Queensland land-clearing responsible for 80% Australia's Greenhouse Gas emissions

Land-clearing policy in Queensland has had a significant impact on rates of vegetation clearing. Over recent decades changes in land-clearing regulations in Queensland have led first to a
decrease in vegetation clearing (when strong laws were enforced) and then to an increase in vegetation clearing (when laws were relaxed). Relaxation of land-clearing regulations in 2013
in Queensland led to a significant increase in the vegetation clearing rate. More than one million hectares of woody vegetation, of which 41% was remnant vegetation, were cleared in Queensland
between 2012-13 and 2015-16.

Kelvin Thomson joins Sustainable Australia Party, advisor to Clifford Hayes MP

The Hon. Kelvin Thomson, former Federal Member for Wills, is joining the Sustainable Australia Party. Mr Thomson served as an Australian Labor Party Councillor for the City of Coburg from 1981 to 1988, Member of the Victorian Parliament for Pascoe Vale from 1988 to 1996, and Federal Labor Member for Wills for over 20 years from 1996 until the 2016 Election. Mr Thomson will be advising Sustainable Australia’s first elected Member of Parliament, Mr. Clifford Hayes, who was elected as a Legislative Councillor for the Southern Metropolitan Region at the recent Victorian election.

Trump’s Wall – And the Existing Wall - Article by Mark O'Connor

I spent some hours on the US side of the wall near San Diego one night in the early 1990s. (Yes there has been a wall there since at least Kennedy’s time.) Crossing the wall was essentially a nighttime activity, but the “Mexicans” (they may have been mostly Mexicans going backwards and forwards between family in Mexico and illegal jobs they had in the USA) seemed to have ladders permanently against the wall on their side. Their heads appeared over the wall well before dark, sometimes waving cockily. After dark the border force vehicles cruised up and down on a road on the US side about 200 metres (in most places) from the wall, trying to guess where the “rushes” would come. Tourists sometimes came to see this nightly game.

Will challenges in Australian law and under Roman law

Australia has horrible inheritance laws. They are the source of terrible injustices and family disputes. Below I quote from Ben White et al, "Estate contestation in Australia: an empirical study of a year of case law," which talks about the non-financial costs as well as public and private costs. It rates the chances of court actions succeeding in different states and describes differences in state laws. It also refers to some suggested reforms, which include making it more difficult for adult children to contest wills. To my mind, this would mean to keep on disinheriting them in the disreputable Anglosphere way. At the moment any adult child can contest a will on the basis of being very poor. One of the reforms this study flags is that a person would have to show they were very poor before they qualified to contest the will. However that would not take much away from all the hurt and jealousy about unequal distributions, so famous in King Lear. I prefer the French Civil code, which says you have to distribute your estate equally to all your children, legitimate and illegitimate, from any marriage. This kind of law also cuts back the expansion of de facto claims, which in Australia, the US, England etc threaten to expand nearly infinitely now that both heterosexual and same-sex liaisons can be interpreted legally as de facto - yet another indicator that marriage is mostly about property in the Anglosphere, where spouses trump children and marriage can bankrupt you. For the rules on this, see, for instance, https://fortefamilylawyers.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/FFL_485542_Proving-the-existence-of-de-facto-relationships-in-family-matters.pdf.

Wildlife and border walls in the USA

A video has been published on YouTube about the potential impact of a US southern border wall on wildlife populations. The video raises valid questions, but offers no solutions to the problem of wildlife populations and human populations in the area. Wildlife populations are already threatened by the current situation, so there is a lot that needs to be appraised.

New Year's Day 2019

I thought I'd write you all a letter,
I don't think things are any better
Today, all day is New Year's day
So I'll reflect and have my say.

Male harems in Saudi Arabia - The tradition of locking up rival princes

On Saturday 4 November 2017 Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman placed “30 of Saudi Arabia’s most senior figures, among them blood relatives of senior rulers,” as five-star prisoners at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, “accused of corruption”. [1] A year later most, possibly more, remained locked up and shaken down.[2] Many of them were billionaires. This must be the only country that locks up billionaires, especially if they are relatives of the ruler. The ‘corruption’ charge may be true, but it also serves as an excuse to control the activities of rivals to the throne and their supporters. Although such practices are not unknown in elites outside Islam,[3] this it is very traditional in the Ottoman Empire sense. Before the 16th century Ottoman rulers used to execute all their rivals. When Suleiman came to power in 1520 he commuted this to simply locking princes up in a big harem, where, “they were kept in a perpetual state of preadulthood, denied the right to marry or to father children by concubines.”

