I remember a fragment of a conversation with my mother when I was a small child. It must have been about the time I was to get some vaccinations. She said with some passion “whooping cough is a wicked thing.”
Who could argue against that? The thought of a tiny baby literally coughing itself to death is just awful. The ready availability of vaccines for this and other deadly diseases means that some of the deadliest diseases are no longer a threat.
So why is it that in the last three weeks two families in our town have been infected with whooping cough with at least one member in each family seriously ill? How can this even be a thing in 2019?
As far as I know both families are fully immunised, and don’t have much direct contact. Which means that there is at least one other family carrying the bacteria in town.
As I understand it, in Australia immunisation rates are about 95%. The whooping cough vaccine gives about 80% protection, and if you do come down with the disease it is generally a less severe condition. In Narrabri there are likely to be about 350 people who are not immunised.
The effectiveness of the vaccine relies on everyone in a community being immunised so that the chances of being exposed to the disease is close to zero. But if the rates of vaccination fall, then everyone in the community is put at risk.
At particular risk then are babies who are yet to be sufficiently old to receive the vaccination. In recent years, pregnant women often receive a booster to pass on immunity to their child.
Some people refuse to immunise their children for all kinds of reasons, most of them not based in fact. There are rare side effects from some of these vaccines, and sometimes these are exaggerated in certain groups.
Whooping cough is still a wicked thing. Sadly it is still a real thing.
For what does a neatly-dressed man standing behind a barbecue signify? Think of every Father’s Day ad you have ever seen. How many of them feature barbecue tools? Maybe 50%? Why? Because when men barbecue, they are usually in a back yard. If men have a back yard, it means they live in a house. If they have a house, they are generally married with children. When men barbecue, they are usually feeding their families and friends and having fun doing it. In other words, barbecue men are deeply invested in family life.
They are, in short, fathers. And what is the easiest way to produce boys who do not understand or respect the boundaries between positive and negative masculinity? Take away their fathers.
The barbecue men are the reason most boys with loving fathers grow up to be strong, productive men: men who will never be a threat to anyone—except to bad guys who never learned the boundaries for—or how to positively channel—aggression, because so many of them had no fathers to teach them.
Kay says that after realizing this she finally understood why the ad prompted such a visceral reaction for her. I think she is dead on here. Gillette’s ad isn’t just garden variety misandry, it is an attack aimed primarily at respectable men. I understood that at some level, which you can see from the title of my original post on the ad, but I didn’t put my finger on the meaning of the men grilling. It is the masculine equivalent of women baking apple pies.
It is interesting to see that while Christian culture has been going after married fathers for years both via sermons and films with no complaint, when Gillette crossed that same line secular culture was outraged. I also think it wasn’t a coincidence that the central theme of the movie Courageous was expressed by the Christian men complaining about their fathers while sitting in Adam’s backyard, eating the steaks he had just grilled for them. The symbolism of the barbecue is important enough in Courageous that the scene appears prominently twice in the movie’s trailer. The first time is immediately after the words “Fathers Struggling to Connect”, and the second time is when Adam hands the other men his resolution and announces “I don’t want to be a good enough father.”
As Bruce of Newcastle says ““Three days and you could buy a HELE plant with the money wasted.” That’s a power plant that could last 70 years, and provide electricity at under $50/MW. (Forget all the high charges for 30 years to pay of the capital (in red below), we could just buy the damn thing outright, paid off in full from day one.)
Cost of old coal plants in the USA. From the report by Stacy and Taylor, of the Institute for Energy Research (IER)
Burned at the stake: $500 per family
In Victoria, per capita, that means it cost $110 for one day’s electricity. For South Australians, Thursday’s electricity bill was $140 per person. (So each household of four just effectively lost $565.) In both these states those charges will presumably be paid in future price rises, shared unevenly between subsidized solar users and suffering non-solar hostages. The costs will be buried such that duped householders will not be aware of what happened. Coles and Woolworths will have to add a few cents to everything to cover their bills, and the government will have to cut services or increase taxes. No one will know how many jobs are not offered or opportunities lost. This is the road to Venezuela.
