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Adelaide authorities intend to use CCTV surveillance and shop purchase data to enforce contact tracing and quarantine

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim the Net | July 24, 2021

In Australia, announcements have been made just this week that credit card data trails and CCTV surveillance footage will now be used for contact tracing.

South Australia State’s capital Adelaide will go into a seven-day lockdown and in announcing this, officials there said that in order to more efficiently implement their contact tracing scheme, they will use QR scan information to determine people’s location.

In addition, the authorities will also be accessing people’s bank account details and CCTV cameras, while restaurant owners are said to be “aware of this” and working very closely with the state.

Although these latest measures might seem draconian, they are not surprising in a country that boasts having “very sophisticated contact tracing.”

This means that tracking of people and collection of their data from a variety of sources is widespread – but any “sophistication” seems to end there, as there have already been cases of abuse of data supposedly harvested only for public health purposes, to then be turned over to the police investigating their unrelated cases; and there have been some rushed attempts to retroactively write contact tracing into law to avoid legal trouble down the road.

Regardless of all this, some Australian states are still championing contact tracing, crediting it for the country presenting itself as a “test case” showcasing the spread of the Delta variant among Australia’s “largely unvaccinated” population – which also has low case numbers – thus providing “clean data.”

So far, the accepted “wisdom” of how the virus spreads and what represents risky behavior has been to avoid indoor gatherings; but now, some scientists are looking to suggest that outdoor transmission is also becoming a problem, and single out Australia’s “well-resourced contact tracing teams” in helping test and prove this claim.

Once again, this time in the state of Victoria, contact tracing that employs QR codes, CCTV and ticketing – though people’s banking details are left out here – is said to have provided good information on the spread of the Delta variant.

And, the notion of outdoor transmission (which, if it becomes COVID “canon,” would further restrict (unvaccinated) people’s activities though various restrictions) is being brought up as a real possibility.

“There’s been a lot of reports of, ‘well, we’ve never heard of outdoor transmission’, a lot of that is because (across the world) they haven’t got the very sophisticated contact tracing that we’re now doing across Australia, and in Victoria in particular,” said Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

July 24, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 3 Comments

THE CASE FOR IVERMECTIN | CRAIG KELLY MP

Whocomcampaigner |  June 22, 2021

Here is Craig Kelly presenting his evidence of Ivermectin suppression to an empty Australian parliament. This picture illustrates the type of ‘democracy’ that we have in Australia today. The people’s voice is not being heard by our government.

July 21, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 4 Comments

AUSTRALIA: DON’T TELL PEOPLE THEY’RE SCREWED IF VAXX MAKES THEM SICK

June 28, 2021

Secret video of senate meeting with head of TGA Brendan Murphy telling Parliament to not tell the public of their own vaccine effects coverup and that the vaccine kills people and they have no recourse from it because the government granted big pharma immunity from prosecution and compensation payouts!

July 17, 2021 Posted by | Video | , | 3 Comments

A New Strain Of ‘Swine Flu’ Or A Change In Surveillance?

By Judy Wilyman | Principia Scientific | June 8, 2021

The Australian Government recently prioritized a vaccine for community use against a new strain of influenza. This preventative action is notable as there has been little evidence in the community that suggests this influenza strain is more virulent than other new strains which occur regularly.

In fact, the World Health Organization (2009) states the majority of people who contract this disease experience the milder form of influenza and recover without requiring treatment (1).

An examination of evidence provided by the Western Australian Health Department regarding deaths to swine influenza Type A H1N1 prompts us to ask if it is possible that a change in the surveillance of influenza in 2009 has resulted in the creation of hysteria over a new strain of influenza?

Influenza is a disease that is caused by many strains of virus. These viruses spread easily and new strains develop regularly (2). A vaccine against influenza will only protect against one to three strains depending on the type of vaccine used (3). For example, the current seasonal influenza vaccine protects against Type A (H1N1), Type A (H3N2) and Type B (3). Influenza Type A H1N1 is a strain that has been covered in influenza vaccines for many years.

The new strain of ‘swine’ flu is stated to be a recombination of genetic material from human Type A H1N1, a strain of bird flu and 2 strains of pig flu (1). The WHO states ‘there are no known instances of humans getting this strain of influenza from pigs and other animals’. It is also stated that this strain is not known to be endemic in pigs (1). Yet this flu has been promoted to the public as ‘swine flu’ even though it is a strain that has never been found in pigs.

