896 thoughts on “This Venn Diagram …

  1. The world is becoming less free and, in Asia, almost nobody lives in a country where civil rights are not being eroded or repressed, a new civil rights report has found.

    And the 2019 CIVICUS Monitor, a global research collaboration that tracks fundamental freedoms in 196 countries, has downgraded Australia from an “open” country to one where civil space has “narrowed”, citing new laws to expand government surveillance, prosecution of whistleblowers, and raids on media organisations.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/07/australias-civil-rights-rating-downgraded-as-report-finds-world-becoming-less-free

    “To be continued …” without a doubt.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Ross Gittins asks, “Can the government and its econocrats battered credibility withstand one more set of economic forecasts based on little more than naive optimism?” Read this and weep!
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/please-no-more-pollyanna-impressions-in-the-budget-update-20191208-p53hx0.html
    And “At what point can we say a plan has failed? How much longer are we to be subjected to the fallacious belief that a budget surplus is the best sign of strong economic management?´ asks Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2019/dec/08/tax-cuts-fail-to-conjure-up-strong-economy-but-surplus-circus-rolls-on
    This contribution from Sean Kelly is well worth reading. He’s not impressed with Morrison’s methods and motivations.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/we-think-we-re-waiting-for-pm-to-act-but-bigger-forces-are-at-work-20191208-p53hvb.html
    The Berejiklian government is demanding more water be kept in NSW instead of flowing to the ailing river system. This is not going to end well!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-to-consider-tearing-up-murray-darling-agreement-20191208-p53hy3.html
    The SMH editorial says that nothing about the past month’s apocalyptic conditions in NSW should come as a shock.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/grasping-for-solutions-as-we-gasp-for-clean-air-20191207-p53hsf.html
    David Crowe explains the findings of the ANU’s study of the 2019 election.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-least-popular-leader-since-1990-election-study-20191208-p53hz3.html
    Michelle Grattan also has a look at the above study.
    https://theconversation.com/voters-send-sharp-message-to-politicians-about-trust-anu-australian-election-study-128537
    This special report in The Age explains the disgraceful efforts of one man to create and hide a huge toxic waste dump.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/the-man-who-made-a-toxic-waste-disaster-20191205-p53h1x.html
    Evangelical churches believe men should control women. That’s why they breed domestic violence explains these contributors to The Conversation.
    https://theconversation.com/evangelical-churches-believe-men-should-control-women-thats-why-they-breed-domestic-violence-127437
    The Prime Minister doesn’t seem to be very concerned about fires and arsonists, although he does offer thoughts and prayers. On the other hand, he indulges his antediluvian obsession of stomping on the last vestiges of union power, and his novel Christian approach of holding innocent and sick people hostage indefinitely, and watching them slowly die writes Geoff Davies.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/priorities-delusions-and-governments-duty-of-care,13389
    Clancey Moore writes that it’s time to dig out corruption in the resource industry.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/time-to-dig-out-corruption-in-the-resource-industry-20191205-p53hel.html
    The world is saved! Pastor Brian Houston visits White House to sing and pray for President Donald Trump.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/12/08/brian-houston-white-house-visit/
    Mike Foley explains how household electricity bills are tipped to fall by an average of $97, as the markets reap the benefit of new generation and the falling cost of renewable energy generation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/household-electricity-bills-forecast-to-fall-20191206-p53hpp.html
    Bob Carr has his say on climate change and inaction.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-sydney-circled-by-fire-could-never-have-hosted-the-olympics-20191208-p53hva.html
    Shane Wright analyses the bleak outlook for retailers in Australia.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/no-christmas-retail-cheer-but-hopes-for-the-new-year-20191206-p53hlt.html
    Littleproud has called for shoppers to boycott Coles over what he calls the supermarket’s “low act” of failing to pass on a levy for struggling dairy farmers. Surely not a secondary boycott!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/coles-has-shown-its-true-colours-minister-blasts-supermarket-on-milk-drought-levy-20191208-p53hxx.html
    Westpac has not completed a comprehensive external audit of how it manages risk in more than two years, with the last review finding the bank’s systems were only “partially effective”. Top effort!
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/westpac-external-audits-flag-partially-effective-systems-20191208-p53hx9.html
    Adele Ferguson doubles down on Grill’d and its founder. This time it’s about his forging of his partner’s signature in Liquor and Gaming licence applications.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/grill-d-co-founder-forged-details-on-liquor-licence-applications-20191208-p53hxz.html
    Trump’s wall is causing all sorts of ructions in South Texas. Bir=t don’t worry, Jared Kushner’s in charge!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/these-texans-voted-for-trump-now-he-wants-to-take-their-homes-for-his-wall-20191209-p53i0s.html
    Peter Dutton has created a scandalous two-year waiting period and exorbitant costs for partner visas – flouting the Migration Act – and this is likely to worsen. Former Immigration Department Deputy Secretary Abul Rizvi reports.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/duttons-partner-visa-scandal-set-to-continue,13390
    Nick Miller reflects on his seven years as Fairfax’s Europe correspondent.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/the-stories-former-europe-correspondent-nick-miller-really-wanted-to-tell-20191202-p53fzs.html
    According to some industry groups Australia is at risk of becoming a dumping ground for cars pre-charged with a greenhouse gas 1,400 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/09/australia-risks-being-dumping-ground-for-cars-with-greenhouse-gas-1400-times-more-potent-than-co2
    Michael Koziol writes about Michal Kirby’s proposition that the children of today are not radical enough.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/what-s-wrong-with-kids-today-they-re-not-radical-enough-says-michael-kirby-20191206-p53hq7.html
    Facebook is telling users that Islamophobic posts distributed through a clandestine network of far-right pages meet its “community standards”, despite revelations they are being used as part of a coordinated scheme profiting from hate and disinformation. The world is f****d!
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/09/facebook-tells-users-islamophobic-posts-meet-its-community-standards-despite-investigation
    It looks like NSW’s ICAC is undergoing a death of a thousand cuts. Lisa Visentin reports.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/smallest-icac-in-history-corruption-watchdog-warns-of-job-cuts-without-more-funding-20191205-p53h4g.html
    As is the ABC.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/abc-to-grapple-with-budget-freeze-200-redundancies-expected-20191206-p53hnr.html
    Tony Abbott has weighed into the British election, warning against a Labour victory.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/immigration-levels-will-be-cut-if-conservatives-win-boris-johnson-says-20191208-p53i0a.html
    The Democratic chairman of the House judiciary committee, Jerry Nadler, has not ruled out including evidence from the Mueller report in articles of impeachment against Donald Trump that could be published as early as next week.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/08/donald-trump-impeachment-inquiry-jerry-nadler-mueller-ukraine
    Trump is the natural consequence of our anti-democracy decade writes Robert Reich.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/08/donald-trump-citizens-united-anti-democracy-decade
    A shrinking poll leads making PM Boris Johnson nervous days before UK election.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2019/12/08/boris-johnson-uk-election/

