Friday, November 02, 2018

"Killer heatwave": What the heck are they talking about?

At mid afternoon Thurs 1st November in Brisbane (S.E. Queeensland), my thermometer reads 29.5C -- and my thermometer synchronizes well with Brisbane BoM readings. And a normal summer afternoon reading is 34C

Killer heatwave strikes: Temperatures on Australia's east coast soar towards 40C – and it won't end until next week

Australia is sweating its way through the first heatwave of the season, prompting dire warnings from fire and health authorities.

Temperatures in Sydney are set to reach the mid-to high-30s by Friday and more than 40C in regional areas.

Unusually dry conditions, strong winds and scorching temperatures have also increased the risk of dangerous fires.

Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke told Daily Mail Australia the heatwave would be contained to inland areas for southern parts of the country.

'In the far north of the country parts of the tropics are getting the heatwave, such as the eastern part of Cape York,' Mr Dutschke said.

Most of southern Australia is set to endure three to four days of the scorching heatwave. However, areas such as northern New South Wales and southwest Queensland will be met with much more severe heat.

Most of the coast will be lucky to avoid the heatwave due to sea breezes, but will still see warmer than normal temperatures.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Jake Phillips said it was the first heatwave of the season and while it won't be very intense, it could impact people more than normal given the recent run of mild conditions.

'One of the characteristics of heatwaves is not just hotter maximum temperatures but also hotter minimums,' he said in a statement.

As the heatwave stretches across most of the country, authorities have urged residents to prepare themselves for a 'killer' bushfire season.

Friday and Saturday will be the hottest days as the heatwave makes its way across the east coast before being pushed north.

Weatherzone meteorologist Jacob Cronje said the heatwave was the result of a cold front pushing the warm weather towards the coast. 'At the moment there is very hot air over the interior of Australia, which has had very little cloud cover,' Mr Cronje said. 'A cold front is forcing and dragging all that warm air down.'


'They're obsessed with all this stuff!' Scott Morrison blasts Labor for spending too much time on transgender people after plans for new gender-neutral passports emerge

Has the workers' party become the deviant's party?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed Labor and its 'ridiculous' obsession with gender identity.

Mr Morrison's comments follow the release of the Labor Party's final draft national policy platform, which mentions sexual orientation and transgender dozens of times.

Labor is also considering appointing a new Commissioner for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status issues.

When asked by Alan Jones on his 2GB breakfast radio program on Thursday if the focus on the subject worries him, Mr Morrison replied, 'It does, at a number of levels.'

'But the main one is why aren't they talking about small business and family businesses. Why aren't they talking about (bringing) taxes down and electricity prices down?' Mr Morrison continued.

'Why aren't they talking about those issues? I mean, they're obsessed with this stuff. I honestly don't understand.'

Labor's federal policy proposal has been released ahead of the party's triennial national party conference, which is being held in Adelaide from December 16 to 18.

The party's left and right factions will debate the draft platform at the conference and if the proposals are agreed to, they will be the policies Labor takes to next year's federal election.

The draft document mentions sexual orientation 64 times, transgender 36 times and intersex 59 times.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual are each mentioned about 30 times, while gender is included on 138 occasions.

The 224-page policy proposal seeks to commit a Labor government to reviewing 'documentation requirements'.

For transgender and intersex people, that would mean the ability to choose an identification 'beyond binary male/female'. 

'That's what they're going to debate at the Labor Party national conference. Apparently that is the issue, not what people are having to pay,' Mr Morrison said. 'It's ridiculous. It is just simply ridiculous.'  


The university degrees that will earn you big bucks and the ones that will leave you empty-handed (communications and tourism students look away now)

Australia's best and worst universities and degrees for landing a high-paying job after graduation have been revealed in a new report into higher education.

The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey showed the best courses but also laid bare which degrees are the worst when it came to job availability and pay rises.

The study showed that nine in ten tertiary graduates were working full-time three years after graduating, with an average salary of $70,000.

The latest data from Australia's largest higher education survey was based on the responses of 40,000 students who graduated in 2014 from 60 institutions across Australia.

Graduates who studied medicine, pharmacy and engineering were enjoying the highest average salaries by 2018, with their pay going up by 78 per cent between their entry-level post-graduation jobs and the positions they were filling four years down the line.

Medicine graduates were earning $65,000 straight out of uni in 2015, but that jumped to $98,000 in 2018.

The highest-paid profession four years after university was dentistry, with the class of 2014 averaging $118,000 in salary this year.

On the other end of the scale, teaching degrees had the worst outcomes for graduates when it came to salary growth, with pay only increasing by 15 percent over the four-year period.

When it came to finding work, the worst outcomes were for graduates in tourism, hospitality, personal services, sport and recreation, with only 48 per cent finding a job within a year of gaining a degree.

It was little better for those in the creative arts, such as communications, where the rate of employment in year one was 48.3 per cent - the same percentage as those with degrees in maths and science despite schools trying to push more female students into that sector.

However, all fields of study had an employment rate of at least 85 per cent by year four, indicating the value of tertiary study.

 'A university degree expands your horizons, challenges you and remains one of the surest ways to find full-time work, even when the labour market has been doing it tough,' Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said in a statement.

