AFTER attending the recent Knights vs West Tigers game ('Tiger sting', Newcastle Herald 29/3) I was amazed at the "banshee scream" that occurred several times during the match. At lemons, I asked another Knights patron sitting next to me "What is that scream?" He informed me "That's the six-again call." I thought to myself good gravy, and that I thought I'd left the shrill of the banshee back on the moors of Scotland when I was a wee laddie and the family emigrated to Australia.
I know it was a big game for Mitchell Pearce, but at the end of the day my ear drums had been well and truly pierced. My advice: get a tone the same as airports and shopping centres use when they have a big announcement and ditch the banshee shrill.
Robert McKay Gray, Stockton
Why does a god need a gender
WITH Easter comes the usual humdrum, repetitious procedures of strangely dressed men, in funny looking hats, preaching to the believers. Belief is a strange word that can be seen many ways; as for Jesus being the son of a god, I believe Jesus existed. He was what today would be called a revolutionary who bucked the system in a very good way. He was probably seen as a god.
I believe stories of unbelievable feats would today be propaganda and his disciples today would be a political party. Thus the continuation of his memory by his disciples would need to continue him being seen as a god. I believe people today are no different; they need something to believe in, something that gives hope even after death. I may be wrong; maybe somewhere there is a god, listening to each of the millions of prayers, all at the same time, especially during Easter. If you believe he can, then he must be a god. As an afterthought; do gods need to have a gender? If so, why? Considering today it could be seen as sexist. So what do you reckon?
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
A lesson from literature
THERE has been much discussion about empathy in recent weeks in regard to the listening and understanding of the issues facing women in both Parliament House and the workplace generally. It seems many people have no idea how to feel empathy. I suggest that all workplaces make the reading of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee as compulsory reading. This amazing book has empathy as its central theme and leads the main character Scout, into understanding how to see things from another's point of view, to stand in their shoes.
Until men take the time to empathically listen to and understand the lived experiences of those around them, we will continue to have women sexually abused, harassed and treated poorly not only in our workplaces, but in our homes. Giving respect to others does not mean a lessening of power to the giver. It invokes a strength of character.
Merrie Carling, Gungahlin
Shining example in our city
CONGRATULATIONS to the CSIRO Newcastle Energy Centre for the major breakthrough that can provide multiple hours of thermal energy storage to generate electricity or heat on demand ("Joe Biden backs CSIRO Newcastle's energy project", Herald 26/3). The term "concentrated solar thermal storage" will be a new one to almost all Australians. It will throw a spanner in the argument of those who bleat "when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow". The unveiling on Friday should be front-page news around the country.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn
Immigration question lingers
RECENTLY the federal government carried out an inquiry into Australia's skilled migration scheme where a Coalition-dominated committee recommended that seats on flights and rooms in hotel quarantine be reserved for skilled migrants, apparently ignoring the 40,000 odd Australians trapped overseas. The report was harshly criticised by Labor members on the committee who pointed to many failings including that there were two million Australians without work or enough work and another 100,000 who will join them when JobKeeper is cut. They also pointed to wage theft and exploitation especially with migrants but now spreading through the wider economy.
The Greens were also critical of the report, but both Labor and Greens still believed we need skilled migration even though when it was first introduced, by the then Labor government it was designed as a temporary "catch up" measure to sustain the mining boom. Now governments on both sides have embraced the scheme as a way of reducing training costs by cutting funds to universities and TAFE and even poaching skilled people from developing nations. Perhaps their enthusiasm for high migration will be damped by the news that the recent flooding has shown that the proposed population growth areas around Sydney and elsewhere are now seen to be unsafe. Returning to the previous high immigration would mean that without enough housing prices would once again go ballistic.
Don Owers, Dudley
Longer days drag on too long
THE purpose of the introduction of daylight saving was for people generally to make better use of daylight hours. Without question this has been accepted by the community and has provided many benefits for families and individuals.
However at this time of year when the daylight hours shorten, the daylight saving's benefits for many no longer apply.
The early morning for many is when they choose to take their daily exercise, it is when families have to prepare for school and work, and it is when daylight saving can become an impost instead of a benefit. Would the objectives of daylight saving be better achieved by ending two to three weeks earlier?
Wilton Ainsworth, Kilaben Bay
Player behaviour is much better
GROIDEN Schammell, one point you should consider; there is no shortage of young women prepared to throw themselves at professional league players. I have, and I'm sure anyone associated with players in social situations have, witnessed this behaviour.
Players today, I believe, are much better behaved than those of the '60s to the '80s so please don't assume all of these young men are sexual predators. You may be surprised to know that a large percentage are very religious, especially the Pacific Islanders who play league. Also consider the time players give freely to charities and other community groups. This never gets reported, you only hear the bad behaviour which has to be called out and dealt with in the appropriate manner. May I suggest researching Men of League, a wonderful organisation that deserves support?
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
Fanning flames of disappointment
STONE the crows Lisa Davies (Short Takes, 30/3) poor old Pearce. What about the let down of the long-suffering fans? Beaten by four points by a lesser team.
Kevin Miller, Windale
TODAY we learn that China has put a hold on imports of Australian wine for a period of five years through the imposition of severe tariffs ('Fined wine', Newcastle Herald 29/3). I believe the time has come for Australia to put a similar ban on Chinese automobiles, also stopping sales of rural and business interests. We may be small, but our politicians (both sides) need to stand up.
Bill Hancock, Adamstown
WHERE do I get a job on the front bench of parliament, where bad behaviour goes unpunished and all you get is a shift in portfolios and no loss of pay unlike working in the private sector ('Seven women in PM's renovated cabinet', Herald 30/3)? Not good decision-making in my opinion, ScoMo. You should've asked Jen.
Debra Forbes, Wickham
STRING him up, off with his head; look at all the poor Labor supporters after our PM. John Atkins (Short Takes 27/3) says ScoMo is "the worst since McMahon". What about Rudd, Gillard and Turnbull? All hopeless PMs in my opinion. And Julie Robinson (Short Takes, 27/3) saying the PM "refuses to take responsibility". For what? Brittany Higgins was reportedly offered to be taken to the police twice by female ministers and declined. How is that the PM's fault? I believe he is our best PM since Hawke and Howard.
Don Fraser, Belmont
ACCORDING to figures from the National Energy Grid monitoring, from the 19/3/21 for 7 days the amount of renewable power put into the grid was 31 per cent. That takes in some very wet days. Wind power was the highest renewable contributor, hydro power was the next highest renewable contributor.
Agner Sorensen, Teralba
BRUCE Graham (Letters, 26/3), South Australia may have the cheapest electricity supply with no coal fired power station, but my understanding is that it also has the most unreliable supply as well.
Ken Stead, Lambton
THE Union Jack on the Australian flag gives the wrong message to the Indigenous people of this continent. The PM wearing the Australian flag as a mask over his mouth when he received his COVID-19 vaccination earlier this year I found strange; was this to gag debate of the symbol of the Union Jack on our Australian flag? The British Empire killed more people worldwide from famine, murder, rape and pillage than this virus. As the old story goes, often the slave defends the symbols of the master. Get this bloody symbol of horror off the Australian flag now.
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point
IT'S reset time for the Morrison government. After his waffling and crying or ignoring the culture in his party for years, Mr Morrison's time is up. Peter Dutton or Simon Birmingham would add new credibility to a failing faltering leadership.