Thursday, July 03, 2014

Muslim influence over the media  -- a letter

Mr David Kidd, CEO Radio 2GB.

Dear Mr Kidd,

I am writing in regard to the recent on air bullying of Michael Smith who was asked a valid question and answered it honestly. He was then dismissed from his part time job as Host in lieu of Ben Fordham for three weeks simply for telling the truth.

I have read many uncomplimentary letters in regard to this action from very upset 2GB listeners who regard Michael Smith as being a very hard working and honest Journalist who has his background as a policeman to help him with his meticulous research.

He has been the major player in the establishment of a Royal Commission into the AWU fraud perpetuated by Bruce Wilson and other Unionists in the Union at that time.

I have listened to Ray Hadley and Alan Jones for many years and I thought your establishment was one of the few who had regard for the conservative views of its listeners. It seems as if I and thousands of others are sadly mistaken. I feel sadly disillusioned now and have not listened since this incident.

I would urge you to apologise to your listeners, reinstate Michael Smith and apologise to him. Thousands of Australians are very fearful of the Moslem invasion and we know what barbarians they are in many other countries in the world where they are allowed to fester. They are now butchering each other. Is that what we want for Australia?.

Is no one allowed to criticise Moslems? There are no guarantees that this barbarism will not happen here. I can understand that you are fearful that your station may be blown up. What other reason would you have for not allowing the truth to be told? Well, I think that if you are fearless in exposing Islam for what it is that it will be less likely that any of us need to fear being blown up just for going about our shopping or daily business.

We need leaders and men who are not cowards to expose the truth about Moslems, left wing socialism and fraud wherever it exists – which is just what Michael Smith does. He is a hero to many, many people and you have done your station an injustice for not defending these principles. Yours faithfully,

Glenis Batten.
1-97-127 Hogg St, Cranley. Qld. 4350.

NSW  fails to toughen hate speech law

The state government has shied away from a long-planned crackdown on racist speech, prompting claims the dispute over changes to national anti-discrimination laws has stymied reform in NSW.

The government was this week due to respond to recommendations by a NSW parliamentary inquiry that would have removed obstacles to convicting people for racial vilification, but has delayed its response indefinitely.

Radio presenter Alan Jones had decried the inquiry as "beyond ludicrous", while conservative commentator Andrew Bolt said the idea was "straight out of the Leninist playbook".

The inquiry was referred by former premier Barry O'Farrell, who was concerned there had been no successful criminal prosecutions in the history of the laws.

The inquiry recommended that serious cases of racial vilification be referred to police for full investigation and possible criminal prosecution, rather than consent being sought from the Attorney-General.

It called for an increase in the period within which criminal complaints can be lodged to a year, a review of penalties for serious racial vilification, and police training about the offence.

The government was due to respond to the recommendations on Tuesday this week, more than six months after they were handed down. In a three-line response, it said it "continues to consider" the report and the issues raised.

The response suggests the government is reluctant to tackle even modest reforms in the wake of a tide of public opposition to the federal government's proposed rewrite of race hate laws.

The move to tighten laws in NSW ran counter to changes being pushed by Federal Attorney-General George Brandis. He has proposed scrapping sections of the Racial Discrimination Act that limit racist insults and hate speech.

Greens MP David Shoebridge said the state government had been "cowed into inaction" by its federal counterpart.

"This shows how the aggressive defence of bigots by the federal Liberal Party is undermining efforts to improve racial vilification laws at a state level," he said.

NSW Community Relations Commission chair Vic Alhadeff said the government's caution was understandable "given the overwhelming public rejection" of the federal reforms.

"It is clear that the public will accept reform in this sensitive area only if a compelling case has been made," he said, saying the state government was right to consider the issue carefully.

In April, Premier Mike Baird urged his federal colleagues to back away from the proposed changes to racial discrimination law, echoing fears expressed by Mr O'Farrell. Mr Baird said there was broad community concern over the national reforms, adding "if it's not broken, don't fix it".

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Brad Hazzard said the government was working on its response to ensure it properly reflects the government's views.

Bolt, who was found by the federal court to have contravened the Federal Racial Discrimination Act in a newspaper column, had described Mr O'Farrell as an "idiot" for proposing the inquiry.

NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Stephen Blanks said the government's response was "terribly unsatisfactory and sends a signal that it is not prepared to take appropriate action against racism".


Health report card reveals excellent grades

One of the main jobs of the federal government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare is to produce a report card on the state of Australia’s Health every two years. The latest edition is just out and it’s crammed with good news.

Perhaps our most basic desire is to delay our death, and on this score we’re doing particularly well. "Australians have one of the highest life expectancies in the world and can expect to live about 25 years longer, on average, than a century ago," the institute says.

In 1910, a baby boy could expect to live for 55 years and a baby girl 59 years. Today it’s 80 and 84. That puts us sixth highest on the world league table for boys and seventh for girls, but the countries coming top – Iceland and Japan – beat us by less than two years. And we leave the Yanks for dust.

Of course, that’s just for babies. Those of us who survive beyond our youth can expect to live longer again. A man turning 65, for instance, can expect to live another 19 years to 84. Women can expect another 22 years to reach 87.

