Manly Sea Eagles NRL club tried to promote Gay Pride. They could learn a lot from the Richmond Union Bowling Club (RUBC) Gay Pride Cup

This is the Manly Sea Eagles jersey the club proposed to wear for match against the Roosters to celebrate Gay Pride. 

You could be forgiven for thinking it celebrated gambling on rugby league. 

The net result of this change of jersey was a huge controversy involving seven players who refuse to wear the jersey because it was against their religious beliefs ie homosexuality. 

No qualms about gambling, however.  

They also refused to play in the match against the Roosters. There were clearly some discussions behind the scenes with the owner of the club and they have given an assurance there will be no repeat of this behaviour next year.

It’s the four little rainbow stripes they objected to. Nonetheless, the Christian lobby and Lyle Sheldon in particular, came out with all homophobic guns blazing. all in the interests of freedom of religion of course.

As a consequence, they refused to play and the consequent media attention detracted almost completely from the fact that the Sea Eagles were trying to promote inclusiveness and a celebration of diversity.

The upshot is that the NRL is considering a Gay Pride round next year. If this little exercise is any indication, next year should be a lot of fun! 

For the last two years, the Richmond Union Bowling Club in Victoria has held the Gay Pride Cup. It’s a celebration of the LGBTQI community. It’s a joyous event not marred by controversy or homophobia.

Now, in fairness it is probably easier to enjoy a bowls match than it is to enjoy a first grade rugby league match.

It’s a competition between any clubs that choose to enter and RUBC has special top for the day. Many opposition players choose to wear it.

Here are some pictures from the RUBC Gay Pride Cup.

The Victorian government plans to recruit 1000 frontline healthcare workers from overseas. They will all be returning Australian workers.

9 News reports reports “In order to be eligible, healthcare workers need to have an existing employment contract with a Victorian healthcare service, an active professional registration in place, and be ready to travel. The group will largely be made up of returning Australians who want to come back to the healthcare workforce, bolstered by a large number of international recruits.

That means the Victorian government is not doing anything underhand like poaching critical workers from other hospital systems simply encouraging otherwise unemployed Australian frontline health workers to come back to Australia and work in Victoria (rather than anywhere else).

The government will also be paying to help them relocate back to Australia.

The difficulty with this kind of recruitment drive is that it allocates resources to one part of the system at the expense of another. In this case, it may be other parts of Australia where workers came from or it may be the parts of Europe where they may be working on the frontline during the Covid pandemic. Whichever way you look at it, resources will be taken away from some part of the system that needs them and reallocated to another another part of the system that also needs them.

It’s a zero-sum game. Eventually, someone is going to start poaching Victoria’s frontline health workers.

Both systems are trying to establish a balance but create an escalating problem.

Staff start shopping around for the best deal. The total pool staff does not increase but the costs of attracting them backwards and forwards does. Staff numbers simply oscillate, they don’t increase for very long.

Staff numbers rise and fall as people move around
The costs of participating in this zero-sum game escalates.

It is a short-term strategy that does not work.

The longer term strategy is to train and retain more staff but this takes years of resource and educational planning. Once a pandemic is upon us everything is crisis planning.

The Andrews government government takes the line of least resistance on mask mandates in schools. Now is not the time for weak government.

Against the Chief Health Officer’s advice, Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas has refused to mandate wearing masks in schools.

Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO

This is completely spineless position for the government to take. Schools are a setting where the virus will spread rapidly.

Is stoned in the interests of return control over her health options to the public. What nonsense.

Individuals are not going to wear masks. They will take the selfish option and expose the rest of the community to the risk of of infection.

Victoria is currently experiencing 12,000 new cases daily and that’s just for is being reported. The total number of cases is unknown but it could be twice that number.

There is no doubt that the viruses ranging from community and the government needs to take strong steps to control it otherwise our hospital system will be completely overwhelmed.

You refuse to take the steps in schools where the vaccination rates are lowest. Most students have probably had only two jabs and the efficacy of those is probably waning rapidly.

The government needs to take strong action.

There needs to be a rapid rollout of the third jab in schools for all parents who want their children vaccinated.

Mask were initially mandated in schools. Children whose parents do not wish them to wear a mask school will need to enroll in online programs.

Because the numbers are not widely disseminated, most Victorians do not realise how serious this wave of the virus is.

The cost of this complacency will be crippling into rooms of this impact of hospital system and the economy.

