Thursday, March 30, 2006

Its Not Right

Its Not Right.

Late summer breezes sift gently on this dozy afternoon. I am not me, but feel just above myself, a bit apart. The chest is tight. A small child says.
     “It’s not right.”
The chest is always painful. It feels like a brown stone has lodged down low, deep left. So many bouts of Pneumonia; my Achilles heel when I was young.

The child in early morning sunlight looks frankly at her world,
     “It’s not right.”

The breath indrawn hurts, the out breath gives relief. Precious oxygen from the Sun’s processes gives life to the world around me. The child is there with her crazy hair and sleep encrusted eyes,
     “It’s not right.”

The games the child learned to play, to survive; to be acceptable; all necessary… enable her to understand the simple but complex nature of her own inner child who never really learned to play that tactful game.

     “It’s not right.” Uncompromising but honest to the core and pure and paying the price of not bending with the wind as we must between birth and dust in order that we all can bear to live together.

The child looks at me straight – from a past that still spins the earth. She is a dear child, so hard the road she trod, in baby boomer days till she learned to compromise, change what she could and hopefully thrown the rest to the wind, accepting her limitations.

I see myself so clearly; the eye shine; the small white face and scruffy white hair, standing wet footed in the early morning, rising as the Sun and just as light…no regrets at all.
     “It’s not right.” Mr. Andrew Peacock said and then went right back to the game himself.
Therese Mackay Feb 2004  (Mr Peacock was an Australian Politician)

Song of Life

Song of Life.

Nothing created is ever lost in the universe. Silken voices flung out like fine threads from living throats diffuse around the world becoming part of the whole noise; the sound; the song of life.

Likewise with our thoughts. We fling them out heedlessly across the miles. Thoughts of love and hate; of creation and destruction. Nothing created is ever lost, for beauty created enriches not just the creator of beauty, but those who perceive the spiritual nature of beauty, even if only a tinge of it is experienced, are enriched more deeply than they realise.

Love like the song is never lost. It circles this great blue planet and lights the darkness.

I have read that all that darkness is really, is the absence of light.  

The thought I send out here, for healing or compassion may never reach the one I send it to because they may not be ready, or it may not be the right time or person that I am sending my love to, but that love, its essence and power is never lost. It becomes part of the aura of Earth.

I should therefore guard my thoughts, but being human there is no doubt that at times I will send out negative thoughts, and so do we all as there are few of us saints.

Its recognizing this, recognizing and accepting my own humanity, admitting my wrongs and trying to balance my thoughts, feelings and words with as much true cheerfulness and love as possible that is the real wisdom of how to live on Earth.

My humungous pots of Stew are legendary

My humungous pots of Irish Stew are legendary
Don will suffer many of these through winter

I’m making Stew tonight.
A Stew for good appetite.
The pot is full
And its no bull
Its heavy and not light.

I’m making Stew for Tea.
But there’s just Don and me.
Although we eat our fill,
Till we feel ill,
The pot serves twenty-three.

I’m making Stew like Mum’s.
My Stove with pleasure hums.
Although there’s just us two
Don’t know what to do.
I need some very empty tums.

I’m making my Stew from love,
Ingredients from above.
Vegetables from the field,
Goodness from Earth’s yield.
I need more hands on spoons to shove.

In Sydney, NZ, Brisbane and Tewantin
My stewpot  it is a’wantin
The presence of the crew
Who’d love to eat my stew…
Without the threat of Vomitim’.

Then there’s the Adelaide connection
Who’s suburban delection
Might not like the Stew I make
For anything I might bake
Might upset their sensitive digestion.

So in your bitter winter home,
If you’re sitting home alone,
There is a pot of lovely Irish stew,
And plenty here, there is for you
In our Port Macquarie Home.

Middle child…June 16/6/02

The Book

The Book.
Before me pages turn,
and the years unknown whirl down
the space of time.
And what is there in the crystal ball?
The crystal motes of light
around my head swirl amidst the haze
as the book’s cover slowly creaks open.

All manner of saints and sinners;
of angels and demons lie compressed
in the pages yet to be released.

The children yet to be born...are born.
The weight of love is like a gossamer shroud
binding and being bound; tighter or looser...
criss crossed.

The Mother, still young and laughing
gets to die...and dies frail and ailing.
I go on down paths blindly turning
the corners of choice and forces outside.
Like a blind, blundering, behemoth I lurch,
lumbering towards the light.
And the Sun only dimly registers in my eyes.

And the Cat sings Kathmandu...
as I spin back down to myself at eighteen.
Making the book’s binding,
with the gloss of young love;
Sewing it with diamonds, rubies and garnets;
clothing it with cloaks of roses and blue grey dawns-
I bind the pages with young smooth white hands...

what is to be for a girl like me;
with fire in her hair; her eyes;
her smile and heart?

What forces do I call upon now
to quell the passion of the dream
and so become the server; pliant;
over-gentle; giving; giving; taken-away?

This book of mine is becoming a little too overbound
as the years progress...
it needs the faery dust of silliness,
the sparkle of nonsense
and the wondrous eyes of childhood
to lighten up its heaviness.

Middle Child  2001

The sad passing of Common Sense

The sad passing of Common Sense
If you know who wrote this please let me know.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense,                who has been with us for many years.
No one knows for sure, how old he was,
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as;
knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies, (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked a teacher for doing the job they failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, Sun Lotion or a sticky plaster to a student, but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home, and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents Truth and Trust; his wife Discretion; his daughter Responsibility and his son, Reason.

He is survived by three stepbrothers; I know my rights; someone else is to blame, and I’m a victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone!
If you still remember him, pass this on, if not, join the majority and do nothing.
Unknown  author

Monday, March 27, 2006

Hot Hotter and Hottest - for Edy Picture below

Hot, Hotter and Hottest.

I shall write my five hundred or so words on Menopause. I will not go on  about empowerment,  nor wisdom or coming into one’s own or any of that  because for me this last summer of menopause has been one of daily misery.

I am like the old cubby house that I built in those days when I was Queen of the house. It is like me. It still leans against the paling fence, its concrete floor inscribed with the names of children and myself all now fifteen years older. Fanciful tulle curtains draped by childish hands to cover the windows are now draped by the weather’s whims and wishes...a bit like me trying to get my lipstick onto lips that have almost disappeared. Hm!

