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Annoyed? Inconvenienced? Nah, just incandescent with rage ...

... and I don't even live in Sydney. However, I am gobsmacked by the latest stupidity of the bunch of thugs that calls itself the NSW government. My learned colleague the president of the NSW Bar Association obviously shares my concern:

World Youth Day regulations undermine our basic rights

The president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Anna Katzmann SC, has condemned the Iemma government’s World Youth Day regulations as a direct affront to freedom of speech and assembly.

‘To make something that causes inconvenience to people the basis for a criminal offence is both unnecessary and repugnant.

‘It is difficult to understand the need for, let alone the wisdom of, such a law’, said Ms Katzmann.

Creating a criminal offence by regulation bypasses the same level of parliamentary and public scrutiny that would be given to an Act of parliament.

‘Who required this? Why are the existing laws good enough to regulate conduct at, say, the Mardi Gras parade or the Rugby World Cup, but not on this occasion?’ Ms Katzmann said.

To make matters worse, the terms of the regulation are vague, its operation uncertain and it does not at least require the conduct to be disorderly or insulting.

In this last respect it is in stark contrast with existing laws governing crowd behaviour at Mount Panorama or the Sydney Cricket Ground.

‘The mere presence in the vicinity of a person wearing the apparel or insignia of another religion might be annoying or inconvenient to a participant in a World Youth Day event. So, too, the presence of a protestor.

‘If I were to wear a T-shirt proclaiming that “World Youth Day is a waste of public money” and refuse to remove it when an officer of the Rural Fire Service asks me to, I would commit a criminal offence. How ridiculous is that?

‘Why should participants in a World Youth Day event be the arbiters of good taste and behaviour and why should their sensitivities or those of a police officer, an SES member or a member of the Rural Fire Service dictate the behaviour of other, law abiding members of the public?’ Ms Katzmann concluded.

Here’s the relevant regulation:

7 Control of conduct within World Youth Day declared areas

(1) An authorised person may direct a person within a World Youth Day declared area to cease engaging in conduct that:

(b) causes annoyance or inconvenience [my emphasis] to participants in a World Youth Day event,

(2) A person must not, without reasonable excuse, fail to comply with a direction given to the person under subclause (1).

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

(3) A person is not guilty of an offence under this clause unless it is established that the authorised person warned the person that a failure to comply with the direction is an offence.

(4) In this clause, authorised person means:

(a) a police officer, or

(b) a member of an SES unit (within the meaning of the State Emergency Service Act 1989) or a member of the NSW Rural Fire Service, but only if the member is authorised by the Authority in writing for the purposes of this clause.

So what is a World Youth Day “declared area”? See Schedule A:

Event sites [47 of them…]

Sydney Adventist College Activity Centre
Australian Museum
Barangaroo site as defined in section 3 (1) of the World Youth Day Act 2006
Hyde Park Barracks
B’naiB’rith Centre
Birrung Gallery
Customs House
St Mary’s Cathedral
Darling Harbour
The Domain
Emmanuel Synagogue
Cinema Paris
Pilgrim Walking Route (as shown on the map entitled “World Youth Day – Pilgrimage walking route” prepared by the Authority and dated 29 May 2008 and deposited in the office of the Authority)
Barangaroo Walking Route (as shown on the map entitled “World Youth Day – Main event walking routes: Tuesday to Friday 15 to 18 July 2008” prepared by the Authority and displayed on the Authority’s website)
Centennial Park
Randwick Racecourse
Royal Botanic Gardens
Royal Agricultural Society Showground
The University of Sydney
Art Gallery of New South Wales
State Sports Centre
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Olympic Park
Harbourside Amphitheatre
Hyde Park, between Elizabeth and College Streets
Legion of Mary
Loreto Kirribilli
The Mint
Maunsell Wickes at Barry Stern Galleries
Mary MacKillop Place
National Trust Centre, Observatory Hill
The University of Notre Dame Australia (Darlinghurst Campus)
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Jewish Museum
King Street Gallery on William
St Collumcilles Woolloomooloo
St Joseph’s Catholic Church Edgecliff
St Paul’s Catholic Chapel East Sydney
St Peter’s Catholic Church Surry Hills
St Scholastica’s Chapel Glebe
St Scholastica’s Trixie Forrest Hall, Glebe
Tumbalong Park
National Council of Jewish Women of Australia
Paddington Uniting Church
Wynyard Railway Station, Barangaroo site, Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, The Domain, Hyde Park,
Central Station, Darling Harbour, Centennial Parklands, Randwick Racecourse and Mary MacKillop Place as shown on the map entitled “Map of key World Youth Day venues and facilities in and around Sydney City” dated Monday 23 June 2008 prepared by the Authority and displayed on the Authority’s website.

Then there are (wait for it) 584 Accommodation and Catechesis sites” – predominantly schools (and not just Catholic ones, either), and 35 “Transport sites”, mostly railway stations, plus a few bus interchanges and terminuses.

I’m sorely tempted to visit Sydney on this ridiculous occasion, wearing the most offensive t-shirt that I can lay my hands on, and see if I can get arrested.

And – here’s a pleasant thought – just think what fun Chaser should have with this inanity.


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World Youth Day protest victim found dead in gaol

Angela Ryan: "If it was a Muslim youth or an aboriginal he would be in Silverwater in solitary with a bruised liver and charged with also resisting arrest (as he did) and assaulting police and probably weapon carriage."

Well, actually, Angela, he was found dead in gaol this morning.

Michael de Angelos: "And on what basis, and when have Australians ever abused or attacked vesting groups of tourists whether on a religious visit or any occasion?"

Well, as was pointed out to you, the Condom Women actually entered a church uninvited, resisted eviction by the parishioners, and abused and physically manhandled elderly female parishioners?

I'm not sure if that qualifies as "abuse and attack" by your definition.

Actually, Elliot,

 The man found dead in gaol was not a pilgrim, but a tourist who had an altercation with a pilgrim.

Yes you were wrong Eliot !

What these laws did show was how easy it is for elements of fascism to slip into a democratic society pretty well unchallenged as they were during APEC.

These particular pilgrim laws were just very badly worded (and full marks to those who got them overturned), but the very fact a government enacted them in the first place is highly disturbing.

And it seems, with full co-operation with the Opposition.

And on what basis, and when have Australians ever abused or attacked vesting groups of tourists whether on a religious visit or any occasion?

A visit by George Bush – yes. When LBJ was here – yes (and I was one), but my experience from early days is that it was always either agent provocateurs or over-excited police who started trouble and I doubt anything has changed. Certainly from the hyped up looking cops during APEC (who must have been told the most dire things were going to happen) we really should worry about the lengths governments will go to.

Well, it just shows I was wrong, hey?

Angela Ryan: "So, as you pointed out, Eliot, Bill Avent was right – they weren't handing them out at St Mary's Cathedral."

No, the cowards decided instead to harass innocent old women at a suburban church. As I said, try doing that at Lakemba Mosque.

And as predicted, none of the protesters were arrested - but a pilgrim was, of course!

The Condom Women and their cronies stand exposed for the hypocritical, sanctimonious frauds they are. And I was afraid nothing good would come out of World Youth Day!

Well, it just shows I was wrong, hey?

Monday moral equivalence

The Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright, appears to be somehow equating the consecration of a gay bishop in the US with the US war in Iraq:

“George Bush said he was going to invade Iraq. Everyone told him not to because there would be consequences, but he did it anyway. The Americans floated the balloon in 2003 when they consecrated Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire. They knew exactly what they were doing then and they know exactly what they are doing now. They knew it would be unacceptable to the majority of the Communion. They are doing exactly as they please. Either the rest of the world caves in or someone has to stand up to them.”


(via Ken L at Surfdom)

Loathsome attack on elderly parishioners by Condom Women

Bill Avent: "I don't think they were offering them in St Mary's Cathedral, Eliot."

Well, actually Bill, here they are on Church property dressed in over-sized condoms, harassing parishioners as they go to Mass, even getting into a physical confrontation with a grey-haired, elderly lady leaving the Church.

You will see this with your own eyes.

This is reported mainly on foreign media, though it was also covered by the Ten Network whom the Catholic-baiters had invited along specially for the purpose.

Lovely - but typical.

True, this isn't St Mary's Cathedral, but just a local parish church in Sydney.

St Mary's was teeming with fit, young pilgrims, so no, the heroic protesters wouldn't be so stupid as to provoke them.

But defenseless old ladies at worship, sure.

Mind, the Catholic-baiters did manage to pelt pilgrims with condoms, provoking a minor violent confrontation. That was from the safety of a police cordon, though.

If you look at the Condom Women video again, and this was my favourite part, you can see one of the Condom Women lamely faking injury as an old lady pushes past her.

You'll recall from the APEC protests, faking injuries for the benefit of specially -invited media is a standard protest technique by fringe political-groups.