The public has been misinformed about this strain of influenza. The term ‘swine flu’ creates anxiety and fear of a disease that has come from pigs when the official medical term for this new strain is ‘Influenza Type A, H1N1, human strain’ (1).

The World Health Organisation states that influenza A (H1N1) is a new virus and one to which most people have no or little immunity (1). In a study conducted by the CDC it was shown that individuals between the ages of 18-64 had antibodies present that reacted to the swine flu virus (4). Whilst this doesn’t indicate clinical protection it does suggest that some individuals may have immunity from previous exposure to H1N1 (4). There is no reason to assume that the population will have no immunity to this new strain as it may be immunologically similar to previous H1N1 viruses (5).

H1N1 is a strain of influenza that has been covered for many years in the seasonal influenza vaccine. Therefore you would expect that the Australian Health Department would have mortality data for seasonal H1N1 from previous years. This is not the case. The Health Department has stated ‘this data has not been collected in previous years or for this year’ – even though Type A H1N1 has been one of the most virulent and prevalent strains and regularly covered in the influenza vaccine(3).

In 2009 the Australian Health Department changed the surveillance of influenza in the community (6). The Department of Health suggests the reason there is good data on the mortality associated with influenza H1N1 2009 is because of enhanced surveillance systems that were put in place specifically to monitor the pandemic (6). Prior to 2009 influenza that was notified by GP’s and laboratories was not systematically followed up or linked to hospitalization/death data to determine outcomes (6) In addition, post-mortem victims were not routinely tested for sub-types of influenza (6).

In previous years deaths were listed as ‘influenza’ and were not routinely sub-typed for the strain (6). The Australian Health Department also states ‘hospitals were less likely to routinely test admitted patients with respiratory viruses, including pneumonia, for influenza, so (in previous years) many cases remained undiagnosed or were assumed to be primary bacterial infections (6).

This year most cases of influenza notified by labs or GP’s were followed up to see if the cases were hospitalized or resulted in death.

The Australian Health Department was also systematically testing hospitalizations /deaths for H1N1. As a result, the health department is claiming that 90-95% of laboratory proven influenza cases are due to ‘swine’ H1N1 (6).

It is known that incidence figures for a disease can be inflated by monitoring a disease in a more systematic manner. A more sensitive or systematic test will identify cases that would previously have gone unidentified. However, a greater incidence of a disease does not always indicate greater severity to the population (7). This is the case with a disease such as influenza which has a high incidence in the community but epidemics are known to be mild for the majority of people (8).

How can the public be sure that the number of deaths attributed to this new strain of ‘swine’ H1N1 is different to the number of deaths associated with seasonal H1N1 in previous years if this testing was not being done? These changes in surveillance mean that even though influenza Type A H1N1 has been prevalent in previous years there is no data on the number of deaths associated with this strain in previous years because it hasn’t been monitored.

The Health Department also admits that it is unclear to what extent ‘Swine’ H1N1 infection may have contributed to the deaths it is linked with this year because there are usually several infections present and in most cases underlying medical conditions (6). It is well known that disease diagnosis and cause of death is an inexact science and it is up to the medical practitioner to state the primary cause of death (9).

The Health Department has not produced statistics that show the overall death rate for influenza to be significantly worse this year than in previous years (3).

The Therapeutic Goods Association states “the experience in Australia of the disease is mild in most cases’ (10). The evidence presented above illustrates how different surveillance methods can enhance the incidence of disease in the community. This leaves the cause of the increase in incidence open to interpretation. For this reason the government should be required to publicize any changes to surveillance practices whenever there is an increase in incidence reporting of a disease.

This will ensure that the information the public receives can be interpreted in an open and transparent fashion that will lead to less fear and panic.

In addition, the government admits that the public has been misinformed by calling this strain ‘swine flu’ but they have stated “they are unable to control how the media reports on the Influenza A (H1N1) virus to the community” (10). Why did the government not correct this information in the media by stating it is not a swine flu and informing the public of its medical name?

This is of significant concern when it is observed that fear is used to encourage the public to accept a medical intervention (vaccination) in healthy individuals.

It is extremely important that we have an accurate knowledge of the harm being caused by the use of multiple vaccines in individuals and until this science is complete we need to assess carefully how many vaccines are necessary. A change in surveillance has a significant impact on the incidence of disease in the community and the Public, as the main stakeholder in the use of vaccines, cannot make a proper assessment of the need for a vaccine without this information.

