Monthly Archives: January 2019

Today’s Whinge: Thursday 31st January 2019

Clive Palmer! What can one say! Like we didn’t have enough of you the first time around! You , sir, are a charlatan! And a dishonest one, to boot! Not only stealing Twisted Sisters song “We’re Not Gonna Take it” and adding your own imbecilic lyrics, but stealing Trumps catch-cry to Make Australia Great Again! What a circus. Not only are you a dishonest businessman, but the same can be said for your party…and you! The United Australia Party was something you came up with in a bored moment, was a way to get paid for mouthing platitudes, and really showing off just how ignorant and rude you actually are. And claiming you were voted a Living Icon! Since when, mate! Not in my lifetime! Living moron would be more like it!

The only people who would vote for you are the same people who vote for Pauline Hanson – the ignorant, prejudiced and uneducated minority.

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider Goes After Clive Palmer On Today Show

Written by Jackson Langford on January 31, 2019

The weirdest music feud of 2019 only gets weirder, as Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider was invited to Today to talk about his ongoing issues with Aussie politician Clive Palmer.

ICYMI, Palmer was accused of ripping off Twisted Sister seminal track ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ for a political campaign and Snider, well, isn’t gonna take it.

Snider, who is currently in the country on a solo tour (including spoken shows), said to Today co-host Richard Wilkins that it is, indeed, a blatant rip-off.

Wilkins pointed out that politicians using songs from popular artists is nothing new, but Snider notes that Palmer is using it in a commercial.

“He’s using it, he’s breaking law, he’s a common criminal…he’s stealing my music,” he said.

“He’s refusing to pay royalties that he’s supposed to pay to use it in a commercial campaign.”

“It’s a theft of services basically and it’s going on in the courts, but it also makes me look bad,” he said later.

“As I’ve looked into Clive’s thing, he does not represent what I represent.”

Snider also said that his publishing company is in the process of suing the politician, after Palmer approached them but never actually paid them anything.

Snider took to Twitter yesterday to call Palmer “nothing but a low life, piece of kangaroo dung, criminal without an ounce of dignity.”

And this is what we can expect from this sponge on the Australian taxpayers:

“Clive Palmer has succeeded in his bid to have a second supreme court judge step down from a three-month trial next year, when liquidators for his failed Queensland Nickel company will seek to recover millions of dollars owed to creditors.

However, as Justice David Jackson recused himself on Monday, he described Palmer’s claims that he may been negatively influenced against the former MP, or discussed the case with other judges, as “scandalising conduct”. 

Palmer had asked the Queensland supreme court judge at an earlier hearing to recuse himself from the legal fight, alleging the judge might have made offensive comments about him to another court official.

Palmer said he was not sure if it was true but asked Jackson to step aside anyway.

Jackson ruled on Monday that he would step down. But he would continue to oversee proceedings until the case goes to trial in April, when another judge will step in.

Last week he suggested the businessman could be trying to get around limits on what lawyers can say in court, by representing himself. 

Palmer has rejected that suggestion. 

“These are mostly matters of a scandalising tendency that should not have been raised, if there was no reasonable basis for them,” Jackson said in his judgment. “He is a wealthy man who has available to him any legal assistance he desires or could need.”

The ruling follows the recusal of Justice John Bond, who stepped down in September after a decision to freeze more than $200m of Palmer’s assets.

Liquidators for Palmer’s Queensland Nickel business will try to claw back hundreds of millions of dollars owed to creditors when the matter goes to trial in April.

Queensland Nickel’s Townsville refinery closed in 2016, leaving 800 workers out of their jobs.”

And this man expects people to vote for him through inundating us with his rubbish ad!!

I think not, Clive!

Tim Alderman 2019

References

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Today’s Whinge: Wednesday January 30th 2019.

Seems to be my week for bashing Premier Gladys Berejiklian! Tends to happen when you bury your head in the sand, ignore evidence-based advice, and refuse to listen to the voices of reason.

Our Gladdie doesn’t want pill testing at big event dance parties. Like with the dead fish in the Darling River (see last nights whinge), it’s the people she cares about, and doesn’t want to see any more young people die from drug overdoses, and toxic drugs at said parties! It seems that the thinking is that if pill testing is introduced, it will appear that they are advocating the use of illegal party drugs at these events.

