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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is real

It's real, doctors say.  At last they have proof.  The good news is that sufferers have a specific chemical signature in their blood, similar to changes seen in hibernating animals.

Symptoms include extreme mental and physical tiredness and painful limbs but in extreme cases, some have had to quit their job and retire to their bed or end up in a wheelchair.

Today, the cause is still unknown and patients are often dismissed as malingerers.  And that's why this new discovery is so important.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, analysed blood samples taken from 45 people with CFS and 39 healthy individuals of the same age. This revealed a distinct set of chemical changes that were only present in those with CFS.

Lead researcher Robert Naviaux said something similar happens when animals hibernate and in CFS, the body may get stuck in this state which leads to chronic fatigue.  He said the blood test is more than 90 per cent accurate in diagnosing this condition.

Symptoms vary and were similar to other diseases, so the blood test will speed up the correct diagnosis.

But Andrew McIntosh, an Edinburgh University psychiatrist described the new discovery as 'intriguing' and cautioned that much more work needed to be done before the test is suitable for widespread use.

"Nevertheless, it's a promising start" he said.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Aboriginal people urged to lose culture

Larrakia Nation teamed up with the Universities of Sydney and Tasmania to investigate race relations in the Top End.

Contrary to what many people think, the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in Australia's eastern states and not in remote desert regions. The majority are in work and live successful lives.
More than 66 per cent live in NSW, Queensland and Victoria while Western Australia and the Northern Territory contribute only 24 per cent of the Aboriginal population.  Queensland is expected to overtake NSW for the title of most Aboriginal residents.  South Australis has 5.6 per cent, Tasmania 3.6 per cent and the ACT 0.9 per cent.
But it's the people in Alice Springs and Darwin who continue to get the bad publicity.
A three year study was done with 500 Aboriginal people living in Darwin ranging from the long-grassers (homeless people living rough) to university students, resulting in a report called Telling It Like It Is.
Larrakia Nation, which represents the Larrakia  people of Darwin teamed up with the Universities of Sydney and Tasmania to investigate race relations in the Top End.
If you've ever been to Darwin you will know they are not good.
"I don't drive, so I use public transport and I see bus drivers going past because there are black fellas standing at the bus stop" Larrakia and West Arnhem woman Kathy Williams Browne said.  "Often it's a mother and her kids and they just drive straight past."
The bottom line of the report suggests something we knew but weren't game to say out loud - Aboriginal people are facing enormous pressure to lose their traditional culture in order to lead a successful life in Australia.
"There was a strong emphasis on the materialism and individualism of white Australian culture and what that costs people" former head researcher at Larrakia Nation Penny Taylor said.
"Respondents considered a lot of white Australians to be quite lonely and isolated, they say they have beautiful houses and nice cars but that they're carrying a lot of stress to be able to have those things in their life, and the trade-off is sometimes supportive relationships with family and friends."
Were truer words ever spoken?
Research suggests experiences of marginalisation, stigma, stereotyping and racism lead to physical and mental health problems, poor educational outcomes, self esteem problems, and an inability for individuals to reach their potential.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Salim Mehajer's rant

Salim and Aysha Mehajer on their wedding day

Salim Mehajer's life isn't going well.  His wife left him just months after the wedding, he lost his job of Deputy Mayor when Auburn and Holroyd merged to become Cumberland Council, and the Taxation Office is taking an interest in his business affairs.

And to top it all off, A Current Affair this week showed footage of Salim caught in a psychotic rant, screaming at his wife into a mobile phone, calling her a slut and other vile names and promising to rape her mother and father if she didn't call him within five minutes.

Last year, Salim closed off the whole street where he lives in Suburban Lidcombe for his wedding procession.  He arrived by helicopter and made his way to his house amid hundreds of guests, a fleet of luxury cars, motor bikes and men banging on drums.  It was the craziest thing Sydney has ever seen.

Now Salim's younger sister is planning a similar extravagance this coming Saturday but Cumberland Council said "no application has been received and no approvals given."

The council said it was working with police to "ensure the amenity of surrounding residences was protected should wedding party vehicular activity occur that is not authorised, particularly given previous experience."

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Federal Police a "boys club"

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin and Elizabeth Broderick

Elizabeth Broderick took six months to put together a report from 1,000 interviews with members of the Australian Federal Police.  She found that if you were brave enough to lodge a sexual complaint against a male colleague, you would be sent to Coventry and could kiss your career goodbye.

