Saturday, December 29, 2012
How did the wrong man get mistaken for a mental health patient?
Easy if you know the full facts and not just the politically correct ones: Because he was an Aborigine. "Itinerant" is a common euphemism for an Aboriginal street-dweller.
Aborigines are very complaisant: They tend to say what they think you want to hear. So he answered to the name that they called him by and went along with them generally. That the W.A. police did not recognize that shows how ignorant they are. There is a special technique for getting a straight answer out of an Aborigine: Give NO indication of the expected answer.
There is a large Aboriginal presence in W.A. and the police often lock them up, sometimes controversially so you would think that they would use that technique routinely.
ALL the facts below fall into place if you know Aborigines. A pity the the W.A. police don't
Details surrounding the wrongful detainment of a man who was administered with powerful antipsychotic drugs when mistakenly identified as a patient who had absconded from Graylands Hospital have been revealed.
The insight into the incident comes as the Mental Health Minister Helen Morton admits the incident could instigate changes in policies and procedures.
The 22-year-old man who was wrongly detained has since been in contact with police and the health system and tests have revealed that he is no longer being affected by the wrongly administered drug, Clozapine.
Mrs Morton said the man was in a public place at 3am and was behaving in an unusual manner. "That gave rise to suspicions that he was the man," she said.
While Mrs Morton also said there were other circumstances at the time that gave "a very clear suggestion that he had recently absconded from a hospital" she would not provide details of these circumstances.
She said while the wrongly detained man and the man he was mistaken for had "completely different names" at times, he responded to the involuntary patient's name.
"He responded to his name with "yes" and also he was asked if he would like to go back to the hospital and he said "yes."
Mrs Morton said a photograph was not provided to police on this occasion when looking for the man.
She said after the man was administered Clozapine in tablet form, he was then taken to the absconded man's room.
"It was in the process of being taken to his room that it became known to the staff that he wasn't the patient," Mrs Morton said
"It was recognised that he was not the patient by both another member of staff who recognised him and he was also unaware of where his room was in the hospital, and given that he'd been there for a number of months or the involuntary patient had been, staff became quickly aware that they had the wrong patient.
"He had an adverse reaction [to the antipsychotic medication] and within two hours of being back at Graylands he was admitted to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital."
The wrongly detained man, who is understood to be itinerant has since been offered accommodation, which he has declined.
Mrs Morton said the clinical review that was currently being undertaken and would be completed by January 4 would show whether the fault lay with the policies and procedures or with the people implementing them.
"There are some amazingly stringent processes and procedures that are required both when a person is being admitted and when a person is being administered schedule four drugs and those policies and procedures are currently being reviewed in light of this and also whether those policies and procedures were followed correctly by the people concerned," she said.
Mrs Morton reiterated her comments that she would consider compensation for the man. "On the face of it, there is every suggestion that this is a compensable case," she said.
As well as a clinical review, there are two other reviews being done which could see changes made to procedures and policies.
Mrs Morton said the state government would provide support to the man to "take the matter further" but would not say whether that would include providing legal advice.
Greens seek millionaire tax to revive parent payments
Bandt was a Trotskyite but there were no votes in that so he turned Green. Sounds like his thinking hasn't changed
A "millionaires tax" increase of 5¢ in the dollar would raise enough money to restore payments to single parents cut in this year's budget.
The Greens' policy, costed by federal Treasury, would generate at least $790 million over the next three years by lifting the top tax rate on income above $1 million from 45 per cent to 50 per cent.
The revenue boost could even be much higher, closer to $500 million a year, but Treasury has assumed some people on high incomes will not earn as much if their top tax rate is lifted.
The acting leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, compared the money raised by the tax increase to a similar amount saved by the government when it cut payments to some single parents, which take effect from the start of next year.
"I think this is a reasonable step that should get the support of the government," Mr Bandt said.
"What possible justification could Labor have for hurting single parents and yet not touching millionaires? The Treasurer said he's been listening to Bruce Springsteen but he must've been listening to the records backwards," the Greens MP said of Wayne Swan's vaunted affection for the US rocker.
It was the second Greens policy to be costed by Treasury's Parliamentary Budget Office, established by the Gillard government as a price of securing the Greens' support in Parliament, and the party plans to release at least two dozen more by the time of the next election.
The tax increase would bring the top marginal tax rate to a level it last sat at in 1987, but would affect only about 8000 people listed by the Australian Taxation Office as recording annual incomes above $1 million.
The expected revenue would double from about $800 million to $1.6 billion in the next four years if Treasury dropped its assumption of "tax income elasticity", which says that growth in tax revenue will fall if tax rates are lifted.
The Greens are framing the policy in the context of cuts that kick in next week for single parents. From January 1, single parents on the parenting payment with a youngest child over the age of eight will be moved onto the lower newstart allowance, costing them about $60 a week.
The measure will save the government about $700 million in the next four years, but it has been criticised by the welfare sector and by some backbench Labor MPs.
The Gillard government argues the benefit of the measure is in encouraging parents back into the workforce.
Mr Bandt said: "If the government is wanting to improve the budget position by somewhere around $300 million a year it has a choice. It could either increase taxes on the wealthiest Australians or it could hurt single parents."
In the 1950s, Australia's top marginal tax rate sat at 75 per cent. It was above 65 per cent for most of the 1960s, and was above 60 per cent for most of the 1970s and 1980s. It now sits at 45 per cent, for any money earned about $180,000 a year.
The first Greens policy costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office was a revised mining tax that showed the government could raise an extra $26 billion in the next four year if it reversed concessions to the mining industry.
In praise of State's rights
LISTEN to enough critics for long enough and you'll be convinced that the Federation is the only thing holding Australia back from dominating the world. Apparently, without the states and a single central Commonwealth government dictating everything, Australia would be taken seriously as a middle power, we would have a well-funded and well-functioning education system, wasteful spending would be a thing of the past and populist politics would no longer exist.
You have to be kidding.
States' critics (such as Allan Patience on this page last week) seem to attribute some sort of mythical wisdom to the Commonwealth, as if only ever good things come from a central government. And that all our resources need to be concentrated there, otherwise how can we hold our heads up overseas?
This last argument ignores that the world's only superpower, the United States, and the only continental member of the European Union that is currently taken seriously, Germany, are both federations. Being a federation hardly seems a liability on the world stage.
But turning back home, can you imagine what an unfettered Commonwealth government would be like in the wrong hands? Don't worry about the damage that has been done by the current one - think roof insulation, school halls, green loans, and $900 cheques to foreign citizens and those no longer with us.
Think what would have happened if Bob Carr, Morris Iemma and Kristina Keneally had been running the country instead of John Howard and Peter Costello for all those years. The disaster that is New South Wales would be played out on a national scale.
It is also just plain wrong to say that the Federation has not changed since 1901. The High Court has applied the constitution so that the Commonwealth now has much more power than it did at the start. It is because of the High Court that the Commonwealth can tell Tasmania where it is allowed to put a dam, has the ability to allow companies around the country to choose not to pay penalty rates on public holidays and can effectively prevent the states from levying taxes that they may do lawfully. The Federation has changed, just not in a good way.
Federalism has the advantage as well of weeding out bad laws. For example, it is only because of federalism that we don't face death taxes today. It was only when Queensland abolished theirs that the rest of the country followed. Because of the mass migration of retirees to that state from everywhere else, this impost was shown for the ridiculous interference that it was. A central government that imposes such bad laws leaves us with nowhere to go (except overseas).
The major problem with the Federation is the separation of responsibility from power. Stemming from the High Court's approach to the constitution, the Commonwealth holds the whip hand when it comes to raising money, but the states are those who have to provide the programs and services.
It's ridiculous to criticise Liberal state governments struggling to balance their books not only for cutting back their Labor predecessors' largesse, but particularly when they are doing so while fiscally dependent on a Labor Commonwealth government so addicted to spending that it cannot raise enough revenue for its own habits, let alone provide sufficient funds for necessities provided by the states.
The Federation is in need of reform, but abolishing the states is not the answer. Resolving the current vertical fiscal imbalance will align the power to pass laws and spend public money with the responsibility of ensuring those funds are spent wisely. Governments that do not will lose elections (and, in the case of the states, populations).
And those who still want to see the states abolished should take pause. A central government, absent a bill of rights, is likely to be unfettered in the laws that it can pass. Had this been the case since 1901, for the left-wingers, this would mean the Communist Party would be illegal, criticism of the government could be snuffed out and voters could be disenfranchised. Conservatives, you would have nationalised banks, death taxes and Rudd's health system. And the case for a bill of rights becomes that much stronger. Be careful what you wish for.
Nasty British antisemite brings his hatreds to the University of Sydney
Among British Leftist intellectuals, antisemitism -- hiding behind "anti-Zionism" -- is de rigeur. See the sidebar at EYE ON BRITAIN
The head of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney, Associate Professor Jake Lynch, has received a number of high-profile condemnations over his recent decision to refuse to work with Hebrew University of Jerusalem academic Dan Avnon.
This decision, made in accordance with the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel - of which Lynch is a strong supporter - was in spite of Avnon's work, which involves creating a civics program for Jewish and Arab students in Israel in order to work towards reconciliation between the two groups.
On the face of it, Avnon's work is exactly what Lynch purports to encourage, with the Centre's mission being to "focus on the resolution of conflict with a view to attaining just societies" and to "facilitate dialogue between individuals, groups or communities who are concerned with conditions of positive peace".
For Lynch, however, the institutional ties to an Israeli university were so unthinkable that he could not make an exception for an academic who is working to accomplish the centre's supposed aims.
Lynch and his supporters (including Anthony Loewenstein on this website) have been adamant that there is nothing anti-Semitic about refusing to deal with anyone connected to the Jewish state.