Australian power companies were holding a gun to the consumers’ heads. The Australian Energy Market Operator called their bluff

With temperatures dropping along the seaboard in Australia, demand for electricity surged. This placed pressure on electricity suppliers, most of whom run coal-fired power stations. In the normal course of events, the coal supply would be provided on long-term contracts.

With the increased demand for electricity, came increased demand for coal. Most of the available coal is sold overseas so immediate demand has to be purchased on the spot market where prices are subject to fluctuations in demand. The war in Ukraine has made the spot price for coal extremely volatile so meeting the supplier demands has become very expensive.

The electricity providers took the economically rational decision to stop supplying electricity to the grid thereby threatening to deny a significant proportion of the Australian population power supply during a very cold early winter period. No lights, no heating, no way of preparing food.

That is the ultimate meaning of privatising the electricity generating and delivery system in Australia.

Thank you, Jeff Kennett and Alan Stockdale.

However, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) took the dramatic step: suspending the entire market from trading power generation until further notice.

This is how it worked

An S at the end of the arrowhead means the variables move in the same direction, an O means a move in the opposite direction. You can work your way around the causal diagram and see the impact of the intervention of the regulator. The dynamics change as you go around the second time.

The situation is complex because the impact of the war in Ukraine has meant worldwide shortages of energy, particularly coal.

Australian energy companies have not maintained sufficient stockpiles to avoid purchasing coal on the spot market. This has had a devastating effect on their profitability. Hence their decision to withdraw from the market and not supply electricity to the grid and the Australian population. They were, of course, quite happy to reap windfall profits available to them from the surge in electricity prices as a result of increased demand as result of the cold snap. But when it lasted longer than expected and they had to buy coal at prices that made their operations of viable, they decided to withhold supply.

From THE AGE According to the Grattan Institute’s energy program director, Tony Wood, uncertainty dated back to Tony Abbott’s decision to scrap the former Labor government’s carbon tax in 2013, and then Scott Morrison’s decision to axe Malcolm Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee in 2018.

Remember when Tony Abbott said that electricity prices are going to come down?

Well, this is the reality.

Since the last determination by the Australian Energy Regulator,  a year ago, wholesale electricity costs for retailers, who supply us all with our power, had surged by 41.4 per cent in NSW, 49.5 per cent in Queensland, and 11.8 per cent in South Australia, due to power plant shutdowns, higher coal and gas prices and slowing of investment in new capacity, among other things.

An Australian Grandfather writes a Requiem for the Grandchildren killed in US schools

In my mind’s eye, I confront him

Holding photos of you.

You had beauty that would have moved Botticelli, Renoir.

He remains blank, uncomprehending.

When you ran across the park towards me

A crowd of unruly angels jostled at your shoulder.

There were no angels jostling the AK-47.

“Papa, I love you to the moon and back,” you would say.

I would hold you close and say,

“I love you from my heart to your heart, wherever you may be.”

It proved to be not enough.

Yet, in the black chaos of grief,

This will prevail.

Why do people in America need to own semi-automatic assault rifles?

These weapons are designed for soldiers who are at war. They are designed to kill people. There is no reason why civilians should own them. There are now more guns in America than there are people. Many of these guns will be semiautomatic capable of killing many people in a very short period of time. The is significant proportion of the American public seems unconcerned about this situation.

There have also already been 233 mass shootings in the US this year alone, that’s two every three days. Many of them have been conducted by gunmen younger than 21.

The latest atrocity was conducted by a man who was unhappy with the outcome of his back surgery. So he purchased a semi-automating weapon, went to the hospital and shot his surgeon and three other people who got in the way.

A semi-automatic assault rifle which can fire 60 rounds a minute

It requires legislation to pass through Congress to limit the ownership of firearms or to change the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right of Americans to bear arms.

The founding fathers thought Americans should bear arms to avoid tyrannical governments not so that they could shoot doctors they were unhappy with.

Part of the reason that legislation cannot be pushed through the Congress and Senate is that the NRA funds Republican congressmen and Senators to vote down legislation restricting gun ownership. The Congress is evenly balanced and Republicans hold a majority in the Senate. This means legislation restricting any gun ownership is bound to fail.

Unless, unless at the next midterm elections, gun ownership becomes the central issue and the American population votes against Republican Congressmen and Senators who have voted against restricting gun ownership.

That will bring about change.