She found that some women had been raped and others subjected to attempted rape.

"All of this ends today" Andrew Colvin said yesterday.  "The process we have put in place from today will be different" he said, vowing to take action.

But surely he doesn't expect us to believe that he didn't know that the bullying culture of women didn't exist under his watch, even though it has prevailed for decades?

The closest he came to telling the truth was to admit that the ADF was a 'boys club'
and conceded, on reflection, that he had seen evidence of bullying first hand.

He actually urged members who told their stories to Ms Broderick anonymously to come forward.  Is he insane?  That would be one quick way to end your career.

Assistant Commissioner Ray Johnson will head up a new division to lead the reform but we've heard it all before - disgusting behaviour and promised change from the ADF, but things stay the same.

Andrew Colvin became Commissioner of the AFP in September 2014 and even though he admits knowing about it, did nothing.  Hardly your finest hour Mr Colvin because the buck stops with you.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Dark Justice nabs paedophile Douglas Smith

Douglas Smith

Vigilante group Dark Justice did a superb job of setting up and catching 56 year old paedophile Douglas Smith.

He thought he was chatting to a 13 year old schoolgirl who had never had sex before but was willing to try it with him.  She wanted to know if it would hurt and he reassured her that it wouldn't because he had a small penis.

But when he turned up to meet her he was confronted by members of Dark Justice who filmed the meeting, a vigilante group who pretend to be children online.

Smith was already on the Sex Offenders Register as a result of an earlier conviction for viewing indecent images of children.

Smith was arrested when he turned up at Central Station in Newcastle to meet the girl.  He pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child after grooming and breach of registration requirements by failing to tell authorities where he was living.

He was jailed for one year and eight months and ordered to serve an extended licence period after he is freed.  He must now sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Judge Jeremy Freedman said "You clearly intended there should be full sexual intercourse even though you knew the girl was a 13 year old child who had no sexual experience of any sort."

"The person you in fact communicated with was an organization called Dark Justice who track down people like you who attempt to groom children through social networks.

"It is deeply concerning that you have not changed your behaviour in any way, despite being on a sex offenders treatment program."

His excuse?  He was "lonely" and "flattered."

And there we have it - another case of where this socalled Offender Treatment Program is a joke.  All they have to do is undergo the course, convince their counsellors they are cured, and out they come, back on the street.

And what are authorities doing about it?  Absolutely nothing and that's why we need to thank Dark Justice for doing an outstanding job.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Caster Semenya looking for gold

Caster Semenya has testosterone levels three times higher than normal women and was forced to undergo gender testing after a successful season in 2009.  

She was cleared to compete but during the London Olympics in 2012, she was forced to take testosterone suppressants by the AIFF and she won silver in the 800m. 

But last year, an Indian athlete successfully challenged the AIFF's treatment for hyperandrogenism and the rule was subsequently dropped.  

So this time, she's running without testosterone suppressants, and that's what all the fuss is about.

Because of her rare condition, she doesn't have a womb or ovaries and has internal testes.

Officials are so worried about the hostility towards her, she has personal bodyguards around the clock and nobody except her coach and team-mates are allowed near her.

Bars and cafes were packed with fans anxious to witness the start of her campaign for gold.

She's been subjected to hundreds of hate messages on social media and in return, she posted on Instagram "To all the haters, I have so much more for you to be mad at, just be patient."

I hope she wins.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Paedophile ring busted in Perth