References:

1) The World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/frequently_asked_questions/about_disease/en/inde x.html (visited 17.9.09)

2) Jefferson T, Rivetti D, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, Demicheli V, 2008, Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 2. Art. No: CD001269

3) Government of Western Australia, Department of Health, Communicable Diseases Control Directorate, Influenza fact sheet, 2009

4) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 58, p. 521 – 524

5) Schuchat A, 2009, as cited in CDC, MMWR 58, p.521-524

6) Government of Western Australia, Department of Health, Communicable Diseases Control Directorate

7) Burnet, M., 1952, “The Pattern of Disease in Childhood”, Australasian Annals of Medicine , Vol.1, No. 2: p. 93.

8) Heikkinen T, Booy R, Campins M, Finn A, Olcen P, Peltola H, Rodrigo C, Schmitt H, Schumacher F, Teo S, Weil-Olivier C, 2006, Should healthy children be vaccinated against influenza?
European Journal of Pediatrics, 165: 223-228, DOI 10.1007/s00431-005-0040-9

9) McIntyre P, 2009, Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS).

10) Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, 2009, Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) 5

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Australia’s drug regulator considers referring vaccine hesitant Facebook posts to police

The regulator cited potential two-year jail terms in some instances

By Tom Parker | Reclaim the Net | June 1, 2021

Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), is considering referring Facebook posts containing claims about COVID vaccine deaths to the police after a post showing Labor backbencher Julian Hill getting his vaccine was met with mass pushback from vaccine skeptics.

The post was ratioed with almost twice the number of comments to engagements – a common sign that a post is unpopular.

Many of the comments noted that the vaccine is “experimental,” described Hill’s post as “propaganda,” and voiced their objections to the vaccine.

But The Guardian Australia focused on alleged posts from some Facebook users that purportedly contained an image that cited the TGA and claimed that COVID-19 vaccines have caused more than 200 deaths.

The figure is a reference to the TGA’s disclosure in its May 27 COVID-19 vaccine weekly safety report that it has received “210 reports of deaths following immunisation.” However, the TGA insists that only one of these deaths was caused by the vaccines.

After The Guardian Australia contacted the TGA, it said the alleged posting of claims that the vaccine had caused more than 200 deaths were “particularly concerning” and that it would consider referring these posts to the federal police.

Additionally, the TGA noted that it’s a criminal offense, punishable by two years in prison, to represent oneself as a commonwealth body or claim to act on behalf of one.

The Guardian Australia also contacted Facebook which swiftly removed the posts for violating its far-reaching “COVID-19 misinformation” rules.

Despite the threat of police referrals from the TGA and Facebook removing the posts, Hill demanded that Australia’s health minister, Greg Hunt, take further action to “combat vaccine hesitancy, and the bat shit crazy conspiracy theories circulating online.”

He also warned “Australians will continue to be exposed to restrictions and lockdowns… until enough of the population is vaccinated.”

These developments come months after Australian lawmaker Craig Kelly had one of his Facebook posts about masks removed after complaints from the opposition party. Days after this post removal, his account was temporarily suspended and he was then permanently banned a couple of months later.

Facebook also expanded its crackdown on vaccine skeptic content last month by starting to “fact-check” and suppress individual users that repeatedly share misinformation. This followed whistleblowers exposing the tech giant’s secret algorithm that suppresses negative vaccine experiences.

June 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

The American Colony of Australia

Tales of the American Empire | February 18, 2021

Western media portrays Australia as a beautiful nation with independent people and a close ally of the United States. But the American Empire has no allies, only vassal states. Australia became a colony of the American empire in 1975 after an Anglo-American coup. Australians noticed nothing since Australia had been an British colony since its inception and dispatches military forces when ordered to fight empire wars.

_______________________

“The militarization of Australia”; Bruce Haigh; Pearls and Irritations; August 27, 2020; https://johnmenadue.com/the-militaris…

“ALLY THIS: The CIA Subversion of Australian Democracy”; Jon Gleur; Dunemessiahdotnet; November 23, 2014; (details of the 1975 coup) https://dunemessiahdotnet.wordpress.c…

“The PM, the spy and the governor-general: what John Kerr didn’t tell the palace”; Guy Rundle; Crikey; July 17, 2020; (details about the CIA coup from the “Palace Papers” that were declassified in 2020); https://www.crikey.com.au/2020/07/17/…

“The Forgotten Coup Against ‘The Most Loyal Ally’”; John Pilger; Consortium News; June 1, 2020; https://consortiumnews.com/2020/06/01…

“A warning to Australia; do not underestimate China’s end game”; 60 Minutes Australia; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG33L…

I had included a short clip from this anti-China propaganda story produced by the American empire to fool Australians. “60 Minutes” objected to my “fair use” for commentary so I was forced to clip it out, resulting in an audio blip in this video.

February 28, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 4 Comments

India needs course correction on Myanmar

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | February 7, 2021

The Modi government made a strident call on February 1 that the “rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld” in Myanmar. The statement, following a prodding from Washington, was unabashedly intrusive, and, ironically, completely overlooking that human rights, rule of law, democratic pluralism, etc. are universal values that India also can (and should) be held accountable for. Lapping up the neocon prescriptions from Washington may not serve India’s interests, in general, and they are very specific to Myanmar. 

The government failed to fathom the US’ motivations in riding the high horse of democracy so soon after the Capitol Riots in Washington, DC. Human rights issues come handy for Washington to rally allies at a juncture when its leadership of the transatlantic alliance is in drift and major European powers do not see eye to eye with its global strategies on Russia and China and mock at its nostalgia-laden slogan that “America is back.” 

Alas, the government failed to consult the ASEAN despite Delhi’s refrain that it attributes “centrality” to that grouping.

The ASEAN Chair’s statement of Feb, 1 recalled the “purposes and the principles enshrined in the ASEAN Charter” which include respecting the principles of sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, non-interference, consensus and unity in diversity.” 

The ASEAN Chair’s statement of Feb, 1 recalled the “purposes and the principles enshrined in the ASEAN Charter.” Simply put, India chose to bandwagon with the US, Japan and Australia while the ASEAN and China took a differentiated stance. Geopolitics crept in. But the US has since realised the folly and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan scrambled to contact the ASEAN ambassadors in Washington. 

How come Delhi goofed up? Primarily, it is due to a flawed understanding of the Myanmar situation. The Indian analysts increasingly view world developments through their China prism and began fancying that with the massive victory of Aung San Suu Kyi in the November election provided an opportunity for India to “gear up to implement a major strategy with Myanmar under its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy… to bring Myanmar under the Indo-Pacific construct” so as to align that country “more with ‘like-minded’ countries… to stand firm against China… to make Myanmar a part of the Indo-Pacific policy… (and) steer Myanmar away from the Chinese grip.”  

Such views betray a zero sum mindset borne out of blind Sinophobia. Whereas, the ground realities are much more complex. The point is, Beijing brilliantly succeeded over the years in building a close relationship of mutual trust and mutual respect with Suu Kyi, parallel to the nurture of links between the Chinese Communist Party and her party National League for Democracy. 

Unlike the western narrative of Aung Suu Kyi as Myanmar’s democracy icon, Beijing regarded her as a pragmatic politician who never uttered remarks to the detriment of China-Myanmar ties, was manifestly eager to maintain good relations and consistently adopted a soft stance on the South China Sea issue. 

Beijing was greatly impressed that although Suu Kyi wanted Western support, she was adamant about national sovereignty. Arguably, it was in sync with what China would like its neighbours to practice. Chinese President Xi Jinping received Suu Kyi seven times since 2015.

State Counselor Wang Yi visited Myanmar recently on Jan. 12, met Suu Kyi and expressed strong support for her government and conveyed a strong commitment that China wants to work with her during the second term. And they agreed to push ahead with Belt and Road projects and lock in a five-year pact on trade and economic cooperation. Clearly, the prospect for the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor under Belt and Road Initiative has become uncertain now, as compared to a month ago. 

In fact, the Chinese media reports already sound a word of caution that “Chinese companies operating in Myanmar need to watch out for contractual and default risks amid the current political upheaval… Government default is a major risk, especially for major and strategic projects in sectors including transportation and energy… But Chinese companies can seek international arbitration if they face illegal confiscation of their property.”

It is no secret that the Myanmar army marks a certain distance from China. Suffice to say, Myanmar developments present an extraordinary case study where Beijing silently feels distressed over the sudden eclipse of western style democracy in a neighbouring country. (See the Reuters analysis Myanmar coup does China more harm than good.)

Surely, the coup creates political baggage for China insofar as it cannot (and will not) take a position against the military, but also comes under compulsion to cover or provide protection for the military internationally. On the whole, this situation poses a major political and diplomatic liability for Beijing and cannot bring good news. Therefore, China prioritises that the concerned parties to solve their differences mutually, according to the constitution and within the legal framework, while maintaining peace and stability. Chinese expert opinion is that Suu Kyi’s political career is in jeopardy. 

