Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Black cricketer disrespects female interviewer on Australian TV
An experienced and dedicated female sports journalist, Mel McLaughlin, was trying to interview black cricketer Chris Gayle about sports matters but got only personal comments about herself from him. That has offended a lot of people as inappropriate and disrespectful to a woman but he has so far refused to apologize. It will hurt his career, however. Various sorts of retribution against him have been proposed or promised.
Black males are often very bold in approaching women so his behaviour should perhaps be seen in that context. From his point of view he probably sees nothing to apologize for. In Leftist terms, it's his "culture".
In anthropological terms it could be seen as part of a generally low level of self-restraint among people of sub-Saharan African origin, as seen in their very high rate of criminal offending wherever they are in the world.
Perhaps it should be mentioned that the lady has been publicly embarrassed on TV before -- by another black sportsman.
Also relevant is that Gayle has behaved similarly on past occasions but has learnt nothing from it. Another female journalist labels him as a "creep", which he no doubt is by general Australian standards
Gayle sent social media into meltdown when he openly flirted with McLaughlin in his on-field interview after he was dismissed for a brilliant 41 (15 balls).
“I wanted to have an interview with you as well, that’s why I’m here,” the Jamaican said live on national television.
“I get to see your eyes for the first time, it’s nice. Hopefully we can win and go for a drink after.
“Don’t blush baby.”
A clearly uncomfortable McLaughlin finished the interview with class, but Channel 10 Head of Sport David Barham, at home watching the match on television, said McLaughlin was angered by the experience.
A mature response to offensive speech
Veteran journalist Samantha Maiden
A journalist labelled a "mad f---ing witch" by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton hopes he doesn't find himself on the backbench for accidentally sending an offensive text message to her.
On Sunday night, Mr Dutton confirmed he had apologised to the journalist for the text, which was intended for his embattled colleague Jamie Briggs.
Mr Briggs stepped down from his position as cities minister after acting inappropriately towards a female colleague while on an overseas trip.
Samantha Maiden, the national political editor for News Corp's Sunday papers, published a column on Sunday morning highly critical of Mr Briggs' conduct.
Mr Dutton responded by sending a text intended for Mr Briggs in which he called Maiden a "mad f---ing witch". Instead, it was sent to Maiden's text message inbox.
On Monday, Maiden said there were "more substantial issues" to consider in the aftermath of Mr Briggs' resignation. "Peter Dutton has stuffed up, he's owned up and he's 'fessed up," Maiden told ABC radio on Monday morning.
"I would be lying if I was trying to manufacture outrage ... I'm not offended by it.
When asked if Mr Dutton should resign for the "witch" text, Maiden told Nine's Today program she "would hope not". "I think that Mr Dutton is a good minister; he's a hard worker, he's made a strong contribution to the government," she said.
Green power freaks hit by big price rise
Consumers want answers after energy providers have announced a price increase of up to 41 per cent for their green energy contribution to coincide with the new year.
In the days leading up to Christmas, Origin Energy customers were notified that "a rise in the market price of renewable energy" meant GreenPower electricity charges would increase from 3.61¢ per kilowatt hour (excluding GST) to 5.10¢ per kilowatt hour from January 1, 2016.
The increase was so steep, northern NSW resident Russell Mills was sure there had been a mistake. "I did the maths very quickly and it came up as a 41 per cent increase. I thought that's substantial, am I missing something?" he said.
"There was nothing in the letter explaining the rationale for it, so I rang them and I spoke to three different people who could tell me no more, just that it was due to changes in renewable energy prices."
In Mr Mills' case, the 41 per cent increase would equate to an extra $77 each year.
GreenPower is government-accredited renewable electricity from a source such as wind or solar-powered built since 1997.
Providers purchase large-scale renewable energy certificates on their customers' behalf to offset the power they use in any given year, therefore increasing the amount of renewable energy in the national energy grid.
Consumers who choose GreenPower electricity as an add-on to their bill can select a percentage of their electricity usage to be matched into the grid with electricity from accredited renewable GreenPower sources. More than 32,500 organisations around Australia purchase accredited GreenPower.
Mr Mills lives with his wife and two children in a three-bedroom home in Clunes, where they spend between $450 and $550 per quarter on electricity.
For the past year, he has contributed to renewable energy through the 100 per cent GreenPower product. However, after being hit with the 41 per cent increase, he has made a "hip-pocket decision" to reduce his 100 per cent contribution to 50 per cent.
"There's a huge disincentive here for average consumers to actually choose renewable energy. I'm not laying blame totally on Origin, I'm still with them, I just feel it's a bit depressing really," he said.