Australian universities’ dependence on overseas students: too much of a good thing - Article by Birrell & Betts

In November 2018 The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) published an analysis of the higher education overseas student industry. It was framed around the remarkable growth in the share of commencing overseas university students to all commencing students over the years 2012 to 2016. This share increased from 21.8 per cent in 2012 to 26.7 per cent in 2016.

Syrian Army ‘raises flag’ in country’s Kurdish province for first time since start of civil war

The Syrian Kurds have asked Syria to help them because Turkey is threatening them. President Erdogan treats them as an extension of the Kurds in Turkey who want independence from Turkey. During the main part of the war in Syria (which seems to be tailing off now) the Kurds fought the Takfiri rebels. The United States, which supplied a lot of the so-called rebels including ISIS (indirectly at least) at times appeared to support Kurdish independence, using them as a lever against the Syrian Government. The Kurds had been offered control of their own department by the Syrian Government, but not actual independent state status. The US rewarded a Kurdish independence movement against Syria, although it is not clear that all Kurds in Syria really wanted this. The region also contains substantial minorities of Arabs and others whom a separate Kurdish state might not have suited. Until Russia intervened in the war (at the invitation of the Syrian Government) it looked like the United States backed terrorists were going to tear the country apart. The UN and NATO and its allies, including Australia, all supported this with a policy of removing President Assad and splitting Syria into many little states. The western public and corporate media provided propaganda to support this. Western readers were given no critical comparison with the prior destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, states destroyed by the same kind of tactics. YouTube gave great comfort to these lies when it suddenly removed all of the Syrian Presidency's interviews, claiming some breach of advertising. [Suddenly some of them are back, as the wind is changing.] Since the insurgency began in 2011, Turkey provided a covert base for terrorists to attack Syria from. After Russia intervened with the invitation of Syria, the US, which was an illegal and unwelcome presence in Syria, tried to get Turkey to support it. As it was also promoting the idea of the Kurds having an independent state, Turkey's support could never be relied on. Turkey could always align itself with the Russians, although, in the end, it seemed to prefer to be independent and it has its own ambitions to dominate the region. By outing the murder of the journalist, Kashoggi, in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey, Turkey has made itself look a bit respectable, but it is not inconceivable that Erdogan is supporting the ruling elite in Saudi Arabia against the Crown Prince, for strategic purposes. No-one really knows. Whilst Turkey is not a Wahabist state, Erdogan is a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, which wants to establish a new Muslim caliphate in the Middle East and much of Europe. Syria is a multi-religion state which includes many Christians and it does not support a Muslim caliphate. This editorial is by Sheila Newman and James Sinnamon, candobetter editors. We have republished the following report on the state of the war in Syria from RT.

Perfect fish fossil offers a glimpse into Devonian period

The discovery of a new fish at a famous WA fossil site is in such good condition that it provides an exciting fresh glimpse into the evolution of species from 380 million years ago. The new fish - named Pickeringius acanthophorus (honouring the late Museums Victoria fossil collection manager David Pickering) - lived in the Late Devonian Period. Its beautifully preserved fossil skeleton was discovered by Flinders University’s Professor John Long at the Gogo Formation, in the Kimberleys of Western Australia. This has become a world famous fossil site, containing superb 3-dimensional preservations of entire fishes in limestone nodules, and has so far yielded more than 50 species.

