Sunday, May 22, 2022

In Good Leftist style Albo starts with a promise he cannot deliver

He promises contitutional change in favour of Aborigines but constitutional change can only be delivered by way of a referendum. And Australia has a long history of referenda. And what has emerged is that referenda only get up if there is no significant opposition to them. And both the the National Party and the One Nation party are highly likely to oppose this one. I think I can already hear the articulate David Flint on the matter.

And referenda have to deliver in the States as well as nationally. And there are known high levels of anti-Aborigine sentiment in both Queensland and Western Australia.

Australia's next Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised to serve Australia after Labor won the election and Scott Morrison stood down as the Liberal leader after conceding defeat.

It follows huge surges to the teal independents and Greens that claimed the scalp of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

But Labor's result was far from a landslide with star candidate - former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally - somehow losing the safe seat of Fowler.

Addressing an excitable crowd, Mr Albanese promised to establish a First Nations voice to Parliament, enshrined in the constitution.

After walking onto the stage with his partner Jodie Haydon at the Hurlstone Park RSL to the Australian classic GANGgajang's Sounds Of Then, the Labor leader was greeted by cheers of "Albo, Albo, Albo".

"On behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I commit to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full," Mr Albanese told the crowd.


The Leftist response to troubled children is to mutilate them

On this page last election eve I wrote, ‘Mums and dads across the country look set to elect a Labor party that has vowed to impose the kooky notion of gender fluidity on all of our children, even those seeking refuge in religious schools.’ We were spared in 2019, but after a term of flaccid failure by the Liberals to fight this culture battle, it looks like the party that introduced the breast-binding, penis-tucking ‘Safe Schools’ programme will now be given a free hand with your kids.

Governments and schools must not mess with the minds of children. That means they must not mess with archetypal realities like male and female as if they were cultural fads instead of facts of nature. For those who have forgotten these facts – like Australia’s former chief medical officer who couldn’t say what a woman was – just remember that a woman is an adult human female, where ‘female’ is defined by a reproductive system organised for gestation. Therefore, a transwoman is not a woman but a male who feels a deep need to present in feminine stereotypes.

But perhaps it’s niceness, not facts, that matters to you? Niceness compels you to affirm a confused boy who says he’s a girl and affirm a male athlete who says he’s a woman? Yes, that’s nice, but it’s untrue, and collaborating with confusion has un-nice consequences.

Keira Bell was a confused child of fifteen who thought she was a boy. The Tavistock Clinic in London affirmed her confusion and set her on the path of hormones that sterilised her and surgery that removed her breasts. Keira was not a boy; she was a troubled girl who has now sued Tavistock for failing to address the source of her confusion and leaving her sterile and scarred.

Tammika Brents was a mixed-martial arts athlete whose skull was smashed by a burly transwoman. Aspiring female swimmers have been metaphorically smashed by transwoman Lia Thomas. Transwomen preserve the male advantage in muscle bulk, limb-length, heart and lung capacity, so allowing biological males to compete in women’s sport not only breaks records and bones but denies a fair go to females. In this timid and trivial election campaign we have watched one brave woman, Katherine Deves, founder of Save Women’s Sports and Liberal candidate for Warringah, get hammered for telling this truth. Because everyone from blind Freddy to the drover’s dog agrees with Deves’ central argument – that women’s sport should be for women – the nice woke Left dredged social media for something smellier to hang around her neck. They found a picture of a young woman with surgical scars where her breasts had been removed. This woman now identified as a man and tweeted satisfaction with the surgery. Deves put the opposing view: that young people are being ‘surgically mutilated and sterilised’. That language fails the niceness test, even if said out of compassion for young people like Keira, but the language is arguably correct.

The term ‘mutilating surgery’ does not imply any lack of good will or skill; it simply describes the radical nature of a procedure. In the days when radical mastectomy was the recommended treatment for breast cancer, no doctor disputed that this was mutilating surgery; the only dispute was whether it was necessary – over time, we realised it was not. In Testing Treatments, the medical authors write, ‘The surgical excesses were eventually challenged, both by surgeons who were unwilling to continue in the face of questionable benefits for their patients, and by outspoken women who were unwilling to undergo mutilating operations.’