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe gets this one right.

    From Matt Golding






    Three beauties from Mark David.



    David Pope has Angus Taylor arriving in Madrid.

    Zanetti.

    The Australian’s Spooner puts the boot into the MDB’s environmental water flow.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/df4eecb2315e481b47a91b088829863f?width=1024

    From the US









  3. Oh for frack’s sake!

    Albo is a dead loss. He might as well join the Liberal Party and really get stuck into worshipping coal.

    Albanese says Australia should continue to export coal

    “If Australia stopped exporting today there would not be less demand for coal – the coal would come from a different place,” Mr Albanese said in an interview.

    “So it would not reduce emissions – which has to be the objective. I don’t see a contradiction between that and having a strong climate change policy

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/albanese-says-australia-should-continue-to-export-coal-20191208-p53hyp.html

    Albo’s comments about Peter Garrett were uncalled for and nasty. A few seconds research would have told him Garrett now lives at Kangaroo Valley, in the Shoalhaven area of NSW, right next to the Illawarra region and a place that is on a severe fire danger alert. Albo really made a fool of himself with those snarky remarks, he should be better than that.

    There are no bushfires anywhere near Albo’s home at Marrickville. I suppose, like FauxMo, he believes the smoke that covers Sydney is just a bit of haze.

    If this is the best Labor can offer as leader then the party should be prepared to be in opposition for decades.

    If we follow the current Labor mantra of “we cannot force people out of their occupations in coal mining and force them into new jobs” then we would still have thousands of Australians employed as lamplighters, copy boys, rag and bone men, rabbitohs, clothesline prop sellers, dunny men, ice men, telegraph operators and all the other 19th and 20th century jobs that are no longer needed because advances in technology and science have made them obsolete.

