It has been estimated that 160 people die every minute from malaria or its complications. Malaria is a disease we could eradicate.
Many chemotherapy drugs for treating cancer have highly unpleasant side effects – hair loss, vomiting, intense joint pain, liver damage and fetal defects, to name just a few. But anyone trying to ban the drugs would be tarred, feathered and run out of town. And rightly so.
The drugs’ benefits vastly outweigh their risks. They save lives. We need to use chemo drugs carefully, but we need to use them.
The same commonsense reasoning should apply to the Third World equivalent of chemotherapy drugs: DDT and other insecticides to combat malaria. Up to half a billion people are infected annually by this vicious disease, nearly a million die, countless survivors are left with permanent brain damage, and 90% of this carnage is in sub-Saharan Africa, the most impoverished region on Earth.
These chemicals don’t cure malaria – they prevent it. Used properly, they are effective, and safe. DDT is particularly important. Sprayed once or twice a year on the inside walls of homes, DDT keeps 80% of mosquitoes from entering, irritates those that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, can do this.
Even better, DDT has few adverse side effects – except minor, speculative and imaginary “risks” that are trumpeted on anti-pesticide websites …
Anti-DDT fanaticism built the environmental movement, and gave it funding, power and stature it never had before. No matter how many people get sick and die because health agencies are pressured not to use DDT, or it is totally banned, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network, US Environmental Protection Agency and allied activist groups are unlikely to reform or recant.
Worse, they have now been joined by the United Nations Environment Program, Global Environment Facility and even World Health Organization Environmental Division – all of whom share the avowed goal of ending all DDT production by 2017, and banning all use of DDT in disease control by 2020.
More people have died as a result of the fraudulent research leading to bans on the use of DDT than were killed by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot combined. Yet the UN, governments and environmental organisations continue to support this monstrous policy, and the lies that feed it. And millions of people die as a result.
Cold and wet again this weekend on Kangaroo Island. So wet the race club’s major meet for the year had to be cancelled. I guess this proves global warming.
Strange, after all the predictions of drought and heat, you’d think the climate alarmists would at least have the deceny to say ‘Oops. Got that wrong. Sorry. Maybe we ought to look at those figures again.’
But no, Al Gore pops up and says ‘No, really, that’s what we’ve been saying all along.’
Right Al. Right Tim. Sure David.
Then, as if on cue, a study is published in Nature demonstrating a connection between use of fossil fuels and global increases in rain, snow and ice. Based on modelling of selected data. With the assumption that what cannot be explained by what we think we know about natural variation must be caused by us. Roger Pielke Jr has more on why the Nature articles don’t demonstrate any connection between AGW and a purported increase in natural disasters.
But what is really happening? And why?
Mexican geo-physicist Víctor Manuel Velasco has been saying for years that there is no correlation between human activity and global climate change. Based on observations of solar activity, and records of past correlation between solar activity and climate, Dr Velasco says the change we need to be preparing for is an extended period of cold.
Piers Corbyn says the same thing. And his predictions have been uncannily accurate. Predictions from Al Gore/Tim Flannery/David Suzuki and the whole global warming cabal have not.
That is not a small point. Science advances step by step by saying ‘On the basis of the evidence, if this theory is true, then this should happen.’ Then checking to see if it does happen.
If the prediction is not accurate, the scientist looks at the evidence again, and considers whether it matches the theory, and if not, whether the theory might be wrong.
Evidence, facts, observation, trump theory every time. If the theory doesn’t fit reality, it isn’t reality that is wrong.
That is not the way of the alarmists. Their response is to do more computer modelling, to pretend they said something else, to state their views ever more stridently, and if all else fails (and it has) to discredit, abuse and belittle anyone who disagrees with them.
Billions of dollars have been wasted on the global warming scam, and the Australian government is still determined to introduce a carbon tax. A tax designed to slow down the economy, to reduce farming and maufacturing output, to increase the cost of transport. A tax that will increase the cost of every basic commodity.