Also, if you saw television coverage of the arrest of the pilgrim (how ironic), the Catholic-baiters jeer him as he is escorted away by police.

Charming. That went around the world.

Contrast the despicable, loathsome behaviour of the foolish Condom Women with, for example, the stunning presentation of those young Fijian men who 'danced' the Gospels to the altar for the Papal Mass.

The idiots of the Left just don't get it, do they?

No, not St Mary's Cathedral, there they should throw little doll

So, as you pointed out, Eliot, Bill Avent was right – they weren't handing them out at St Mary's Cathedral.

And if a "pilgrim" abuses in the foulest language (offensive language – illegal) and then rushes into the crowd to punch a guy (yes, the video is available on the SMH website, quite a violent nutcase) then he should have been arrested and charged as he was by our excellent police. The fact that our Opus Dei (ask them to deny membership under oath) controlled senior government executive would not allow charges against a Catholic despite what violent deeds they do is typical. If it was a Muslim youth or an aboriginal he would be in Silverwater in solitary with a bruised liver and charged with also resisting arrest (as he did) and assaulting police and probably weapon carriage.

Throwing little condoms is hardly a big deal. Lying to the public and causing a change in government policy that results in increasing AIDS infections and uncontrolled birth rates amongst the poorest of the world along with hiding paedophiles and honouring those who hide them with the giving of JP2's funeral sermon is the kind of REAL harm that is done around the world.

Whether it is Roman Catholic, Muslim, Anglican, rabbis, or fundamentalists, it is by their deeds that they are condemned, not the "it is who we are" pathetic line that the pretend victims always like to use.

Protesters have every right to protest about heinous crimes being committed in the name of Catholics around the world. You would do better, Eliot, to inform yourself of these and put yourself and your words in better perspective.

Add to that the insult of 200 million plus in our tax money spent on a right-wing dominated secret society backed religious festival and sure, people might have a right to protest even just that. How many of our executive are Opus Dei members is something that must be known as it can distort government decision making and even the course of justice.

Imagine having to take one's own government to court to remove legislation that so demonised our civil rights to protest!! Imagine having to take a government to court to test the right to spend such money on such an event at all, as a brave Eastern Suburbs chap did. We need to know whether our government members and the public service and judiciary are in the secret organisation and then assess their decisions. History is full of appalling deeds being done as a result of secret membership – consider Trotsky and his New York banking funds release from Halifax, ordered from England during wartime, before he brought on the full violence of the Russian Revolution.

And the present day Roman Church, here in Sydney, what deeds do they do? Sure fun dancing, great, Eliot. A rock concert has that too.

A Mass for the 8000 volunteers good, a Mass for the 8000 victims of sexual assault and cover up by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, even better. A healing mass in the name of mercy and forgiveness with Ratzinger confessing his cover ups and begging forgiveness. How inspiring.

Charges and gaoling of all paedophile priests, confessing to the courts as part of their Hail Mary penitence, would go even further to return trust. The way the Roman hierarchy deliberately moved paedophile priests from parish to parish to reoffend still amazes me. And the attitude has hardly changed as seen in the comments by THAT bishop. And the priest in Brisbane still giving sacrament from his fouled hands, and in a school no less. They just don’t get it. Neither do you, Eliot.

Protect liars and paedophiles all you wish, I have yet to see a Roman Catholic critical note from you about the topic which fits the p2 line quite well methinks.

If the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy had slammed the paedophiles down and sent them to civilian prison and nurtured and cared for the victims then there would have been a great deal more credibility about the papal messages. Remember this man, Ratzinger, who decided the policy of secrecy, of hiding, of moving them with no protection for the children. Who was in charge? Try the head of the Inquisition – Ratzinger. He was in charge of the Faith and ran the back room during this whole disgusting period of child abuse. This man has the grimness of cover up and disgrace of the church upon his back. His hypocrisy is beyond anything even Bush has said lately about his god.

It is little wonder with such a group in power that the church has sunk so low. And secret organisations with secret membership all the usual perverted power games that have caused so much harm to the Christianity that the common person knows and loves.

The common person, yes, being one of those elderly ladies. Yes it was wrong to take on a vulnerable person, not PC, but so much less than the huge sins of the Church that the elderly lady was either completely ignorant of, or in full knowledge and complicit, as are all in full knowledge. AIDS programs known to not work, denying condom use to the poor and family control, corruption, banking scandals and money laundering for organised crime and murders, paedophile priests abusing little boys with immunity and known within the church, abuse of power at government level (even the Adelaide Labor Government cabinet has the OD Bishop at its meetings, unbelievable!) … but how dare a protestor criticise! If a thrown condom encouraged a parishioner to ask why then it really was worth it as change for the better from within is the best. You are outraged Eliot by a thrown condom yet not about the paedophile scandal and its cover up. Unflipping believable again.

It could have been so much better and so different. Robinson, a truly holy and great man, is the one closest to the true message of Christ at the moment and he is an outcast because of this. Says it all.


how Africans became statistics , but in a God cause

"The difference between us, Bill, is that I can see that a comprehensive program involving abstinence, being faithful, and the use of condoms, can work. You on the other hand keep bleating about condoms and nothing else."

Certainly, Kathy, such a behaviour would work, but as some of the actions are contradictory (abstinence does not require the use of condoms, does it?) does that mean that each of the behaviours singly is also promoted by the Catholic church? I was not aware that use of condoms outside the marriage (or even within it for the purpose of contraception) was permitted by the Catholic church. Is that right?

So if one wants to have sex outside marriage in Africa, just what was the Catholic church advocating as protection against HIV? Was it still advocating condom use? Did any bishops pretend condoms were not a protective barrier against HIV? Do any bishops still say that?

Are you aware of the ABC campaign in the USA? Are you aware of its abject failure? Why should Africa be any different? Is it not potentially more dangerous to advocate a program that is known not to work when HIV rates are so high amongst sexually active persons? Are you aware of the WHO studies regarding such? The WHO recommendations?

Why do you think Australia has had the best success against HIV in the world and is used as a model for others to copy? Nothing in the Australian program has Abstinence as part of the party plan.

If church leaders are lying about scientific data regarding condoms as a barrier to HIV and church groups are promoting programs known to fail elsewhere as AIDS prevention in societies where HIV is a high risk, do you not think there is a degree of culpability?

Now as to the highly successful campaign against HIV/AIDS in Uganda that our dear religious ones are calling a success of the abstinence program. Well, here is a little about that program:

In the capital city Kampala, the level of HIV infection among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics fell from 31% in 1993 to 14% by 1998. Meanwhile, outside Kampala, infection rates among pregnant women under 20 dropped from 21% in 1990 to 8% in 1998. Elsewhere, among men attending STI clinics, HIV infection rates fell from 46% in 1992 to 30% in 1998.

Success in reducing the prevalence of HIV in Uganda is the result of a broad-based national effort backed up by firm political commitment, including the personal involvement of the head of state, President Yoweri Museveni. From the outset, the government involved religious and traditional leaders, community groups, NGOs, and all sectors of society, forging a consensus around the need to contain the escalating spread of HIV and provide care and support for those affected.

Sex education programmes in schools and on the radio focused on the need to negotiate safe sex and encouraged teenagers to delay the age at which they first have sex. Since 1990, a USAID-funded scheme to increase condom use through social marketing of condoms has boosted condom use from 7% nationwide to over 50% in rural areas and over 85% in urban areas. The social marketing scheme involved sales of condoms at subsidized prices or free distribution by both the government and the private sector. The scheme was also backed up by health education and other public information. Meanwhile more teenage girls reported condom use than any other age group -- a trend reflected in falling infection rates among 13-19 year old girls in Masaka, in rural Uganda. And among 15-year-old boys and girls, the proportion who had never had sex rose from about 20% to 50% between 1989 and 1995.

Condom use is also being encouraged among men who seek treatment for sexually transmitted infections. A new innovative social marketing scheme to promote the use of an STI self-treatment kit ("Clear Seven") has proved to be successful in treating STIs and preventing HIV infection. The kit, which contains a 14-day course of tablets, condoms, partner referral cards, and an information leaflet, is designed to improve STI treatment rates, prevent over-the-counter sales of inappropriate treatments, encourage partner referral, and reinforce condom use. The distribution system relies on the use of small retail outlets which are normally licensed to sell over-the-counter drugs but not antibiotics. The Ugandan Government has waived these restrictions to promote sales of Clear Seven, marketed at the subsidized price of US$ 1.35, and trained shopkeepers in the management of STIs. As a result, cure rates for urethritis have increased from 46% to 87% and condom use during treatment has more than doubled (from 32% to 65%)....

So, it seems to be a "condoming" of the safe sex practices for those who have sex.

So if the Catholic Church bans the use or condemns the use of condoms, it appears that church has nothing to do with the Uganda success story, does it?

