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Archive for the ‘health’ Category

News Alert: Israel now to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza

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In an unexpected breakthrough, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has confirmed new steps in addition to the humanitarian aid corridors and three-hour daily ceasefire announced in the last 24 hours.

“Under the 6 month truce with Hamas,” said Livni, “increasing numbers of weapons have been smuggled into Gaza, forcing Israel to defend herself. For this reason, convoys into Gaza are a security problem. But we do not want ordinary Palestinians to suffer, so we will increasingly handle delivery of humanitarian aid – particularly medical supplies – to Gaza.”

The announcement from Livni further detailed Israel’s plans to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the people who need it most. Using new delivery technologies, the Israeli military will work together with U.N. relief organizations to improve conditions for ordinary citizens of Gaza.

With the benefit of knowledge gained from resupply of US troops in Iraq, the UN and Israeli forces will fasten hardened carbon fibre packages containing antibiotics, anaesthetic, surgical tools, bandages, and saline solution to munitions aimed into Gaza. The new approach will ensure that medical supplies reach the Palestinians who need them most, at the time they are most needed.

Named META – Medical Emergency Targeted Attachment – the containers detach from missiles just moments before impact. The packages are clearly marked with a red cross and emit a series of short siren bursts to allow easier recovery by survivors within the immediate blast zone. Encapsulating nanotechnologies have produced a 93% average survival rate for META contents in field testing.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is still upset by Israeli attacks on U.N. schools in Gaza, which killed more than 30 refugees, but he sees hope in this new targeted delivery of humanitarian aid.

“We do not approve of the wanton destruction of U.N. property,” said Moon, “but Israel knows that this senseless violence cannot continue. We are encouraged to see some sense in their latest steps toward creating a more humane situation on the ground in Gaza.”

Livni insists that the latest move is not just a cynical stunt suggested to Israel by Washington as a way of projecting a more caring image even at a time of unregulated and unjustified slaughter.

“Here in Israel,” said Livni, “we have already forgotten more about efficient management of civilian populations than most countries have ever had to learn.”

Written by typingisnotactivism

January 8, 2009 at 2:45 am

Michael Duffy is a moron; why does Fairfax pay him?

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It is strange that Fairfax, the publisher of Sydney Morning Herald, puts out a far better paper in Melbourne – The Age – than they do in Sydney. It could perhaps be because the Sydney editor is a nonce. But that doesn’t explain why the hell Fairfax employ a conservative editor in what continually tries to be a progressive society. Perhaps they would rather we resist that impulse.

Or they think we are idiots, which would explain why they keep on their stable of narcissistic pundits-of-no-merit. Like Miranda Devine. Like Gerard Henderson (could somebody pleeeease tell him that John Howard is gone already). Like Michael Duffy.

Duffy is like a tumour that masquerades as a boil. His bio is hilarious – he relaunched his image at the Herald lately by presenting himself as aged cool like a turd with chocolate sprinkles, making special efforts to emphasize that he has been on the dole, AND played in bands. I would bet Madonna’s left nut that they were horrible pieces of shit who largely played or ripped off other people’s songs that sucked way before they even lost all relevance.. Because this feels like the kind of guy that Duffy is, and it’s exactly the way that he manages information. He’s like some second rate Christopher Pyne trying to present as a first rate Shaun Micallef, thereby coming across quite a bit like a skid mark from Peter Costello’s underpants but without the charisma.

In the tradition of ripping off shit that need never have been exuded in the first place, skunkjunk has just run an op ed in the Herald Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored. Wow! Genius! Who would have ever thought to use the title of an increasingly old movie ironically in pursuit of climate change denial? Never. Seen. That. Done. A. Million. Times. Already.

And what a piece of crap it is.

Someone else who’s looked closely at scientific journals (although not specifically those dealing with climate science) is epidemiologist John Ioannidis of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication. (Lest he be dismissed as some eccentric, I note that the Economist recently said Ioannidis has made his case “quite convincingly”.)

So, one of Duffy’s convincing sources reads magazines that aren’t anything to do with climate science, and has found inconsistencies in those non-climate findings which a non-climate magazine has apparently once agreed add up to some kind of non-climate argument, and therefore climate change is bogus? I’m so convinced, I must read further. Read the rest of this entry »

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November 8, 2008 at 2:32 pm

RSPCA chickens out over allegations against industrial donor.

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The above picture comes from an excellent animal update by Maxine Firth here in today’s SMH. Amazingly, the RSPCA endorses the conditions in which these thousands upon thousands of birds at the Pace Farm facility in Buchanan, near Newcastle, are kept. More amazingly, their spokesperson, asked about these specific conditions and the ongoing commission-for-approval arrangement between Pace and RSPCA contributed to the following exchange:

Chief executive Heather Neil said: “RSPCA standards for accredited egg production ensure that hens are given the freedom to exhibit natural behaviours.

The program involves a process of stringent and regular inspections every eight to 12 weeks to ensure standards are being met.”

Ms Neil confirmed the RSPCA endorsed beak clipping of birds at the Buchanan facility.

“The RSPCA is aware of behavioural problems with this particular flock at Buchanan, specifically feather picking,” she said.

On the allegation that the birds were too cramped, she said RSPCA standards allowed for seven birds per square metre as opposed to the national code of practice standard of 12.

Animal Liberation said the RSPCA standard gives each bird an amount of space equivalent to a piece of A3 paper.

Ms Neil said the demand for eggs in Australia was about 200 million dozen eggs a year.

“Such a demand necessitates large-scale commercial production,” she said. “The RSPCA would prefer to be in there helping to improve the welfare of birds in commercial egg production rather than not being involved at all.”

Now, I may be wrong, but if birds are forced to live in such squalid and cramped conditions that they have to have their beaks burnt off so that they don’t peck each other to death… is that really a “behavioural problem”? Or is that a “human contempt for animal life problem”? And would the RSPCA have helped improve conditions for horses at race tracks or increase the size of steel pigpens if “large-scale commercial production” as opposed to “animal welfare” or “prevention of cruelty” was meant to be their priority.

Ha!! more like “eggs have the tick because it’s one less reason for you to give a shit about how these fucking trolls cash in on animal torture”

I have been pissed off at the way eggs are packaged, bought and sold for ages. Pace, for example, has a facility with close to a million chickens about 4 hours south west of Sydney, near Wyalong, in the appropriately named Bland Shire (seriously). These bastards have the nerve to produce a line of free range eggs, and people are either so busy or so ignorant that they buy them.

Here’s a simple question: If, for example, I keep a million chickens laying eggs in conditions similar to a concentration camp from the moment of their birth until their premature over-medicated death, but have another hundred thousand that run around in a nice field, should ANY self-respecting consumer be rewarding me with their cash?

Or to put it another way: If I run Auschwitz and I butcher 5 million people, turning them into soap, gold, and ashes, but I supply half a million with false papers and make sure they get across the Channel to England, am I a saint, am I halfway toward redemption, or am I so fucking evil that I should never be allowed to sell eggs again?

Basically – do not EVER buy ANY kind of egg from ANY company that runs ANY battery/cage hen facilities. Fuck PACE FARMS. Fuck INGHAM CHICKENS. FUCK KFC. Etc. LET YOUR SUPERMARKET KNOW –> tell them that you don’t want Pace Free Range eggs, tell them you want any other kind of remotely ethical free range eggs.

Buy organic if you’re really concerned about your own health. Buy free range if you’re concerned about the chicken whose period you’re eating.

And to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, as opposed to henpecked and cemented, here are photos from this page which allegedly details a 2002 investigation-of-sorts by local activists into the Pace facility near Wyalong.

These happy lookin’ fellas down the bottom have been in chook rehab. Not yet 100%, I’m guessing.

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 2, 2008 at 3:19 am

Tassie Devils trapped in forestry Hell.

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Kind of strange that the “Save the Tassie Devil” website is posted by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and Water, also known as the Department of Slime and Industrial Slaughter. Funny that the website tries to make the devil out to be cuddly and pitch it to Japanese tourists, like this

when the reality, the utterly malignant and horrid reality, is that more and more Tasmanian Devils are being delivered unto an even crueler and more painful fate like this:

Some are tipping the Devil for extinction within a matter of decades. Even though the so-called Devil Tumour Facial Disease (DTFD) was first classified in 1996, fuck all has been done until now by the Tasmanian government. Why? Because it’s just the environment. It’s just an animal. It’s just a low-grade tourism attraction. Let’s not do anything until it’s at absolute crisis point because all that will be left to do by then will be to watch the last bunch die and say some nice sad words, then get back to the business of turnng Tasmania into one big toxic splintery carpark.

Which happens to be something that the DPIW is well into, when they aren’t throwing up token websites telling tourists that it’s okay to come and spend your yen in Tassie because nobody marries their sister there anymore. Of course there has been kerfuffle lately around the notion that chemicals from abandoned fridges are the main catalyst for this horrific condition that is decimating the devil population, but scientists close to the problem aren’t yet buying into that position.

My bet is that once it’s too late, someone with qualifications will work out that it was the accumulation of Tassie government-subsidised 1080, atrazine, and other hardcore chemicals used in the clearfelling processes that continue to destroy devil habitat, somehow interacting into a spiky and horrible cancer cocktail which is causing such suffering and doom for the devils. Still, an American scientist thinks that there may be an$wer$ for human cancer in treating the devils, so they may have more than a hope in hell.

