It's difficult to understand the reasoning of the 79 ACT teachers against COVID vaccinations ("Unvaccinated teacher redeployment hits hard", canberratimes.com.au, November 30, p3.)
During their lives the teachers will probably have had some or all of the following: vaccinations for whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, mumps and polio; injections against tetanus, local anaesthetic injections, pain-numbing injections for dental work and preventative vaccinations prior to travelling overseas.
I can imagine that in virtually all cases they have not queried or researched the scientific basis for these vaccinations and injections. Instead they've relied on the advice of medical professionals.
So why now be so precious about a COVID-19 vaccination, especially when there are three to choose from which have been tried and tested in millions of cases across the world?
As a child, I contracted measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough and diptheria.
For good measure, at the age of 11 I contracted polio and only just survived.
I spent the following two years in a regime of rehab and missed schooling.
People these days, including the anti-vaxxers, no doubt take for granted that these diseases have been all but eliminated thanks to vaccinations.
Personally, I am grateful for the speed with which the COVID-19 vaccines have been developed. I have received my first two jabs and look forward to a third booster shot shortly.
There is more I could say to the anti-vaxxers but I think my story says it all. Just do it.
My wife passed away in August 2019. Lyn had been suffering from dementia. Our excellent doctor organised palliative care in our home.
I had expected this service to be good but I had no idea just how good.
Lyn passed away in her sleep, quietly and with no distress.
People should not fear death, it's a transition to a better life. Palliative care was so good Lyn was able to stay at home in our bed, next to me, right to the last breath.
Like many Australians, I took offence at George Christensen and Craig Kelly likening the vaccine mandates to Nazism.
Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister for Propaganda in the 1930s said: "If you tell a lie long enough and often enough it will become fact and people will believe it."
It is tempting to draw some parallels here with the Prime Minister, aka "Scotty from Marketing", who on occasion has problems delineating fact from fiction.
Could "Big George" could have been onto something?
As a khaki election approaches, we are constantly warned that only a re-elected Morrison or Dutton government will keep us safe from China.
China is being more assertive in the Pacific but how much of the rhetoric is just tub-thumping - to be forgotten after the election?
It was the current LNP government that decided in September 2016 to manufacture Defence Force dress uniforms in China. At the time the then-defence minister, senator Marise Payne, said this would result in an 18 per cent saving over making them in Bendigo.
How can we take the threat from China seriously when uniforms are made by our potential enemy? The iconic Akubra hats and parade boots are still Australian-made.
Dr Ray Trewin (Letters, November 27) repeats the falsehood "our coal exports are counted in our emissions, and not where they are emitted".
One of the most fundamental and universally known facts about calculating national emissions - from which per capita figures are derived - is that, while emissions from mining and transporting coal are counted in the country in which they take place, the far greater emissions from burning that coal are counted in the country where the burning takes place.
In Australia's case, the total emissions from burning our coal in other countries are typically almost double the entirety of our national emissions.
The remainder of his rambling about amounts of atmosphere above a land mass is simply physics-illiterate and history-ignoring fantasy.
Perhaps he might like instead to argue that, as obese people undoubtedly hold more carbon atoms in their bodies than more slender folk, Australia - with pretty much world-leading obesity levels - should be lauded for our heroic efforts to sequester carbon.
Or perhaps we should just return to reality.
Mr Dutton might well be correct about the PRC wanting more Islands after taking Taiwan. In 1974 the PRC took forceful action to occupy an Island off the coast of the then Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). Battle-hardened South Vietnamese Forces denied the PLA its goal.
Notwithstanding, PLA must be shaking its head in disbelief. It took the ADF two days-plus to get a small number of soldiers from Townsville to the Solomons. The AFP beat them.
How long would it take the ADF to get to the hostilities in the Taiwan area? Two weeks? Four weeks?
It took about four weeks to get to East Timor. Australian taxpayers are not inspired with confidence.
Our top-heavy ADF, remote from forward northern operational units, has stumbled at the first hurdle. Even General Leopoldo Galtieri of Argentina was court martialled for failure to properly deploy the army to the Falklands.
