>SNAKES IN THE GRASS ARE SLITHERING AROUND WORKPLACES EVERYWHERE

>When it comes to the workplace, on the surface it would appear
that most workers are just happy to have a job and happy to be
getting a wage, even if it`s not as much as they would like. A lot
of people are therefore shocked, taken back, caught by surprise
and disillusioned when a colleague they thought could be trusted
ends up ratting on them in the pursuit of self promotion. A situa-
tion like this in the workplace often begins when a overly ambiti-
ous worker, who is probaly too pedantic and to the book for their
own good, allows jealousy and self importance to take over their
thinking to the point where bit by bit they covet a particular re-
sponsibility in the workplace which is not theirs or not theirs ex-
clusively in an attempt to get their colleague unfairly dismissed
or demoted. If you applied theology to all the schemes and silly
business that so many two-faces are contriving out there in the
workplace behind peoples backs to get promotions by backstab-
bing their colleagues, you would end up with a story about how
the Devil was cast out of the heavenly portals because of his en-
deavours to covet an authority and position which wasn`t given
to him. Whether you believe in the theory of creationism or not,
the symbolism represented by the biblical account of the fallen
angels represents the same rebellious attitude which many hu-
mans adopt in the workplace, almost like they get poccessed by
a demon or something and they lose all emotiveness and consid-
eration for their colleagues, and on occasions even their employ-
er. I wont go out on the Devil tangent any further than that OK.
But getting back to the crux of the issue in a practical sense, the
fact is that there are many `snakes in the grass` out there who
will try and take you down in the workplace with false accusa-
tions of poor performance against you as a means of trying to
make you appear inferior in the eyes of your employer. The
best way of dealing with a `snake` who is out to get you be-
cause they dont want to be your equal or your sub-ordinate
in the workplace is (a) never retaliate or attempt to settle a
score with them if you hear gossip about you from another
employee. Turn the other cheek and brush it off, if you get
angry and return fire you`re only going to give them more
ammunition to keep up their scheming and plotting ways.
(b) share your concerns confidentially with your boss one
on one before ever attempting to approach the offending
employee directly (c) never alter your working arrange-
ments or procedures to keep the peace so to speak with
any colleague, if you have been doing your job your own
individual way since day one and you always get the job
done successfully and efficiently then dont change how
you do things in the workplace unless you are directed
to do so by your employer. `Snakes in the grass` often
will try and make you alter your working procedures to
fit in with theirs to make you their sub-ordinate, even if
you have been working there longer and are more qual-
ified, and (d) consider carrying a micro-cassette on you
if you feel that the offending colleague is misrepresent-
ing your conversations to your boss, behind your back,
when you`re not around to defend yourself in person.
Be smart about it, if your gut feeling is telling you that
another employee has an ulterior agenda and they`re
attempting to belittle you, poke fun at you and make
you out to be mediocre even though you`re not, then
chances are that your ESP is spot on. When someone
comes along out of nowhere and makes out that eve-
rything you do is no good and that everything in the
workplace is broken and needs to be fixed, chances
are you are dealing with a SNAKE IN THE GRASS.

