The Blame Game

Time for a new topic.

I’ve spent all day looking at comments on Facebook and Twitter and in the media from deadheads who say the whole bushfire catastrophe was entirely the fault of the Greens and/or “greenies”, depending what you read. They all seem to believe the Greens have been in government for years because they all rave about Greens policies “locking up” national parks. Some idiot on Twitter assured me Tony Burke and Adam Bandt had personally “locked the gates” of all our national parks. I pointed out the federal government controls only six national parks, none of which are in NSW and none of which are on fire. The states control all our other national parks. He then started blaming the Queensland government for the fires in both Queensland and NSW.

I was going to write a thread starter on this, but then I found something which says it all far better than I could have.

I found this letter on Facebook, I think it’s brilliant. I have corrected the spelling, fixed capital letters, but I have not changed the words. It’s exactly as Bruce Walker of Wytaliba RFS wrote it.

Hi everyone.

My name is Bruce Walker, you might remember me from ABC TV yesterday, I’m one of the survivors of the Wytaliba fires of last Friday, 8th November 2019, responding to this well informed fuckwit here – Anthony ×××××××

So mate – first up, I’ve been an RFS volunteer for close to 20 years, and am part of the highly regarded Wytaliba RFS – one of the most respected and hardened crews on the Northern Tablelands and beyond. Our crew number over 50 and include decorated vets of Ash Wednesday and many other national disaster catastrophic level fires.

Regarding hazard reduction. let me fill you in.

For my time here, we used to do managed hazard reduction whenever it was viable in winter. However – sadly, the moment Gina and Rupert went halves and purchased the LNP wholesale, we saw a MASSIVE increase in wholesale industrial logging across the nation.

Tell me, Anthony – do you garden? Do you use MULCH?

Compare a mulched garden to a non-mulched garden. You’ll see a near instant difference. If you’re not schooled on how soil works, try standing all day in the sun with no hat on. What happens?

That’s right, Anthony. Your head gets fucking hot.

That’s what’s happened to the planet. Now as anyone who’s dabbled in, you know… physics, will spell out better than I can – an increase of just one degree is quite significant.

Another neato thing physics talks about is the water cycle, Anthony.

You see, part of the water cycle is this cool thing called “transpiration”

It’s part 4 of this essential way in which trees send up moisture to meet clouds, creating low pressure troughs which draw rainfall inland In fact, it’s physically impossible to get rain on the lee side of a mountain, without trees doing this very thing. Impossible. Ask the residents of the Atacama Desert in Chile – who haven’t had rain for one THOUSAND years. Why? No fucking trees, Anthony.

So anyway, back to the Greens enacting a ban on burnoffs – that time we elected them to majority government and they had the final say.

When was that again, Anthony? I’ll wait.

Nah. lets move on, since we ALL know this was never a thing . Ever.

So anyway – here in Wytaliba, we used to have an incredibly green lush valley – right up until industrial loggers finally broke in to compartments to our north. Right about this time there was a near instant and significant drop to our vital streamflow.

This happened again after each and every highland logging operation – and with LNP slashing and burning every national park in sight, well… you know, let’s not go there. Climate change is a hoax, right?

So wholesale burn quotas came in with LNP too. This… well.. I just want to pause here and say “wow” because this did indeed make us say wow.

In recent years, we’ve seen hazard reduction burns take place completely surrounding our once green, lush valley. So much so that after the last July burn of an area once supplying most of our water – well… 27 years of no burn had left a healthy and regenerating semi-arid rainforest. Now it’s simply arid nothing.

Despite this burn and 3 more last year, we got the following result – fires flared up in this dry, mulchless wasteland and burned for 6 weeks, destroying 2 more former rainforest areas, leaving them also tinder dry and unable to transpire – hasn’t actually rained a drop since then. Weird. almost like cause and effect took place.

Clouds pass over, for sure. they get rain on the tablelands even – but – as physics reminds us, when air drops, it warms, expands, and rather than raining, sucks even more moisture from trees and soil.

Oh well.

I mean, this is normal for Australia, isn’t it? Watching 200 or more year old trees slowly wither and die right in front of you. That’s normal. Happens all the time. Rivers dry up too, even though ours is home to platypi – who aren’t known for travelling much – and hasn’t dried up in probably 100,000 years minimum.

