2016 Christmas

Christmas eve is here .

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May your dinner be tasty

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and drinks delightful

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Don’t forget your pets

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Merry Christmas.

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549 thoughts on “2016 Christmas

  1. Hoo-bloody-ray!!!! The power has just come back on – 42 hours after losing it.
    So the Dawn Patrol will be back in the morning.

  2. duck
    Apt! Most apt.
    It was funny – we all shouted “hooray” and then heard similar shouts echoing up the valley.

  3. One Nation sure can pick them.

    Former One Nation candidate stood down from QPS amid claims she used a gun under the influence

    North Queensland police officer and former One Nation candidate Leanne Rissman has been stood down after being accused of using her gun while off duty and affected by alcohol.

    The 51-year-old senior constable stood for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party in the seat of Townsville in the 2015 Queensland election

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-29/senior-constable-stood-down-over-gun-handling-allegations/8152024

  4. Eaten Fish: Iranian asylum seeker and cartoonist’s refugee claim rejected
    Award-winning artist held on Manus Island told he must return to Iran despite severe mental illness

    Eaten Fish, the award-winning cartoonist and Iranian asylum seeker detained on Manus Island, has had his refugee claim rejected and been told he must return to Iran, despite severe mental illness and Iran refusing to accept asylum seekers who are forcibly repatriated.

    In a letter dated 17 October, Papua New Guinea’s minister for foreign affairs and immigration told 25-year-old Ali, who goes by the pen name Eaten Fish, that a final decision had been made to reject his application for refugee status.

    The letter informed Ali he was now in the country unlawfully and would be detained indefinitely – until he either left voluntarily or was forcibly removed.

    Janet Galbraith, an Australian poet and and human rights worker who advocates for Ali, said the status determination process was a sham, since Ali was too ill to be able to take part in the interviews and was unable to fully explain his trauma to

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/dec/29/eaten-fish-iranian-asylum-seeker-and-cartoonists-refugee-claim-rejected

    • When Shorten announced Kitching would replace Conroy I said he was making a huge mistake. The MSM have not stopped whining about this appointment.

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. It’s good to be back after an unwelcome hiatus.

    An excellent exposition from John Hewson on how things need to change.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/governments-need-to-throw-out-the-status-quo-and-start-again-20161229-gtj7di.html
    The CEO of Internet Australia says that Turnbull’s new year resolution should be for a fibre-based NBN for everybody.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/turnbulls-new-year-resolution-should-be-a-fibrebased-nbn-for-everyone-20161228-gtir67.html
    I don’t get what it is why Israel acts as though it has a divine right to do anything it likes. Mesma apparently does.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julie-bishop-backs-israel-rather-than-the-us-over-un-resolution-20161229-gtjitf.html
    The SMH editorial slams Baird’s proposal to privatise the Land Titles Registry.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/land-titles-registry-sale-should-not-proceed-as-planned-20161229-gtjbh3.html
    Trouble in the ranks of the rump?
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/conservative-party-could-win-up-to-10-tony-abbott-hits-out-at-cory-bernardi-over-breakaway-20161229-gtjmc6.html
    How the big cocaine syndicate got pinched.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/cocaine-syndicate-the-five-alleged-attempts-that-alleged-gang-stuffed-up-before-record-bust-20161229-gtj9rj.html
    Who’d want to be a whistleblower?
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/should-australian-whistleblowers-earn-multimilliondollar-bounties-20161222-gtgz7e.html
    The Coalition sends the cost of government advertising soaring.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/federal-government-spends-record-amount-on-digital-advertising-20161229-gtj82m.html
    The longer Tudge and his cronies stonewall on this Centrelink debacle the greater will be the political fallout. Tudge has been shaping up as a real boofhead.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-calls-for-centrelink-automated-debt-recovery-system-to-be-scrapped-20161228-gtj42m.html
    Van Badham writes that there are three reasons the government will not suspend the system issuing faulty debt claims to welfare recipients.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/29/a-crackdown-on-welfare-while-the-richest-pay-no-tax-its-one-promise-the-liberals-kept

  6. Section 2 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Meanwhile the level of our foreign aid continues to plumb new lows.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australias-foreign-aid-spending-at-lowest-level-in-eight-years-20161228-gtiqpe.html
    How the pollies spend grant money in their electorates. Google.
    /national-affairs/great-45m-politician-giveaway-for-croquet-lawns-and-ipads/news-story/83c3f075c020f246570264651d30a499
    This Duterte guy really is something else!
    http://www.theage.com.au/world/duterte-threatens-to-throw-corrupt-officials-out-of-a-helicopter-20161229-gtj5pm.html
    For the fife of me I can’t understand the thinking of management on the introduction of Viceland as an SBS2 channel. I have never seen so much crap in one place!
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/tv/2016/12/29/action-bronson-show/

    Alan Moir and Morrison’s budget problems

    Matt Golding farewells Carrie Fisher.