With this in mind, looking at some of the people that Lynch actually advocates dealing with raises disturbing questions.
As I wrote in The Australian in May this year, Lynch has written a book with Norwegian Professor Johan Galtung who was recently accused of having connections to numerous white supremacist groups and renowned neo-Nazis.
In 2004, Galtung ran a workshop with CPACS in which he tasked them with re-enacting the Passion of the Christ, only this time finding a way to negotiate Jesus' release – which is not only manifestly theologically offensive to Christians, but revisits the age-old anti-Semitic trope of Jewish deicide. At the same event, he ran another workshop on how to negotiate with Al Qaeda.
In March 2010, Lynch hosted Sameh Habeeb, who runs a website called The Palestine Telegraph and has worked for an organisation called The Palestinian Return Centre, which is proudly pro-Hamas and in favour of violence as a means of 'resistance'.
Habeeb had - and continues to - repeatedly publish anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denial material from the likes of neo-Nazi icon David Duke and Australia's own Holocaust denier Frederick Toben.
Just a few months before his CPACS appearance, Habeeb had seen fit to mark Holocaust remembrance day by publishing a piece by notorious anti-Semite Gil Atzmon, saying that "Israelis are the Nazis of our time", that the "Israeli institutional involvement in organ harvesting" is a "well-documented and an accepted fact", and that the day had come about because world leaders had "bowed to Jewish pressure and made the Holocaust into an international memorial day".
Lynch was aware of this material, however he was adamant that Habeeb had repudiated it and determined to host him regardless.
Five months later, however, a flattering profile of Toben appeared on Habeeb's website and, in October 2011, Habeeb wrote a glowing review of what he said was Atzmon's "courageous book that vividly clears the dust on many issues concerning Israel. It really guides non-Jews to an understanding of the politics behind the Jewish identity."
These 'politics', of course, include alleged organ-stealing and fabrication of the Holocaust for political ends.
In the April 2008 CPACS newsletter, Lynch wrote about a delegation of Marrickville councillors that was leaving for Bethlehem. He was outraged that they had been warned "not to meet representatives of Hamas, the party that won elections for the Palestinian Authority in 2006".
I hopefully do not have to recite Hamas' litany of genocidal statements and glorification of bloodshed.
Suffice to say that its official TV channel recently broadcast a sermon saying that, "The Jew is a satan in human form. Allah inflicted the Jews upon humanity in its entirety, and especially upon the nation of Islam".
In October 2009, Lynch took issue with the Australian Government's decision to designate al-Shabab - an official Al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia that has been tied to attempted terror attacks in Australia - as a terrorist organisation. As he opined, "the statement contained no acknowledgement of the specific circumstances in which it has grown in Somalia and - allegedly in this case - sought to export its activities to other countries such as Australia".
His solution was to call for "greater openness" and "a more even-handed approach", in order to address the "legitimate grievances" that al-Shabab might feel over the "invasion of Somalia by Ethiopian forces, with weaponry, training and reconnaissance support provided by the United States".
He was, of course, referring to the Western-backed African Union peacekeeping force that has gone into Somalia to save its people from al-Shabab. The militants have taken control of a huge chunk of the country where, in true Al Qaeda fashion, they have been busy stoning adulterers to death, coordinating terror attacks in places as far-afield as Australia, Uganda, and Denmark, and chasing-out aid workers in the height of the East Africa famine as they would sooner see their people starve than eat food from the 'infidels'.
With no apparent sense of irony, he then launched straight into a comment about how "public figures who address [the Israeli/Palestinian conflict] with reference to Palestinian perspectives ... tend to be met with condemnation from representatives of the self-identified 'mainstream Jewish community'." As he then explained, "concerns over Israel's targeting of civilians flare briefly, then abruptly subside, because no-one seems willing to pursue them."
He did not mention that Israel may have some legitimate grievances too, or that - perhaps - the Palestinians should be subjected to some criticism as well.
In essence, people that Lynch promotes dialogue with include an assorted group of violent Islamist extremists, Holocaust-deniers, and neo-Nazis. People that Lynch forbids dialogue with include Israelis.
Although, as he argues, he is not a racist, because he has hosted Jews at his centre - like American linguist Noam Chomsky, and Israeli ex-pat and historian Ilan Pappe.
That would be the Noam Chomsky who once said that "I see no anti-Semitic implications in the denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the Holocaust"; and the same Ilan Pappe who supports the anti-Semitic allegation from medieval Europe that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood in ritual bread.
For someone who is not a racist, Lynch certainly seems to spend a lot of time and energy promoting racists and helping them propagate their viewpoints, and his 'I'm not anti-Semitic, some of my friends are Jews' excuse hardly exonerates him.
His other standard response is along the lines of 'any critic of Israel is always called an anti-Semite' - which is a very convenient excuse for not addressing the issue.
It is unlikely that Lynch will be be having an epiphany on this point any time soon, but his employers at the university and the sponsors of his centre (which include the Federal Government) should be taking a very hard look at what they are promoting.