Comments

Tasmanian journalist Dean Yates describes in (7/1/2022) in Consortium Newswrites that he now regrets having had repeated media slurs against Julian Assange, in a Crikey.com he wrote about Julian Assange on 6 August 2020.

Dean Yates acknowledges that he "wrote that Assange dumped the Iraq and Afghan war logs on the internet without redacting names."

Of this he writes "I was wrong and lazy in repeating that slur which appeared whenever you Googled Assange’s name. That must make it true, right?"

Whilst two of Julian Assange's Australian supporters had tried to correct him, Dean Yates had brushed them off.

Dean Yates continued,

Their overtures nagging at the back of my mind, I recently did what I should have done at the time: read the submissions Assange’s legal team made at his extradition hearings and transcripts of witness testimony. I soon realized how mistaken I was.

He then describes Julian Asange's laborious and painstaking efforts to redact from any Wikileaks publication, anything that could either help reveal the source of the leak or endanger any life.

Dean Yates points out that no one has been held to account for the the ruin that the United States' brought to Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, whilst Julian Assange has been tortured and imprisoned for revealing to the world the truth about those illegal wars. He concludes:

That’s why we need to make Assange’s freedom an election issue in Australia. It’s why we need to make noise on social media, in the mainstream media, to politicians, and on the streets. Because Assange is being tortured in a foreign country for telling the truth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And he will be extradited to America where he will likely die in prison.

Remember - the Australian government eagerly took part in the invasion of Iraq. His case is the biggest test of press freedom in decades. Make some noise Australians! Bring Assange home."

At candobetter.net, we have also been, since at least prior to the 2019 elections, trying to have the issue of Julian Assange put to voters at Federal elections and also trying to .

Should a substantial number of those Australians who have also been campaigning for Julian Assange get behind Dean Yates' proposal, then we I think we stand every chance of making a decisive difference in the campaign to free Julian Assange at the next Federal election.

However, given the by the ruling Liberal/Labor duoply, it will be much harder for candidates who support Julian Assange or who, in any other other, way oppose the US and Australian military-industrial complexes, to stand. Only parties with more than 1500 members can stand candidates. So, other than a number of Greens candidates, who have spoken up for Julian Assange, we could have little choice, that is, unless the Sustainable Australia Party can be persuaded to support Julian Assange.

Certainly we should also make the repeal of those anti-democratic laws another issue for that election.

A beautiful allegory of real freedom attained.  It's unfortunate that freedom has been thrust upon us as they no longer care,  it's too expensive and too much trouble to protect the population. Governments are just sacrificing older and weaker people.

Thank you for this article recognising Iran's great and legitimate grief over Soleimani's assassination by the United States.  It is interesting that you also mention US President Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1960.

Looking at Press TV Iran over the past few days, when it has been marking the anniversary of Soleimani's assassination, I have been reminded of when President Kennedy was assassinated. Everyone in the Western world, and further afield, remembers where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated. I was in Brighton, Victoria, and my Australian parents were exchanging words of disbelief, shock, and despair. I asked what was wrong and my father told me that Kennedy had represented a great hope for the world, and that an assassination of a president meant that the United States had breached rules of civilisation.

Looking at Presstv Iran, you realise that Iranians feel the same way about General Soleimani's assassination.  Every Iranian - and people further afield - can remember where they were, and how they reacted, when they heard of General Soleimani's death.  It is clear that Iranians saw Soleimani as a man of immense courage and integrity, and they relied on him to lead the fight against Islamic State's attempt to take over the Middle East. From Iranian documents and testimonies, it seems clear that Soleimani's assassination was not only a sordid and cruel breach of Iranian sovereignty by a country - America - which is taking on the worst aspects of the Roman Empire - but that it was one of those crimes, like the assassination of President Kennedy - that can undo vast networks of hope and good in a few minutes. :-(

20-12-2021

The following letter was sent to Ministers Richard Wynne (Planning) , d'Ambrosio (Environment) and  Shaun Leane (Local Government and Suburban Development ) by Protectors of Public Lands Inc. 

Dear Minister,

I write on behalf of Protectors of Public Lands to ask you to intervene in the current destruction of an area of Fawkner Park by Melbourne City Council.  The works are termed "improvements" to the Pasley Street entrance to Fawkner Park, but in our opinion they are a degradation of this Victorian Heritage Registered park. 

Unfortunately, trees have already been felled for the purpose of laying down a multi- purpose games court and skating area. Concreting of the area is scheduled for Monday 20th December 2021. PPL Vic. Inc. is asking you to intervene urgently to stop the works now so that restoration of the park can start as soon as possible.

There was very inadequate public consultation for these works, and they are being carried out in the absence of a current Master Plan. The Master Plan of 2006 gave no inkling of the dramatic changes that are now proposed.  The Master Plan was meant to be reviewed in 2016, and would have involved considerable consultation. In November 2017, only a very small, select number of opinions were sought about this current plan. This current development is also at odds with the current espoused strategy of MCC of enhancing nature and connectivity to increase biodiversity.

Why the lack of consultation? This seems to be part of the trademark of many governments. Who really has a vested interest in this development? Who gains most? Why the push to do this so quickly?

PPL Vic. Inc. supported the decision of Heritage Victoria to deny the City of Melbourne a Permit for the works proposed for Fawkner Park on Heritage grounds. This decision was appealed at great expense by City of Melbourne, its lawyers and the Heritage Council and the decision was overruled in favour of this development.

Furthermore, PPL Vic. Inc. is of the opinion that the MCC has ignored the changed needs of the community at large in light of the pandemic of 2020 to 2021 (and probably beyond) when green areas have been shown to be invaluable to the people of Melbourne.

In this era of acknowledged climate change, these works will destroy the shade and cool of the lawns and trees, make the area impermeable to rainwater, and in total will be a local environmental negative.

This development is extremely ill considered and should not go ahead until there is a new Master Plan and appropriate consultation.

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Bell, President.

Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc (PPLVic.Inc)

   Phone 0425 707637

From (2/12/21) by Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis | Declassified UK :

Julian Assange’s fate lies in the hands of an appeal judge who is a close friend of Sir Alan Duncan - the former foreign minister who called Assange a “miserable little worm” in parliament.

Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett, the judge that will soon decide Julian Assange’s fate, is a close personal friend of Sir Alan Duncan, who as foreign minister arranged Assange’s eviction from the Ecuadorian embassy. The two have known each other since their student days at Oxford in the 1970s, when Duncan called Burnett “the Judge”. Burnett and his wife attended Duncan’s birthday dinner at a members-only London club in 2017, when Burnett was a judge at the court of appeal.

Now the most powerful judge in England and Wales, Burnett will soon rule on Assange’s extradition case. The founder of WikiLeaks faces life imprisonment in the US.

Hello all, A wonderful article on a real contributor who has sought practically  to defend quality of life and heritage values. Expounding the authority of the People of Our Commonwealth was a keystone in her directions, perhaps a cause now needed more than ever in todays climate. M/s Drost was awarded the Order Of The Wattle Blossom, the historic Native Australian award in 2017 by Australia First. The citation award:- " For exemplary engagement in advancing Residential Community Authority as paramount to retaining suburban heritage and culture" Continuing good fortune, and many thanks to her. Mary

The imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange by Britain is clearly illegal under international law as well as British law. Had the Australian government told the British government to release Julian Assange at any point in time over the last nine and a half years, the British government would have been left with no choice but to comply. If they had not, Australia would have had recourse to the International Criminal Court and to the United Nations and with international public opinion overwhelmingly on julian Assange's side, Britain would have quickly found it had no legs to stand on and left with no choice but to free Julian Assange without delay.

However, recently leaked documents show that the Australlian government has not only failed in this basic duty of care towards Julian Assange, but it has actually worked with the Swedish, British and United States governments against Julian Assange behind our backs.

Had George Christensen's motion been seconded, then debated and voted upon, many of the facts about Britain's and Sweden's monstrous treatment of Julian Assange since 16 June 2021 would have been revealed to all Australians on the floor of our Parliament [1] regardless of whether or not there was sufficient support for Julian Assange there to carry the vote.

The profile of the campaign to free Julian Assange would have been greatly lifted here, in Australia, and elsewhere.

Footnote[s]

[1] Given the astonishing refusal by all 14 other members of the Julian Assange Support Group to second George Christensen's motion, I no longer feel as assured as I previously had that, had the bill been debated that those 14 members would have used their voices, as effectively as they could have, for Julian Assange.

 

Julian Assange and his no holds barred approach is a threat to the establishment James, and on those grounds he won't find genuine assistance through the political process. I believe they could do better, primarily because in politics they make the rules and must be seen as seperate from legal framework. What are their opinions? Do you have some suggestions? There is an active deportation order against Julian, do you think the Australian embassy could intervene some how, take responsibility for Assange while waiting for the appeal process to complete.? What were you hoping would happen

I was unable to email the email below to my local member, Peta Murphy as her contains no emai address. - James

Dear Peta Murphy,

As my elected member for the Federal electorate of Dunkley, I am writing to request, as a matter of urgency, that when George Christensen puts his "Illegal Detention of Australian Journalists (Free Julian Assange) Bill 2021" [1] that you cast your vote for this bill.

Julian Assange is the most famous and most revered Australian anywhere in the world for his establishment of the Wikileaks news service.

His treatment for the last nine years and, in particular, the last two and a half years, where he has had to endure solitary confinement for 23 hours per day and has suffered a tooth abscess and other ailments from medical neglect in Belmarsh Prison, is monstrous.

George Christensen's bill rightly calls for this treatment of Julian Assange, or any other journalist, by any person in the world, including individual members of governments to be defined as a crime. The punishment for that crime would be by 7 years in prison.

This means that any person, including any government leader or government minister, who has, in any way, facilitated the imprisonment and torture treatment of Julian Assange, for the last nine and a half years, be arrested and tried should they ever land on Australian soil.

I ask you to vote for George Christen's motion when it is put to the House of Representatives.

Yours faithfully,

James Sinnamon

FOOTNOTE[S]

[1] See https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Fbills%2Fr6822_first-reps%2F0000%22;rec=0 and https://candobetter.net/james-sinnamon/blog/6201/george-christensen-put-parliament-bill-make-australian-government-act-free

Hi there, A "catastrophist" is one who believes that Earth and/or all of its landforms are predominantly created through cataclysmic events. It does not apply, however, to a Malthusian as it has no connection to the idea of pessimism. I have seen, though not of late, the word "catastrophean" applied to the glass-half-full perspective to population growth. Best, Jesse

On the once beautiful Mornington Peninsula where: Numbers of overflow bored Melbournians has reached fever pitch Foreshores are being trampled to death and parked over Street and beach rubbish at never before seen volumes on Cup Day (but bad all the time now) Air B&B rentals are creating noise and amenity issues as cashed up patrons paying $thousand per night do whatever they please including urinating in the street, throwing condoms over the fence, doof doof music until 3 AM Housing affordability is now acknowledged as a crisis issue by local council, with hundreds of homeless sleeping on foreshores Trees being chopped down everywhere (especially in areas with water views and cashed up new owners able to pay $4 million or so for a pretty standard house which they’ll bowl over) etc. etc. All hallmarks of systems at breaking point, and all thanks to the elephant in the room - overpopulation.