    Lovely work from Andrew Dyson has Turnbull contemplating the leftovers.

    At last! Bill Leak climbs off his bandwagon.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/015dec3b54f1f622b27825e8ec792129

  7. My son just told an interesting bit of trivia; no single engine aircraft can fly over London, and even helicopters have to have two engines to turn the blades.

  8. We are watching the movie Deepwater Horizen and all I can think of is the test drilling these bastards want to do in our fragile Great Australian Biight.

  9. Don’t expect the government to suspend the faulty Centrelink system sending out debt claims.

    Government backs Centrelink debt system despite ‘incorrect’ $24,000 demand
    The new compliance system introduced by Centrelink sent a single mother a $24,000 debt notice just before Christmas and there have been calls for it to be suspended

    The data-matching process was previously done manually. A Centrelink compliance officer told Guardian Australia last week that the automated system was too crude, generated a large number of errors and treated welfare recipients unfairly, particularly those on sickness allowances.

    She said only a fraction of the cases she had reviewed were genuine debts but many people were paying the government back regardless.

    Questions about the system were again put to the human services minister, Alan Tudge, on Wednesday. Tudge was on leave and the questions were referred to the department.

    The Department of Human Services’ general manager, Hank Jongen, said the government remained confident in the compliance system and the “associated checking process that we go through with customers”

    .
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/dec/29/government-confident-in-centrelink-debt-compliance-system-despite-reported-errors

    Tudge should be dragged back from holidays and put to work sorting out this mess.

    And Centrelink clients are not ‘customers’. Customers have a choice about where they will do business.If they don’t like the service or the goods on offer they can go elsewhere. You don’t have a choice about who administers your welfare payment.

    • She’ll have her payment garnished until such time as Centrelink gets around to processing her paperwork to correct THEIR mistake. Centrelink don’t hurry, she could be facing months of reduced payments. If she can’t manage without that money she will have to beg for help with food and electricity bills from a charity. If she can’t pay the rent she will end up living on the streets. When someone finally gets around to correcting her record she will be hoping they not only re-imburse her for the full amount she was docked, but any interest charged as well.

      Charities are going to be left to deal with the effects of this debacle, It’s cost-shifting, in a way. Cut payments, force charities to make up the difference in food, shelter, clothing, whatever.

      A cynical person might think this was all a ploy to make the May budget bottom line look a bit healthier. Cut welfare payments by creating ‘debts’, rake in some extra money by garnishing payments, take ages to fix the problem, don’t pay anything back until the next financial year. It’s going to be a tough year for people on any sort of welfare payment,.

      And a last thought – this is supposed to save money and recover over-payments. It’s going to cost a fortune in staff hours to process what’s coming, and as most of these debt claims are wrong in the end it will raise very little money. The claims of billions of dollars coming in to help fix the deficit are just lies.

  10. Here…. I lay my last “Child Custody decision” card on the table in this little open misere game I am playing here. This is a transcript I wrote in reply to a “Notice of Decision” from the agency below to me back in 1999. The “C” in : “Ms. Margaret C.” some of you may geuss who it is.

    I did not send it.

    Though I now wish I had..but by the time I came to corral my temper enough to get my feelings down on paper, the circumstances in regard to my children had changed dramatically..as the transcript tells. But there you go ..as a male and father, I was outraged at the perceived bias against both my gender and class, of course, I have censored out the identifying details…..read on if you dare!

    To;

    Ms. Margaret C. Senior case officer..Child support agency. 91 Wayrnouth street Adelaide. 5000.

    Ms Margaret C.

    Re: Case No: xxxxxx.

    From:

    J.P.C.

    Unit / xx Alexandrina rd. Mt. Barker.

    This is not an application for reassessment of the “Notice of Decision” that you made regarding child support between myself and my ex-spouse, rather, it is a personal letter to hopefully enlighten you to the realities of the situation for myself and other working-class fathers in the same situation as mine. I was most distressed with your judgment that ; “Mr C. does have an earning capacity greater than $14,300 per year.”….also the thinly veiled comment that I was hiding my real earnings for the year because of the fact that I had sold my house and taken my daughter, my fiancé and my mother for a holiday to Italy and bought myself a second-hand car after letting my ex-spouse keep the family car.

