Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category
The ABC reports a ‘catholic’ doctor working at Newcastle’s Calvary Mater Hospital has had his Catholic faith shaken by the hospital’s refusal to provide written advice on artificial contraception to patients participating in a cancer drug trial.
Really? A Catholic doctor’s faith is shaken because the Catholic hospital he works at acts in accordance with Catholic teaching?
Catholic hospitals are leaders in cancer research. All such research involves risks. In this case, there is a possibility the drug could cause birth defects.
The hospital provides everyone considering participating in the trial with a statement of the risks involved, including a section on reproductive risks.
It would be sensible to avoid conceiving a child while taking the drug.
Advice about natural methods of contraception is also available at the hospital.
Essentially, this means keeping track of the woman’s cycles, and avoiding intercourse for a maximum of ten days around the time of ovulation. This is as effective as the pill in preventing conception. Because no drugs are involved, there are no side effects, nor any possibility that artificial hormones will interfere with the cancer therapy.
If you can’t refrain from intercourse for ten days at a time for a few months while participating in a drug trial, there is something wrong with you.
When Kathy had uterine cancer, she underwent surgery then a course of radiotherapy. We were not able to make love for six months. It was frustrating at times. It also gave us a chance to grow together in other ways, and to appreciate the gift of sex even more.
If that path is not for you, there are plenty of places which will offer all the advice you need.
But why would anyone, including a doctor, think they had the right to get such advice from a Catholic hospital?
Well, no, actually. But, hey Bill McKibben et al, don’t let mere facts stop you.
Bill McKibben was one of the first (they are pretty quick, but he was the quickest) of the global warming alarmists to claim the Joplin disaster was OUR FAULT. Because of CO2 and stuff.
In reality that is a complete crock of doodoom, as Dr Roy Spencer points out.
There has been a decrease in the average number and intensity of tornadoes as the world has warmed. Tornadoes are stronger and more frequent in cooler years.
The warming trend began to reverse ten years ago. The current year is cooler. So it is not surprising that tornadoes are beginning to become worse.
But if blaming global warming makes you happy, well I guess reality is not for you.
However, you might still enjoy reading through The Times article from 1974 ‘Another Ice Age?’
Yep, looks like everyone is pretty much agreed, the science is settled, we’re headed for global cooling. And one of the signs is more frequent and more intense tornadoes.
And then there’s this:
Bishop George Browning, formerly Anglican Bishop of Canberra/Goulburn, had this to say:
Our generation has been given humanity’s last chance to avert a climate emergency. Our grandchildren will just have to bear with the results of what we decide to do now. The naysayers are holding Australia back from taking responsible action with their fear-mongering and misinformation. Not only can we act, we must act.
Actually George, you’ve got it the wrong way around. It is the misinformed fear-mongers who are demanding that we take irresponsible action.
No wonder nobody goes to the Anglican church any more. It seems to have nothing to say except for desperate attempts to be relevant by chasing every trendy issue. The end result, of course, is that everyone recognises it is completely irrelevant. To everything.
How hard can it be?
- There is no evidence, ever, anywhere, that CO2 has ever been a driver of climate change.
- Changes in temperature over the last century have been relatively mild by geological standards, and well within the range of normal change.
- The world has been getting cooler for the last ten years.
- There is no correlation between human production of CO2 and changes in global climate.
How about, George et al, holding off trying so hard to be cool, and actually saying something really relevant. Like ‘Jesus loves you.’
Just a suggestion.
The Australian Greens have accused polluters of an “ugly attack” on Hollywood star Cate Blanchett, who has come out in a new television advertising campaign in support of a carbon tax.
Yes, but if CO2 is a pollutant, then everyone still breathing is a polluter, right?
A tax on CO2 will have a serious effect on the ability of average householders to pay for fuel, electricity and ordinary household items. The whole point of a CO2 tax is to make it impossible for ordinary people to go on using the resources they use now. In other words, the point is to make people poorer.
But Cate’s response to these concerns is not just ‘Let them eat cake,’ but ‘No problem, let a few starve or freeze. Can someone bring me my second cappuchino. And where is the limo to take me to my private jet?’
And for heaven’s sake, why can’t the people who want a tax talk clearly about what it is they want?