If anything, that little good catholic girl or boy who had a torrid night and accidentally needed one and didn’t carry one or know how to use it is now visiting the STI clinic for a kit and becoming a statistic.

Naturally the reduced exposure risk to HIV reduces the chances, hence put off first sexual encounter and limit number, but if sex is on then so must the condom be and that is Uganda's success.

These are the successful strategies in developing countries:

Effective measures include:

  • Accessible, inexpensive condoms
  • Immediate treatment of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT)
  • Prevention of mother-to-child transmission
  • Promotion of harm reduction to reduce HIV infection in drug users
  • Sexual health education in school and beyond
  • Accelerating access to care, support, and treatment, including psychosocial support, home and community-based care, and innovative new partnerships to provide sustainable and affordable supplies of medicines and diagnostics.

As so often there is a sad twist to the story and indeed it come from that wonderful cyclonic twister George W and his HIV program from 2001. Condoms were removed and limited to high-risk individuals, and left in government warehouses. The first family, evangelical of course, had changed course ever so slightly but with deadly consequences for their people.

The latest HIV infection information from Uganda seems to indicate that the abstinence approach may be a disaster in the making. Uganda, long viewed as a model for HIV prevention success in Africa, appears to have taken a wrong turn in promoting the program described as ABC…A: abstinence first…B: be faithful in a committed relationship…C: use condoms if A and B fail. The Bush administration appears to be complicit in these alarming new infection rates by virtue of its push towards programs that emphasize abstinence while moving away from the promotion of condom usage.

From allAfrica.com:

Speaking at the ceremony, the Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) Director General, Dr Kihumuro Apuuli, said despite financial support from the donor community, the rate of people acquiring HIV/Aids is still increasing.

He said, in 2005 130,000 Ugandans got infected compared to 70,000 in 2003.


From talk2action.org:

Uganda was once an HIV prevention success story, where an ambitious government-sponsored prevention campaign, including massive condom distribution and messages about delaying sex and reducing numbers of partners, pushed HIV rates down from 15 percent in the early 1990s to 5 percent in 2001. But conservative evangelicals rewrote this history–with the full-throated cooperation of Uganda’s evangelical first family, the Musevenis. As one Family Research Council paper put it:

“Both abstinence and monogamy helped to curb the spread of AIDS in Uganda…How did this happen? Shortly after he came into office in 1986, President Museveni of Uganda spearheaded a mass education campaign promoting a three-pronged AIDS prevention message: abstinence from sexual activity until marriage; monogamy within marriage; and condoms as a last resort. The message became commonly known as ABC: Abstain, Be faithful, and use Condoms if A and B fail.”

This warped version of the true Uganda story became the mantra in Bush’s Washington, with the “C” reduced more and more to an afterthought as time went by. For example, in piling on against a 2002 pro-condom comment by then Secretary of State Colin Powell, Focus on the Family’s James Dobson wrote condoms out of the story entirely: “Secretary Powell seems to be ignorant of the fact the Uganda has made great progress against AIDS by emphasizing abstinence, not condoms.

And even the statistics were questioned by the BBC:

An organisation helping people living with HIV/Aids in Uganda has questioned the authenticity of the government's statistics on the disease.


Major Rubaramira Ruranga, the executive director of the National Guidance and Empowerment Network of people living with HIV/Aids in Uganda (NGEN), said he believed the HIV prevalence rate could be more than three times higher than previously thought.

"We have found the prevalence rate at this time is 17%," he told a news conference.

The organisation has been carrying out research in several districts across the country and claims in the western area Rukungiri the prevalence rate is 30%, while in Busia near the Kenyan border it is 20% and in the northern district of Apac it is 18%.

And indeed HRW has an article about the practices imposed upon Uganda by the Evangelical right wing dominated White House programs.

Finalized PIASCY materials for primary schools included some information about condoms, which is consistent with a recently drafted strategy of the Uganda Ministry of Health calling for the promotion of condom use to “all sexually active people.” However, teachers interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that USAID-funded PIASCY trainers had encouraged them to omit information about condoms in favor of an abstinence-only message.

There is a bit about a virginity audit from the First Lady of Uganda (displaying tendencies most women would find misogynous) and then here are the realities for Ugandan women under the abstinence until marriage scheme:

With the growth of abstinence-only approaches in Uganda, there are growing indications that condoms will disappear from the country’s HIV/AIDS strategy. In October 2004, the Ministry of Health issued a nationwide recall of all free government condoms, allegedly in response to failed quality control tests. The ministry then took the extraordinary step of requiring post-shipment quality control testing on all condoms imported into Uganda, including those that have already been tested. By December 2004, experts were forecasting a national condom shortage. Rather than take steps to address the shortage, however, Uganda’s minister of state for primary health care stated, “As a ministry, we have realized that abstinence and being faithful to one’s partner are the only sure ways to curb AIDS. From next year, the ministry is going to be less involved in condom importation but more involved in awareness campaigns; abstinence and behavior change.”

This statement was only the latest in a series of anti-condom statements from senior government officials in Uganda. Throughout 2004, including at the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, President Museveni lashed out against condoms as inappropriate for Ugandans and suggested that condom distribution encouraged promiscuity among young people. First Lady Janet Museveni has criticized groups that distribute condoms to young people for “pushing them to go into sex” and stated that “it is not the law that our children must have sex.” Non-governmental organizations that have traditionally promoted condoms in Uganda told Human Rights Watch they feared provoking the ire of political leaders if they continued their work, while those that deny the effectiveness of condoms have enjoyed unprecedented levels of government support. “We don’t want to be seen to be doing what government or political leaders are opposed to,” the coordinator of a youth HIV prevention program told Human Rights Watch. “We fear we would be blacklisted.”

In numerous interviews, Human Rights Watch found that an exclusive focus on sexual abstinence as an HIV prevention strategy failed to account for the lived experiences of countless Ugandans. “I got HIV in marriage. I was faithful in my relationship,” said one Ugandan woman, expressing a common predicament. Indeed, the suggestion that marriage provides a safeguard against HIV may amount to a death sentence for women and girls. Ugandan women face a high risk of HIV in marriage as a result of polygyny and infidelity among their husbands, combined with human rights abuses such as domestic violence, marital rape, and wife inheritance (whereby a widow is forced to marry the brother of her late husband). While surveys suggest that Ugandan women are more likely to refuse sex with a husband who has an STD than women in other African countries, it is still widely believed in Uganda that women have no right to deny their husbands sex. Research by Human Rights Watch and others has shown that many Ugandan women who abstain until marriage and remain faithful to their husbands nevertheless face a very high risk of HIV because of their husbands’ infidelity or prior HIV infection. Although abuses against married women may put them at equal risk of HIV as their unmarried counterparts, abstinence educators nevertheless champion the institution of marriage while at the same time withholding information about its risks.


As the largest single donor to HIV/AIDS programs in Uganda, the United States is using its unparalleled influence to export abstinence-only programs that have proven to be an abject failure in its own country. No less than twelve U.S. government-funded evaluations at the state level have shown that U.S.-based abstinence-only programs have little influence on participants’ sexual behavior and may cause harm by discouraging the use of contraception. Additional studies have suggested that “virginity pledges,” a staple of abstinence-only programs in which young people promise to abstain until marriage, often fail and may result in lower contraceptive use (and higher STD rates) among sexually active unmarried youth. Officials in both the U.S. and Ugandan governments have ignored these studies. Instead, they have misleadingly used national survey data to suggest that abstinence and fidelity are more popular among Ugandans than condom use. Not only do such data provide a poor substitute for evaluation of abstinence programs, but research in Uganda clearly indicates that a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention—one emphasizing positive behavior change, high-level political leadership, condom use, widespread HIV testing, and a myriad other factors—is what allowed the country to reduce HIV prevalence in the 1990s. Nothing in the demographic or historical record suggests that “abstinence education” as conceived by the United States is what contributed to Uganda’s HIV prevention success.

Unfortunately the mis-message about condoms had their effects upon usage:

In June 2006, the Ministry of Health announced it had, with assistance from the World Bank, imported 80 million re-branded condoms for free distribution.

Conflicting messages and problems with distribution appears to have had an effect on the number of people using condoms. UNAIDS found that condom use during sex with non-regular partners was reported by 20%, 39%, 47% and 35% of women in 1995, 2000, 2004–2005 and 2006, respectively, and by 35%, 59%, 53% and 57% of men38..."

And the WHO report on Uganda:

There is an urgent need to revive and adapt the prevention efforts that helped bring Uganda's HIV epidemic under control in the 1990s.

Let us hope if they do, that they won’t be punished by withdrawal f HIV drug treatments.

In other words, f**k off fundamentalists and stick to what works as prevention.

Abstinence alone programs are just murder, and that is just the feeling one gets on them.....God squad colonialism failures.


