.

New Australian Peace initiative leads way to democratic action

A major people's Inquiry into the costs and consequences of the US Alliance and Australian involvement in US-led wars has been launched. Why is this inquiry so different? Because it is not run by government. It is run for the people by the people. The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) has trumped most voluntary organisations by taking democratic power into its own hands. This people's inquiry was conceived of and agreed to by IPAN members and is run and officiated by volunteers, in cooperation with web news-site Independent Australia. You are invited to make a personal or organisational submission because they really want to know what you think about Australia's foreign policy. Please consider donating.

Hysterectomy increases dementia risks, but women aren't told

"Investigation into how hysterectomy might modify other disease processes has been conducted using Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) data. These studies have linked hysterectomy to long-term health consequences including pelvic floor dysfunction and fracture risk, as well as dementia, depression, and Parkinson’s disease." (Stewart, Elizabeth A., et al, "Reassessing Hysterectomy," Minn Mid. 2012 Mar; 95(3):36-39.) Yet, hysterectomy is one of the most common operations performed in Australia and New Zealand. Every year in Australia, around 30,000 women have a hysterectomy. In fact, it is the second commonest major surgical operation after Caesarean section for women under the age of 60. This is despite the fact that other surgical and other treatments exist for many of the conditions for which hysterectomy remains an apparently unthinking and profitable default for surgeons. As well as the implications of both partial and complete removal of the uterus, general anaesthetics carry increasing risks of dementia with age. The use of hormone replacement therapy post hysterectomy has been shown to be an important protective factor against dementia.

Video: Yanis Varoufakis' revolutionary advice - a fascinating financial how-to

Called, "DiEM TV: Another Now with Yanis Varoufakis," this, one of several Varoufakis videos, focuses on how to break up Amazon dot com - but then passes on to how to break up the feudal world order. Varoufakis has unique experience of the global financial-political system, and so he does a good analysis of Amazon's engulfment of the real world and of feudal capitalism. Most interesting is his advice on how to break this behemoth down to size via Lilleputian-style exploitation of the financial system. Part of the video involves Varoufarkis reading from a novel he recently published about a global-democratic revolution after the 2008 financial collapse, Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present. You may or may not hold Varoufakis's communistic value solutions, but his methodology could also play out with many different new kinds of polities. I enjoyed this mixture of Socratic style and Swiftian analogies. You may wonder at his aiming ammunition at Amazon dot com, when his books sell there, but he says his publishers choose to market them there. This does not detract from his analysis. You may also wonder about his understanding of alternative energy resource-limits, but that also should not prevent you from learning from this analysis. Video inside article.

Birdlife Oz calls for submissions today! Urgent legal crisis wildlife law!

This is urgent. A rushed Senate inquiry will ignore the recommendations of an independent review and devolve our national nature laws to the states instead. We need you to speak up.

Assange Extradition Hearing mistrial - Interview with Craig Murray, former British Ambassador, in daily attendance

[Note alternative video URL is https://youtu.be/ZtwpzqAJMBo.]Chris Hedges discusses with Craig Murray, a former British Ambassador, the hearing underway in London to extradite Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to the United States. Murray’s exhaustive reporting, which can be found at https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/, has become one of the few sources of reliable information about a hearing that has become notoriously difficult to cover because of court restrictions imposed on the alternative press, and which is being ignored for political reasons by most mainstream news organizations. If you wonder why there is no video-coverage available of the Assange mistrial, it is because (a) Human Rights NGOs, which were promised video-access, had this cut off after the first day and (b) despite access being available to most corporate and government media, mysteriously, none has availed themself of it. That is the reason that you and I are not able to monitor this mistrial, and that is possibly the reason it has been able to continue. The public gallery is virtually empty. This is really a secret trial. Only five family members of Assange have been allowed, with Craig Murray having the title of uncle, to Assange. Craig Murray's coverage of the trial is apparently under a shadow ban from the major internet platforms; his readership has dwindled to something like 10 per cent, despite his coverage providing a unique and valuable public window, where almost none exist, into this dark political tower that the Old Bailey has become.

Why does Didier Raoult's case for hydroxychloroquine inspire such controversy? Interview with two French analysts