I posted the following beneath an article, (2/10/21) | RT. This appalling article appeared on Russia's . RT normally reports and analyses geopolitical, social and scientific issues far more truthfully and with far greater insight than the western corporate newsmedia. - JS

On this occasion, RT's readership should definitely question more this anti-scientific hogwash which has somehow found its way onto the pages of RT.

Fortunately I live in Australia where the state governments of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have listened to the medical experts and acted to halt the spread of COVID-19 through vaccination and seemingly harsh measures such as lockdowns. Even though the Australian Federal government was slow to act, the quick action of those State Governments (following some mistaken decisions in the early months of the initial COVID-19 pandemic at the start of 2020) has allowed Australia to greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19 and deaths from COVID-19, certainly in comparison to countries like the US of Donald Trump and Joe Biden and Brazil.

Outside the high court, during the second day of the hearing of the United States' appeal against Judge Vanessa's ruling of 6 January against the extradition of Julian Assange, Irish member of the European Parliament (MEP) Clare Daly () was amongst a number, who gave powerful speeches in support of Julian Assange. Her short speech is embedded below.

The following is posted to at  :

Kellie,

(I think this is my fourth attempt to post here since 2:11AM this morning.)

Thank you for this most useful resource.

However, I think you should also point out somewhere in this chronology that, whilst millions are protesting around the globe for Julian Assange, both the Australian Government and the Opposition have apparently colluded to prevent any substantial discussion of Julian Assange on the floor of our Parliament. One example is Labor MP julian Hill's motion. He first foreshadowed, on 15 June (four and a half months ago), the following motion:

MEMBER FOR CLARKE: I give notice that on the next day of sitting (Monday 21/6/21 - JS) I shall move that this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) the trial and extradition of Mr Julian Assange are inconsistent with international law, and Australian legal standards, and contravene the legal rights and protections for which those laws and standards provide;

(The full text of Julian Hill's foreshadowed motion is included in the article above.)

This has yet to be put. Whilst I had naively thought that a motion only needed a mover and a seconder to be put, apparently any motion not formerly put by the Government or the Opposition is designated a "Private Member's Motion" (PMM) which must pass through an arcane set of procedures, before it can even be put. However, a PMM can only be put on Mondays in a time period of less than 2 hours. In that period, that PMM and all other PMM's approved of by the Parliamentary Selection Committee the previous Wednesday must also be put and debated.

So far, not one motion concerning Julian Assange has been approved by the Selection Committee. Greens Senator Andrew Wilkie has, so far, made two unsuccessful attempts.

Whilst this motion, if put, might not be carried, I think that a full debate on the floors of our Parliament at least would greatly raise the profile of Julian Assange and make may more people understand the facts behind his illegal imprisonment and torture. Furthermore, the Australian public and the rest of the world, as they are entitled to, would know where each and every one of our elected members of the House of Reprentatives and the Senate stand in relation to this outrageous treatment of Julian Assange.

The fact that nearly all of our Parliament seemingly fears any discussion about Julian Assange is most revealing.

On Thu, Oct 21, 2021, The Age carried the following letters to the editor, under the heading, "POPULATION"Fewer people for our health and environment I read with alarm the article, “Migration quota may rise to aid recovery” (The Age, 20/10), and realised how little we have learned from these past two years. Some leading economists have presented strong arguments that immigration’s supposed effect of increasing wealth is a mirage: yes, it increases gross domestic product but only because there are more people, not because there is increased wealth for individuals. Just months before the pandemic arrived, the media ran many stories and letters about Melbourne’s population growth being out of control, that the CBD was overcrowded and that public transport was unable to cope with so many people. Now the focus is on climate change and our need to reduce our carbon footprint. But none of our decision makers are connecting the dots. Australia could have learned so much from the pandemic: we could have appreciated the need for fewer imports and more self-reliance; we could have understood that big is not better and in fact, our relatively smaller population helped to save us from the worst of COVID-19; and that our quarter-acre blocks are better living spaces than high-rise apartments. We could have learned all Australia’s advantages in staying near zero population growth, for the sake of our health and our environment. But our decision makers learned nothing. We seem condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past. Pam Cupper, Dimboola Putting the needs of business before the people The lord mayor is dreaming to believe the recent population forecasts give the council a strong basis for planning the city’s recovery – “Melbourne’s heart will find its beat again” (The Age, 20/10). The forecasts are built on very shaky ground, namely that international migration will return to pre-pandemic levels. But immigrant numbers are determined entirely by government decisions, and will and should be hotly debated. Does the community want 144,000 new residents, in the next 19 years, squeezed into its CBD? They will clog the city’s arteries rather than improve its heart beat. Both the forecast and the lord mayor’s reaction perpetuate a business-win, people-lose scenario. Ian Penrose, Kew Recipe for more ecological degradation and conflict According to Josh Frydenberg, to maintain Australia’s living standards, we need to ensure the population keeps increasing through migration. However, population growth is linked to increased demand for food, water, housing, energy, healthcare and transportation. More humans mean more ecological degradation and conflicts and a higher risk of disasters, including pandemics. A government with any capacity for leadership and innovation would recognise this scenario and come up with a technology-based solution that utilises our existing population. Leigh Ackland, Deepdene

From

Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou joins Shadowproof managing editor Kevin Gosztola to discuss a major report from Yahoo! News on CIA director Mike Pompeo and the agency's plans to destroy WikiLeaks and kidnap or kill WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The above video was posted on the YouTube channel. The title of this comment is taken from the words of John Kiriakou in this interview, as to Twitter: "There is no reason why this case should still be going."

There is something extraordinarily human about the wild life of the bush, and the lonely camp-dweller and lover of the wild can easily understand the translation of bird and animal into the legends and traditions of the aborigines. Like the natives themselves, birds are far keener observers of the white man than he is of them, and have a much greater intelligence than the most observing of us credits them with. Whenever I pitch my camp I become at once an object of scrutiny to the bird life surrounding the spot I have chosen. Each bird has its own method of observation, some peer stealthily, watching my movements from some hidden spot, others are openly curious and perch anywhere round where they can get a good view of the intruder, others come mocking or uttering unfriendly warning, or even contemptuous notes. Every species of bird has its own personality, so to speak, and in the native bird legends their personality is always taken into account. Daisy Bates 1938

I have received an email today saying that "unfortunately the Animal Justice Party have just released a post saying that the culling will go ahead." (See AJP Face Book Page) "Killing" would be an appropriate word rather than "culling".

Protest this Friday 24 September in Port Adelaide against Prime Minister Scott Morrison decision to purchase nuclear powered submarines from the United States. The location of the protest is to be announced.

I work as a road traffic controller, and was on site in Hastings on 16/9 when subject to magpies attention. I was on a double lane road with tall eucalypts set back in nearby paddocks and about four magpies came to like me. It was interesting when realising the birds were starting to target me with swooping, and I was able to gauge there incoming flights, observing them lining me up and seeming to restrain their swooping until after I had just been distracted from watching them with road traffic flow. The birds were sourcing food from the paddocks in their flying about, probably for nearby nestings, and would perch in branches across the road from me before swooping, usually about head height and I was able to view them coming at me for about 30 metres, quiet amazing to see their incoming projectory sweep. I was able to simply move my traffic stop bat at the last moment to cover my face/head when the maggies were about two metres away, and they would swing off. Sometimes their unobservable return swoop from my rear would allow them to swipe my hard hat with a light clink. The swooping went on intermittently for most of the day and was enjoyable in appreciating an aspect of bird life and nature. Wearing the hard hat isolated any likely concerns. Leave the maggies alone! m

To Open Space Officer, Lane Cove Council or to whom it may concern, I am very disturbed to hear of the intention of the council to harm nesting magpies in the Lane Cove area. This action could become a terrible precedent and warrants reconsideration. Whilst it is most undesirable that birds harm humans I feel that, as an intelligent species we can, through education co-exist with these amazing birds and our lives can be enriched. There must be a wealth of expertise within the staff of the Lane Cove Council together with Parks New South Wales that could be employed to address this problem during spring in a constructive way. As our cities grow and nature diminishes, wildlife habitat disappears. A community is extremely lucky if any wildlife can find a place to live amongst us. If we are to co-exist then pubic education is needed to increase empathy and to increase our alertness generally in the environment and other life around us. The "go to" solution should not be to exterminate. I am very concerned that if the "guilty" magpies are killed, the dependent babies will not survive. If further assistance is needed in mounting a public education campaign in order to live with magpies on a long term basis in built up areas, I suggest enlisting the help of Birdlife Australia or PETA Although magpies are very intelligent , we cannot educate them but we can educate ourselves and our children. Please give this a try. I know you already have but please extend this rather than going in for the kill. Sincerely , (details supplied)

Yesterday Victoria entered a new phase in grappling with this virus. We have been told that case numbers are gong to rise and we cannot stop this even with lockdown. Today the reported number over the past 24hours is 176 after nearly 4 weeks of strict lockdown. Delta entered the state in July just when Victorians were enjoying a little freedom. Two removalists brought in the updated version of Covid 19 -Delta and Melbourne has been in lockdown since the 6th of August. Regional areas have had intermittent relief from this. Looks like this will have a profound, widespread ongoing negative effect on the health of the population despite access to vaccinations.

You must congratulate dear Marigold for her engagement with the big themes of Climate Change and Covid Management, even in her dreams during Victorian Lockdown 6. It is impressive that she was so focussed on looking for leadership and actively effecting change in her dream that she promptly arrives in Canberra trying to discuss plans at the needed highest level - with our Prime Minister and Deputy PM. Sadly, there is no focussed attention to managing either and she found herself lost and tied up in an endless circular roundabout and not getting anywhere, neither moving forward nor back ... echoes of the actual situation. Perhaps Marigold could enter the dreamscape fray for us all again and keep trying to persuade and direct better national management of these two crucial issues in that additional psychic realm. It is an inspired holistic approach. Thank you for your efforts, Magpie

In (13/5/21), Zack Thomas gives a detailed and insightful account of Julian Assange's current circumstances. Zack analyses the recent decision by the UK High Court to allow the U.S. prosecutors to appeal Judge Vanessa Barraitser's decision of 6 January that Julian Assange was psychologically capable of enduring circumstances in the American prison system. [1]

However a number of questions remain unanswered for me, including:

  1. Why has Julian Assange's Defence team not appealed against Vanessa Barraitser's ruling which upheld all of the U.S. prosecution's case against Julian Assange? Whilst, of course, we should be concerned about the psychological harm that being locked for 175 years in a United States' dungeon will cause Julian, why are they only focused on this and not the former?
  2. Where can a comprehensive record of the High Court hearing of which Zack Thomas has written be found?

