Saturday, April 11, 2009

His Eminence agrees with the Pope that condoms help spread AIDS

Leftists are great on talking about "root causes" (generally fallaciously) when it suits them but take only the most superficial view where maladaptive sexual behaviour is concerned. See here for more of the facts about AIDS incidence that Leftists ignore

CARDINAL George Pell says he agrees with the Pope that condoms are making the AIDS epidemic in Africa worse, not better. On a trip to Cameroon and Angola in March, Pope Benedict XVI caused a storm of controversy, when he said condoms were aggravating the African epidemic rather than containing it.

Cardinal Pell, the head of the Catholic Church in Australia, said he "totally agreed'' with the pontiff's comments that condoms encouraged promiscuity. "The idea that you can solve a great spiritual and health crisis like AIDS with a few mechanical contraptions like condoms is ridiculous,'' Cardinal Pell said.

Cardinal Pell also said a non-Catholic health worker, with whom he had travelled back from a trip to Africa, had told him condoms were not an effective solution to Africa's AIDS problem. "He made the point that the people in remote areas are too poor to afford condoms and the ones that are available are often of very poor quality and weren't used effectively,'' he said.

Cardinal Pell compared the AIDS infection rate in Catholic Philippines with that of Thailand which, he said, was struggling to cope with an epidemic of the disease. "If you look at the Philippines you'll see the incidence of AIDS is much lower than it is in Thailand which is awash with condoms,'' he said. "There are condoms everywhere and the rate of infection is enormous. "That's what the Pope is talking about.''


Australia's arrogant secret police again

Let's be glad that they do eventually have to substantiate their claims in court. On this occasion it was a court order that would have revealed their improper activities that caused them to drop a case. They couldn't risk facing the light of day

NEARLY five years after the nation's most infamous former detective, Roger Rogerson, was arrested while appearing on the comedy circuit with Mark "Chopper" Read and former footballer Mark Jackson, the corruption charges against him have been quietly dropped.

The South Australian police case against Mr Rogerson was shelved after disturbing allegations that the nation's most powerful law-enforcement agency had illegally tapped his phone and run a campaign of intimidation and harassment against the NSW ex-detective. The allegations of corruption about the activities of the Australian Crime Commission were considered so serious that the South Australian judge hearing the case reported it to the ACC, which in turn referred it to the corruption watchdog -- the Australian Commission on Law Enforcement Integrity.

Mr Rogerson's lawyer, Paul Kenny, said the results of that corruption investigation had never been made public. "I am concerned about the lack of transparency of any secret inquiry," he said.

Mr Rogerson, now 68 and still working doing the "odd club and pub show", said he was disgusted at the ACC's actions. "These agencies are not answerable to anyone -- they are out of control," he said. "It's just like the old saying, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

A spokesman for the integrity commission said it could not comment on operational matters. However, a secret report believed to be about the complaint was sent to federal Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus. The report dismissed the allegations of illegal activities, but reported "possible breaches of duty" and referred the matter back to the head of the ACC.

Mr Rogerson was arrested in 2004 while on tour with the comedy act Wild Colonial Psychos, in which he, Jacko and Read talked about their life experiences. Mr Rogerson's performances around the country were seen by some as an attempt to remake his persona from a decorated detective gone wrong to a lovable rogue.

Mr Rogerson was sent to prison for six months in 1985 for perverting the course of justice. And he was jailed in 2005 for 2 1/2 years for giving false evidence to the NSW Police Integrity Commission in 2000.

Police had waited for two years until he crossed the border into South Australia before charging him with "attempting to procure the abuse of public office". The South Australian charges related to an alleged approach by Mr Rogerson to a police sergeant to find the whereabouts of former Sydney bikie lawyer Justin Hill. Police alleged that in 2002 he had asked David Lawrence Mullen, 55, to help find Mr Hill's address so he could give it to a friend -- a process server -- who was attempting to serve the former lawyer with a court order.

Mr Mullen also had the charges of abuse of public office against him dropped. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was put on a good behaviour bond in the South Australian District Court. During the preliminary stages of the case, it emerged that the charges arose because the ACC had been tapping Rogerson's phone with what were alleged to be illegal warrants.

Former ACC officer Sam Foster gave a number of affidavits, which were filed in the District Court, alleging that one of his colleagues at the ACC was running covert operations on Mr Rogerson "like a personal vendetta" and had told his colleagues that he would "get Roger".

Foster is in jail after admitting to setting up drug dealers and robbing them, and other offences. But he has been accepted as a credible witness by the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions in a number of successful prosecutions of his co-accused. Foster's affidavits alleged that the ACC had continuously targeted Mr Rogerson over a number of years even though he was not doing anything illegal. "I was most concerned that the particular interception warrants in relation to Mr Rogerson have been improperly obtained and were being reapplied for and granted without proper foundation as no evidence or credible information of substance was forthcoming," he said.

In preparation for the trial, Mr Rogerson's legal team subpoenaed every telephone warrant used by the ACC and the information used to get the warrants. But not one of those subpoenaed documents was presented to the court. And the charges against Mr Rogerson were withdrawn just days before the matter was due to go to trial. Meanwhile, Foster waits in jail, still anxious to give evidence about the activities of the ACC.


Nutty feminist pays a high price for her hatred of men and modernity

By Andrew Bolt

I DO not want to make Janet Fraser's grief any worse. But some things must be said to warn other women and spare them such a loss.