Thank you Angela

Thank you, Angela, for your thoughtful and reasonable response. Thanks also for the links.

Look, I am not arguing here from a religious perspective, rather in my opinion of what needs to be done to staunch the AIDS epidemic. I favour an all encompassing approach. I do believe that educating and encouraging people to remain faithful is very important.

After all, it is not only Christians who believe in fidelity, is it? I have married friends who are atheists, Christians and agnostics, all of whom believe in fidelity.

There is of course a place for condoms. What concerns me, though, is the failure rate of condoms - anywhere between 10% to 20%. I am therefore against promoting condoms alone, and favour a broader approach.

In reality we need it all - see the following extract:

“Only” doesn’t work for HIV prevention

UNAIDS advocates that countries implement HIV prevention programmes that will be truly effective in reducing new HIV infections. This requires a strategic combination of interventions that address populations that are at risk or vulnerable for transmission and that utilize behavioral and social change methods that are appropriate and informed by the latest evidence.

The word “only” doesn’t work for AIDS—whether it’s for treatment only, HIV prevention only, condoms only, abstinence only or male circumcision only. In reality we need it all—a truly comprehensive approach. For UNAIDS, the three pillars of a comprehensive and effective AIDS response, as we move towards universal access, are HIV prevention, treatment and care and support.

The three Cs, condoms condoms condoms, chip away AIDS

Hi Kathy, the reason I went to a bit of trouble to link that data for you was the concern at the pseudoscience that so infests the media at present by radical religious groups trying manipulate the political agenda to fit their dogma and find reasons to impose it upon populations.

The people of Africa (and the west) certainly have what you and I would consider the "wrong" ideas about sex and doing it whenever they wish with whosoever and whenever (anything goes attitude) and this in itself I think has been a deliberate and gradual social manipulation. The early sexualisation of children is no coincidence – it sells and feeds a market and permits other ideas about sex to gain acceptability.

I personally am from the old school that would like adultery turned back into a civil offence having seen so many suffer in such a dreadful way from the effects of it, not least the children, but the realities of doing so and investigating for evidence (the bedroom invasions of the past) make that idea unworkable, I guess.

So coming from me you must understand my criticisms of the Abstinence part of the AIDS prevention packages is that it is a piece of fluff! It is totally useless as a general population tool at all and actually reduces the chances of the rest of the package working properly as it introduces the concept of guilt and shame and therefore ostracism and hiding of behaviour failings. This is exactly what has happened in the US studies to which I linked – it resulted in a higher rated of teen pregnancy and STI.

Any Abstinence program must begin with a media and population mindset change and that won’t happen while there are the likes of Hollywood etc still pouring out movies promoting the normality of sexual promiscuity. America (to a point) is still the world leader in how to behave and what to wear for the youth, e.g. jeans, coke and sex. Jesus, condoms and mineral water hasn’t made any movie money yet without floggings

So I also linked the politics behind the Abstinence program. I was hoping others would find it as outrageous as I did.

A summary of the last link shows that Uganda had a successful HIV prevention policy in the 90s that brought the new case incidence down dramatically. Then came the Bush administration in 2001. Money for AIDS drugs and intervention programs was linked to emphasising the Abstinence part at the expense (surreptitiously) of the condom part. Condoms were withdrawn (2004) and tales told of distorted science regarding failure rate (much as you have read) .Condom use, when it was used in casual sex, dropped and ceased dramatically in marriage.

The result was a stop of the falling rate, and areas where the rate has jumped to 30 percent. No data has been publicly available since 2005 and even that official data showed an increase in the number that was frightening (when one considers the increasing birth rate and known high die off of infected people due to lack of treatment, a cease in the drop of infection carrying rate means dangerous direction and increased real numbers of HIV positive people).

Thus the imposition of the Abstinence program, known to be a failure in the USA and predicted to fail in Africa by public health experts, has caused an increased number of victims in the short nine year time-slot since condoms were withdrawn and reliable data last available.

This sent the government into quiet action, with condoms being re-issued and demanding the right to manufacture HIV drugs locally – now granted. But condom use has lost credibility and dropped. The carrot and stick method may not have enough carrots for the damage done. Too bad for the victims of this dogma-driven murderous shemozzle.

Three years since data published. Still fundamentalist shills pour the lies about and confuse the issue. So typical of these dogma driven creeps. They did the same pseudoscience about breast cancer and abortion; you may remember the campaign of misinformation then in Sydney.

Abstinence programs do not work and are damaging. Safe sex is a far better line. HIV in the heterosexual and homosexual communities is a disease of sexual accident and IV drug using (the latter two not factors in Sub-Saharan Africa). Changing behaviour, particularly of men in Africa, will help if done in the right way. Empowering and educating helps. Removing misleading advice helps. The UN released what has been found to be sound public policy for preventing and eradicating HIV.

Condoms condoms condoms, consenting sex, and contain and reduce partner numbers in that order, identify and treat to reduce viral load and infectivity. We can see it is the Cs that save. Corn chips rule.

Even amongst nations with high brothel use, the rate of carriage dropped dramatically by regulating brothels – although this change in statistics may be a S.E.A. tourist ploy :) . Abstinence is hardly the issue there in the program.

The condom failure rate quoted is not for HIV transmission but for pregnancy. It includes those cases where condoms are not even applied but that was the usual method of contraception. They are impervious to HIV virus (unlike what the Roman Catholic Church has been saying in Africa) and are an effective barrier method if properly applied. Interestingly there is a study with lemons as well that needs more research. Ah the lovely lemon tree.

The Ugandans had the formula right – the one that was described first, with the emphasis on Condom use and the aim to reduce partner number and the encouragement to appear early for testing if at all suspicious. Now we can add antivirals to reduce the load and infection risk of that particular subtype. Uganda may loose the licence to make these generics – it is a tricky game for them – but how infamous this Bush regime is now that all has come out and would they dare continue their manipulation and shut down drug availability should Uganda come out about the change in rate due to their interference?

Education, Condoms, limit exposure, early reporting, drug treatment, brothel and IDDU surveillance. But emphasise the three Cs – don’t dismiss the reality of a HIV program that works.


PS: what is really horrible for Africa is the stupid circumcision program and the pseudoscience around that. One might start to think people actually want Africans to all die off from AIDS!

I agree with much of what you say

I agree with much of what you say, Angela. However, I do believe that education and limiting sexual partners should be at the forefront of any campaign. It seems to me that condoms are now seen by many (young) people as the solution, when in reality they are not.

Are our young people being lulled into a false sense of security?

After all, the biggest failure rate with condoms is with those who have many partners. The biggest success is with those who remain faithful to their partner. Obviously the fewer partners the better.

It stands to reason too, that the more partners one has, the more chance of contracting an STD.

I have yet to see any studies that prove that condoms fully protect one against chlamydia and HPV, for example.

"The report confirms that correct and consistent use of condoms can reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission. Epidemiological studies also show condoms can prevent men from acquiring gonorrhea from a female partner, the report concludes.

However, the review panel concluded that epidemiological evidence is currently insufficient to provide an accurate assessment of the effectiveness of condoms in preventing spread of chlamydial infection, syphilis, chancroid, trichomoniasis, genital herpes and genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection"

And here is an interesting article from a London GP who says STD's are on the rise there.

The focus should be, in my opinion, on educating and encouraging people to stay faithful. The potential ramifications of rampant promiscuity should be made clear.

"Condoms condoms condoms" is an over-emphasis that fails to highlight the still very real dangers of promiscuous sex.

I guess that's where we differ in opinion, Angela.

We shall just have to agree to disagree, old mate.

any volunteers for the next method for Africa? condoms...noooo

Never mind Eliot, another confusion for you, well it is all such a euphoricevent.

Kathy, condoms are known to be inadequate for HPV as it is on the vulva and around the male bits, hence contact during sex of these areas will produce infection. HIV is different as it is transmitted via semen, and particularly if there is a current infection on the cervix such as herpes. Transmission is blocked by condoms. Despite what the Roman bishops have said and lied, yes sadly lied, HIV does not go through condoms.

The pregnancy failure rate that you quoted (10-20 percent) is different again. the usually quoted 10 percent includes all who use condoms as contraception whether or not they actually put one on each time at all, or put it on properly. Thus it gauges convenience and reliable use as compared to OCP use and other methods of contraception.  The risk of transmitting HIV at a single sexual encounter is remarkably less than pregnancy if a condom is not used.

Faithful may work for you , to your credit, but it is not a behaviour that is reliably instigated into a previously polypartner population, particularly one with female subjugation. Yes, the fewer partners the better, but even within marriage condoms are necessary  for the women as shown by the HRW article.

Realities are unfortunately what one must face when dealing with public health policies, and these must not be manipulated by religious dogma as has happened with what appears to be disastrous consequences in Africa.