>COUNCILS TURNING SUBURBAN STREETS INTO A SIDESHOW

>Councils as we all know are a law unto themselves and they
can basically invent any by-law they want and force it upon
the residents without any proper consultation. In fact, they
have more powers than the police in so much as the author-
ity they have to enter properties at their own discretion to
enforce the by-laws which local law officers are empower-
ed with. Councils have also been given a lot more power &
responsibility by the state government in recent years to
carry out roadworks which normally in times past would
have been carried out by the Department of Main Roads,
as well as being given total free reign to stick yellow lines,
speed bumps, traffic islands and just about any other ob-
stacle you can think of in amongst our suburban streets.
What`s the point in turning the streets into tacky obsta-
cle courses when all it is really doing is shifting the dan-
ger of a particular location on a road to somewhere else.
I want to talk about two particular incidents and/or sit-
uations with two council related road issues, the first in
Logan City and the second in Brisbane City. Going back
a few weeks ago, a motorcylist was killed at the inter-
section of Priestdale Rd and Glengala Drive at Roche-
dale South, at the top end of Logan City. While it was
deemed to be human error which caused the accident
to occur (not sure if the driver of the car or the motor-
cyclist was to blame), the fact is that in this area alone
the streets are full of yellow lines (which is telling you
it`s illegal to park where they are marked), dangerous
and unneccesary traffic islands which often are shaped
very oddly without any reason, illegally parked vehicles
which block the vision of moving traffic (like that motor-
cyclist who got killed probaly found out the hard way)
and a countless number of speed bumps which are un-
neccesarily placed in so many suburban streets where
any nerd could work it out that it would be impossible
to be exceeding 50 km/hr judging by their proximity
to the main road which they run off. There shouldn`t
be any speed bumps on a suburban side street about
20 metres from where it meets the main thoroughfare
road. It`s just ridiculous overkill and it`s a distraction
for all road users when a speed bump or a traffic island
is placed too close to a main road. Rochedale South isn`t
the only place in Logan either, all the urban parts of the
city are now awash with man made obstacles that were
only put there to begin with to keep up with the Jones`
(meaning Jim Soorley`s Brisbane City Council). Lord
Mayor Jim had a real fetish for plonking speed bumps
and traffic islands right across hundreds of suburban
streets in Brisbane City, in hindsight all it has done is
make them eyesores just like so many of them are in
Logan. The Logan City councillor responsible for the
Rochedale South area, Lisa Bradley, wrote a letter in
the local paper this week about the co-operative un-
derstanding which the Logan City and Brisbane City
councils have as far as shared (boundary roads) are
concerned. The accident which killed the motorcyc-
list occured on Priestdale Road. Cr. Bradley let ev-
eryone know also that LCC is assessing the poten-
tial upgrade of a roundabout intersection further
up the road at the intersection of Priestdale Road
and Rochedale Road in the future. I hope Cr. Brad-
ley also takes the time, on behalf of all urban resi-
dents in Logan City, to make a submission to the
council to investigate just how effective and safe
so many of the traffic islands, speed bumps and
misplaced yellow lines are along hundreds if not
thousands of streets in the back blocks of Logan.
A lot of them should either be ripped up or paint-
ed over if you want my opinion. The second issue
i wanted to discuss is a bit more jovial and dispo-
sable. The intersection of Warrigal and Padstow
Road at Eight Mile Plains, which is under the ju-
risdiction of the Brisbane City Council, as well as
the divisional representation of Graham Quirk,
the deputy mayor (they call divisions wards in
Brisbane), has for the past few months under-
gone a major overhaul that has resulted in the
roundabout being removed in favour of traffic
lights. All well and good, based on the increas-
ing traffic flow in the area it was most probaly
a neccesary project to carry out. But it was al-
ways at risk of going pear shaped if (a) the new
traffic lights weren`t syncronised perfectly with
the traffic flow, and (b) if the roadworks become
procrastinated just so the entire budget for the
project was used up. I`m not sure about (b) to
be honest, maybe it was completed well ahead
of schedule, but as far as the new traffic lights
go, for the past few weeks they have been to-
tally cactus to the point where they are caus-
ing absolute traffic bedlam at all hours of the
day. Local businesses in the shopping centre
adjoining the intersection are suffering from
a major reduction in trade, tempers are fla-
ring, shopkeepers are frustrated, and may-
be thats why Bellas, who owns the complex,
has succeeded in getting a new bitumen car-
park, which i dont think was always part of
the script. Let`s just say Cr. Quirk wouldn`t
win a popularity contest in this part of Eight
Mile Plains at the moment. The most ridicu-
lous thing about this project, which ended 2
weeks ago, is that about 10 security person-
nel are still sitting at the intersection 24/7,
doing absolutely nothing besides reading a
newspaper or staring aimlessly into space.
What are they still there for? All the traffic
lights are working, the pedestrian lights are
working as well, and yet there is still a heap
of security officers mooching around like va-
grants looking like they are looking for some-
thing to do and looking damn stupid to boot.
I believe they are employed by the security
company Statewide Security. Quirk needs to
get on the phone to someone and tell all these
loafers to get lost and go home. What is likely
is that Statewide Security had a contract with
the Brisbane City Council and even though the
project finished early, the company still wants
its guarenteed commission. Too bad i say, the
security personnel at the intersection of War-
rigal and Padstow Road are turning Eight Mile
Plains into a sideshow. Get them out of there!