The reason power bills are going up in the ACT while going down everywhere else is because the ACT government guarantees electricity prices to green generators (mostly in SA) who participate in the ACT government's 100 per cent renewable scheme.
The guaranteed prices have been well above market rates since the beginning of COVID-19 around 18 months ago.
Green generators are guaranteed prices of between $80 to $165 per megawatt hour. The spot price has averaged a lot less than that.
ACT customers pay to make these green generators whole again.
With another La Nina here for summer, spot prices will again stay low and all of us in the ACT will make up the difference to these green power generators again.
Why do we need a religious discrimination bill?
My personal experience (a sample of one) over more than 70 years is in accord with the findings of the Ruddock report - that Christians are not generally persecuted in Australia.
Perhaps if I had used my position, my influence, or just loudly insisted that folk who do not share my belief must follow the tenets of my faith my experience would have been different. But that would have been a response to my actions, rather than discrimination.
The religious discrimination bill permits a religious institution to "prefer in employment" those who share its belief over those who do not. As such, it strikes at both elemental human needs and basic principles of merit.
What a bitter irony it will be if Labor supports "preference in employment" for religious diehards and does nothing for "preference in employment" for unionists. Both are social policies with clear objectives. The first promotes bigotry and illiberality. The second is designed to encourage the combination of workers to even the bargaining field at work and promote wage justice.
The acid is on Albanese, and all genuine Liberals - if there are any left in the LNP - to do what is right, not what panders to faith-based lobbyists and political opportunism.
The performance of the new Speaker of the House of Representatives has been mediocre. While Tony Smith is an incredibly hard act to follow, Andrew Wallace has some serious homework to do on House of Representatives practice and "crowd control".
I have written before on the appalling behaviour of members during Question Time and the inability of the Speaker to manage them apart from the useless exhortation of "order" and the tokenistic and ineffectual "94(a)" expulsion.
Order will never be achieved if we don't appoint speakers who can exercise some serious authority and meaningful sanctions.
The PM's response to the finding that one-third of the staff in Parliament House reported some form of sexual harassment was: "I wish I found it more surprising." My response to the PMs response was: "I wish I found it more surprising."
Occasionally letter writers throw out an esoteric word that sends us to our dictionaries. I C Dillon (Letters, November 26) uses "casuistry" together with hypocrisy and self-interest, to castigate ScoMo. My Macquarie dictionary makes it more of a plus than a minus. Caveat emptor.
I hope every fine this money-grubbing Greens-led government issues for exceeding the speed limit in the ridiculous, revenue-raising, 40km/h traps in the city costs it a vote at the next election. Where is the evidence-based case for having reduced the speed limit to 40km/h other than to confiscate money to pay for the red terrors?
Ed Highley says the use of the "I know nothing" phrase in a sticky situation is derived from Sergeant Schultz, not Manuel (Letters, November 29). In the Fawlty Towers episode involving Mrs Richards, Manuel repeatedly uttered the phrase "I know nothing". The fact there is debate about such things is a good indicator of how deficient our education system is.
How many homes could the ACT government build for social housing if we did not build the tram to Woden? How many homeless and financially stressed people could benefit? Where are their priorities? Isn't this a topic worth discussing?
Bev Cains (Letters, April 10) claims a person's right to life is the fundamental right of all people. What about their right to decide that they've had enough of their life as it is, for whatever reason, and want an end to it?
I enjoyed Ian Warden's coinage of Pinocchioism, ("Truth is, Scott Morrison's lies are leading him down a dangerous path", Panorama, November 27). However, I do take exception to the footnote describing Pinocchio as "a famous Disney cartoon character". Surely a subeditor error? I am sure Ian would know Pinocchio first appeared in an 1883 novel by Carlo Collodi.
No one can possibly ignore the fact that ScoMo and his team are in a mire. Too much secrecy, too many lies, too much deception, too many failures in too many areas. Too much focus on winning the next election. When we finally get a federal ICAC and that day will come, this government will be leaving behind a gigantic case load. It will need to be funded appropriately.
"Porter gone, Hunt next? Parliament to end with a bang," said the headlines. More like a whimper, I'd say.
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