CCC is a very simplified version of the original Ugandan program (which I linked) before the US got to it and removed condoms. The original program, as you rightly say Kathy, was condoms free, sex education, reduce partner number and raise the age of first intercourse (statistics same as here apparently, by the way!), and easy access to health tests and medications without stigma. That program was what brought the prevalence down . Now they have a problem but at least they have drug company HIV medication and licence to produce generics. I wonder if that was part of the deal. Northern Uganda is a real disaster from what I’ve heard from those on the ground with WHO. Not the place for a sex holiday.

When religion and science mix there is so often a problem. When the dogmatic proscribe health policy it becomes a human rights issue. Both Iran and the US vote as a bloc in the Women’s Health International meetings and that in itself should ring some warning bells.

The next AIDS disaster for Africa is the ridiculous plan for circumcision for adult men based upon loose studies with erroneous and simplified conclusions.  Funny how the gays in NewYork are not lining up for it. Although it probably does encourage a dramatic initial reduction in promiscuity ... any volunteers?


A little tendentiousness

So, Angela Ryan is against adultery and wants it re-criminalised. First, the common law crime is "criminal conversation" and arises out of the right of husbands to treat their wives as chattels. In civil law, damages lay for seduction but were only available to the husband (although either a male or a female adult could sue for breach of promise). Now, while I have long been a believer in the sense of repealing the Married Women's Property Act, there has always been a way around both problems: don't marry just fornicate. Sometimes one hears the expression "Common-Law Wife." The common law has never known such a concept. The obligation to provide for dependents has its origins in canon law, not common law, and has found its way into statute via the old Testator's Family Maintenance Acts now replaced (in NSW at least) by the Property Relationships Act. That gives "eligible persons" the same rights as a spouse has under the Family Law Act.

I don't really see the need for the re-introduction of a crime which merely proscribes normal human behaviour. As Sterne said in A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy: "They order these things differently in France". They do, and they always have. it is perfectly civilised behaviour in French culture to have mistresses and lovers provided the primary spouse is looked after. Why should we be any less civilised than the French?

As for Michael de Angelos, the World Youth Day Regulation was quietly slipped in as an administrative act by the Executive and gazetted on 25 June 2008. I doubt the Opposition had wind of it let alone knew its contents. Indeed most of us in the profession didn't realise it had been passed until the press started alerting us to it. One of the things I did not bother going into on the thread I posted was the unsuccessful challenge to the part of the Regulation which restricted trade which was in competition with the franchisees who had been given contracts to sell merchandise in declared areas. That is just as worrying as an attempt to curb "annoying" behaviour yet it was not struck down by the Court.

While it has no constitutional element to it, as a matter of policy, is it reasonable for the Executive to use a general regulation-making power in a statute directed towards the control of a single event to give a commercial advantage to one group over another?

Much of Australia's constitutional history has been given over to the questions of what is a tax, what is an excise, what is a duty and what is a licence? Licence granting has always been a State power so, in this case, the State probably does have power to grant exclusive franchises or to protect them. The question then becomes: is it for the Executive Government to exercise that power alone without the supervision of Parliament? Unfortunately, over the last 30 years, Parliamentary scrutiny in this State has become more and more of an irrelevance. We are all the worse for it.

on whoring and merchandise

Hi Malcolm, and to think I nearly married a Frog once. Phew.

Now does SWMBO understand your views upon this along with SHMBL?

Now come on Malcolm , think of the tabloid media if it was (not criminalised) open to civil suits for damages to the harmed one of either sex and the kids. At least an Xbox in it .Add a bit of rock throwing(for those with clean slates only of course) if it needs punitive measures and a regular community event better than NRL might be held on each Saturday. And no discrimination – same sex partners in there too. And then the Federal government can add the thought crime to it ...

Actually, I think some find it cathartic to help them out of windows, as seen recently. Windows, train tracks, between parking buses, hydrofoil undercarriages, naked in Martin Place chained, thrown on stage at a Uni review (or lion taming act if preferred), Simpson's Desert with just radiator fluid, a swim at Glenelg with a meat apron(Kathy Lette naughty naughty), left at the bottom of the 10th T-bar at Perisher when the lifts have just shut (fell in the river there myself negotiating where home actually was), all sweet alternatives should the legal means fail. French beware – we are now watching you.

Actually my grandparents were on the front page of a paper from a seedy divorce issue but as usual then he won and she went from riches to poverty and isolation, even from the kids, never seen again. And he was the one who should have had hydrofoil treatment with his whore, sorry , mistress.

And as for merchandise, does that include life-size replicas of crucified Jesus, still attached to the cross, as long as they don’t have the WYD slogan that others had ie "I asked my son for a T-shirt but all I got this for the hallway".

It was nice of them to wear pro-mulesing T-shirts with those little lambs and a cross on as my country friend initially thought. And orange?? When on earth are we going to wear orange cassocks, what were they thinking?? At least black would have been slimming. Is it the plastic cups with pontiff waving, or the lit-up War memorial with "Rat Rules" paper weights? And as we in NSW paid for much of the event surely we actually have some entitlement to the royalties? Ah well, must be a licence.

And who reaped the whirl wind, now gone back to school?


Kathy, sorry to hear that

Kathy, sorry to hear that you're getting pissed off. Can't help thinking it's a matter of your pissing yourself off, though; and little to do with me. You could always borrow my doll from Jenny, and stick pins in it where you think my ulcer should be, if that would make you feel better.

Now, where to start. A little lesson in language comprehension will do. Let's consider the phrase widely, if not universally. Here, the universally is tacked on to the widely in order to lend emphasis and make meaning clear. To understand things said or written, we need to read or listen for meaning. Language works that way. It is not mathematics.

I wonder if you have ever come across the lovely little sentence: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man, in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

That is perhaps one of the hundred best known sentences in our language. Some nit-picking literally challenged individuals somewhere may have problems with it. They may want to point out that someone, somewhere, is bound to be found who acknowledges no such thing: therefore the word universally is inappropriate. "Send it back for a re-write, to make it more accurate and a little less lovely," they might say, if they were editors of other people's prose (which they never will be). If some do react to the meaning in the sentence that way, that is their problem. It is not one shared by the rest of us.

Don't mention it. Glad to have been able to help out.

I have not ignored you comment about chlamydia (which doesn't have a capital letter, by the way). And which incidentally came with no link to "prove" your contention that it renders women sterile. According to my information this is so rare as to be not worth mentioning except by someone desperate to make a dubious point, but never mind that. To dismiss the usefulness of condoms on the basis that they provide no level of protection against chlamydia (which in fact they do) or crabs, for instance (which they don't) is a bit like dismissing the usefulness of seat belts because they don't always save lives in accidents, or motorcycle helmets because the don't always prevent head injury.

There are a couple more analogies for you in your desperation to deem "poor", if only to draw attention to your own poor understanding of the nature of analogy.

I can't remember where I got the information on Brazil's progress towards the elimination of HIV AIDS. Look it up for yourself. I'm guessing you'll find upwards of a hundred thousand pages dealing with the subject.

What have I got against the ABC program? Nothing. Except that the A and B components are of doubtful efficacy; whereas the C component works both logically and as demonstrated in practice. Use your own reasoning powers. How is abstinence ever going to work? It goes against human nature. Even priests seem to have trouble with it, and they are supposed to be holy men, who have taken vows of chastity.

What I want to know is what is your problem with the use of condoms? You say: "All I hear is condoms, condoms, condoms from [me]. Nothing else." Am I incorrect in my recollection that it was you who brought the subject up in the first place?

I can only conclude that you and others who take the offer of a free condom as a rude insult are influenced by religious teachings. I have news for you: nowhere in the teachings on which Christianity is based is there any injunction against birth control, artificial or otherwise. That is an invention of the Vatican hierarchy. The devout have had the wool pulled over their eyes. They have been persuaded to worship not Christ but an organisation of doubtful ethics. Wake up and smell the roses.

A matter of opinion, and no links.

Bill: “Then again, someone who thinks I said condoms work and nothing else is needed is likely to find all sorts of things confusing

Bill: "What have I got against the ABC program? Nothing. Except that the A and B components are of doubtful efficacy; whereas the C component works both logically and as demonstrated in practice."

Now contrast the two statements Bill. You appear to be saying that that condoms are the only thing that works. If not, what else in your opinion does.

Furthermore how you can say that the A and B components "are of doubtful efficacy" I would be interested to know, as you provide no links to substantiate this. On the other hand you expect me to provide a link for chlamydia causing sterility in young women.

Never mind. I provide this link that says ABC IS working in Uganda.

UN Anger Over Uganda's Successful Abstinence Program Fueled by Loss of Funds Says Researcher

UNITED NATIONS, October 13, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The United Nations' envoy to Africa, Canadian Stephen Lewis, is highly critical of an abstinence campaign that has downplayed the role of condoms but been hugely successful at reducing HIV transmission in Uganda. Population Researcher Institute's Joseph A. D'Agostino suggests that the success in combating AIDS in Uganda "isn't good enough for UN officials, whose love affair with condoms knows no bounds, and who are also angry with America for funding her own AIDS initiative in Africa instead of giving the money to them."

