Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To The Punch Wodensday 14th July 10

Bastille Day

Writings that may not be published by the censorious.
Campaign countdown: The mouse that (almost) roared
by David Penberthy
Chris Trevor is as mad as hell but after a bit of a think he’s decided that he’s going to keep on taking it some more.

The guy in the hat: Chris Trevor (centre) with Population Minister Tony Burke and the former PM Julia Gillard is facing her first outbreak of Rudd-related and faction-related niggle since winning the leadership just on three weeks ago, with little-known Queensland backbencher and Rudd loyalist Chris Trevor going public to denounce the treatment of the former PM and warn it will cost Labor seats in the Sunshine State.

The one downside with Mr Trevor’s stand is that it isn’t really much of a stand as all - as, quite pathetically, Mr Trevor said that he was so bitterly angry about the treatment of Kevin Rudd that he thought about quitting and has now decided not to. Stands don’t get much lamer than that. You’d be generous giving it a three out of 10. - Rudd is arguably the worst PM Australia has ever had, based on several measures from fiscal fortitude to policy implementation and empty gestures. That doesn't mean Gillard is any better, but her promise is unrealized as she has one day in parliament before announcing an election, if she is to call it soon. There is this justice issue hanging over Rudd called the Heiner Affair, and all ALP Queenslanders are complicit by not standing up for the victim. This so called outrage over Rudd should be broadened to include an aboriginal girl in detention who was allegedly gang raped, but not given justice or compensation as a result of an apparent administrative cover up. - ed
John A Neve says:
The so called (by you), “Heiner Affair” is long gone. There have been a number of enquiries into the matter and all have come up blank.
I suggest that if you have some fresh information? You present it to the police or CMC, but I doubt you know any thing other than what you read in the papers.

What is it with you people DD, you continually harp on the past, did you express your concern at the time, write you local member, write the Justice Department, in fact do any thing?
No, I did not think so.
John, you are wrong. The girl was given compensation recently. So your central assertion that nothing happened is not true, and the fact is you do not know what you are writing about. - ed.
Christian Real says:
It was a National Party Government in at the time that the alleged Heiner Affair happened.
And it seems like it was Barnaby Joyce’s own party that disallowed him to bring up the Heiner Affair in Parliament, wonder why?
I agree with John Neve, the Heiner affair has run it’s race, and only the Liberals supporters are trying to flogg a (dead horse) as the saying goes.
As a person of Aboriginal origin myself, I disapprove of the Liberal riff raff using our people to launch attacks on another political party with..
I feel this girl has suffered enough over the years, and she does not need to be used as a political football by racist liberals like some of you appear to be.
DD Ball
You might not like Rudd,well that is your opinion that you are entitled to, while I admit I don’t like Abbott, but I may have thought about voting for Turnbull.
The only outrage I can see, is the way you and other Liberals use this Aboriginal girl’s plight,as an excuse to attack and ridicule Rudd over.
I am sick of you white fellas using our people for your own political gains, she is not a political football to be tossed around by the Liberals or their supporters, and she deserves respect, not the disrespect that you and others are piling on her by using her to canvas your political views and opinions.
Funny that when Barnaby Joyce brought this Heiner Affair up in the parliament it was quicky squashed by his own party.
Christian, so you have Aboriginal ancestry as well? Then maybe we are cousins. I would prefer it if you did not misapply the word racism, it doesn't add to your argument. The details are known, and Rudd's actions are known and neither are in dispute. The Liberal party and the National party have acted as they can , and where the law allows. The problem has been the ALP and the apparent cover up. The girl is not being used as a political football, rather she apparently approved Piers Akerman writing on her behalf.
I stumbled on a similar issue over Hamidur Rahman in NSW. There is no legal way anything can be done to give his parents justice for the error of the Coroner in partially blaming them for his death. Again, the stumbling block is the ALP. But the community may act if they are moved. - ed.

The best way to give birth
by Josie Gagliano
Okay, so this is a delicate topic. How a woman ‘should’ give birth is such an emotion-charged issue because it’s something a woman has imagined since the moment she found out where babies come from.

Dannii Minogue and partner Chris Smith from the star's Twitter page after her home birth last week.

If I am brutally honest, there are two camps of women here: one group of very vocal women who are yet to give birth, who are probably pregnant and have a very detailed birth plan (right down to scented candles and essentials oils). The other (far more realistic) group of women are the ones who know that a birth plan gets shot to shit when it’s crunch time.

And by crunch time, I mean that pivotal moment when you scream, “Please get this baby out of my body immediately, or I will kill someone.” (Not that I said this. In fact, I am surprised that for someone who likes profanities, I didn’t call my husband any names or tell him it was ‘his fault’. And whatever else Hollywood makes you believe is ‘normal’ during an intense delivery). - I'm a guy, and my attitude is a little colored by the fact that I'm not the one doing the work, or enduring the challenge. I wasn't very old when I first read the story of Semmelweis, and my previous ambivalence was turned around. Pregnancy is not a sickness, but neither is it without significant risk. Some of my friends who are mothers refer to their fears prior to the first birth, and their desire to do it again. Nothing will make it risk free, but that doesn't mean sensible actions cannot be taken. A joyous occasion should not be compromised by survivor's guilt. - ed.
No law change should allow gay adoption in NSW
by Greg Donnelly
For reasons beyond their control there are children, indeed babies, who find themselves in circumstances where the state is their legal guardian. It is not the choice of the child nor is it a new phenomenon. Seeing them as particularly vulnerable, societies have taken great care to look after such children, especially if they have neither a mother nor father.