If Hazelwood had still been open, the whole bidstack would have changed, quite probably saving electricity consumers in those two states hundreds of dollars. Eight million Australians could have had a weekend away, gone to a ball, or bought brand new fishing gear. And this is just one single day of electricity. If Liddell closes, things will get worse, no matter how much unreliable not-there-when-you-need-it capacity we add to the system. Indeed, the more fairy capacity we add, the worse it gets. NSW will soon join the SA-Vic club.
This is what happens when an electricity grid is run by kindergarten arts graduates who struggle with numbers bigger than two.
This is utterly and completely a renewables fail
The socialist Labor-Greens are already trying to blame it on coal, but we ran coal plants for decades without these disasters. Right now, no one is investing in coal because of bipartisan stupidity. What company would pay the maintenance fees on infrastructure so hated by the political class? The coal plants are being run into the ground. Maintenance is even being delayed to keep the plants running through peaks like this.
No country on Earth with lots of renewables has cheap electricity. How many times do I have to repeat it? This is my mantra for 2019.
In Australia when we had mainly coal and no renewables our electricity was cheap and reliable. Now we are still mainly coal, but all it takes is a poisonous small infiltration of subsidized unreliable renewables to destroy the former economic incentives, the whole market, the system: our lifestyle.
The Liberal Party needs to grow a spine
This is surely a crisis. As long as the Liberals are a Tweedledum version of the Labor party, they can’t solve this and deserve to lose. New renewables installations must be stopped immediately — put on hold indefinitely — until they no longer need forced subsidies, until the RET is gone, the carbon taxes, the hidden emissions trading scheme and we have a proper free market. Then new renewables can be permitted to compete with all generation alternatives, though all new generators will also have to be responsible for paying for extra transmission lines, back up batteries, and any other frequency stabilization required. On net a generator must be able to guarantee that when the people call on it, it can provide, lets say, 80% of total nameplate capacity. When that day comes (thirty, fifty, years from now or maybe never) I will be happy to support renewables. Until then, we are global patsies handing over glorious profits to energy giants, renewables companies, Chinese manufacturers, and large financial institutions.
Lets have a plebescite: How many Australians would rather have a weekend away with their family or make the world 0.00 degrees cooler in 100 years in a symbolic display to assuage the Gods of Storms?
You may have seen this ad which Gillette produced.
It has polarising in its reception. On youtube down thumbs are about 2-3 times the number of up thumbs.
Gillette, along with many feminists, justifies the ad as being important to raise discussion about “toxic masculinity.”
What has happened is far different, with many men expressing a feeling that the ad is in fact blaming them or demeaning them, even shaming them. Not a good response for a company whose main business is selling products for men.
As the debate has unfolded in social media, it has become, as usual, a war of name-calling. People on one side saying “I’m offended” or “I find that ad problematic”, and people on the other side calling the men “snowflakes” and “he-sterical” (Ha ha good one that. Try calling a feminist “hysterical” when they get worked up). I saw one person who described any attempt to express disagreement as “violent abuse.”
We are at a very dangerous state at the moment. “Toxic masculinity” is a bit of a catch phrase that tries to capture some of the bad behaviour of some men. For example, the antics of some footballers, drunkenness, sexual harassment etc. However there are some people who believe that all masculinity is toxic, and the world would be much better off if men could just be women, or better still not be here at all.
We are told that the traditional masculine traits of physically intense activity, “rough housing”, courage, and stoicism are dangerous.
On the one hand men are told to get in touch with their feelings and learn to express themselves instead of bottling it all up. But the minute they do that, the oh- so compassionate women launch into full blown shrieking harridan mode telling them to “toughen up, snowflake.”
As long as that goes on, men are going to continue to try to soldier on alone, not talking to anyone, trying to work out what worth they bring to the planet.
It’s no wonder that many men who have not been able to find a purpose to live for end up concluding that their lives mean nothing and top themselves.
As for me, I took the rational step of buying a Schick razor today.