Until last summer, and it’s been bone dry since August.

This has never happened in my entire 25 or so years here. No local elders remember such a thing. Wow!

Now, we all know about the Bees Nest and Kingsgate fires and the hundreds more around the state. My crew and many other heroic RFS volunteers have been fighting them for months on end.

Yet another backburn actually got lit up about a month ago, on our south side, just half an hour before high southerly winds were due. The responsible paid agency then ran out of paid hours, packed up and left it to spot onto our property and threaten 80 homes.

We’re like the Mujahadeen of firefighting though, so we got it after about 10 days nonstop hectic battle.

This brings us up to date, Anthony. We’ve got bare, blacked-out dust for 50 km in all directions. Right up to the actual eaves of half the homes here, which is why Friday’s hellstorm caught all of us by surprise, Anthony

A mushroom cloud went up at 3 pm, 20 or so km away. Within 30 minutes, high winds turned that into a 20 km long front – strangely, this front was on ground burnt black as recently as 3 weeks ago. Crown fires too, since every tree was literally a giant matchstick with dead leaves and nothing else.

This then switched to 80km/h southerlies and rained hell on 3500 acres of already blacked out ground.

Well… you can’t say we didn’t prep or do hazard reduction redneck style, can you, Anthony? Or can you?

Curiously, within 1 hour we’d lost 20 homes, a school, a fire shed, and a concrete fucking bridge – meaning only 2 outside units even got in to help. Falling trees in the hundreds blocked the old Grafton road, so no one could even help neighbours.

By dawn, of 80 homes in our community, 52 were lost, 2 dead (one a Sex Party voter, the other apolitical – this one is for you, Barnaby fucking Joyce. 😉 We had many injured, thousands of local animals died, and it looks like a war zone here. Which it did almost before, except we had homes.

So, Anthony ××××××× and ALL you fucking armchair experts out there, tell me again. How was this the Greens fault?

Thanks. Looking forward to your well thought out response.

Bruce Walker, Wytaliba RFS member and survivor. 🙊🙉🖕”


660 thoughts on “The Blame Game

  1. Sydney is suffering some smoke haze today.

    Big deal!

    We have been living with constant, heavy smoke haze from bushfires for two weeks now, and for a few months before that our nights were made miserable by smoke from a fire on the edge of town. Today the smoke is thick, not quite as bad as the worst day ever last week, but still horrible.

    I have not seen the sky for two weeks. All I see is smoke. It’s going to be like this for months, unless we get a couple of weeks of steady rain and that is not going to happen.

    Sydney gets one morning of haze and the news is full of it. How will they cope when the smoke doesn’t blow away tonight? The whinging will be epic, we might even hear it from up here.

  2. This was a real WOW number for me. Disposable income has been dropping since the end of 2014. No wonder retail is cactus. You would think the MSM would have been all over the government aboutr this huge rebuttal of claims the economy is going gangbusters…………………oh wait. 😦

    Real gross household disposable income per capita

  3. Experts? What would they know!

    Michael McCormack has defended the Coalition’s regional grants program, saying ministers overruled departmental advice based on what “is best” for regional Australia.

    The deputy prime minister, who was on the ministerial panels that oversaw the scandal-ridden $220m regional jobs and investment packages program in the last term of parliament, rejected criticism from the auditor general about the scheme’s operation.

    In a scathing report tabled on Melbourne Cup day, the auditor general found ministers knocked back almost 30% of recommended projects and supported 17% of those not recommended.

    But McCormack said decision-making should not be “outsourced to the bureaucracy”.

    “If the people of Australia want all decisions made by government to be outsourced to the bureaucracy, we would just have a bureaucracy running Canberra, but we don’t have a bureaucracy running Canberra, it’s run by the government and it’s run by the ministers in that government, and we made decisions based on what was best for regional Australia,” McCormack said.

    Where’s Sir Humphrey when you need him?

  4. There’s nothing like a big, juicy class action case to get a government to back down on their very dodgy robodebt scam..

    Now we get rushed, badly thought out changes approved by the utterly corrupt and totally brain-dead Stuart Robert. What could possibly go wrong.