>QUAKE OF THE CENTURY BROUGHT CHRISTCHURCH TO THE GROUND

>The devastating earthquake which has crumpled the city of Christ-
church causing severe loss of life and untold physical & mental in-
jury to many thousands of its citizens reminds us of all the devas-
tation that many earthquakes brought upon the US state of Cali-
fornia during a volatile seismic cycle 15-25 years ago. It was no
laughing matter then and it`s still no laugher matter now, but it
was often joked about back then when the LA and San Francisco
super quakes were happening that people in Nevada would one
day have ocean front views, because California would break off
the US landmass & float on off into the Pacific Ocean when the
San Andreas Fault eventually gave way. Might sound a bit far
fetched and something that would only happen in an apocalyp-
tic armageddon movie, but just how inpossible is such a scena-
rio? Probaly not as impossible as we might imagine. The earth
beneath us is a bit like an overcrowded dishwasher, where you
have too many plates rubbing against each other and every so
often jamming against one another forcing one plate out from
where it should be causing it to break. The earths crust is like
a intertwined mass of competing geological masses which are
infinitely bumping and scraping one another as natures way
of keeping the earth glued together so it doesn`t lose its bed-
rock and cosmic balance. What the 6.3 earthquake in Christ-
church has proven, besides how shockingly mortal and soul
destroying earthquakes can be is that allowing development
and population influx to occur in known earthquake hot spots
is an unneccesary risk to the lives & wellbeing of the general
population and the negligent result of poor and shortsighted
modern day town planning at all levels of government in any
country. Idealistically there really shouldn`t be any redevel-
opment in Christchurch just for starters, any one who has a
house left standing there should be allowed to stay if they so
chose, and any company with a premises still intact should be
allowed to do likewise, but to me open space and parks would
be a much better legacy to this devastating earthquake than
re-building where beautiful old cathedrals or landmarks once
stood, and for that matter, modern day offices blocks and new
homes. If there has to be development in an earthquake zone,
then the big question from now on will be are all new buildings
going to be built to withstand the jolting and shaking which re-
sults from the worst possible earthquake, like a 9 on the rich-
ter scale one, not just in Christchurch, New Zealand, but eve-
rywhere around the world. I am not an engineer, so i will not
attempt to make out that i am an expert on building founda-
tions, but in my mind it seems odd that some buildings over
in Christchurch are basically unscathed, even in the heavily
damaged CBD where many buildings have been flattened.
Is it because the foundations of some buildings have more
give in them, and are as i would amateurishly define as be-
ing `floating` slabs which absorb a lot more of the seismic
shock when an earthquake takes place. It would be inter-
esting to know & compare the foundations of all the build-
ings in the Christchurch CBD and find out if some of the
more modern day buildings which got crumpled had the
right foundations to withstand anything but the worst of
the worst earthquake. Understandably, buildings such as
the iconic and famous cathedral, as well as many century
old or older landmarks in Christchurch, didn`t have the
foundations to have a snowballs chance in Death Valley
of surviving because they were constructed so long ago.
Crystal balls and hindsight would be a great thing some-
times if you could have them, the only thing that every-
one should be concerned with right now is the recovery
effort in Christchurch, rescusing as many people as pos-
sible quickly, giving financial and emotional support to
all our kiwi friends who have lost loved ones and who
are homeless, scared and out on the street, and com-
bined i`m sure both the New Zealand and Australian
rescue teams will be doing a wonderful job in the next
24 to 48 hours or so to firstly rescue the survivors who
are still trapped in the debri and also get Christchurch
up and running again, be it ever so slightly. The after-
math of this disaster, besides the typical humanitarian
good will which will inevitably flow towards the victims
who survived this natural tragedy, including many aus-
sies who still have a soft spot for kiwis, should be that
a postmortum is conducted on planning policy at every
level of government in New Zealand to make certain in
the future that a lot of thought goes into considering the
ramifications of building homes, commercial buildings &
any other infrastructure in areas that are considered to
be at greatest risk of experiencing a severe earthquake.
All governments in all countries, including Australia, are
duty bound now to take the threat of earthquakes seri-
ously and try to minimise development where required.

>QUEENSLAND PARTY DOESN`T MAKE THE GRADE IN THE DAVID FAGAN DAILY

>How strange it is that all the left wing journalists who are trying
to pull the wool over the eyes of Queenslanders by grooming the
majority to think Anna Bligh and her travelling ministerial circus
aren`t so bad afterall and deserve yet another term in office are
not even mentioning the predominantly centre left to centre right
Queensland Party. What do you have to do to get into the paper
these days, not even forming a legitimate and alternative main-
stream political party gets you in the `DAVID FAGAN DAILY`
anymore. Aidan McLindon, (the member for Beaudesert) who
is the founder and leader of the Queensland Party, has every
right to question the politicised motives and cunning agendas
of the News Ltd. journalists who continue to falsely embellish
the achievements of the incumbent Labor government while
completely ignoring his own party and intentionally and ma-
liciously contriving negative and tackless propoganda against
the Liberal National Party and it`s News Ltd. barreled lead-
er, John-Paul Langbroek. What`s the bet the Courier Mail &
Sunday Mail hasn`t even requested a press statement from
McLindon`s office to this point in time regarding the envisag-
ed approach the Queensland Party will take at a logistical and
policy level to rebuilding Queensland over the coming years in
the wake of the recent devastating floods, even though there is
every possibility that McLindon`s moderate conservative par-
ty will at least hold the balance of power after the next election.
How can Fagan`s left men completely ignore the presence of the
Queensland Party and attempt to snub it out of business by not
providing an appropriate amount of media exposure to the new
party when the oppurtunity presents itself? Seems the curse of
left land will ensure that Queensland is set up for another egali-
tarian term of empty promises and boy scout economics from
a re-elected Labor government if the sly dog journalists at the
Courier and Sunday Mail have any say in the matter. Womans
Weekly has Anna Bligh all airbrushed and looking totally flaw-
less on the front cover of this months mag, seems this publica-
tion has a clear cut agenda against conservative politics going
by this and the fact they stuck Julia Gillard`s airbrushed gob
on the front cover of the magazine a month out from the last
federal election. Australia would be a much better place with-
out left wing journalists and the politicians they`re protecting.

