Sunday, January 15, 2017
The latest Bureau of Meteorology shenanigans
This summer has been very frustrating for the BOM. As tireless global warming missionaries, they wanted the Sydney summer to be the "hottest yet". And the headlines they generated have on several occasions claimed just that.
But the thermometers have in fact been unobliging. If you read the small print, coastal Sydney has failed to get into the 40s. It was only localities that are normally hot which did that.
And hanging over their heads is the awful truth that the temperature in coastal Sydney reached 42 degrees (108F) in 1790, long before there were any power stations, SUVs and all the other Greenie bugaboos in Sydney.
So what to do? They have had a brainwave (below). Instead of reporting maximum temperatures they are now reporting MINIMUM temperatures. They say that various minimum (night-time) temperatures have been unusually hot. But global warming is supposed to cause high maximum temperatures so it is a pretty desperate bit of fake news
SYDNEY residents sweltered through the harbour city’s hottest January night in recorded history last night.
But the good news for the sleepless masses is relief is in sight, with a cool change on its way.
Temperature records tumbled across Sydney as the extreme heatwave peaked overnight.
Among the new records set were in Observatory Hill, where the temperature dropped only to 26.4C, Bankstown (26.2C), Camden (27.1C), Penrith (28.6C), Richmond (28.2C), Horsley Park (26.2C), and Terrey Hills (26.9C).
But relief is on its way.
Conditions across the southern half of NSW are expected to ease over the weekend but the mercury will likely remain in the low to mid 40s in the state’s north.
After copping temperatures up to 45C on Friday, Sydney’s west is forecast for a milder maximum of 35C on Saturday while in the coastal parts of the city it is due to reach 31C.
But for those in the far north it is expected to remain hot with a predicted high of 41C at Grafton.
Queenslanders who have been in the grip of the same heatwave are set to endure another day of blistering conditions before conditions cool on Sunday.
A top of 34C is forecast for Brisbane on Saturday, which is five degrees above the average maximum for this time of year.
(Rubbish! The temperature in my anteroom regularly tracks the official observations for Brisbane and at 34.5C yesterday afternoon it did go higher on my thermometer than the forecast. But it had been right on 34C for a week or so)
Kirralie Smith tells it like it is
Being critical of Islam is not "extremist" or "right-wing". It's fake news to say so
School uniforms are sexist? Oh, please
By Jane Fynes-Clinton (The fine Clinton is one of Australia's many excellent conservative women journalists. As in Jennifer Oriel, Grace Collier, Miranda Devine, Rita Panahi, Janet Albrechtsen, Judith Sloan, Caroline Overington, Corrine Barraclough etc. Eat your heart out, feminists)
An academic from Queensland University of Technology this week hurled the first of the school preparation grenades, contending that school uniform requirement should no longer be split along gender lines.
The focus in the school uniform discussion should be about climate and occasion appropriateness, not sexism. (Pic: iStock)
Cultural learning senior lecturer and psychologist Amanda Mergler pointed out in her piece on The Conversation that some parents felt requiring their daughters to wear dresses and skirts was outdated and amounted to gender disadvantage.
To this, I say piffle.
Dresses are not passe. Skirts are not discriminatory or symbols of sexism. They do not limit female power or confidence.
And having our boys and girls dressed the same — as boys, effectively — does not make them the same.
They are not, never should be, and clothes do not make the man (or woman). Celebrate difference, because difference between genders does not mean better or worse and schoolchildren should not be encouraged to see themselves as a homogenous, genderless blob.
Dresses are not by their nature sexualising creations.
Dresses and skirts are cooler in the heat of summer, have more wriggle room for wearers and are more easily kept looking neat.
But there are naysayers. A Journal of Gender Studies paper published in 2013 said dresses and skirts as school uniforms “ritualised girling” and affected the performance of the wearer.
Proponents of homogeny say dresses require girls to be more demure, and to walk, run and sit differently.
Dresses have a habit of ballooning in a breeze and girls are always at risk of showing their underwear.
The anti-dress brigade also argues dresses make girls more quickly available sexually. Yes, they seriously say that.
It is not sexist to wear a dress, just as it is not sexist to call someone a woman, as if by saying that, it is all she is. It is discriminatory to act as if wearing a skirt delegates that person to a lesser station, which is effectively what is contended by Mergler.
This is political correctness gone loopy, a distraction from the core issues around school uniforms. Surely, they are about practicality, appropriateness and, because this is a world where we seem to require it in every facet, choice that are subjects of discussion, not whether girls should wear dresses.
Girls are not being “disadvantaged” by wearing skirts as their school uniform. (Pic: Getty Images)
School uniforms have a long tradition in Australia.
They level the playing field and stabilise a school’s community branding. They provide certainty at a changeable, important time in a human’s development. They are here to stay.
The focus in the school uniform discussion should be about climate and occasion appropriateness. And given school should be a relatively formal, learning-focused place, surely discussions should hinge on practicality and comfort,
as well as presenting an appropriate public face of the school.
I think school uniforms should not be overly fashionable and not because of a dislike of fashionability or disregard for style, but because a school’s core purpose is the delivery of learning experiences.
And if skirts are done away with in coeducational settings to mitigate the risk of sexualising females, it follows that girls at same-sex schools would be left out on a rather provocative limb.
I attended an all-girls school in Brisbane. We wore unflattering dresses for lessons and unattractive skirts with undershorts (never to be seen in public except on the playing field) for sport. We were told how long they had to be.
The uniform and the rules are the same at that school today.
We were constantly told we were girls, or young ladies, that we must act with integrity and modesty, as all young people should. The uniform regulation was uniformly unforced.
Sure, our box pleats meant we had to take special measures in stiff winds and deal with sweaty, slidey seats in summer. And yes, we were forbidden from sitting cross legged on the ground in public, lest the good name of our school be erased in a thoughtless flash.