"We need more renewable energy and there's not really any incentive for us to choose it."
Significant price jumps in GreenPower charges can be linked to the large-scale generation certificates used for the product, which have experienced a steady increase of about $40 to upwards of $75 in the past six months.
All GreenPower providers have changed their prices to reflect the underlying cost increase.
Large-scale generation certificates are traded through the wholesale market and prices fluctuate considerably, determined largely by supply and demand.
Expensive government schooling for poor parents
Requiring schoolkids to use computers all the time is absurd. Computer literacy should be taught using school computers but most subjects can be taught without them. How did we learn Maths, English, History etc for hundreds of years before computers? There still is such a thing as a book!
"How do you prefer your taxes to be spent? Apple or Microsoft?"
That's the question one Canberra father believes his son's new school is asking, after its inclusion of Apple iPads and notebook computers on a list of back-to-school equipment is threatening to set parents back thousands of dollars.
Mark Wilson's son – whose name Fairfax Media has chosen to withhold – is enrolled to begin year seven at Melba Copland Secondary School this year.
Mr Wilson said he was shocked when he received a list of essential requirements for the 2016 school year in the post. It came at a cost of $2794.67.
He thought it seemed unfair as it is a public school in a catchment area which gives priority to some of Canberra's most disadvantaged suburbs, but when he voiced his complaints, he was told it was "the way of the future".
"Whose future? I limit my kids to one hour of television a day because of the health factor, now you're telling me they've got to be in front of a computer screen for six-and-a-half hours a day because you deem it the best way to go?" Mr Wilson said.
His concerns stem from his family's financial situation.
The former local business owner was forced to go on a government pension several years ago due to illness.
His older daughter, who was already a student at the school, has chosen to transfer to a different school to alleviate some of the financial burden on her parents.
Her book pack, plus that of his youngest daughter who attends primary school, will cost $500 combined.
His son desperately wants to attend Melba Copland Secondary School though, as it's close to his home and his friends will be there.
While Mr Wilson has been encouraged by the school and the education directorate to apply for financial assistance, he said it is unfair for taxpayers to shell out "another $3000" so his son can attend the public school.
"I feel bad enough being on the pension as it is. It doesn't sit well with me and to ask for more handouts is even more ridiculous."
Mr Wilson is also worried carrying around the expensive technology will make students the target of thieves.
"I grew up poor. If I knew kids were walking around with $3000 worth of computer equipment on their back [when I was a kid] you'd be going home with a black eye, bloody nose and I'd have your backpack," he said.
He estimates 70 parents have submitted a formal complaint about what he deems excessive requirements, although an Education and Training Directorate spokesperson disputed this.
The spokesperson said the list is just a guideline and the school has a number of devices available for students to use.
"There is no compulsion to purchase all or any products and information has been provided to families to ensure full knowledge of this arrangement.
"Families are encouraged to approach their school to discuss the needs of the child and the family. Schools also have arrangements in place to ensure students have equity of access."
The spokesperson said information and communications technologies are an important part of teaching and learning for students of all backgrounds and is mandated in the Australian curriculum.
The ACT government spent $9.2 million on information technologies in schools last financial year, with a further $38 million committed over the next four years.
"Our schools emphasise the use of ICT and the development of ICT skills to ensure that their students can develop the necessary skills to analyse information, solve problems and communicate in a highly digital society."
The Irish connection continues
I have substantial Irish ancestry, with all sentimentality that usually entails, so I am delighted to read that the Irish are still coming to Australia. I would heartily support measures to make it easier for them to settle here
The number of Irish citizens on temporary visas in Australia has fallen by almost half in the past two years due to tighter immigration laws and shrinking job opportunities.
But an increasing number are deciding to stay on illegally after their visas expire because they cannot afford to move home. "We are talking about the creation of a whole new undocumented section of Irish society in Australia now, and that is something we should be concerned about,” according to Dr Mary Gilmartin, who lectures about Irish migration at the department of geography at Maynooth University.
She said a general tightening of immigration rules, and new caps on the number of skilled migration permits issued, mean it was “increasingly difficult to translate temporary visas into permanent residency” in Australia.
A total of 401 Irish citizens were “returned or removed” from Australia for violating the conditions of their visa in the 12 months to June 2015, a 37 per cent rise in the past two years. Figures from the Australian Department of Immigration, released to The Irish Times, show that between July 2014 and June 2015, 92 Irish citizens were “removed” after being arrested and held at immigration detention centres.