>ALICE SPRINGS OVERCOME BY AN ABORIGINAL CRIME WAVE

>When you think of Australia and Aborigines, you could be excused
for thinking about the abhorent legacy of the White Australia poli-
cy of the 60`s and 70`s and how black babies and children were
forcibly taken away from their own mothers to be thrown in sup-
posedly more hospitable white mans foster care by a bandwagon
of desensitised and emotionless kidnappers who were given such
authority to do so firstly by the Menzies government and the Lib-
eral governments which followed nearly up until when the Labor
Whitlam government was elected in 1972. If there was one thing
which will forever tarnish the legacy of Robert Menzies it will be
what all went on in most Aboriginal communities around Austra-
lia while he was the prime minister. One can barely comprehend
the scale of mental torture, grief and anger that many thousands
of Aboriginal mothers experienced when they had their own flesh
and blood literally ripped out of their arms by people who needed
a good bullet in the head. These Aboriginal women are the forgot-
ten victims of White Australia, expendible nobodies in the eyes of
the authorities who it was often claimed could not provide the ba-
sic neccesities of life for the wellbeing of their children. Why did a
heap of white bureaucrats wearing suit coats decide at some point
in time that they had the right to come into someone else`s house
and `kidnap` children so they could be `rared` by a better to do
white family, even if the latter could have provided a better edu-
cation and a brighter financial future for their Aboriginal adoptee.
What about the loss of emotional love and support that only a mo-
ther can provide, did these government Hitlers think of how their
stolen human cargo would cope with never having a true identity
and knowing their own parents while they were raised in a sterile
foster home all their young life. If they did realise then obviously
they had a heart of stone and no conscience. Thousands of Abori-
ginal children were beaten, starved, raped and left for dead while
the authorities who were instrumental in allowing them all to be
rounded up and thrown in foster care allowed the vast majority
of the abuse to go unpunished the whole time the White Austra-
lia policy was being actioned. The Aboriginal children who were
taken from their mothers during the Menzies years are known
of course as the `Stolen Generation`. One would have to think
that the modern day Liberals in Canberra would have learned
a few lessons from Menzies` darkest chapter and have a much
more moderate view on how to deal with and overcome all the
social problems which continue to plague Aboriginal communi-
ties across Australia. But it would appear that the Liberals by
and large still haven`t got their fingers on the pulse of indige-
nous affairs as well as most in the Labor camp, depending to
some degree as well on what level of government is in ques-
tion. Labor`s biggest mistake with Aboriginals has always
been that they continue to hand out money like it is going
out of fashion to them, without addressing the fundamen-
tal core problems which continue to cause so many prob-
lems in their communities. Unemployment, delinquent-
cy, alchoholism are all being fueled by Labor`s century
long policy of handing out dole money without any scru-
tiny, the Liberals` more authoritarian approach would
probaly see so many presently unemployed Aboriginals
working by stealth under a federal Liberal government
and potentially being exploited by a dictatored employ-
er. As it has been for the last half a century, the Labor
Party is far too soft and benevolent for its own good as
far as finding a balance between compassion & respon-
sibilty with indigenous Australians, and the Liberals (
including the Nationals) continue to take a too heavy
approach to indigenous policy which will only contin-
ue to promote the marginalisation of Aboriginals by
white australians. Labor and the Liberals are both
no better than each other when it comes to public
health issues in Aboriginal communities. The situ-
ation there is deplorable. Most of the disease and
sickness in question is mostly self inflicted, black
people just like white people, regardless of all the
social inequities which make a lot of Aboriginals
want to `hit the bottle` and eat the wrong foods
and not care about themselves, have to take re-
sponsibilty for their actions too. No political par-
ty can save you from your own stupidity & lack
of self respect for your own body. But both La-
bor and the Liberals (but especially the centra-
list Labor Party) have to take a lot of responsi-
bility for the state of the `decentralised` local-
ised health services which are supposed to be
servicing hundreds of isolated Aboriginal com-
munities in the Australian outback. The prob-
lem in a nutshell is that all the money that the
governments of the past 30 years have alloca-
ted to improved health services in Aboriginal
communities has always been burned up by
government appointed administrators, who
strangely enough, aren`t all that black most
of the time. Just for your information, Alice
Springs in the Northern Territory is in the
grip of a spiralling crime wave that threat-
ens to destroy the town and make it a no
go zone. Unracistly speaking, Aboriginals
are almost entirely the problem, and the
reason why they are robbing people and
making a public nuisance of themselves
is because of two reasons (a) boredom,
and (b) poverty. Boredom and idleness
is a lethal combination when mixed with
poverty, and the situation in Alice Springs
is a totally preventable situation if all the
Aboriginals in town can get a life, get a job
and have some purpose in life. No amount
of dole money or bureaucratic talkfests on
indigenous culture will save Alice Springs.

>POLICE UNION MIGHT TAKE THE MUNDINGBURRA SEMI-TRAILER FOR ANOTHER SPIN

>Forgive me for being mischievious, but i went looking for some
literature on the infamous police union semi-trailer incident in
the Mundingburra by-election in 1996, which was responsible
for putting a lameduck Rob Borbidge led National Party into
government to replace an already dead duck Labor one that
was led by the pragmatic Wayne Goss, who ended up being
grossly outnumbered in his own party room by a big bunch
of socialist left wing hacks. And the truth is i cannot find any-
thing on the internet about the police union`s famous and it
must be said successful foray into political campaigning like
went on in Mundingburra on the back of a semi-trailer. It`s
what you would call grassroots rebellion if an entrepreneur
or local political party branch organises it, but because the
police union took sides & become the partisan mouthpiece
in trying to take the Goss government down, so many peo-
ple to this very day besides politicians themselves, such as
journalists and `apolitical?` public servants hold a grudge
against the Queensland Police Union for taking the stand
it did against the excessive culling of police powers which
the Goss government was instrumental in bringing about
to satisfy the lust for power which the then Criminal Jus-
tice Commission (CJC), which is now known as the Crime
and Misconduct Commission, sought to aquire with sheer
brutal arrogance and contempt for real police and real po-
lice work. We know that Queensland needed a broom put
through it after what went down in the Joh Bjelke-Peter-
sen years, cronyism was terminal, most of the Nationals
were brought up in Joh`s pen and had become condition-
ed to thinking that a few self made statutory diversions
away from Westminster were all OK provided everyone
had a job, everyone had a future and Queensland was ba-
sically running smoothly. Apart from cronyism and Joh`s
well documented fascist overlord outbursts in his office if
he didn`t get his own way, Queensland was so much the
better with Bjelke-Petersen`s slightly autocratic but lev-
el headed leadership. The greatest legacy which Joh left
the state of Queensland, despite the Fitzgerald Inquiry,
Terry Lewis, Jack Herbert and all the other bad apples
who got exposed in the FI, is the mostly good police of-
ficers who to a great extent ended up being bricked by
the bureaucratic cops at the CMC. In those days, most
of the top cops, including the commissioners, answered
to the masonic forces which had run the police forces in
Australia since anyone could remember. Police in those
days were more clinical and less emotive, but unlike all
the sensationalised spin which the post-Fitzgerald me-
dia has whipped up on countless occasions, most police
officers even back in Terry Lewis`s days were not out
there taking bribes or bouncing brothels after hours in
their spare time, most coppers back then, just like most
of them nowadays, went home to a wife and family after
going to work and doing a days work in a completely eth-
ical manner at all times. The greatest tragedy is that the
majority of the coppers who had their offices trashed by
CMC officers back in the early 90`s who were on a popu-
list & politically motivated war path to take down as ma-
ny coppers (both good and bad) as they could is that just
about all the old school, old fashioned coppers have now
left the police force for good, and in their place we now
have a police force which is largely made up of coppers
who have probaly never even fired a gun on the job or
put their radar gun down long enough to deal with the
horrors of working in homocide week in and week out.
On that note, crime, and especially homocide, is an is-
sue which may well decide the voting intentions of so
many Queenslanders at the next state election. Anna
Bligh, despite the scandalous degradation of the CMC
as being nothing more than a Labor political tool, has
at the very least signalled that her government wants
to get tough on crime with mandatory sentencing. On-
ly time will tell if her recent remarks on legislating for
mandatory sentencing in our courts was fair dinkum
or just another load of Labor bunkum on law and or-
der. Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek has to
make a definitive statement on the policy which the
LNP intends to take on mandatory sentencing if he
wants people to vote for the LNP next year on the
basis of ridding Queensland of all the crime which
Labor`s `big softy poor Johnny go soft` approach
has allowed to fester and multiply ironically in the
same period when coppers themselves have been
under scrutiny for their actions like never before.
The Queensland Police Union might yet decide to
brush the cobwebs off the semi-trailer of `96 and
take it for another spin, this time with go JP on it.

>POST TRAUMATIC STRESS ACCORDING TO FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE

>Post traumatic stress is a killer. It is mentally and physically
debilitating, it makes people anti-social and causes two terri-
ble secondary conditions – anxiety and depression. For well
over ten years now, i have suffered immensely from depres-
sion at certain times, but successfully kept a lid on the anxie-
ty component fairly well. I could blame a lot of people at the
church i went to for nearly 25 years, Algester News, Logan
City Council & the print media for most of my post traumat-
ic stress related issues collectively over the past decade, and
i probaly would be right in saying that a hundred people who
have had an involvement with any one of those four have put
me in the mental position where i find myself today. I honest-
ly dont want to make this a self indulgent blab about my past
and the people who have sent me around the twist, the reason
why i opened this blog with the intro i did was because i want-
ed everyone to know that i genuinely feel for people who are
suffering from depression and anxiety conditions as a result
of post traumatic stress because i have been down that road
many times myself, and most of the time no one ever knew,
not even my own mother. There are so many misinformed
and ignorant people out there who will call you a psycho or
a retard if you admit that you suffer any form of mental ill-
ness, and i think anxiety and depression pass as being that,
even if the debilitating symptoms have the greatest effect
on a persons physiology and not their way of thinking. In
more recent times, there has at least been some attempt
made by a number of humanitarian organisations to high-
light the need for greater awareness and educating young-
er people to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong
with you if you get caught in a rut and find yourself suffe-
ring from post traumatic stress if something goes wrong
in your life or someone does something really bad by you
and you end up having a mental breakdown. Shit happens
as Tony Abbott would say. Depression and anxiety is now
the leading cause of workplace downtime after influenza &
annual leave, it is out there in epidemic proportions, plenty
of people who you`d least expect are suffering from anxiety
and depression are, it doesn`t discriminate between anyone,
whether you are as rich as the Sultan of Brunei or as poor as
a traffic cop in Chernobyl you are just as likely to be a victim
of these terribly under-diagnosed and often maligned condit-
ions, maligned mainly because people are either ignorant or
just plain callous and emotionless towards somebody who is
suffering from a condition which isn`t clearly visible to their
naked shallow eye. I say this to all the people out there who
have anxiety and depression, you are not alone, dont run off
to the nearest shrink straightaway when you are feeling men-
tally run down. Go to your GP to begin with, a shrink should
be your last resort. Most GP`s are quite happy to act as psy-
chologists to a degree, and very often just having somebody
there like your GP will suffice when you need to get things
off your chest and pour out your heart to someone. Unfor-
tunately, so many psychologists and psychiatrists will get
you on the first zombie drug they can find without taking
due care to make sure that the side effects of taking a par-
ticular drug dont end being a lot worse than the symptoms
they`re supposed to be treating. Luckily for me, i have been
able to control my depression with a number of herbal reme-
dies and by sticking to a good diet and leading an active life-
style, which brings me to my next point. For years i took a
herbal anti-depressant called St. Johns Wort, which is also
known as Hypericium, which is made from the `poisonous`
yellow flowers of the St. Johns Wort shrub. Although not a
prescription drug, St. Johns Wort is a mighty powerful con-
coction, in more recent times i have switched to using Hops
and Rhodiola in tablet form, with just as good results. A lot
of people will be dismissive of what i just said, and say that
the only good thing herbal remedies do is make your urine
turn yellow, but to me that is narrowminded ignorance. At
the same time, i am not making out that you can pop a few
pills a couple of times a day and everything will be hunky
dory, and you will not suffer from anxiety and depression.
Of course, you have to learn to help out your own state of
mind by trying not to dwell on negative happenings which
have gone on or are going on in your life, pretty simple ad-
vice which will make it a lot easier to manage your anxiety
and depression with diet and exercise. Diet – the equation
is pretty simple actually. Drink plenty of water, dont drink
too much alchohol, drink a generous amount when you do
but dont drink grog anymore than twice a week. Generous
meaning two or three drinks. Never consume anything con-
taining CAFFEINE, ever. If you are trying to get rid of anxi-
ety or depression, caffeine is the worst thing going, its even
worse than alchohol for it. Like alchohol which is drunk in ex-
cess, caffeine is the best thing going to produce the hormone
adrenalin, you couldn`t get a worser combination if you tried
when trying to combat anxiety and depression. Cola, as well
as all these high caffeine energy drinks on the market truly
are the worst thing going for people and they exacerbate a
lot of the depression & anxiety which goes undiagnosed out
there in the general community. Eat well, and that means
eat plenty of vegetables and fruit (i cant talk there seeing
that i dont eat fruit), but more than anything, eat exactly
what you enjoy eating, because remember, you are eating
for your mental wellbeing first and foremost here, just re-
frain from eating too much fat and garbage, because if you
are overweight you are so much more likely to suffer from
depression because of your physical condition just as much
as your mental disposition. I can assure you from first hand
experience that your state of mind controls your physiology
just as much as it controls your sub-conscience. Your body
and your mind are like one, never think you can have one
of them out of kilter and the other one will be OK. It does
not work like that. And last but not least, exercise regular-
ly, it`s the best thing to get the endorphins pumping and
it`s the best defence mechanism your brain has to stop
anxiety and depression getting worse than it already is.

>MT. BARNEY LOOKS LIKE GETTING A FEW INDUSTRIAL NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL

>Over the past year, i have done a bit of browbeating over the
issue of coal mining in Australia, for me it`s a no-brainer, the
science is there and credible enough to prove that coal is bad
for the enviroment because it creates a lot of carbon pollution,
no question about it. And for whatever crazy reason, our poli-
ticians, both left and right wingers, keep burying their heads
in the sand when it comes to instigating a couple of very sim-
ple measures which would at the very least greatly negate a
lot of the negative factors of generating electricity using coal
(1) to action research into capturing carbon emissions before
it can escape into the atmosphere, and (2) to give alternative
energy sources a chance of being commercially viable by pro-
viding the neccesary funding to make it a commercial reality,
instead of contriving band aid treatments which are political-
ly a safe zone such as dishing out millions of dollars for house-
holders to install solar panels on their roof, which most of the
time are cheap chinese crap anyway. I am not a nuclear fan,
but i`m pragmatic enough to concede that coal is the miner-
al of choice for deadbeat politicians who dont care less about
what the enviroment will be like in 30 years from now. The
ones who wont take the bull by the horns and get a uranium
power generation industry established in Australia because
they`ll get cut off at the knees by the big mining companies
if they`re a Lib or the unionists if they`re Labor. Any politi-
cian who is still actively canvassing mining of coal and explo-
ration to find it is a real ning-nong if you want my opinion. I
dont know what it takes to get it through the thick skulls of
politicians that we have uranium, we have the potential for
creating a viable commercial solar power industry in Austra-
lia, we can have wind farms to supplement the supply if for
whatever reason uranium and solar doesn`t produce suffi-
cient power, but no, all we get is shortsighted oppurtunism
to rip up another deposit of coal in an open cut mine, which
is an irrevocable blight on the landscape and not just the at-
mosphere. I wanted to mention what i read in the Beaudes-
ert Times newspaper this week, for all those who dont live
in the area, and make this a bit of a two in one story, just to
make them feel like i haven`t forgotten about Scenic Rim &
the Beaudesert region. The front page read in big black bold
`Coal miners move in`, and Barney View farmers Lesley and
George Clan are photographed beneath the headline looking a
bit glum after finding out that mining company Carabella Re-
sources has been granted permission by the Department of
Mines and Energy in Queensland to conduct seismic explora-
tions in Barney View and nearby Maroon for extensive coal
deposits which were always considered to be too inferior in
quality up until now but all of a sudden they`re being seen
to be good enough for use as thermal coal. The managing di-
rector of Carabella Resources, Mitch Jakeman, admitting-
ly didn`t sound too imperialistic with his comments in the
Beaudesert Times, his response to journalist Gary Corbett
indicated that it was still very early days and it certainly is
not guarenteed that coal mines will be springing up all over
the countryside all the way from Boonah to Rathdowney in
the future. But what he intimated would likely happen over
the next decade in the Fassifern Valley is not good news at
all. The fact remains that Barney View and Maroon are sit-
uated awefully close to one of the most spectacular regions
of rugged beauty and enviromental significance, how could
you even contemplate creating a coal industry in the Fassi-
fern Valley in the foothills of the Mt. Barney National Park,
a generation ago it would have been unthinkable, today the
unthinkable is thinkable because of all the scatterbrain and
oppurtunistic politicians we have elected at state and fede-
ral level. Apart from the coal issue in the Scenic Rim region,
the most troubling aspect facing Beaudesert and Boonah is
the increasing momentum towards industrialising the two
towns in general. The industrialised tangent was only sup-
posed to extend to creating the inland port of Bromelton,
just down the road from Beaudesert, going back a couple
of years, but one gets the feeling that Labor at state gov-
ernment level, and the Nats running the Scenic Rim Re-
gional Council, have got a lot cozier with each other late-
ly and very soon it will be exposed that Bromelton is all
a big scam to create an industrial Mecca which will even-
tually join Beaudesert, Boonah and Ipswich together. If
you like the rural lifestyle and you dont want coal trucks,
quarry trucks and a man made concrete jungle to look at
every time you look out from your verandah, then my ad-
vice would be to be very careful where you set up camp in
the Scenic Rim area from this time forth. Beaudesert is al-
ready gone, it will become an industrialised town with no
rural character within five years, and Boonah is heading
that way very quickly. Boonah is a rural and light indus-
trial township now, but an expanding Ipswich may well
destroy the towns rural identity just like Bromelton is
about to destroy the little bit that Beaudesert still has.
There`s every chance that some dirty black prehisto-
ric rock will speed up the process quite considerably.

