Having my two cents worth

Giving an opinion on world events and news…

Category Archives: health

Germaine Greer totally sets aside her Catholic past

I have long been the critic of the feminist movement and this latest piece is one of the reasons that I continue to be critical of certain feminists, and in particular Germaine Greer.

The thing about Germaine Greer is that she was educated by the Presentation Sisters at the Star of the Sea convent in Elsternwick, Victoria. What is amusing to me is the fact that two of my teachers also taught Greer at least 10 years prior to my entering into high school level. Both of the nuns were quite exasperated because of the manner in which Greer expressed herself, but to give the good sisters their proper credit, they did not stifle her creativity.

The reason that I point to the Catholic background of Greer, is that I believe that the comments that she has expressed regarding rape in Darfur is probable evidence that Greer has totally forgotten her Christian roots. I find some of the comments to be very bothersome:


I then asked why it was that Western feminists seemed so reluctant to speak out against things such as honour killings.

Greer: “It’s very tricky. I am constantly being asked to go to Darfur to interview rape victims. I can talk to rape victims here. Why should I go to Darfur to talk to rape victims?”

Questioner (me): “Because it’s so much worse there.”

Greer: “Who says it is?”

Questioner: “I do, because I’ve been there.”

Greer: “Well, it is just very tricky to try to change another culture. We let down the victims of rape here. We haven’t got it right in our own courts. What good would it do for me to go over there and try to tell them what to do? I am just part of decadent Western culture and they think we’re all going to hell fast and maybe we are all going to hell fast.”

Too “tricky” to speak out against honor killings, and you can’t teach an old feminist new tricks.

What is so very bothersome is the fact that Greer says “it’s very tricky…. why should I go to Darfur to talk to rape victim?”

I do not think that the women of Darfur need Germaine Greer to come across and talk to them. What they need is women in the western world to be willing to speak up on their behalf and to show how the actions of the men of Darfur are contrary to the civil rights of women, and especially the rights of a rape victim.

One means that I have adopted in attempting to speak up for those who are so helpless because they do not have a voice on the world stage is to use the medium of blogging. In this way, I can scan media releases and the like that deal with the many serious issues that are continuing to emerge from countries that practice Sharia rule. In those countries a woman who has been raped can end up being stoned to death, imprisoned or being given at least 100 lashes.

The situation in the western world is entirely different from the situation in Islamic countries where women continue to be treated as though they are chattels, and continue to face punishment if they even show a little bit of ankle. Our justice system is not perfect but in recent times we have seen males being punished for gang rapes because the victims have been willing to confront their attackers in a court of law, and despite the ordeal they have managed to ensure that the attackers cannot make false allegations.

As a Christian I do feel concern for the women in Islamic countries and the way in which they are treated as second class citizens. At the same time I also feel disgust that a woman who was educated by the Presentation sisters in Melbourne can forget her own Christian roots to the point that she is not willing to speak up against the cruel practices against women that are found in Darfur as well as in other Islamic countries. There is nothing tricky about it, unless one is a coward, and a dhimmi at the same time.


UK gives superbug alert outside of the hospital environment

The BBC reports that experts are warning that bugs such as MRSA have been spreading in the wider community environment. They want doctors to be alert to the most dangerous form of MRSA that can attack the lungs and may strike young people in particular.


Panton Valentine leukocidin (PVL) strains of community-acquired MRSA can cause a condition called necrotizing pneumonia, which destroys lung tissue.

This only affects a minority of those infected, but can be deadly.

“These new strains of bacteria appear to be able to stick to damaged skin and airways better than the hospital MRSA strains, and they can also multiply at a faster rate,” says Dr Marina Morgan, of the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation NHS Trust.

So far these strains are mainly spreading in the US, where 12% of all MRSA cases are community-acquired, but the UK has seen an increasing number of cases.

It is unclear why children seem to be at particular risk, but the speculation is that older people in the community have fewer cuts and abrasions – a key transmission route – and have less contact with other people.


