Facts speak louder than statistics

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Oregon Court Lets Child Decide On Own Circumcision

From Wikinews

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Oregon_court_lets_child_decide_on_own_circumcision

January 25, 2008


In an ongoing custody battle, the Oregon Supreme Court decided a 12-year-old boy should have a say in whether he should or should not be circumcised as part of a conversion to Judaism. The child of Lia and James Boldt was raised in the Russian Orthodox Church, but his father James, who has primary custody, converted to Judaism in 2004. The couple divorced in 1999.

After conversion, James began discussing the religion with his son and informed the ex-wife of his intentions for the son to convert as well. The mother objected to the conversion and circumcision as invasive and possibly dangerous. The father argued that his First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion allowed him to choose what religion his child was raised in.

The Oregon Supreme Court in a decision authored by Chief Justice Paul De Muniz reversed the decision of the Oregon Court of Appeals and returned the case to the trial level court. The trial court in Jackson County, Oregon, was to determine if the 12-year-old boy agrees with being circumcised or if he disagrees with the procedure, and take that into account with their ruling. The state supreme court had received four amicus briefs from national Jewish groups supporting the father’s position.


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The part where the father argues that it’s his right to the free exercise of religion blah blah blah blah blah. What about the boys right not to be mutilated? The genitals in question belong to the boy, not the father, unless the procedure is to correct a defect or cure a medical condition or simply what the boy wants no one has the right to dictate to the boy how his penis should be.

I’m not sure if a 12 year old can make an informed decision but it would be better if he could choose although I could picture the father “exercising his rights” and pressuring his son into being circumcised.


If it’s done at birth and is a family tradition you could say there is a difference but in this regard it’s the fathers’ decision to change religions and it looks like he wants drag everyone else in with him.

This isn’t some haircut or style of clothes we are talking about here, it’s a form of surgery which comes with various risks. There would also be changes in sensation for the boy which he may or may not like.

And successful or not every time the boy goes to the toilet he will see the results of someone else rights taking primacy over his own and making a major decision on his behalf.

Your children’s genitals are not yours.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Super Theft?

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Superannuation (Super) was started to free Australia from the ever rising costs of pensions.

Instead of someone existing on a tiny little pension after retirement they'd become a member of a super fund and when they retire they have more money available to them.

Before they retire they regularly contribute money to the fund and their money is invested by the fund where there is likely to be a high return providing the fund member with more money upon retirement.

There are calls to force super funds to be invested in building the infrastructure.

If the economy was booming then the super funds would invest more in the country.

Super funds exist solely for the benefit of workers to fund their retirement and must have the freedom to invest where the return is the highest, not be stifled by the someones ambitions of looking good at someone else's expense.

And that's the key point, the funds are solely there for the fund members, superannuation has no obligations outside of those members, it certainly isn't a special reserve fund that someone just has to work out the secret for getting their hands on it.

I don't want less of a return on my future security just because someone wanted something built to make themselves look good.

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Saturday, 5 January 2008

The Road Toll

I could ask myself why we even have a high road toll to begin with. After all there are better roads always being built, more traffic lights and roundabouts, safer cars and the peachy wonderful caring times we live in.

I didn't ask myself because I believe I already know the answer and that is no matter how good the infrastructure is bad drivers will undermine the best of efforts and cause carnage. Often I will see bad driving and I wonder how it is that the road toll isn't higher. Someone of my former acquaintance would always tailgate other vehicles, sms while driving, drive too fast through car parks, ignore the signs in the car park such as the no entry signs and ignore you when you shouted warnings.

This person once crashed into the back of some one that they were tailgating and apparently blamed the other driver for stopping suddenly. When it was mentioned to the tailgater that they were supposed to leave sufficient space for such a situation the tailgater just ignored it and continued with their same driving habits.

A colleague of mine told me that when they were recently driving long distance they were nearly hit by a careless driver, they were on a winding stretch of two lane terrace highway. He noticed some headlights briefly appear behind a semi trailer coming the other way. Although there was an unbroken line between the lanes and there wasn't much room for him to pull over due to the guard rail at the edge of the road he got out of his lane as much as he could just in time to see the semi coming around the blind curve and the headlights from behind the semi now overtaking the semi on the blind curve. If my colleague hadn't noticed the headlights up ahead and moved over he could have been wiped out all because someone couldn't be bothered to obey the road rules.

And really, just everybody obeying the road rules is all it would take to reduce the road toll.