Embrace Dog this festive season.

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Australians are being urged to remember and honour Dog during the upcoming festive season and to seek further opportunities to allow Dog to become the focal point of their end of year celebrations.

Aussies are being reminded that the true message of Dog is found not only within the four walls of the institutions which brought them into contact with Dog, but that the love of Dog can be found in their homes and parks and beaches and cafes – everywhere.

Take comfort, they are advised, in the knowledge that Dog is one constant in an ever-changing world. Even during times when new ways of thinking and social upheaval threaten to destroy our belief in Dog, Dog will always be there.

Australians should also ensure they turn their attention to Dog even during the hectic, busy and stressful period that marks the lead up to Christmas. In an effort to help the good people of Australia to do so, below is a list of practical recommendations which are framed in joy and positive affirmations.

  • Dog is everywhere
  • Dog loves you
  • Let Dog into your life
  • Make the time in your crowded schedule to communicate with Dog
  • Enjoy the opportunity to show your love for Dog on a daily basis, not just during certain ceremonies in April and December
  • Proudly and triumphantly proclaim your devotion to Dog, to everyone, everywhere, even where Dog is not welcome. Ignore signs and signals which attempt to exclude the presence of Dog
  • Defend Dog in your words and deeds, against those who choose to slander Dog, because Dog is righteous
  • Include Dog in your holiday. Take Dog with you in the car, on the plane, in the hotel, at the campground…
  • Lavish gifts upon Dog this year, just as you lavish gifts upon family and friends
  • Love your Dog as the one true Dog, while acknowledging the right of other people to love other Dogs
  • Dog is the reason for the season
  • Practice humility when communicating with Dog and accept that Dog is wiser than you. Subjugate yourself to the will of Dog
  • Teach your children to love Dog, because the love of Dog must start in the home.
  • Include Dog in Carols by Candlelight, summer barbecues, Kris Kringle and Christmas parties – you can even find a way to involve Dog in one seminal act of Christmas, the traditional photo with Santa.

Finally, remember that Dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

Australians urged to Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide, Seek…and Hide.

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Health authorities are urging Australians to protect themselves from the sun during the summer holidays with a renewed campaign called Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide, Seek and Hide.

The new slogan extends the original “Slip, Slop, Slap” message, which was launched in response to Australia having some of the highest rate of skin cancer cases in the world.

The long-running slogan encourages everyone to slip on some clothing, slop on some suncream and slap on a hat while in the sun. The new slogan advises people to also slide on some sunglasses and seek shade.

It is the “Hide” message which confused some Australians, and which prompted clarification from health authorities.

“Australians are urged to hide because the sun is becoming stronger every year. It is vital to hide from the sun in order to avoid skin cancer, which is still a major cause of death in the country,” explained authorities.

Australians are also encouraged to hide from shame, as the country has the biggest per capita carbon footprint of any nation on earth.

The country’s continued use and support of fossil fuels, especially coal, is contributing to the climate crisis and global warming and has made the once-popular country an international embarrassment.

Such is Australia’s international standing that the current prime minister, Scott Morrison, was recently labelled “Fossil of the Day” at an international climate conference due to his support of the coal industry. Morrison is also famous for taking a lump of coal into federal parliament during question time and telling Australians not to be afraid.

Aussies are also encouraged to hide from the fact that Australia re-elected a party which is clearly controlled by the coal lobby and is determined to open new coal mines despite compelling and irrefutable scientific evidence that coal mining and burning of fossil fuels contributes massively to the climate crisis.

Ironically, the outdoor lifestyle for which Australia is famous is now under threat as the sun becomes a danger rather than a blessing.

At the time of writing, residents of Sydney are having to hide from the smoke haze from bushfires which have burned out of control throughout the state and are said to have been exacerbated by the climate crisis.

Australians are thus encouraged to hide until the current reality of the country is changed.

Image: Jeremy Bishop

 

 

Why do cafes give disposable coffee cups to customers who dine in?

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I enjoyed a nice cappuccino this morning at a nearby cafe. I’d run out of milk and used this excuse to justify a cappuccino and a snack for breakfast, instead of a boring bowl of cereal and a cup of instant coffee.

When I ordered the coffee, I was given the option of three sizes, and the options of two containers; a mug or a disposable cup. I’d already told the waitress that I would be dining in, and I’d been handed my table number, but she still offered me a disposable cup.

I didn’t think much of it and took my seat. As I was flicking through a magazine, I saw other customers receive their coffees in disposable cups despite the fact that they were dining in, and I recalled other occasions when disposable cups had been offered or given to customers dining in.

Why?

I thought disposable cups were designed only for take away purposes, and only for people who are too lazy, ignorant or apathetic to bring their own re-usable cups.

Disposable coffee cups are causing enormous damage to the environment because of the plastic lining and the frequency with which they are used. Furthermore, surely its better to put zero cups into landfill than to put a largely biodegradable cup into landfill.

So why give disposable cups to people who don’t need them?

