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Day to Day Politics: Reasoned responses, well-presented

Monday 9 October 2017

One of the most gratifying rewards of sharing one’s thoughts by writing for The AIMN is the shared knowledge one gains by the experience of the responses one receives.

I don’t for a moment claim any ownership of righteousness and freely admit that there are many points of view. They range from the sublime to the ridiculous. From reasoned well-presented responses to the angry feral nutters.

An observation

“Sometimes I allow myself the indulgence of thinking I know a lot. Then I realise that in the totality of things, I know little.”

All are tolerated, even welcomed at The AIMN, well except for the feral idiots who serve no purpose in civilised discussion. Hear are two examples (note that my posts are also shared on a great many Facebook pages) of well-reasoned comments. The first by Michael Brooke is in response to my post about the amount of sugar ,salt, and fat in processed foods. The second is by Russell Darroch commenting on views about idealism and the state of our democracy.

Michael Brooke:

“John Lord (The Aim Network) posted an essay on Facebook about health and obesity. It struck a cord with me — my response to his essay might be interesting to you:—

For ten years I was a triage nurse. That was a long time ago. But what I observed about ill-health then is applicable today. 60% of hospital admissions that came through our Casualty Station were related to alcohol, tobacco or obesity. We’d often discuss this, doctors, nurses, technicians, concerned that we were dealing with self-induced diseases, but forced to acknowledge the problem was more complex than mere self generation.

Compulsive obsessive behaviour is commonplace and where it is immoderate disease happens. Frequent cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, persistent over eating, these conjoined with stress and sometimes depression and sometimes mental illness and often poor education or degraded intelligence, all contribute to a predictable assortment of illnesses.

One evening a thirty year old male was carried into our Casualty. He was in terminal heart failure; breathless, in agony and terrified. He died. There was nothing we could do to help him. He was a man who smoked three packs of cigarettes a day and he was an alcoholic.

I wonder if it’s possible to legislate for or against his compulsive obsessive behaviour. Might legislation have saved his life?

Whether the government has the right to tell the public it must not eat so much sugar, salt and fat, and must not smoke cigarettes, and will not consume illicit drugs like heroin … is irrelevant. The problem has nothing to do with governmental rights.

But of course the government can help. By, maybe, radically re-defining what a healthcare system is. Currently we don’t have a healthcare system. We have a sickness system. Medical professionals are not trained to deal with good health. They are trained to deal with illness. A young man died in our Casualty Station of a disease that might have been prevented by an enlightened good-health-care system. ‘Might have been’ is a simplistic proviso.

13 teaspoons of sugar in a can of Coke — Coke that is sold, over-sold, never-endingly sold worldwide in every imaginable way. Coke, and alcohol, fatty fast foods, sugar drinks, sweet confectionary — it seems to me the planet has become a vast billboard advertising junk we must, must. must consume. Consumption has become an obligation and it is killing us and ultimately killing our planet’s life sustaining environment. “Oh what a feeling…” and we jump for joy at the newest car we’ve bought. But at what cost to our health and the environment? Cars, too, are a health hazard, killing us by the thousand and polluting the environment with fumes and noise — add pollution to the list of nasties.

John Lord made a damning observation, quote: “So isn’t it odd that the Turnbull Government is contemplating increasing the rate of its consumer tax in order to give the same companies a reduction in the amount of tax they pay.”

Figure that out, he suggested.

I did, many years ago, with the realisation we, as a worldwide community, have developed a form of insanity — Obesity of Mind.”

Russell Darroch:

“Until everyone stops ignoring the level of corruption and nastiness in the current government our democracy is broken, seriously broken, not just a little bit. The blatant misuse of public funds, the disproportionate wages of pollies and the rich versus the 98%, the growing inequities, the breaking of separation of powers, the distortions of the AFP, the constant self-interest meddling, and the rest of the exhausting list will NOT be fixed by existing practices or institutions without serious, dare I say, revolutionary changes.

We need strong, outspoken, incorruptible moral, ethical leadership. We need to fix the Westminster system too, it is not serving us well – it isn’t political theatre, it is a farce, it wastes time and money, it belittles serious issues and distracts from core societal issues. As the play toy of the privileged in Parliament it does not serve THE PEOPLE well. It’s failure on so many fronts, from energy, to manufacturing, national food/water/land/sea security is destroying the once Lucky country.

