Saturday, September 24, 2005

I have moved.

For a week or so now I have been working on building a WordPress site.
The delay in getting it up and running has been me and not them.

Madness of my own making was to import some 230 Blogger posts from here to there.
I still have some frustration-capacity (and coffee) left and will attempt to import Blogger comments next...

Please update your address for suki has an opinion to here

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Narcissism and paranoia

As the stories gush out of Latham's gaping mouth, I am thinking that the question I should have asked was "how do we manage people suffering with Narcissistic personality disorders and persecutory paranoia in bureaucratic structures?"

The lack of empathy for everyone exposed by his need for a "notice me" behaviour is profound, and only superseded by his belief that almost everyone is involved in a systematic "bury Latham" plot.

As Latham's rant becomes spew, any hope of insight gained by the ALP into distructive, unhelpful or flawed structures, policies, and cultures becomes more and more remote.
...Long,
longtime waiting.


Section of Echo and Narcissus painting by John William Waterhouse 1903

Friday, September 16, 2005

Longtime waiting

I believe the ALP will be waiting a long time before they become something remotely close to electable.
Clearly they were in trouble before this latest round of Latham-inspired damage.

The furore created by the information contained in the Latham diaries has had me wondering how bureaucratic structures manage dissent, diversity and different opinions.
How do they create mechanisms that allow for new players with different ideas, however improbable and whacky, to be heard, let alone debated and *gasp* implemented?

Generally, people who speak out against the structures, policies, and cultures in their workplaces do so at the expense of their long-term careers.
A person who does not speak out manages whatever emotional investment they have (if they have any) and resigns. Potentially taking all their fabulous, innovative and fresh ideas with them.

Julia Gillard seems to be getting a whiff of an answer...

As much as Latham's venting is irritating; the alternative is silence-as-you-go which reveals nothing, exposes nothing and has the potential to change nothing.


Image from here

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bearing Tony's belief-based babies

Why would the Health Minister oppose a health response that reduced the need for surgery?
Because he operates on, and is informed by belief.
When Tony with his belief-based views comes in contact with evidence which does not feed into his belief, that evidence is dismissed, diminished or ignored.
Evidence becomes the enemy and so do those that bring it or advocate for it.

Tony Abbott should be removed as Health Minister for allowing his beliefs to override evidence. And in so doing, he rejects outright one of the least invasive health choices available to Australia's women (and the men who support them) who have experienced contraceptive failure.


Image from here

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Nationals don't believe women's rights extend to the womb.

Pathologising a woman's hollow muscular organ in the pelvic cavity is nothing new. But now it seems the Nationals in the Senate see the womb as being completely outside the body of a woman. As such, she has no rights to its use, let alone an expectation of access to abortion-on-demand.
"It's about seeing everything in the prism of women's rights - particularly women's reproductive rights - and it's the first king hit, it's the first test for those of us who believe men and women are equal. This motion is inoffensive, progressive, constructive and supported by government - if you're going to vote that down, then bring on the fight guys."- Senator Stott Despoja.
A woman's right to control her reproduction is within the gamut of her human rights.

Right now, in Australia, across all states and territories, an abortion is lawful if performed to prevent serious danger to the woman'’s physical or mental health. The mental health clause can be satisfied by a woman stating that she is not able or willing to continue with the pregnancy.
Australian women expect this option be available to them as part of their reproductive rights.
Ron and Barnaby, do not mess with me, Natasha or Lyn.
We will not be silenced on our reproductive rights as women or grrrls!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Stigma and ignorance

If you are wondering why Health Minister Tony Abbott was pressured into apologising for his insensitivity to a para suicide, consider this.
"Around one in six Australian men suffer from depression at any given time. From puberty onwards, women are twice as likely to experience depression than men. The experience of male depression is complicated by the fact that men are more likely than women to shy away from medical treatment of any kind. Instead of discussing psychological problems, or seeking appropriate treatment, men may turn to alcohol or drugs when they are depressed or anxious. The statistics for teenage boys and young men are a concern. In the past 30 years, the suicide rate for males aged 15 to 24 years tripled." - beyondblue
Whilst depression is not always present in suicide ideation or completed suicide, it is a contributing factor.
"There is strong evidence that mental health problems are major contributors to suicidal behaviours in people of all ages. Various studies, both in Australia and overseas have shown that more than 90% of people who committed suicide were suffering from some form of mental illness. This was the case across all age groups. Indeed, people with recognised mental illness are 10 times more likely to take their own lives than the general population. It is quite clear that having a mental disorder places a person, whatever their age, at considerably higher risk of suicide than the general population. One of the most common forms of mental illness associated with suicide is depression." -Lifeforce
Jeff Kennett Chairman of beyondblue puts it best:
"beyondblue has been working very hard to destigmatise the illness, and one of the aspects of that is that we try and encourage people to understand that if they present the treatment and get the correct diagnosis, they can return to a very normal life. Mr Abbott's comments were inferring or saying that Mr Brogden could not return to a political life if he so elected to do so."