Now, I’m not ashamed to say that I did party drugs back in the 80s & 90s. I would never have been classed as a big time druggie, but whenever Mardi Gras, Sleaze Ball, and any otherbodd occasional dance parties rolled around, I would do an ekkie or some acid. Mind you, I never bought at the parties, and had a regular middle man I got them through who was reliable, and only ever had “clean” drugs. I always had a great time at the parties, didn’t drink alcohol, and drank a lot of overpriced water. It seems we all sailed in the same boat back then, as to my knowledge, there was never any deaths from overdoses at the parties. But the fact is, if for whatever reason they had pill testing back then, and whatever I had tested showed a dangerous result, I would not have taken it. I wanted to have a good time at the parties…not end up a statistic.

I guess we have to be realistic, and acknowledge that there will always be a percentage of people who, despite the best of advice, will decide to try to hedge the bets on their side, and will take drugs irrespective of the danger. But we also have to at least hope that the voice of reason will discourage the majority of people whose pills test negatively will vote in favour of an ongoing life, and dispose of said drugs.

The issue in both these scenarios is choice. If your pills test negatively, and you choose to take them, then you shoulder the risk, though knowing that you are putting yourself in danger of either ending up in A&E, or in the morgue. Pill testing at least gives people choice, when without it, everyone will just take the drugs and cross their fingers.

One of the main concerns about pill testing is that it may provide people with a “false sense of security”, and therefore lead to an increase in drug-related harm.

“What would be horrific would be if you had such a regime, something was deemed safe, and you have multiple deaths as a result,” Ms Berejiklian said in September.

But Dr Caldicott said this is a fundamental misunderstanding of how pill testing works.

“You will not be told at any stage that your drug is safe,” he said.

Prior to the testing process, each person is advised (and required to sign a legal waiver confirming they understand) the test does not provide evidence of drug purity, safety, dosage, or information about how they will individually respond to the substance being tested.

“We advise people that it’s not a medical consult … we don’t know enough about them to tell them whether it is safe for them or not,” Dr Caldicott said.

It has also been suggested that introducing pill testing at music festivals would lead to “an increase in drugs and a greater rates of death and greater harm to our society”.

But Alison Ritter, a drug policy expert from the University of New South Wales who co-authored a global review of drug checking services in 2017, said there is no evidence to support this claim.

“We know that it doesn’t produce an increase in drug use … and there’s no evidence of harm associated with pill testing,” said Professor Ritter.

Both Professor Ritter, director of the Drug Policy Modelling Program at UNSW, and Dr Caldicott said pill testing was about targeting people who already have the intention of consuming illicit substances — and helping to mitigate their risks.

It’s a view backed by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation: “Drug checking does not promote illicit drug taking, and people who choose to get their substances tested have already purchased their drug with the intention to use them.”

Research shows pill testing can reduce harm

Despite concern about pill testing increasing the appeal of illicit substances, research shows it can lead to less drug taking, and help people consume drugs in a safer way.

“What’s clear from the results of the services operating [in Europe] is that people make different choices based on the results of the testing — some choose to put their drugs into an amnesty bin, others choose to take half as much as perhaps they thought they would,” Professor Ritter said.

In the US-Australian study published today in the Drug and Alcohol Review journal, 54 per cent of ecstasy users surveyed said they were less likely to use ecstasy again if they learned their ecstasy contained ‘bath salts’ (synthetic cathinones) or methamphetamine.

Similarly, an evaluation of the UK’s first pill testing trial found one in five substances tested at the festival was not what people expected, and among people mis-sold substances, two thirds chose to hand over further substances to be destroyed.

Lead researcher Fiona Measham, a professor of criminology at Durham University, said by identifying toxic and potentially lethal contaminants, the pill testing service was able to reduce drug use and “therefore reduce drug-related harm”.

“There was a 95 per cent reduction in hospital admissions that year when we were testing on site,” Professor Measham told ABC Radio Sydney.

She added that pill testing provided an opportunity for healthcare workers to engage in a dialogue about health and harm with a group of young people who don’t usually access drug and alcohol services.

In April, at Australia’s first pill testing trial, 42 per cent of people who brought drugs for testing reported that their drug consumption behaviour would change as a result of the testing.

Dr Caldicott said in addition to reducing harm at an individual level, pill testing services are able to obtain valuable information about what drugs are circulating on the black market, which can be used to tailor public health alerts and assist law enforcement.

“One of the biggest problems in Australia right now is the diversity of the drug market,” he said.

He said new drugs were emerging at such a rate that it was possible the test would not recognise some substances, in which case, they would be given a ‘red’ classification.

