Home' InDaily : February 19th 2010 Contents February 19 - 25, 2010
The Independent Weekly
Deep and meaningless
For Premier Mike Rann and most
of his ministers, it seems manipula-
tion of the meaning of the English
language has indeed become an art
Every topic is doctored to
disguise its true meaning. One
standout is: "Water for Good." What
on earth does that mean? It s used
so we can interpret it in any way we
wish. And that is exactly what the
The "Save the Murray" levy.
A desalination plant to "reduce
our reliance on the Murray".
Plain speak is no longer the
Government s modus operandi.
Now, not later
In his book Taken for a Ride, Jack
Doyle writes that from a standing
start in 1941, the automakers
converted -- in a matter of months,
not years -- more than 1000 automo-
bile plants across 31 states.
In one year, General Motors
developed, tooled and built from
scratch 1000 Avenger and 1000
Wildcat aircraft. GM also produced
the amphibious "duck" -- a water-
tight steel hull enclosing a GM,
six-wheel, 2.5-tonne truck adaptable
to land or water. GM s duck was
designed, tested, built and off the
line in 90 days. Ford turned out one
B-24 every 63 minutes.
The global problems of climate
change and the scarcity of fresh
water are on us. We can and must
reduce CO2 emissions. How? Where
there is wind, by wind turbines
and self-vectoring hard sails on
transport ships, where there are
currents, by water turbines; and
where there is sun, by solar panels.
We may have 10 short years to
slow this carbon flywheel -- it has
a lot of inertia. Let s prove that
humanity can overcome its own
inertia and get stuck in.
Sir Charles Madden
As a young mother of two toddlers,
I was travelling by bus to nursery
school when the youngest, in a
piping voice, delighted in announc-
ing to the passenger: "I was born in
mummy s big bed, wasn t I?"
Then, turning to her older sister,
she said: "But you were born in
horse-pital." And so it was. In 1960s
Britain, any pregnant mum with
reasonable home conditions was
expected to deliver at home.
For several weeks before the
expected delivery date, an allocated
midwife would visit with increasing
frequency and one corner of the
bedroom was occupied by a large,
sealed box, containing the sterile
necessities for home birthing.
Should complications occur
during a home birth, there were
specially designed ambulances for
emergency transfer to hospital.
At that time in the UK, through
political expediency, the dire claims
of complications and babies dying
(referred to in your recent article,
"Home or Hospital") never saw the
light of day. Unexpected emergen-
cies aside, every woman should have
the right to decide what birthing
procedure she would prefer.
An old lesson
Ahh, the 1967 film To Sir With Love,
starring Sidney Poitier. I still get
hay-fevery eyes (hey, I am an Aussie
bloke -- I don t cry) remembering
Lulu singing the title song at the end.
A film, based on a true story,
about a teacher in the worst school
in London with a class of the worst
kids in the school. Kids with no
interest or ability academically.
He taught them personal hygiene,
how to budget, cook, present at job
interviews and, most importantly
of all, to respect each other and
themselves. He taught them how to
be capable young adults.
How many of today s teachers
were inspired to take up teaching
by this film? But take a closer look,
in light of our modern, enlightened
attitudes of our Labor and previous
Liberal federal governments. This
teacher threw away the curriculum
and the text books. He did nothing
to improve their literacy or
numeracy skills. He accepted
without a whimper that none of his
students would continue education
the next year.
He was, by today s NAPLAN
(National Assessment Program
-- Literacy and Numeracy) testing
standards, a disgrace to the
profession. Andrew Castrique
One of the great issues that should
be faced by governments in the
world today is the matter of animal
agriculture, particularly large-
scale factory farming operations
that involve widespread animal
suffering and extreme secrecy.
Animal agriculture is associated
with massive greenhouse gas
emissions and environmental pol-
lution, and raises moral questions
regarding the most appropriate
use of land and feeding the world s
people, many of whom are starving.
Governments have a real respon-
sibility to raise the relevant issues.
The recently established Australian
Animal Welfare Strategy has the
potential to play an important role
in tackling the enormous suffering
by animals in intense farming
Plumbing could be a good career
choice for when desalinised water
mobilises the rust that s holding
the reticulating pipes together.
Householders will be calling the
plumbers in a frenzy when the
water they want for a shower is
instead wetting the ground around
their water meters. And elsewhere!
Past secretary, Plumbers Union
It s just not cricket
Thank heavens for the IW (Jan 12),
the only voice to stick up for the
"most beautiful cricket ground in
the world". How many times have
we heard this boast? Yet promises
of Big Money have silenced all these
claims. Shame, particularly on Ian
I m glad I m no longer a member
of the South Australian Cricket
Hendrik Gout s article was
excellent. "The new complex will
irreversibly alter the world-famous
oval, expunging its existing
character for a soulless megalith."
I couldn t agree more with your
articles on page four and five. Keep
up the good work, IW.
If Michael Atkinson does the same to
video gamers as he s done to bikies,
will that mean gamers will no longer
be allowed to email each other?
Name and address Withheld
What comes in must go
The Murray Darling Basin s
average annual inflows are about
10,000 gigalitres a year. Storage
capacity within the Murray Darling
Basin is well in excess of 10,000
The Rann Labor Government s
desal plant, running at full capacity,
will produce 100 gigalitres per year.
So in 40 years the desal plant will
replace 1 per cent of the water the
Murray Darling Basin produces -- or
less than 1 per cent of what can be
stored within the basin.
Mike, I know you have been
distracted, but next time you
send Karlene out shopping for a
$1.8 billion bottled-water machine,
could you at least make sure we
have got a power point big enough to
plug it into, and that it comes with
a 40-year warranty -- you know how
much it cost to fix Pat s tram set.
Man versus beast
Can we see Parliament members
versus the zoo s lions and tigers?
It would be a sell-out!
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Answers on Page 35
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