I feel as rejected and unused as the old cubby house. Quietly falling apart in the oppressive humidity; becoming part of the quivering, crawling moistness; sort of rotting away. I do feel like the old cubby house...”Yes its still there...remember all the fun we had in it!”

Is this how I really feel? Will it pass when the furnace dies down again inside me, and my flood of weeping eases? Do I need more Meno Eze...Remifemin? How in hell am I supposed to know?

Why can’t I stop crying? I see my own mother’s eyes looking back at me from the mirror...did she feel like this and I didn’t realise? Didn’t notice at all? Was I too busy to really see my own mother? Did she also grieve periodically, having to be the healer, the holder the lynchpin...till emotionally empty she cried the shit out of I do?

Is this really me in the bathroom mirror, hiding out with the door shut as I cry...writing these thoughts down...not a wardrobe drinker but a water closet writer...still can crack a joke huh?

Eyes swollen; piggy= like...looking like a crazy woman...a blowsy woman in my mirror. Can this possibly be me says a voice inside from somewhere far off? Trying to stop and regain control. There are visitors in the house and I must appear normal because if I don’t then they really will start to think I have lost it. I am really aware of maintaining control...for this very reason. The grip on appearing as I should is probably a good thing although it does not feel like it.

Trying to stop the flood, the flow but unable the cease the awful exhalation of everything inside that is coming out.

I drip...brow, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth, neck, chest...and when does the next three monthly or six monthly flood suddenly pour out of me...unannounced? Hopefully I will be at home.

I am burning up from a constant furnace in my chest, where I hold all my emotions...and almost hourly it seems to flare up into my head leaving me exhausted. Sapping my energy, deconstructing confidence which I took for granted but which was won after years of my beating at invisible walls.

Oh God! How many more Summers will be like this? Power surges...what a lot of crap. How floaty and Yankee Oprah Winfrey style speak...How clever! How enlightened! How much of a con job is that? Yet another one to face down...denying my reality? If its so great for everyone else then the old guilt trip...”well then, whats wrong with me?”  has to be addressed in this fast becoming evangelical- style, politically- correct way of growing older.

I am so bloody hot all the time. My husband searching my eyes in concern and fear (of the unknown!!) when I release the pressure valve I must release in a torrent of words, tears and sweat.

My daughters both in their twenties, might look away and be wickedly amused if I fumble a bit too long with my bags, or get a bit flustered, but these days its not with embarrassment ( I assume). I feel their compassion and kindness and that is the greatest gift I can have. That they see me as a person in my own right, who is also their mother, and its no big deal if I am not the same every single time they see me. As a reward for their kindness I assure them that when its their turn, it’ll all be taken care of naturally of course...I hope it is but its laughable to think I can reassure them when I am in the middle of it myself.

But conversely there is a part of me that sits somewhere in a high place inside me, inside all the dripping, sweating, hot, blowsy, flustered, clumsy outer layers of me...sits somewhere closer to God...a part of me which sits inviolate, allowing that the raw and rough Celtic...”anything might and probably will happen” berserker in me is growing, being healed and honed by all of this human experience that the rest of me wonders if anyone ever needs. If only to have empathy for others, for what our Mothers endured so stoically...those that did not become institutionalised.

For too often my life feels as if I have stepped into the current of a raging river and I am no more than just dead wood in a summer flood. Sometimes I feel like I have no feelings, lacking excitement, interest, hopefulness...behaving methodically...(its a way to get what has to be done , done for those of us with no choice), when out of the blue I discovered that the Scottish Annals and Irish Annals both showed identical datelines for the birth, death and battles of a king called there is nothing wrong with me...history excites me; learning new truths excites me; realising and understanding new concepts; seeing our girls as people who can understand that their mother is excited by these things...and realising that they also feel the same way about these  sorts of things...Knowing that what really excites me is inside...inside that part of me that sits apart and never changes except to grow. But I knew all this years ago, being Menopausal didn’t allow me this insight.

SO...if and when I finally emerge from the world’s worst menopause...(when have I ever done or felt anything moderately?}...let me not ever forget what it felt like, nor put on rose coloured glasses...and imagine it as the best time of my life. I’d probably fog the bloody rose coloured glasses up these days anyway. It is not the best time of my life. It is one of the very worst times of my life and I see nothing at all positive about the reality of menopause as far as I am concerned. I used to feel great, superb, supremely healthy and now I am just hot, hotter or hottest, depending on the stress levels, the outside temperature and my hormonal nightmare.

Perhaps the lesson is...”This too shall pass”, and if I resist the con jobs of the mega industrial / pharmaceutical money making conglomerates who are in full forward throttle, assuring us that there is a gene for every known ailment, and emotional condition, and if we just keep giving generously to all their cutsey wutsey fund-raising events, “a cure fer what ails ya” is just around the corner, a con job which is dangled daily before my eyes as people I know laud the benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy, and wonderingly look at me hoping that soon too I will hop on the Hormone cash register, and “feel the immediate benefits” like them. Its the long term benefits I am after...and I wonder why my sister with breast cancer was warned never ever to use HRT...if there is no danger! And why are GP’s being asked to advise all women beginning HRT to have a Mammogram before they start? And why does the largest study on HRT for menopausal women show a massive rise in breast cancers in women who have used high as 50% for those who have used HRT for a few years and over 26% for short term users? This is on top of already high rates of breast cancer events in modern women, young and old. So...for all the anger and negativities and all of that...perhaps it is endurance, patience and acceptance that are the life lessons for me right now.

I was very surprised and pleased when I mentioned this to one of my daughters (in their twenties) that she said, “Mum, YOU don’t need to learn any more about endurance.” It made my day to know that she understood at a deep selfless level my reality...but my life ;lessons will be only over when I have drawn my last breath. In between that are hopefully many years of reflection and contemplation till finally I draw one last earthly breath and exhale into ...What? Perhaps my time for objective self observation. Now that will take some patience, endurance and acceptance.

There is plenty of information available on the dangers of HRT. (Sherill Sellman’s “Hormone Heresy -  What Women Must Know About Their Bodies” is essential reading for all women. Available Nexus PO BOX 30 Mapleton QLD. 2560 for $35 Ph 07 54429280

Therese Mackay 2001 & 2002

This and the article attached Hot Hotter and Hottest is mainly for Edy...  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Far Mothers

The Far Mothers.
When I listen ... and hear
the Celtic harp play my ancestral music,
my heart resonates, my mind soars
and my feet tap.

I am myself ... I am now
or I am my far mothers and sisters
back through time.

I am now in my Kombi Van,
on a street waiting for my daughter,
my future.
Lights flash and pulse from shop fronts.
It seems ordinary to my jaded 20th century mind ...
but the spirit is still there within us -
the strength, the joy, the far seeing
and the love - oh! the love.

Across red and green Australia’s land,
my true homeland,
away to the softness of my far and once homeland,
to the hearts of my mothers and sisters I am drawn...
in song ;in dance and in soul.

I know. I know. I know what the sounds are.

They are myself remembering
the wholeness of my world -
here, now, in the lateness of this century.
Here I am!
Sitting, waiting - a mother’s lot.
Hoping that the night and the bright stars
have watched over my child this time.
Hoping her feet and heart have found
the joy she needs to grow.

And here she comes now, walking across the centuries;
across the misty hills of greeness, she dances;
across the red deserts and green gum forests,
she whirls in spirals...
here she comes across the asphalt and trampled grass ...
to me.
Her long hair gently lifting;
her large eyes luminous, twinkling,
alive with secrets.

The music!
My heart feels as if it could burst, gently.
My head feels tall and my feet are flying away,
bare and hardened across the centuries
to where my far mothers and sisters pause.

Middle child…some time ago



I don’t often see the moon,
Through the clouds at night.

I don’t often see the morning frost,
On the wild mountains.

I don’t often see the rainbow fade,
Behind a summer rain.

And Ah!
     The Sea Eagle -
     I don’t often see the Sea Eagle,
     Bringing home her future.

But it doesn’t matter.
     I know they are there for me.
     When I am able to see them.

Middle child

Beyond my Window

Beyond my Window.
Past the potted flowers on my window sill,
past the Herring Bone in my window box,
beyond the cat food swimming in its dish,
way beyond the trees dripping the afternoon shower,
through the rainbow, arced across the earth sky
past the Moon, the planets, our Sun,
Into the whirling spirals of galaxies...
I am.

And I am washing dishes at the kitchen sink,
am missing my eldest daughter so far away,
am hoping my youngest will come through,
am puzzling over a dream I had last night,
am feeling our blind old dog at my feet,
am so fractionalised in the world I am.

Inside the soap bubbles, a world of colours and possibilities,
inside my daughters hugs a world of love,
like clean evening showers.
Inside the dream...?
Striving! Wisdom! Change!
Inside the old dog, peace!

So where ‘I’ am, no matter -
possibilities are everywhere and endless.

Middle child… some time back

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Green Bomb

The story below goes with the six pixtures posted below that. I tried to post it with the pictures in place in the story but it wouldn't work. You should have no real trouble figuring it out. My apologies and thanks to Tiddlick the frog. Aussies will know what I mean.

The Green Bomb

The Green Bomb.

It happened the day after I had accidentally driven a garden fork into a council water pipe near my house. It had been a long drought. The sight of gallons of water bubbling away into the nearby drain was not good...not good at all. Worse still if the Council found out. I remember this because of what happened, you know “where were you when President Kennedy was shot??” I don’t have a clue on that one actually. Come to think of it how many of us Australians know where we were the day Prime Minister Holt drowned??HM! But I digress.

They called it “The Green Bomb”. It changed Australia in the blink of an eye. “Stone the crows and starve the lizards...” from a thousand farmhouses, and some phrases not so polite. Well actually there were many more “” ‘s than anything else. “What the bloody hell was that?” as people were knocked out of bed and off footpaths from the sonic “BOOOOOM” which hit the country... “must be dreamin’,“ said the Prime Minister  as he watched those unfortunate enough to be taking a high level Sydney Harbour Bridge walk seem to catapult themselves all at one from the heights...a micro second before he too was slammed none too gracefully onto the lap of the Governor General in his nearby Kirribilli Garden.

The rest is history. For sure as eggs the slimy green bomb spread across Australia faster than gossip in the all men’s bar at the local pub; faster than maggots in a dead sheep’s guts on a February afternoon. It spread further than “ Super- spread Margarine...good on ya Mom! You aughta be congratulated!”

It spread exponentially like a speeded up seismic wave and only weakened when it hit the sea shore. Australia being an island...well we got the lot. Tassie missed out yet again. New Zealand just wasn’t even in the race at all as usual.

Within a week the rivers ran full and fresh. The Inland sea that wasn’t...well it was and it had, “Tourist potential” ...”What a gold mine” said the Chamber of Commerce from Broken Hill...”unless we’re dreamin’”

It only took two weeks for bright green grass to cover everything ...dying off over night and re growing the next day. Within a month rich dark brown dirt covered the land  and sprouted grass, trees and plants not seen for millions of years. The country smelled of earth and damp and of green. There was an explosion of flowers and the sounds of life in every corner of the land.

Somewhere up near my place in the bush, a farmer found a massive hole blown out of the side of a mountain on his land. The seismologists traced the epicentre of the blast to under this mountain and were amazed when finally they stumbled onto the cause of the green bomb. At first they thought they were dreamin’...but as they advanced deeper into the cavern they found the massive skeleton all blown apart, of the frog. The bones ran miles long. Some of them have still not been mapped and the  end to them has not been found; if this gives you an idea of the size....the frog of legend it seemed was real and they weren’t dreamin’ at all.

Local legend had it that under Australia lived a insatiably greedy green tree frog which had from time unimaginable been gorging every bit of water it could get into its great gaping mouth. Well it appears that this frog had grown over the millions of years to indescribable proportions but had reached the final limit of its expansion. His skin had stretched as far as it was possible for his skin to final noisy gurgling gulp of water and “kowabunga!” green shit and slime everywhere. No one was quite sure where it got that last gulp of hadn’t rained for donkey’s years.

But explode it did and the propelled mass of  Frog innards and water rocketed up and out through every crevice and cranny. It shot out of every cave and cavern and it backed up the toilets but good...those that were still connected that is. Multi millennia of nutrients and water all released in one ghastly revolting split second.

Many lives were lost and much major disruption to train timetables and upcoming State elections..but people forget quickly ...well those who didn’t lose someone close anyway...

There were bumper harvests which almost processed themselves, putting fertiliser companies out of action within the first year. The high rise towers of commerce became unviable and dangerous due to the sheer weight of dirt and grass which covered them in a night or two...they tried to mow them which was  great entertainment and I am sure that there’s a dollar in that for someone, but it was a dismal failure and they began to collapse one by one...preceded by plaintive cries from a thousand boardroom and bank chambers...”what will we do now for a dollar without farmers debt...or maybe we’re just dreamin’ hey?”

Low lying housing survived and yes there was a dollar to be made for the enterprising in mowing houses...and people began to ‘individualise the style of mowing to reflect their became a status symbol. But there was an added plus in that the houses were extra cool in summer and no one needed air conditioning any more in that balanced out the mowing costs well...also few people lived more than a ten minute walk from a fresh clean creek or wide flowing swimming pools became more a nuisance value, as the grass tended to grow on their surfaces overnight, because of the stillness of the water like a type of hydroponic grass.Most filled in their pools and planted shade trees because they had so much more time to sit under them.

Along all the creeks as evening drew in there was the noisy sound of millions of green tree frogs making conversation... It was like a dream to see so many frogs after they had become such a threatened species....

but... frog lived longer than the rest. He croaked deeper and grew bigger. Slowly, slowly, slowly he grew to the size of a dinner plate...then to the size of a toilet seat... then as the decades passed he grew far too big to live in a tree....he plopped wetly down onto the rocks and sucked and slopped his ungainly way into a dark hole in the rocks...a hole that became a cave...a cave that became a cavern and as the years passed became a bloody great big hole in the ground...unseen by all...but we heard him ocasionally..rumbling about as he gulped down his litres after the rain fell.

The outcome of this, is oof concern only for whoever or whatever is living here in ten million years time...and due to the time frame it can be kind of comforting to know that our own special Freddo is there underneath our feet...all ours deep beneath the rocks, growing and growing...our own little national pet, a sort of secret pride grew in us all about our special Frog.

And a darn good thing too because it didn’t take the Yanks too long to decide that he belonged to them and they spent billions on promoting Freddo as the way to “feed the world” and what sort of an arsehole country were we anyway to stop them in their altruism? The hype that went on was pathetic...we didn’t know where Freddo was, any way but after seeing the pitiable clutch of ageing hoochie mummas and daggy bum cadaverous has-beens who were drafted to join the world in the “Freddo feeds the world” singalong we would not have handed over the frog to save any world. We all saw the massed choir which looked like the walking dead but with faces as tight as old Freddo number one must have been before he split under the was just about the last international TV show we watched before we were cut off from the beneficence of Papa US and Mumma UK and the endless pockets of the Japanese, Chinese and Saudis...

It was like a helicopter feeding frenzy over Australia for a year or two. The Yanks wanted the feed the world so they said, the Chinese wanted his eyes to cure the fertility problems they said were endemic in China..oh sure! The Poms were there blackmailing us with how much we owed them...(as if) ...and the French were fingering the old red button, reminding us of what happened to the Rainbow Warrior, and anyway they were the Froggie experts...

Yeah! it was like the United Nations above Australia, and we didn’t rock the boat on the, what have we got? A couple of boats and planes, and well stocked bars on the bases...although all recruits had to be almost the intellectual equals of brain surgeons to be accepted into the forces at all in those days. I’d bloody drink too if I was expected to defend a country which was more worried about appearing ‘nice’ to the world than in looking after itself as any self respecting country would. No there was nothing nice about what the UN was doing over Australia...but we copped it sweet..and darn lucky we didn’t know where the Frog was or some suck-up politician trying to get the jump on the opposition bludgers would have handed our Freddo over even to the Mexicans if it meant a few hours of limelight for him...or her.

They were all pretty cheesed-off that we had got something none of them had...I mean who were we, hey? The U.N. even threatened to bomb us “back into the stone age” where have I heard that phrase before?...if we didn’t co operate...oh well, from whence we came and all of that.

And all the sanctions they put on us, well they just didn’t work. We are a bloody resourceful mob when we are pressed. Like just when we were able to produce all the beef, lamb, cotton and wool we liked they refused, as a block,  to buy from us. But as a consequence we all never ate so well, nor have we ever been so well dressed. Sheets and blankets were plentiful and even the homeless were well shod with leather shoes and could have had homes if they’d wanted to so plentiful were the building materials.

Then what do they do but cut us off from new computer software and innovations, and there were a few wails and moans for a time...a bit of a set back...but it didn’t take long for some bright spark from Bulladelah to remember that box of patents she had made on a new type of computer software which she had said in the past would make Microsoft redundant...she tried to sell it to the Government but they weren’t interested. But someone was because they trashed every home she ever lived in after that, looking for her inventions. Her software makes Microsoft’s bloody software look like it came out of the ark compared to Beryl from Bulladelah’s range. But in the time it took to get it up and running we’d all changed a bit back to how we were...I mean we actually started going for walks in the evenings and writing proper letters and remembering how to actually spell again without spell checkers.

It was the same with Television, although once we were weaned off  a 24 hour seven days a week supply of that there was the sound of broken china and arguments as people re established a Tea-table pecking order and as basic manners were needed so that we didn’t get sick looking at each other eat, while actually facing each other...that was a bit tough in some families especially those whole groups who eat with their mouths open, making sloppy, squashy sounds. There were many families who didn’t even own a Tea Table...but due to the Japanese lack of interest in buying our wood we had whatever furniture we needed cheaply available without needing to dig into precious forest much had we stored previously for trade.

We got our own Television system up and running again, but we were that pissed off at the rest of the world we’d lost interest in their cop shows and family sit coms...I mean look what they were doing to us the bastards.

There wasn’t really that much else they could do to us because if they really did bomb us, they risked killing the only Freddo known to be still alive...also they began to realise that if with their sophisticated equipment  they all couldn’t find the frog, well then it was a fair bet we couldn’t either, because they’d been running the country really, for a long time anyway and knew its topography as well as we did. They should’ve known that they were dreamin’ to think Australia would give up its secrets to anyone.

So, they just forgot about us. Gave us the big freeze actually. That way they didn’t have to admit defeat...shameful defeat considering our small population. Its okay with us. Lifes good really. Pretty peaceful and we’re all pretty proud of our Frog even if he is down there gulping, guzzling and slurping up more than his fair share of water...we know he’ll have to give it back one unless I’m dreamin’ I’m thinking that by the time  he finally explodes like his progenitor, in about ten million years we’ll have all passed on well and truly...gone and forgotten which is why we didn’t know about the first Freddo till he splatted us all with such good fortune.

Oh! Sure, the original tribal Aboriginal people had a bit of a tale about a gluttonous frog, but this explosion  was as much a shock to them as it was to us.

And me, I’ve given up farming, preferring now to open up my farm to the public who are more than happy to pay up so they can have a sqiuizzy at the skeletal remains of Freddo number one. And I am very careful where I stick my garden fork these days and spend a lot of time dreamin’

Therese Mackay - March 2003
These six pictures go with the Story above "The Green Bomb" - a little bit of silliness. They appear in this order in the story but I was unable to post the story with all the pictures in place. I'll work that out one day.

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6. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I kid you not, these two lovely full page photos, appeared not in some political left wing magazine but in the usually mild pages of the Australian Women's Weekly.

Pretty scary looking candidates if thats what they are. I was standing at Coles' checkout waiting while the 2 tellers who occupied 2 of the 12 checkouts checked the multitudes through.

By the time I got served I was well into the article and got sucked into to buying the magazine. Its a bit different from the magazine my mother used to read which had pretty pictures of the young Queen and ladies looking stately in their stately homes.

I wonder what they were trying to make us think by these shots, it could have been no accident when no doubt they have hundreds to choose from.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

And then now I look at this old piccie taken in 1972, and I know that we'll be okay no matter what. Mostly we maintain the balance, and we have had a lot to laugh about in our time together... much more than we have had to cry about... so... today was one of the crying days. Hopefully tomorrow the balance will be restored and I'll feel a bit more like my self.

Just sometimes the "programming" we have which maintains the balance slips a bit

Maybe it would be better if it slipped much more often I am thinking. Hm!Posted by Picasa
Edited a tad ...thanks Amy, Charlie and Sara - Much appreciation

Not such a great day today. I usually am a pretty cheerful vegemite and feel I can wake up each morning with a fresh outlook...and thats how its been for as long as I can remember, but today those old blues struck me big time.

I know that soon I will mentally start ticking off the good things I have in my life and start to recover from the malaise that has hit me... but the funny thing is sometimes I wonder if how I feel now is not more honest and real than the other stuff.

But then I am a Middle Child and we do the Pollyanna stuff better than most.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

have a look at this... a friend sent me one of the cards e cards... quite innocuos... I had a trawl through them and found this...who n earth could one send this bewdy to do you reckon???

Until Four

Until Four.

Her pale blue eyes twinkling with mirth, her smooth, fresh skin
blushing like a young girl's, my sixty five year old mother
finally gave in and released her secret with an exhalation of
air. Her shameful secret was that yes, she did know exactly the
time I was conceived.

"It was the night of the Ball. We hadn't been to one since before
we were married, your father and I. Anyway, your father's mother
looked after Veronica and June, rather grumpily too. It seemed
beyond her why anyone would want to go to a Ball. I mean what use
was it? I'm sure she didn't think we would want to go to a Ball,
not with two toddlers. I hadn't been to a dance for four years!
Anyway, we didn't get home till the early hours..."

"What time exactly was that mum?" I asked, leading her into a
story I knew she wanted to tell. She wasn't sure how to put it
into words, after all her life of respectability. I sat at her
little table, in the mid afternoon, eating yet another of her Tim
Tam biscuits.

"It was about three o'clock in the morning. Your father had been
away working for a few weeks and had to go away again the next
day. That's how I..." she stopped short, "Don't tell anyone will
you Therese. Your father said later that we should have danced
all night. There! I've said it.!" she said with relief. I was
amazed and pleased. Amazed that she would actually remember, with
all the events  that had happened in her life since then. Pleased
that she felt that she could say these things to me. Delighted to
imagine my young mother and father, were human just like the rest
of us. It marked a real softening in our relationship, as I began
to see her more as a person in her own right, not just my mother,
my sisters mother, my children's grandmother.

After she died, as I was disassembling her home, I can remember
crying for ages over a grotesque mug that I had bought her, which
fitted perfectly the occasion she had related. It was a large
cheap pink mug, in the shape of a pregnant woman, and had written
on it 'I should have danced all night.' Mum and I laughed
raucously over that mug and the event, in the privacy of her
little home. The generation of years between us as we enjoyed the
joke, for a moment not mother and daughter, just two women.

I was born at seven o'clock in the morning. It was a blisteringly
hot February. My mother had two active toddlers, and told me she
was very tired and hadn't been well. She said that on the
afternoon of my first, and almost last day in this world she was
feeding me in hospital and she just fell asleep. A nurse
discovered us like this, me with my face going dark from lack of
oxygen, mum sleeping in the awful heat. I was raced away and
returned much later. Mum said she was wide awake after that. Of
Dad there is no mention. Always present at the beginning of us
children, he was like most men of the times very absent, at this
most dangerous of time for his wife and child. Few Australian
women even had the presence of a friend or mother at the birth,
leaving us more abandoned than most people of the world who have
at least close family. This unnatural custom has thankfully gone
out of style of later years.

I didn't start walking till I was fifteen months old and am not
at this time aware of anything till I turned three. At three, I
still slept in a large wooden cot in mum and dad's room. When I
was five mum showed me where I had chewed all the wood right
around the top of the cot. It was being revarnished for the new
baby, who was to also get her fair share of varnish as an aid to

My two sisters slept in the next room and Nannie, dad's mother
slept in there with them. The house was pretty crowded, but the
verandahs were wide and airy and nobody had too many possessions,
so there would have been enough room.

My first memory was of a nightmare in which three or four pigs
were eating a hole in the corner of mum and dad's bedroom and
were coming to get me. I was alone in the room at the time,
because it was early in the night. They broke through and I
started screaming. They bit into my stomach. As I was screaming I
can still remember Mum and dad's faces over the cot. I was rushed
to hospital and operated on for a burst appendicitis. I have two
scars as mum told me that the Doctor had made a cut and it 'was
in the wrong place'. So another cut was made and my life was
saved. I don't remember the actual feeling of the pain, just the
dream. After this event I had two bouts with Pneumonia and spent
some time in hospital. A nurse gave me a beautiful 'glass doll'
to take home. I don't remember what happened to it but it would
not have survived long in our house. I remember walking down the
little steps from the road to our house clutching that doll,
aware of its beauty and how special I felt with this new and
treasured possession. I don't remember the actual time in
hospital, but I remember the pain in my chest. For the healthy,
stocky kid I turned out to be I had a few brushes with death in
my early life.