My school motto was ‘Truth will prevail.’ Even as a teen I thought that was probably wishful thinking.
But in science, truth does prevail. Eventually. Because societies that prefer ideology to science cannot compete in the real world. The USSR discovered this (after immense cost to its people) with Lysenkoism.
The similarities between warming alarmism and Lysenkoism have previously been noted by Australian geologist and paleo-climatologist Bob Carter.
Lysenko, incidentally, denounced real biologists as ‘wreckers’ and ‘people haters.’ He would have called them denialists if he’d thought of it.
Piers Corbyn can have the last word:
Footballers are not chosen for their moral principles. They do not go into a national draft for budding philanthropists. They can run and catch and kick a ball. What are the clubs thinking when they send them to schools to give guidance on life skills? Any right-thinking parent would quake with fear to hear that footballers were coming to their daughter’s school to give a little bit of inspiration.
Costello refers to a story about a young woman who claims to have had sex with two St Kilda players she met at a school skills clinic, got pregnant, and posted naked pictures of the footballers on the internet to prove it. Except there’s no evidence she was pregnant, and the photos were stolen.
The real story there was the eagerness with which the legacy media take up and publish anything which belittles high profile people or organisations, and the lack of fact checking that takes place before publication. But I guess that’s not news to anyone.
It makes as much sense to say the moral of the St Kilda story is that footballers ought to quake with fear any time they are required to have anything to do with teenage girls as to say that parents should be worried about footballers running a life skills clinic.
Costello says that footballers are not chosen for their moral principles. Well, no. Neither are politicians. If a few sports stars misuse their standing for sexual or financial rewards, that is no reason to suggest that the lot of them are hooligans with nothing useful to say, just as the fact that a few pollies do the same thing is no reason to make assumptions about the morals or effectiveness of the rest.
Star footballers, or people who have reached the top in any field of endeavour, are indeed likely to have useful life skills to teach:
Talent alone will not guarantee success, hard work counts, you make your own luck, teamwork is important, you reach your goals when you have priorities and stick to them, you have to sacrifice some things you might like in order to achieve others.
However, Costello is right about most of this, from the same column:
Whatever else you think of Warne, he ranks as one of the greatest cricketers of all time. Judged as a sportsman, he is simply the best of his generation. But if he aspires to be more than that, he has a problem.
It is common these days for successful sports people to establish philanthropic foundations. Ricky Ponting has one, as does Steve Waugh. And, of course, there is the Shane Warne Foundation “which raises funds to enrich the lives of seriously ill and underprivileged children”. Helping underprivileged children is admirable, but I can’t help thinking that one of those clever publicists has convinced cricketers that charity work will enhance their image and their brand.
When a person takes naming rights on a charity, they are putting their character forward to the public as a reason to make a donation. They are asking people to trust them on the basis of their reputation. They cannot complain if people decide to carefully scrutinise that reputation.
That last paragraph is spot on. But even sleazy blighters can have genuine concern for people in need. Cynicism about good works done by others just makes the cynic look ungenerous.
The Daily Mail reports that residents of villages in Surrey and Kent have been told to remove wire mesh from their windows, because the mesh could pose a risk to burglars, and the burglars could claim compensation if they were injured.
This is one of the comments at the end of the Daily Mail article:
Don’t leave bottles of brown-coloured bottles of pesticides in your shed – burglars might think you have left them some beer. Don’t leave a supply of bird nuts – burglars might get food poisoning – thinking you were leaving them some munchies to go with the previous item. Don’t put pitch forks in your sheds – burglars might stab themselves on them as they clamber through the window. Don’t put glass in the window frame – burglars might get a scratch followed by blood poisoning. Make sure there is adequate lighting – in case burglars accidentally step on a rake and whack themselves in the gob. Please provide an adequate seating arrangement – so that weary burglars can take a rest, before taking the rest of your stuff.
I could understand the police being concerned if residents were setting up bear traps on their lawns, or digging pits filled with sharpened spikes. But putting security mesh on windows?
I’d be outraged too.
If you break into someone else’s home, accidents you have while there are your fault, not theirs.
Some interesting facts in an article by Paul Sheehan in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald.
The Department of Immigration … is busy spending an unprecedented amount delivering an ineffective program on the scale of waste comparable to Labor’s national roof insulation scheme or school building program. This time the failure is destroying lives and inviting more of the same on a greater scale.
Last Thursday, the Gillard government asked for another $290 million to fund its border protection program. The opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, responded: ”In 2010-11 the government will spend more than $760 million on people arriving illegally in Australia. This compares to less than $100 million in annual expenditure when the Howard government left office in 2007.”
At this rate of spending, the cost of keeping each detainee has rocketed to $150,000 a year …
No wonder there is a backlog of 6000 humanitarian cases clogging the scrutiny and review system. No wonder the Labor government, which railed against the Howard government’s detention policies, is opening more and more detention centres …
More than 2000 violent incidents are happening every year in the centres. Last week, in the latest known incident, about 40 detainees were involved in scuffles at the Darwin Airport Lodge detention centre. Six people were hospitalised.
All because this government is achieving the worst of both worlds: encourage the people-smuggler trade then lock up the arrivals.
While the majority of the electorate appear to believe that the last people who should be allowed permanently into the country are those who try to come in illegally, the Gillard government does not even forcibly return people it has ordered to be deported …
The combination of more arrivals, more detentions and slow processes means the average time spent in detention has risen to 183 days. Six months. Two years ago the figure was 25 days.
The Labor government’s ‘compassionate’ immigration policies are monstrous and inhumane.
The people who are conned into coming by Labor and the people smugglers are not the only ones who are hurt.
As John Howard’s Minister for Immigration Amanda Vanstone pointed out several years ago, the more resources we are forced to spend on people who jump the queue, the less we are able to do for people, often in much greater need, who are waiting around the world in refugee camps.
We need to return people who are here illegally to their countries of origin. No questions, no excuses.
That would stop the boats, and it would mean that the extraordinary amount of money now spent keeping illegal immigrants in motels could instead be spent supporting and finding homes for a greater number and broader range of immigrants and refugees.
Antipodean Greens have established themselves as the rudest on the planet, with the New Zealanders easily winning the local derby.
Tomorrow Prime Minister Julia Gillard will address the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington in what her Kiwi counterpart, conservative John Key, had hoped would be a first.
The Greens vetoed a plan to invite Julia Gillard to address the NZ Parliament while it was in session.
“In New Zealand, no head of government or head of state has addressed a session of parliament and that’s a principle that we’re quite keen to keep,” NZ Greens co-leader Russel (Russel) Norman told AAP.
“The governor-general isn’t even allowed onto the floor of parliament, our own head of state.”
If it were allowed, it could permit future governments inviting “all sorts of unpleasant people, like George Bush, for example …
George Bush? Unpleasant? He would never have been so rude to a guest.
Julia Gillard will still get to address New Zealand MPs in the chamber, so this is just a bit of symbolic bullying from the Greens.
But I bet they wouldn’t be objecting if it were Al Gore.
Over twenty years ago I wrote a short story for a church magazine.
I called it ‘Just Desserts.’ It was the story of a forty year old woman, Clara, moving into a small Australia town and trying to make a home there.
A small part of the story was about a failed cake which had to be repaired in order to keep a promise for a church stall.
Ten years later, I was a little surprised to find highly abbreviated versions of this story appearing on the internet as ‘The White Lie Cake.’ The story had been translated to the US, and stripped of everything I had meant it to be about.
I tried to get in touch with people who had reprinted the story, not to complain, but to set the abbreviated version in its proper context, and to ask for some acknowledgement. I registered the copyright in the US, something that is not necessary in Australia.
Eventually I gave up. It was in the wild, I had no control over it, and it was gone, a vagrant child.