Whether it is irretrievably broken we will not know until the next election but the damage already done will take years to fix. Most of the outsourcing of just about everything may never be fixed and therein lies one of the major failures of all recent governments.

We need a strong national government led by a party that reverses nasty policies, fixes a broken taxation system, does not stack the High Court, and one that truly respects the huge sacrifices of our parents generations in building this country.

We need to fix the years of destroying the ABC, the media mess which has gotten steadily worse, the destruction of our national health system, the corrupt infrastructure vested interests, the commercialization of our universities, the broken TAFE system, a dispirited and distorted CSIRO, a massively distorted federal department under Dutton, …. in short we need to fix an enormous list of serious failed policies embodied now in a legislative quagmire. It will take a resolute will and vision the likes of which we haven’t seen since Whitlam (with apologies to Keating, I’ve never quite forgiven him for not calling out the dangers of the political “theatre” – it isn’t funny, it is misused and abused).”

The exchange and intellectual debate of ideas needs to be re energised and it is incumbent on the young to become involved.

How about being involved in increasing the already large readership of The AIMN? Register a friend’s email address (with permission of course) on our website. We are wanting to do amazing things but it’s all relevant to readership and how much money we have for promotion and paying the bills.

Hope you enjoyed the comments of Russell and Michael.

My thought for the day

We have so much to learn from people we disagree with that it’s a wonder we don’t do it more often.


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  1. Terry2

    With the Minister currently responsible for looking after and safeguarding the interests of the ABC, Mitch Fifield, is a bit of a worry.

    Fifield first came to public notice when he gave $30 million to Fox Sports to promote niche and women’s sports but he seemed unable to plausibly answer obvious question such as :

    Why give this money to a Pay TV company with a subscription base of less than 30% of the population rather than to a free to air company such as ABC or SBS available to all Australians : he consistently avoided answering that question.

    Then he came out in support of the One Nation push for greater regulation of the ABC and incredibly he said of the proposal to add the words fair and balanced to the ABC Act alongside the existing requirement for news to be ‘accurate’ and ‘impartial’. “It, it is difficult to ­imagine anyone complaining about this, yet they have”.

    In saying this he is wilfully ignoring the fact that Fox News in the US have debased and abused this slogan to the point where it has no integrity in broadcast media.

  2. win jeavons

    Where is the balance point between truth and falsehood? Between compassion and cruelty? between altruism and selfish greed? Between honesty and corruption ? This present government does not appear to understand these oppositions, blinded by their worship of a religion of wealth and status.

  3. wam

    Well done, Lord, a little indulgence goes a long way, Can’t see the connection with your thought, but?

    Wonder if michael, a former student of Yeppon’s st ursula (an independent catholic boarding and day school) is really michaelia or there is a co-ed day school or he is old and attended before it became an all girls institution?
    Russell is a jarryd hayne all rounder.
    Loved the concept of ‘Obesity of the mind’!!!
    It does define a problem in that the gratifying triple taste of salt, sugar and fat and the greedy mind combine to create obesity which once killed the rich by cardio-vascular disease and diabetes with bouts of gout thrown in.
    Now the poorest can access the trio and are killed by diabetes. FAIR???

    Who, in Kiwirrkura, Elliott or Wadeye, should be responsible for health? Should we return to mao last dancer a spoonful of sugar a month or better still sweet from honey ant or sugar bag, water and lean kangaroo meat??

  4. bearbrooke

    ‘Warm’ I didn’t go to to that school. I’m not michaelia. I am old. I like your humour.

  5. Kronomex

    I think we can guess which disgusting oaf has his hand deep in Adani’s pockets –

    After seeing the photo of Dutton in the article all I can say is that he is seriously, seriously creepy and a psychopath –

    New South Wales and Queensland won’t play ball regarding open slather on CSG so we’ll punish them for daring to disobey us –

    Plain and simple revenge and petulant childishness no matter which way you look at it.

    Then we have this gob smacking piece of illogical thinking logic from Friedeggburger –


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