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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kevin Rudd vs. the Tooth Fairy

Dave the Journo bewails the state of public Dental Care in Oz

The other day I forked out 185 bucks - for a straightforward filling.

I probably could have asked for a payment extension (being on a disability pension)-but it's a small country practice and the staff liked to be paid on the day.

As I parted with - to me - a significant amount of cash,I wondered what had become of Team Rudd's "Denticare" plan.

The hole in my tooth had been filled-but there was a 'hole' in my pocket which would never be ... filled.

The "voucher" scheme, which allowed the not-so-well-off fringe dwellers to get treatment up to a cap, sorry, of about $500 a few years ago, had been "Jeff-ed" in our state by Kennett, keen to upgrade a grand prix track in Melbourne.

It has never been re-instated.

A couple of years ago...I paid more than $1000 for a root canal (this time I asked and got a payment extension).

But suppose I had not got the extension?

Out with the pliers I guess (the waiting list in our district for public dental treatment is more than 3 years),

I recall Jenny Brockie,the caring host of SBS' Insight programme, being absolutely shocked when a couple of old-aged pensioners pulled out pliers from their pockets,showed them to the camera, and demonstrated to Brockie & the aghast studio audience how they had pulled out their rotting teeth because of the over-flowing public dental waiting lists.

And we live in a First World country.

But Team Rudd has not surprisingly 'side-lined' its "Denticare" proposal.

I don't think it is even being discussed in one of Kev's famous parliamentary committees.

So I suggest: Bring back the "voucher" scheme - until the Government comes up with a workable public dental programme.

It will cut back to some extent the ridiculously over-stretched waiting lists.

But,my gut feeling is that the uncomplaining disadvantaged will continue to suffer - well,not quite in silence. A toothache hurts like hell.

Forget social welfare bodies like ACOSS who only make noises around Budget time - and the crusading and well-paid author Tim Costello...who doesn't take up the cudgels for the really Good Fight - but comes over well on TV.

Quotable Tim fills a hole,sorry again, on a slow news day.

I guess,as Father Dave, notes-there's more wailing and gnashing of teeth over the death of Michael Jackson than thousands of folk waiting to get their teeth fixed.

Something "rotten" in our State?
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Friday, July 03, 2009

Keith asks the Big Question!

My depression really kicked in recently (although thankfully I wasn't suicidal) and for a while there I almost lost my faith altogether. It's very annoying as although you can point to triggers there seems to be little relation to what's happening in my life and how I actually feel. My level of contentment seems to wax and wane of its own accord. It's particularly distressing as for a while there I almost completely lost my pastoral heart which is one of my chief gifts.

Theologically, my complaints centred on God's and particularly the Holy Spirit's seeming powerlessness: First of all in my own life - I seem to be at the mercy of my brain chemistry - but also in the lives of so many Christians who seem content to hold political views and pursue life styles that I think are so immature and antithetical to the Gospel.

My question is: If the Holy Spirit is there to lead us into all truth, then why the hell doesn't she?

Why are there so many Christians fixated in an adolescent Christianity that leads them to be so arrogant and judgemental? Why am I still so arrogant and judgemental? How can Peter Costello- happy to make the rich more comfortable and use racism as a political tool- and Tim Costello- living a sacrificial life and helping the most poor of the world and happy to have a hijab wearing Muslim girl volunteer in his Christian organisation- both claim to be active Christians???

They can't both be right. It perplexes and distresses me.
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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Stages of Faith?

Alfamax responds to Keith's post on Fowler's famous 'Stages of Faith' model, where different forms of faith are seen as reflecting different levels of maturity.

I can't help but think that maybe we should make up a stage theory about how psychologists come to make up theories of stage theory!

In many ways it's humans looking for a concrete and linear structure where none exists. Moments of spiritual transcendence can be experienced by anyone, at any age and at any time, which can be evidenced with the work of poets, musicians and in fact any person that expresses themselves through thought and ultimately their works.
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Wise words on Global Sustainability from Jarey

Jarey's comments on the video 'Home' - a not-for-profilt film about the problem of global sustainability.

Shocked What a facinating video, a really grand tour of the earth and the people living on it. Much better than wasting an hour and a half watching the usual drivel on TV. Makes you wonder how much time and effort went into the production of it.

Crying or Very sad But... As beautiful and interesting as the photography is it paints a pretty dismal picture of the future of the earth. It would seem that it is already too late to fix the problem and that the only apparent solution is the elimination of mankind and it's insatiable need for an ever diminishing supply of food and energy. If that somehow happened the earth would eventually replenish itself, or not.

Rolling Eyes There is speculation that the 'global elite' desires a reduction in the world's population to about 800 million, rather than the current 6 billion, through war, famine, genocide, or whatever it takes. They, of course, would be the recipients of this new sustainable paradise.

Very Happy We can only believe that God has it all under control, otherwise there is no hope.