Uganda, whose abstinence campaign has been so successful as to be likened to a highly effective vaccine, has reduced HIV transmission rates from 18% to 5-7%. "No other nation in the world has achieved such success," writes D'Agostino. "Most sub-Saharan African nations, following the pro-condoms model, continue to suffer from rising HIV infection rates. Ugandan surveys show a reduction in premarital sexual activity among Ugandan youth and a reduction in extramarital activity among adults," D'Agostino added. "The result: less AIDS."

Here is another:

HIV/AIDS Education in Uganda

Danielle Buonocore

After doing a project on HIV/AIDS in Uganda, I was intrigued by the drastic decrease in their AIDS rate from 30% in 1992 to 6% in 2002. I was impressed at how the government and the people of Uganda came together to combat AIDS. This fight was led by, President, Yoweri Museveni and his wife, first lady, Janet Museveni. I felt that Uganda’s success should be a model for other countries to follow, especially, their HIV/AIDS education program. This program was based on the ABC program; Abstain, Be faithful, or Condomize. Therefore, while I was in Kenya this summer I could not help but travel to Kampala to do some HIV/AIDS research. I formulated a questionnaire and tried to talk to as many people as I could. A lot of my interviews were more like casual conversations. However, they provided me with a plethora of useful information. I found people would share more, the more comfortable they were, especially when it came to this topic. This paper contains the results, along with a sociological outlook on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda. From my research I have formed theories and ideas which I think could help us continue to successfully fight this pandemic.

Comparing the training of the teachers in 2002 and what they taught in their classrooms with the training and the lessons taught by teachers in 2005 would show how much impact re-writing the books made. Condoms may have been discussed and more available before the books were revoked. Conducting another study of the primary and secondary schools in the next two years would be interesting to compare to the above results. This would occur after the secondary books were distributed and used. Whether or not abstinence education increased, decreased, or remained the same may depend on the distribution of those books and the training the teachers receive. It would be interesting to look for correlations between the HIV/AIDS rate is Uganda and the path education is taking. Will U.S. funds lead to more abstinence and less condoms or will Uganda fight to fully educate their youth? A country that has come so far should not back down now. Their approach to fighting AIDS was successful, and their evaluation of ABC shows that it is still relevant in their fight.

Comparing the training of the teachers in 2002 and what they taught in their classrooms with the training and the lessons taught by teachers in 2005 would show how much impact re-writing the books made. Condoms may have been discussed and more available before the books were revoked. Conducting another study of the primary and secondary schools in the next two years would be interesting to compare to the above results. This would occur after the secondary books were distributed and used. Whether or not abstinence education increased, decreased, or remained the same may depend on the distribution of those books and the training the teachers receive. It would be interesting to look for correlations between the HIV/AIDS rate is Uganda and the path education is taking. Will U.S. funds lead to more abstinence and less condoms or will Uganda fight to fully educate their youth? A country that has come so far should not back down now. Their approach to fighting AIDS was successful, and their evaluation of ABC shows that it is still relevant in their fight.

In conclusion, Uganda has evaluated the disease that was tearing apart their country. President Museveni and his wife addressed AIDS in order to break the stigma and let their people know the disease must be fought full force. ABC was developed and PIASCY was implicated. The results look positive. Children should be able to tell you about the disease that killed their parents and how they can prevent getting it. The only way to prevent AIDS is to educate and inform others about it. There are college students in the United States that could not tell me what those 7-10 year olds did at Waterford. Ignorance is not bliss, it is dangerous and life threatening. My fear is that if the U.S. does not improve their HIV/AIDS education their rates will begin to soar. Regardless of how many schools teach abstinence or how to use condoms, the point is that every school had some kind of HIV/AIDS education program. Several also had AIDS clubs run by students. There were music and dance competitions that embraced messages about HIV/AIDS. If something is constantly talked about, it can not be forgotten or avoided. AIDS is not something that can be pushed under a rug or ignored by turning one’s head. It will conquer the human race if that approach is taken. Schools every where, not just in Uganda, need to teach AIDS as they would any other subject. The lessons must be clear, concise, and provide the students with as much information as possible. In the words of Nelson Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, “It is possible to have a generation without HIV/AIDS. We are the ones to make it possible.”

Bill: "Use your own reasoning powers. How is abstinence ever going to work? It goes against human nature. Even priests seem to have trouble with it, and they are supposed to be holy men, who have taken vows of chastity."

This is a matter of your opinion Bill, not fact.

Bill: "I can only conclude that you and others who take the offer of a free condom as a rude insult are influenced by religious teachings. I have news for you: nowhere in the teachings on which Christianity is based is there any injunction against birth control, artificial or otherwise. That is an invention of the Vatican hierarchy. The devout have had the wool pulled over their eyes. They have been persuaded to worship not Christ but an organisation of doubtful ethics. Wake up and smell the roses."

First of all it was a polite offer, according to you (and I did provide a link to contradict this, "however light"). Now, you are just pissed because a group of people tried to "foist" condoms on to other people who did not want them,and conclude without any proof , that they are influenced by religious teaching.

Hmm ... I asked my atheist friend what her thoughts were. Being a very private person, she told me that she would not want to be offered a condom by a total stranger, and yes, she would be offended. She pointed out that it was a personal matter, and that she would be embarrassed.

Finally, Bill you try and twist this discussion and base it on religion, going on about the Vatican and the teachings of Christianity, when my initial post was, "Condoms are not the answer" (with nary a mention of religion).

I will reiterate, too. "Got nothing to do with the Pope."

Oops, Bill, I think your religious intolerance slip is showing.

Bill: "What I want to know is what is your problem with the use of condoms."

Never said that I had one, just that they weren't the answer.

I am in favour of education, and changing people's sexual behaviours, in the first instance, rather than showering people with condoms, because I believe (and I have provided links) condoms alone ARE not the answer.

But I have already said this before.

Links to opinions, with nary a fact

One of the links you are so proud of, Kathy, is to a Canadian pro-life organisation. Is it any wonder that they preach in favour of abstinence as an alternative to condom use? And you claim that it is I who am bringing religion into it?

Links to your own favourite hobby-horse websites are of no interest to me whatever. Links to the opinions of others who happen to share your opinions in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary are of no use to anyone. I urge you again to use a bit of the common sense God gave you. And to stop distorting the truth.

The link you use to prove that condom profferers were rude to pilgrims says no more on the subject than:

Protesters have prepared their own World Youth Day activities, foisting condoms on pilgrims and selling "Pope Go Homo" T-shirts. [Time / CNN]

Your other referee, Danielle Buonocore, says:

Personally, I try to inform others in whatever way I can. I find it especially interesting and productive to do so through casual conversation. I try not to preach, but if someone says AIDS, Africa, or another word within context I begin my spiel. "This disease is preventable, all you have to do is use condoms."

No wonder I am unable to communicate with you. I can see that I am not the only one whose words you cannot understand. All the questions you put to me have been answered already. Comprehensively. I am now out of patience. Get back to me when you are ready to read what is written.

Grumpy old men...

Bill: "One of the links you are so proud of, Kathy, is to a Canadian pro-life organisation. Is it any wonder that they preach in favour of abstinence as an alternative to condom use? And you claim that it is I who am bringing religion into it."

Facts, Bill, we are talking about facts. So far you have provided none. You are, it seems, hell bent on disparaging any links that I provide, yet you cannot provide any to substantiate your own opinions.

Hello Bill! Pro-life does not necessarily mean religious. Many atheists are pro-life too (my friend, for one, is). Sheesh, you have a real problem with religion, don't you. Anyways, am not interested in your anti religion feelings here. I am more concerned with the preservation of our youth. Having fewer sexual partners, being faithful, then using condoms, is the way to go. It's common sense really. We just need to educate our young people.

Forget the negativity and point scoring Bill. Try and come up with something positive for our future generations.

I am really saddened, Bill, that it appears to me you are more concerned with castigating religion rather than finding a long term workable solution for our youth.

You yourself were the one that said provide me with a link, "however slight". I did and you are still not happy. I wish you would stop shifting the goalposts. First it was universally, then in a later post widely universal. I think you are a tad confused, old boy.

And you are quoting Danielle Buonocore's words out of context. She also said that she believed that the ABC approach was having an impact.

The difference between us, Bill, is that I can see that a comprehensive program ivolving abstinence, being faithful, and the use of condoms, can work. You on the other hand keep bleating about condoms and nothing else.

Get back to me, Bill when you are ready to provide links for your "so called" opinions. I am not the one who is biased here. You want to prove a point: provide links. All you have provided so far is a lot of hot air.