All that’s on average, of course. It happens because, by the time you reach 65, you’ve successfully avoided having your life cut short by accidents or other causes of premature death. You’ve become one of those who’ll exceed the at-birth average.

But even if we are living longer, is that so wonderful if it means we’re spending more years living with some kind of disability? Well, some disabilities are worse than others. And my guess is most people would tell you that, though their particular disability isn’t fun, it beats the alternative.

The news is better than that, however. The institute’s figuring shows that as our years of life are lengthening, our years of living with disability aren’t increasing commensurately. And though they’re increasing slowly for women – to almost 20 years for a newly born girl – they’re falling slowly for men, to less than 18 years for baby boys.

The rate of daily smoking has been falling for 50 years, from 43 per cent of adults in 1964 to 16 per cent today. Quitting smoking can increase your life expectancy by up to 10 years if you do it early enough.

The institute says vaccination is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions. And the proportion of 5-year-olds who've been vaccinated rose from 79 per cent to 92 per cent over the four years to 2012. Thank God for the nanny state.

The proportion of new cases of cancer each year is steady – kept up by the ageing of our population – but rates of death from cancer are continuing to fall. Over the 20 years to 2011, the mortality rate for all cancers fell by 17 per cent to 172 deaths per 100,000 people.

This is because of reduced exposure to the risk of cancer (such as fewer smokers), improved prevention (such as better sun protection), advances in cancer treatment and, for some cancers, earlier detection through screening programs (bowel, breast and cervical).

The reduction was mostly the result of falls in lung, prostate and bowel cancer deaths among men, and falls in breast and bowel cancer deaths among women.

The five-year survival rate from all cancers has increased from 47 per cent to 66 per cent over the past 20-odd years. And among people who’ve already survived five years, the chance of surviving for at least another five is 91 per cent.

There’s been a 20 per cent fall in the rate of heart attacks in recent years and death rates from heart disease have fallen by almost three-quarters over the past three decades. The rate of strokes has fallen by 25 per cent in recent years and the death rate from strokes has fallen by more than two-thirds.

In just over 20 years, the death rate from asthma has fallen from a peak of 6.6 per 100,000 people to 1.5 deaths. The rate of people being hospitalised for asthma has fallen by 38 per cent.

And the rates of death through most causes of injury – accidents, drowning, suicide and homicide – are down by 3 per cent to 5 per cent in less than a decade.

We’re even feeling better. More than half of those 15 and over consider themselves to be in excellent or very good health, with another 30 per cent saying their health is good. This is up a bit on a similar survey in 1995.

What’s more, even the oldies are feeling pretty good. Among people aged 65 to 74 living in households, more than three-quarters rated their health as excellent, very good or good. Among those 75 and older, it was two-thirds.

It would be wrong to think everything about our health and healthcare is fine but, just this once, we’ll celebrate what’s going right.


Labor dumps frumpy old lady from upper house slot

Former upper house president Amanda Fazio has accused NSW Labor general secretary Jamie Clements of "appalling behaviour" over the decision to dump her from the right faction ticket for next year's state election.

During a speech in Parliament on Wednesday, Ms Fazio also said the upper house preselection process was "corrupted and undemocratic" and criticised the number of women the faction was backing into Parliament.

Fairfax Media reported on Monday that Ms Fazio has been excluded from the right faction upper house ticket for the 2015 election, signalling an end to her parliamentary career after more than 14 years.

Ms Fazio is one of five upper house Labor MPs from the right faction - also known as Centre Unity - up for re-election in March 2015. She is also Labor's whip in the upper house.

But her name was absent from the ticket presented to faction members by Mr Clements at a meeting two weeks ago.

Ms Fazio initially said she would challenge Labor's deputy leader in the upper house, Adam Searle, but announced her withdrawal at a meeting last week.

In her speech on Wednesday, Ms Fazio said Mr Clements had informed her four weeks ago that there was no place for her on the ticket and that he was backing Mr Searle "because he had been pressured to do so by some right wing union secretaries".

"He had no criticism of my work as an MLC and could only offer the lame excuse that I was entitled to a [parliamentary] pension," she said.

"He had not broached the issue with me at any of our frequent meetings earlier in the year and had given no indication that I was going to be dumped. This is appalling behaviour on his part."

Ms Fazio noted if NSW Labor country organiser Courtney Houssos - who is set to be eighth on the combined Labor ticket - is not elected, then Centre Unity would be left with just one woman - Sophie Cotsis - in the upper house.  For this to happen in the year 2015 would be "a disgrace", she said.

Ms Fazio said she had challenged Mr Searle due to concerns about his work as a barrister while an MP.

Last year the government attacked Mr Searle for earning more than $10,000 in legal fees from the Crown Solicitor in a possible breach of laws banning MPs from earning an income from government agencies.

At the time, Mr Searle denied he had broken the law, which is punishable by the loss of his seat.

Mr Searle and Mr Clements declined to comment. But on the issue of women in Parliament, a Centre Unity source said that in his one year as general secretary, Mr Clements had supported Deborah O'Neill and Vivien Thomson for the Senate and Ms Houssos for the Legislative Council.


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