  5. The Morrison government should be implementing a coherent national plan to secure Australia’s energy future rather than cutting a series of deals with states it regards as friendly, according to the ACT energy minister, Shane Rattenbury.

    Rattenbury sounded the alarm ahead of Friday’s long-delayed meeting of federal and state energy ministers, declaring the gathering – the first for nearly 12 months – should be about implementing the integrated system plan (ISP) recommended by the Australian Energy Market Operator, not Angus Taylor signing off on wish lists with cooperative states.

    “I’ve been concerned by the reports this week where [the federal minister] Angus Taylor says he wants to work with, essentially, friendly states,” Rattenbury told Guardian Australia. “This is not what we need.

  6. Judges and magistrates have expressed “deep concern” at the Courier-Mail’s coverage of the fines imposed on anti-Adani protesters and accused the newspaper’s journalists of unfounded criticism and ignoring essential facts.

    The president of the Judicial Conference of Australia, Justice Judith Kelly, said a front-page story, an editorial and a comment piece in Queensland’s News Corp tabloid were intemperate, sneering, uninformed and contained personal abuse of judges which undermined the judicial process.

    “Articles like this betray the vital role the media has in encouraging informed and constructive debate about the way such matters are dealt with in our courts,” Kelly said.

    “The editorial was followed by a vituperative article on the same topic on 15 November 2019 by Peter Gleeson which contained no rational discussion and no analysis of the reasons.”

    “Constructive criticism of any court’s decision should be welcomed. But criticism which is unfounded or which ignores essential facts must be corrected.”

  7. In the good old days the Xmas decorations starting to appear in stores was the signal xmas is on the way and we’d note how they seemed to arrive earlier each year. These days it is the first shot from the RWNJs in the annual “war on xmas” culture wars that lets us know we are getting close.Come on down Brietbart 😆

    War on Christmas: Amazon Labels Nativity Story as ‘Holiday Fiction’

    Amazon is touting a new children’s book narrating the birth of Jesus Christ as its “#1 New Release in Children’s Christian Holiday Fiction.”

    By calling the work “Holiday Fiction,” therefore, Amazon would seem to suggest it believes that the birth of Jesus as recounted in the Christian Bible is simply an imaginative fabrication.

  8. Albo finally gets something right.

    ‘I can’t believe he said that’: Older Australians hit back at Frydenberg

    Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said Mr Frydenberg was trying to shift blame for the government’s economic shortcomings,.

    “Older Australians are not responsible for the fact that we have wage stagnation, for the fact that we have low economic growth, for the fact we have retail trade figures that are the worst since the 1990s, for the fact that unemployment has gone up, and for the fact that interest rates have been reduced to under 1 per cent,” he said