    Yes, I sold my house…because I could no longer afford the payments on it, since my ex-spouse had taken ILLEGAL custody of the children and forbidden them to even go to see me…and reported the situation to “Centrelink” as though it was a MUTUAL decision, not a legal one… So innocently and truthfully, I went on my own accord to admit to “Centrelink” that it was the case that the children did not stay with me 50% of the time and therefore they had to cut me off the pension, resulting in the decision to sell my house!…Centrelink swiftly and apologetically reversed the decision when I challenged my “ex” after she kicked our daughter out of her house, not once, but twice! and she (my daughter) came to live with me. However, I could not live under such a precarious financial position, with my “ex” circling me like so many Indians around a wagon-train. if my comment “Invested the money in enjoyable commodities” appeared to you a little cavalier, it was meant satirically (I obviously failed in this respect!), because of the fact that after so many years of hard slog, all I had to show was a piffling amount of cash! However, I really did not expect too much of your department, hence my tongue-in-cheek seriousness to the whole damn thing!
    If you feel insulted by this comment ;

    Consider ; how many and various were the amounts of payment that were over time mooted about (and still I haven’t received a penny!).

    Consider ; the fact that you had no problem accepting my ex-spouse’s unproven / unverified assertions and how eager you seem to embrace any excuse to censure mine!

    Consider ; your comment ; “I am of the opinion that he has the capacity to make a greater financial contribution towards the needs of F. (my daughter)….”

    It is of no wonder I feel that the “Chardonnay set” has again sanctimoniously delivered a judgment biased both toward gender and class! Gender ; because I know my “ex” and her wily ways, and I can read in her response all the guile and jargon of the “poor-woman-victim-me” in its insinuations…her “abandoned”, and here was that evil man ; “running off to Europe with his new love… oh! the shame of it!…” etc,etc….” deserting his responsibilities ..(which in fact you yourself reinforced with your value-judgements)”…and the plight of her self-sacrificing study and work and debts incurred because of…

    Well let me tell you; me-ol’-china!…She has been “studying” since I first met her, seventeen-odd years ago…everything from Swedish massage to Self-management…. child-psychology to clinical naturopathy… self-enlightenment to self-empowerment…small business practice’s to the minding of everyone else’s business! she has never stopped studying!…and I worked, as stated..: The “good little worker”…the “good father”…I built our TWO family houses…literally from the ground up…not contractors, not ONE but TWO…ME From the foundation trenches up…and while working full-time in the building trade…and looking after the children while madam pursued her “enlightenment”…but you didn’t see that in the response, did you…not from me nor certainly from my ex. Any report on the responses from working fathers would show a certain unwillingness to “whinge” on the imbalance suffered by these men. But then, maybe the “chardonnay set” doesn’t want to read such a report …maybe such a report doesn’t exist!…I wouldn’t be at all surprised, a lot of working men that I speak to are loathe to air their grievances to the general public….cop it sweet…is more the order of the day. As a matter of fact, I would not even have written to you , save meeting my “ex” down the street and having her admonish (yes : admonish!) me with the sentence :
    “There was a lot of serious insinuation in that [notice of] decision, and I trust you will take heed of them”.
    Well, sister, here I am, you tell me the insinuations!…You tell me that I haven’t done my “bit” to support my children!…You tell me that I have the capacity to make a far greater financial contribution to the upkeep of my children…Both of you… ALL of you smug, self-satisfied, well-paid, free educated, well-placed intellectuals tell us working fathers that we have reneged on our responsibilities…. And then castigate us for attempting to gain an education so we can climb out of the work-sleep-work cycle..And there is the class prejudice! It was fine for my wife to spend years dithering around in the miasma of sometimes dubious educational institutions, but when the worker tries (and I applied for university before we separated and after we had finally gained free-hold on our property…. and THAT because of the houses I had built before) to gain an education, he is a slacker, a malingerer….no, sorry, I don’t accept your judgement….I don’t appreciate your inference, and I don’t respect your middle-class attitude.

