Tarnya Davis: Just plain mean

Thursday, 13. June 2019

Tarnya Davis: It seems the loudest voice of social media is critical and negative. For years, I have delivered this column in the old-fashioned way – written word on newspaper, delivered to your door.
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At the recent invitation of the Herald I gave Facebook video messaging a try as another means of communication.

I had hoped to be able to share some ideas with more audience, but treading into social media was a new experience and the depth of insults and criticism thrown around on the net was well beyond that which one might experience in any realm of “real life”.


Journalist Jon Ronsan in his book So you’ve Been Publicly Shamed talks of the experience of the victims of bullying on the internet.The victims in his book may have made a small error, like a bad joke, or a silly comment and then were pursued by an angry mob who attacked them with fury and indignation.

The impact upon the victims was consistently devastating and the punishment was well beyond the mistake they had made.Some moved towns, had to leave their jobs and some didn’t work again.The punishment of public humiliation did not fit the crime.

Monica Lewinsky was perhaps the first ever person trolled by the internet when her affair with then US President Bill Clinton was discovered at the same time people were discovering the voice of global media. In her TED talk she explains how she feared she would die of shame.

It seems the loudest voice of social media is critical and negative and there are “trolls” who enjoy being cruel for the sake of it, with no boundary too low.

There are those who attempt to argue with the negativity, but there are many others who perhaps are frightened to comment should they too become victims.

And so the power of the undercurrent grows.

I am grateful I am able to choose to step away for the moment, but I am reminded of those who can’t step away from abuse and also of those whose experience of shame they are unable to escape, such as those who are victims of childhood abuse.

As Ronsan says, social media has moved from a place of curiosity to one of cold hard judgement, like an angry virtual lynch mob.

Social media isn’t going away and so we need to come up with a safer way for us all to live with it.

Tarnya Davis is a clinical and forensic psychologist and principal of NewPsych Psychologists. Her book of columns, All Things Considered, is sold at theherald南京夜网419论坛

Bernardi looks for more mergers after Family First takeover

Thursday, 13. June 2019

Breakaway senator Cory Bernardi says he will pursue mergers with other conservative parties and seek more defections from the Liberal Party after Family First folded its operations into his nascent Australian Conservatives party.
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Family First, a socially and economically conservative party launched in 2001, will no longer exist from Wednesday and its two South Australian MPs will switch to serve under the Australian Conservatives banner.

The merger will give Senator Bernardi access to Family First’s party infrastructure – including mailing lists – but will not boost his party’s representation in the Senate.

While welcoming the merger, Family First senator-elect Lucy Gichuhi said she planned to serve as an independent rather than join forces with Senator Bernardi.

“While I respect the decision of Family First to join with Australian Conservatives, given the circumstances and the time frames, I have not been able to determine if joining this new entity is the best way for me to serve the people of South Australia,” Ms Gichuhi said in a statement.

“It is on that basis that I have decided to serve as an independent senator for the time being.”

Ms Gichuhi will be sworn into the Senate next month after the High Court decided Family First senator Bob Day’s election was invalid because he had an indirect pecuniary interest with the Commonwealth.

Mr Day, who has bankrolled Family First in recent years, gave a curt “no comment” when asked by Fairfax Media on Wednesday whether he supported the merger.

Speaking at a press conference in Adelaide, Senator Bernardi said: “I hope it’s not the last amalgamation.

“I welcome minor parties, I welcome former colleagues [and] existing colleagues, who want to be part of a team that really, genuinely wants to make politics different.”

Senator Bernardi said the two parties were a “natural fit” and the merger would strengthen the conservative movement across Australia.

He wished Ms Gichuhi well with her career.

South Australian Family First leader Dennis Hood said it was a “great day for Family First and we believe it is a great day for those on the conservative side of politics in Australia”.

“Finally, those on the conservative side of politics will have a united conservative voice in which to support and park their vote,” he said.

“We are excited about the prospect that holds.”

Mr Hood said all of Family First’s state branches and its federal executives agreed to join forces with the Australian Conservatives.

“This is a unanimous decision,” he said. “There has been no dissension within the Family First party at all.”

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was “not a good start” that Ms Gichuhi had declined to join forces with Senator Bernardi.

“They form a new party and the first response you get is the new senator-elect who says she doesn’t want to be a part of it,” he said.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the move was “inevitable” given Mr Day was the “father of Family First” and his financial support had been crucial to the party.

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Cemetery mess ‘disrespectful’

Thursday, 13. June 2019

Campbells Hill Cemetery at Telarah. Picture: SuppliedA Maitland woman has slammed maintenance at a Telarah cemetery after finding her mother’s grave overgrown in recent weeks.
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Maureen Clements said she went to Campbell’s Hill Cemetery to visit her mother’s grave site for Easter and again last weekend for her mum’s birthday, but found the area severely overgrown with grass and weeds.

She vented her anger about the state of the Maitland Council-run cemetery on social media.

Ms Clements told Fairfax Mediathe apparent lack of care with the grounds was a mark of disrespect that she had not been subject to previously, since her mother passed away eight years ago.

“I had to fight my way to get to the grave and came home absolutely filthy,” she said.

“We literally had to walk across graves to get some water to put on the flowers.

“I went back [for her mother’s birthday] and it was just as horrendous. It was actually embarrassing to go there.

“It means total disrespect for our loved ones that are buried there. They built Maitland –there would be no Maitland without all these people that are in these cemeteries.

“I just find it very disrespectful of council to allow it to be like that.”

Maitland City infrastructure projects and building services manager Graeme Matthews said council understood that maintenance of cemeteries was important to residents.

“A recent period of extended rainfall, combined with warm weather, has meant the growth rate of grass at local cemeteries has increased,” he said.

“The extended wet conditions have also meant that the ground has often been too wet for ride on mowers and restricted mowing to hand mowers.

“Council contractors continue to work to keep up with maintenance under difficult conditions.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Damn you Google! Your map to Newcastle is sending people to Lake Macquarie

Thursday, 13. June 2019

Wrong Location: Type in Sydney to Newcastle on Google Maps and you get this. Oh Google, what have you done?
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You trawl through our search history to sell us things, pay stuff-all tax, manipulate search results and suck the blood out of writers andmusicians.

Now you’re sending people who want to get from Sydney to Newcastle to the wrong place.

Damn you Google! Your map to Newcastle is sending people to Lake Macquarie TweetFacebook Having a laugh at Google. Reader Rod alerted us to this shocking error.

“Type in ‘Sydney to Newcastle’ in Google Maps and see what happens,” Rod said.

We followed his instructions. It wasn’t pretty.

Instead of directing us to Newcastle CBD, the map sent us to the back streets of Hillsborough in Lake Macquarie, of all places.

Google, how could you do this? We thought your maps were on the money.

“I have complained to Google many times and they haven’t fixed anything yet,” Rod said.

We admit that Google’s search engine is pretty good.

But come on. Surely they can sort this out. We can’t explain why they won’t fix this.

After all, their motto is supposed to be “Don’t be evil”.

The only explanation we have isthey’re too busy trying to invent immortality. We’re not joking. They really do want that.

History of Wallsend

The opening of West Wallsend colliery in 1888, with the iconic poppet head.

We love cool names. How’s this one: Cath Chegwidden.

Cath is writing and researching a book about the history of Wallsend.

Cath, like a lot of writers, doesn’t mind a metaphor.

“This task has become like the coal mines on which the community is founded,” she said.

“Every now and then, I’m uncovering a treasure.”

Wouldn’t that be more like a diamond mine? We suppose coal is a treasure.

They don’t call it black gold for nothing. Or is that oil?

Cath is on the hunt for stories about the town,relating to family histories, tragic and uplifting events, funny anecdotes, sporting moments and festivals.

She’s alsointerested in the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church,which was “an integral part of this community for 150 years”.

Cath has already devotedmonths to digging through archives.

“I’d like to create a fascinating page-turner about Wallsend itself over the last 150 years,” she says.

That’s quite a task, Cath. But we reckon you’re up to it.

Anyone with a story or photographs about Wallsend, can contact Cath on 4954-6914.

Kermit’s Mates

It’s Save the Frogs Day on Saturday. Many are endangered. Don’t let them croak.

We’ve got a joke for you. What’s black and white and green? A frog sitting on a newspaper.

One more. We can’t help it. What do you say to a hitchhiking frog? Hop in.

Last one, we promise. What happened to the frog’s car when his parking meter expired? It got toad.

Jokes aside,the future of frogs isn’t funny. That’s why it’s Save the Frogs Day on Saturday. Kevin McDonald, a retired senior lecturer in environmental scienceat the University of Newcastle, loves frogs.

Kevin noted thatattempts have been made to save the green and gold bell frog from extinction in the Hunter.

And hewas chuffed about the recent discovery of a new frog species in Port Stephens, namedMahony’s toadlet.

The frog was discovered by University of Newcastle biologist Simon Clulow, who named it after his mentor andfrog expert, Professor Michael Mahony.

Kevin said frogs were indicators of “the health of our local wetlands”.

“Protect them lest they croak it!”, he said.

Hey, that’s a good one.

Donald Trump on Burger Urge’s first NSW menu

Thursday, 13. June 2019

If you’re feeling the urge for a burger, Largs couple Katerina and Chris Schafferius have opened the state’s first Burger Urge at Stockland Glendale.
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And it has been a long time coming. They bought the franchise three years ago when the popular Queensland burger chain had just six stores.There are now 21, and counting.

“At the time they probably weren’t ready for me to be knocking at their door, given that we’re interstate,” MrSchafferius told Food & Wine.

“But the brand has matured and developed in that time. When I first knocked on the door Burger Urgeonly had bottled beer in the fridge, now we’ve got a full bar.”

Katerina will manage the store full-time. Chris, a keen triathlete, works for a US mining company as general manager of its Australian operations.

“We’vebeen very patient, trying to find the right location,” Mr Schafferius said.

“Afew people have mentioned that we’ve jumped on the burger bandwagonbut we bought this franchise three years ago, so we were ahead of the curve when it came to dude food or whatever they are calling it.

“At Glendale everything just added up. Not only is therethe cinema and thealfresco space, but there is a good gap in the market when it comes to licensed venues.”

STATE FIRST: Katerina and Chris Schafferius have opened Burger Urge at Stockland Glendale. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The Burger Urge menu is divided into categories: American Style; House Specials; and Classics. There are vegetarian options, too, as well as salads and a variety of different sides to choose from.

There is even a burger called The Donald Trump with pulled beef, crispy maple bacon, melted American-style cheddar, pickles, hickory BBQ sauce, truffle mayonnaise, aioli and tomato.

Burger Urge founders – brothers Sean and Colby Carthew –are known for walking a fine line when it comes to marketing. The more offensive and attention-grabbing, the better.

As for the Big Momma’s Kentucky Fried Waffle, well, MrSchafferius refers to it as “R rated” and “a very serious burger”.

Head of property atBurgerUrge, Matt Manzie, said the Newcastle region and its “strong and diverse economy” was a “logical next step” from their Queensland base and “will be used as a stepping stone into the Sydney market”.

The second NSW store will open in Port Macquarie in June.