Footnote[s]

[1] Whilst ruling that prison conditions in the U.S. were too harsh for Julian Assange, Judge Vanessa Barraitser, nevertheless, implicitly ruled that Julian Assange's 23 hours per day solitary confinement, so far for 2 years and 4 months - a fate far worse than those endured by terrorists, murderers and embezzlers in Britain's prison system, was not too harsh.

Don you forgot to include Resource Scarcity which can be put into perspective by reading Simon P Michaux's "The Mining of Minerals and the Limits to Growth". tupa.gtk.fi/raportti/arkisto/16_2021.pdf The other scarcity facing Australians, of course, is fresh water, we're consuming more than it is being replenished. Cheers, John Bentley

Older people are over represented in voluntary environmental organisations. Older people who are retired or semi-retired have the time to do unpaid work such as working in opportunity shops, telephone counselling and other work in the community. They are valuable members of society from the social perspective. From the economic point of view they spend money in restaurants, on holidays which benefit those who for whom they are customers. Older people get such a bad wrap and furthermore are expected to move out of their houses to make way for younger people. That's pretty disrespectful in anyone's language! I think Australia can do better!

Media release City of Melbourne, don’t spend the money! In reference to Item 6.3 Adoption of the proposed draft Budget 2021-22, City of Melbourne special council meeting, today, Tuesday 29 June at 2.45pm: The $52.2 million expenditure allocated to Queen Victoria Market (QVM) infrastructure (page 42 of the budget) cannot be justified, nor is it required for QVM's core business and viability. When the CBD became a ghost town overnight due to the lockdown, photographs were taken of queues of Queen Victoria Market (QVM) customers snaking down Queen, Victoria and Elizabeth Streets waiting to get into the food halls. The open-air sheds of the upper market also attracted its fair share of customers who parked in the open air at-grade car park. Market ground-level operations made it safer for traders as well in this pandemic environment. The market took a blow like the rest of Melbourne, particularly with the 5 km restriction, but was the only sign of life to be seen in the CBD. This disproportionate budget item alarmingly indicates CoM’s intention to erode the heritage values of QVM by completely changing the way this heritage market operates. This expenditure has been allocated for the trader and northern sheds and the underground waste disposal system all centrally located in Queen St between the Upper and Lower Market. The trader shed includes underground storage, change, shower and lunch rooms, while the northern shed is for centralised loading and unloading of produce mimicking a supermarket model. The small family-owned businesses regard this as unnecessary gold-plating and fear it will lead to overhead costs and rent which will be passed on the their customers. In 2018 the Peoples’ Panel, a deliberative democracy initiate by the then new Lord Mayor, even then rejected the grandiose QVM infrastructure plans, yet this budget still persists with infrastructure gold-plating without factoring in how our world has changed. What is the justification of this infrastructure gold-plating? Rate payers should rightly expect that a budget infrastructure investment would be based upon a cost benefit analysis. Yet there appears to be no evidence of this under-pinning this level of expenditure. In fact this budget expense is setting QVM and Council up for further losses. Market viability is tenuous as it is. Unnecessary construction works causing further disruption will certainly adversely impact on trade; will result in further trader attrition, and QVM will become a Council white elephant, lost to Melbourne. In light of this, Friends of QVM, urge the council to step back, reflect and reset. Do what is required for health and safety and simply allow traders, in these fragile economic circumstances, go about earning their living, and re-allocate much of this expenditure to where it is needed elsewhere. The People’s Panel said it all. The City of Melbourne Budget should not enable unnecessary and unproductive renewal works which will detract from traditional QVM operations, and will undermine heritage values, lose even more traders and deter loyal customers who come from far and wide. For further information contact Mary-Lou Howie 0401811893

As John Shipton and Gabriel Shipton visited Chicago in their "Bring Julian Assange Home" tour of the United States, Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange protested outside the British Consulate from 7:30 AM until 9:00 AM in the early morning of Friday 19 June.

Below is some of the correspondence between myself and Julian Hill MP, who advised me yesterday, on 15 June (this was first mistakenly written as '15 March' - apologies, JS 21 June), that he had put a notice of motion that is . The text of the e-mail was:

Hi James

I have given notice of the motion below.

Have asked for some debate time - will see if we can get any allocated.

Julian

I then published the above e-mail and e-mailed Julian Hill, thanking him for his efforts and I also made posts to Twitter to advise other supporters of Julian Assange of this very welcome development. However, earlier today, at 1:02 PM on Wednesday 16 June, he e-mailed me, advising me:

... neither [Andrew Wilklie's proposed motion nor my proposed motion] were selected for debate this Monday but that’s common as there is usually a lot of stuff from earlier weeks, so I’d expect we will get some debate time in the next sitting in August.

My response to Julian Hill was:

… I will not be the only person who will feel badly disappointed by this news.

Monday 9 August [the first sitting day on which it will be possible to move a Private Members' Motion] is nearly seven weeks away!

Which other Private Members' Motions does the Selection Committee think could possibly be more important and more urgent than yours? In all of that coming seven weeks, Julian Assange, who is in poor health, will remain locked up in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day. This further delay in action to bring about Julian Assange's freedom could well result in his death or severe detriment to his health.

Can you explain to me more about the process of selection? Is there any way it can be speeded up? Can you give me the names of those who are on the Selection Committee?

Julian Hill has not yet responded.

I posted this bad news to Twitter:

What can be done about this?

That (by my count) 24 supporters of Julian Assange in this country's Federal Parliament cannot be an effective voice for the illegally imprisoned Australian citizen Julian Assange on the floors of our Parliament should be considered unacceptable. Other means to hold the Federal Government to account for its unconscionable conduct, whether inside or outside of Parliament, will have to be found.

As well as members of the Group, members of the major parties should also be approached by their local constituents. It should be put to each of those MPs:

Regardless of whether or not you support Julian Assange, do you find it acceptable that supporters of Julian Assange in our Parliament have been prevented from being able to comprehensively put their case to Parliament and from being able to debate it in Parliament?"

If that member agrees with you that this is not acceptable, ask that member to move a formal motion to suspend standing orders so that, without any further delay, Julian Hill be allowed to put his foreshadowed motion (included above) and that Andrew Wilkie also be allowed put his own foreshadowed motion.

Should youfind the time and energy to approach your local member as I have suggested, please advise me of how he/she responds, whether that response is favourable or unfavourable.

Deborah Tabert of the Australian Koala Foundation made it clear in an ABC interview aired today that if we cannot save the koala we cannot save any of our wildlife. Her recent book "The Koala manifesto" (available through Australia Koala Foundation), I understand sets out the reasons for this conclusion. In her interview she spoke beautifully about the iconic quality of the koala and the desperate need NOT to chop down another koala habitat tree. She was talking about the loss of animal life in the bushfires of summer 2019-20, now estimated at around 3 billion animals -mammals reptiles birds , frogs. The koala is one animal that can represent and help the others because of its photogenic , picturesque quality of just sitting in a tree fork looking sensational. Deborah mentioned the clamidia problem but ultimately said it was largely a manifestation of habitat loss. She talked of the millions of skins that were sent to the US earlier last century and that President Herbert Hoover stopped this importation (thus helping to save the koala) She painted lovely word pictures alluding to May Gibbs' illustrations on how full of enchanting and picturesque wildlife our country would have been at the beginning of white settlement.

Editorial comment: The following, appears to be from an e-mail, I sent to the office of one of the members of the "Bring Julian Assange Home" Parliamentary Group - JS, 14 June 2021.

Thank you, Nate, for your concern and for your input.

Frankly, I am mystified, firstly, as to why, apparently, so little has been said so far on the floor of Parliament about Julian Assange and, secondly as to why, with only one exception, not one of the 22 members of the Australian "Bring Julian Assange Home" Parliamentary group that I have e-mailed have even bothered to respond to my e-mails, other than with automated responses. (Comment: I now appreciate that, whilst I consider this matter urgent, each of these members have an extraordinarily large amount of emails and phone calls to deal with. - JS)

The exception is this response from Liz, a member of Andrew Bartlett's Hobart office, on Friday 28 May:

I will pass on your email to Andrew. Please be assured he is continuing to look for every opportunity to lobby for justice for Julian.

In March this year Andrew and George Christensen, as co-chairs of the Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group, met with Mr Michael Goldman, Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Canberra to relay their concerns about the ongoing attempts by the United States to extradite Julian. You can read about the meeting in more detail here (22/2/2021).

That short article, referred to by Liz, describes how Andrew Wilkie, Mr Julian Hill and George Christensen of the "Bring Julian Assange Home" parliamentary group, " met with Michael Goldman, Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Canberra. The article concludes:

Mr Hill said he believed the delegation had received a fair hearing. “This is a matter of principle,” Mr Hill said. “You don’t have to like or agree with Julian Assange, but he deserves fair treatment like any other Australian. The US should do the decent, humane thing and drop the prosecution, accepting the UK court’s decision that Mr Assange is unwell and should not be extradited.”

Whilst Julian Hill MP, Andrew Wilkie and Liz from Andrew Wilkie's Tasmanian Office hope that their "receiv[ing] a fair hearing" from Michael Goldman, the Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Canberra will influence United States President Joe Biden to drop his country's effort to extradite Julian Assange or will influence British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to release Julian Assange from his illegal imprisonment at Belmarsh Prison, I believe that other more forceful approaches are needed.

One approach is shown in the motion I asked all of them to put to put to Parliament in an e-mail I sent to all of them in the early morning of Monday 24 May. That motion is in the above article, but I will also include it here:

This Parliament finds it unacceptable that Australian journalist Julian Assange, who is not guilty of any crime, continues to be held in London's Belmarsh prison in solitary confinement for 23 hours every day, whilst those who started the 2003 Iraq war have yet to be held to account for this crime against humanity.

Accordingly this Parliament calls upon the British government to immediately expedite, and in a more transparent fashion than previously, all outstanding legal matters concerning Julian Assange including his own appeal against his continued imprisonment.

Should the British government fail to do so, this Parliament instructs Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne, as a matter of urgency, to raise this at the United Nations and at the International Criminal Court.

As the above article show, the House of Representatives is later today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday). Then it will break for 11 days before resuming on Tuesday 15 June.

Those who, like me, hope to see our government act to free Julian Assange or, failing that, be held to account for failing to do so, should contact the offices the Parliamentarians and let him/her that you expect that motion to be moved and seconded by members of the "Bring Julian Assange Home" Parliamentary group and that you expect him/her to vote for that motion.

Why, indeed, James, has there been no motion to debate Assange's fate in Australian Parliament? This looks like a big fail by his Parliamentary Support Group. Do they have a reason? Did any of them engage with you about your suggestion? How many even answered? I ask this because I have written to parliamentarians myself, with very few responses. A couple of decades ago, they would not dare ignore their constituents. These days they just act like we are a blur. Is this Parliamentary Support Group for Assange actually for real? Or are they just trawling for a few votes. We need some real parliamentarians. Julian Assange needs some real human beings - like yourself. Thank you for trying to help him.