    No, I don’t have an axe to grind, What I say is the reality of the situation and I care little what you think on the subject. But like I said, I would not even have written to you except for the fact of my “ex” using your “decision comments” as justification for her own smugness. A smugness that I had to tolerate most of the years of our marriage. I and a lot of fathers in the same situation expect little or nothing from your dept’! If I appear angry in this missive, it is because I am… Angry for all us working fathers that have had to endure the slights of a society that would have better aimed its darts to that class of men and women that really did and does continue to malign and oppress those that try to do a good job of parenting their families! And finally on the subject of my children…My daughter is with me FULL-TIME and I am of the opinion that it won’t be long before my son is also with me (on his own accord). And I will, as in the past, continue to house, feed and encourage them on their journey through life.
    sincerely. J.P.C.

    • Deplorable.

      Bureaucratic bullying on a par with the treatment endured by Bushfire Bill’s HI.

      A couple of notes, however:

      1. The female with whom you corresponded was neither educated nor an “intellectual”.

      2. By contrast, you, Jaycee, are both educated and an intellectual.

    • Educated ..Intellectual..two much over used and by consequence ; maligned understandings in this age. To be educated is to obtain knowledge through teaching…to be intellectual is to be able to use such knowledge to advantage..but to have wisdom is to combine both to understand WHEN to apply or deny both.
      Recently I put up a pic of a much used hook and linkage from here where I live, from the horse drawn farming era…The farmer here made a decision at the end of the horse farming era NOT to “tool up” with mechanised implements as the land was too marginal in his opinion to warrant the dubious risk and expense…THAT was a wisdom choice, as the farmers who did have had very dubious return..probably wages at best on average..except for the (now lost) wool cheque.
      But those farmers were almost illiterate…certainly in English..and in their native tongue.. yet the accrued “education” beat into them by unrelenting weather had schooled their intellect to make a wise decision.
      I am afraid that in these times, that “natural learning” either on land , on work site or in civil / people experience is being lost or replaced with a “just-in-time” , “just-enough” facile knowing…and not a skerrick more than is required.

  11. leone

    Thanks. I feel sorry for that single Mum having to go through that. The sum she supposedly owes Centrelink is totally fictitious, I’m sure.

    • She’s not the only one dealing with false debt claims. It’s absolutely horrendous, this debacle.

      Meanwhile the government spends a record amount on digital advertising.

  12. I could respond to the trauma of divorce comments with a long account of my problems with an ex who refused to financially (well, in any way, really) support his own kids , manipulated and lied to government departments and tried to turn his own children, who he rarely bothered to visit, against me and my family, but that would be opening old wounds and I do not want to go there.

    I just want to point out that it’s not just men who may be adversely affected by the actions of vicious ex-partners/spouses. I refuse to accept arguments that try to make me believe everything is set up to favour women and it’s only men who suffer when that is not true.

  13. 1989 & 1990 UK cabinet & other archives are revealed

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/30/acid-house-royal-friendship-national-archives-reveal-margaret/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/30/margaret-thatcher-had-deep-misgivings-reunification-germany/

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/30/margaret-thatcher-warned-failure-register-poll-tax-uk-cabinet-files

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/30/margaret-thatcher-resignation-shocked-us-ussr-files

  14. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/conservative-party-could-win-up-to-10-tony-abbott-hits-out-at-cory-bernardi-over-breakaway-20161229-gtjmc6.html

    Cory’s response

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/dec/30/you-need-to-be-prepared-to-make-enemies-caro-meldrum-hanna-on-four-corners

  15. I had the obligatory once a year conversation with my daughter re’ her mother this morning.

    It went like this –

    Me: Deep breath then ‘Did you let your mother know you’d be away for Xmas?’

    Daughter: ‘I sent her a Xmas card with a note and some flowers’

    Me: ‘Flowers? That’s big of you’

    Daughter: ‘I only sent them because I knew you’d be pleased’

    ( Sh#t, she is hard going regarding her mother – noting that there’s nothing wrong with her mother!)

    Me: Another deep breath and ‘Your mother does care about you’ …

    Daughter: ‘People keep telling me that’

    Oh well – end of conversation on that subject.

    • gigi – If she’s just being mischievous she is very good at it.

      The indifference was obvious from about 4yo. She’s now in her early thirties.

    • Sounds familiar.

      I have a similar conversation with my daughter about her father, but less often than once a year. Usually I just ask if she has spoken to him recently. He really does love her, I know that and always tell her, but she wouldn’t care if he fell off the planet tomorrow. She has good reason for that attitude. She wasn’t going to ask him to her wedding a couple of years ago, but her intended and one of her brothers ganged up and persuaded her to be kind and she relented. She even allowed him to walk her down the aisle. That was a major advance in the relationship. It’s still very distant, but she does manage to communicate a bit more often now.