If this is something you would like to know more about, there is a very proper treatment of the situation with a detailed background here and here in parts I & II of David Obendorf’s ‘Poison Island’. Thoroughly worthy reading about one more possibly irreversible tragedy in the making.

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February 18, 2008 at 2:10 am

The Story of Stuff!!!!!

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You’ve got to give it to Counterpunch – when it’s good, it’s really, really good. This article by Robert Weissman just sent me headlong into a whole world of fresh juicy goodness.

Annie, who is a former colleague and good friend, casually mentions at the start of The Story of Stuff that she spent 10 years traveling the world to explore how stuff is made and discarded. This doesn’t begin to explain her first-hand experience. There aren’t many people who race from international airports to visit trash dumps. Annie does. In travels to three dozen countries, she has visited garbage dumps, infiltrated toxic factories, worked with ragpickers and received death threats for her investigative work. Her understanding of the externalized violence of the corporate consumer economy comes from direct observation and experience.

You may remember the wonderful piece of animated activism, The Meatrix. If you don’t, do check it out – highly worthy. Anyway, Free Range Studios – who produced The Meatrix – have now produced The Story of Stuff which basically maps out consumption culture from the mining of minerals to the incineration of consumables.

This bit of video is just a promo – for a download of the full piece, head to the SoS website, or drop by their blog and watch it grow.

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December 9, 2007 at 4:01 am

Important New Drug For DSACDAD Sufferers

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Because Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder is no joke. Take the test, see if you need 2 Havidol.

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November 9, 2007 at 12:06 am

Guest pulp media spray from Dr. Thomas Moore, Tasmanian oceanographer.

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Barns wrong on Whish-Wilson

In his October 15th column, Greg Barns, spouts about “well-informed
opinion”, “gross misinformation”, “political agendas”, and “self
interest” in the mill debate.

Mr. Barns’ fallacious spray targets Tamar Valley vigneron, UTAS
Economics and Finance lecturer, and Surfrider Foundation Australia
(SFA) – Northern Tasmania President, Peter Whish-Wilson.

For nearly two years Peter and his team of Surfriders have engaged
all parties, scrutinized the documentation, done research into
oceanography and economics, and participated in good faith with both
the (failed) state and (limited) federal assessment processes – all
in a volunteer capacity and at a high personal cost.

Thanks to Peter’s efforts SFA has facilitated overseas meetings for
Tasmanian Parliamentarians with Chilean wine industry representatives
who claim they HAVE experienced significant negative economic impacts
due to the proximity of pulp mills (check Hansard next time Greg) and
Peter HAS travelled overseas to visit pulp mill regions.

Peter does own a small Tamar Valley vineyard, which he works with his
own two hands to create gold-medal winning wine. Amongst all the
influential protagonists in this State-rending controversy – Gunns,
Gay, Lennon Labor, the State Libs, the CFMEU, Turnbull, Garrett,
Howard, Rudd, etc. – it is absurd to accuse Peter of being biased due
to “self interest”.

As a member of SFA I will continue to proudly stand shoulder to
shoulder with Peter in our efforts to inform the public of the
potential threat to our wild coastline and the dangerous game
currently being played with our marine environment by both state and
federal politicians – hiding behind their spin and finger pointing as
they plod along towards the electoral finish-line.

Just in case Mr. Barns decides to make further simpleminded
speculation about others let me state clearly for the record – I, and
millions of Australians across this nation, have a “self interest” in
our bays, beaches, and coastal waters that support a healthy marine
environment, sustainable industries, public amenity, and our health.

Dr. Thomas Moore
Oceanographer
Lauderdale, Tasmania

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 16, 2007 at 1:07 pm

More Idiots at APEC. Protesting In Support of Channel Ten Values.

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Whether you’re protesting at APEC, beating up protesters at APEC, or any security agency not directly employed by the NSW Police and therefore have the Deputy Premier and Police Minister’s permission to pretend to be a violent protester at APEC (therefore justifying the use of water cannon, police and paramilitary violence, 30 buses being used as mobile holding cells, etc.) you’ll want to know about these junk-slappers.

The Liberty and Democracy Party are a bunch of Australian igno-douches halfway between 1st year economics and their first graduate jobs in the p.r./marketing/banking sector. But they’re not all poorly educated assholes.

Some of them are just assholes.

Anyway, the whole globalisation, workplace slavery, environmental degradation, planetary pollution, exponentiation of inequality, stealing land, killing villages, two-party police state bound by economic monotheism thing is going so badly (obviously) that these fans of John Laws think their mighty voices, tiny minds and hunger for media ops are needed at APEC.

So get along and check them out. Take urine.

IGNORANT YOUNG NEOFASCIST AGITATOR ITINERARY

Saturday 8th September 2007

9:00am – Meet at the corner of York and Market Street on street level above the post office. This is across the intersection from the North-West corner of the Queen Victoria Building (QVB). There will be a short briefing with any last minute updates.

9:20am – Make our way as a group toward Hyde Park.

10:00am – 11:30am – Take our message of freedom to the people.

It is noteworthy that the original poster promoting this ‘alternative’ protest is a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. They are essentially a propaganda unit for hire lobbying for deregulation of GMOs, nuclear power and waste disposal, taxation of issue-based charities and NGOs, and social injustice. They refer to themselves as a ‘think tank’. This ‘protest’ is conveniently timed to run into the Sop Bush protest also happening in the same area in Sydney on Saturday morning. How convenient it would be if they created an incident requiring that the police use force indiscriminately, while certain journos who are also fellows of the IPA just happen to create context.

B_B_Bernice drew my attention back to something – a turn of phrase that likely sends chills up the spines of those who understand it – Naomi Klein’s latest speech turned to the battle for a different world and sums up modern history in her characteristically blunt and beautiful style:

We did not lose the battle of ideas. We were not outsmarted, and we were not out-argued. We lost because we were crushed. Sometimes we were crushed by army tanks, and sometimes we were crushed by think tanks. And by think tanks, I mean the people who are paid to think by the makers of tanks. Now, most effective we have seen is when the army tanks and the think tanks team up. The quest to impose a single world market has casualties now in the millions, from Chile then to Iraq today. These blueprints for another world were crushed and disappeared because they are popular and because, when tried, they work. They’re popular because they have the power to give millions of people lives with dignity, with the basics guaranteed. They are dangerous because they put real limits on the rich, who respond accordingly. Understanding this history, understanding that we never lost the battle of ideas, that we only lost a series of dirty wars, is key to building the confidence that we lack, to igniting the passionate intensity that we need.

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August 29, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Japan’s reactor and what will surely follow: New Clear Dangers in the Spinformation Age

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Those bloody greenies just won’t give the nuclear industry a chance. As Dr. Helen Caldicott and Professor Ian Lowe were on ABC TV tearing Ziggy Switkowski and a generic uranium lobbyist a new one, a major nuclear reactor was being shutdown following an earthquake and prolonged fire in Japan.

It has so far emerged that several thousand litres of radioactive water escaped into the environment when stored barrels fell over, and that other radioactive isotopes may have escaped through cracks in cement.

The location of a faultline near the reactor was known at the time of building, but the earthquake was twice as intense as any for which the housing was prepared. As a result of the reactor being shut down, Japanese industry has been warned to use less power to avoid an overburdened power grid blacking out. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 21, 2007 at 2:20 pm

A Funeral Song For Cheney

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July 21, 2007 at 11:41 am

Tassie Pulp Mill Approval 2007 – NOT one for the CV

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originally posted July 11

The Tasmanian pulp mill powder keg to which Malcolm Turnbull finds himself bound by ministerial obligation is set to blow. Only so many scandalous certainties can fit into any political manouevre, and if this one hasn’t already begun imploding by the time 4Corners covers it in late July, it’s a sure bet that it shall soon after.

In March, shortly after Linda Hornsey, secretary to Paul Lennon’s Department of Premier and Cabinet, secretly informed logging giant Gunns Ltd that theirborrowed from the Mercury submissions and impact statement were still inadequate and deficient, Gunns withdrew from a thorough, independent assessment process. This process had already run for over two years and was expected to run at least 9 months more.

Within a week, Lennon had replaced it with state legislation and a 6 week assessment process to be undertaken by two hired consultancies. The tricky bit is that in lengthy addresses to Parliament, public announcements, news interviews, and a 14-hour debate, it slipped his mind to mention that Gunns knew about this, or that his departmental secretary had told them, or that he, the Premier, knew about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting Berkeley Professor condemns Australia’s toxic forestry.

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“This is seriously wrong. The population is being poisoned. I have refused to drink the water in Tasmania and so should all Tasmanians.”

How much more Third World can Australia be than to allow this toxic substance into the air, the water and the food chain?”
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June 26, 2007 at 1:35 am

‘From the heart, for the heartland’ hits Redfern on Monday June 25th

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Nationwide Indigenous Anti-Nuclear Waste Dump Speaking Tour hits Redfern Community Centre this week! Read the rest of this entry »

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June 20, 2007 at 2:59 pm