'Four out of five people with undergraduate qualifications are working in managerial and professional occupations. These are exactly the type of jobs that the Australian Bureau of Statistics says require a Bachelor’s degree or higher.'

Sydney graduates fared better than their Melbourne counterparts when it comes to salaries.

University of Sydney’s class of 2014 were earning a median salary of $73,000 by 2018, $8000 more than their University of Melbourne counterparts.

Three years after graduation, universities with the highest full-time employment rates for undergraduates include Charles Sturt University in regional New South Wales (93.6 per cent) and Murdoch University in Perth (93.2), followed by University of Technology Sydney (92.7), Canberra's Australian National University (92.2)  and University of South Australia (91.8).


We can’t let the aggressive secularists drive out religion

The Machiavellian leaking of “fake news” out of the Ruddock review of religious freedom during the Wentworth by-election and the emotionally charged reaction raises yet again the issue of how 25 million people are going to live together with their deepest ideological and religious beliefs in the vastly different Australia we now live in.

In short, the question is how we are now going to respect diversity and still promote liberty while maintaining the harmony that has been so much the hallmark of our national life.

We must face up to the urgency of the problem: we are atomising and fracturing in the context of the rise of powerful ferment over beliefs and ideologies across the globe. Far from this being “the end of history” or an age of secularism, we are witnessing a global resurgence of religion and ideology.

We are also living through a clash of Western traditions within our own civilisation, between liberal traditionalism and cultural Marxism, both of which emerged out of the Enlightenment. Add to this the emergence of social media, which was supposed to create a virtual global public square, but in the process has also created virtual global tribes, and we a have vast new machinery for transforming civil disagreement into civil hate. These forces are potentially so destabilising that they may threaten our governability.

If we beneficiaries of liberal democracy and human rights better understood our history we wouldn’t be so reserved about affirming religious freedom. History teaches that the long arc of Christian influence on society has proven to be hugely beneficial.

No doubt it is easy to find serious moral blemishes in Christian history, but it was also out of Christianity’s capacity for reform that the solutions evolved. Perez Zagorin in his classic book How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West shows that religious freedom — the beginning of liberalism — largely emerged from Christian tradition in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The great myth is that all of our most cherished values came out of some secular Enlightenment. On the contrary, notions of human dignity and equality arose in the Judeo-Christian tradition hundreds of years before the Enlightenment; and, in any case, for the most part the Enlightenment was not secular. The great Enlightenment document affirming human rights, equality, and liberty — Thomas Jefferson’s 1776 Declaration of Independence — based these ideals on the notion that “all men are created equal” and are “endowed by their Creator” with these rights.

To this day secularists have not found a better foundation.

The anti-slavery movement, perhaps the greatest human rights achievement of all time, drank deeply at the well of Christianity, with the strong religiosity of African-Americans to this day testifying to a collective awareness of Christianity’s emancipatory ­potential.

The early feminist movement was also made up of many individual Christian women, including the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which was the major agent behind women getting the vote in South Australia in 1894.

Evangelicals were at the front of 19th-century movements to improve the conditions in factories: Catholic social thought influenced Justice Henry Higgins in the Harvester judgment of 1907, which introduced a minimum “living” wage in Australia.

None of this is even to mention the huge social utility of religion in Australia today, particularly in the founding of charities and levels of charitable giving, as outlined in Greg Sheridan’s brilliant God is Good For You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times. Society benefits from religion, even if not all individuals know it, and thus it is at our collective loss if we hinder religion’s efforts to maintain strong institutions and have a public influence.

But strong religious institutions are made up of strongly religious individuals — that is, individuals who honour the principles of the institution in thought and deed. For this reason as long as we recognise the importance of allowing religious institutions — churches, schools, charities — to exist we must allow them to discriminate in their membership, lest our commitment to freedom of religion and association is just an empty gong.

It cannot be doubted that individuals can be hurt by the exercise of the rights of religion and conscience, just as people can be hurt by other rights such as freedom of speech, association — we all exercise the right to exclude individuals from our circle of friends — and even free trade.

The best way to address this is within the paradigm of liberal freedoms themselves.

In a liberal democracy, if a clash of interests can be resolved without limiting anybody’s freedoms then it should be the preferred way. In the case of religious schools in a highly developed country like Australia, most people have the option of more than just one school to work or study in. Furthermore, as the Ruddock review recommends, schools can develop strategies for making their doctrinal and moral expectations clear from the beginning in a sensitive way, seeking to avoid any unnecessary hurt.

Interestingly, this reflects the diversity of political parties in our system as a vital part of the machinery of our freedom. Politicians argue that voters should have choice, and we as voters embrace choice every time we decide whom to vote for.

The rhetoric of an often aggressive secularism which seeks to drive religion out of the public square fails to grasp that secularism is merely one voice in the pluralist crowd. Contemporary secularists need to accept that while Australia is not as religious as it was a generation ago, it is not the secularist nation they would like. If secularists rejoice that the 2016 census reported that 30 per cent of Australians register “no religion” they must also acknowledge that around 50 per cent of Australians identified as Christian, with continued immigration coming from countries that are less secular than Australia.