  16. I’ve never really understood it but they were, and are still, by temperament not suited. Her mother certainly tried.

    • Or just plain refuse to talk to them for a couple of days until you can stop the gut-churning anger sufficiently that the points raised in that article can be used … possibly in the new year?!

  17. Update on the Centrelink debt mess.

    Even though it’s an error, I have to start repaying my ‘debt’: Centrelink debt victims share their stories
    People who have been sent incorrect debt recovery notices by Centrelink share their stories with the Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/30/even-thought-its-an-error-i-have-to-start-repaying-my-debt-centrelink-debt-victims-share-their-stories

    Centrelink debt notices based on ‘idiotic’ faith in big data, IT expert says
    Lawyers, privacy advocates and data experts join calls for Centrelink’s data-matching system to be suspended
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/dec/30/centrelink-debt-notices-idiotic-big-data-assumptions-expert

    • In one of the comments. IBM strike again ?
      .
      “1 March 2016
      The Hon Alan Tudge MP
      Minister for Human Services
      The Federal Government is improving online services for the Australian community through a $484 million five-year contract between the Department of Human Services and IBM.”

  18. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a humming bird. Very nice use of lichen in the nest.That one looks about the same size as the “Riflemen” we had in the bush on the farm. Chap birds clock in at 6 grams !!!

  19. gigilene

    They need a good set of claws to be able to cling on to tree trunks as they hunt for bugs in the bark

  20. gigilene

    Reading through a list of the year’s top science story I noticed this about some veeeery of French people.

    Neanderthals built mystery underground circles 175,000 years ago

    ………………………..Gone are the days when we thought of Neanderthals as crude and unintelligent……………….A reassessment of evidence from Bruniquel cave, near Toulouse in south-west France, suggests even more Neanderthal sophistication. In one chamber, 336 metres from the cave entrance, are enigmatic structures – including a ring 7 metres across – built from stalagmites snapped from the cave floor……………………….The stalagmite structures are 50 centimetres high in places, says Jaubert. They are built from around 400 individual stalagmites with a combined weight of about 2 tonnes.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2090183-neanderthals-built-mystery-underground-circles-175000-years-ago/

    • Archaeological evidence now suggests they were capable of symbolic thought, had a basic knowledge of chemistry, medicine and cooking, and perhaps some capacity for speech. They may even have taught modern humans new artisanal skills when the two species met and interbred.

      Not exactly dummies, were they?

  21. I was talking to some American friends today, and eventually I came up with a good analogy to their situation. That as an Australian seeing the USA elect Trump is like having an older brother join the Church of Scientology.

    You just know that nothing good can come of it, yet you can’t do anything to change his mind until he learns the hard way, or unfortunately if they manage to twist his mind into thinking all the evil things they do are for his own good.

    I guess all we can do for our american friends is let them know that there’s something better, hopefully being able to point to a popular Shorten government in 2020 and yell at them “See?! You can have something like this too if you’d only reach out and try it!”

    • I thinks that’s an excellent analogy, especially when so many converts to Scientology eventually realise they have been idiots to believe that rubbish and get out.

      I saw something on TV today about how 90% of New Yorkers loathe Trump and resent him plastering his name all over their city. I bet they didn’t all bother to vote. Voting is the key.

  22. Some people on Twitter has been trying to tell me Julian Assange must be dead or has been kidnapped and silenced by the CIA because his latest utterances have been so out of character they have to be fake. They think he is no longer in the Ecuadorian embassy and has somehow been done away with or ‘disappeared’ or Hillary has had him ‘whacked’. It’s been enough to make me unfollow some tweeters who, until now, have always seemed sane.

    Assange has always been a duplicitous fool. I could never understand why so many apparently intelligent people of the left thought he was some sort of god.

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, enjoy the conspiracy theories.
    http://yournewswire.com/5-signs-julian-assange-missing-dead/

  23. Fiona

    Amazing !!! to see the date. Wartime WWII when money wise the place would have been hard pressed to say the least.

    A decade back when there was some mutterings about paying for pensions and ‘there ain’t going to be any in the future’ as they had/could not be paid for. Memorable was a letter to the ed, an eye opener. The ‘pensioner’ pointed out that pensions have and had been paid for . They reckoned that up until the 1950s their pay packet had a separate detail about tax deductions and pension deductions. These were back then rolled into one. So your paye tax includes provision for pensions.Pensions are paid for so the question to governments should be WTF have you done with MY money ?

    Just like the bullshit about employers “not able to afford” Super. The Super is workers’ money and represents pay increases forgone.Been like that from day 1

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