Babies racing in the Ukraine. Pic: AFP

Without a biological mother or father or suitable family member or relative, the state has deemed it in the best interest of the child to be raised by a woman and a man, a mother and a father in a permanent relationship.

New South Wales has had responsible government since 1856 - over 150 years. Over that period, governments of all persuasions have acknowledged and supported the general proposition that a child’s best interest is served when that child is raised by a mother and a father. This has been seen, correctly in my view, as a valid principle that has guided our collective decision-making with respect to protecting the wellbeing of children. The principle is underpinned by that profound bond that exists between a child and a mother and a father; a bond that is intrinsically known and understood by all cultures, down the ages for as long as anybody can remember.- There is much red tape preventing adoption, so that few children in need are successfully adopted. This is not an Australian problem but world problem. I am disappointed when the red tape and the paucity of successful adoptions becomes another wedge for gay activism. I have met few people who did not feel isolated and alone in their formative teen years, and for gays the issue is worse because with an estimated 1% of the population actually being gay, they probably really are alone. The result being seeking behavior that in other contexts is rightly seen as outrageous. But getting back to the needs of children, they deserve a home .. and they deserve that home not to be dysfunctional. The observation I make is that attention seeking activists do not make good parents. I object to the issue being a wedge to force churches to kneel before anti discrimination legislation, as gay marriage has been used. - ed.
Green Loans an insulation-style mess
by Simon Birmingham
Deaths, house fires and safety concerns have seen the Rudd/Gillard Government and Peter Garrett take plenty of heat over the disastrous Home Insulation Program, but three damning reports released last week reveal the failed $300 million Green Loans program was mismanaged on a similar scale.

The environment portfolio has become a giant fiscal sinkhole. Photo: Ray Strange

The aforementioned deaths and house fires have understandably commanded more attention, but the scope of maladministration highlighted last week show that Peter Garrett has just as much to answer for over Green Loans and seriously calls into question the capacity of this Government to deliver whatever its latest climate change policies might entail.

Of key concern is that the report of the Faulkner inquiry (conducted by former Victorian Department of Human Services secretary Patricia Faulkner) identified 149 breaches or issues with Government procurement and contracting guidelines and legislation, including deliberate and systemic breaches with allegations of kickbacks to departmental staff. - I was approached by many suggesting a contract for me to help me out financially. They suggested I could use the loan to go to my home loan and reduce payments. Then they said I had to use the loan to buy green products, like energy efficient light bulbs etc, and to get rid of my air conditioning. I don't use air conditioning a lot, but I will keep it. It wasn't going to do what I had been told to use it for. I had no desire to buy green products .. I already supported a now defunct green energy outfit who used my money to buy al gore dvd's. The entire scheme was conceived as a rip off, and implemented as one too. - ed.
Animal cruelty and the case for harsher punishment
by Rita Panahi
There’s something uniquely sickening about cases of animal abuse that outrages the community more than most crimes. To hear of a defenceless creature being brutalised by a cowardly attacker can get the blood of even the gentlest soul boiling.

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer started on animals before moving onto humans. Photo: AP

This week we learnt of the shocking case of Snowy, a much loved family pet suffering horrific injuries at the hands of a torturer. The 18-month-old cat’s ears were mutilated and he had been set alight. Also this week charges against the man believed to have tortured Buckley, a puppy who had his ears and tail hacked off, were dropped amid fears that the case would not stand up in court.

In recent months there have been multiple cases of animals being tortured and killed in a trend that appears to be Australia wide. It seems no animal is immune from such callous attacks; pets, wildlife, even dolphins have been targeted by individuals who derive some sort of thrill from inflicting pain on an innocent creature. Despite the increasingly violent and sadistic nature of these attacks and the public’s growing disgust, offenders if caught can expect little more than a slap on the wrist. - I agree that animal torture is wrong and should be punished. I get concerned that it may not be animal torture that gets addressed by any law change, however. The work of PETA on things like mulesing suggests to me that a wedge issue is being created on the false premise that bad people will be stopped from their cruel acts, when the application becomes business is stopped from taking practical steps in maintaining their livestock.. - ed.
The route to make Australia a world leader in clean energy
by Patrick Hearps
The Labor government is clearing the decks to position itself for the forthcoming federal election. After resolving the mining tax dispute, and adopting a position on asylum seekers, climate change is the last issue Gillard must address before the campaign. Whatever policy the Gillard government adopts must account for the scale of the climate crisis.

Time to end the hot air and act on renewable energy. Photo: AFP

Current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are already so high that if unchecked will push the climate system past significant tipping points. This worst-case scenario poses an unacceptable risk of dangerous and irreversible changes to the climate, to biodiversity, and human civilisation. These adverse climate changes will affect Australia’s food and water security, and increase the risk of regional instability.

The worst of these impacts can be avoided, but only if Australia, together with other major polluters acts now and at a scale the challenge demands. - The Conservatives have had the best environmental policy to date. They have on their books practical steps to reducing Carbon through the use of high tech energy production facilities and the Greens and the ALP are not interested as it apparently conflicts with their scare campaigns of the past. No need to tax and limit Australian industry, and the results are better than the ALP or Greens can deliver with their big sticks. Which is probably why the Greens and ALP oppose it. I don't think the Greens and ALP care about the environment. I think they (Greens) want to damage the economy and ALP want to steal money. - ed.
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