[English translation of video-dialogue below the video.] In this very interesting video, Frederic Taddei of Interdit d'interdire (Forbidden to censure) states, at the beginning, that he has no intention of evaluating the value of hydroxycloroquine and azithromycine, because he lacks the medical knowledge to do so. He states his intention in inviting his guests (Olivier Berruyer, economist and statistician, and Raphaël Liogier, sociologist and philosopher) is to find out why there is so much controversy over Professor Didier Raoult and his promotion of COVID-19 treatment using hydroxychloroquine. [Note that this unpolished translation took hours out of several days. Both debaters spoke emotionally and with multiple redundancies, also different versions of the word hydroxychloroquine.] Among other things, the participants' discussion of the politics seemed to boil down to the ambiguity of testing drugs in a pandemic situation where big-pharma, other commercial competition, and fraud, loom. I thought that the main argument could be summarized as: (Olivier Berruyer) 'The effectiveness claimed by Didier Raoult for hydroxychloroquine could only be proven through randomised double-blind trials, but these have never been successfully completed due to a series of mishaps', and 'There is no way anyone could scientifically reproduce Raoult's method because he keeps changing it', versus (Raphael Liogier) 'Pending a perfect cure for COVID-19, Didier Raoult is doing the best he can as he treats people in a personalised manner, monitoring their responses, with drugs he believes to be effective'. I would add that, as the translator, and as an evolutionary sociologist, my own feeling about the reasons for such controversy is that it is related to the way apes behave over a tasty food supply or some other big event (good or bad) that concerns them. It is natural for everyone in the community to get involved in something important - in this case a pandemic. We seize whatever handle, whatever fact or factoid we can get hold of, and we run with it, to the best of our ability and enthusiasm. Apes with alpha-pretensions get up in trees and shout loudly about what they've got, competing for audiences and power. So, I invite the reader to keep in mind ape-ethology when he/she reads the translated dialogue below. {See also the notes at the end, on hyrdoxychloroquine trials and prescription of this drug and the law in France.)

Liveblog updates on Assange extradition trial - at wikileaks site

Daily, lively and dedicated coverage at https://defend.wikileaks.org/liveblog/ from what is closest to the horse's mouth, from https://defend.wikileaks.org/. There is plenty to read about, including a defense whereby Julian Assange is located on the autism spectrum and strong precedents where England refused US request for extradition in very similar cases, which took into consideration the harshness of US prison conditions and the likelihood of suicide.

In the cases of Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon, the U.S. government was blocked from extraditing them because the United Kingdom High Court of Justice (Love) and the British Home Secretary (McKinnon) recognized their Asperger’s syndrome would result in degrading or inhuman treatment that violated human rights. Source: https://shadowproof.com/2020/09/23/doctor-assange-aspergers-prison-extradition-trial/.

The video below is of an international peoples' forum on Assange's predicament, dated 21 September 2020.

Video: Julian Assange fights for his life as US extradition hearing commences

The Australian ABC has repeatedly reported on the expulsion of two Australian journalists from China this week, and the torture and disappearance of Chinese journalists. Yet it has said nothing about our own Julian Assange, who currently faces a rigged trial, accused of breaking the laws of a country he has never entered, whilst held in prison in a country which has ignored his refugee status and tolerates US use of information obtained illegally through spying. British journalist, Afshin Rattansi, is an exception in the anglosphere media world in his continued efforts (see video below) to show the world how Britain, Australia, and the United States, are treating the man who exposed US war-crimes.

Not just deaths - COVID-19: How many damaged survivors?

With COVID-19, we should not just be looking at deaths. Deaths may actually be a poor indicator of the damage this virus may do. We should be looking at a continuum, as in: If the proportion of people who contract COVID-19, and who are over 80, die, what happens to those (of any age) who live? Given the ability of this disease (unlike flu) to cause clotting problems all over the body, affecting organs which affect other organs, we should be expecting that a proportion of survivors will have various rates of blood clots and organ damage. What proportion of these will clear, improve, or become chronic and dangerous? How long will how many survivors survive? Check out the following videos by doctors regarding clotting and organ-damage.

The Fat Emperor - Corona Basic Realities Letter - a critique

Ivor Cummins is a health writer and biochemical engineer, who calls himself The Fat Emperor. He has drafted a letter for people to send to politicians and the press, querying the seriousness of COVID-19. He calls it the "Corona Basic Realities Letter," and writes, advocating 'herd immunity', as one of his 'indisputable facts', that: "Sweden, who were vilified for their approach, has had a very similar death rate to other countries." But Sweden actually has had a much higher death rate than its neighbours, although it did practice social distancing and other hygiene measures, whilst leaving businesses open etc.

Law & history on State of Emergency other five states - COVID-19 & Andrews stoush

The extension of State of Emergency in the other five states does not need legislation, unlike Victoria. Here's information on the relevant laws for comparison, plus actions taken under similar legislation for COVID-19 in states outside Victoria. We have also now received a Report to Parliament on States of emergency - jurisdictional comparison, which shows clearly what the Victorian Premier is up against.

Victoria, Australia: Andrews power-grab conspiracy or infection-control necessity?

Dan Andrews’ attempt to extend Victoria’s State of Emergency in order to manage COVID-19 has been portrayed by some in parliament as a power grab and as an attack on human rights. But Victoria is the only state in Australia where you have to apply to parliament to extend the state of emergency. Enforcing laws about masks, geographical limits to movement, and curfews could not be done under normal health legislation. That is why, without a state of emergency, State Premiers only ask people to take these precautions. We have obtained information about laws in other states and their history of using these for COVID-19, which you can read at "Law & history on State of Emergency other five states - COVID-19 & Andrews stouch".

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