According to Cafe Bambini, in Townsville, Queensland, which offered me the disposable cup, take away cups are given because…

“A percentage of customers order TA cups when dining in. They believe (sic) stays warmer longer or they want to take it away as they will not finish it on time. So only if requested by the customer.”

Keppel Bay Sailing Club, in Yeppoon, Queensland, only gives disposable cups to customers who dine in. According to the club, 

“…our cafe is designed in a ‘grab and go’ style so we find the disposable cups to be the most useful option for our patrons. Breakages in china cups and mugs (more than normal due to through traffic and the concrete floor) was proving costly and wasteful so we found the bio-degradable, compostable BioPak cups the better option all round.”

The BioPak website claims its products are

“The most sustainable coffee cup solution after reusables…” and that the cups are

“…Lined with Ingeo™ bioplastic – made from plants, not plastic. Certified commercially compostable to AS4736. Designed to be part of the circular economy.”

Thus, there are many reasons why cafes give disposable coffee cups to customers who dine in. Customers can choose the ceramic mug, and take responsibility for the impact they are having on the environment. Or, in the case of venues such as Keppel Bay Sailing Club, they may have to take their own reusable cup when dining in at a cafe.

 

 

Scott Morrison forced to wear FitBit in order to redeem parliamentary pension.

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The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, will be required to wear a FitBit and maintain an acceptable level of physical health in order to receive his parliamentary pension once he retires from politics.

The order was given after Morrison recently revealed via social media that he is unfit to govern.

“The political pension in Australia is very generous,” read a statement from the Governor General’s office, which mandated the program.

“Politicians should earn this pension, and this includes maintaining a reasonable level of physical health. Mr Morrison is clearly unfit to govern, so he has been given a FitBit.”

The program will force Morrison, and other politicians, to walk a minimum number of steps every day, to maintain a healthy heart rate and reasonable weight, and reach an acceptable level of physical fitness. If they cannot do this, they will not receive the pension.

” We know Mr Morrison must make a drastic change if he is to be fit to govern, but we believe the motivation is sufficient.”

Other politicians will also have to lift their game.

“Pauline Hanson will wear one next time she runs out of breath halfway up a sacred site. We’re also looking forward to analysing the data from George Christensen and Clive Palmer. Even though Palmer didn’t get elected, he had a huge impact on the last federal election. We were anticipating some impressive figures from Tony Abbott, but instead we will have to focus on ex-world champion Zali Steggal.”

Australian politicians will not be the first government employees forced to wear fitness devices.

Teachers in West Virginia, USA, were forced to wear a FitBit type device in order to keep their health insurance, as outlined in Michael Moore’s documentary “Farenheit 11/9”.

The major difference between the two programs is that the one in the US was very, very real.

The move is expected to limit the photo opportunities featuring Morrison drinking beer at the footy. It is unclear how it will impact on the prime minister’s approval rating in a country struggling to combat obesity.

Image:www.gettyimages.com.au

Let Us Pray: Rodeo Townsville.

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The Professional Bull Riders event in Townsville was supposed to be a celebration of athleticism, courage and rodeo skill, but it was as much as celebration of religion, patriotism and the military.

The PBR Townsville was the final event of the Australian leg of the international sporting competition, and served as the finals of the national championship.

The overt militarism of the event was obvious before entering the stadium, as fans lined up for selfies with the sparkling new army tanks parked outside the convention centre. This continued during the prelude to the sporting contest as members of the defence forces were presented to the crowd, and when the American host referenced the military ties between Australia and The United States by using a phrase similar to “The Coalition of the Willing”. George Bush would have been proud.

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The bull riders were presented to the crowd and the well-lubricated fans showed their admiration for the athletes, especially those from Queensland. The raucous cheering subsided upon the singing of the national anthem, as cowboy hats were removed and beer cans put aside.

Once the national anthem was finished, I expected either an acknowledgement of country, or a bull bucking in anger. However, neither happened. An acknowledgement of country is a spoken recognition of the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land on which an event takes place. Anyone can do it, and it has become very common in Australia in recent years. However, there was no acknowledgement of country at PBR Townsville. I don’t know why.

Nor did the action begin.

No, first we had to say a prayer.

I have never said a prayer before a sporting event in Australia, and I’m no spring chicken. But this was my first PBR, so I could only assume this is normal.

Thus, hats were removed, beer cans put aside, again, and the hundreds of people in attendance stood silently and in great reverence for a prayer which thanked god, thanked the military for keeping us safe and protecting our freedom, and asked for the safety of the riders and the bulls. Yes, the host even prayed for the bulls – but did not acknowledge country.

The prayer was also surprising because I can guarantee that most of the crowd, who showed great reverence and finished the prayer with a loud ‘Amen!’, would never got to church – except at Christmas and Easter, in true secular-Australian style.

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With the prayer over, and the military saluted, I though the bull riding would finally begin. But no, there was another treat for the audience: Ryan Weaver. The worst singer I have heard in public for a long, long time. This guy was worse than a drunken friend at a karaoke bar. He was terrible, but he was loved.