Hi Sheila,I don't think peak uranium has any credibility. Over to Brave New Climate: "Efficiency: IFRs are over 100 times more efficient than conventional nuclear. It extracts nearly 100% of the energy from nuclear material. Today’s nuclear reactors extract less than 1%. So you need only 1 ton of actinides each year to feed an IFR (we can use existing nuclear waste for this), whereas you need 100 tons of freshly mined uranium each year to extract enough material to feed a conventional nuclear plant. Unlimited power forever: IFRs can use virtually any actinide for fuel. Fast reactors with reprocessing are so efficient that even if we restrict ourselves to just our existing uranium resources, we can power the entire planet forever (the Sun will consume the Earth before we run out of material to fuel fast reactors). If we limited ourselves to using just our DU “waste” currently in storage, then using the IFR we can power the US for over 1,500 years without doing any new mining of uranium.[3] Exploits our largest energy resource: In the US, there is 10 times as much energy in the depleted uranium (DU) that is just sitting there as there is coal in the ground. This DU waste is our largest natural energy resource…but only if we have fast reactors. Otherwise, it is just waste. With fast reactors, virtually all our nuclear waste (from nuclear power plants, leftover from enrichment, and from decommissioned nuclear weapons)[4] becomes an energy asset worth about $30 trillion dollars…that’s not a typo…$30 trillion, not billion.[5] An 11 year old child was able to determine this from publicly available information in 2004. Safety: The IFR is safer than conventional nuclear because the reactors safely shut down based on the laws of physics if something goes wrong. Today’s third generation nuclear designs are very safe: 1 accident predicted every 29 million reactor years. The IFR should be even safer due to the passive safety inherent in the design. Also, IFRs are much safer than the coal plants they replace. Coal power plants are estimated to kill 24,000 Americans per year, due to lung disease as well as causing 40,000 heart attacks per year. Outside of the Soviet Union,[6] commercial nuclear has never killed even a single member of the public in its entire 50 year operating history. Proliferation resistant: The IFR is proliferation resistant on two counts. First, the pyroprocess used to recycle the fuel does not and cannot produce plutonium with the chemical purity needed for nuclear weapon. One of the world’s top nuclear proliferation experts is strongly in favor of the IFR for this reason. Second, if all reactors were IFRs, there would never again be need for enriched uranium. Because possession of a pyroprocessing facility could give a nation a leg up in a quest for a nuclear weapons capability, facilities for both reprocessing and uranium enrichment should be operated under strict international supervision. The need for international control is arguably the most compelling reason for the U.S. to proceed rapidly with the IFR. Consumes existing nuclear waste from nuclear reactors and weapons: Fast reactors consume our existing nuclear waste (from reactors and decommissioned weapons) and transforms it into elements that are safe after 300 years. Minimal waste: A 1 GWe IFR plant generates 1 ton of fission products each year that needs to be sequestered for 300 years until it is safe. A conventional nuclear plant of the same capacity creates about 100 tons of “waste” each year, containing isotopes that need to be sequestered for 1 million years according to the current US depository requirements. If you powered your entire life from IFRs, the amount of waste you’d generate would be smaller than 1 soda can and it would need to be stored for only 300 years. Nuclear material security: The nuclear material in the reactor or reprocessing facility would be too hot for a terrorist to handle. The nuclear material that leaves the site are the fission products which are completely useless for making a nuclear bomb. The IFR creates a huge economic opportunity for the US to be the leading clean energy supplier to the world. Nuclear is the lowest cost scalable energy technology we have and the IFR is our best nuclear technology. If we focus on the IFR and invest in ramping up the volumes and reducing the cost, the IFR will be cheapest power source that every country will want everywhere instead of coal. Our economy will benefit and our planet will too." (16 Oct 2009) by Barry Brook | Brave New Climate Normal uranium is abundant enough in the earth's crust to run us for millions of years - especially in breeder reactors. How? Because a normal non-breeder reactor like the Light Water Reactor has an EROEI of about 40 to 60, but because breeder reactors eliminate the ENORMOUS energy costs of mining and refining uranium by burning nuclear waste which has ALREADY been mined and refined, the EROEI is in the THOUSANDS. It's not hard. If all the steel and concrete that goes into a nuclear reactor is costed, and all the energy and fuel and embodied energy of the equipment that mines and refines the uranium is accounted for, and that comes out to an EROEI of say an average 50, what happens when you then chuck that uranium into a breeder that gets 100 TIMES the energy out of each bit of uranium? You get EROEI of 50 * 100 = average of an Energy Profit of 5000 TIMES the energy it took to make the nuclear power plants. Why? E=MC2 comes out as a very very big number! So in terms of energy profit, you can pretty much mine anywhere on the planet - like dirty in your backyard or your local granite quarry - or better coal where it was concentrated by the processes of life itself millions of years ago - and mine. Conventional resources will be enough to get us into the golden age of nuclear breeder reactors, but you can mine anywhere on the planet and concentrate out even the tiny ppm of uranium and still come out with a vast energy profit. Then there's thorium, which is a WASTE PRODUCT of mining from rare earths! America already has enough thorium stored away in shipping containers to run her for something like 50 years. Pretty much any RARE EARTH mine on the planet produces enough thorium to run the entire planet for a year - and there are rare earth mines all over the planet. There's about 4 times as much thorium as there is uranium in the earth's crust. Then there's the fact that uranium from seawater becomes economical if the price of uranium doubles - and that will never run out. It's renewable, in that continental drift and mountain formation + erosion = uranium particles being topped up in the oceans faster than we can use it. Google uranium from seawater and read the most credible, latest results from labs. We won't NEED it for centuries, but even with today's technology we can just dangle dongles in some ocean currents and they will absorb uranium at only double the cost of regular uranium. As fuel is only about 5% of the cost of nuclear power (because the power plant is such a big investment in this technology), doubling the fuel does not immediately mean double the cost of the product - as it does with oil. It would hardly impact nuclear power prices. AND we don't have to worry about it for centuries. Lastly, we may not need breeder reactors as our 'forever engines' if we discover fusion, or if we get a base on the moon. One decent city on the moon could start firing PowerSats into orbit so cheap that this moon-base could tap into the $10 TRILLION dollar a year energy industry and guarantee more and more investment in space based energy. Grab a hot cocoa and your favourite snack, and watch Isaac Arthur on PowerSats that beam solar power down to the earth. It's good stuff, and almost economic from earth today - let alone from bulk manufacture from the moon in generations to come! (They could just RAILGUN it back into our orbit at about 1/26th the energy cost of a launch from earth.) - Isaac Arthur, 27/7/2018 How transmitting power down from space may be our future. Beaming energy down from satellites in orbit to replace the production of electricity on Earth may solve many of our problems, and avoid a potential economic or ecological crisis such as energy bottlenecks or global warming. Today we will explore how wireless microwave transmission of energy down to rectennas may not only be possible, but could be massively profitable in the near future and spur our exploration and colonization of space. Visit our Website:

The embedded below shows Syrian Residents of Haseke in the north-east of Syria, throwing stones at an armed U.S. army vehicle, passing through. United States forces are illegally in Syria at the invitation of the separatist Kurdish separatist YPG.

Some of the YPG's overseas supporters, for example, , bizarrely, portray it as a national liberation movement, in the same sense as the Vietnamese National Liberation Front from 1956 until 1975, but the YPG openly welcomes, within Syrian Kurdistan, the military forces of the same United States, which has devastated Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere, in addition to fighting a war against Syria with its terrorist al-Qaeda proxies which the YPG claim to oppose.

As occurred in Yugoslav federation, following the secession of Slovenia 1991, the United States intends to break up Syria into smaller states of different ethnicities as part of its campaign to overthrow the . Within each of these 'independant' states, minorities, like these Arabs in Haseke, in the north-east of Syria, are likely to face 'ethnic cleansing'.

The following, adapted from the above article, was posted as a comment to (12/5/2021) by Arabi Souri | Syria News in order to lift the profile of this article. You should consider donating to Syria News which is a very informative and insightful journal.

Do Melbourne pro-Palestine protesters think the Palestinian resistance can triumph whilst US forces and their terrorist proxies rampage through neighbouring Syria and Iraq? /node/6121

Can Palestine be liberated while the US illegally occupies Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq? Apparently Melbourne's pro-Palestine movement thinks Palestine can be liberated while Syria has much of its territory illegally occupied and US troops also illegally occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the Palestine protest, I also found it curious that no mention was made at all about Syria and all the other conflicts going on in the Middle East, right next door to Palestine. There's a terrible war going on in Syria, right at this moment, and I felt it striking that not a word was said about this.

In the , commencing at 12:00pm today, Saturday 15 May, from  [1], supporters of Julian Assange will be forming a contingent for the march.

We believe that, given that Julian Assange has committed no crime and has already served the outrageous 50 week sentence for his supposed misdemeanor of skipping bail in 2012, his continued detention - just so that the U.S. can, finally, after 9 years, present its 'case' for extradition - is totally illegal under British law, international law and even U.S. law. That Julian Assange is made to serve this illegal continued imprisonment for 23 hours each day shows astonishing malice on the part of the British magistrate Vanessa Baraitser who is hoding Julian behind bars on behalf of her U.S. masters.

An Australian government with any backbone and with any moral compassion would act immediately to demand the release of Julian Assange and his return to Australia to be with his two children and their mother .

Join us in our march to demand that the Australian government act to end this continued illegal imprisonment and torture. Please be outside the main (Saint Kilda Road) entrance to Flinders Street Station at 11:15pm (and no later than 11:30pm).

We will be marching from Batman Park behind our large banner (pictured above), handing out leaflets and making speeches.

Footnote[s]

Batman Park is on the north bank of the Yarra River, 800 metres to the west of the corner of Flinders Street and Saint Kilda Road (i.e. 800 metres from where the main entrance to Flinders Street Station is located).

Today I heard the CEO or equivalent of ANU talking up foreign students. Amongst a lot of stuff revealing that the universities don't get much funding for local students, he neatly wrapped up with - once we've got the population vaccinated we can open up and get the foreign students in.- (words to that effect.) That's why they want us vaccinated with any old vaccine, such as Astrazenica, without a choice as to what we might believe is safer! I was visiting the art gallery today with a group of friends. We went off to have coffee. One of the women told me she was meant to play golf tomorrow. I asked where she played - it was North Balwyn. She said the course was going to be carved up for North East Link -the link we *have to have* because the growth lobby wants more population and, of course, they also want to 'redevelop' all the golf courses.) I asked where she would play when this happened. "I don't know," she replied, looking bewildered, obviously unprepared by life as to how to deal with such new-age threats.