If your only way of finding out about what’s happening in this country is either by listening to ABC or reading the Guardian, you’d think the entire country is embarrassed about being Australian, wracked with guilt about Australia’s history and overwhelmingly opposed to celebrating Australia Day on January 26.
Indeed, you’d likely wind up mistakenly thinking that there is a groundswell of anger from mainstream, everyday Australians who believe that Australia Day is by far the most pressing issue facing Australians in 2019.
However, a poll commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs and which was conducted by Research Now, has revealed that this is exactly the opposite to what mainstream Australians really think about themselves as Australians, their history and their values.
In fact, Australians are fundamentally optimistic and positive about being Australian.
The results of the poll show that 87 per cent of Australians are proud to be Australian, while a tiny 3 per cent are not.
When it comes to Australia’s history, 76 per cent of the respondents believe this country has a history to be proud of, while only 11 per cent did not.
The polling also found that 75 per cent of Australians think that we should continue to celebrate Australia Day on January 26 while only 10 per cent actually want the date to be changed. Chances are that if you polled the Canberra Press Gallery with the same questions, the numbers would be significantly different.
These results expose the massive divide between the majority of Australians and the minority of vocal individuals who continually push the narrative of national self-loathing and self-flagellation on to everyday Australians.
The results simply reveal that there is an enormous disconnect between what Australians think about themselves, and what we are being told Australians think about themselves.
Every year, when Australia Day comes around, elements of the media, the political class and a small but noisy group of activists on Twitter, pull out all stops to impose their own version of Australia’s history on the nation.
They are, however, completely and utterly out of touch with mainstream Australia.
Not only are they out of touch, but it seems that the more strident they are in their opposition and the more they obsess about changing the date, the more that Australians want to keep the date.
When the Institute of Public Affairs asked the same question about Australia Day in 2018, 70 per cent of Australians were favour. This year, the number has gone up to 75 per cent. The poll also shows that young people are not being drawn to the divisive argument of opposing our national day.
The more this vocal, activist minority pushes its agenda down their throats, the less inclined everyday Australians are to go along with it.
The poll found that last year 17 per cent of young Australians between the ages of 18-24 said that Australia Day should not be celebrated on January 26. This year’s poll shows that, that number has plummeted to just 8 per cent. They, like the majority of Australians know that there are more important issues to think about.
The incessant hounding of the public by activists is having the opposite effect than they intend.
Similarly, our political class likes to present the issue of freedom of speech and freedom of religion as fringe cultural issues being pushed by a small number of conservatives.
Yet again, the poll reveals that the opposite is true.
When asked what they thought about these values, a whopping 92 per cent of the respondents considered freedom of speech to be an important Australian value while 77 per cent said freedom of religion was an important Australian value.
Again, this exposes the disconnect between mainstream Australians and our political class.
Many of the left-wing activists that will be taking part in protests on January 26 have moved on from the change-the-date campaign and are advocating the abolition of Australia Day all together. These activists will never be happy until there is no celebration of our successful, liberal, prosperous, modern nation.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is right when he says there is a majority of “quiet Australians’’ who aren’t obsessed with the issues pushed by the Canberra bubble or a noisy minority. He was right to come down hard on radical local councils who are refusing to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day.
The Federal government is correct to insist that citizenship ceremonies should be celebrated on the 26th because it is the federal government that gives councils the power to hold them.
The government is perfectly entitled to take away that power from rebellious councils such as Darebin in Victoria, which last year actively encouraged people to go to work on January 26 and take another day off.
Critics of the Prime Minister’s decision have said this is a “public relations stunt designed to further divide this country’’ but the refusal to participate in celebrating Australia as a united country is the truly divisive force.
January 26 marks the foundation of modern Australia and it should be celebrated by all Australians. Rather than being ashamed of it, we should be proud of it.
On January 26 the majority of Australians will be rejecting the overwhelmingly negative rhetoric about this nation’s history.
They will not be out in the streets in force, but they will be with friends and family, celebrating what it is to be Australian.