And frankly I am fed up with your lack of proof.


The incredibly tedious exchange between Kathy Farrelly and Bill Avent should be closed down.

They disagree.  Well, I think we all got that.

They are unlikely to agree or reach any form of compromise.

Do they understand the concept of boring?   

One should have hoped by now that they could just agree to disagree and stop.

There is no excuse for boring people and I have better things to do with my time than to read or skip their on-going exchanges.

If they are incapable of self-censorship, incapable of getting on with something more productive, give them their own thread at thirty paces and leave the rest of us alone. 

Keep saying things that offend people.

Freedom of speech cannot be maintained in a society where nobody ever says anything subversive or inflammatory. Academic freedom is only real if academic institutions exercise it. Freedom of the press cannot exist if newspapers censor themselves. In order to keep freedom of speech alive, the citizens must keep saying things that offend people, often deeply. Agitated though we might feel by some of the things people say, we have got to go on defending their right to say them. If we don't, our freedoms gradually shrink.

Germaine Greer in the Guardian

We must feel free to offend. Political correctness has gone on for too long. Everyone deserves a voice not matter what they say. One idea can change the world, we should all be able to express our ideas without censorship. Germaine Greer has always been very free with her ideas. Love her or hate her she is always full of ideas.

The Boys in the Back Room

What the dickens is everyone on today? We've already doubled average per diem comments.

No martinis tonight

Well, Fiona, I can only speak for myself here. I am on to my fourth maybe fifth glass of chardonnay. Sad but true.

Dorothy eat ya heart out!

Fiona: I'm tired, Kathy, but not emotional. By the way, it looks as though you've called the elements down on Perth tomorrow: strong winds, rain, thunderstorms, and hail. That'll larn you.

Sweet dreams my friend

Heh! I like your style Fiona. Sweet dreams my friend. And, don't let the bed bugs bite!

Substance abuse

Dickens obviously, Dr Reynolds; they're all on Dickens.   Hard Times, you see.

Emus are a happy lot

"You snakes! You brood of vipers! "

Thanks Billabura, that's the bit I was trying to remember. Now them's fighting words, the snakes must have been truly insulted.

BTW, I was thinking about you lot and the way you guys pinch each others' kids. Have you ever thought about getting something going with the (parasitic) cuckoo? It could be an arrangement made in heaven.

F Kendall, if birds are closer to God it may be because they don't think about  God; they do, however, enjoy the experience of God but couldn't be bothered trying to illustrate same.

It also helps if you have a particularly small brain. I have an emu friend and he is always happy - stupid twit can't even fly.

Birds ain't birds

Albatross, I don't think that would work. Cuckoos are very different. They never get to know their kids. And I don't think they'd ever try to lay their eggs in our nests. Pretty spartan nests, for one thing; and for another, never for a moment left unguarded.

Kookaburras share something in common with no other birds, but only with the higher primates: a family structure. Young birds stay with their mum and dad for a couple of years before they go off to start a family of their own. Boys and girls both take turns sitting on their parents' eggs, and when they hatch, feeding the baby ones.

Sometimes, so the ornithologists say, if one of the parent birds comes to grief, the other will mate with one of the younger members of the family. That they steal babies from other kookaburra families is well known. I'm only guessing, but I am inclined to suspect that they do this so as to have some family members unrelated to themselves, to mate with if they need to.

Time to re-think that first approach

Kathy Farrelly: "The people who were handing out the condoms were not being helpful and hospitable - they were being deliberately provocative."Go away" is rather a tame response as far as I am concerned. These Brazilian pilgrims are to be commended for their faith and control."

I feel comfortable writing the remarkably beautiful ladies of Brazil would be little different to beautiful ladies everywhere. Chances, I'm thinking, would rise dramatically with an invite to dinner, a film, or some such gesture. Standing aimlessly in the streets pandering latex, I'm sure, wouldn't be resulting in that special knee trembling experience.

Point conceded

Justin Obodie, no doubt a bird is closer to God than I am.

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild

Justin, for you:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous…

… You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?"

Matt. 23: 29 — 33

I wonder if there is anyone among the pilgrims who will say those things to Pell and his pervert priests, or their infallible Father which art in the Vatican.


"… a polite offer of a free condom …"

Let's try that at Lakemba Mosque, shall we?

Being polite,

I don't think they were offering them in St Mary's Cathedral, Eliot.

expecting city services in the bush

Kathy, knowing one of the lasses, I suspect that attempting a smack in the mouth just might have gotten your head torn off.

Jenny, more that you do not understand. I am not a city boy. Grew up driving in the mountains on roads that those of you who have not been outside Australia could not imagine. Lived in a valley out of Bellingen, over the river on an unsealed road. Heavy rain meant that we were flooded in.

I was the “official” get out and survey the damage, and check to see if it was possible to get out through the forest roads, in case there was an emergency at night, and notify the Mayor.

I was also the “go to for aid in getting out” person.

As we had reason often enough to tell the alternative lifestylers who came to live in the valley: “if you are not set up to survive for three weeks, without power, then you ought not be in the valley. If you want guaranteed road access ( if in fact there is such a thing) then shift to an area that provides it.”

That said, blocking existing roads to force people into toll roads and tunnels is not on. Not providing reliable transport is not on. And handing the city over for a private function is definitely not on.

The level at which city residents pay rates is so that such services can be provided and maintained.

Country folk choose a different lifestyle, and no rational person would expect the services to match those in the city. Well in the city centre, anyway.

As for the “kids right to have a week” at our expense – does not pass any reasonable assessment. From where I sit the rights of the residents are paramount.

I like a man with a sense of humour.

 Peter: "Kathy, knowing one of the lasses, I suspect that attempting a smack in the mouth just might have gotten your head torn off."

I'll most definitely be staying in Perth then, Peter. Thanks for the tip.

Macadamia nuts - not in their back yard

"They're now cutting down great big hunks off our beloved macadamia nut tree. I feel pretty ashamed of our state at the moment,''  said Lyn Cessna, who lives in a terrace right next to the park...

After clearing a rose bush and other plants, the World Youth Day workers reached an impasse about 9am when five residents refused to move.

"We are not for this ridiculous private party and we don't want this ramp," said Ms Cessna...."

Isn't it Aboriginal land?

Inclined or warped?

I wouldn't describe myself as biblically inclined, F Kendall. Au contraire. However, I did spend 12 years and one term at an Anglican school, so the King James version and the BCP were part of the daily round.

No regrets whatsoever, given their position as part of the Anglo heritage.

Jesus was the trouble maker


God was not the trouble maker, it was his was his radical and attention seeking son.

Maybe if Jesus behaved himself and didn't annoy the powers that be then things may have been very different.

After all he said some pretty nasty stuff about the guys in charge of the God business, something like they are a bunch of greedy vipers; but what really got up their goat was when Jesus said he was God's messenger. He was attacking their franchise and that was like Saddam trading his oil in Euros. When Jesus said that the game us up, he had written his own death sentence and he bloody well knew it.

If anyone was looking for a hiding then Jesus was.

On the other hand the punters sort of liked him because he used to turn on a pretty good picnic for the ordinary people, something he learned from the Romans. Bread and fishies to keep em happy.

But Jesus for all intents and purposes was a rebel, a troublemaker and really really annoyed the keepers of the faith, he entered the lions' den and got gobbled up.

And if he hadn't he would have been just one of many long forgotten prophets of his day.

Poor old Jesus, his heart was in the right place but if anybody at WYD were to behave like him then what would the powers that be do with him, and who would try to protect him?

Thank God we now have laws to protect us from people like Jesus.

incandescent with rage

The ongoing Pell and  WYD antics really hit rock bottom today.

After all that's gone before you would have thought they would have, if not finally grasping the concept of empathy if not sympathy, at least sought not to add insult to previously inflicted greivous injury with yet more brutal clumsiness.

Then along comes Bishop Fish-head and his remarks aimed at two grieving parents, concerning their cranky whingeing!?

To think I've thought at times that bloggers are the most insensitive creatures on God's earth, beyond even journalists, politicians, bean counters and lawyers.

C.Parsons, come home.

All is forgiven.

Ah, Fiona, an oblique reference

to the idea that he washes us clean of sins, I gather?  An interesting metaphor indeed.  I had no idea that you were so biblically inclined.

Union rep? Agitator, more likely.

Wasn't God the one who pushed that  dangerous idea that people are created equal?   Troublemaker. 

Fiona: Without which, where would our washing machines be, F Kendall?

What would we prefer?

"I think it is nice to see young people celebrating this way."

Me too, Jenny.

What would we prefer? Nice young Christian kids enjoying themselves peacefully or a drunken bunch of footy fanatics?

Is God a Union Rep - F Kendall????

F Kendall, I plan on having a "day" off work tomorrow. I shall return next week some time.