Hollywood actor Barbara Kerr Condon found the story somewhere, and asked my permission to make it into a short film as a training exercise for her students. I was glad to agree, although there would be no financial remuneration. It’s a good little film, although Barbara’s version is much closer to the internet fable than to my original story.
By this time I had learned there was a one act play called ‘Just Desserts,’ and to avoid any confusion, changed the name of my story to ‘Sweet Vengeance.’
And here it is as a pdf file: Sweet Vengeance. Please enjoy!
This short (11 minute) video is by a French journalist. It documents the presence and growing danger of islamism in London.
It could easily be Lakemba in Sydney.
My younger sister lived in Lakemba. It can be a scary place. If it was just Falafel land, as Eddie McGuire joked, no one would have a problem.
But there is a problem. Don’t believe me? Try taking the Gay and lesbian Mardi Gras through there and see. Or see how you go organising a sausage and wine streeet party.
From Hot Air:
The Bible says that you will know a tree by the kind of fruit it bears, meaning that you will know what someone believes by what they do. Considering the ‘revolution’ in Egypt, I would like to quickly examine three examples of foreign policy maneuvers that Obama has taken, including Egypt.
First, let’s look all the way back at June/July of 2009. President Zelaya was working with Castro to subvert the Honduran Constitution to turn Honduras into a dictatorship. The government of Honduras acted quickly and had the military remove Zelaya from the country. This measure had the support of almost the entire Honduran Congress (1 person voted against it), Attorney General, and the Honduran Supreme Court. They acted constitutionally to remove Zelaya from power.
So what did Obama do? He dubbed it an illegal military coup and said they must stand up for the rule of law and reinstate Zelaya back to power. However, the interim President of Honduras who was serving out Zelaya’s term, Robert Micheletti, said they acted constitutionally and would not return Zelaya to power. In return Obama helped to isolate honduras by voting with the other members of the OAS to suspend Honduras’ membership and moved to cut off aid to Honduras despite them being such a poor country.
Next up, Iran. Remember the 2009 Green Revolution? Most of you are more familiar with this so I’ll make it short. Iran basically cheated their people out of free and fair elections by ignoring the ballots and declaring Ahmadinejad the victor. It was only an hour or so after the people voted with paper ballots that the Iranian government declared him the winner, and at that point the people knew they’d been had. They poured into the streets of Tehran in protest as the world watched on. But instead of condemning the falsified elections and calling for free elections, Obama said that the US would continue to work with the Iranian government and added that it wasn’t our place ‘meddle’ in Iran’s affairs. In fact it took Obama 10 days to make a strong public statement against Iran, but only to condemn the widespread brutality as Iran was suppressing it’s people. I don’t think he ever called for new elections once. Iran successfully suppressed their people and Ahmadinejad remains in control. Obama was pretty much silent through this entire revolution.
And now that a revolution is happening in Egypt, our ally, Obama has taken center stage and has been publicly vocal against Mubarak calling for him to step down. In fact, I don’t believe he ever voiced support for Mubarak at all, instead saying that the people have spoken and Mubarak must go. Obama has even called for elections though we know elections in the middle east never yield democracies. On top of that, Obama has advocated that a terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, should play a part in the new government of Egypt. This has major implications for Israel as the Muslim Brotherhood truly hates Israel and wants to wipe them off the map. And now that Mubarak has stepped down today, Egypt will likely continue toward elections and could be well on it’s way to a theocracy just as Gaza turned into a theocracy in 2006 and Iran in 1979.
These are just three examples of Obama’s Foreign policy moves and they all have one thing in common. In every case Obama stood on the opposing side of US interests whether it was to side with a dictator wanna-be, a fascist Islamic theocracy, or against an ally and in favor of another Islamic terrorist organization as part of his replacement. And discounting Honduras, Iran and Egypt have the anti-Israeli component in common.
I know you are not supposed to assume malice when stupidity might be an adequate explanation. But to get so many important aspects of foreign and domestic policy so badly wrong requires a special kind of stupid.