Of course, Suu Kyi made some serious errors, too. She heavily depended on people loyal to her personally, without bothering about their competence or integrity. It not only spawned corruption but also led to government failure to deliver, especially in job creation. Her leadership style was often dictatorial. She resorted to draconian laws to muzzle or jail critics. (See the Singapore-based Channel News Asia video titled Aung San Suu Kyi: A Fading Legacy dated October 22, 2020 on the eve of the November elections.)

Suu Kyi had no control over some major sectors of the national economy through two entities, Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited and Myanmar Economic Corporation as well as a network of domestic private business enterprises, known as “crony companies,” which generate revenue for the military and strengthen its autonomy.

Suu Kyi’s biggest mistake was in believing that she could, through her brand of nationalism, dismiss accusations of genocide directed against the Rohingya. In the process, Suu Kyi lost western support. From that point, she has been on borrowed time and the military barely hid its distaste for Suu Kyi.

To be sure, the military anticipated the impact and the reaction from the international community and took into consideration the Biden administration’s preoccupations with domestic issues. Myanmar doesn’t even figure in the top 10 priorities of Biden’s foreign policy. But the US Congress is not going to tolerate a coup in Myanmar and will mount pressure on the Biden administration to punish the military by imposing sanctions, cutting aid or targeting the generals and their companies.

However, a reversal of the military takeover is not to be expected and the probability is that Washington may lose whatever little leverage it would have had in Naypyidaw. Washington is mulling over policy options

But there may be a Plan B. Indeed, the former US Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, who is no stranger to Myanmar, voiced the opinion last week that the time has come for the West to look beyond Suu Kyi for new faces among the opposition. One way is to mould a leadership that will be friendly to the US. There are signs that the western agencies are inciting the youth in Myanmar to stage protests, as had happened in Hong Kong and Thailand. The military has clamped down on Facebook and internet. Shades of colour revolution? 

This is where Russia’s role merits attention. The struggle for influence in Myanmar has a geopolitical dimension, for obvious reasons. Since 2015, following the signing of a military cooperation agreement, Russian presence has increased, and, importantly, it coincides with the lengthening shadows of Russian presence in the Indian Ocean. 

Russia has emerged as a major military partner for Myanmar. Russia operates a servicing centre in Myanmar. The Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin told the media last month that Myanmar plays “a key role in maintaining peace and security in the region.” 

It is entirely conceivable that Russia, which has great expertise in countering colour revolutions, shares intelligence with the Myanmar military. Over six hundred military officers from Myanmar are studying in the Russian military academies presently. Myanmar’s military chief Min Aung Hlaing visited Russia six times in the recent years, more than to any other country. 

During the visit of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to Naypyidaw last month, the Russian media quoted Gen. Hlaing as saying, “Just like a loyal friend, Russia has always supported Myanmar in difficult moments, especially in the last four years.” An agreement was signed for supply of a batch of Russian missile and artillery air defense systems Pantsir-S1. 

Tass reported that the “command of Myanmar’s armed forces has shown interest in other advanced weapon systems of Russian manufacture.” Shoigu has reportedly expressed interest to establish visits of Russian warships to Myanmar’s ports. 

All things taken into consideration, we may expect China and Russia to provide a firewall for Myanmar to ward off western penetration, as is happening in Central Asia. (The UN Security Council statement avoids any reference to the military or a coup as such in Myanmar and lays emphasis on national reconciliation, with pointed reference to Suu Kyi’s release.) Russia shares China’s perception of Quad as a destabilising factor in regional security. 

Clearly, India needs to keep the “big picture” in view. It will not be to India’s advantage to create misperceptions that it is bandwagoning with some neocon Anglo-American project for regime change in Myanmar. In regard of Myanmar’s stability, India too is a stakeholder and would have a convergence of interests with Russia and China. 

February 7, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Childless Aussie vegans getting vasectomies shows environmental movement has finally lost its humanity

© Getty Images / kzenon
By Frank Furedi | RT | January 15, 2021

During the pandemic Down Under it has become fashionable for young male vegans to get sterilised in the name of saving the planet. This Malthusian instinct shows that increasingly babies are viewed not as a blessing, but a curse.

Australia has long been the country with the second highest rate of vasectomies in the world. Since the beginning of the pandemic, however, the rate of sterilisation has doubled!

According to Australian psychiatrist Dr Tanveer Ahmed, young male vegans are getting the snip because they believe it helps reduce population and consumption, which benefits the environment.

The belief that newborn babies constitute a threat to the environment is not confined to Australia. Environmentalist lobby groups are busy condemning those who have large families, branding them “environmentally irresponsible.” Having children, especially lots of children, is treated as an eco-crime. Prince Harry, via the issue of Vogue edited by his wife Meghan, pushed this idea last September, with his promise to have only two children in the name of eco-sustainability.