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    According to David Crowe today the Morrison government will accelerate a $3.8 billion splurge on road and rail projects in a bid to boost the economy and defy critics who fear it is putting the budget surplus ahead of an urgent need to lift wages and growth.
    Clancy Yeates says that Morrison left out one crucial fact. In picking a fight with activists, he avoided a critical reason why banks and other financial businesses have been getting nervous about dealing with coal miners and companies that depend on them: cold, hard financial risk.
    Michael Pascoe pulls apart the RBA interest rate determination notes.
    Entirely as a result of its own incompetence, ignorance and stubbornness the government has abandoned the central part of it controversial Robodebt scheme.
    The Australian government still can’t reveal how many people have been affected by its controversial robot-debt scheme despite abandoning a central plank of the program. And therein lies the problem!
    Matt Wade reports that NSW is aiming high with respect to satisfying a huge future demand from the middle class in Asia.
    The AFR’s John Kehoe says that the government is too timid to tax Baby Boomers.
    Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer has challenged his NSW counterpart Mick Fuller to publicly debate him over the use of strip searches, saying the latter’s recent comments on police powers were “frightening”. That’s a stinger!
    Shane Wright tells us how Frydenberg’s getting a bit of kickback over his comments about the retraining of seniors.
    Asking older Australians to work for longer won’t help the economy as there aren’t enough jobs to go around writes Euan Black.
    And he writes that as a weekly measure of consumer confidence dipped to a two-and-a-half year low on concerns about the economy, research by the NAB reveals household debt is now more than double annual income for the first time.
    Michael McCormack has defended the Coalition’s regional grants program, saying ministers overruled departmental advice based on what “is best” for regional Australia. So, nothing to see here?
    After studiously ignoring population ageing in his ten-year budget plan issued before the 2019 election, Josh Frydenberg now says population ageing will be an economic and fiscal timebomb.,13328
    An anonymous contributor to the AFR says, “Robert is about the least impressive member of federal cabinet, ever, but recycling announceables is exceptionally stupid even by his lofty standards. The general public might fall for old news as new news, but did he really think his stakeholders in the disability sector hadn’t noticed longer-term NDIS plans already?”
    Jason Wilson wonders why Scott Morrison is so determined to suck up to Donald Trump.
    Two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein the night he died have been charged with falsifying prison records. Over to you, conspiracy theorists!
    Putting homes in high-risk areas is asking too much of firefighters explain three architects.
    Food delivery bike couriers are being underpaid by up to $322 a week compared with minimum rates of pay and superannuation in the transport award, according to new union statistics.
    Dana McCauley reports that the Electrical Trades Union is ramping up its campaign against the Morrison government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill, with a fresh print and social media advertising blitz targeting key crossbench senators – and a promise to continue until the next election.
    While we’ve all enjoyed the bounty of China’s progress, there is heightened anxiety around the increased power of what can be a brutal autocratic regime writes Angela Jackson
    Angus Taylor has scheduled a discussion with state and territory energy ministers about the planned overhaul of the Morrison government’s emissions reduction fund, a move following the government’s decision to quietly appoint an expert panel to come up with new ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
    The global nuclear industry is in crisis but that doesn’t stop the pro-nuclear lobby from peddling exorbitantly expensive nuclear as a “green alternative”. Noel Wauchope reports.,13326
    David Crowe explains how the government seems likely to push ahead, against much advice, with a federally funded insurance risk pool for north Queensland cyclones and the like (er, and bushfires as well?).
    Bethany Brown explains why the insidious practice of ‘chemical restraint’ in aged care needs stronger action.
    Bernardi’s leaving the Senate at the end of the year. Now the scramble for the Liberal Party to find another RWNJ.
    Since the IPA and CIS organisations argue against the scientific consensus on the climate change emergency isn’t that against the public interest? Why, then, are they classified as ‘charities’? David Paull reports.,13325
    Kimberley Kitching has launched a blistering attack against the public servants responsible for a scandal-plagued security upgrade at Parliament House in Canberra and asked the auditor-general to investigate the department responsible for overseeing the bungled $75 million security works.
    The detective who was investigating Bourke Street killer James Gargasoulas in the days before the 2017 tragedy says he frantically ran down the stairs of a police station to stop a bail justice granting the delusional criminal bail. This will play out well!
    With water the new “oil” and land the new “gold”, water barons are pushing north to tap the wild, unregulated rivers of the Kimberley. Triskele looks at Gina Rinehart’s proposal to build the biggest irrigation farm in the northern hemisphere using off-take flood water from the Fitzroy River.
    Trump is threatening to blow up the WTO and potentially cause anarchy opines Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    The UK’s former Tory leader William Hague has warned that tens of millions of citizens will take climate change action into their own hands if governments continue to fail to address the climate emergency.
    John Collett writes that The Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority (APRA) will soon publish its “heatmaps” of super fund investment options, where the worst-performing funds will be coloured deep-red on a range of measures, such as investment performance and fees and costs. He says it marks a significant change of approach for the regulator, which has previously been more inclined to work with under-performing funds behind closed doors, rather than attempt to weed them out.
    The Trump administration’s declaration that Israeli settlements on the West Bank are “not inconsistent with international law” has reversed US policy on the settlements and contradicted the view of most countries. Isabel Kershner explains where international law stands on the matter.
    The Guardian says that Trump is systematically ending the viability of a future Palestinian state.
    The president’s disdain for democracy, adulation for autocrats and contempt for the global rules-based order poses a unique peril. Ditching Trump in 2020 would be a gift to the world writes Simon Tisdall.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe with Trump’s health check. Ughh!

    And he has Frydenberg leaning on the oldies.