One of the biggest problems is those who keep insisting that their should be NO pill testing, but we should adopt a zero tolerance, and education, approach. We already know these approaches don’t work. Young people are always going to be young people. If they are told not to do something…they will go and do it. And how are they going to police a zero tolerance policy. People will either find alternative ways to smuggle drugs in..and they will, don’t doubt that, or do stupid, impulsive things like taking all their drugs upon seeing police and dogs waiting for them at the entry to events. I truly feel for Anna Wood’s father, after his daughter died of an ecstasy overdose at a dance event in 1995, but he needs to stop his blinkered zero tolerance stance, and look at the evidence for other ways of stopping young partygoers from overdosing, or taking toxic drugs.

Our Premier seems to be on a crusade against pill testing despite many MPs, including those from other states and federal politics, moving in favour of it. There is also a strong public voice calling for pill testing at major events. If we have to be truly honest about it, we know that the parents of many of those attending big dance events, and a long list of journalists, tradies, lawyers, public servants, doctors, police, and yes, politicians (most well into their forties) have done the same in their younger years. Let’s try to avoid hypocrisy.

One of the bigger questions is how to stop the dealers who peddle toxic and adulterated drugs at these events. Once upon a time, you purchased your drugs well before attending events such as Mardi Gras, so they were often “tested” at events leading up to the main party, and you knew what they were like. It is a fact that in the 80s and 90s, drugs were a lot cleaner than they seem to be now, and unpleasant incidences were minimalised.

Personally, I think we need a broad, open-minded approach to drug use amongst partygoers. Education, yes! But not lecturing! Not shaking fingers! Perhaps we need some shock tactics, like those used to stop smoking. Some peer education would be advantageous…if kids think it’s their parents talking, they won’t listen! And pill testing, but not just at the events. There should be safe places made available for anonymous testing before events take place, and if reliable, personal pill testing kits.

It serves no purpose turning a blind eye to drug-g use at major dance events. No matter how you feel about it, the hard truth is that partygoers are not going to stop taking drugs. We have to be careful that we do not create situations whereby parties are pushed underground in remote warehouses and sporting venues, without the benefits of medical personnel to handle emergencies, and a long way from hospitals.

We need to care about our youngsters. They should be able to go to big events, as we did in our day, and be able to party safely, be it with or without drugs. Pill testing will at least stack the odds in their favour.

Tim Alderman 2019

References

https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-12-21/guide-to-pill-testing-at-australian-music-festivals/10638732

Today’s Whinge: Tuesday 29th January 2019.

MASS FISH DEATHS IN THE DARLING RIVER SPARK BLAME GAME

Close to a million fish have died in the Darling river near Menindee. This is due to the increased amount of algae in the river which rob the water of oxygen, forcing the fish to suffocate. Some of the fish had been found to be over 100 years old. The increased levels of algae can be linked to a number of factors including the rising temperature, drought, or even a man-made influence.

The Daily was joined by Maryanne Slattery the senior researcher at the Institute to shed some light on the issue.

Gladys Bigjigglybits, aka NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, claims – regarding all the dead and dying fish in the Darling River – that she cares more about people than the fish! Gee Gladdie, do you even care that many of the people you claim to care about use that water for bathing, drinking, washing etc! I sort of think that the blue green algae bloom, which, along with poor water flow (caused in large part by the abuse of water allocations, which your government…along with others…has done NOTHING about) has caused the fish deaths…not to mention the rotting fish…may negate your “care”! Are you even aware of this problem, or are you too busy sorting out your light rail fiasco!

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/28/menindee-fish-kill-another-mass-death-on-darling-river-worse-than-last-time

The Honorable Gladys Berejiklian, MP.

UPDATE 31/01/2019

The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission has found Commonwealth officials committed gross maladministration, negligence and unlawful actions in drawing up the multi-billion-dollar deal to save Australia’s largest river system.

Key points:

• The royal commission started after an ABC investigation into NSW irrigators

• Royal Commissioner Bret Walker said the MDBA was “unwilling or incapable of acting lawfully”

• He accused the original architects of the plan of being driven by “politics rather than science”

Commissioner Bret Walker SC recommended a complete overhaul of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, including reallocating more water from irrigation to the environment.

The 746-page report, which made 111 findings and 44 recommendations, found the original plan ignored potentially “catastrophic” risks of climate change.

The investigation into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, prompted by allegations of water theft by NSW cotton farmers which first aired on Four Corners in 2017, recommended major reform including resetting water saving limits, repealing the outcome of the Northern Basin Review and new measurements for water on flood plains.

The plan, signed into law in 2012 by basin states and the federal government, aimed to remove 2,750 gigalitres (GL) of water through irrigated agriculture and return it to the river system to help the environment.

References: