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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 »

Written by typingisnotactivism

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.

Written by typingisnotactivism

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.

Written by typingisnotactivism

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.

Written by typingisnotactivism

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