They don’t want a ‘carbon tax.’ They want a tax on human production of CO2. Calling CO2 ‘carbon pollution’ makes as much sense as calling water ‘oxygen pollution.’
When Cate Blanchett lives in a two bedroom cottage like I do, uses only rain water like I do, car pools like I do, uses less than 6000 kWh of electricity per year as I do, then I will listen to what she has to say on the subject of reducing our resource usage.
Until then, she can keep her preaching to herself.
I watched the SA ABC’s Stateline programme on Friday night. There was a segment about KI Sealink and some of Kangaroo Island’s accommodation services.
The accommodation providers said it was unfair that they weren’t benefitting from a Sealink partnership programme they hadn’t joined and didn’t want to pay for.
They had complained to Sealink, then to the ACCC. The ACCC found their complaint was without foundation, so they enlisted a self-promoting politician and academic, and complained to the media.
I didn’t know whether to be amused or appalled.
Sealink is a commercial venture. Its future reliability depends on its continuing to make a profit.
Without strong profits it could not employ the staff it does on Kangaroo Island and elsewhere. It could not maintain and service its vessels and other infrastructure. It could not make provision to purchase replacement vessels and buildings when necessary. It could not pay $10,000 per week in wharfage fees (essentially a state government toll on the only road in and out of our community, the only community in the state that has to pay such an impost), and it could not pay taxes which contribute to roads, hospitals and schools.
Sealink is under no obligation to offer lower fares to residents, or any reduced fares at all, even as part of a campaign to bring more visitors to the island.
When it does offer below cost fares, that loss needs to be recovered from somewhere else.
One way to do this is to invite accommodation services to partner with it. Those who choose to be partners share in meeting the cost of the reduced fares. In return, they get more prominent publicity, and priority in accommodation bookings made through Sealink.
There is nothing remotely anti-competitive about this. It is not, for example, like service providers agreeing to fix prices.
But some providers who have chosen not to participate are complaining it is unfair.
This is a bit like complaining it is unfair that people who pay for advertising in The Islander get more customers than people who don’t. Fairfax has plenty of money. They should offer free advertising space to people who don’t want to pay, so those people are not disadvantaged.
That would be ridiculous. It is no less ridiculous for people who have chosen not to participate in a partnership programme to complain it is unfair when they get fewer bookings than people who have.
It is a simple commercial decision. If you think your business would be more profitable paying the partnership fee and commissions, then join. If you don’t, don’t join.
But whatever you decide, don’t whine about it.
Organisers of the Slutwalk rally declare: Sluts are sex workers. Sluts are virgins. Sluts are mothers with their teenage daughters. Sluts wear beanies, fishnet stockings, G-string leotards, polar fleece and jeans.
Are these women (and a few try hard blokes) completely and utterly crazy?
Of course rape is wrong. Of course ‘No’ means no. Of course women have the right to be safe wherever they are, whatever they choose to wear.
But hang on a second. What does a ‘right to be safe wherever they are, whatever they choose to wear’ actually mean?
Men don’t have any such right. Or maybe they do in theory.
But men, generally, understand that what they wear sends signals about who they are, what they might be up for, and what value they place on themselves. And generally, they stay out of places that might be unsafe. Even if they have a right, in theory, to go where they want, wearing what they want.
”My rape was not my fault!” Cody Smith told the crowd. A woman who has transitioned to being a man, he choked back tears as he described his guilt.
”I spent so many years blaming myself for my state of intoxication … for what I was wearing … for not being strong enough to keep the rapist off me.”
So you were alone with a man you did not know, dressed like a slut (their word, not mine) and crocked out of your brain, and what happened to you was not your fault.
I agree. It wasn’t your fault. If you said no in a way that your attacker could understand, then it was rape, and your attacker was criminally wrong.
But the reality is that we don’t just communicate using words. The clothes you wear, the make-up you use, how drunk you are, the way you walk, the way you talk, the places you go, all send signals.
This is true of men too of course. Women rightly use such cues to make decisions about the character and reliablity of the men they choose to be with.
This means both men and women should be aware of, and take responsibility for, the messages they send.