Nursing home threat

Meanwhile, Irish researchers are examining a new breed of bacteria which carry enzymes called extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBLs), which are capable of destroying a many common antibiotics.

They include a strain of E. Coli, which is spreading into nursing homes and communities across Europe.

This was held responsible for a severe outbreak of cystitis, a bladder infection, in the UK between 2003 and 2004.

“Although cystitis is not life threatening, it is the most common form of urinary tract infection, and the economic consequences of failing to treat an outbreak quickly and properly are considerable,” said Dr Dearbhaile Morris, of the National University of Ireland.

“In severe infections, patients may suffer serious complications if the first antibiotic given to them does not work.”

Mark Enright, professor of molecular epidemiology at Imperial College, said he was “not surprised” by the findings.

“The emergence and spread of ESBL E. Coli does give physicians problems in providing proper initial care for some patients especially those with urinary tract infections.”

He added: “The control of infections in many nursing homes is inferior to hospitals despite the medication and specialist care required by some residents.”


The Australian Election

The date has been set for the Australian elections. It is going to be interesting to see the outcome of this election race because both sides are making promises that requires a second look. These are promises that will directly affect the hip pocket but what about natural justice?

This morning this subject was mentioned during the sermon at Mass. Now, I can understand the warning that was given because the tax benefits are sorely tempting to all of us. Considering the benefits that are gained by the Government since the implementation of the GST, I do think that personal income tax should be cut, especially for the mid-range high income earners, as well as those in the lowest income range.  However, are tax cuts our only consideration.

The point that was raised this morning concerned the lack of mental health facilities. What I want to clarify is whether this is the responsibility of the Federal Government or of the State Governments. Over the past 10 years there has been an appalling waste of money as far as health expenditure is concerned. There is definitely something wrong as far as the distribution of the health dollar is concerned. The hospital system in Australia is in the doldrums. In Victoria for example, the nurses have been on strike for higher pay. All things considered, these are the same nurses who are whining about the workplace agreements, and how they think that they are not well off, yet they care little about the patients who should be in their care through their thoughtless action of striking. Nurses these days are very well paid. Money is wasted in a lot of areas, especially when hospital administrations become top heavy and bloated.

What has been missing in a lot of hospitals is that sense of responsibility for the welfare of the patient. I am hearing of too many cases where things have gone wrong in the hospital. This has happened within my own family, when my niece Kathryn was having her first son. As a result of poor decision making by hospital staff that little baby did not get the chance to come out of the womb alive. Sadly, my niece’s story is not a one off, and there are a lot of other horror stories to be told, not just in Victoria but in Wagga Wagga, NSW as well as in other¬† NSW hospitals. There is no excuse for some of these things to happen to pregnant women, and there has been an increase in infant mortality, as well as maternal deaths, and that is inexcusable in the twenty-first century.

Perhaps the present Federal Government is taking the correct approach on the issue of the incompetence in public hospitals. What I do know, is that the State Governments have not been allocating sufficient dollars to the public hospital system and this in turn is helping to cause the present crisis as far as hospital beds and other matters are concerned.

Something has to be done about giving better care for those with mental problems. We do not have adequate mental health facilities. What is really shocking though, is the way in which the mentally ill patients have been released into the general public without adequate follow up care. Now there are groups available to help; groups such as GROW and Beyond Blue are better equipped to handle some issues, but the people within those groups are not equipped to handle people who are psychotic or even schizophrenic during meetings. The psychiatrists these days tend to be pill pushers and they are not adequately dealing with the causes of the mental problems. For a long time now there has been a lot of duck shoving because no one wants to take responsibility for those who are mentally ill. I might add here that splashing money at pregnant women who might end up with post-natal depression is not the right way to deal with the problem. It is after the baby has been born, especially on the third day after the birth, when the woman becomes weepy, that action needs to be considered. An education program will not give necessary support to new mothers who are suddenly feeling like they cannot cope .

There are many issues that need to be considered. We cannot afford to be single issue in our considerations when it comes to these elections. The opposition leader seems ok on the surface but underneath he appears to be lily-livered, but he is the best of a bad bunch of losers.