Deves is an outspoken woman. She objects to mutilating operations with questionable benefit being performed on young women. The youngest known gender-confused girls to have bilateral mastectomy in Australia were aged 15. The question is not whether the removal of a girl’s healthy breasts is mutilating surgery – arguably it is – but whether it is necessary. The question is not whether cross-sex hormone treatment sterilises the young patient – typically it does – but whether it is justified. Some doctors conclude, in good faith, that it is justified. Others disagree – indeed, hundreds of us (including nine child psychiatrists) wrote to federal health minister Greg Hunt in 2019 (see asking for a parliamentary inquiry into ‘the rapid rise of childhood gender dysphoria in Australia and the lack of scientific basis for current medical treatment.’

Why should we usher children down a path of radical hormonal and surgical treatment when we know about 80 per cent of these children would get over their gender confusion around puberty? A supportive, watchful approach seems wiser. Former cutting-edge countries like Sweden and Finland have now reviewed the evidence and halted hormonal and surgical treatment for gender-dysphoric youth, prioritising psychological treatment. Here in Australia, however, hormonal transition remains the dominant paradigm while Labor’s evil laws in Queensland and Victoria prosecute GPs who dare suggest that treatment should address the child’s troubled mind, not her body.

Deves spoke as truthfully as she could on youth sterilisation and mutilating surgery, on British data that found half their transgender prisoners were sex offenders, on the high incidence of autism and mental health disorders among gender-confused children, and on how unsafe and unfair it is to let transwomen compete with real women. But it’s niceness that matters, not truth. So Deves’ opponent in Warringah, Climate 200’s Zali Steggall, took the nice approach of slurring mothers as ‘transphobic’ if they worry about their daughters playing sport against biological males. That is a safe insult: Steggall will not have to get police protection, but Deves has had to, saying, ‘We are in a time when it is dangerous to speak your mind.’

We are in a time when it is dangerous to leave our kids in school, their minds subject to cult-like indoctrination by gender whisperers on the one hand and peddlers of climate doom on the other. At what point does the imposition of such psychological confusion and superstitious terror become notifiable abuse? Educational mutilation? Parents, maintain the rage.


Erasing mothers is not ‘progress’

In the name of inclusion and diversity:

* Barnardos has cancelled its ‘Mother of the Year’ award

* Volunteers from the Australian Breastfeeding Association have been investigated for their use of the word ‘mother’ on social media

* The Labor Party has removed the word ‘mother’ from its policy documents

The reasoning goes: some families don’t have a mother and some mothers identify as ‘fathers’, so we should stop using sexed language for parents altogether. In the modern family, ‘mother’ and ‘father’ have been replaced by Parent 1 and (if you’re lucky) Parent 2.

Sadly, mothers are also being erased, not just from our speech, but from children’s lives. There have been some recent high-profile cases of men ‘creating’ children through surrogacy, with the intention of raising them without a mother. Depending on the arrangement, a baby can have – and lose – up to three different ‘mothers’: a genetic mother, a birth mother, and a social mother. And we are supposed to applaud.

I understand how normalising ‘diverse’ families can help the children of those families to feel less stigmatised, but deliberately removing mothers cannot possibly be called progress. This forced political correctness – telling children that mothers are optional and interchangeable – is a denial of biological reality and human need.

It diminishes a mother’s unique role

Every child has a mother: the woman who was ‘home’ for nine months, delivered them into this world, and (in most cases) fed them from her own body. A mother and her baby share an intimate and irreplaceable bond – even before the child is born.

Beyond birth and breastfeeding, mothers continue to relate to their children in a unique way. Compared to fathers, mothers have higher levels and more receptors of the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for human bonding. As a result:

‘Fathers tend to play with, and mothers tend to care for, children … Fathers encourage competition; mothers encourage equity. One style encourages independence, while the other encourages security.’ (Glenn Stanton, Why children need a male and female parent).

Katy Faust and Stacy Manning summarise the science of motherhood like this:

‘Mum tends to focus on feelings, regardless of the facts. She’s wired to nurture and connect, an especially important ability when an infant is completely dependent on her to survive. Mothers set the emotional tone at home and intuitively respond to the physical and emotional needs of her family. In her uniquely feminine way, Mum embodies “the home” to her children.’

(Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement, Post Hill Press, 2021 Chapter 3, Part 4, Loc 1546)

A man cannot simply decide to call himself a mother; a woman cannot call herself a genderless ‘parent’ or a ‘father’. The word ‘mother’ has a biological referent in the real world and so we must insist on using it.

It diminishes children’s needs

When we delete mothers from our vocabulary and from children’s lives, we are sending the message that there’s nothing special about mothers – any adult will do. But the reality is that every human being needs and longs not just for a generic parent, but for their genetic mother. Babies spend nine months preparing to meet the mother they already know and share a relationship with. After birth, mother-infant bonding is of the utmost importance for a child’s healthy development.

All of this was deemed to be common sense until reproductive technologies began opening up new possibilities. Now, a man’s desire to be a father can override a child’s right to have a mother.

Earlier this year, a Victorian man made headlines by becoming the first single man to become a father through surrogacy in that state. Predictably, this was celebrated as a win for equality. But having children is not a ‘right’ that can be asserted regardless of biology or the best interests of the child. It’s often asserted that ‘love makes a family’, but children need more than love: they have a deep need to know, and ideally be raised by, both their biological mother and father.

The advocacy organisation Them Before Us exists to give children a voice in the debate over family structure. They have collected hundreds of stories from people who were born through donor conception and surrogacy. Those people commonly experience genealogical bewilderment, a sense of commodification and trauma from the loss of a biological mother or father.

A donor-conceived woman describes her struggle:

‘I cannot put into words the pain of not knowing who my biological mother is and not being able to have/have had a relationship with her. I really do think about this at least once a day, and it is deeply mentally, emotionally, and psychologically troubling.’ (Them Before Us, Chapter 7, Loc 3015)

One young woman conceived through commercial surrogacy (in America – only altruistic surrogacy is legal in Australia) explains:

‘To be loved by the two who created you and not from the strangers who bought you, is natural and beautiful. But I was denied this primal family structure to support a business and [an unfamiliar] infertile couple.’ (Them Before Us, Chapter 8, Loc 3627)

Of course, in an imperfect world, children do lose mothers through death, divorce, abuse, or abandonment. Those children deserve all the love and support we can give them. We applaud the single fathers who raise their children alone. We applaud the selfless women who step in to mother children they didn’t give birth to: grandmothers, step-mothers, foster and adoptive mothers.

But the ‘modern family’, where mothers (or fathers) are treated as optional, is a deliberate denial of what children need and naturally long for. Motherlessness is always something to be mourned, not celebrated.

The primal word

It’s telling that ‘mama’ is, universally, the first word that babies say. It’s a sound that’s easy to make and mimics the movement of the baby’s lips as they feed. For better or worse, it’s still the first word that my younger children call out in the middle of the night.

That’s why we cannot allow ‘mother’ to become a dirty word. It symbolises the deep and irreplaceable bond between a woman and her children. Banning this primal word will cause a primal wound that will take generations to heal.

Mothers matter. Our wombs, breasts, and hormones make us unique and indispensable. Every baby looks for ‘Mama’ from the moment of its birth. We are not parents! We are mothers – and no good will come from erasing us.


Asylum vessel intercepted on way to Australia

I am a bit sympathetic to these people. Sri Lanka is an economic disaster area at the moment and these people are much more likely to be Sinhalese than Tamil Tiger sympathizers. And Non-Muslim South Asians generally make good citizens

A vessel carrying Asylum seekers has been intercepted off Australia's coast.

The Prime Minister used his final media conference of the campaign to announce the boat had been intercepted on Saturday morning after making its way from Sri Lanka.

It is understood about 15 people were on board the vessel that was stopped by Australian authorities off the west coast of Christmas Island after almost making it to the mainland.

