Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Melbourne residents endure 15-hour blackouts

Leftist Premier Daniels denies that there was a shortfall of supply and says it was all due to fuses blowing at local substations.  If so, why were the tripswitches not immedicately turned back on?  Answer:  Because they could not be lest they bring down the whole grid.  As Robert Gottliebson noted: 

"It’s true part of the outages were caused by fuses, but the outages were too widespread. It’s another smokescreen".

Those outages were what enabled the Vic government to say that there was sufficient supply for the demand.  Melbourne's highest ever electricty demand was in 2009.  Were there any blackouts then?  I can find no mention of it.  The big Hazelwood generator was operating then

No power, no airconditioning, record temperatures. That was the harsh reality faced by tens of thousands of Melburnians on Sunday night as the mercury soared and the power grid crumbled.

After tossing and turning throughout the night, many residents were throwing out a fridge-load of spoiled food come Monday morning.

But for others it was much more serious. The elderly and ill, especially those relying on life-saving machinery, were the most vulnerable.

Highett resident Julie Kempton, 74, was affected by the outage, but she was more concerned for her bedridden neighbour, who is in palliative care. "They had no power or cooling for her … it’s appalling,” Ms Kempton said. “I’m annoyed that some people who really need to be kept cool and needed power didn’t have it through no fault of their own.”

Huge electricity demand from air-conditioners put unprecedented strain on the network, energy providers said.

The demand resulted in fuses at suburban substations blowing out, cutting power to tens of thousands of homes.

For 64-year-old Nel Lloga, of Hampton, it was a particularly difficult night. Ms Lloga’s 70-year-old husband is a stroke victim and the couple were without power for 15 hours. Even after their power was restored, the air-conditioning wouldn’t work on Monday afternoon. “I have heart problems, I couldn’t breathe,” Ms Lloga said. “If you come in my place it’s like a sauna.”

The couple sought refuge at their daughter’s home on Monday morning to escape the heat. “It’s terrible, they must do something,” she said.

Many Highett residents were without power for 15 hours. Tom Henry was among them. The 52-year-old lost power at 5pm on Sunday just as the temperature hit 37 degrees.

He was told by energy provider United Energy that the lights and air-conditioning would be back within four to five hours. But that wasn’t to be. “We rang United Energy and I sat on hold for 40 minutes then gave up and thought they’re not going to do anything," he said. “Nobody slept particularly well. You get up in the morning and kind of wonder what time it is.”

Jack Zeng, 52, owner of Wishbones Charcoal Chicken and Pasta in Hampton East, was in the middle of peak-hour service when the lights went out at 7pm in his shop. As the industrial cooking fans in the kitchen went off, the kitchen filled with smoke. “Everything went off,” he said. “It was extremely hot, very smoky and very dark.”

Another local business owner, Justin Derrick, said it wasn’t the first time the heat had affected the power grid in the area.  “Highett has just gone crazy in the last four or five years,” he said.

Although his three businesses were not affected, he said his young children struggled most with the lack of entertainment.

“It’s an education for them. Even the 2½-year-old was running around saying, ‘What are we going to do?’ ” “I was teaching my six-year-old the reality of the real world.”

Jo Pratt, 44, of Highett, said her internet had not be restored, even though the power had. “We lost all internet based on the fact that we have NBN and we’ve lost home phones,” she said.  “It’s frustrating.”


Vegan protesters storm steak restaurant in Melbourne's CBD

Authoritarian bigots want everyone else to conform to their beliefs.  Stalinism is alive and well

Dozens of vegan protesters stormed a Melbourne steak restaurant on Saturday evening, shouting chants at diners using megaphones.

Thirty-five protesters from activist groups 'Direct Action Everywhere - DxE - Melbourne' and 'Melbourne Cow Save' marched into Rare Steakhouse on King Street in the CBD holding graphic posters of cows in slaughterhouses with slogans such as “Steak = violence, death and suffering”.

Footage filmed of the incident show an elderly woman dining at the restaurant slapping away a protestor’s poster, while other diners continued to eat their meals, unperturbed by the scene unfolding around them.

“This is what happened to your steak, this is what happened before their flesh ended up on your plate," one protester can be heard shouting into a megaphone.

Rare Steakhouse's media and marketing manager, Chrissy Symeonakis, said the protesters arrived at the restaurant at about 6.30pm.

"It was just a regular Saturday evening, and we were looking forward to it being a busy night, when a group of protesters marched into the venue and located themselves in the upstairs and downstairs dining areas," Ms Symeonakis said.

"They were holding placards and banners and proceeded to chant and yell about consuming meat. They were filming our diners as they were eating and yelling into their megaphones."

Ms Symeonakis said reactions of customers and staff at the restaurant ranged from "shock to total bemusement".

"Our senior staff members identified who they thought were the ringleaders of the group and approached them and asked them to please leave because they were obviously unwelcome and entered the restaurant with the purpose of disrupting the peace," she said.

"When they refused to leave, the police were called."

Joanne Lee, a member of Direct Action Everywhere - DxE - Melbourne, said the group’s aim was to “force animal rights into the public consciousness through non-violent direct action”.

“The reason for going there was because passively asking for the exploitation and the suffering and death of animals to stop isn’t liberating them quick enough,” she said.

Ms Lee said they chose the restaurant because there were two levels and “numbers are pretty good on a Saturday”.

She admitted some diners were “pretty pissed off" by the protest. “One table was abusive and yelling at us, the other tables were just quietly looking,” she said.