The tragedy of Uvalde must surely lay to rest the myth of the “good/bad guy with a gun”.

The National Rifle Association has long peddled the myth that “”The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,”

It is a massive over-simplification on both counts. For too long it has been the drumbeat to rally those marching to the cause of the right to bear arms.

It’s a cliché which is a massive over-simplification because they are not simply “bad guys”. They are “mad, bad, unstable, suicidal, psychopaths, armed with a semi-automatic assault rifles and a plentiful supply of ammunition prepared to kill everybody in sight”. That is why they should not be allowed to buy guns. The solution is not “a good guy with a gun” but not letting the bad guy have a gun.

The other myth that the tragedy of Uvalde must call into question is that of the “good guy with a gun”. This is the other over-simplification peddled by the NRA. It is becoming apparent that the good guys with guns are ordinary folk with families and friends and hamsters who expect them to come home alive at the end of the working day. This myth of the good guy with a gun is based somewhere deep in the psyche, history and folklore of America. It is not something that keeps the children of modern America safe.

US News “From white-hatted cowboys in movie Westerns to cigarette-smoking, trench-coated fictional private detectives, the gun-packing hero has been celebrated in American popular culture as the ultimate weapon in a central battle between good and evil.”

Clint Eastwood in one of his many roles as the “good guy with a gun”.

After the Uvalde shooting, Texas authorities this week were fielding accusations that people trained to respond to such incidents didn’t move quickly enough, possibly costing lives.

It didn’t work May 16 in Buffalo, where an armed, off-duty security guard and former police officer was unable to stop a shooter on an apparent racist rampage. The security guard, along with nine Black supermarket shoppers, was killed.

Americans do not seem to be able to make a choice about what they value most: the safety of their schoolchildren children or the right of 18-year-olds to carry semi-automatic assault rifles.

Ex-Wallaby captain David Pocock is a second rugby player to be elected to the Senate. He is a giant step up from the first one.

No disrespect to the Brick with Eyes but he was always going to be better player than a senator. Being a protégé of Clive Palmer wasn’t any help either.

Here is a quote from the to packages via their shoes thisto give you a measure of David Pocock

David Pocock is a courageous man. Twice during the final minutes of the Waratahs’ match against the Brumbies in Sydney on Sunday the flanker complained that the Waratahs forward Jacques Potgieter had called two Brumbies players “faggot” – and twice the referee claimed he had not heard the insult.

Indeed it’s not right, and late last night following a SANZAR investigation Potgieter admitted to his comments, apologised and expressed remorse. “I’m very sorry for any offence caused by what I said on the field during a heated encounter,” the South African said. “It was an offhand remark made without thought for the hurt it could cause to those around me.” Potgieter was fined $20,000 – with $10,000 suspended – by the Australian Rugby Union for using the homophobic slurs.

Pocock has been a vocal supporter of gay marriage

 He has been an activist on other fronts as well. In November last year he chained himself to a digger for 10 hours as part of a blockade against Whitehaven’s Maules Creek coal mine.

In 2000 Cathy Freeman held the flag for Indigenous people at the Sydney Olympics; could Pocock and others hold it just as high against bigotry and for environmental action? In this political climate the more people like Freeman and Pocock willing to step and put themselves on the line for their beliefs the better. That’s what cultural change looks like.

He was also regarded by many as the best open side flanker in the modern game. Significant praise as the other contender is Richie McCaw.

He will also bring considerable pin-up value to his media profile.

Pick on someone your own size. Prime Minister Scott Morrison shoulder charges seven-year old boy in soccer match.

Scott Morrison turned up to a trial soccer match of seven-year-olds Tasmania. He joined in the game. A rugby league fan, he then shoulder charged a 7 year old boy, Luca Fauvette.

Did none of his minders tell him that soccer is different from rugby league?

It was still wrong on every count, Luca didn’t have the ball, the rules of tackling are different in the two games.

Has Morrison never been to a soccer match?

Apart from that, Luca was much smaller than Morrison.

Seven-year-old Luca Fauvette, appearing on the Today show with his grandmother, Jo, thinks the prime minister should have been given a red card.CREDIT:NINE NEWS

Morrison could get some lessons from Sonny Bill Williams, who was a master of the art, on how to do a decent shoulder charge.

There are also some other simple things too: pick on someone your own size, take your glasses off, wear footy gear.

And the piece of general advice from everybody: Don’t be a bully.