Fraser is perhaps Australia's most ferocious advocate of home births. In fact, as national convenor of Joyous Birth, she demands not just births free of hospitals, but births free of drugs and evil doctors, too. Her spiel mixes militant feminism and a green age's worship of Earth Mother: "In a woman-hating society obsessed with the control and regulation of women's bodies, choosing to birth at home makes a crucial statement of withdrawal from patriarchy." Medical intervention to help the baby or spare the mother is "birthrape", and obstetricians are warned: "When you rupture those membranes . . . even when the woman screams no, that's rape." Joyous Birth's 1000 members are even urged by its website to scrawl on hospital walls "Episiotomy is genital mutilation" and "Did your rapist wear a mask and gown?"

But three weeks ago, an Age reporter rang Fraser at her Sydney home to interview her for a story that appeared in the paper on March 22 and started: Janet Fraser is in labour. Her plan is to drop the baby on the lounge room floor, or wherever feels good at the time. Has she called the hospital to let them know what's happening? "When you go on a skiing trip, do you call the hospital to say, 'I'm coming down the mountain, can you set aside a spot for me in the emergency room?' I don't think so," says Fraser, whose breathing sounds strained.

Fraser told the journalist she'd not once in her pregnancy seen a doctor, even though her eldest child was delivered by emergency caesarean. Her breathing may have been hard, but she boasted: "I could do this for days." Deeper in the article was this ominous line: "At the time of publication, Ms Fraser's labour was continuing to progress slowly."

In fact, for some five days after that story appeared Fraser struggled at home to give birth. By her side were, reportedly, just her partner and a friend. And if she'd taken her website's advice, her only drugs were "Emergency Essence and other flower essences or homeopathics as desired".

On March 27 an ambulance was called at last. But too late for her baby.

You may well dismiss this ghastly tragedy as a one-off, typical of nothing. While Sydney's Westmead Hospital says four other babies have died in home births in western Sydney alone in just eight months, you may argue that babies die in hospitals, too. Right? You might even argue that the one or two extra deaths for every 1000 home births are a small price to pay for the joy of delivering a baby in a plastic swimming pool slopping in your lounge. And since only .25 per cent of Australian babies are born at home, most times with a trained midwife on hand, who'd whisk mother and child to hospital if needed, why this fuss?

Yet this case is indeed symbolic - of a demonisation of Western medicine (the flower of Western civilisation), and of a growing tide of irrationality. Fraser's "free birth" movement is just the most extreme manifestation of a cult of "natural" birth that forces so many women to endure unnecessary birth agonies for no good reason.

British home-birth guru Sheila Kitzinger is its priestess, touring here to scare pregnant women into believing only a "natural" birth is a good birth, and the best birth is at home. Say no to drugs. Say no to caesareans. Wave away that epidural. Experience pain as bliss, because only then will you truly connect to birth and baby.

Somehow drowned in this "omm-ing" (popular in new mothers' groups where organic soy-milk coffee is served) is the fact that the whole point of giving birth is to produce a healthy baby and mum. Modern medicine has actually improved those odds dramatically since the days when one woman in 10 would die in labour. That's why all those machines and drugs, ladies. As for the pain relief, why not insist on a "natural" tooth extraction as well? What is so sacred about pain?

But this unreason has spread far beyond the maternity ward. We've had a Sydney coroner investigate why a girl dying of infection was treated by her parents with homeopathy rather than Western drugs that would have saved her. In Melbourne, a coroner investigated the death of a toddler whose epilepsy was likewise treated with homeopathy, and then of a Melbourne man who sweated to death in a "North American Indian" purification ritual.

Again you'll object: every society has a few irrational people, so what's new? Yet what is new is that we institutionalise unreason now, pandering to what we must resist. Take the homeopathy favoured by Fraser. The Lancet medical journal says not one study has proved the worth of a "therapy" based on a theory that a little of what kills you makes you stronger. Despite that, taxpayer-funded TAFE colleges teach homeopathy as science. Victoria University until recently offered bachelor degrees in naturopathy and homeopathy, covering "vibrational medicine" and "the metaphysical".

EVEN crazier, VicHealth gave women in Ouyen $7000 to hold a naked rain dance. And home birth activists, even interviewed mid-way through a tragic labour, still get a good press. Just pray now that the Rudd Government's maternal services review will at least refuse demands that home births be covered by Medicare.

But when unreason is so on the hoof that millions of us believe man is heating the world to hell, despite no rise in temperatures since at least 2002, what hope that reason will triumph? What hope, when even children now die of our superstitions?


Victorian school rocked by student violence

Very different from the country schools of the "unenlightened" past

A COUNTRY Victorian school faces a growing culture of aggression and intimidation, a confidential report says. Several teachers have been assaulted and overwhelmed by unruly teens, the report commissioned by the Department of Education says. A former Benalla College teacher, who resigned last year, described the school as in crisis, but said the report into the violence had largely been ignored. "Staff are exasperated, they have nowhere else to turn . . . they expected the report to lead to changes," she said. "The Government has swept it under the carpet."

School sources said there had been at least five assault incidents against teachers in recent times, the latest last week.

The assessment report on trouble at the college, written by consultants ResolutionsRTK, says a mob of students was continuing to cause trouble. "There is a relatively small but growing cohort of students who are evidencing unacceptable behaviour," says the report filed last month. "There was also a perception that 'good' students are leaving the school at a higher rate . . . students swearing and being aggressive or threatening towards teaching staff was broadly reported."

Despite the reports, deputy principal John Brownstein said three recent incidents had been dealt with immediately and the students had apologised.

Concern over student conduct was raised last year when it was reported some parents were refusing to allow their children to return to the college. Police have attended the school several times in recent months and students had been asked to sign contracts regulating their behaviour.


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