Thus, calls for the withdrawal of public funding for religious schools that discriminate are seriously flawed. Such calls covertly define the Australian “public” as secular, as though the religious parents who send their children to religious schools aren’t themselves members of the same public that contributes the funds from which Australian schools are supported. Once we acknowledge that the Australian public remains to a significant degree a religious public — as the 2016 census indicated — then religious schools have as much right to public funding as non-religious schools.

Sir Robert Menzies said that “democracy is more than a machine; it is a spirit. It is based upon the Christian conception that there is in every human soul a spark of the divine.” For Menzies, democracy could work only if we remember that “with all their inequalities of mind and body, the souls of men stand equal in the sight of God”.

In the ridiculing and mocking of the Christian God and his expulsion from the public square, we have also lost the compelling narrative that Menzies so plainly understood for respecting one another that arises from the Christian insistence on loving your neighbour as yourself, even when that neighbour is your enemy.

In the all-too-common circumstances when we find we profoundly and genuinely disagree, we now resort to such levels of hate speech that it is hard to avoid the conclusion that we are faced with a civic crisis. The aggressive secularists who insist on burning down what remains of our cultural house have proved totally unable to point the way to a better dwelling. The 20th century showed us just how hideous secular utopianism can be.

Modern Australia could surely use an infusion of some things traditionally Christian, for example Christianity’s emphasis on humility. When you replace humility with a culture of narcissism and self-righteousness, those with whom we disagree become wicked in our minds. But as Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said: “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts.”

We are also seeing how superficial progressives’ commitment to multiculturalism actually is, for the cultural integrity of religious schools — Christian or otherwise — seems to have no moral force when it comes to the diversity movement. In fact, the demands of diversity are a new form of assimilation. Dare to disagree on cultural grounds with the reigning orthodoxy on gender politics and you’ll immediately find yourself branded a lesser Australian.

Much as I dislike the racial and sexual discrimination architecture in this country, it appears that an overarching religious discrimination act may be the only way to secure as a positive right an acceptable degree of religious freedom in contemporary Australia.

It would need to be very carefully thought through and drafted in order to properly enshrine religious freedom, associational rights, and freedom of conscience as human rights. Ironically, this is necessary to bring us into line with the very international obligations so beloved of today’s social ­activists.

We are fortunate that in Australia there is indication of a decent majority that values freedom of conscience and religious liberty. The submissions in favour of religious liberty and freedom of conscience to the Ruddock review into religious freedom were overwhelming and, according to polls conducted during the 2017 same-sex marriage debate, a very large majority of Australians are in favour of the protection of religious liberty.

I don’t hear anyone arguing for an extension of religious liberty; rather, it has become patently obvious that effective measures are now needed to simply preserve the freedoms we’ve taken for granted and exercised for so long in laissez-faire Australia. That is because our society is now plainly infused with activists who are determined to use every tool available to enforce their views on others, no matter the cost. And as a result, our cherished social harmony really is now at risk.


The cylist was a typical arrogant prick

I was right in expecting that the cyclist had behaved offensively before he was attacked. Cyclist 'keyed' his attacker's car moments before he was run off the road - and had to write an APOLOGY

The cyclist at the centre of a road rage video that went viral keyed the driver's car before the attack, Daily Mail Australia can reveal.

University mathematics student Jack McDonnell, 29, admitted to running a key along Michael Giarrusso's Nissan Patrol 4WD as he cycled alongside him in Melbourne's St Kilda.

This prompted Mr Giarrusso to deliberately swipe him off the road and then throw his bike into the bushes.

The video went viral after the footage of Giarrusso's savage retaliation was posted online by Australian Cycle Alliance last week and quickly spread across the world.

McDonnell fronted the Melbourne Magistrates' Court in August and admitted his guilt to a single charge of criminal damage with intent to damage or destroy.

He was placed into the court's diversion program for first time offenders where he agreed to write a letter of apology to Giarrusso. Under the plan, offenders are not required to enter into formal pleas and do not have criminal convictions recorded under their names. 

The apology letter was received by the driver within a month and the diversion plan was discharged on September 3.

McDonnnell, a language expert who previously worked in France, has further angered police after taking to social media this week to out Giarrusso as the driver in the video.

The Queensland native branded Giarrusso a 'coward', naming him and providing his home address and mobile phone number, which has since been disconnected.

Giarrusso's dad, John Giarrusso, told Daily Mail Australia he was furious with the social and mainstream media coverage his son had received. Mr Giarrusso was named in a one-sided article written by The Age on Tuesday. 'It's in the hands of solicitors at the moment,' he said.

'It's totally incorrect, so the solicitor is looking after this … this is total a fabrication. They don't know the whole story of this so this is why it's in the hands of solicitors

Mr Giarrusso, 27, of Bentleigh East, was forced to front court over his savage retaliation against the cyclist.

The Melbourne Magistrates' Court confirmed Giarrusso initially faced five charges over the incident, but pleaded guilty to just one charge of recklessly causing injury after accepting a deal from prosecutors. He was fined $1000 without conviction and ordered to pay $81 in court costs.


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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