We have the same problem here in Australia, where we are lumbered with most spectacularly inept government in Australia’s history. But no one takes any notice of us anyway. A mountain of overspending and alienating our friends is only going to cause us some pain and inconvenience.
When the US alienates its friends and gets itself so deep in debt it cannot see the light of day, then the whole world is in trouble.
Everything I have read about Julian Assange suggests that he is a self-righteous glory seeker, unconcerned about anyone’s privacy, rights or welfare except his own.
The argument that the public is entitled to access to private business or government documents is a nonsense. Frank assessments of other nations, their leaders and policies, are vital to negotiations on trade, defence or other forms of co-operation.
The same applies to business. Without the assurance that discussions and negotiations can be conducted in confidence, whether in politics or commerce, participants will not speak freely, problems will not be uncovered, agreements will be made which do not benefit theose entering into them. Enough of that happens already.
To claim that because the people elect politicians to govern on their behalf, the people have a right to know every detail of every assessment or negotiation, strikes me as being manifestly absurd. Something like a spoilt little boy refusing to go to bed because he wants to know what the grown-ups are doing, and is worried he might miss out on something.
That, of course, is exactly what Assange gives the impression of being – a spoilt little boy.
Julian Assange is wanted by Swedish police for questioning in relation to accusations of sexual assault. Swedish authorities are seeking to extradite Assange from the UK so he can be questioned and possibly charged.
Demands by Assange’s mother that Kevin Rudd should fix things for her boy or resign confirm the spoilt brat impression. According to her, Rudd should:
… make a strong and urgent representation to Sweden, to drop the extradition case against Julian on the grounds that he cannot now receive a fair trial. If you do not act I can only conclude that you’ve been gagged or intimidated, possibly by the very person who deposed you from your prime ministership eight months ago. Alternatively, you are choosing freely to be derelict in your duties as Australian Foreign Minister.
Meanwhile, Olympic class publicity seeker Geoffrey Robertson, who seems to have been drawn to Assange like a pirate to stolen treasure, has been relentlessly critical of the Swedish legal system, claiming that the prosecutor in the case is an irrational man-hater, that the complaints are trivial, that they are politically motivated, that his client will end up in Guantanamo Bay or on death row in the US if the extradition proceeds, and that the Swedish legal system cannot be trusted.
Not surprisingly, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is annoyed by these slurs:
Since Julian Assange came under police investigation for rape in Sweden, several international debaters have questioned the Swedish legal system. In the most extreme conspiracy theories the accusations have been mentioned that it is controlled by CIA.
Prime Minister Reinfeldt says to the newspaper Expressen that the right for women to start a legal process when they claim they have been victims of abuse is at stake. He says that Sweden has reached far when it comes to not accepting any kind of sexual abuse and those who attack the Swedish legal system is trying to limit the right for women to take a claimed sexual abuse to court.
Reinfeldt also comments in Expressen on Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens’ claims that Assange risk not getting a fair trial if he is sent to Sweden.
This (the false information on the Swedish legal system) is unfortunately the consequences when, in order to defend a client, one describe other countries legal systems in a patronizing way. But everyone who lives in Sweden know this is not true. The Swedish legal system is independent and work in accordance with the law.
Claes Borgström, the former Equality Ombudsman and legal representative of the two women who accuse Assange for sexual abuse, says to Svenska dagbladet (SvD):
There is a lot of false information about the Swedish legal system, about me and above all about my clients.
Geoffrey Robertson’s response to these perfectly reasonable expressions of frustration is to claim that Fredrik Reinfeldt has declared Julian Assange to be ‘public enemy number one,’ and that in doing so he has created a toxic atmosphere in which it will be impossible for Assange to get a fair trial.
Nonsense. The only person who has said anything of the sort is Geoffrey Robertson.
The women’s claims are not trivial. If true, they amount to rape. Whether ultimately upheld or not, they have a right to be heard.
