August 25th 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Current policies leave farmers high and dry in drought

CANBERRA OBSERVED Captain and Lieutenant's $444 million munificence

MEDICAL ETHICS Changes to AHPRA's code of conduct would gag doctors

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Trump delivers for U.S. economy and workers

CHILDREN AND SOCIETY Treating depressed children: How will history judge us?

PRIVACY Big Brother is marketing you

THE FAMILY Humanae Vitae: a prophetic document at 50

SOCIETY AND MORES Novel features of child sexual abuse in our time

EUTHANASIA International expert emphasises palliative care

BIOGRAPHY The trouble with Harry (Freame) is that we've forgotten him

OPINION Just asking ... sauce for the goose ...?

HISTORY Christianity has died. Agreed, and yet ...

MILITARY HISTORY The volunteering spirit proves best in the test


MUSIC Chilly exposure: The sound and the fury

CINEMA Mission Impossible: Fallout: Ethan Hunt, knight errant

BOOK REVIEW A good diagnosis enables the cure

BOOK REVIEW End of the American empire?



OPINION The Victorian ALP observed from up close

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News Weekly, August 25, 2018

Seal of confession

Confession is a community service, not only to restore the relationship of us sinners with God, but also to help civil authorities to preserve law and order.

In the case of major wrongdoing affecting someone else, a good priest, when he hears confession, will not give absolution unless the person concerned has notified the police and makes reparation.

The confessing person must also show that he or she is genuinely contrite and will not repeat the misdeed committed.

Confession is not a tool to avoid detection and punishment. Sinners would know that, which makes it a very rare occasion for priests to have knowledge about an undisclosed crime.

Making laws about breaking the confessional seal will increase false declarations and criminal activities against the Church, but achieve nothing for the community.

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld.


Good and not very good

I very much appreciate the articles by Jeffry Babb. They are unfailingly interesting and well researched and help me understand more about Asia, our local area and other parts of the world.

I would prefer to read less of the humour and poetry that has been published, because a lot of it is simply not very good. However, I appreciate the efforts all of your writers have gone to in preparing their pieces.

Paul Johnson,
Mount Waverley, Vic.


Women with no choice

We hear from a recent survey, quoted by Kathleen Clubb, who is fighting the 150-metre zone around abortion clinics, that women choose an abortion because they feel “they had no choice”.

What are people, who want to save the lives of some of the unborn children in danger of being aborted, doing to give pregnant women an easier choice to have the baby?

I feel there should be publicity given to people and organisations that help save these lives, so that women who have an unwanted pregnancy are aware, in advance, of alternative processes that they can follow. For example, is there a list of doctors who are sympathetic and have experience in handling the situation? Is there a “safe house” available, if required?

There should be a coordinating orga-nisation that could routinely handle these cases, and make the choice to have the baby safe and even attractive. This organisation should have regular advertisements running on the internet, and in magazines and local papers.

Adrian Harris,
Balwyn, Vic.


Gestures are hot air

Tony Abbott (News Weekly, July 28, 2018) pleads for rectification of our politicians’ disastrous meddling in power generation in Australia. Saboteurs could do no worse than them. Our gesture politics is not noticed by the large northern-hemisphere emitters.

The northern hemisphere emits 89 per cent of anthropogenic carbon emissions and the southern 11 per cent, yet the distribution of carbon dioxide for 60 degrees to the north and to the south of the equator is equal. So the northern hemisphere is adding 30 times our carbon-dioxide emissions to our atmosphere. Thirty times!

Pretending to be good world citizens, our politicians are frivolously destroying our national wealth to no purpose.

K. de Courtenay,
Nedlands, WA


Magdalene reprise

The following is a comment on Anne Lastman’s letter of June 30. I will add that my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Anne’s address to our Cherish Life group in Gladstone two or three years ago. We continue to wish her well in her good work.

But I confess I am confused by her thinking in regards to her position on Mary Magdalene in these pages recently.

I understand her point that any liaison between Mary and Jesus could not have been adulterous because neither was married. But the earliest Church did not condone fornication either, notwithstanding her claim that the episode’s inclusion in the Gospels at the time did not cause scandal.

Paul, writing within 30 and 40 years of Jesus’ death, was emphatic about the sin of fornication. Would that have been the case if Jesus himself had set the example?

Ren Lanzon,
Gladstone, Qld.


California case in point

Bill Shorten wants to up the renewable energy target (RET) to 50 per cent, a recipe for disaster on a monumental scale.

Voters should be aware of what is happening in California. Promises of total independence from fossil-fuel generated energy in California has hit serious problems. Energy operators throughout California are now having to ask customers to use as little power as possible during peak hours in order to keep the electricity grid from collapsing.

On July 24, California’s power demand was expected to outstrip its available generating capacity by an astounding 5,000 megawatts, as people used their air-conditioning in the summer heat.

The effort to eliminate the use of all fossil fuels for energy in favour of wind and solar has resulted in a serious shortage of dispatchable power and the state doesn’t produce enough supply to meet demand. In addition California has retired about 789 MW worth of natural-gas generation in recent years, which had been available during previous bursts of summer heat.

Under a Labor government, whether at a state or federal level, the same scenario will be played out here.

Alan Barron,
Convener, Geelong Climate Sense Coalition,
Grovedale, Vic.

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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm