On water fluoridation

Gavin Greenoak writes: Re. “Dear conspiracy theorists: the jury is not out, water fluoridation works” (January 14). Dear Dr Foley, you and your fellow strident scientific materialists are entirely free to fluoridate the water for your families and promulgate the means to do so to others. The best scientific evidence will yield probabilities on a curve with long tails of departures from the norm. And effects of “treatments” are not (of course) limited to the target condition, in this case dental caries. Freedom is a wonderful thing, it allows people to examine things not merely with an isolated reason and logic but within the scope of all our human attributes: including our reason, our emotion, memory, sensation, aesthetic sense, intuition, instinct, conscience, will, self-consciousness and imagination, working together in a rhythmic harmony of apperception. Foley has not noticed that the world has moved on from the gross interpretations of scientific materialism which has failed miserably to increase qualities in proportion to quantities, to the “subtle period”, where immense complexities present questions only freedom can answer with a more developed human sense than scientific materialism will allow.

More job seekers than jobs available

John Richardson writes: Re. “How low-income earners could save Joe Hockey’s neck” (yesterday). Glenn Dyer is not the first to question the illusion that has been created by the latest ABS job data. The apparent logical inconsistency evident in reported strong employment growth alongside a decline in hours worked is also evidenced by the claim that employment increased by 37,400 on the one hand, whilst unemployment decreased by only 16,200 on the other. It’s said that there are two kinds of statistics: the kind you look-up & the kind you make-up. Of course, it doesn’t actually matter much which category the ABS fits into when there are still 770,900 unemployed Australians trying to fill just 149,900 vacancies.

Coal is not the future

Richard Middleton writes: Re. “Australia bets it all on India’s coal market” (yesterday). Are Abbott and his fossil fuel selling cronies trying to cement themselves into position as the Angels of the Death of the Human Race?It has been made abundantly clear to anybody with a shred of sense that to burn anything like the amount of coal these greedy fools want to export will guarantee a planet that is incredibly hostile to much life as we know it today. That analysis does not, as far as I can ascertain, include the problems of defrosting CH4. Why are these people not medicated, preferably behind high walls?

A quick way to save Medicare money

Glen Frost writes: Re. “Coalition’s crony capitalism makes communication harder” (yesterday). The Australian media has engaged in a collective blindness over this issue; what else can explain the lack of alternative voices (ie not the Australian Medical Association or the Health Minister/Prime Minister) in the media? With an increasingly educated population, there are many unnecessary visits to the doctor when self-diagnosis is appropriate. I recently met a number of Australian retirees buying Viagra over the counter in Bali/ Indonesia (whilst I was buying extra strength painkillers without a script, I hasten to add); for some reason, these folks need to see a doctor when in Australia. Wake up Liberals, making everyone go to a doctor for everything is an example of the nanny state — let’s call it “medical red tape” — an example of needless nannying, and “market rigging” by the AMA, that just adds a layer of cost to healthcare. Let’s reassess how we can cut costs using ideas we’re all familiar with.

Competition winners

Congratulations to the following subscribers, who’ve each won a double pass to Palace Cinemas. Anyone who hasn’t received their pass yet should email [email protected] for further details.

Barbara Williams, Darren Moss, Elinor Hawkins, Ellen White, Erin Devery, Flynn Thompson, Gary Butler, Jan Irwin, Jane Mussett, Jonathon Marsden, Kai Everist, Kenneth Gover, Kylie Chapman, Leo Bird, Leonard Blazeby, Matthew Clancy, Rachel Williams, Ron Skeoch, Wendy Cooper, Yvonne Crofts.