Those people were on Saturday afternoon on board an Operation Sovereign Borders vessel having their credentials verified.

As reported in The Weekend Australian today, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the Sri Lankan navy had intercepted a fishing vessel and two dinghies carrying dozens of people on Wednesday before Saturday’s development.

“This is not scaremongering, this is a reality and it has been demonstrated by the two attempts that we are aware of,” she told reporters at a press conference on Saturday.

“We don’t know if there are any other attempts that have been made over the last few days and we don’t know if there have been any deaths at sea.

“I’ve said very clearly on my watch that I wanted no people to be attempting to travel to Australia illegally by boat and I didn’t want any deaths at sea.

She said that the Labor government posed a risk to Australia’s borders because of its opposition to temporary protection visas, which are aimed at denying permanent resettlement.

Shadow Minister for Home Affairs Kristina Keneally said Labor supported Operation Sovereign Borders, calling people smuggling a “vile trade”.

“Labor supports Operation Sovereign Borders – offshore processing, regional resettlement, and boat turn-backs where safe to do so,” she said on Saturday.

“Labor thanks the Operation Sovereign Borders Joint Agency Task Force for their continued work at keeping our borders secure.”


People dying of COVID while life-saving drugs go unused, doctors say

Top doctors have warned that vulnerable patients who test positive to COVID-19 are missing out on potentially life-saving antiviral treatments, with just a fraction of those at risk of serious disease having accessed the new drugs.

Figures from the federal health department show 1379 patients received antiviral medication Paxlovid through their GP in the first weeks in May, after the drug was listed on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

“We are still getting quite a number of deaths – and making sure people know antivirals are available is one way of trying to address this,” infectious disease physician Professor Allen Cheng said. “We don’t have many levers left to pull [to protect those at risk of severe illness]. It is easy for people to fall through the cracks”.

With tens of thousands of COVID-19 cases recorded each week, experts say a major awareness campaign is needed to make sure at-risk people know that highly effective treatments can help prevent severe disease if they are taken within five days of symptom onset.

There were more than 680,000 coronavirus cases recorded nationally in the first two weeks in May and 563 deaths.

Fourth ‘winter’ COVID vaccine recommended for people over 65

“Clearly not everyone eligible or those that would benefit are getting access to the treatments,” Cheng said. A major push is needed to make sure older patients with other risk factors, those with co-morbidities, people who are immunosuppressed and unvaccinated are aware treatments are available, he said.

Evidence from trials show that for every 10 to 20 patients treated with Paxlovid one person will be prevented from being hospitalised, Cheng said.

Paxlovid, a combination of the drugs nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, was listed on the PBS last month. Eligible adults who test positive to COVID-19 through a PCR or rapid antigen test can access the treatment from their local pharmacy with a GP prescription.

Paxlovid is available to people aged 65 or older, with two other risk factors for severe disease, or one factor for those aged 75 and over. It is subsidised for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander patients aged 50 or over with two other risk factors and patients who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Another antiviral drug, Lagevrio – the trade name for molnupiravir – was also listed on the PBS in March and has since been used to treat more than 15,000 patients, including about 7000 in NSW.

“Clearly not everyone eligible or those that would benefit are getting access to the treatments.”

President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Karen Price said doctors need to tell “eligible patients proactively that if they contract COVID-19 they should contact their GP”.

“A lot of people are sitting at home with a positive rapid test. We must make sure they know about the medication they can access which could stop them ending up in hospital.”

Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid said an awareness campaign was needed for vulnerable people, especially because treatments were previously only available from hospital.

“If you get a positive test, and you’re at risk, a telehealth appointment is all that is needed to be assessed for treatment”.

“Paxlovid has many drug interactions, so it does take time for GPs to have a good grasp of who should be having antivirals. There are definitely barriers in accessing medication”.

Last month Health Minister Greg Hunt said the antiviral PBS listings would support the national plan to transition Australia’s COVID-19 response, which outlines steps to remove all remaining coronavirus restrictions in the community.

“This medicine will help reduce the need for hospital admission,” Mr Hunt said.




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