I remember riding high on Dad's shoulders and what the yard
looked like from the top of his head. He had thick curly hair and
I used to get my fingers right in amongst it, for a grip. I liked
it much better when he didn't use Californian Poppy hair oil on
it. Dad always made a big fuss over the toddler of the day, and
it was a very wonderful time. The impression of walking beside
him in the yard as a small child is a fleeting but strong one.

I can still see, in my mind's eye, what writing looked like
before I learned to read. I looked at Veronica's school books
with fascination, as she would read out and make sense of the
maze of marks on the paper. The only patterns I could make out
were the paragraphs and breaks. Other than that it looked a bit
like what Chinese writing looks like to me these days. There was
a total blank of understanding, and then in later years it all
made sense, like a revelation. I was very curious, and impatient
to get the stories I saw Veronica and June draw out of the maze
of black marks.

At four I ran away to the school both Veronica and June went to.
I spent enough of my life running away from this institution, it
is important to note that I once ran away to school. The nun's
asked Veronica and Susan Roughan to take me home. Near the large
tree, at the edge of the boy's playground, they both grabbed my
arms and dug their fingers in. The more I pulled away the tighter
they gripped. They were going to do their duty, and be seen to do
it in a most responsible manner. This meant being none too gentle
in the process. I bit Susan Roughan and she let go. Then I ran
like all the furies of hell were behind me, which was true.

Veronica was behind me. I had bitten her best friend. I don't
remember the rest of this event, but I doubt that I would have
made it home before Veronica caught up with me. Its not hard to
imagine what she would have done to me when she caught me.
Perhaps she still remembers.
This was taken about four years before the "conception mum spoke about...this one was planned...some of us were accidental!!! Posted by Picasa
Here is the adult shots... Niether of them toping 5'ft - taken in the early '60's... Sometimes it makes me feel not actually sad, but wistful maybe for these two, who were such best friends, and both of them aunts of our daughters and Don's sisters...

When young people die the tragedy is such unrealised potential for life...and lots of other things also of course.

I believe its important to drag out the old photos and give those peole some of the life they should have had, by explaining to the kids who they were, and where they were in the family.
Kids need to know who came before to give them a feeling for the continuity of life and also its impermanence.

Keeps their feet on the ground I reckon. Posted by Picasa
Another beloved doggie "Towser" from Don's archives. This was taken mid 1950's in the Snowy mountain area, where he grew up. These are his two sisters, Judy (left) and Jeanette. I never got to meet Jeanette as she, husband son and unborn baby were killed by a drunk driver when she was in her early 20's. Judy died in 1998 from Cervical Cancer.

I have a lovely photo of the pair of them as young adults, and they are so pretty it is heartbreaking to see...for us anyway.

But I have to say that every moment of both their lives was lived to the full and there are only good thoughts and memories... can't say that about everyone. Posted by Picasa
I was looking through some of Don's old photos, which I have finally put onto the computer and had a look at this really nice one of him with his loyal doggie Lucky.

I think she is a tan and black kelpie (he is asleep now so can't ask him) and she is obviously being treated as every doggie would love to be treated. What dog would not want a small boy who loves to go for long walks in the bush?

Don always had an animal nearby... a horse, dogs the odd cat which he was never fond of. There is nothing within our means he would not do to make sure that they were well and taken care of.

People who treat their animals well I feel are holding a sort of sacred trust with the animal which has handed over its wild nature to be our companion and given their total loyalty and with that its chances of survival in the wild.

People who abuse, verbally or physically or by neglect...well I just do not understand them. When I look into the eyes of Thorn the very handsome and a little wel fed Kelpie, and our cat (yes I know Charlie yates cats) there is a sort of communion which crosses the species and is something wonderful for us humans to be able to have.

Just some thoughts from the photo. Posted by Picasa
I was just about to email this photo to the small lady seated at the table who has just moved away to Sydney when I thought to post it here. Some of the stuff I lwrite that like best has come out at these gatherings

This is our independent wirting group. We just gather in each other's houses on a yearly rotation basis, and keep it simple stupid. I'm taking the photo of course, as this time it was in my kitchen. We actually enjoy ourselves lots lof laughter, some tears and food...and if but for the bloody breathyliser there'd be a bit more of the other...but everyone has to public transport system on weekends.
Most of us used to belong to the "organised" writing group in town but gradually drifted away as they never seemed to do any writing at all. By the time they read minutes and treasury, had a cup of tea and allowed some of the stars to read it was over.

Some really good and spontaneous stuff comes out at these meetings, and no its not a women's only...just word of mouth and no male interest.

It would make it more interesting to get different slants on things and maybe as we travel along this will happen. You know the funny thing is its a bit like some of the blogs of people you get to know... we only see each other for three hours once a month but there is a sort of bong which comes out of sharing sometimes quite private things, some sad things nd some quite wicked things.

Our ages range from 80 down to 35.

If you think about starting one of these groups the trick is to keep it simple and only have the rules of common courtesy, and not bitch about each other.

And yes Brownie that is THE pianola behind the group. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 17, 2006


I have been working on some short stories…semi autobiographical and wrote this as an “introduction”…it’s a bit rough yet and will change no doubt and edit…

People say that, "Time Heals All". I don't believe this. Time
doesn't do anything at all, we do. The passing of time may knock
all the raw edges off, that's all. We are like planetary bodies
passing through a vast asteroid belt.

The new planetoid approaching this belt is smooth and spherical.
It sails serenely through the blackness. It dreams a thoughtless
dream as it rolls along in its absolute innocence and total
ignorance. Seeming perfect. As it approaches the asteroid belt,
it wakes up slowly to the dangers. In its mind it calls to its
parent Sun for help, but in its young gameness it has already
wandered too far away, for the parental gravity to call it back.
The little sparsely scattered rocks of the asteroid begin to chip
away at its pure surface. Its surface becomes pock-marked, and
its regular rolling, less regular.

Well into the asteroid belt, the larger rocks begin to explode
onto its surface, and cracks form. From some of the cracks light
emerges. From others, crawl all manner of darkness. The balance
is being struck. Its atmosphere is filled with the dust of its
sorrow, and it begins to lurch and roll dangerously, trying to
consciously steer a course towards a space between the rocks. The
old and battered planet carries its baggage like a 'Bag Lady'
ploughing her way up a crowded city street, head down and
avoiding all eyes.

As the planet wobbles its way through the enormous belt, the
asteroids become fewer and smaller. It hardly notices the
millions of little collisions that occur through the millennia of
its travels. The knocks become less hurtful and the planet begins
to forget the suffering and begins to dream again, this time
without innocence and without ignorance. It laughs and rumbles
with mirth at many centuries of life in the belt.

Now the vastness of space can be seen again, becoming rich with
mystery. Peace and wisdom grow in the planet and it begins to
roll evenly again, but now with a difference. Now it is the most
beautiful planet imaginable. It carries a halo of
light-reflecting particles, tossed up around it by all the
impacts. Those last small rocks which besieged the planet,
sculptured it and it is now spherical again, after all this time.
It gives out its own light now, and appears like an angel in the
dreams of young planetoids waiting to be born.

Life is like this, I believe. Some people never pass through he
asteroid belt. It seems to others that they are the lucky ones
but I'm not so sure in the long run, although it must be nice to
reach the end of life without losing innocence. Some people see
the asteroid belt coming and make adjustments to avoid it,
weaving and dodging, only to be fall into an unseen black hole
and get sucked into a long string of nothingness. Others refuse
to begin rolling and remain innocent and ignorant, impersonating
perfection. Whether it takes all sorts to make a world or not,
the majority of us end up in the asteroid belt, being sculptured
by our sorrows and joys, savouring empty spaces we call peace.

I'm right in the middle of the asteroid belt now, and I pray that
none of the rocks that smash into me will be too big to handle.
The title of my story " Roaring With Delight", describes how I
feel inside much of the time. Life is really funny, along with
all the unbelievable sorrow and suffering, the world is a very
funny place. Often I am aware of the 'roaring' feel of life. Its
like being on a huge water slide unable to control your descent,
but most of all I feel like that planet, plunging through aeons
of collisions in the crowded spaces in the asteroid belt, having
breathers in the stillness of the spaces in between.

At fifty two and at this moment today, I feel good about the
life I am about to describe. I would like to make it right
through the asteroid belt, so I too can roll smoothly, trailing
my halo. Ha! I also hope that this emergence from the turbulence
doesn't happen for at least another forty years. I am much too
rough headed yet to roll smoothly, and I quite like it here
amongst the other rough headed ones. I keep telling God this and
hope it carries weight.

There is a big drawback in writing your own story, when most
people you know are still alive, and may choose to be hurt. I
would most certainly be hurt myself if I were to be presenting a
totally graphic account. The best bits often have to be left out.
The things you got away with unscathed, have to be put on hold,
to protect the guilty, and some of us could be pretty guilty of
minor anarchy, in the public interest, of course. I might just
have to put in a sealed section called 'Naughty Bits'. Next time
perhaps, when I am eighty.
I seemed to have somehow lost all the posts on my "Quick whipped up faeries" blog. There is just nothing there but a pink empty profile or posts. Has anyone else had this problem? if so does anyone have an idea how to get back all the posts and the profile and links?

Does anyone know why this would happen? I have given up on blog help.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Its March the 17th here tomorrow so here is a St Patrick's blessing for you all... its sort of nice nd syrupy gentle and meant in the nicest possible way.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Don had a tear in his eye... and I was just so happy when Melissa our eldest let us know that her Chris had asked her to marry him...about time too!... she wrote to me in a card "Ha! can you believe that it finally happened. I'm going to get married, it's funny I never thought I'd get married or have a family. Its just been me and Comet (cat) for a while."

I was so happy for her... I never realised she was worried she'd never have a family etc.

Good stuff for two good people. Posted by Picasa
This is "Miss Innocent" indicating a small ball of advocado she wanted me to try.

With eyes like that and no record of real harm to her mum I never suspected a thing..

This is "Miss Wasube" after I had taken a lethal hit of hot burnies burnies ... ha ha ha Mum ... see mum steam he he he he ... Oh to have nursed such a viper in my womb!!!

She will keep and I will remember ... I have a very long memory ... my little sweetheart!

Posted by Picasa
I am typing one handed at the present after a really lucky escape...all caused by my housewifely diligence...something I will rectify...Like it was a warning.

The past days have been really busy and when I fot up today I thought, "Right, today no matter what happens I am going to have at least a couple of hours playing with my photos and looking about at the various posts.

Then Don spotted a big scrape of paint off on one wall and mentioned that wouldn't I like to go down to the shed and find the little pot of matching paint and fix it up...

Sure thing...knowing that that was going to be the end of my planned morning as one thing done always seems to lead to others... and it did.

Coming back up from the shed I spotted lots of tiny black spiders...obviously newly independent from big mumma, and they had festooned the side of out house with so many webs...

Better get that sorted or we'll have an invasion of adult black spiders...

So I got the Cobwebbroom and was going round the house looking up at the eaves of the house, when down BOOM foot stuck in a trench dug in the cement but not filled in... (of course)

I fully expected to hear my ankle crack but the gods be praised no crack... all I got was a bloody knee, sore toe, and two very sore hands.. one is fine now but think I have damaged the wrist of my left hand - luckily...

Life seems pretty good to me right now knowing the disaster it would have been had I been out of action... I can tell you young un's that it hurts a lot more to fall when you are over fifty... and the fall seems to happen slowly like a car accident so you have time to think about all the breaks you are going to get when your face finally smashes into the cement.

Don was suitably sympathetic and even described in detail my actions to our daughter who was talking to him on the phone at the time... What a guy!

But when I tried to open the Scotch bottle with both hands as you do it was just too painful so had to wedge it between my knees... now a computer wouldn't think of that...that sort of adaptability takes a human brain doesn't it?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Charlie and Nicki's food tales from Texas have got us all thinking about food.

My sister was so impressed with my cooking excellence on a recent visit that she sent me this picture of one of my more exotic cooking triumphs
. What one can do with a few carrots, a pile of beans, a hunk of sweet potato, a length of zuchinni and wads of spuds... and and and ifn you run out of meat every home should have some long life veggie burgers...

I think that the wine was the best part and it was that which made it all taste and look so hexotic.

We even used knives and forks and a table cloth.. Posted by Picasa
OOOO waahh! I just had to post this bewdy of my eldest and second youngest sister in their sooo sophisticated night attire in the kitchen of our old house... Aren't they a treat? The very essence of Australian womanhood and good fun to be with especially when they are in their cups, as they were then night before this was taken. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I arrived back home late on fFiday night... from Melbourne. I visited my youngest daughter Alison at her ninth floor unit in South melbourne. She overlooks Albert park and lake and views accross to Port Phillip Bay. If you have to live in the city its nice to be able to look out to an endless horizon as she does.