The government is so totally lacking in imagination. I guess that's part of "small government" All they do is oscillate about immigration - "close borders" (please the populace) "open up" (please business/developers etc.) The only thing they appear passionate about is "growth". Or, the people we have elected are all in the thrall of criminal gangs of developers - mafia and triads - and dare not stand up to them. At least, in Italy, this is talked about openly, so people don't waste their time going through 'the proper channels'. One might hope that the COVID-19 pause on mass immigration could starve some of these criminal enterprises of their fodder, but I fear they are too big.

I can't reconcile the following on today's "Insiders" (Channel 2, ABC Australia) One person said there are 2 million people in Oz either unemployed or without enough work, yet they all seemed to agree that the sooner we get the borders open, the better: 1. to bring in workers 2. International students 3. tourists . Later the talk was of a desperate shortage of hairdressers and a few other occupations - I can't remember what they, but the illogical and ideological conclusion was that the 'only' way to fill these crying vacancies is to import migrants with these qualifications! What about starting right now enticing people who are already here (Australians) into these professions and training them???

My apologies to Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange for not attending yesterday's weekly vigil or Julian Assange commencing at 6:30pm outside Flinders Street Station.

The reasons I could not make it are:

  1. At the time when I normally have to leave home to be at the vigil, the paint on the second side of the banner, shown below, was still wet. The banner also required further work to make the font sizes on the second and third lines match the font size on the first line;

  2. Painting even just those words (Julian's likeness had been painted previously) on the second side of the banner that afternoon was hard work and exhausted me.

However (whilst not wanting what makes our vigils necessary to continue - the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison), I look forward to seeing you all again at 6:30pm next Friday at Flinders Street Station and at other protests with that banner, which can now display its message to both passengers leaving Flinders Street Station and passing motorists.

As Julian Assange's father John Shipton continues his world tour, Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange continue to inform fellow Melburnians about Julian Assange and his ongoing illegal detention in London's Belmarsh Prison for more than two years.

Please help us to bring Julian home for his two children and their mother, () by joining us again tomorrow evening (Friday) from 6:30pm outside Flinders Street Station, help us distribute leaflets, hold up our large banner (pictured below) and listen to speeches.

WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY Monday 3 May 2021 Support Press Freedom Support Julian Assange's Freedom TWO SYDNEY LOCATIONS ABC Centre 700 Harris St., Ultimo and 52 Martin Place, outside Channel 7 Studios 7.30 AM Join supporters of Julian Assange at either location.

Nine people attended the Friday night vigil for Julian Assange outside Flinders Street Station from 6:30pm on Friday 23 April.

Whilst this figure is still a very long way short of what is warranted by the continued illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange in solitary confinement at Belmash Prison, it enabled us to make our vigil more striking in its visual and vocal impact on passing Melburnians.

For the first time, with the aid of umbrella holders, filled with water to stablise the three poles holding up our very large (2.8m x 1.7m) banner, [1] pictured (again) below, we were able to keep our banner displayed in full for the full duration of the vigil, making its visual impact so much more effective than on previous occasions.

For most of the vigil, a group of Christian evangelists behind us kept talking very loudly through their public address system. At one point they committed to finish after 5 more minutes, but they continued until 8pm. Some of us attempted to give speeches over the loud noise coming from behind, but could not be heard very well. The video recordings of those speeches are not likely to be of much use.

So, against this loud backdrop of noise, we attempted to make speeches through a megaphone and handed out double-sided A5 leaflets to passersby [2]. Our speeches, in addition to our large banner, still aroused interest from passersby causing more to accept a copy of our double-sided A5 leaflet, with a number committing themselves to support other future actions that we might take in support of Julian Assange.

After the Christian evangelists left at 8:00pm, some of us spoke through the megaphone.

I personally spoke on three occasions on the megaphone. Three other participants also spoke. (I will upload the Video recordings of myself and others to YouTube. ) Whilst, I still think that making speeches greatly increases the effectiveness of our vigils, I think my own speeches suffered from my not having them written out prior to the vigil and my not having too many facts about Julian Assange's case, at my finger tips. Consequently they were repetitive and much less effective than they could have been.

Still, given that Julian Assange's case is so open-and-shut it should be possible, in under one minute, to make any curious and open-minded member of the public enraged at his treatment and, from that point onwards, have his/her undivided attention, whilst I proceed to explain all the other outrages committed against Julian Assange. Hopefully, I will be able to do this next Friday.

This banner, shown here at a previous vigil, was used again at this vigil, but,
this time for the full two hour duration making its impact more effective.

Footnotes

[1] Unfortunately, the other side of the banner is blank, so if passing motorists and people heading past Flinders Street Station or into Flinders Street Station can see the banner, those walking out of Flinders Street Station cannot and vice versa. This coming week, before next Friday's vigil, I intend to rectify this problem by painting, on the reverse side, a similar likeness of Julian Assange and the text.

[2] The used to print the leaflet was originally attached to my article (12/1/21). This PDF file was later adapted to become my article (11/2/21). Whilst we need a new, more up-to-date, leaflet about Julian Assange, please feel most welcome to download the existing PDF file, print more copies of this leaflet and hand them out.

The otherwise insightful and highly informative British/Syrian PressTV journalist Richard Medhurst recently tweeted:

Russia lost over 25 million people during World War II, more than any other nation. Around 80% of German casualties were inflicted by the Red Army. Hollywood and Western education teach the story differently but the world owes Russia a huge debt of gratitude for crushing the Nazis. twitter.com/RusEmbJakarta/…

I responded:

See " (8/5/15). Whilst the courage & sacrifice of Red Army soldiers should not be forgotten, the terrible magnitude of this sacrifice was largely a consequence of:

  1. Stalin's purge the Red Army officer corps in 1938;
  2. Stalin's signing of the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact in August 1939;
  3. the Red Army's invasion of Poland on 17 September 1939 just as Polish resistance to the German invasion was stiffening (by one account account I have read);
  4. Stalin's supply of vitally needed raw materials, right up until the morning 22 June 1941, to the German Reich, as it conquered Western Europe, and thence tried to use the Luftwaffe to subjugate Britain in what became known as the "Battle of Britain"
  5. Stalin ignoring warnings, right up until the morning 22 June 1941, from Britain, the U.S. and even his own spy, communist Richard Sorge who worked in Germany's Tokyo embasssy, that Germany was going to invade;
  6. Stalin ordering the execution of one German soldier who tried to warn the Red Army of the impending invasion; and
  7. Russian popagandist Ilya Ehrenberg actually encouraging victorious Red Army soldiers to rape German woman;

Whilst the anger that Red Army soldiers felt towards German people near the end of the war was understandable, in the context, the widespread rape of German women by Red Army soldiers, amongst so much other brutality towards the conquered German people could only have persuaded many German soldiers to fight harder, thus causing the already terrible count of Red Army dead to go even higher.

Had the Soviet Union's leadership, instead, been humane and more competent, the sacrifice necessary to defeat Nazism would have been less by an order of magnitude, conceivably less than the 286,959 Americans who also died in the fight against Nazi Germany and Japan.

From 6:30pm until 8:30pm, this Friday 23 April, Melbourne supporters of Australian journalist Julian Assange will again be holding our weekly vigil at Flinders Street Station, where we will be holding banners, handing out leaflets. If you are free at that time, please come along, help us hand out leaflets and hold banners and listen to our speeches.

Help us force the Australian government act to end the illegal imprisonment, so far for almost nine years, of Julian Assange and to prevent the United States' attempt to kidnap extradite Julian Assange.

From 6:30pm until 8:30pm, this Friday 16 April, Melbourne supporters of Australian journalist Julian Assange will be holding our weekly vigil at Flinders Street Station. If you are free at that time, please come along, help us hand out leaflets and hold banners. We will be giving speeches to explain to passersby the facts about Julian Assange and to demand that the Australian government act to prevent the United States' attempt to extradite Julian Assange and to make Britain end its illegal imprisonment and torture of him.

Syria has so far defended it sovereignty against the Western sponsored terrorism which commenced in March 2011, but at at a terrible terrible cost. According to one estimate, now several years old 80,000 Syrian Army soldiers out of a national death toll of 400,00 have been killed in this conflict. In addition much of Syria's industry, infrastructure has been devastated and many Syrian homes have been destroyed in the conflict.

Now, as the Syrian people try to rebuild their country, they face former U.S. Donald Trump's Caesar Act of June 2019, new harsher sanctions from the European Union, and ongoing sanctions from other countries, including Australia.

In addition, Syria still faces continued illegal occupation of much of its territory by United States, in the Eastern largely Kurdish region, where their is oil. Currently that oil is being stolen by the Kurdish YPG, whose military forces collaborate with the US occupiers and ship it off via pipelines through Turkey.

For all the setbacks suffered by the US recently, both in the Middle East and, domestically, with Donald Trump's 2020 COVID-19 debacle, involving , the U.S. still remains a formidable force, and still seems to have resources sufficient to keep the Syrian conflict going, for as long as it takes to wear the Syrian nation into surrender - 5 more years? 10 more years? 50 more years?

Unless people in the United States, and countries allied with the United States, re-build their past anti-war movements, the U.S. will be able to continue its war against Syria, whether actual or through sanctions and terrorist proxies, for as long as it chooses.

In Australia, writers on Candobetter participated in a loosely based group of people in favour of reconciliation with Syria (Mussalah) for a few years. Susan Dirgham had the idea of promoting the Syrian concept of Mussalah, and a small fluctuating group of people met in Melbourne to discuss the situation and update each other. We attended or spoke at information sessions and demonstrations, and documented some of these activities in films, published in articles on Candobetter, and elsewhere. There were attempts to educate politicians and the mainstream press. Susan produced an educational newsletter about Syria. Eventually the loosely-based Melbourne meetings fell away, in part due to new work commitments and new directions and strategies undertaken by the participants.

Unless, anti-war groups in Western nations resume their campaign to end the sanctions against Syria and to get U.S. troops and other foreign occupiers out, it will be much harder for Syria to achieve peace. The (IPAN) is showing leadership in modeling new directions for Australian foreign policy and deserves support.

The number of partcipants in our Friday 9 April weekly vigil for Julian Assange in front of Melbourne's Flinders Street Station, due other to commitments by some members of the group, was somewhat down - only 5 this week rather the 9 or 11 we had come to typically expect at our previous weekly vigils. Five people weren't enough to share around the arduous work of holding up my large 4.8mx1.7m banner [1] in addition to making speeches, handing out literature and engaging in discussion with interested members of the public, so the banner was left unfurled.

In spite of this the public responded particularly well, with a large proportion being interested enough to accept one or more of our printed leaflets. Whilst a sizable proportion of the public, who were passing through that street corner in front of the railway station, were still not concerned one way or the other, about Julian Assange, the number who expressed support for him vastly outnumbered those who showed their hostility. Many thanked us for our efforts and a sizeable number told me that they would be coming to Sunday's of the second anniversary of the British Government's illegal arrest and imprisonment of Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison at 4:00pm on 11 April 2019 at the British Consulate at 90 Lyons Road, roughly 1.6km to the Northe-East.