It seems this dumb old albatross missed the point. Catholics are simply being very generous with time and I suspect they must have lots of days off.

Good luck to em, and I'm definitely going to incorporate Catholicism into my beliefs regarding annual leave, sick leave, compassionate leave and any other leave we can invent.

God may be a union rep.

for those who defend the indefensible

This sums it up nicely!

'Dwelling crankily' on sex abuse case: bishop


Thanks Scott, you have made the point clearly. Where were you, Jenny, when APEC was disrupting our lives with idiots in 50 vehicle motorcades and choppers overhead 24 hours a day? Note that the said idiots were discussing climate change!

“And as Dylan points out, I am sure a lot of people around the world will be watching Australia ...”

Really? Footage of a crowd mesmerised by the chief cross-dresser could be anywhere that you could fit such a mob.

Campsie said it best when talking about rugby: “I”d play on the moon. Nobody cares where it is happening ...”

“Events like the Gay Mardi Gras take over the city and cause disruption but do not attract here the level of hostility that this does. Parades for returning sports heros, the arrival of that cruise ship that threw traffic into chaos, do not get a mention. Then of course there are those major sports events such as the footy and cricket finals, and of course the big pop concerts.”

You do not live in Sydney, do you? The Gay Mardi Gras affects a tiny section of the city — mainly the bottom of Oxford St, and for one evening. Sports “heros” disrupt a small area of the city and cop plenty for the disruption. The cruise ship chaos generated real fury at the absolute incompetence of the government”s traffic planning skills — or lack thereof! As for the rest, they have a limited effect for a few hours, are open, inclusive, and bring money into the city. There is no area of the city where residents suffer more than a few hours disruption.

No, this is not anti catholic, although an institution already on the nose will burn a further chunk of the little goodwill it still has.

Doth protest too much

Peter and Scott, well I think you both and a lot of others doth protest far too much about this event.

Disruption whinged about by the public over other events yes, no doubt. But it is the disruption people whinge about, whereas in this case the whingeing has taken on an anti religious overtone right from the start - at least in this forum.  See how some just do little more than ridicule faith to make their point. Others drag up the sex abuse issue, or issues surrounding the church's attitude to abortion and HIV/AIDS, to support their case. Valid issues against and for the church yes, but not against young people celebrating their faith. Not a reason to deny them their WYD. It is their event, after all.

And then if that does not convince the likes of me, up comes the cost to the taxpayer issue. Well, as I pointed out, all events cost the taxpayer money in some form or another. But the opposition here points only to that cost, and not to the financial benefit that certain businesses will enjoy. Businesses pay tax, you know. It cannot be said, Peter, that this event will not bring money to the city. 200 000 plus extra people have to eat.

I say it again. If this were not a religious event, I doubt very much you would find the tens of thousands of words written here opposing it.

No, you all protest too much. But never mind. Bleak City is fast taking over from Sydney and seeking to grab the big events for itself. Smart people down there. Look how Adelaide got its nose out of joint when they pinched that car race.

And if we ever get the big world soccer event out here and it is staged in Sydney, will a cry go up on WD over all the cost and disruption that will undoubtedly cause. Nah and what is the bet there will be no rave here about how the cost such an event would have for the taxpayer?  No saying spend in on other things.

I think it is nice to see young people celebrating this way. Sure makes a change from the images of those binge drinking kids fighting and vomiting in the street and abusing everyone who gets in their way. The could learn a thing or two from these young people.

Do I?

If you can find anything in my posts over the years that are anti-religious please let me know.

I can remember defending your faith at one point.

Feel chastened if you wish.


Then I will take your word for it, Scott, and feel suitbably chastened. The very thought of wading through the archives of Webdiary in search of any sins on your part would be a fruitless task if what you say is true.

So suggestion, accusation, allegation, imputation of any kind - hereby withdrawn.


Coming home very soon - hope the place is green and all my roos are doing well. We should try and catch up. Your turn to come over the range.

Beyond endurance

Jenny, you simply fail to understand. Sydney in recent years has suffered an appalling transport ‘system’. Road closures to the extent that to get into some areas one has to drive extra kilometres.

Roads and traffic lanes closed to attempt to force motorists into the toll tunnels — the cynical say so that the pollies can get their cut —

The underlying hostility was already palpable when APEC was inflicted upon us.

Then comes WYD which is the only event where residents have been denied parking in their residential areas, and a massive area is caught up in this nonsense.

That the disruption is paid for by residents and there is an idiot cardinal actively obstructing the reporting of sex crimes committed by priests of the church which is reaping the benefits of this largesse does nothing to improve anybodies tolerance of this nonsense.

We have Pell with his nonsensical observation on climate change and the totally outrageous comments of Bishop Anthony Fisher when he responded to a question about Cardinal George Pell's handling of a sexual abuse case by saying people are "dwelling crankily ... on old wounds".

This in regard to a question regarding two young sisters raped by a priest.

Perhaps good will come of this. Perhaps pressure can be brought to compel the charging of those not informing police of assaults not brought to their notice.

A few priests and high profile footballers jailed for a few years backed up by a few compensation claims by the injured parties against the organisations, would, if we could get realistic damages running into the hundreds of millions, bring about a rapid change in the culture of sexual assault coverup.

You're right Peter, I don't understand

"Jenny, you simply fail to understand. Sydney in recent years has suffered an appalling transport ‘system’. Road closures to the extent that to get into some areas one has to drive extra kilometres.

Roads and traffic lanes closed to attempt to force motorists into the toll tunnels — the cynical say so that the pollies can..."

Sounds like a big whinge over nothing to me. And we farmers are the ones usually accused of that.

Come out where we spend most of our time and try the roads there. When it rains we cannot get in, or out at all, and they become so bad when they dry out you take your life in your hands driving them. You can wait three years for the Shire boys to come and grade. Meanwhile you put up with it. The money for roads in the bush is negligible. The school kids' routes have to take priority we are told, and since all the families are now gone down our road, our road can wait - fair enough.  As for public transport. Almost non existant apart from a train 130kms away and one connecting bus to it, if the road will allow you to get to it.

There is a short cut to Coonamble, or there is a thirty km extra better way. Don't talk about extra kilmetres to us, and the fuel is over $2 a litre to boot.

A few days' inconvenience to city folks and you go crazy. Get over it I say and let the kids have their week of fun. 

The issue of the Catholic church and how it handles or fails to handle abuse cases is a separate one to the issue of inconvenience this event causes Sydneysiders. Supporting the kids' right to have their Week, does not mean support for the Catholic hierarchy over how it deals with abuse by priests in its midst.   I agree with the views expressed about that completely but not the way the holding of this event has taken on an anti faith tone, by some here - not all.   

OK, you disagree with that. I accept that.

Sydney belongs to the residents -- not the government

Kathy, I do not really care about the condoms, or whether they use them, or whether they fail.

The issue is that the city has been given over to a single denomination religious festival and we are picking up the tag.

Sydneysiders are wearing the inconvenience of this utterly pointless, utterly self indulgent exercise that serves no useful or practical purpose.

Prior to this I would have voted against the Iemma government; now I will work against them. After Rudd’s involvement I’ll not vote Labor again — but then I probably would not have, anyway.

With a bunch of delusionists running the streets, businesses inconvenienced and the wonderful prospect of the pope ‘apologising’ for the past criminal conduct of innumerable priests I guess we ought to be counting our blessings.

In the long list where this taxpayers' money could have been spent, this event does not even get on the list.

As for it being an ‘important’ event, aside from the kids’ families and a few catholics, who knows about it, and who cares?

People are entitled to their beliefs, but not to have the taxpayers picking up the tab.


Peter, it really does seem to me that the opposition to this event boils down to opposition to religious belief and nothing more by those who simply do not have such beliefs. So much for the tolerant society.

Events like the Gay Mardi Gras take over the city and cause disruption but do not attract here the level of hostility that this does. Parades for returning sports heros, the arrival of that cruise ship that threw traffic into chaos, do not get a mention. Then of course there are those major sports events such as the footy and cricket finals, and of course the big pop concerts.

All major events cause a certain level of disruption, some more than others, so why such vehement complaint about this particular one? Simply on the basis that it is bigger, and it costs the taxpayer some money?  Well, all major events cost the taxpayer money, be if for extra police for crowd and traffic control or whatever. Some events bring money to businesses, others less so. I would think 200 000 extra people in the city will spend quite a lot of money here in the course of a week, if money is what it has to be about.  Over 200 million is one estimate. 

I am not a Catholic, but I see no reason to condemn this event in the way that is being done of late. If these young people were here on a big international Scout Convention, or a Kylie Minogue concert, would the complaints be just as loud. I doubt it.

And as Dylan points out, I am sure a lot of people around the world will be watching Australia this week. That surely is a nice change and a good thing. Could well boost the tourist trade, and it certainly could do with it.

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