    Has no-one in Labor heard about automation and the way it is making all those coal mining jobs as obsolete as the job of lamplighter?

    The world is moving on from burning coal to generate electricity. Yes, coal is needed for steel – but work on making steel without coke is progressing. Coal will soon be obsolete too.

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/new-pilot-facility-in-sweden-to-produce-steel-without-fossil-fuel/article/522179

    If Albo wants the ALP to become obsolete then he is certainly going the right way about achieving that.

    • A bit more – it seems Albo, who has lived in NSW all his life, does not know the regions of his own state. He included the Illawarra in his list of places Garrett doesn’t live in, but he got things very wrong.

      The Illawarra region has so far been safe from major fires, so why would Albo mention it in a list of places he believes are suffering from huge fires?

      Because he’s ignorant, and maybe too arrogant to bother with anything outside Sydney and his own city electorate.

      What he meant, I think, was the area around Bateman’s Bay, inland all the way to the mountains, still under attack from the huge Currowan fire. That area is a long way from the Illawarra and further down the coast than the Shoalhaven, where Garrett now lives. This region usually goes by the name Eurobodalla Coast or just the South Coast.

      I’d expect someone who wants to be PM to know a bit more about his home state than Albo seems to know. Why has he never bothered to educate himself?

  4. Satire –

    PM Finally Acts On Fires: “We’ll Short-Barrel Rifle Them In The Face”
    They have also promised to keep Australians safe by arming firefighters with flamethrowers.

    Master of the Universe Scott Morrison and Supreme Overlord Peter Dutton have reassured a despairing nation, terrified by the scale of the current bushfire emergency and petrified by worse to come, announcing that they will be arming police with assault rifles and firefighters with flamethrowers so they can really show the fires who’s boss.

    “I’m making this announcement today as a response to the 100 bushfires burning across NSW. The most important job of any government is to keep Australians safe, and what better way to do that than ignore all advice from every expert in the country and instead deploy specialist squads of police to massacre the fires”, Mr Morrison said

    http://situationtheatre.com/news-fuse/shoot-the-fires

  5. “If Australia stopped exporting today there would not be less demand for coal – the coal would come from a different place,” Mr Albanese said in an interview.

    The local drug lord in Columbia would make the same argument in defense of his “trade”

    • I think that Australia will still continue to export high quality coal from the Hunter Valley
      But the quantity exported will drop – possibly quite a lot

      There is absolutely no reason to open new automated coal mines in the Galilee Basin for Adani (bankrupt) Palmer (bankrupt) or Rinehart. The Galilee Basin coal has high sulphur content and lower BTU. If the Galilee Basin mines go into production all existing coal mines in Australia would close, except the existing coal mines have the mine to port infrastructure and that infrastructure has to be built for Galilee Basin

  6. Yesterday I said that Fran Kelly had been tough on Matthias Corman, but I was wrong

  7. I read with amusement Agriculture Minster David Littleproud’s call for consumers to boycott Coles for not passing on the whole 10cent surcharge to the milk processors

    Can I remember that Morrison was going to fine unionists who engaged in boycotts?

  8. This makes me furious – the PM jets around for drinkies with billionaires but can’t be bothered giving special funding to the firefighters.

  9. Australia’s plan to use an accounting loophole to meet its international emissions targets has been formally challenged at UN climate talks, with about 100 countries wanting the practice banned under the Paris agreement.

    Delegates from developing countries led by Belize and Costa Rica have introduced a ban on using carryover credits from the Kyoto protocol into the text of the rulebook for the Paris climate agreement, which is being debated at a meeting in Madrid.

    It is a crucial debate for the Morrison government as it relies on using the accounting measure to meet its commitment under the Paris deal. The emissions reduction minister, Angus Taylor, arrived in Madrid on Sunday to make Australia’s case at the second week of the talks.

    Emissions projections released as Taylor left Australia suggested the Morrison government was on track to meet its 2030 target (at least a 26% emissions cut below 2005 levels), but only if it used carryover credits. Without them it expected emissions to achieve just a 16% cut. Government advisers found Australia’s fair share under a meaningful global deal would be at least 45%.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/09/about-100-countries-at-un-climate-talks-challenge-australias-use-of-carryover-credits

    • Previous Australian tactics have been to basically to stamp feet and hold their breath until they turn blues in order to get exemptions. The tantrums worked as there was a desperation to appear unified . Well I hope the rest of the nations now realise they have a spoilt brat on their hands that needs to be taught the meaning of NO.

