Monday, September 05, 2022

Father’s Day is worth celebrating

I had a good fathers' day

Father’s Day is too often written off as a Hallmark Holiday. Yes, it is a recent social construct, but when it comes down to it all of our festivals are social constructs.

This one has its roots in various feasts, festivals, commercial, and religious days around the world that have since been formalised.

Today, Father’s Day forms part of a collection of days that honour family roles. They are not compulsory. They are not public holidays. If they offend you or you’re determined to wallow in negative feelings – as is the case with The New York Times – you’re free to ignore it.

What matters to the rest of us is the spirit of a day. Saying, ‘Thanks dad!’ once a year is a healthy thing for society, especially in the current ideological environment that seeks to label men as ‘toxic’ and dangerous by their very nature.

When little boys are born, they are separated out as ‘future rapists’ or the heirs of ‘white supremacy’ and ‘colonisation’ by the same cult that makes doctors feel guilty about ‘assigning’ gender at birth. Our culture too often seeks to destroy the bonds of fatherhood at infancy and paint fathers as something to be watered down, made more palatable, and – if possible – replaced entirely by a second mother.

If the men of Western Civilisation lean into their biological instincts to be strong providers and protectors, they are charged with crimes against groupthink. If they complain about advertising campaigns that attack them for existing, they are decried as insensitive.

God forbid men present themselves as tall, slightly wild-looking, masculine, and un-manscaped creatures capable of killing a Huntsman spider or fixing stuff around the house.

Modern men, as a species, are getting weaker. They are being coaxed into effeminate behaviour as the cult of womanhood pushes itself into the public sphere – a public sphere, mind you, that can’t seem to define what a woman is. In some arenas of Woke, the best woman is a man.

Such is the Age of Confusion we find ourselves in.

Here’s a tip, women like strong men. Women look for masculine creatures to balance their femininity. Maybe the reason that so many young women are single is not, as suggested by some, the ‘culture of Tinder’ but the far more problematic lack of manly-men who make good prospective fathers.

Masculinity is something worth defending, as is the vital role of men when it comes to leading the family.

This Sunday, we simply say thank you to the fathers that are looking after the next generation.


Top doctor Luke McLindon sacked, shunned for divisive Covid research

Gynaecologist and obstetrician Luke McLindon has proved to be a headache, even an embarrassment, to the bosses at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital.

In June, the leading health facility terminated his job as the head of fertility services for not having the Covid-19 vaccine – against Queensland Health’s mandate.

And now the controversial doctor has stirred up a storm over data he says makes a preliminary link between the Covid-19 vaccine and miscarriages.

His unfinished research – which is heavily disputed by the Mater and counter to multiple studies that have found the vaccine is safe for pregnant women – was leaked and promoted by anti-vaxxers online.

Dr McLindon wants his early research to be investigated further, but his personal stance against vaccine mandates is not helping his fight for serious consideration of his findings.

“I’ve been shunned and isolated and in a very difficult place both personally and professionally,” he told The Sunday Mail. “I am not an anti-vaxxer, I’m just against mandates, and as a GP I delivered the scheduled immunisations to patients for years.

“As an obstetrician my patients were mostly all vaccinated. “I have never encouraged anyone not to be vaccinated.”

Dr McLindon, a long-time clinical researcher in infertility and recurrent miscarriage, told peers in a closed meeting that he had discovered a rise in the number of early pregnancies lost to women following the Covid-19 vaccine.

“I told the group that the rates looked too high but needed further investigation and made it clear the findings must not be spread,” he said.

“I was horrified by what I saw online. “It was used as anti-vax fodder and my actual data was not yet complete. “Those numbers were very early and they were worst possible scenario. “They needed to be moderated and adjusted as more time passed.

“News travelled fast in the medical world in Queensland and I have been distanced and frozen out.”

The doctor said at 51 he will likely have to start life again in a different career.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends all people trying to conceive to have the Covid vaccine. Several studies have found the vaccine to be safe for pregnant women.

As he fights for his reputation, Supreme Court documents show the doctor lost his position at the Mater as he failed to adhere to the vaccine mandate for medical professionals.

Dr McLindon is one of a group of Queensland doctors who launched a legal challenge to the chief health officer’s vaccine mandates for hospital and healthcare workers.

“That is my personal decision due to a heart condition,” he said.

A Mater spokesman confirmed that the doctor no longer practised at the Mater but would not clarify the reason. Dr McLindon said he too was not at liberty to comment on the reason for his termination.

But court documents show that Mater chief executive Dr Peter Steer terminated his employment on June 9 as he had not complied to the vaccine mandate and did not provide an exemption.

“I wish to have peers review my findings before formally releasing,” Dr McLindon said. “The aim is to find a reputable international journal who sees the importance of this work to add to the scientific literature in this space.

“I have an intimate knowledge of these women’s menstrual cycles, time of conception, bloods, ultrasounds, vaccination status and timings.”

Colleagues say the controversial gynaecologist is a respected doctor and a “decent human being”. “Research needs to start somewhere,” one doctor said. “As experts in a field we have an obligation to be intellectually honest. “This includes being absolutely sure of your data and allowing others in the field to crosscheck your findings.”


Border closures ‘ruined people’s lives’, says mum of stranded boy

It’s been a whole year since a Queensland mother was reunited with her young son after an agonising two-month separation because of border closures – and the family is convinced it was all for nothing.

The tear-jerking moment – when little Memphis ran into mother Dominique Facer’s arms at a Brisbane airport – resonated with thousands of Queenslanders grappling with “inhumane” border restrictions during Covid.

Memphis, who was three at the time, had been visiting his grandparents in regional NSW when the borders slammed shut in July 2021, stopping him from returning to his home at Howard in the Fraser Coast region.

It took until September 3 for the little boy to be brought home after a big fight from his Queensland mum.

Ms Facer still questions the necessity of the harsh lockout laws and the motives of an unbudging Queensland Premier reluctant to grant exemptions.

When she learned Annastacia Palaszczuk was planning to reopen the border between NSW and Queensland on October 18, just six weeks after winning her long battle to see her son again, it was a “slap in the face”.

“I still have a hard time grasping the event and just the whole timeline of it,” she said.

“It feels like we went through all that sh-- because they were just clutching at straws, but they were ruining people’s lives and businesses in the process, so what was it all for?”

“When you look back on it now, you think to yourself, they put people through that crap for nothing and was a shock to the system and kind of a slap in the face when I found out the borders were opening because they could have just done that from the start.

“Palaszczuk has never reached out or said anything to us, which would have showed she had remorse or a bit of decorum but she never once reached out, nor did (chief health officer) Dr (Jeanette) Young.”

Looking back, Ms Facer still feels sorry for the people who missed out on saying goodbye to their loved ones and those who died completely alone.

She said she was “one of the lucky ones,” who, with the help of Opposition Leader David Crisafulli, the “awesome” staff at Angel Flight and the media crusade that campaigned for her, was finally able to reunite with her son. “I still can’t believe it that many people cared,” Ms Facer said.

“You think, oh yeah, this sucks for me, all my friends and family understand but when you get thousands of different people all rallying together for you, and siding with you, understanding your pain, it’s pretty next level.

“I remember being at Archerfield and seeing all the media but not realising they were there for me because I saw a big plane come in and thought someone political or important was also landing there.

“When I walked out to the tarmac, I saw the news chopper and someone said ‘yeah, you’re on live television’ and then all the journalists started lining up ready to come at me for an interview, I was like, ‘hooly dooley’.

“Even now, you still get the looks. This woman came up to me in a shop and she heard me say Memphis’s name and she said, oh my God, is that the little boy that was stuck in NSW?’

“And I laughed and said, ‘yeah this is Memphis’ and she was like, ‘OMG, I cried my eyes out watching him run to you’.”


For this teacher weighing up a return to the classroom, there are bigger issues than pay

Including ineffective discipline options

Paige Rundle is on long service leave from the profession she loves, but admits it's unlikely she will return to teaching full time.

Ms Rundle is one of thousands of registered Australian teachers opting not to step back into the classroom, as the teacher shortage worsens.

But she says it's not a question of pay. "The money's not that bad — it's that they've taken teaching out of our hands," she said. "They've got to give teachers the freedom to actually teach."

There were 1,050 teacher vacancies in Queensland as of the end of May this year. This compares to 760 vacancies in a similar timeframe last year

Teacher shortages are not a problem unique to Queensland, with modelling showing the demand for secondary school teachers across Australia will outstrip graduates by more than 4,100 teachers over the next three years.

A national action plan is expected to be endorsed by December to recruit and retain more teachers, with talk of better pay for more experienced staff.

Ms Rundle said she hoped any national action plan would address common concerns among teachers about the curriculum, workload and discipline.

"At the moment it's a rotating wheel where the same kids get suspended; they come back, and it's a 'reward' to be sent home again. And the kids know we can't do anything about it. "All the while, it is disruptive to the whole class."

Ms Rundle said, in addition, teachers were now expected to do a lot of parenting – making the classroom an unappealing environment to work in.

Queensland's Education Minister Grace Grace has sought to reassure parents that teacher shortages are not affecting students' NAPLAN results.

"The Grattan Institute has given Queensland a gold star for growth in student outcomes so we're very proud of that," Ms Grace said.

"We are providing added incentives for teachers to teach in regional and remote Queensland, so hopefully that will really give us a boost along in terms of teacher numbers."

Parents are worried about the long-term consequences of the shortage and the impact of their children's education and future.

"Parents are concerned in … making sure that kids have appropriate supervision at school," P&C's Queensland chief executive Scott Wiseman said.

'Linchpin role'

Queensland Teachers Union vice president Leah Olsson said there needed to be a "discussion at the dinner table" about the value of teachers to society.

"We need resourcing for our state schooling, and we need respect for the linchpin role that they play in our community," she said.

Ms Olsson said better incentives were also needed, such as paid-for flights, to attract teachers to regional and rural areas of Queensland.


A major Central Queensland coal mine expansion approved

A major Central Queensland steelmaking mine will undergo a massive expansion after getting the green light from the State Government.

More than 700 jobs will be supported during the expansion of Carborough Downs near Moranbah, increasing the metallurgical coal mine’s lifespan by another 11 years.

The underground mine, which is owned and operated by Fitzroy Australia, currently employs about 700 people, with almost 70 per cent of its workforce being local or drive-in, drive-out workers.

Coal production from the expansion is expected to begin in the next 12 months.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said Carborough Downs was a “significant” employer and economic contributor to the Isaac region, with the extension ensuring the future stability of jobs.

“This investment is a strong vote of confidence in Queensland resources sector, including our state’s large deposits of high-quality steelmaking coal,” he said.

“Importantly, this extension will create flow on economic benefits for the entire Isaac region, from tools, safety and workwear suppliers right through to our pubs, cafĂ©’s and accommodation providers.

“Queensland offers a great lifestyle and having good jobs available in the regions is an important way to sustain this.”

Mr Stewart said the resources sector in Queensland supported about 77,000 jobs, with regional areas accounting for two-thirds of all mining jobs.

“Queensland is naturally blessed with the world’s highest quality metallurgical coal, which the world needs to make steel,” he said. “Even as the world transitions to renewables, metallurgical coal for steel will remain an essential, and valuable, international export commodity for Queensland.”




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