Detectives involved in the case leaving court

Kate Campbell Perth Now
A PERTH father, who was jailed for more than 22 years for orchestrating a sick pedophile ring and sexually abusing his daughter repeatedly for years, told police “it was fun while it lasted”.
The shocking case was described by District Court Judge Philip Eaton as one of the most serious examples of child sexual abuse to ever come before a WA court.
The single father, 42, who lived in Perth’s northern suburbs, met other men through online sites, including Craigslist, and then offered his daughter to the strangers to sexually violate.
The girl, who lived with her father after her parents’ marriage broke up, was aged between 11 and 13 when she was subjected to the abuse over a two-year period from 2013 to 2015.
The man was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in the WA District Court on Thursday – one of the longest terms imposed by that court – and won’t be considered for parole until December 2036.
As graphic details of his crimes were revealed today, Judge Eaton said they involved a “high degree of depravity and exploitation”.
They involved the father repeatedly raping his daughter, watching as the other men did the same, forcing her to shower with an abuser, forcing her to wear bondage attire, filming her and giving her a stupefying drug.
“You allowed strangers to treat your daughter as a sexual object and you treated her the same yourself,” he said.
The man placed online ads stating he was a lonely single father with a young daughter who was looking for friendship or modelling opportunities for his child.
Prosecutor Justin Whalley said the man had committed an “egregious breach of trust” and his actions were the “complete subversion of the proper role of a parent”.
Instead of protecting and nurturing her as any right-minded parent would do, he subjected her to “depravity of the highest order”.
He said the man, when spoken to by police in mid-2015, told them while he had regrets “it was fun while it lasted” but it had “went way over the line” and he wanted to leave “that scene” and return to a normal life.
Mr Whalley said the father watched the other pedophiles have sex with or molest his daughter, often encouraging her to engage in the activity and doing nothing when she protested or refused.
Other times, the strangers watched the father sexually abuse his daughter.
The abuse mainly happened at the father’s home, the homes of the other men or in hotel rooms.
The father was sentenced on 61 charges – including sexual penetration of a child, indecent dealing and recording of a child, procuring another to abuse a child, drugging his own daughter and compel her to provide a sexual service – after many of them were rolled into one or dropped. He was initially charged with 230 offences.
On occasions, the girl was forced to wear “bondage” attire and pose for sexually explicit photos taken by her father or the other men.
In one incident, a video was made of the girl shackled to a bed, wearing a black full-face mask, with a gag in her mouth and wearing a dog collar with the word “bitch” on it. In the video, the girl can seen struggling with her restraints and heard saying: “stop please dad”.
Dawid Volmer, former pastor of a Christian church in Carramar and the head of the WA Prison Fellowship Program was jailed for 10 and a half years for his role in the pedophile ring.
Dawid Volmer, former pastor of a Christian church in Carramar and the head of the WA Prison Fellowship Program was jailed for 10 and a half years for his role in the pedophile ring.Source:News Corp Australia
Another time, the father forced his daughter to have a shower with another man despite repeated refusals and her describing her abuser as “disgusting”.
The father also told of the other men that he was “in love” with his daughter.
Judge Eaton said the offender had written a letter to him, expressing his “remorse, regret and utter shame for what you did to your daughter”.
The father appeared to cry as he pleaded guilty to the charges and hid his head in his hands for most of his sentencing.
The judge said the man’s actions would likely have lasting and irreparable consequences for his daughter, who was now 14, and maintained an attitude of loyalty to her father despite what he had forced her to endure.
“I suggest she was doing it to please you while protesting from time to time,” he said.
The man did not pimp out his daughter for money rather for his own sexual gratification, the judge added.
Mark Wesley Liggins, 47, of Coodanup, jailed for two years in May for using an online chat forum to engage in sexual conversations and exchange nude photographs with children. Picture: Daniel Wilkins
Mark Wesley Liggins, 47, of Coodanup, jailed for two years in May for using an online chat forum to engage in sexual conversations and exchange nude photographs with children. Picture: Daniel WilkinsSource:News Corp Australia
Police charged eight men last July under Operation Ripstop, with the father pleading guilty in February.
In November 2015 Christian church pastor Dawid Volmer was also jailed for his part in the pedophile ring.
During sentencing it was revealed the girl’s father had answered Volmer’s ad on Craigslist offering sexual massages. Volmer proceeded to have sex with the man’s daughter on three occasions, which included drugging and blindfolding the girl while her father sat in the room.
Another man, Benjamin Simon Clarke, was sentenced to three years’ jail earlier this month for indecently abusing and taking naked and semi-naked photographs of the victim after her father answered an online ad Clarke had placed.
Clarke abused the girl while she was naked laying on a mattress after her father asked him whether he wanted to “do more” with her.
Mark Wesley Liggins was also charged as part of Operation Ripstop and was sentenced to more than two years behind bars in May.
He used an online chat forum to engage in sexual conversations and exchange nude photographs with children, but he was never charged with offences related to this particular victim.
Rather, Liggins had been in communication with the girl’s father, which led to his house being raided.
The four other men charged — Nicholas Adam Beer, Troy Phillip Milbourne, Alfred John Impicciatore and Ryan Trevor Clegg — are at various stages in the court process.