Monday, June 25, 2012

The Age woes

The AGE's current woes are largely of their own making. It would be unwise of THE AGE supporters  to blame Reinhart , even though the issue of control weighs heavily on many of those who want the AGE to survive  . The Age has been captured , which is a bit like saying its conspiracy not cockup that's killing it. All these maladjustments are internal but only capture and conspiracy are real diseases that hide,  eat away and destroy the substance behind the scenes .Reinhardt may be real , but with the external,   its always easier to deal .
The Age's problems are not about its independence ( hasn't shown much in some areas now for a long time )  but about the ability of the profession to put all sides ( diversity ) Where is the Age 's own version of ABolt ? There are a few dissidents within the fold  , I must agree, but that's not the point .
The views are not meant to be inside the paper's minds,  but outside them.
Any good journo can put the sides forward .  THE Age just hasn't told the other half of some critical local story for decades . Like ABCTV ,  many of us have grown up with relying on the AGE and the ABC for informed comment on the issues of the day .Maybe the Age has  been too close to the railway and not close enough to the stations?
However , in the last ten years I have dropped my subscription to the Age and now get the Australian ( Brandis's sound point on the difference on qanda)  The Age in my area of work is not only highly predictable and too simple , but just does not respond to requests to put the other side of the story - THE AGE has not been publishing half the story for decades- say in Fyffe's territory
2005 the limits of the vilification laws ; the pedantry and poor focus of using VCAT to run trials , 2007 the unquestioning acceptance of the god assumption with making water instead of conserving and recycling water ; 2008 the wonthaggi white elephant 2009 the inevatble disaster of allowing the people to think themselves safe  in the sacred forest ; 2010 the lack of pointed comment of the government  at white washed royal commission findings;   2011 the inevitable loss of power by Labor who were unwarned and overly comfortable in their ignorance.
Brandis was only half right last night on Qand A. The future  is a bit about quality,  but it's more about diversity.  What the Internet lacks in quality it more than makes up for in diversity and genuine disputability.
Neither the Age nor the Age currently make room for the latter . They MUST NOW do so -------to survive let alone retain relevance !
Diversity is more important than quality just like Voltaire might have said to Brandis and Tim  . "Don't hang it on him for HOW he said it , hang it on him for any lack of truth in what he said ."  
Until both polys and wannabes recognise their job is to take and put " much advice ",  thus correct , reform and refine  they will continue to be both out of touch and out the door; Irrelevant and out of touch - many like them about !
There is a God and He doesn't live in houses and institutions made by man.
Do we want THE AGE  to survive?  you bet we do . But not as a vehicle for insiders views . We want THE AGE  to reform itself - keep the backbone, but ditch the predictable pitches/ pitchers.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Warm water taxes

Australia's current Labor government and their advisers are desperate. They have "Change"  on their minds and Change it will be . The only problem is that the things they have tried to help change , evolutionary  (philo) and otherwise are not working and getting less and less effective ( media campaigns)in the convincing stakes  - the supposedly natural process needs some anthro po morphic help- BUT which has the better reputation for winning ?Which would you choose,(human or the hidden mechanism ?)  or would you be looking for another?
The people are no longer accepting the ABC and particular parties as God like in all this . About time because they ,if they stopped watching the sermons for a while , and returned to thinking for themselves  they would realise they never really trusted the political agencies before. The scared alliance of ABC/Left though on Q&A is a tough beast because it uses the general respect we have for the ABC to lever "the cause barrow" of those who would never,unlike SBS, allow the debate to be run by mere scientists ( whom they say they respect,  but don't if they don't agree with them  )
The most telling aspect of their grand scheme running out of ammo is their now almost total reliance on cost incentives to motivate . We would have told them years ago that such things are wrong both culturally and morally because they hide the blame for poor choices in the household budget -its a simple and as stupid as that . By the way, how high does the price of pain have to go,  to work-to be effective ?
We are already paying more to buy God given water that we pay to process it with poo in it .Vic water plans this week.
Somehow we as a family are responsible ( not the govt ) for wasting resources and WE must pay . While of course there is some truth in that resoeurce rent taxes can be justified ( eg on fuel) the effectiveness of taxing the poor differentially is that the poor feel it and the rich and wasteful DO NOT . For a labor government to run this crap highlights a low point in its history. We are not supposed to notice these taxes OR waste in bureau they will create.
All parties must regain a higher view of man if they are to motivate us all in ways that worked before . Without such a World View,  we are headed for more dictation and crass autocracy .

During the Kennett led decline ,education became the focus, but this denies the denial risks we health professionals  always see lurking - something that some parties now make a big thing of . Like doctors we can't say our clients can be trusted to be objective about their health or their eco resources health; Its about objectivity and sound foundations.

If you look closely you will see that the educational focus of government has declined and both Labor and green policy are NOW very coercive.As health professionals our clients do not need to be told all about blood pressure as much as they just need to be told what to STOP doing !The new boys are are learning the lesson that you must not rely on the media - they can be more fickle than the public
 The current governments crass reliance on warm water taxes (Copyright EA 9th June 2012)and cost driven pressure points  is in itself unsustainable; how much does a packet of cigaretes have to cost before people stop  smoking ?)  .

It now costs more to buy water than to treat the wastewater( vic)  Governments  are, like media,  now desperate to find ways to motivate people .Objective  Care ( even coercive care) is the most effective because its sees the hard choices with benefits at the end ( what study and science does ) and it is proactive and preventative to boot . These matters basic to professional health care are being lost to our collective wisdom on the subject of env, if not to human health care.
Not that conservatives know any better ( and maybe care less about scarcity and sharing and waste???) This is blatantly obvious in the Victorian Government ,who with Kennett and Walsh thought they had solved alll the green problems last time around . As dumb modern apologists for industry , some Liberals  have put all their eggs in one basket;  like so many they think corporate responsibility ( sack the CEO )will create heaven when a really credible way of encouraging personal responsibility and sound training of public servants has to be there; only PR will create the best of all systems of democracy that have been tried . In their hypocritical criticisms of public servants they have trashed professionalism and sound science within it , created an unsustainable and ignorant management class, Class acts have walked off the job and they think performance testing will work .Talk about upsetting the teachers for no good reason !Business in not govt
Many operatives in environment are not qualified to make tough scientific decisions so the job ahead for the States is enormous .
Is the incompetence of the States big enough to cause their own downfall ? In showing so little respect for building science in environment our pollies have left holes big enough for big machinery to drive straight through . Libs need to stop wrecking their home and rebuild it with the bricks their forefathers used .