Fair enough. We were girls and girls wore modest dresses and skirts to school. No contest. If we didn’t like it, we could leave.
It was a slice of life and we expressed ourselves elsewhere and in other ways.
I am old enough to recall a time when female members of the public who attended Brisbane City Council meetings were forbidden from wearing pants. I also recall a female journalist in the 1980s attending in slacks to push the envelope and make a point. She was excluded.
And a public relations firm in Brisbane forbade its all-female staff from wearing trousers in the early 1990s.
Those who require such things now enforce the wearing of a uniform to get around claims of discrimination.
Surely the point now is that choice is key, not demonising the dress and skirt as old-school, sexist creations that are vehicles for lust and degradation?
Please, let common sense prevail in any discussions about school uniforms.
Australia Day lamb advertisement draws criticism from blacks
It was highly politically correct -- failing even to mention Australia day and being super-multicultural -- but you can't please some people.
Australia Day commemorates the landing of the first white settlers in Australia. It is a popular day for getting together with friends and relatives over a BBQ. The sheep farmers want us to put lamb chops on the BBQ
The annual television advert encouraging people to eat lamb on Australia Day is often controversial, and it seems this year is no different, with members of the Indigenous community describing it as "highly offensive" and "disgusting".
While Meat and Livestock Australia says the response has been mostly positive, some in the Indigenous community say it is highly offensive.
The campaign, which depicts a European invasion, makes no mention of Australia Day. It begins with a group of Indigenous Australians having a barbecue on a beach as one by one, ships of explorers reach the shore.
The cast of the ad is diverse, with guest appearances from Cathy Freeman, Wendell Sailor, Poh Ling Yeow and former chair of the National Australia Day Council Adam Gilchrist.
YouTube: 2017 Australia Day lamb ad
While some have taken umbrage at the complete omission of references to Australia Day, some within the Indigenous community have criticised the ad.
"[Using] the continual pain, the real pain felt on this date for their own purposes, for a marketing stunt ... that's the most offensive part of it," said journalist and Darumbal woman Amy Mcquire.
"There's Aboriginal people dying in custody, having their children taken away, suiciding ... and that oppression stems from that original invasion. "So to use that as a marketing ploy to sell lamb ... is even more disgusting I think."
But Andrew Howie, group marketing manager of Meat and Livestock Australia, says the organisation held consultations with several Indigenous groups throughout the creative process.
Mr Howie says an effort was made to respect "cultural sensitivities".
"The work that we create is never designed to be offensive, it's not designed to cause offense to people," Mr Howie said.
"This year's campaign is a celebration of Australia's history. This year, and with the essence of the brand being very much around unity, we realised that this time of year there are cultural sensitivities.
"If we were going to be inclusive … we needed to understand some of those cultural sensitivities."
Tim Burrowes from the media and marketing website Mumbrella says the ad is risky, but most good marketing is.
"I think if one thinks about the motives involved behind creating this ad, they come from a place which is trying — through sense of humour — to move on a conversation and get a message out there."
The real reason Centrelink is wasting your time
CENTRELINK is wasting Australia’s time. Monstrous amounts of it. Whole lifetimes are being chewed up by Centrelink’s outrageous slowness.
It takes 43 million calls a year and people wait on the line for hours to get answered. The worst story I found was a woman who waited on hold for 15 hours.
The Minister says the average wait time is 12 minutes and his last annual report says it is 15 minutes. Even if that was true, it isn’t good enough. And don’t forget Centrelink had 29 million unanswered calls, plus 7 million calls where people got tired of waiting so long and hung up.
Why does Centrelink do it? Because they can! They save a bit of money by understaffing — there are no consequences for them when they use up our time to save money.
This trick — turning our time into their money — pops up time and again in Australia. Consider Australia Post. When they drop off a note saying they tried to deliver a parcel they are using up a lot of my time to save a little bit of their money.
It looks great on the bottom line: expenses are slightly lower. Imagine if they had to include our time in their accounts — things would be very different indeed.
Too many organisations will happily trade hours of my time to save seconds of theirs. It is incredibly inefficient, and it happens mostly in a particular kind of large organisation.
For example, I do not get screwed around at my local burger shop. They try to be efficient because they know customers will go somewhere else if they’re not fast. Wasting customers’ time is the signature move of big organisations that don’t have enough competition.
WHERE THE HOURS DRAG BY
We get screwed around by government entities like Centrelink and the local council. By semi-government entities like Australia Post. And by big private businesses like airports, phone companies and banks that don’t have enough competition.
In the early 2000s, banks were a bit like Centrelink is now. They made you queue for hours if you went into a branch. Likewise, there was an era when Telstra was famous for its wait times if you needed help. Around a decade ago, people hesitated to use them because their customer service was famously abysmal.
But Telstra and the banks fixed their issues and these days they have a reputation for being maybe not perfect — but pretty good.
Airports are probably the worst example in the private sector. Australian cities each have only one airport. There’s no competition, so when they tell you to get there very early you comply. You normally spend ages queuing up (because they’re saving money on security, etc). Then you still have a long time to wait. The industry motto is “dwell time is sell time.”
Airports count on you buying a few overpriced items during that dwell time. That comes back to them in the shape of high rents for airport retail. It’s an elaborate system and it all depends on you giving up your time for free.
We need to put a stop to this. Australians time has been disrespected for too long, and organisations need to stop turning a blind eye to it. These organisations know time is valuable: they try to use their own staff’s time at maximum efficiency. But not ours
Government ministers knows the value of time too. That’s why they spend up on a charter flight instead of taking a regular flight later — to make sure not a moment is wasted. If only the same courtesy was extended to the rest of us.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here