Right or wrong, like it or not, sometimes non-verbal cues outweigh what a person says in words. And if you make a series of decisions to dress in a certain way, drink more than you should, behave like a tart, pash on with a stranger, then don’t be surprised when a person whose physical responses you have elicited becomes confused about the messages you are sending.
Women should be safe. That is their right. If they want to be taken seriously and treated as equals and adults, they should also be responsible.
And yes, even when women won’t take responsibility, men should. Rape is always wrong.
I have stopped comments on this post. I have let most of those already made stand.
Really, people. I would have thought it obvious if I allow comments which swear at me or wish me dead, that I don’t agree with or endorse every comment made. So it makes little to zero sense to insult me further for the opinions of people who comment.
Secondly, as I thought I had made clear in my original post more than once, rape is an abhorrent crime. It is never acceptable or excusable. It is never right to blame the victim.
It is surely, however, given that there are rapists out there, reasonable to ask how women can be safer.
Asking how women can be safer is not the same thing as blaming them for being raped. Why would anyone make that assumption?
One of the things that concerned me about the Slutwalk is that it suggests that women are to be identified as sexual objects.
If you advertise yourself as sexually available in dress or speech, some people will assume you really are sexually available. Even if you say you are not, at very least you are sending mixed messages.
People should accept your no. Anyone who doesn’t is a pig and criminal. But the reality is, some people will either misread the messages, or choose to ignore what they don’t want to hear.
That is not your fault. It is theirs. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to avoid being in that situation and to make yourself safer.
Being aware of your dress and actions and what they communicate, and taking steps to make yourself safer is simply part of being a responsible adult.
It may not be fair. But lots of things are not fair. We all have to live in the word as it is, not how we think it should be.
That seems obvious to me, and like one of the commenters, I am baffled about why saying so has caused so much anger.
You may disagree. I am happy to hear why. But telling me I should die a slow painful death, or swearing at me or calling me names is not going to convince me you are right.
A reader sent me a link to this video from the BBC programme Watchdog:
It is easy to feel that the people who bought this programme have themselves to blame. But that would not be fair.
JBC, CFS, MCI or whatever they are calling themselves since they last closed down and set up somewhere else under a new name, are very sophisticated. They have been doing this a long time. They provide professional looking literature, and refer people to ‘independent’ websites and magazines which have reviewed their product.
The problem is that the websites and magazines are fake, as is the software. This is a con.
I have written a number of previous posts about the JBC MCI CFS stock / share trading scam.
If you have been a victim of these conmen, please email me or comment.
I would very much like one of our Australian current affairs programmes to take a run at these swine.
Harold Camping was wrong. 200 million Christian believers were not ‘raptured’ up to heaven on Saturday.
If Christian fundamentalists keep this up, it will only be another 100 or so wrong predictions and they will have as much of a credibility problem as the global warming alarmists.
How is it that someone like Camping gets two predictions wrong, and the media treats him like a clown, and people like Paul Ehrlich, James Hansen, Tim Flannery and others, get hundreds of predictions wrong and are lauded by the media and given six figure salary jobs selling government climate policy?
This is a picture of a tolerant crowd outside Campings radio headquarters gloating over his mistake.
Maybe science won’t make a fool of you, but bad science will, and so far, it’s doing a better job than Harold Camping.
I am against taxpayer funded subsidies as a matter of general principle. Subsidies mean the government thinks it knows how to use your money better than you do.
For example, I have a 100km return trip to work each day, and live in a remote area where petrol costs a third more than in Adelaide. But the state government still thinks I should be subsidising the travel costs of people who live in Adelaide, pay less for petrol, and travel 10 kms to work.
I’m sure that makes sense to someone. Well, any politicians whose voters live in Adelaide.
Now the federal government is using your money to pay for set top boxes at $350 each for people on government benefits. This enables them to receive digital TV broadcasts on their old analog set.
High definition set top boxes retail for about $100. You can buy a new digital TV for $300.
I’m sure this amazing plan makes sense to someone.
Probably the same people who decided it would be fair to take your tax money and give it to people who wanted solar panels on their roofs. And then use your tax money to pay those same people twice as much for the electricity they generated through the panels you paid for as the power companies could sell it for – leaving you to pay the difference in increased power bills.