Fanny gave a speech, but (yet again!) I was not able to figure out, fast enough to record Fanny's speech, how to use the video recording feature of my mobile phone, so Fanny's speech was not recorded. However, Anita was subsequently able to work out how to use that video recording feature and so my own subsequent speech was recorded. Later today (Saturday 10 April, I will upload that recording of my speech to YouTube and embed it in a more complete article about that vigil on /.

In time, in order to achieve our goal of forcing the Australian government to act effectively to achieve Julian Assange's freedom, we need to, and anticipate getting, far greater numbers to other planned events for Julian Assange. Such events include protests such as of the second anniversary of Julian Assange's imprisonment. In the short-term future, to begin with, it should be possible to build protests numbering in the order of several hundred - enough to at least begin to make a few more politicians take notice.

So, if you have time, please attend the 4pm Sunday protest at the British Consulate.

Footnote[s]

[1] That banner has impressed members of the Melboune public on foot, or in cars. It has also, amangst others, impressed (). So far, two members of the group each own one umbrell stand. Without those 2 umbrella stands, it would have been necessary for three people, at any one time to hold up the banner. Because it is such hard work to hold up my 4.8mx1.7m canvas banner for our vigils of duration of 2 hours or longer, a minimum of 5 or 6 people were needed to share the work around. It would have been very dificult for us to accomplish the other necssary tasks

[2] The commemoration of this second anniversary will by held at 4pm outside the Melbourne British Consulate at 90 Collins Street, roughly 1.6 km North-East of Flinders Street Station.

At 6:30pm this coming Friday 9 April outside Flinders Street Station, as the world approaches 11 April 2019, the second anniversary of the imprisonment of Australian journalist Julian Assange, his Melbourne supporters will again be holding their weekly vigil to demand that Scott Morrison his authority as Australian Prime Minister government to make Britain end it's imprisonment of Julian Assange.

As we have done at previous vigils, we will be displaying our banners (one of which is pictured to the left), making speeches and handing out leaflets. We will also be handing out an additional leaflet to promote the International commemoration of the second anniversary, this coming Sunday 11 April, of the British Government's imprisonment of Julian Assange. For details of other commemoration events in Australia and overseas, see (4/4/2021) also published here on candobetter.net and the Twitter page.

Please be there, both this Friday 9 April at 6:30PM at Flinders Street Station and this coming Sunday 11 April at 4:00pm at the British Consulate at 90 Collins Street to help us get Australia's visionary, multiple award-winning journalist Julian Assange back to his wife Stella Moris and their two children.

In the Interview below from an October 2019 edition of RT's , John Pilger describes to host Afshin Rattansi the refusal of magistrate Vanessa Barraitser to allow Julian Assange any of the rights which the British judicial system is supposed to allow an accused person, whilst confining him to solitary confinement 23 hours a day. John Pilger's testimony here is chilling.

Both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, who as shown in the above article, stated on 11 April, 5 months prior to this interview:

"I am confident … that Mr Assange will receive due process in the legal proceedings he faces in the United Kingdom."

… should be made to watch this interview.

On Friday 2 April 2021, Good Friday, on which day the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated by Christians, Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange's supporters held another successful vigil from 6:30pm until 8:30pm at Flinders Street Station.

The terrible nine year ordeal so far endured by Julian Assange, as cruel, unjust and illegal as it is, cannot be likened to the cruel and gruesome end suffered by Jesus Christ on Good Friday. Nevertheless, supposedly endangering the lives of US servicemen at one point in time, the only crime of which Julian Assange has ever been accused has even less basis than Jesus' conviction for not recognising the authority of Rome.

At the vigil, supporters held up banners, handed out two leaflets, one which was adapted to become the article (11/2/2021 - pdf ) and the other which was adapted from (11/3/2021).

During the vigil, I gave a 6:30 minute speech through the megaphone in which I explained to the passing members of the public how Julian's imprisonment and torture was illegal and I called upon Scott Morrison to use his authority as Prime Minister to demand that he UK release Julian Assange. That speech was recorded and will be embedded within an article to be published here later today.

I thought she realised it, but could not admit it, since she employed by and represents the BBC, which promotes her country's political policies. Your interpretation may be right, however, there seems little limit to mainstream media arrogance and blindspots.

Journo was hoist on her own petard and didn't even seem to realise it. Why did she seem to feel so sure of herself?

Below is a video of myself speaking for four and a half minutes in support of Julian Assange outside the British Consulate at around 4;30pm on Friday 26 March.

The speech is somewhat less polished than I had hoped it to be, in part, because I had left my written speech in my car so had to speak somewhat off the cuff. Nonetheless, I feel that even speeches such as this still serve to inform passing members of the public and arouse their curiosity. An example of a more polished speech in support of Julian Assange is (), a Sinn Fein member of the Irish Parliament. I have transcribed the transcript of Mairéad Farrell's speech .

IPAN submissions will be accepted during the period from 26 November 2020 to 31 July 2021, when organisations and individuals can deliver written submissions (where possible). Where submissions cannot be in writing, individuals/organisations will be able to meet 1-1 with an assistant/IPAN Coordinating Committee member and provide an oral submission.

This Friday (today) at 6:30pm () will be holding its weekly vigil for Julian Assange.

Please come along in order to help make fellow Melburnians aware of how this Australian hero has been illegally imprisoned and tortured for revealing to the world the truth behind the many instances, in recent years, of US meddling in other countries at the cost of many hundred of thousands of lives.

We especially need you to help us hold up our large (5mx1.7m) banner which has been overseas.

I had a conversation today with a recent visitor to Malacoota Eastern Victoria. He told he noticed a whole lot of silt in one of the lakes which he had never seen there before and he has known the area well over a long period. It turns out it is from massive clear felling of forest in the area. The once abundant lake is now no good for fishing. He also reported that there were heaps of trucks carrying huge eucalyptus trunks trundling along the highway on his way to and from Malacoota from Melbourne.

In the following transcript from from a Video on 5 March to Twitter, Irish Sinn Fein MP Mairéad Farrell, in the Teachta Dála (TD) - the Irish lower house of Parliament - asked the government of Ireland to raise the issue of the attempt by the US government to extradite Julian Assange from the UK with the British government:

"'If wars can be started with lies, then peace can be started with the truth,' as per the words of Julian Assange. The case of Julian Assange is very simple: Acting as a journalist and publisher, in coordination with the Guardian, Der Spiegel and the New York Times, he exposed major war crimes by US Forces and its allies. The NUJ (National Union of Journalists) has said the charges attempt to criminalise actvities, that, for many NUJ members, is their daily work. As he is not an American citizen, his extradition by the British government would mean that the US would have carte blanche, across the globe to persecute journalists and pubishers for revealing state crimes. And I am asking you to raise his case both with the British ambassador and with the US Administration."

As and elsewhere on 23 February:

"Anthony Albanese has thrown his support behind releasing Julian Assange from prison after 10 years without freedom.

"The Labor leader was asked at a caucus meeting in Canberra on Tuesday for his view on the ongoing detention of the Australian WikiLeaks founder.

"'Enough is enough,' he responded."

In fact, Anthony Albanese has never said this publicly. He was only reported by another Labor MP to have said this within a meeting of the Federal Labor Party Parliamentary caucus. He never repeated any of this in Parliament or anywhere else in public - certainly nothing was said by Anthony Albanese on his () or on (A search "Julian Assange site:anthonyalbanese.com.au" revealed nothing.

Althony Albanese was also reported to have said, at that meeting:

"I don't have sympathy for many of his actions …"

I can only guess at which of Julian Assange's actions Anthony Albanese has no 'sympathy' for. As far as I am aware, every informed person, who shares my hope for the well-being of all of humanity, is awed at Julian Assange's courageous efforts to reveal to the world so much about the criminal machinations of the rulers of the United States against their own people and the rest of humanity. Without Julian Assange and Wikileaks that the degree of damage inflicted by the United States on humankind in recent years would have been much greater.

If his support was as sincere as some of Julian Assange's supporters apparently believe, then 'left-wing' Labor Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese would not allow himself to be seen to repeat that implicit smear of Julian Assange.

Wouldn't the taxpayer also be contributing to this extra housing demand from retrieved superannuation due to the tax advantages withiin super and the fact that the contributions are pre-tax? Also one could ask why super should be released just for the purpose of buying a house or apartment? What about a caravan? What about a car? etc.

From (16/2/21) by Ernesto León | Venezuelanalysis:

In the last few weeks, there has been an escalation in the verbal attacks from the Venezuelan government against the revolutionary left. These attacks, by president Maduro and National Assembly speaker Jorge Rodríguez, have been directed particularly against the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR), a political platform that gathers several parties and organisations to the left of Maduro’s government. Very serious allegations have been made, including that the left opposition to the government is acting in cahoots with US imperialism.

Up until now, the attacks against the APR had consisted of intimidation, censorship in public and private media, and several acts of repression against APR candidates during the National Assembly election campaign. The most important and serious issue here is that these latest attacks could set the stage for a higher level of repression against the left wing and the workers’ movement.

One of the motives for intensifying the political campaign against the APR could be that, in order to bypass the economic sanctions from US imperialism, as well as overcome the deep economic crisis that currently exists, the Maduro government will go much further to the right, deepening its monetarist policies and increasing privatisations. These types of measures will always mean a heavier burden for the working masses to bear, and within that context the APR could play an important role, organising and leading mass protests against the upcoming package of economic measures.

… The APR and its component organisations have a track record of fighting against imperialism and imperialist aggression, opposing US sanctions on Venezuela. Furthermore, they have consistently demanded that Juan Guaidó be arrested for his participation in a failed coup in 2019, the attempt to overthrow the elected president, his call for a US military invasion, his collaboration with a mercenary incursion, etc. The Maduro government has chosen to let him walk free, while it attacks those who want the pro-imperialist traitors jailed for being “in cahoots with Elliot Abrams”!

My comment: For years I have despaired at the way the Bolivarian government of Venezuela has allowed Juan Guaidó, who openly sides with the United States against that government, to freely walk the streets of Venezuela. Given that at least 40,000 (a very outdated estimate) Venezuelans have died as a consequence of United States' sanctions that Juan Guaidó has repeatedly supported, for President Nicolas Maduro not to have put him on trial for treason is, at best, gross negligence on his part.

Were such a trial to occur in public, the case against Juan Guaidó would be seen by world public opinion to be overwhelming and conclusive.

The following comment was posted in response to (20/2/21) at . Please consider giving Syria News financial support so that they may keep publishing.

Now that their proxy war has lasted almost 10 years, It's clear that Netanyahu and his US masters are resolved to keep this war against Syria going on for however long as it takes to force the Syrian people to surrender to their Takfiri footsoldiers - another year?, another 5 years?, another 10 years? another 50 years?

There is an urgent need in the US, Britain, Australia and other allies to again organise mass opposition to their wars in Syria and elsewhere and bring about regime change back there. In a sense, this happened, for a while, in Australia in 1972, with the election of the Gough Whitlam Labor government following the success of the Moratorium movement against the war in Vietnam. Sadly, that change of government was reversed in 1975.