  10. A worse for wear helicopter that was parked on White Island

    .
    One pleasing thing I noted when reading comments from Ardern,Helen Clark and other leading NZ figures is there are “thoughts” but no “and prayers” 🙂

  11. Seriously folks, what sort of response would you like to see, given that NSW isn’t expecting decent rainfall until February, later in Sydney and further south

    And we can smirk in Victoria – for now – but our time will come in March. Actually fires are burning in East Gippsland.

    • Total denial of the existence of the large cotton farmers, water traders at the top end of the basin who don’t even leave a tickle going downstream

    • We need one done like that in Australia. Then sit back and enjoy world class frothing at the mouth from the 2GB+Telegraph ‘demographic’

    • I’ve seen some reactions on Facebook. Most think it’s brilliant. some think it ruins their Christmas.

      It is highly appropriate because –

      Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with their baby son, the family became refugees to escape the murderous intentions of King Herod.

      If this happened today in the US Trump would separate them at the border. In Australia FauxMo and Dutton would lock them up on Nauru or deport the parents back to somewhere like, say, Sri Lanka, to face immediate arrest and probably death, and leave the infant Jesus, here, locked up and isolated.

      Our fake “Christian” PM would be offended by this, of course. He probably knows nothing about the Bible story , he would just assume it was done by bleeding heart lefties having a go at his and/or Trump’s regimes.

  12. And now our PM has offered NZ whatever support and help they need.

    How nice and neighbourly of him.

    What a shame he has not offered the same support to firefighters in NSW and Queensland who have to rely on the generosity of the public for food and drink while they are taking time off work to fight fires.

    • The ABC TV news had a story about “Black Ops” teams.

      People are getting together fire fighting equipment and doing what they can where the fire fighters aren’t “available”. They have all the right equipment (didn’t see any protective clothing, mind) and are doing a great job, by the looks.

      FauxMo and Gladys need their arses kicked so hard.

    • Only because he had a “win” on the island. There were ‘Strayans on the island so plenty good publicity opportunities for the Fauxman.

  13. What we know so far

    * Five people have been confirmed killed, and that figure is expected to rise, after a volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s Whakaari / White Island.

    * A double-digit number of people remain on the island, according to deputy commissioner John Timms of New Zealand police, although the exact number remains unknown.

    * Tims told a briefing that police and rescue crews have still not been able to access to island, after advice from volcano experts. “The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island”.

    * A number of people have been taken to hospital, some with burns as a result of the eruption.

    * Photographs in the aftermath of the eruption appear to show a wrecked helicopter on the island.

    * Fewer than 50 people were on the island at the time of the eruption, and 23 have been taken off.

    * 30 to 38 of those people were passengers on the cruise ship Ovation of the Seas, as confirmed by the CEO of the New Zealand Cruise Association.

    * The eruption occurred about 2:11pm local time, 48km off the coast of the Bay of Plenty, on the north island.

    * Whakaari / White Island is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, and is a popular tourist destination and scientific research site. It last experienced a short-lived eruption in 2016.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2019/dec/09/new-zealand-volcano-tourists-injured-and-missing-after-eruption-on-white-island-live

    • Professor Shane Cronin, Volcanologist, University of Auckland, comments:

      “Sudden, unheralded eruptions from volcanoes such as White Island can be expected at any time. Magma is close to the surface, and the heat and gases from this heat the surface and ground waters to form vigorous hydrothermal systems. We know hydrothermal and so-called ‘phreatic’ eruptions can occur suddenly and with little or no warning because they are driven by the expansion of super-heated water into steam.

      “The hazards expected from such events are the violent ejection of hot blocks and ash, and formation of ‘hurricane-like’ currents of wet ash and coarse particles that radiate from the explosion vent. These can be deadly in terms of causing impact trauma, burns and respiratory problems. The eruptions are short-lived, but once one occurs, there are high chances for further, generally smaller ones as the system re-equilibrates.”

      https://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2019/12/09/white-island-eruption-expert-reaction/

    • Red bicycles ridden by Corbyn are communist but red cars driven by BoJo are perfectly fine. It must be true because the media say so.

      .Hmmmm.