Many young female environmentalists have also declared their decision to boycott motherhood. In the UK, they have formed the ‘BirthStrike’ movement. These activists have decided “not to bear children due to the severity of the ecological crisis and the current inaction of governing forces in the face of this existential threat.” The BirthStrike website features personal statements from individuals who think it is wrong to give birth. When you read these statements, you realise just how much this movement has become estranged from the experience of motherhood.

The idea that giving birth is some kind of crime against the environment is now even endorsed by celebrities. Miley Cyrus says millennials “don’t want to reproduce, because we know that the Earth can’t handle it.”

The BirthStrike movement is merely the most extreme and depressing manifestation of an anti-humanist culture of pessimism. As is the case with Australian male vegans opting to get the snip, what drives them is not simply a deep attachment to the environment, but also a sense of misanthropy that leads them to the conclusion that the world would be a better place if humans stopped having babies. Their view of babies as polluters of the planet seamlessly meshes with a sentiment that treats parenthood as an undesirable and ‘problematic’ goal.

The dehumanisation of babies illustrates the sensibility of misanthropy driving sections of the environmentalist movements. The consequences of this sentiment were shockingly brought home to me when I read an article in the Australian Medical Journal by Barry Walters, a professor of obstetric medicine.

Walters wrote that “anthropogenic greenhouse gases constitute the largest source of pollution, with by far the greatest contribution from humans in the developed world” and that “every newborn baby in Australia represents a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years.”

He went on to ask: “What then should we do as environmentally responsible medical practitioners? We should point out the consequences to all who fail to see them, including, if necessary, the ministers for health. Far from showering financial booty on new mothers and thereby rewarding greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour, a ‘Baby Levy’ in the form of a carbon tax should apply, in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle.”

Depicting new motherhood as “greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour,” Walters proposed a baby tax. From this perspective, the very act of giving birth is a form of pollution!

The vegans who are getting snipped clearly got Walters’ message and are making absolutely certain they are avoiding any “greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour.” As potential polluters, babies cease to be those lovely cuddly things that bring so much joy to our lives. Robbing babies of their endearing innocence makes it easier to scare people off having them.

In centuries past, babies were depicted as a blessing, but now some argue that not having one is a blessing – at least for the environment. This reversal in the way we regard human life is explicitly advocated by the environmentalist writer Kelpie Wilson, who presents abortion as not so much a necessary option to allow women to determine their life, but as a sacrifice well worth making in the interests of the planet.

“To understand that a tiny embryo must sometimes be sacrificed for the greater good of the family or the human species as a whole is the moral high ground that we stand on today,” argues Wilson. Why? Because “we have to consider how we will live tomorrow on a resource-depleted and climate compromised planet.”

From Wilson’s perspective, abortion is morally justified as a resource-saving strategy. She believes that “most women who seek abortions do so in order to conserve resources for children they already have.” Scare stories about the “physical limits of the planet” are now being presented as “moral arguments about abortion.”

King Herod’s fear of newborns was confined to one baby. Today’s misanthropic fear merchants have a far more ambitious target – the act of human birth itself. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that those who believe, far from being precious, a human life is a burden on the planet are deeply messed-up people.

Frank Furedi is an author and social commentator. He is an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Author of How Fear Works: The Culture of Fear in the 21st Century. Follow him on Twitter @Furedibyte

January 15, 2021 Posted by | Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Unexploded bombs at military site hinder Australian firefighters tackling enormous ‘life-threatening’ blaze

RT | January 5, 2021

Firefighters in Western Australia are being prevented from reaching at-risk homes due to unexploded bombs buried in the ground, as they tackle a huge blaze that has ripped through more than 9,000 hectares of land since Saturday.

The fire is located near the town of Lancelin, some 160km north of Perth, and is advancing at a pace of about 3.5km an hour towards the mainland settlement of Wedge Island, where a bombing range contains explosives buried underground.

The Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) told local residents on Tuesday to “act immediately to survive” and ordered them to evacuate the area amid the “threat to lives and homes.”

A community meeting with DFES officials determined it would be too dangerous for fire crews to enter the old Lancelin bombing range surrounding the Wedge Island mainland settlement due to the unexploded ordinances.

The coastal dune area has been used in the past by the SAS for counter-terrorism practice, and for navy diver explosives-clearance training.