Not only was this dumb to start with, the contractors who put these panels in appear to have performed with the same level of diligence as the blokes who contracted to put dodgy insulation in pensioners’ roofs at your expense. In other words, stuff all, except when it came to collecting the cheques.
Now National Electricity and Communications Association chief executive James Tinslay has called for a nationwide review of solar panel installations after revelations that 5 per cent of those in Port Macquarie in northern NSW contained potentially fatal flaws.
Mr Tinslay said botched solar installations put homeowners at risk of fire and electrocution, and a national audit would be likely to cost millions of dollars.
His comments follow reports that NSW Fair Trading inspectors who visited 55 solar installations in Port Macquarie in February found problems with 16 sites — three serious.
Thirty-five out of 40 installations audited were found not to comply with the Home Building Act.
Pretty much as expected, then, based on past performance.
Fortunately this particular rort is likely to come to an end fairly quickly, as governments realise they face an electoral backlash over increased power bills caused largely by the payment of exorbitant feed-in tariffs to owners of solar panels. State governments plan to cut feed-in back to levels which are still unrealistic, but which will cost taxpayers less.
They are brilliant at grasping the subsidies. One thing they don’t seem to grasp is that the money to pay for those subsidies is taken from ordinary people and businesses who if they still had that money, would be able to employ people to do something useful, productive, worthwhile. Every government, or government subsidised job, costs nearly two jobs in the private sector.
The solar panel industry are as much a bunch of carpet-baggers as the insulation and set top box boys. Although with the government dishing out money for these loony schemes you can hardly blame people for stepping up to take their share.
But I am two minds about householders who signed up for solar panels.
They must have known, or should have known, that their cheap panels and high feed-in tariffs were being paid for by other taxpayers. However, if state governments have really entered into contracts with them for tariffs at a certain level, those contracts should be honoured – even though they should never have been put in place.
Governments must honour their contracts. There can be no confidence for anyone if they don’t. Even in this case, darn it!
‘Will your home be underwater?’ asks the Adelaide Advertiser, which seems to be taking on a new role as the Adelaide (Labor Party) Advertiser.
Under political pressure over its unspecified carbon tax, the Federal Government will release its latest topographical information about rising sea levels which shows up to 43,000 residential properties along the Adelaide coast, valued at between $4.4 billion and $7.4 billion, will be compromised by flooding on an annual basis or even more often.
The latest modelling also shows a sharp increase in heat-related deaths is predicted as the number of hot days above 35C more than triples by 2050.
The research, to be unveiled in Adelaide today by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet, uses detailed colour maps and shows significant areas of the city’s coastal fringes will be subjected to regular flooding by the end of the century.
The only meaningful words in this story are ‘Under political pressure over its unspecified carbon tax…’
‘Unspecified’ is probably the ideal word to describe this government, with its unspecified carbon tax, its unspecified illegal immigration policies, its unspecified $6000 per household internet connections, its unspecified health ‘reforms,’ its unspecified national curriculum, etc, etc.
Sadly for Greg Combet, residents of Adelaide are not as dumb as he would like them to be. These are a few comments from readers of the Advertiser story:
wayne of barossa Posted at 1:04 AM Today
if this ever happens what will difference be if we all pay a carbon tax, i suspect nothing. but we will have less money and the incompetent government that lied to us and said no carbon tax before we elected them will have more of our money to waste and give away to other countries.
Sick of all the con games of The Poorhouse Posted at 4:57 AM Today
How will melting ice caps cause flooding if 90% of ice is already underwater? Put some ice in a glass and fill to the brim with salty water, betcha the water wont overflow when the ice melts. Also, how exactly is paying truckloads of money going to cool the planet? Is climate change really about saving the planet or is it just another scam to fleece an already overworked overtaxed and cash strapped public?
KM of Adelaide Posted at 5:46 AM Today
Does anyone actually believe this BS anymore! The government can release as many figures as it likes, this whole thing is the biggest scam ever!