Wikileaks is one force that makes possible the rise of such an anti-war movement. So it desperately important that we keep the United States' grubby hands off Julian Assange. Please see .

Whilst, from here in Melbourne, Australia I greatly appreciate your ("The News with Rick Sanchez"), I cannot say the same for former Naval intelligence Officer John Jordan, one of your two guests (15/2/21).

Contrary to John Jordan's assertion that the "government in Syria is not elected" the Syrian government, was, in fact, democratically elected and is amongst the most popular governments in the world if not the most popular government. It is more legitimate than nearly every formal democracy in the West - Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, etc. - and vastly more legitimate than the US government itself or any of its vassal states - Saudi Arabia, the former government in Bolivia imposed by a coup, Ukraine, and the (hopefully former) Ecuadorian regime.

Could I suggest to John Jordan that he take the time to watch the video recording of the Syrian Presidential Elections Observers Report to the United Nations of 19 June 2014 at (above)? It is also embedded within the article "Syria's press conference the United Nations doesn't want you to see" (20/6/14) at . As even attested to by Israel's "88.7% of the 73.42% of eligible Syrian voters who voted, voted for President Bashar al-Assad. So, of 15,845,575 Syrians eligible to vote, eligible voters 10,319,723 or 65.13% voted for Bashar al-Assad."

Perhaps, if John Jordan still holds that the Syrian government was not democratically elected, he could tell us what questions he would have put to Syrian UN Ambassador and the four election observers during that 53 minute press conference.

I thank your other guest Michael Maloof for pointing out that the Syrian government is a legitimate government recognised by the United Nations, but I think even he would learn quite a lot from watching that video.

Some of the comment below was to Twitter.

Maram Susli (aka 'The Syrian Girl') has been by the YouTube 'team':

Our team has reviewed your content, and, unfortunately, we think it violates our child safety policy. We've removed the following from YouTube:

Video: Israeli terrorist Choked Out Little Boy

This is truly Orwellian. A video of yet further brutality towards a Palestinian Boy, whose land has been stolen by the Israeli occupiers, is beaten up by one of the occupiers. Luckily it was captured on video. However the YouTube management decided that that video evidence of the Israeli's brutality towards the Palestinian boy "violat[ed] [their] child safety policy".

Would the YouTube managers truly have us believe that was there no witness with video a camera on hand that the Israeli would not have beaten up that boy? Would they have us believe that had that witness not been there that their "child safety policy" would not have been violated?

More likely the YouTube managers realise the idiocy of that statement, but believing that the Syrian Girl doesn't have the power to hit back at them, they just don't care.

Perhaps it's time that the Syrian Girl and the many other victims of YouTube censorship worked together on the other parts of the Internet, which are not under the control of the likes of the YouTube management and worked together to hold them to account for their unconscionable conduct.

The removal of former United States President Donald Trump and his replacement by Joe Biden seems, so far, not to have improved Julian Assange's circumstances.

From (10/2/21) by Stephen Lendman:

The … calls on Biden to drop spurious charges against Assange and order his release were rejected.

Criminalizing his truth-telling journalism continues — a US dagger thrust into the heart of constitutionally affirmed First Amendment rights bipartisan hardliners want undermined by repressive legislation.

If occurs, extraditing Assange to the US for politicized show trial persecution will be another major body blow to digital democracy, the last frontier of media freedom.

Crucifying [Julian Asange] for truth-telling journalism and whistleblowing revelations of government wrongdoing reflects the hallmark of totalitarian rule.

Censorship of what’s vital to know is likely prelude for much greater harshness to come.

We’re all Julian Assange. His fate is ours.

The first half of , the 2 February episode of the Iranian news service's features Maram Susli, otherwise known as "The Syrian Girl" from Perth.

Whilst the struggle by the supposedly 'communist' YPG for Kurdish autonomy from Syria has become a fashionable cause for some in the West, including , Maram points out that the YPG (also referred to as the "Syrian Democratic Forces" or SDF) take orders from US forces illegally inside Syria. The SDF have effectively besieged two Syrian Arab cities. They are attempting to ethnically cleanse Kurdistan of its Arab population in order to secede from Syria. Such a secession would almost certainly cause Syria to become balkanised into a number of small statelets for each of Syria's ethnic groups. This, in many ways, would be similar to how Yugoslavia was disastrously broken up from 1991 until 1999.

The following is from (24/1/21) an Al JAzeera opinion piece:

In the United Kingdom court decision sparing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from extradition to the United States (for now, pending appeal), the intimately symbiotic relationship between humanitarianism and violence was evident once again.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that it would be “oppressive” to extradite Assange – but not because of the injustice of the US government’s campaign of retribution against him for exposing its massacres, misrepresentations and manipulations, but rather due to the fragility of Assange’s mental health.

The same “justice” system that has eviscerated Assange’s mental wellbeing with prolonged psychological torture, in the assessment of the UN special rapporteur on torture, now poses as his hope for salvation.

Like a large-scale governmental version of Munchausen by proxy, the state mystifies its own role in producing the pathology in question, then attempts to extract moral capital from exhibiting a modicum of care. Structural violence creates the need for humanitarianism, which mitigates some of the excesses of violence, ensuring the flourishing of both violence and humanitarianism.

Judge Baraitser not only declined to find that the US’s prosecution of Assange is for political “offences” – and therefore barred by the UK-US Extradition Treaty – but held that there is no judicially enforceable barrier against political extraditions at all: “the defence has not established that the UK-US treaty confers rights on Mr Assange which are enforceable in this court” since the treaty is “not yet incorporated into domestic law”. Perversely, according to this judgement, Assange (and other extradition targets) are subject to the treaty, but precluded from invoking its protections.

The fact that Assange revealed damning truths about state atrocities that would otherwise have remained concealed was also dismissed as irrelevant. “The defence have not established that the principle of the ‘right to truth’ is a legal rule that is recognised in either international law or domestic law.”

The following has been expanded from a in response to Tim Anderson's , "Spot the difference between Alexei Navalny and Juan Guaidó":

Juan Guaidó & Alexei Navalny are both guilty of acting for the US rogue state against their own people, but the depravity of Guaidó's treason is vastly greater. Also, the Venezuelan government bizarrely allows the Quisling Juan Guaidó to freely walk the streets of Venezuela!? Fortunately, unlike Guaidó, nearly all members of the Venezuelan defence forces remain loyal to their country. I trust this Venezuelan government idiocy towards Juan Guaidó would not extend to any member of the Venezuelan Defence forces were he/she to similarly betray her/his country?

I posted the following beneath (20/1/21) | 21st Century Wire:

Some see former United States' President Trump's failure to pardon Julian Assange as an act of cowardice, under the threat by the U.S. deep state to make the outcome of impeachment proceedings against him as even more harsh. I see it as something worse - an act of malevolence towards Julian Assange.

Other crimes committed by former U.S. President Donald Trump include:

1. Failure to renew even one nuclear arms control treaty that expired during his term of office;

2. Abandonment of the 'Open Skies' policy, which even President Eisenhower spoke in favour of. This allowed reconnaissance planes of either superpower to overfly the territory of the other superpower in order to verify that the other superpower wasn't preparing for war;

3. The murder of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis the deputy chairman of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) on 3 January 2020. This was found to have been illegal by Dr. Agnes Callamard, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions;

4. Continued U.S. military occupation of Iraq in defiance of the wishes of Iraq's Parliament;

5. Continued U.S. presence of U.S. troops in Syria and the theft of Syria's oil;

6. Sanctions against Venezuela which have cost at least 40,000 lives;

7. Grotesque mishandling of the COVID19 pandemic causing the loss of over 414,000 U.S lives.

8. etc., etc, etc.

Those, including Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson (see ) who still claim that Trump was opposed to the U.S. establishment, including the U.S. military-industrial complex, are, at best, deluded.

Apologies to those who may have been looking at the article above for the attached PDF file of the flyer I handed our yesterday at the 6.30pm Vigil [1] for Julian Assange at Flinders Street Station yesterday (Friday). The PDF file contains 2 landscape oriented A4 pages. [2] Footnotes [1] The time for the start of the vigil was mistakenly given as 7:30pm, rather than 6:30pm, my apologies, This will be corrected. [2] Two pages are necessary in order to, quickly and without too much trouble, print off the flyer on both sides of an A4 sheet (for example, at Officeworks). The laser printer allows the selection of the double-sided print option. This causes each A4 sheet to be automatically fed back into the laser printer after the first side is printed and then sent to the output tray. If the PDF file contains only one landscaped A4 page, and not two, it will be necessary to take the A4 sheets from the out tray after the first side is printed, then feed them back in - considerably more effort.

:

This Friday (Saturday for Australians) we continue the Tweetstorms!
Use to spread the word and put pressure on our politicians.

This Friday (Saturday for Australians) we continue the Tweetstorms!
Use to spread the word and put pressure on our politicians.

I :

'Tweetstorms' are no substitute for grass-roots activism & street protests. It's time that we in Australia again started to organise street protests in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane & Perth: " id="streetProtestsNotTweetStorms">'Tweetstorms' cannot replace grassroots activism, street protests'

As we are told, they could be shed from people who are no longer infectious, but there several particles have been found in this area, so the fat lady has not yet really sung. I am very glad that we have reached the point we have, though. Shocking COVID-19 situations all over the rest of the world. Furthermore, our economy is not doing badly at all, minus mass migration. The United States, whilst aiming to preserve economic growth rather than supporting its people, is in terrible shape, as is Britain. Nonetheless, stock-markets and the wealthy have managed to profit from this scourge. It suits them that big corporate stores were able to stay open. Those stores were also much more easy to police regarding infection control than lots of little ones.

Today marks 28 days with no new cases of Covid 19 in the Victorian community. The word "elimination" is being tossed around the mainstream media with glee. It now seems to be what we wanted in the first place. After daily new cases in Victoria quickly rose to over 700, there seemed to be a panicked realisation by the Victorian government that the (very nasty) genie was out of the bottle. People in Melbourne, as a result suffered a very severe lock- down for over 100 days and I doubt any of them would want to do it again. About 36,500 Australian are lined up to come home from various countries overseas. Nowhere (apart from New Zealand) is looking as good as Australia right now. But these returning Australians pose a risk to the rest of the population. Melbourne, where hotel quarantine was so badly handled earlier this year resulting in Victoria accounting for most of the country's Covid 19 cases and most of the deaths in the whole of Australia , will be again entrusted with hotel quarantine early next month. Let's hope Victoria's newly gained freedom is much more than fleeting!

Dingoes are native animals, but they don't have the antiquity of other native animals that have evolved here over thousands - or millions- of years. They've always been dependant on humans, to some degree. Why do they have to be left to starve? Surely they could have food drops, anonymously, at various spots, so as not to over-rely on humans? Strange how our human populations quite unashamedly import foods from all over the world, and endorse 'food security', and don't rely on our available local habitats- but dingoes must? If they could roam the landscape as they would have, they might be able to survive- but not in a limited island. Then they say the dingoes are 'dangerous' when they approach tourists?

Ivermectin quad-therapy - works as a preventative and a cure - taken on day 1, mean recovery time - 3.6 days. Multiple studies - including two by Australian researchers. India is using it, and has 80 deaths per million cases (0.00008 chance of dying), much lower than the USA (667): As for the spread - the only reason we cannot open is due to poor contract tracing and management. That is very clear now.

Matthew, Any spread, with such an infectious virus, creates a danger of exponential spread. We do not know how many people have been infected overall in Victoria; we only know the ones detected by tests, but, like the tip of an iceberg, there is more we don't know about. You write that we should only contact trace and quarantine the sick, yet this is how this problem began. We failed to contact trace and quarantine the sick. That got us into a situation that required strong movement controls. We have now probably brought the virus down to more or less manageable levels - so that it won't overwhelm our hospitals, and so that we will soon be able to move. However it is not yet time to throw everything open because we still have 127 active cases, including 15 mystery cases, and two new detected cases just today (18 October 2020). How do you quarantine only the sick when they have to be attended by staff who are not themselves quarantined? How do you quarantine the sick when you don't know who or where they are? The only way you can deal with unknown infections is by localising their movement, which then helps pinpoint sources when other infections occur nearby. Europe and America thought they could control the spread of the virus in the manner you suggest and, at the moment Europe and America are facing shocking odds with this disease. Sweden, a country whose self-monitoring method you previously recommended, is now looking at lock-downs. With regard to the wearing of masks: they are a mechanical barrier, but this is a very infectious disease. Protection also requires social distancing, disinfection of surfaces, and hand-washing. Any of those things can break down. Masks are not vacuum-sealed onto our faces, they need to be changed frequently, etc. Masks are also particularly important to be worn by an infected person, to reduce the amount of virus they put out into the environment. We don't know how well the person who infected people in Chadstone was observing infection protocol. Hospital staff wearing masks and using strict protocol still get infected, due to exposure to massive amounts of virus. With regard to your assertion that ivermectin is a sure thing, your evidence is anecdotal. It is easy to assert that something is effective against a disease if you cannot be held to account if people suffer through your advice, since you are not a medical doctor, who can be sued for endangering lives. You cannot expect editors on this site to allow this kind of assertion to pass as if it were an unassailable truth. It is fair enough to say that you hope that this drug is effective, but it is irresponsible to insist that it is.

I suspect the Minister for Immigration misses the point, which is that Victorians have been restricted to five kilometre radiuses in order to restrict transmission of the virus. If the New Zealanders (now assessed at about 53, not 17) traveled from Tullamarine Airport, north of Melbourne, to any other point in Victoria, they would run far greater risk of encountering and then transmitting, the virus, than any Victorian who only travelled within 5km, or for essential purposes. Furthermore, there is more COVID-19 in the north than the south, so the danger is that they would pick it up in the north and take it into less infected areas. The two latest known cases [18 October 2020] are in Hume, which is about 16 km from Tullamarine (Melbourne Airport). There are still 137 known active cases in Victoria, and who knows how many undetected cases? There are still 15 'mystery' cases of COVID 19 in Victoria, which means that we don't know where they came from. Our best bet is to be able to control people's and thus virus movement. The minister for immigration's attitude is not only disrespectful to Victorians, but dangerous through his ignorance.

Having lived in virtual isolation for many weeks, feeling fairly confident of not having Covid 19 but not allowed to travel outside 5km radius of my home I am furious that 17 New Zealanders appear to have been let into Melbourne. The acting Minister for Immigration appears to brush this off as unimportant because NZ doesn't have any cases of Covid 19. At this point the likelihood of a Melbournian and the likelihood of someone from NZ having Covid 19 are probably not much different but the fact remains, people in Melbourne are living severely restricted lives in a large scale effort to suppress (or dare i say eliminate?) the virus. People in Melbourne are not allowed to visit family outside Melbourne. What rules will apply to the New Zealanders? I think the Acting Minister for Immigration mocks the people of Melbourne in being so dismissive.

Consider this - even through the lock down thousands of people have been travelling in and out of Melbourne - yet it has only spread in a few cases - they are the cases where the people were actually infected. Thus the lock downs do not help, contact tracing and quarantine of the sick does. Also everyone at Chadstone was wearing masks - yet they still got it - so what use are masks then? Also if you get sick, take ivermectin triple course early, you will only get mild flu - developing countries know this as many use ivermectin as a matter of course for malaria. A Melbourne couple used it - one with serious health complications - were completely better in a day or two - they and their doctor are interviewed by Sky news - look at the youtube video:

October 2, 2020

Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Thomas Massie (KY-04) introduced H.Res.1175, a resolution that defends the freedom of the press, noting that newsgathering activities and news organizations ability to acquire and publish information are protected under the First Amendment. The resolution calls for the United States to drop all charges and efforts to extradite Julian Assange.

“Freedom of the press is a vital function of a free democracy in which the government is accountable to the people. Julian Assange published information that exposed lies and abuses of power at the highest levels of our government. His indictment under the Espionage Act sends a chilling message to every member of the media and all Americans,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “U.S. government prosecutors now claim that any journalist or news organization that publishes classified material is liable to prosecution under the Espionage Act -- which would have led to the indictment of the Washington Post for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. The Federal government’s prosecution of Julian Assange sets a dangerous precedent. All extradition efforts and charges under the Espionage Act against Julian Assange must be dropped now.”

“At a time when government officials claim the right to perform warrantless surveillance upon all American citizens, there is an urgent need to zealously guard freedom of the press and to demand government transparency and accountability. The ongoing attempts to prosecute Julian Assange threaten our First Amendment rights, and should be opposed by all who wish to safeguard our constitutional rights now and in the years to come. I join my colleague, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, in calling for an immediate end to all charges against Mr. Assange,” said Rep. Thomas Massie.

The following was -959177">posted to the article by Craig Murray, linked to above:

Thank you, Wikikettle, Craig.

We have also embedded the interview in "Assange Extradition Hearing mistrial – Interview with Craig Murray, former British Ambassador, in daily attendance" (4/10/2020) at /node/6040 [here].

Judge Vanessa Barraister and the prosecution apparently don’t care that the proceedings don’t remotely resemble a trial. In a trial, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty, is allowed to call upon witnesses to give evidence and to have witnesses for the prosecution cross-examination. Their 'case' against Julian is no more than:

"Might is right. We own Judge Vanessa Barraitser and the government which appointed her. Just sit back and accept your indictment and your punishment for daring to question the good intent of the United States government."

Given how Barraitser’s makes no effort to conceal her hostility to Julian Assange and her outrageous rulings against Julian’s defence team, surely it must be possible to demand that Judge Vanessa Barraitser be removed from this case though popular protest, another legal challenge or both.

it is very hard to do trials in countries that have inexplicably banned HCQ and Ivermectin since COVID hit - harder to ban these in countries that use it routinely against malaria. Here are the results of a peer-reviewed Indian study: Highlights COVID-19 -patients receiving ivermectin became SARS-CoV-2 negative more quickly -Fewer ivermectin-treated patients developed respiratory distress -Ivermectin-treated COVID-19 patients had shorter hospital stays -Ivermectin is associated with a lower mortality rate in COVID-19 Trialing vaccines on people who are not sick or dying is highly unethical - those involved are reporting severe side effects: Does Monash University do good studies? Ivermectin as a Broad-Spectrum Host-Directed Antiviral: The Real Deal? They suggest Ivermectin needs investigating - here is what the Monash study suggests: "Phase III human clinical trials have been completed for DENV, with >50 trials currently in progress worldwide for SARS-CoV-2. This mini-review discusses the case for ivermectin as a host-directed broad-spectrum antiviral agent for a range of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2." "After decades of use in the field, ivermectin clearly “fits the bill” here in terms of human safety, but whether it turns out to be the molecule that proves this principle will only begin to be established unequivocally, one way or another, in the ensuing months with respect to SARS-CoV-2." Of course, it is hard for Monash researchers to do studies on drugs that are now banned in Australia.

The international study you cite on HCQ certainly links a lot of scientific papers, which will take me ages to go through. In maps it also hints at a premise that countries with routine HCQ malaria treatment make good studies. As a sociologist, it is hard for me to put much faith in an international comparative study regarding HCQ comporting so many variables, comparing so many differently collected and defined statistics of no doubt varying validity. The study page at itself warns: "Note: In Vitro, Ex Vivo, Meta, Theory, Safety, Review, News, and Retracted items are not included in the percentages and study count. There is a total of 194 items. Recently added studies - 9/30: Lammers et al., 9/29: Gasperetti et al., 9/28: Fiolet et al., 9/27: Ulrich et al. Positive/negative effects vary in degree and certainty, please read the papers or descriptions thereof for more details. Every study has some limitations when considered in isolation (for example confounding factors; sub-optimal treatment regimens; dosing regimens that may be too low, too high, or insufficiently account for the long half-life of HC; large treatment delays; small sample sizes; lack of focus on severity; reliance on Internet surveys; and patient characteristics very different from the most at-risk population)." The Pasteur Institute today came out with news that they have tested a known antiviral on COVID-19 and chimpanzees with good results. They won't say what the drug they are using is, however, because of fears that there will be a rush on it. In the mean time they intend to go to trials. I think that ivermectin has yet to show success in any clinical trials.

-177616">13 presidents past & present urge UK government to halt Julian Assange’s extradition proceedings and grant his immediate freedom (28/9/2020) - The Duran

As Julian Assange fights US extradition at the Old Bailey in London, over one hundred eminent political figures, including 13 past and present heads of state, numerous ministers, members of parliament and diplomats, have today denounced the illegality of the proceedings and appealed for Assange’s immediate release.

The politicians from 27 different countries and from across the political spectrum have joined 189 independent international lawyers, judges, legal academics and lawyers’ associations by endorsing their open letter to the UK Government warning that the US extradition request and extradition proceedings violate national and international law, breach fair trial rights and other human rights, and threaten press freedom and democracy.

Politicians endorsing the call to free Julian Assange include Jeremy Corbyn, former Prime Minister of Spain, Luis Zapatero, several members of the European Parliament, former presidents of Brazil, Lula da Silva and Dilma Roussef, and Australian parliamentarians from the cross-party parliamentary group to free Assange.

I posted the following -177616">comment in response:

Whilst I welcome Jeremy Corbyn’s name being on the list, I don’t recall where he ever once said a word about Julian Assange whilst he was leader of the Opposition Labour Party. He never once visited the Ecuadorian Embassy to help those outside who were protesting against his outrageous detention.

Had he done so, it would not have been possible for the UK government to continue its criminal complicity in the illegal detention of Julian at the Embassy.

He could have just walked in to the Embassy, taken Julian’s hand escorted him to Heathrow Airport for a flight back home to Australia. What UK policeman would have dared interfere?

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