Why?

He was patriotic.

Not towards Australia necessarily, but towards the US. He emerged in boots, buckle and big hat, with the stars and stripes emblazoned on his T Shirt. He was universally loved because he sang about patriotism and the military, and because he is a US war veteran.

Once Ryan had made his patriotic exit, the bull riding finally began.

The action was impressive, as the hulking masses of beef bucked off rider after rider and only a select few riders manged to stay on their ride for the mandatory eight seconds.

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One rider stood out from the rest not because of his scores, but for another reason. His name is Cody Rodeo Tyler. Yes, that’s his real name. On his birth certificate, his passport and his entry form.

The boy from Guthrie, Oklahoma was obviously destined to ride bucking animals, and he does it well. One wonders, though, if Cody has a son and wants to set his offspring on the path to success in the future, will he call him Cody ‘Rodeo’ Tyler Jr., or Cody ‘Influencer’ Tyler.

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Cody and his colleagues threw themselves around the arena for the initial rounds in an attempt to qualify for the final, and after many thrills and spills, an intermission was called so the riders could take a well-earned rest.

I was deciding whether I needed to go and buy another pie, take a comfort break or stretch my legs, when the decision was made for me. Ryan Weaver walked back out onto the arena and belted out another massacre.

Time for a pie.

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Ryan finally made way for the riders, who treated the crows to some exciting action and spectacular falls.

Who won the event in the end?

Let’s just say patriotism was the winner

Only houses with solar panels will be allowed to display Christmas lights.

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Extravagant lighting displays form a major part of household Christmas displays in majority Christian nations. However, these displays rely on electricity, and much of this electricity is still supplied by fossil fuels.

It’s time for a law to protect the joy of Christmas and reduce the damage that lighting displays do to the environment. Only houses with solar panels will be permitted to display lights at Christmas time.

Families can still hang Santa from their roof and cover their lawn in reindeers and fake candy, but the bright lights will have to stay in their boxes until that house is powered by solar.

Houses without photovoltaic cells, or solar panels, traditionally rely on coal to supply energy. Coal has been proven to contribute massively to the climate crisis and scientists agree that a transition away from coal energy must be made – and made soon.

The rule should not be difficult to administer. How do you know if a house is powered by solar? Just look on the roof.

Houses which break the rules can be fined, just as they would be fined for any other act of civil disobedience. The rule could serve as a reward for households which have installed the cleaner form of energy, and an incentive for fossil fuel users to do so.

Will this ever happen?

Probably not.

In countries such as Australia, governments are funded by the coal lobby and are resisting the adoption of renewable energy. They are also working very hard to protect and expand coal mining activities. Furthermore, the average citizen in developed nations will cry foul, dismiss their own impact on the environment and criticise a move like this as another example of political correctness, environmental hysteria and an attack on an innocent tradition that brings joy to their children.

Burning excessive fossil fuels, however, is not innocent – and it is their children who will suffer the consequences of a planet severely damaged by the continued use of fossil fuels.

The situation of the planet is desperate, and seemingly extreme measures need to be taken in order to halt the damage that is currently being done. This includes turning off a few Christmas lights.

Image:www.housebeautiful.com

 

Prime Minister of Australia travelled to Greece to hand back democracy.

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The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, took an unannounced trip to Greece recently in order to return democracy to its birthplace.

Australians had accused Mr. Morrison of going ‘missing’ while the country is battling savage bushfires. It has finally been revealed that he had secretly travelled to Athens to hand back Australian democracy.

“Democracy didn’t work in Australia,” Mr Morrison’s office announced in a press statement.

“We tried it for more than 100 years, and despite proving largely successful for many of those years, we recently decided that it is not the right fit for Australia. We don’t need democracy any more.”

Mr. Morrison undertook the secretive trip with only a skeleton staff, and is said to have laid the shattered remains of Australian democracy to rest at various landmarks in Athens. The prime minster was able to roam freely through the ancient city as he was disguised as a tourist wearing an Australia baseball cap and a T-shirt emblazoned with ‘Papa Smirk’.

The statement from the prime minister’s office then elaborated on the motives for the hand back.

“Democracy was becoming an impediment to the goals of the current government, which I am proud to lead. Democracy demands a free press, but this would prevent us from raiding journalists and media outlets. It would also upset one of our most ardent supporters, who owns most of the media in this country.”

“Furthermore, democracy demands the right for citizens to protest, and protests threaten the very survival of our overlords from the minerals and resource sector.”

The press release then thanked Greece and it’s philosophers for creating and disseminating modern democracy.

Many citizens and members of the media were confused that the prime minister would ‘go missing’ while unprecedented and catastrophic bushfires continue to devastate the eastern coast of the country.

The press release answered some of their questions. One question which remains, however, is whether or not democracy can ever be brought back to Australia.

Image:www.worldatlas.com