>MR. BURR! MR. BURR! ……….YOU HAD BETTER GO LADY!

>As a 7 year old kid, i was anything but a bold and forthright public
commentator like i am nowadays, no boast intended. The year was
1982, and back then i was a sheepish, shy and somewhat introver-
ted young fella who could have have been the target of bullying at
school, but thankfully the school i was attending was a rather trad-
itional one with a small population of students and a warm hearted
spirit flowing between most of the students and the teachers. The
school was Mt. Petrie State School, on Brisbane`s eastside, which
is nestled between Mt. Gravatt and Chandler. Of course i was just
a kid, so i guess everything naturally seemed more innocent than
what it would have if i had an adult at the time, but even still i do
believe it was a `unique` and `special` school because of its tight-
knit extended family like atmosphere and more personalised feel.
I will always remember my best mates at Mt. Petrie State School,
they were Carl Hayes, Geoff Tate and Wayne Williams. The last i
heard, which was at least a decade ago, Carl was living in France,
Geoff`s whereabouts were unknown and Wayne was a truck dri-
ver and also helped his family out selling eggs with their egg bus-
iness, they own an egg farm at Burbank, an outer Brisbane sub-
urb, to this very day to my knowledge. We were all knee high to
a grass hopper but we really had a genuine bond at school, i had
three years from 1980 nearly to the end of 1982 to get to know
them, school to me in those days was fun and not boring, i wont
ever forget all the games of Red Rover we played in the monu-
mentally big paddock we had as a playground at Mt. Petrie, it
was huge. As it turned out, Wayne (my friend) and a student
a few years older by the name of Mark Mills were a bit more
on the rebellious side, and there were a few scuffles and slap
sessions between them and a couple of other kids who i nev-
er got to know. The headmaster of the school was a real unit,
a grumpy older gentleman prone to fits of verbal rage by the
name of Eric Burr. Mr. Burr was old school material, he nev-
er bawked at using the cane on wayward boys and he even
gave girls the ruler treatment if they mucked up. He was a
walking time bomb, but at the same time he garnished the
sympathy of most students and parents because everyone
knew that he was suffering from mental problems following
the death of his wife from cancer during the time or before
the time i went to the school. Mr. Burr was mad as can be,
but you still couldn`t help but like the guy for his more ani-
mated and playful side. I will always remember Mr. Burr
giving student Mark Mills an arm wrestle in the school li-
brary which went on for well over twenty minutes with a
gobsmacked gallery of mystified students looking on. Try
and find me a headmaster in any australian school nowa-
days who would compromise their professional image do-
ing such a thing. I still find this incident hilarious nearly
30 years on, i can still picture the wrinkled and wiry Mr.
Burr sweating and snarling as he refused to give in and
let the brutish and burly Mark Mills beat him in an arm
wrestle. Mark Mills might have been three times as big
as his headmaster, but as far as i know Mr. Burr ended
up beating him. All of my siblings, my two brothers and
my sister, all went to Mt. Petrie State School, but being
the youngest of the four, i can only ever remember my
second oldest brother being there with me, in 1982 he
was in Grade 6 and i was in Grade 3. On this one fate-
ful day in around October 1982, my brother thought
he would be the good samaritan and break up a fight
between the legendary Mark Mills and the younger
Wayne Williams, who could never stand each other.
There were other students involved in this typically
childish dummy spit, but i never found out who they
were. All i know is that my 10 or 11 year old brother
ended up being framed by the schoolyard teacher as
the culprit who started the schoolyard pillowfight. It
all went apeshit from there. From what i can always
recall, Wayno and Marko passed the buck and made
out my brother did start the fruccus, the bitch teach-
er who was there and saw it happen knew who really
started it, but for whatever reason she convinced Mr.
Burr that Badrick was to blame and he was a menace.
My brother was given a short term expulsion, i think
a couple of weeks, but my mother being the benevo-
lent person she is thought she would go and see Mr.
Burr herself and clarify to him that my brother was
not the little chit he had been made out to be by the
tartshell who had dobbed him in. This mercy dash to
the school to save my big bro`s educational butt end-
ed up going very pear shaped, because not only was
the expulsion against my brother upheld by the ea-
gle eyed Mr. Burr, but all three of us ended up be-
ing booted out of the school after a passionate ex-
change between my mum & Mr. Burr took place
in the front yard of the school. I dont know what
was all said of course, because this took place 28
years ago and i wasn`t in the habit back then of
using recorded devices in my pocket, but i know
the three fateful sentences which sealed out fate
were this – Mr. Burr said – you harassed one of
my teachers! My mum innocently responded by
saying this – But Mr. Burr! Mr. Burr! Which Mr.
Burr retorted by snarling and yelling at my gob-
smacked mother with arms waving – You Had
Better Go……Lady! All three of us were speech-
less for the whole trip home, and this unexpect-
ed ex-communication from our beloved Mt. Pe-
trie school saw me and my brother going to the
much bigger and less personal Rochedale South
State School in Logan City to see out our prima-
ry school days. Rochedale South wasn`t all bad,
but there always has and always will be a special
place in my heart for Mt. Petrie State School, the
best school i ever attended. At least no one there
chucked rotten tomatoes at me at lunch time.