    Cathy Wilcox spot on – again!

    Andrew Dyson and Morrison’s support for mining.

    John Shakespeare and some perspective on Frydenberg’s remarks on the retraining of seniors.

    From Matt Golding

    Fiona Katauskas.

    Zanetti at the bushfires.

    More from Cathy Wilcox.

    Leak gets this one right.

    From the US

  10. The British media sound just like the Australian media during the last election campaign, with the BBC no exception. The BBC is acting just like our ABC, which refused (still does) to call out the government’s lies on their news sessions and chat shows.

    Then there’s this –

    UK election 2019: partisan press is pulling out all the stops against Labour

    You can work out what these two campaigns have in common.

    • Senior Executives at the BBC have allegedly claimed that they are refusing to expose the relentless lies told by the Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson because doing so would supposedly ‘undermine the general public’s trust in democracy‘.

    • leonetwo

      I always knew the UK press was pretty crap. But when I saw the coverage of Corbyn the first time he ran I truly was gob smacked. I expected the usual tory ‘boo Labour’ but it was totally OTT ‘hyper-bowl. There seemed to be a competition for ridiculous claims. The taker of that cake was a large ‘serious’ article in the Telegraph or Times where we were told in grave tones that electing Corbyn could see us in another World War !! The ‘logic’ being Corbyn will destroy NATO and this in turn led to a world war ,. So electing Corbyn could see in the end of the world !

      I expected that sort of shit from the usual suspects in the tory and Dirty Digger’s outlets but even some outlets I thought were moderate indulged in some ‘Be Afraid. Very Afraid” scary fairy tales about a possible PM Corbyn. The MSM are shit here when it comes to fair coverage of Labor and holding the Coalition to account but Corbyn could only dream of getting treated as well as Labor is here.

  11. Where are the media when it comes to exposing lies like this?

    At least the ABC has the facts.

    Very good of them to mention FauxMo’s rubbishing of the scheme.

    • The robodebt article –

      Strong contender for the title “World’s Most Stupid Man” Stuart Robert said the changes would affect only a “small cohort” of debts.

      DHS says around 600,000 robodebts had been raised using the flawed averaging system.

      Small cohort, Mr Robert?

  12. Boris Johnson lies shamelessly, continuously, systematically, habitually

    Well that explains the cartoon then 😆

  13. This little black duck

    Just watching Colbert with Jacinda.

    I want him to spend a day with FauxMo in Oz.

    You are a cruel bastard 🙂

    • I was surprised and impressed that Colbert went the full shorts and jandals however as Lucy noted though, shame about the top bit of his ‘costume’ 😆

  14. How good are the bushfires ! Good enough to affect the climate in NZ. Check out the animation of the air flow from fires to NZ

    Some regions will see highs 10C above average, particularly inland and eastern areas, forecaster .It’s set to be a very hot, dry end to November with some areas due for no rain at all before December 1.

    NIWA Weather

    Follow Follow @NiwaWeather
    Shipment of warmth! 🌡️

    Australia is sending us more of its hot air from this weekend into early next week…

    The emojicasts will be full of 🌤️

  15. Our racist government at work –

    Family of Sydney retiree jailed in Vietnam says Canberra’s response would be stronger if he was a ‘white Australian’

    The wife of a Sydney retiree sentenced to 12 years in a Vietnamese prison has written an emotional letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, questioning whether the Government’s “weak” response would have been stronger if her husband was a white Australian.

    Australian citizen Van Kham Chau, a 70-year-old retired baker, was last Monday convicted and sentenced for “the crime of terrorism against the people’s government” in a Ho Chi Minh City courtroom — he has lodged an appeal against the conviction.
    Chau, who has been held for 11 months in Vietnamese prison since his arrest in mid-January, is a member of Viet Tan.

    The UN’s human rights office has described Viet Tan as “a peaceful organisation advocating for democratic reform”, but the Vietnamese Communist Government brands it a “terrorist” group

    FauxMo has apparently written to the Chau family. No doubt he said he is praying for them.

  16. US Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, has said he he was ordered by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine into announcing an investigation into political rivals.