WTF of Adelaide Posted at 5:52 AM Today
The sky is falling, the only reason there will be a increase in heat related deaths is that electricity is to expensive to use for pensioners, and with the carbon tax it will get worst, politicians are breeching their duty of care with their policies and should be personally liable
drbob Posted at 6:00 AM Today
Inundation of these coastal areas has occurred many times in pre-history … to link the next ‘predicted’ event to atmospheric carbon dioxide increases is junk science, junk journalism and junk government policy …
Will Thornton of Adelaide Posted at 6:10 AM Today
Give me a break, “the centre of Port Adelaide will flood at high tide!”. I can remember 50 years ago stepping out of our front door in Dale St and wading in the Port River. Was that man made global warming back then Combet? of course not, the world will change from time to time and there is NOTHING you can do about it. I just love watching you Labor clowns dangle on strings whilst the idiotic Greens pull the strings.
Bill of West Beach Posted at 6:33 AM Today
Well thats one way to have the government attempt to reduce property values.Let the scaremongering begin
The Sydney Peace Foundation has handed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange its gold medal for extraordinary achievement in promoting peace with justice.
Excuse me while I throw up.
The Foundation glowingly reports that this is only the fourth time in its history that the gold medal, its highest honour, has been awarded.
Foundation director Professor Stuart Rees said the award was to honour Mr Assange’s work in challenging official secrecy.
Urrghh… Sorry, throwing up again.
Director Rees says the Australian government has been complicit in demonising Assange, who has broken no laws, and is a really cool dude and everything.
Tell that to the women he raped (allegedly), or the people whose lives he has put in danger. It is not just the nasty USA that says Mr Assange’s profit before anyone else’s rights philosophy has put people in danger, incidentally, but human rights organisations including Amnesty International.
Meanwhile, in equally barf-worthy and unsurprising news, Assange has demanded that all Wikileaks employees sign a confidentiality agreement which specifies that the information stolen by Wikileaks is the sole property of Wikileaks, that Wikileaks has a proprietory interest in such information, and threatens anyone who leaks this information with a penalty of $20 million.
Julian Assange is not remotely concerned for human rights, peace or justice. He is a profiteering reseller of stolen information. And a rapist (allegedly).
I hate those wretched CAPTCHA things. Too hard to read, and they don’t do a good job anyway.
If you have a website where people can sign on to some service, and you need to be able to distinguish between people and robots, consider HIVE instead.
You can try it here.
One of the challenges was not clear to me. At the moment it may be too USA centred (products, seasons, etc) to be applicable to wordwide users, but it is still in development.
In the meantime, it’s easy, it works, and it’s fun instead of frustrating.
I wish them every success.
In the early eighties I went through a stage of uncertainty about the ordination of women to the priesthood. I was living in Adelaide at the time, studying at Flinders/The Adelaide College of Divinity for priestly ministry in the Anglican Church.
I had listened to debates about this in New Zealand. The bishops all seemed to be earnestly in favour, and that made it something I had to consider. I read books, listened to the debates at Synod. There was lots of talk about justice, but I was not entirely convinced.
I went to a public discussion. The usual arguments were put. There was much nodding of heads by serious bearded gentlemen, and grumpy-looking nuns.
So I asked how we could reconcile what was proposed with the example of Jesus, the teaching of the Apostles, and the universal practice of the Church. Did we really believe that Jesus, the Apostles and the entire Church before us had misunderstood the will of God, and that our generation was the first to see things clearly?
The answer was a look of astonished fury, and the raising of two fingers, accompanied by laughter from the serious bearded gentlemen and grumpy nuns.
That was a turning point for me. If anger, rude gestures and public mocking were the best arguments they had, then this was not much to stack up against what Jesus had done, the Apostles had taught, and the entire Chuch had practised for 2,000 years.
Sadly, this is a style of debate that still has its adherents. Example:
The best arguments they have are to swear, call people names, suggest anyone who disagrees with them is corrupt or stupid, and wave their boobies.
They might have a chance of convincing people if they answered a few questions:
Is there any correlation between human activity and changes in global climate? (Answer – No)
Is there any evidence human actvity has changed the rate of sea level increase? (Answer – No)
Is there any evidence for the claimed positive feedback from water vapour that would increase a possible but harmless 1 degree increase in temperature caused by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 to a dangerous four degrees or more? (Answer – No)
Or if they showed any sign of engaging with, or even awareness of, the vast body of peer reviewed literature that questions the global warming frenzy (and associated government funds feeding frenzy).
Till then, thanks, but I think I prefer this:
As a contrast to the appallingly dumb judicial decision in the previous post, I offer this as a counter-example:
The environmental lobby group was deregistered as a charity last year after the Charities Commission decided it had an overtly political role, particularly in its promotion of peace and disarmament.
The High Court declined Greenpeace’s appeal, saying it is clear the group sees itself as an advocate rather than an educator.
Justice Heath said the group uses non-violent, but potentially illegal, activities to make a point – which are not necessary to educate the public.
The decision means Greenpeace will not be exempt from income tax, a status granted to registered charities.
Makes sense to me – if you are primarily a political lobby group, no matter how noble you think your causes are, you are not a charity.
Especially interesting that this decision has been made in New Zealand, where Greenpeace has a large following, and the sunken Rainbow Warrior is treated as a kind of holy shrine.
The shine is coming off.
This is one of those ‘What the #^*?!’ moments.
A fast food restaurant manager has been awarded thousands of dollars in compensation after he broke his wrist while bashing a customer.
Matthew Styles had previous convictions for assault, including assault against police.
But a Melbourne Court magistrate ruled that Mr Styles, who was sacked after the brawl, is entitled to a juicy compensation payout despite using foul language and escalating the dispute.
Red Rooster, which refused Mr Styles’ compensation claims, said he did not honour its “employee behaviour standards” and therefore was not entitled to any compensation.
It also pointed out Mr Styles lengthy criminal record.
But the magistrate found his injuries arose “out of or in the course of the employment”.
He was awarded 13 weeks in lost pay.
His injuries arose in the course of his employment?
The media delights in portraying judges and magistrates as out of touch with commuity standards. That characterisation is frequently unfair. Most judges are careful and responsible.
But this is about as unfair and irresponsible as it is possible to imagine.
I wrote a few weeks ago that the death penalty should be kept as an option, but used very rarely – when it seemed to be the only way to protect society from a vicious and dangerous criminal.
Osama bin Laden fitted that category.
The operation that lead to his death was carefully planned and carried out. Those involved in both planning and operations deserve congratulations.
Two quotes from George Bush seem appropriate:
“When I take action, I’m not going to fire a 2 million dollar missile at a 10 dollar empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.”
“Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.”
In the end, it was on Barack Obama’s watch that the time came when it was possible to take that decisive action. Justice has been done.
But the search for Osama bin Laden was not the prosecution of a criminal offence. It was a response to an act of war, a war declared and ongoing.
No one can doubt bin Laden’s intention and plans for his minions to carry out further attacks on the West.
If you start a war, you should be prepared for the people you have attacked to respond. You can’t destroy buildings and murder thousands of people and then cry ‘no fair’ when the country you have attacked decides the world would be a safer place without you.
The US responded to these threats in what seem to me to be the most fair and responsible manner imaginable.
It removed the person making them.
Al Qaeda is a many headed monster, but some heads are more equal than others, and the head removed was the most equal of all.
The attack on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan was a military victory. It deserves to be celebrated, for the courage of those who participated, and for the outcome.
A message has been sent: If you murder our citizens, if you attack our people, we will find you, and there will be nothing inspiring or noble about your end, which be like the end of a vicious, worm infested dog whose body is thrown by the side of the road to rot.
Also, Pakistan is not our friend.
There are three possibilities.
1. Pakistan’s security forces had no idea bin Laden was living in their neighbourhood. In that case they are mind bogglingly incompetent and should not be trusted with a plastic bow and arrow, let alone nuclear weapons.
2. Some members of Pakistan’s security forces knew bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, but they protected him rather than tell Pakistan’s political leaders. In that case, Pakistan is in deeper trouble than we thought. It is unstable and should not be trusted with a plastic bow and arrow, let alone nuclear weapons.
3. Pakistan’s poltical leaders knew, but protected him rather than tell their allies. In that case, Pakistan is in deeper trouble than we thought. It may not be unstable, but it is definitely not our friend. It already has nuclear weapons, which it has developed rather than spend money on vital infrastructure.
Instead, the West has paid for much of its infrastructure with massive doses of aid.
Pakistan needs to demonstrate some trustworthiness, and a commitment to the welfare of its own people, including its non-muslim minorities.
Until it does, that aid should stop.