>ROGUE DOCTORS CASH IN ON THE PRIVATE HEALTH BONANZA

>For once lately, i took the time to see how much MBF was directly
debiting out of my bank account, it had been a long time and i had
got in the comfort zone of having private health insurance and not
caring too much how much it was costing me. I would admit that
it was probaly a case of wanting to remain ignorant, all i do know
is that at the end of every financial year for many years now i`ve
recieved a letter from MBF informing me of yet another premium
price hike for the coming year, & i only got hospital cover. I have
to wonder just how much its costing people to have private health
insurance with extras such as dental cover, physiotherapy & chi-
ropractic care. The most insulting thing which i find about private
health cover is that it often wont be enough to pay for the `gaps`
between what the government recommends that doctors in pri-
vate hospitals charge for their services and what a lot of rogue
doctors actually do charge. On top of that, i would have to pay
a $500 excess to be admitted to a private hospital regardless
of the duration of my stay there, on top of the $1050 a year i
am now paying for the luxury of having private health cover
and peace of mind. I am just a single man with hospital cover
only, it only gets me a bed in a private hospital and not much
else. Insurance to me has to be black or white, there cant be
any shade of grey as far as what you get back for your mon-
ey if you pay a certain premium to recieve the level of cover
proportional to the premium you are paying. For the life of
me i cannot understand why the private health funds (inclu-
ding MBF), are allowing a legion of greedy doctors to manip-
ulate the system to rip vulnerable people off by charging far
in excess of what the government recommends they should
be. Paying an excess is a big enough croc of croc dung to be-
gin with, and that in itself is something that MBF, Medibank
Private and the other health funds should be trying to stamp
out. $500 is not going to break anyone`s bank account, but it
is still a bit of a deterrent for people to join a health fund from
scratch finding out that they`ll lose a weeks wage if they ever
check in to a private hospital, even for just one night. But cer-
tainly the biggest turnoff for private health insurance is all the
`gap` fees which you wont know if you`ll cop until you have to
go to hospital, because a percentage of specialists are ethical &
aren`t charging above the government recommended fee limit
and a percentage of unethical ones are doing just that. You may
just need a certain doctor because of their expertise in a partic-
ular medical field, but presently it`s all pot luck if you get a doc-
tor who isn`t a rip-off merchant and you dont have to fork out
thousands of dollars out of your pocket even though you have
been paying for health cover in good faith well in advance of
being admitted to a private hospital. I would have to admit,
for me personally it`s almost become too expensive to have
MBF cover, 86 dollars a month might not sound like a lot but
i`m very working class at the moment and i`m doing it tough
like a lot of australians are right now. If it weren`t for the po-
tential `gap` costs if i ever land myself in hospital, i wouldn`t
think twice about $86 a month for health insurance, but it`s a
bit rich to always have that hanging over your head thanks to
a minority of greasy doctors who rip US off to pay for their lux-
ury cars and aristocratic lifestyle. I`m not saying specialist doc-
tors dont deserve damn good pay, most if not all go to uni for 10
years to get where they are & yes they deserve to be on a good
wicket with a few trimmings chucked in because they earnt it.
What they dont earn is gluttony at the expense of people who
cant afford to pay the `gaps` which shouldn`t even exist if the
health funds put a clamp on them once and for all. If you pay
for health insurance, you should get it, without any hidden ex-
penses at a later date. It`s time that the health funds started
putting the rogue doctors out of business by blacklisting them
if they keep fleecing people for every last cent they can get.