That Assange is popular in some circles does not void that right.
Sickening and disturbing and not for viewing by children:
This is video of an event that took place in Indonesia on the 6th of February.
1,000 Muslims attacked a small group of members of the Ahmadiyah sect, destroying their home and beating them to death.
The last few minutes are especially horrifying. The murders are over by then, and then these men take out their mobile phones, get their souvenir photos of the mutilated bodies, and casually stroll back to their families.
The courage of the one policeman who tries to stop them is amazing.
The violence comes less than three months after US President Barack Obama visited Indonesia and praised its “spirit of religious tolerance” as an “example to the world”.
Update: The response from the Indonesian government is to blame the members of Ahmadiyah:
Imran Muchtar, a lawmaker from the Democratic Party, said he agreed with the solution offered by the minister. “First, Ahmadiyah members should repent, recognize their mistake and come back to the mainstream Islam,” he said.
“The second option they have is to leave Islam and declare a new religion. Otherwise the conflict will never end.”
Hazrul Azwar, a lawmaker from the Islam-based United Development Party (PPP), called for stronger action.
“The Ahmadiyah should be disbanded permanently, as long as the government is not strict enough the conflict is never going to end,” he said. “The fake prophet is a disgrace to my religion. Clerics in the whole world have banned Ahmadiyah, why is the government not doing the same thing?”
President of France Nicolas Sarkozy has joined UK Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in declaring recent attempts to force multi-culturalism onto Western communities a failure.
“We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him,” he said in a television interview in which he declared the concept a “failure.”
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said something similar last year at the World Jewish Congress. Perhaps people were not ready to listen then. That seems to be changing.
Some parts of his speech were quite confronting. A sample:
… major parts of the West are suffering a kind of crisis of identity. Europe is a good example. With a declining population, increasing numbers of Muslim immigrants, many of them exposed to radical ideas, multiculturalism has imposed itself as the politically correct way to deal with the challenges of different cultures living together even if some of them do not want to be integrated or do not respect the other.
The problem becomes all the more acute when judeo-christian values are aggressively challenged every day and the 68-generation that dominates our current leadership does nothing to defend them.
Peacenik Europe has been fighting the West for too long, and because of that has been so hypercritical of Israel.
The US provides a different story. At least until very recently. President Obama has put in motion forces that, if unchecked, may redefine the nation and its place in the world in ways that, to me, may cause major problems to all of us.
From his inauguration he has sought a new relationship with the Muslim world even at the cost of undermining America’s best ally in the region, as he has done with Europe in seeking to “press the reset button” in relations with Moscow.
He seems to have devoted more time and energy in organizing today’s meeting in Washington and advancing a new peace plan than in trying to prevent the Iranian regime from building its bomb. He has projected an image of somebody who wants to escape from the problems of the world, from Iraq to Afghanistan, embracing many enemies of America while punishing its traditional allies.
I don’t think the growing attacks against Israel, and the general campaign of deligitimation are unrelated to the crisis of the West, and more particularly, the crisis of confidence that emanates from the White House today.
Ron Burgess at Business Spectator describes Australian uber-alarmist Flim Flannery as ‘Labor’s new bogeyman.
I am not sure in what sense Flannery or his message are new. He has been constantly, amusingly wrong, but at least he has been consistent.
Ron says he doubts that Australian politicians, even those most stridently in the AGW (warming) camp, really believe what they are employing Tim Flannery to tell us to believe.
After all, you can judge what people really believe by what they do. If politicians like Wong and Garrett and Gillard really believed that human activity was causing catastrophic global warming, they would stop doing climate warmy stuff like flying everywhere and living in huge houses, and they would be doing their best to convince everyone else to do the same. But they’re not.
There’s an opnion that despite what they say, leftist politicians don’t really believe this. After all there’s no evidence for AGW and never has been (not that reality is a major factor in leftist policy development). They only espouse global warming alarmism because it gives an opportunity for restrictions on industry, and greater government control over almost every aspect of the lives of ordinary citizens.
