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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.

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 stouch

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".

Libya 2001 doco shows highly functional Libya before US-NATO attacks

This superb documentary, Libya's Forbidden Deserts, is remarkable archaeologically and anthropologically. Because it was made in 2001, however, we can see how functional Libya was under Gadaffi, who was so cruelly killed and defamed by treasure-seeking western powers. Once the richest African country in the modern world, that Libya is now a lost civilisation, as precious and unattainable as the ancient civilisations explored in this film. This film is a testimony to the terrible injustice, corruption,cruelty and wanton destructiveness of US-NATO.

Planet of the humans is back on youtube and elsewhere

UPDATE: Youtube has removed the film again, but you can watch it at https://planetofthehumans.com. We reproduce a letter from Jeff Gibbs, Director of Planet of the Humans. You can also read it here: https://mailchi.mp/4abb9a68b1ad/return-to-the-planet-of-the-humans-break-through-censorship?e=49381abb32

June 5, 2020



Dear Friends,

We’re back! 

On-line event: Prof Clinton Fernandes “Australian foreign policy after Coronavirus: navigating the US-China rivalry”

Friday 29th May 630pm: Prof Clinton Fernandes is the guest speaker at one of Avid Reader bookshop online events. Co-hosted by Independent & Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and Just Peace Qld. The topic “Australian foreign policy after Coronavirus: navigating the US-China rivalry.” This is a great opportunity to hear from one of Australia's best foreign policy analysts. Having Vince Scappatura MC will make this event one not to be missed!

What does the future hold after COVID-19?

Will governments buy back vital resources and essential services from the embattled private sector, or will they allow the wealthy to pick up resources and monopolies cheaply, pressing the unemployed and endebted into slave-like conditions? Can we adapt to or avoid a future that appears to hold more and worse pandemics? If COVID-19 is a pandemic designed for elite purposes to cull the aged and weak, why have some governments tried to protect their vulnerable populations? We have obviously become too economically dependent on the model of continuous accelerated growth in human numbers and human activities globally to be able to protect ourselves from the pandemics that come with this economic model.  At the same time the long-predicted oil-resources breakdown in supply is looming. Can any good come of this? Is this an opportunity?

COVID-19: Time the unsafe Australian Construction industry stopped demanding special consideration

On 27 March 2020, the AWU and Master Builders Australia jointly called on governments to ensure the continued operation of the building and construction industry, claiming that without it the economic knock-on effects would be devastating on a scale that would dwarf what we have seen to date.

There is no question that many dependencies on this very costly and demanding industry would cause more economic disruption, but what about safety with regard to COVID-19? Although the industry argues that it can be safe, we will argue that the industry is not suited to workers keeping safe distances. On the principle that a stitch in time saves nine, it would be better to shut down sooner rather than later because the later action is taken, the worse the grip of COVID-19 will be on the economy. Since the virus has caused the government to cease the mass migration that has driven huge expansion in the construction industry, demand has dropped, and now is the perfect time to massively curtail construction industry activity. In the meantime, will the industry take responsibility for the return home of the many temporary migrant construction workers from China and Indonesia who, unlike international cruise-ship passengers, are already onshore, virtually invisible, but numerous? And an industry worker argues that the industry is not capable of adapting to safe distance practice.

Capitalism, Closed for business & COVID-19? Oz economist, Steve Keen

Our version of capitalism is something the narcissistic writer Ayn Rand would have adored, but in a headlong rush to hyper-individualism, have we chosen freedom of the individual over the survival of our species…

Host Ross Ashcroft is joined by economist and author, Professor Steve Keen to discuss why coronavirus has closed capitalism.

Terrible news for Seaford environment (Vic, Australia) as Gov lets open slather

Frankston Councillor Glenn Aitken was notified on Thursday 12 March that the LXRP 'works' east of the railway line at Seaford will proceed without further consultation. "It is likely they will remove more vegetation immediately.They will flatten pretty much everything on the eastern side of the railway line from Eel Race Rd to Coolibar Ave. There is no right of appeal as it is on their land which...they conveniently forget... is still public land, owned by the State." This is the clear message that authorities need to hear and heed,as expressed by Cr Glenn, "Our natural environment is not negotiable and must be protected."

Duran analysis vid: "Putin furious with Erdogan, but will he stop Turkey's war in Syria?"

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the meeting in Moscow between Russian President Putin and Turkey's Erdogan. Erdogan made many outrageous claims, including that Turkey had killed over 2,500 Syrian troops during fighting in Idlib's surrounding areas...a claim which is ridiculous on its face, and exposes how out of touch the Turkish leader is when it comes to this reckless invasion of Syrian sovereignty. See more at The Duran: https://theduran.com

CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling: Assange Case Shows USA Will Use Any Method to Quiet Dissent

This video is from the 26 February episode of Afshin Rattansi's show, Going Underground. On this episode of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi speaks to CIA Whistle-blower Jeffrey Sterling, who was convicted for revealing details about Operation Merlin. He discusses the extradition trial and persecution Julian Assange is facing, his own experience of being prosecuted for whistleblowing on circumstantial evidence, whether the Wikileaks founder will face a fair trial in Virginia, his experiences of racism with the CIA, his advice for other potential whistle-blowers and more!

(Video & transcript) Cr Glen Aitken's Proclamation for trees - Seaford protest against LCRA vandalism 24 Feb 2020

Today, 24 February 2020, Frankston Councillor, Glen Aitken, led a protest with a proclamation against the destruction of trees in a section of rare bush habitat along Kananook Creek. His speech is transcribed inside this article. The Victorian Railway Level Crossing Removal Authority is the author of what appears to be arrogant and gratuitous removal of precious old trees and bushland. This bushland is part of a several kilometer connected habitat that runs along the banks of Kananook Creek. The purpose of the moonscaping of this area is to construct a concrete bicycle path that no-one here wants.

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