More than 200 firefighters are tackling the fire, which broke out in the Red Gully area of the shire of Gingin on Saturday and has spread rapidly, helped by winds of 20 to 30km/h.

So-called ‘spot fires’ are also being ignited by embers blown hundreds of meters away from the main blaze, with dry conditions set to continue amid highs of 40 degrees Celsius this week.

A DEFS statement on Tuesday warned people in the affected areas not to delay evacuating, as “leaving at the last minute is deadly,” adding that people who find themselves unable to leave should brace for sheltering inside.

No homes are reported to have been destroyed, according to local media. The DFES said the fire had been started accidentally.

January 5, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | | Leave a comment

Russia may benefit from trade rift between China and Australia

RT | December 16, 2020

Russian coal suppliers could boost their exports to China, as the world’s largest coal buyer is reportedly curbing shipments of the commodity from Australia amid escalating tensions between the two countries.

The developer of the largest Russian coal deposit, Elga, announced on Tuesday that it created a joint venture with a Chinese shipping company to promote Russian coal on the massive Chinese market. The project between Elgaugol and GH-Shipping is set to satisfy China’s growing demand for high-quality coking coal.

The deal is set to help boost Russian coal supplies to China from one million tons this year to 30 million tons in 2023, and the developer could potentially further increase annual imports to 50 million tons. The joint venture is also expected to contribute to the ambitious goal of the Russian and Chinese governments to significantly increase bilateral trade turnover, as it would increase the volume of trade between the two countries by $5 billion per year.

“The supplies of coking coal from Elga will replace a significant amount of Australian and American coal of similar quality,” Elgaugol Director-General Aleksandr Isaev said.

Another Russian producer, Mechel, previously said that it was planning to increase exports of coal to China amid Beijing’s restrictions on Australian imports. In November, the shipments rose by 13 percent, and are set to jump by 25-30 percent in December, Mechel CEO Oleg Korzhov said as cited by Russian media.

Tensions between the two countries have been growing for around three years, after the Australian government began limiting Chinese investments in the country. In 2018, Canberra added fuel to the fire when it banned China’s Huawei and ZTE from its 5G rollout. The most recent escalation occurred when Australia pushed in April for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier this week, Chinese state-linked media reported that the nation’s top economic planner gave domestic power plants the greenlight to import coal without clearance restrictions from several countries “except for Australia.” While Beijing has not officially confirmed the restrictions, Canberra has already urged the Chinese government to clarify the reports.

This week’s reports are not the first to allege that China is quietly banning coal imports from Australia. Last month, several million tons of Australian coal worth more than $500 million were reportedly stuck in Chinese ports.

December 16, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 4 Comments

Australian court upholds sacking of academic for criticising US and Israeli militarism

By Mike Head | WSWS | December 2, 2020

A Federal Court judge last week set a chilling and far-reaching precedent for the further overturning of basic democratic rights and academic freedom, especially to express political or other dissenting views.

The ruling backed the University of Sydney’s February 2019 dismissal of Dr. Tim Anderson, an economics department senior lecturer, primarily on the basis of allegations that his criticisms of US militarism and Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people were “offensive.”

Dr. Tim Anderson (Photo source: Facebook)

The court decision is another warning of the poisonous and repressive atmosphere being whipped up to silence opposition to the preparations for Australian involvement in potentially catastrophic US-led wars against China or other perceived threats to the global hegemony asserted by Washington since World War II.

Significantly, the University of Sydney hosts the US Studies Centre, which was established in 2006, with US and Australian government funding, for the express purpose of overcoming popular hostility to US militarism after the massive protests against the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The court’s judgment also exposed the fraud of claims by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) that its enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) with universities protect the essential principle of academic freedom.

Justice Thomas Thawley ruled that the university’s EBA with the union, which is similar to those at most universities, “does not recognise the existence of, or give rise to, a legally enforceable right to intellectual freedom.”

In particular, Thawley declared that EBA “academic freedom” clauses do not protect university workers from being sacked for making comments—even on their private social media accounts—that managements deem in breach of their employee codes of conduct. Instead, EBA commitments to academic freedom were “purely aspirational.”

University of Sydney Institute Building, where United States Studies Centre is located (Photo source: Wikipedia)

This thoroughly anti-democratic decision comes on the back of a similar result in another case taken to the courts by the NTEU. In July, the Full Federal Court upheld the dismissal of James Cook University academic Dr. Peter Ridd, for expressing his views, as a climate-change sceptic, that cut across the university’s reputation.