Belgium: Thousands try to storm UN to protest migration pact

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel's stubborn endorsement of the UN Global Migration Pact has brought his government to its knees and caused massive demonstrations against the Pact in Belgium. Charles Michel now governs with a minority, because the center-right Flemish N-VA has walked out over the PM's move to have Belgium support a UN migration pact. The Prime Minister is now trying to govern with assorted and reshuffled Liberals and Christian Democrats. The upcoming Migration Pact has divided international alliances: Austria, Hungary, the US, Israel, Australia and several other states rejecting the accord. [1]Belgium's migration minister, Theo Francken, commented on Thursday, "It's way too pro-migration. It doesn't have the nuance that it needs to have to also comfort European citizens." He said that, although it was not legally binding, it was also not without legal risks. He said that wide interpretation of human rights laws in EU courts were "tying the hands of migration policy-makers." [2]

French Riots prove that Permaculture is the only viable future

We like to blame politicians for the lack of action on climate change. But how prepared are people to really pay the price of change? We like to imagine that all politicians need to do is cleverly tax carbon and magically renewable energies will arise to take their place. The situation in France shows the fault in this thinking. Renewables cannot possibly replace fossil fuel - not on the scale needed to avert environmental disaster. Someone must pay the price - and it is the poor who get hurt most.

Australian party leader praises ‘strict immigration policy’ of tribe that killed US missionary

Pauline Hanson, the leader of One Nation, an Australian political party, says the Sentinel Island tribe that killed US missionary John Allen Chau with bows and arrows, should be praised for their immigration policies. Good to see one politician in Australia has respect for non-agricultural peoples. Inside find most of an article reporting this from https://www.rt.com/news/444962-australia-hanson-tribe-missionary/

Neuroscientist discovers potential treatment for ‘chemobrain’

In a discovery that could one day help breast cancer patients, Dr Adam Walker from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and UNSW Sydney has found a potential treatment for ‘chemobrain’, a condition that affects up to 60 per cent of women after receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer.[i]

The study published today in PLOS-ONE and funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has the potential to transform cancer treatment research and eradicate the negative side-effects of cancer and chemotherapy.

Dr Walker says that up until now, scientists believed that chemotherapy was the only cause of cancer-associated cognitive impairment such as memory, learning and concentration difficulties, commonly dubbed as ‘chemobrain’.

China's terrifying social credit system - and how it's already happening in the West!

In China's 'smart cities' there are video cameras spying everywhere. Paul Joseph Watson points out how tech giants in the West are bringing the same kind of thing to internet media platforms, from which you may be banned if you stray outside the prescribed norms.

Video interview of Sandra Kanck, National SPA President

"Media resistance has always been one of the big problems," says Sandra Kanck, who came from a family where there were seven children and she learned early that one wage did not go as far for seven as it might for fewer. From 1994-2009 Sandra served as an Australian Democrats’ Member of the upper house of the South Australian Parliament. Her ‘maiden’ speech in parliament was – predictably for those who know her – about population. For more than nine years Sandra Kanck has been either President or Vice-President of SPA, mostly the former, including reluctantly juggling the role of Acting Treasurer for three months during one of her stints as President.

Dr Tim Anderson suspended from Sydney University for criticising war propaganda

University of Sydney suspended professor Dr. Tim Anderson from his position as a senior lecturer after he had worked for this university for more than 20 years because of his criticisms of war propaganda against Syria, Iraq and Palestine. Dr.Tim Anderson is the author of the excellent book, "The Dirty War on Syria". This action by Provost Garton is an infringement on academic freedom and on Dr Anderson's human right and freedom of speech. His offence to the establishment is to inform, educate and organise for the end of wars, in which Australia is complicit.

Cliff Hayes of Sustainable Australia Party wins seat in Victorian Senate

Sustainable Australia Party's Southern Metropolitan region Upper House candidate Clifford Hayes appears to be elected to the Victorian Upper House, according to various media reports. For those of you reeling at the thought of a Labor Government, second time round, with the bit between its teeth on immigration, land-clearing and the scent of developer money in its nostrils, this news of a win by SAP, may give some hope. We need more SAPs in government, as fast as possible.

2018 Victorian election reflections - Article by Sally Pepper

Last night I stayed home and watched as the election results revealed themselves on the television. Quite early in the evening they showed various venues with mature people dressed up in emblematic red t-shirts looking triumphant and trustingly happy. The meaning of this was that the Victorian Labor Government has been returned to power with an increased majority to govern for the next four years.

Nothing is at it seems

Who really understands the inner workings of our “modern vibrant” economy - that finely tuned mechanism that gives everyone a fair go and preserves our way of life? Turns out it’s more like one of those classic Bruce Petty cartoons with machines with lots of levers and belching fumes at the hapless operator.

I was recently surprised to happen upon a lecture given by a real life economist who managed to make the swirling mess make sense – and nothing is at it seems. I’ll try to explain- if you are prepared to accept the opinions of someone like me, who you don’t know and will probably never meet – but hey we do that every day when we swallow the opinions of News Corporation and Fairfax media empires, don’t we?

Letter to ABC's 7.30 Report on its (again) woeful reporting on population growth/immigration.

Dear 7.30.
The statements being made by politicians and commentators re the size and growth of the population/immigration intake are (deliberately) ignorant, seriously uninformed or deliberately politically biased. And the coverage of this issue by your program and ABC journalists more generally also lack quality research, lack of 'joining the dots', failure to question unfounded claims by the above and, in some cases, unquestioned acceptance and repeat of demonstrably untrue statements.
Please consider the following demonstrable facts and follow the inevitable conclusion.

115 plastic coffee cups kill whale - a new normal?

The discovery of a dead 31ft sperm whale with 6kgs of plastic in its stomach off the coast of Indonesia is further indication of the grave future our oceans and aquatic wildlife face as a result of marine plastic pollution. (Boomerang Alliance director Jeff Angel.)

Frankston: Danger for people and nature if kayaking in old mine site goes ahead in Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve

Please see attached pdf call for submissions to kayaking at Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve. "[...] I nor the friends received this directly. It was forwarded to me from the equally outraged Frankston Environmental Friends Network. The Regulations specific for the reserve which were put in place by the Minister for the Environment in 2015 were revoked on 1 February 2018, making the reserve a free-for-all. All of the protection work for the reserve, fought for many years has been ignored and overridden by the Andrews Labor Government. Accordingly, Paul Edbrooke will find his place last on my ballot paper," writes Frankston Councillor, Quinn McCormack.

Video: Ami Horowitz: The Truth Behind the Caravan

Ami Horowitz journeys to Mexico to find out the real reason why there is a caravan of migrants on its way to the United States’ border with its southern neighbor. The caravan is being orchestrated and logistically supplied like a military operation by some very wealthy people and the UN. This looks like an invasion, organised by members of the US power elite, under a thin pretense of humanitarian aid. Some interesting comments under the video, including about how Venezuelans are crossing the border to Brazil to escape famine, but there is no sign of the UN or other AID programs there.

Latham's 8-Point Plan to stop overpopulation in Sydney

Ex Labor leader, Mark Latham, recently joined Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party and will be running for the NSW legislative council at the next state election. Here is his 8-Point Plan to "save Sydney “suffocating” from overpopulation and overdevelopment."

Latham's 8-Point Plan

1. Our immigration program must be framed in the interest of the people who live here now. This is especially true of policies impacting on an over-crowded, increasingly dysfunctional city like Sydney.

2. Permanent immigration numbers should be slashed, bringing them closer to their 20th Century average of 70,000 per annum (down from 190,000 currently). Temporary visas must also be cut back.

3. NSW should not take any more special refugee intakes, given the mismanagement of Syrian refugee settlement by the Baird Government.

Hong Kong planning rules for Melbourne under Labor - Alert from the Boroondara Residents’ Action Group

BRAG has always tried to remain unaligned politically but the plans the Andrews’ Government has for centralizing planning, if re-elected, require us to take a stand. The plans are being developed in secret by Labor to ensure that massive changes can be rammed through, if re-elected, to push at least 70% of new medium to high density housing into the middle suburbs of Melbourne. What this means is that you can expect multi-storey blocks of flats in your local street and neither you nor your council will be able to do a thing about it. You will have no right to be advised, object or appeal and the first indication will be when construction commences.

Public Meeting: Why nature-rich open space is so good for our health - 17 Nov 2018

Dr Dimity Williams will speak at the Protectors of Public Lands Victoria (PPLVic) on 17th November 2018. Dr Dimity Williams is a medical doctor who is fascinated by the relationship between our health and nature, especially how time in nature nourishes the well-being of children. Dimity has been working in general practice for over 20 years and is the Biodiversity Convenor of Doctors for the Environment Australia. She is a co-founder of the Kids in Nature Network and Nature Play week, initiatives that promote the value of giving children the time and space to be in nature.

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