I disagree. I think that on this, Wong, Garrett, Gillard, Turnbull, etc really do believe what they say they believe. People’s actions are not always consistent with what they believe, even if those beliefs are deeply and sincerely held.
In the case of politicians, the need to get re-elected is pre-eminent. After all, having high ideals and believing the right things is important, but if you are not in power, you can’t change law or policy. So it’s better to stay in power and do what you can, even if you think that is not enough, than to be out of power and not be able to do anything.
Here is where Ron Burgess’ assessment of this appointment is spot on. He says Flannery’s real job is to ‘put the wind up Australians.’ For non Australian readers, that means to scare people.
On paper, the primary role of Tim Flannery’s new position is to ‘provide independent information for members of the community … on three areas in particular: firstly, the science of climate change and its impacts on this country…’
We all know he is not going to do that. Independent information on the science of climate change is the last thing Flannery is interested in. He has made huge amounts of money by ignoring climate science. What he is an expert in is scaring people. Good choice for a bogeyman.
Except that, as I noted above, his scary predictions have been consistently wrong.
The problem for the Labor government is that this fact, and this appointment, make it clear right from the beginning that there is no objectivity, no interest in a fair assessment of climate science, no commitment to truth.
People are not buying this. The bogeyman just isn’t scary anymore.
Update: Saturday – Andrew Bolt has a useful and extensive list of Flannery’s failed predictions, and the cost imposed on the community by those who believed them.
The horrifying thing about Tania’s Staker’s treatment of her children is not just that a mother could be so appallingly, horrifyingly cruel. Sadly, for individuals to have no regard for the needs or feelings or humanity of others is not that uncommon.
What is horrifying is that the three men who lived in that house also participated in the daily routine of physical and emotional abuse.
The other 21 children who lived there can be excused. They were children. And perhaps terrified themselves. The adults cannot.
A WOMAN who masterminded a cruel regime of starvation “beyond comprehension” and fuelled by jealousy has been jailed for 10 years.
Today, the Supreme Court jailed Tania Marie Staker, 36, for her role in the neglect of five children at a northern suburbs house between February and June 2008.
Three men – the children’s father Luke Armistead, 38, Michael Quinlivan, 27, and Robert Armistead, 41 – were each sentenced to nine years in prison.
In sentencing, Justice Kevin Duggan said each of the adults had inflicted a daily routine of punishment “beyond comprehension” on the five siblings.
“It reached a point where the children were made to stand against a wall without moving … they were made to stand in the same position from morning until night.”
Each of the children were beaten, starved, choked and fed only the scraps left over after the other 21 children in the house had eaten a share of hot chips or noodles.
News of the latest violent incident at a detention centre for illegal immigrants brought to mind a couple of recent conversations with customers.
The first was with a woman who said she could understand people wanting to get away from places that were violent, or where they couldn’t get enough to eat. If she were in that situation she would do everything she could to get her family out too.
‘But,’ she said, ‘if things really are that bad, and they come over here, and we make sure they’re safe, we feed them, we give them medicine, we teach their chidren, and all this costs them nothing, why are they so angry?’
‘I know it would not be nice being in detention, but they must know that’s reasonable if they arrive with no ID, and that if they are patient, most of them will be accepted?’
‘So how can being in a safe comfortable place be something you would riot over, and cause harm to property and other people?’
The second was with another female customer. She too had read recent stories of violence among illegal immigrants. She too was sympathetic to a desire to get one’s family away from poverty and violence.
‘But,’ she said, ‘these people have stuffed up their own countries. Or they live in countries which have been stuffed up. And some of those countries could be very rich. And then these people come over here, and they demand to have the same rules that made their countries so horrible. So why don’t we just say no, you can’t do that, and if you want to live like that, go back where you came from?’
“People come to Australia because it’s a better place,” he said. “So then you should become Australian and abide by the customs of Australia, not change Australia to suit your customs from another country.”