Image from here

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I'm retracting bastard from Debnam...for now

Peter Debnam was interviewed on Stateline last night.

Quentin Dempster:
"Let's look at the other religious right agenda items, if we could. I haven't had a chance to search the Hansard record, I'm sure your positions are already on the record here. But for the purposes of the viewers, can you quickly give us a checklist. Where do you stand on abortion, for example?"
Peter Debnam:
"Look, I stand, as I understand it, in exactly the same position as John Howard and John Brogden. We don't see any reason to change the current situation."

Image from here

drunks and junkies.

Peter Debnam the new NSW Liberal leader has announced one of his first policy agendas if his party wins office in 2007 is to shut down the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in Kings Cross.
From MSIC's website.
"The MSIC aims to reduce harm associated with illicit drug use by supervising injecting episodes that might otherwise occur in less safe circumstances such as public places or alone. Specifically, it is anticipated that supervising such injecting episodes will reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality associated with drug overdoses and transmission of blood-borne infections, while providing ready access to safe needle syringe disposal. It is also hoped that by extending the circumstances in which health professionals have contact with injecting drug users (IDUs) more, particularly those most "at risk", will be engaged with the health and social welfare system sooner than otherwise. No drugs are sold or kept on the premises. Registered clients receive clean needles and equipment, and advice about their health."
Debnam you hypocrite.
An alcohol user gets your prayers, but drug usage...there's no compassion or undersatnding for them.
Alcohol and heroin are both listed as drugs that result in physical dependence.
One is ingested, one is injected, either way they both end up in the blood stream.
Is your problem your prejudice or your personal preference? Can we take our drugs in a gin bottle, but not in a syringe?

Alcohol and drug use (including heroin) can both feature heavily in a para-suicide's premorbid state.
"The role of drug abuse is very important in reference to the suicide risk increase (Garland & Zingler, 1991). It has been established that suicide risk is much higher in relation with alcoholics than people in general (Lester, 1993). Statistics show that the attempt and success in suicide among alcoholics ranges between 6% and 30%, though the tendency is around 20% (Monras, Marcos & Ramón, 1992). Statistics show that alcohol and other drugs are consumed in 20% of overdose attempts. Furthermore, a significant number of individuals consume alcohol some hours before they attempt to commit suicide (Freeman & Reinecke, 1995). Monras, Marcos & Ramón report that 2/3 of men and 1/3 of women have been intoxicated before the suicide act."
"Suicide risk is not related only to alcoholics. Research shows that drug consumers have had suicide attempts ranging between 25% and 50% (Martínez & Coraminas, 1991). Data from Spain show that 1 out of 13 drug abusers under 18 have had at least one suicide attempt, and the proportion increases for ages 18 to 24, to 1 out of 4 (Martínez & Coraminas, 1991.)" - Leonardo Aja-Eslava.
The role of alcohol and other drug consumption can be summarised in 3 points.
  1. Alcohol and other drugs determine a behavior deinhibition role to attempt suicide.
  2. The existence of affective disorders prior to alcohol consumption can trigger the disorder; or alcohol and drug abuse can generate affective disorders.
  3. Family, labour and/or social problems resulting from alcohol and drug abuse, may weaken the social support of the individual which increases the degree of vulnerability towards suicide.
Dichotomous distortions, the belief in diminished self efficiency, the perception of lack of control over circumstantial contingencies, when combined with other risk factors, such as alcohol or drug consumption, a weakened social support network, may trigger a high risk suicide situation, especially if a crisis is involved.

Debnam, if you are serious in your concern for the welfare of the opposition member for Pittwater and that of his family, then understand that harm minimisation will be employed by him and counselor to address his alcohol usage. He will need to adapt coping sretgies that don'e always involvealcohol. He will need support, undestanding and care. He will have good days and not so good days.
"Of suicide attempters 30-60% have blood alcohol levels of > 0.05 mg%." - Suicide and Mental Health Association International SMHAI
The MSIC is also a harm minimisation strategy. The difference when it comes to data relating to substance use and parasuicde come down to drug of choice. The MSIC offers a a drug user a safe, clean supervised place to use. They too need support, undestanding and care. They too will have good days and not so good days.

All citizens deserve the best in health opportunities and outcomes, this includes injecting drug users. When you consider your policies, don't just focus on the personalised tragedy of your former leader, but also on all the lives of depressed, substance users. Men, women and their families, you don't even know you are saving.
Bastard.


Image from here