Anderson’s case demonstrates how far university managements, working in league with governments and the corporate media, can victimise academics, especially those who oppose the wars of US imperialism and its allies, including the Zionist regime in Israel.

Among the charges the University of Sydney made against Anderson was that he tweeted, on his own Twitter account, criticism of the university hosting an address by US Senator John McCain. Anderson described McCain, a backer of every US military intervention for the past three decades, including the brutal neo-colonial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as “a key US war criminal.”

Other allegations included Anderson posting on his personal Facebook account a photograph of a group of friends eating lunch, one of whom wore an anti-Israel badge. Anderson was accused of “promoting racial hatred and/or racism” and charged with violating the university’s Code of Conduct even though he was on leave from the university at the time.

Anderson was further charged with posting to his Facebook and Twitter accounts a denunciation of a video news report by Channel 7 reporter Bryan Seymour that insinuated that Anderson supported racism and the North Korean regime. Anderson’s comment that “Colonial media promotes ignorance, apartheid and war” was declared “derogatory” toward Seymour.

Anderson was also cited for giving a lecture that allegedly featured an Israeli flag with the Nazi swastika superimposed on it, examined media coverage of Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014, and encouraged students to seek independent evidence of claims of “moral equivalence” between Israel’s deadly aerial bombardments and primitive Palestinian rocket attacks.

This was judged to be “derogatory and/or offensive” and as “reasonably seen as racist towards or seeking to target and/or offend Israelis and/or Jewish people and/or Jewish victims of the Nazi regime.” Yet, critics of the Israeli government, including anti-Zionist Jews, have often compared its persecution of the Palestinian people to the actions of the fascist German regime.

Finally, Anderson was accused of breaching confidentiality orders barring him from even telling anyone that he was facing dismissal, and of failing to comply with “a lawful and reasonable direction” to delete his social media posts.

The judge agreed with the university management’s determination that Anderson’s posts and efforts to fight his dismissal amounted to “serious misconduct” under both the NTEU’s EBA and the university’s Code of Conduct, thus justifying his sacking.

Anderson’s dismissal followed a protracted campaign by senior figures in the federal Liberal-National Coalition government, the corporate media and university management, to demonise Anderson because of his denunciations of wars and military interventions by the US, Israel and other major powers.

In April 2018, Education Minister Simon Birmingham, who was in charge of university funding, demanded an investigation into Anderson for comments he made questioning US claims that the Syrian government was responsible for a sarin gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

The Murdoch-owned Sydney Daily Telegraph hysterically denounced Anderson as a “sarin gasbag” and the Sydney Morning Herald later reported that the university was taking disciplinary action against Anderson—a media disclosure that violated its own confidentiality regime.

Justice Thawley found Anderson’s dismissal as justified by the university’s Code of Conduct, which imposes requirements such as “the exercise of the best professional and ethical judgment,” “integrity and objectivity,” being “fair and reasonable” and treating “members of the public with respect, impartiality, courtesy and sensitivity.” The university’s employees must also “uphold the outstanding reputation of the University in the community.”

These formulations are so vague and value-laden that they could provide a pretext for sacking academics or other university workers for condemning government policies, denouncing corporate greed or accusing the US and Australian governments of military aggression or war crimes. Employees could be dismissed for criticising university policies, such as hosting pro-military think tanks.

Virtually every university campus across the country now participates in government-funded programs to tie academic research to the development of new military technologies. Australian universities are being integrated into a vast US-led military build-up, aimed at preparing for war with China and other powers.

The NTEU’s response to the court ruling, as it was to Anderson’s sacking itself, and the massive job cuts ravaging universities, is to oppose any mobilisation of university workers and instead appeal to the employers for a deal.

In a union media statement, NTEU New South Wales division secretary Michael Thomson said: “We call on all Vice Chancellors to come to the table to talk about how we can formulate a legally enforceable right, to provide the appropriate protections for university staff and to avoid these circumstances occurring in the future.”

The Federal Court’s support for Anderson’s victimisation is part of a deeper attack on fundamental democratic rights. It widens the impact of a High Court 2019 ruling that essentially abolished freedom of speech for workers, whether in government or corporate employment. With no dissent, the judges endorsed the sacking of a federal public servant for criticising—even anonymously—the country’s brutal refugee detention regime.

A warning must be sounded. The ruling class and its agencies, including university managements, are seeking to suppress dissent amid mounting social inequality, war preparations and deepening political discontent.

Hence the federal police raids on journalists for publishing leaks exposing government and military crimes, the prosecution of the whistleblowers involved and the bipartisan backing for the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

December 5, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 3 Comments