She especially needs this as she spends so much time in her home.

We had the best visit and talked our heads off. The little devil set me up one evening when we went out to a Japanese restaurant. Her and her Andrew sat opposite me and waded their way through the various raw dead animald "oh but cut wafer thin mum"...this from the former vegetarian!!! I have to have it blood nor raw tastes for me please.

Then when the light was lower she innocently said , "Mum, try a bit of that advocado on our plate." I love advocado anything so picking up my fork I was about to scoop a big bit up, but she must have weakened and said..."er...maybe you should just stick your chopstick in" (that was the only thing I got to use the chopstick for...knives and forks are fine by me),

so in went the chopstick and into the mouth expecting advocado...silly stupid me. What hit my senses was an explosion of heat and acridness you could not believe. I hate hot tasting things.

Peals of laughter - oh sure you got me a bewdy you little bastards. It was something called wasabe.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Jama says Doctors should stop accepting bribes from drug companies

Please take the time to read this as it is important to  understand just how deeply entrenched are the interests of big business, and the conflict of interest that has to occur
Finally  The Journal of the American Medical Accociation has spoken out against the corruption re Doctors and The Bribes from the Drug Companies which amount to 19 Billion...yes Billion per annum in the US.
Therese Mackay printable article
Originally published March 1 2006
JAMA says doctors should stop accepting bribes from drug companies
The Journal of the American Medical Association is rocking the boat in conventional medicine. An article in JAMA has come up with the suggestion -- aghast! -- that doctors should stop accepting bribes from drug companies. Most people didn't know that doctors routinely accept bribes (including hundreds of thousands of dollars in "contractor's fees" for signing patients up for drug trials), so this news may come as a bit of a shock to some.
Big Pharma spends nearly $19 billion a year bribing and influencing physicians, by the way. That's billion with a "B." How much money is $19 billion? It's more money than NASA wastes smashing satellites into Mars and exploding space shuttles in Earth's upper atmosphere. It's more money than the entire junk food industry spends hypnotizing obese children into nagging their parents for another box of sugar-bomb breakfast cereal at the quickie mart. Heck, it's more money than the entire United States spends on genuine disease prevention and health education.
In other words, it's a lotta dough. But bribing doctors requires a lot of cash. Doctors have big-dollar appetites. They drive Mercedes Benz, Hummers and Audis. They live in 5,000 square-foot houses with high heating and cooling bills (especially for the outdoor pool). They have expensive habits, expensive travel, and expensive dinner bills (fortunately, drug companies pick up most of the travel and dinner). Let's face it: Doctors have just gotten used to the idea that they're supposed to be treated to a higher level of comfort and prestige than the rest of the population, and if it takes drug money to buy that lifestyle, then bring on the drug reps!
Actually, I'm being facetious. Most doctors hate those pesky drug reps. And the smart ones can't stand Big Pharma, either. The really good doctors will first see if they can get patients to make healthy lifestyle changes on their own, and if they can't, they'll prescribe generic drugs instead of the overpriced brand-name drugs. But really good doctors, sadly, are also really rare. I happen to know a few, but they are the exception, not the rule.
Nevertheless, nearly all doctors -- the good ones, the bad ones and the downright corrupt ones -- take money and gifts from drug companies. Walk into any doctor's office, and you'll be hard pressed to find a single object (mugs, paper pads, pens, etc.) that isn't emblazoned with the logo of a high-profit prescription drug. And those aren't even the bribes, those are just trinkets. But it shows you how completely drug companies have penetrated the offices of most doctors.
The majority of doctors say these gifts don't influence their prescribing behavior, just like the majority of consumers claim television advertising has no influence on their grocery purchases, either. Studies prove otherwise. Studies prove that drug company gifts to doctors are, indeed, not only effective, but quite a bargain for the drug companies. It's sort of like street corner drug dealers handing out crack in order to gain new customers, except that nobody denies crack is actually bad for your health.
Speaking of crack, Pfizer's CEO Hank McKinnell says all this talk about banning the bribing of doctors is unnecessary because Pfizer already has its own "voluntary code of conduct." Well that's a relief. All the bribery in the industry is going to be stopped by the drug dealers themselves!
The doctor bribery problem has reached such a high level of ridiculousness that even JAMA, which usually plays the role of blowing the pro-drug propaganda horn, has noticed there is a problem. In fact, it has suggested a course of action that, if adopted, might actually reign in drug company bribes and restore a bit of honesty to the world of medicine. But that's only if it is widely adopted, and that's about as likely as asking a heroin addict to agree to stop shooting up.
Specifically, the anti-bribery proposal would:
  • Prohibit doctors from accepting free drug samples.

  • Exclude doctors who have financial ties to drug companies from serving on the hospital panels that determine which medicines should be on the preferred prescribing lists.

  • Prohibit drug companies from providing direct financing for educational programming.

  • Prohibit medical faculty from belonging to pharmaceutical companies' speakers' bureaus or publishing drug company articles as their own.

  • Require faculty members that receive financial support from pharmaceutical companies to post them on public Internet sites.
Reading this list is fascinating all by itself, because it makes you realize that all these things are going on right now. In other words, doctors who are paid "consulting fees" by drug companies are, in fact, sitting on the hospital panels and voting on which medicines should be on the prescribing lists. Drug companies are funding educational programs (gee, I wonder if the "education" maybe mentions a drug, too?). Conflicts of interest between doctors and drug companies are almost never made public. And the transgressions continue...
Exasperatingly, the industry has been so deeply corrupted by drug company money that the seemingly simple act of banning bribes is going to take a political miracle to accomplish.
Just don't expect Congress to jump in and pass national laws outlawing the bribing of doctors. They're also on the take when it comes to drug money. The financial influence of Big Pharma is now so deep-rooted with lawmakers, medical schools, doctors and the mainstream media that it's going to take the emergence of a massive, deadly scandal to jolt this nation back to its senses.
Vioxx, apparently, did not kill quite enough Americans (only 60,000+ according to Dr. David Graham's estimates), meaning that we will have to see a massive drug-based chemical holocaust, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans, before genuine reform is likely. That chemical holocaust, by the way, is well under way. It's only a matter of time before another Vioxx surfaces. Only this time, the cost in human lives may be far worse than 60,000.
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