While a number of the Melbourne Cow Save Facebook page supporters lauded the protest as "courageous", the group’s tactics have been met with opposition from other vegans online.  “I'm vegan and honestly I cringe so hard at stuff like this,” said user ‘epicpillowcase’ on Reddit Melbourne.

Ms Lee acknowledged that other vegan groups might be critical of such a confrontational approach. “We believe that in order to create change in our society we need to challenge our current belief systems and we need to force people to pick a side,” she said. “If they were selling the bodies of dead puppies in that place and we disrupted it, we’d be getting hailed heroes.”

Ms Symeonakis said new protocols had been put in place should another similar incident occur. "I understand that they absolutely come from a place of passion, but I think they could have gone about getting their message out there in a better way," she said.

In an unexpected twist, Ms Symeonakis said there had been a silver lining. "Our social media followers and 'likes' on Facebook have gone through the roof since the video began circulating online," she said.

Police confirmed that they were called to the restaurant about 7pm. “Protesters left the premises peacefully when asked to do so by the managers of the venue,” a spokeswoman for Victoria Police said. “There were no arrests and no injuries.”


Top Australian University introduces mandatory sexual harassment course using stick figures to tell students they can't kiss or touch each other without an 'ENTHUSIASTIC yes'

Feminist rubbish.  One doubts that the authors have ever been kissed

Students have slammed a mandatory sexual harassment course telling them they cannot kiss or touch without an 'enthusiastic yes'.

All commencing students at the University of Sydney must take the module, originally developed at Oxford University by London-based company Epigeum.

The university's website says the course is to help students understand consensual sexual activity, which it defines as including kissing and touching.

'It is the university's way of saying, "we've done our part, we look good", but it's not actually going to fix anything,' honours student Claudia Reed told the Daily Telegraph.

Medical Science student Eleni Vellios said asking explicitly for an 'enthusiastic "yes"' before kissing someone was silly and impractical.

'It's a bit unrealistic, no one is going to ask for them to spell it out and ask for it,' she said.

Ms Reed agreed, saying they course will not help or change the minds of anyone who needs to be taught what consent is.

The compulsory survey was a 'tick-a-box exercise', she added and said the university should be more focused on fixing the problems within its residential colleges. 

The University of Sydney states: 'Whenever you participate in any sexual activity, everyone involved needs to give their full consent.

'This means that everyone is entirely comfortable with the situation and freely able to agree, give permission or say "yes" to participating in a sexual activity (this includes kissing and touching). 'Sexual activity without consent is sexual assault and is always a crime.'

'Consent is never ambiguous. If someone is not able to offer an enthusiastic "yes" to questions about sexual activity you do not have consent.'

'Consent Matters: Boundaries, Respect, And Positive Intervention' uses stick figures to illustrate the importance of consent and the impact that drugs and alcohol have on consent.

The course states that 'everyone must have explicit permission from the person they intend to make contact with' before going ahead.  

A university spokesperson confirmed that students would be forced to keep attempting the course until they got every section correct.

'The Consent Matters module is mandatory for all new students enrolling at the University of Sydney from 2018 onwards,' she said.


Labor would push up health insurance costs for the poor

Government hospitals are enough for them.  Don't want them to be getting too independent and above their station!

Health Minister Greg Hunt has seized on Bill Shorten’s failure to rule out slashing the private health insurance rebate, warning that Labor policy will make premiums unaffordable for people on middle and low incomes.

The Opposition Leader told the National Press Club today that Labor was working through “a number of options” to reform the private health insurance system, and did not rule out changes to the rebate.

“Twice, Mr Shorten refused to rule out slashing or abolishing the private health insurance rebate,” Mr Hunt said.

“This rebate provides $6.4 billion to families and pensioners, to lower-income earners. It’s means-tested. It’s for those who otherwise would not be able to afford private health insurance.

“On the very day that Mr Shorten declared that he supported reducing pressures on the cost of living he announced a policy to increase pressure on cost of living.

“He announced a policy which would drive up the cost of private health insurance, which would put it beyond the reach of so many pensioners, so many families.”

Mr Hunt said today’s comments from Mr Shorten came on top of Labor’s existing policy of freezing the private health insurance rebate, which Deloitte modelling had should would increase low-cost basic premiums by 16 per cent.

“Talking with Private Healthcare Australia, they made it absolutely clear that with the 300,000 Australian pensioners on private health insurance, when you put the two elements of slashing the private health insurance rebate and a 16 per cent increase in the cost of basic policies together, in some cases pensioners would face a 50 per cent slug in their private health insurance. That’s unacceptable, it’s unsustainable,’’ Mr Hunt said.

“It would put private health insurance beyond the reach of pensioners and it would have a devastating impact on the Australian health system, driving up public waiting lists as people were no longer able to afford private health insurance and no longer able to afford to be part of the private hospital system.”

Mr Shorten said he was putting “big end multinational” health insurance companies “on notice”. “Business as usual does not work if you are getting a $6bn subsidy from the taxpayer yet making record profits and the prices and exclusions are going up. That is a problem,” he said.

“They are not the sole player in the system; it’s complex, but I’m committed to consultation, working through the issues but for private health insurance, I want to save it. “You won’t save it by increasing the prices. They’ve gone up a thousand bucks since the Liberals went in.”

Asked whether he would threaten to withdraw the government subsidy, Mr Shorten said he would talk to the insurers.  “Business as usual is not cutting it,” he said.

Pressed again, Mr Shorten said: “Let’s not put the cart before the horse. “I think the fees have increased too much. I think premium rises are too high.

“There needs to be better monitoring of exclusions. This has to be done with the industry as well as talking about it. I’m sure we can get a better deal.”


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

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