    He told the impeachment inquiry that Trump made a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president conditional on his willingness to launch investigations into Trump’s political rivals, including Joe Biden. He provided further testimony, as well as email and call records, which implicated the Vice President, Trump’s chief of staff, and the secretary of state. “Everyone was in the loop,” Sondland said. “It was no secret.” Speaking outside the White House, Trump repeatedly said he told Sondland over the phone “I want nothing” on Ukraine.

    Sondland’s statement –

  17. The government thinks a diplomatic solution involving carry-over credits will get them out of their failed Paris agreement on emissions.

    I think they are dreaming. Australia is now an international pariah.

    Diplomacy the solution to standoff over Australia’s use of carryover credits, officials say
    Foreign affairs staff say despite opposition from some countries, Australia will continue to use them to meet Paris targets

  18. I have to say I’m appalled at the lack of leadership in this country.

    The fires in NSW and Queensland continue to burn, Victoria and SA are experiencing dreadful fires today and Tasmania is about to fall victim.

    While all this is happening the PM is having his photo taken with cricketers because he thinks watching chaps hit balls around a paddock will give us all something to cheer about over summer – when we are taking a break from fighting fires and wondering how long our water supplies will last, I suppose.

    For most of us, and especially for people like me who couldn’t care less about professional sports in any form, this was way beyond insulting. He was telling us everything will be fine because we can still watch cricket. Just how people who have lost their homes and all their possessions in fires will do that is a question the ever-adoring media won’t ask him.

    FauxMo has also telling business he wants less environmental assessment of major projects and tougher industrial relations conditions for workers..

    Also seems to be missing.He has not been seen since his pointless trip to Nimbin to talk to firefighters. He should be out there in a fire area (there are plenty to choose from) doing some community service.

    No-one wants to mention climate change, especially not Labor now the party has painted itself into a corner with its ridiculous “Don’t talk about climate change now” echo of the government line.

    Albo could use this opportunity to show us what he can do as LOTO and what he would be capable of as PM. Instead he is invisible, he seems to be hiding under his bed.

  19. My 2 cents worth on the brouhaha about hazard reduction burns. They have their place but how do you do a fuel reduction burn in the top of a gum tree? I don’t know if anyone has experience of a canopy fire as I have, once and not an experience I’d like to repeat. Gum trees have natural flammable oils and as temperatures rise these trees emit more of these volatile oils and particularly on a fire front where there is a rapid rise in temp you literally end up with a bomb some 20 meters above the ground waiting to go off. I’ve seen the crown of a gum “explode” half a K in front of the actual fire front. So I ask again, how do you prevent this? That last bit is a genuine question. Come up with an answer and the world will be a safer place. Apart from the obvious of getting the temp of the world to drop a couple of degrees and increase rainfall.

    • Hazard reduction burns are not always possible.

      Our council didn’t do anywhere near the usual number over winter because it was too dry. They knew what would happen if they tried. The ones they did do were in small, confined areas where the fire was easy to control.

      Everything here is tinder-dry. It would only take a tosser chucking a cigarette butt out of a car and we would have a major fire event.

      The large fires up this way are burning through inaccessible bush, it’s just not possible to get in there and do a burn, even when weather conditions are perfect. es, there are fire trails, but with the current fires most have been impossible to use due to the ferocity of the fires and the speed they moved.

      All this talk about needing more burns drives me nuts because I can see how ill-informed it is. It’s one of those things idiots hear and then latch on to without bothering to find out a few facts.

  20. Where the Turnbull-Abbott pile of Mixed Technology broadband shit starts to fall in a heap. Look at the speeds being rolled out in NZ. These sorts of speeds are mainly of interest to business and can go WAY higher if needed. Plenty of opportunity for new services and innovation.

    ………………… 2 gigabit per second and 4 gigabit per second UFB fibre plans for some South Islanders from February, followed by Auckland in May and a broader rollout to follow (see table below).

    Chorus chief customer officer Ed Hyde says 8 gigabit per second plans will follow. That bandwidth was demoed at a preview event in Auckland this morning at production house Augusto, one of several trial customers.

    Hyde says today the most common type of UFB fibre plan offers 100 megabit per second downloads, although some 20 per cent of new orders are for Chorus’ current top-tier plan, which offers 1Gbps

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