      And people fall for it, just as we are still being told Shorten was the most unpopular Labor candidate since 1788, because the media said so.

  14. I found the this tweet from Anthony Breznican particularly interesting:

    The only gospel that mentions “no room at the inn” is Luke’s.

    But my understanding of childbirth and midwifery over the ages is that straw was very much a part of parturition – to soak up the fluids, as opposed to ruining the linen. Hence the expression, even used in the early 19th century, of “being in the straw”. And that was because most women gave birth sitting on some kind of birthing stool, or over a small pit, or hanging onto something above them, like a beam. Back then, women realised that gravity helped get the baby out …

    So if as an innkeeper you had a woman arrive at your door seeking accommodation, isn’t the stable the obvious place? Especially if all rooms were already taken?

  15. Using the Oxford comma, for me anyway, depends on context. If it avoids ambiguity then I use it, if it adds nothing then I don’t use it.

    Maybe that’s an example of how language evolves.

    I dunno, really, I just do what seems to make the most sense.

  16. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Alexandra Smith reports that Sydney is facing its toughest ever water restrictions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/sydney-faces-level-3-water-restrictions-within-months-20191209-p53i95.html
    Katharine Murphy looks at some of the latest Essential poll.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/10/morrison-gets-thumbs-up-from-coalition-voters-but-overall-disapproval-rises-essential-poll
    Andrew Hastie says that the West had watched on passively while states such as Russia and China had weaponised “previously benign” areas such as diplomacy, media, investment flows, infrastructure development and foreign asset purchases and has urged democracies to engage in political warfare to preserve peace
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/hastie-urges-democracies-to-engage-in-political-warfare-to-preserve-peace-20191203-p53g7u.html
    Rod Meyer explains how population growth is hiding a moribund underlying Australian economy.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2019/12/09/what-is-hiding-the-true-position-of-the-australian-economy-is-people/
    The SMH editorial says that if Angus Taylor gets his way with the accounting trick at the climate change gathering in Madrid this will send a very bad signal to other countries that are already trying to twist the rules.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/backdown-on-paris-climate-targets-would-set-a-bad-example-to-the-world-20191209-p53icy.html
    Jason Wilson writes that Australia needs to challenge authority if we’re going to confront water, fire and climate crises.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/09/australia-needs-to-challenge-authority-if-were-going-to-confront-water-fire-and-climate-crises
    The Morrison government has come under attack for its inaction on climate change, after former royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne blamed political “short-termism” for stifling Australia’s response to the crisis.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/12/09/hewson-hayne-climate/
    Jennifer Wilson writes about Berejiklian’s and Morrison’s eerie silence on bushfires and Sydney water quality fears.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/berejiklian-and-morrisons-eerie-silence-on-bushfires-and-sydney-water-quality-fears-,13392
    In this quite concerning contribution to The Conversation Tony Walker says that 2019 was a year of global unrest, spurred by anger at rising inequality – and 2020 is likely to be worse!
    https://theconversation.com/2019-was-a-year-of-global-unrest-spurred-by-anger-at-rising-inequality-and-2020-is-likely-to-be-worse-128384
    Adele Ferguson writes about the parliamentary inquiry into auditing that has exposed an industry that is dominated by four big audit firms that are opaque and conflicted and the partnership structure means they can largely escape scrutiny.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/parliamentary-auditing-inquiry-exposes-an-opaque-conflicted-industry-20191209-p53ibe.html
    Truth is said to be the first casualty of war, but today it is the first casualty of politics. This is a direct threat to our democratic norms argues Martin Hirst who uses Angus Taylor as a prime example.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/truth-and-lies-and-angus-taylor,13393
    David Crowe writes that Labor has lashed out at the Greens for claiming Anthony Albanese valued coal “more than human life” because he would not back an export ban.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/lazy-symbolism-labor-fights-back-at-greens-on-coal-exports-20191209-p53iaf.html
    Peter Hartcher explains why India is heading to be the next “big thing”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/beyond-cricket-and-curry-india-could-be-the-next-big-thing-20191209-p53i38.html
    An important part of the World Trade Organization will cease to function from midnight. December 10 is when the terms of two of the remaining three members of its Appellate Body expire. It is meant to have seven. This is all due to the United States which has blocked every proposed appointment and reappointment since June 2017.
    https://theconversation.com/key-trade-rules-will-become-unenforceable-from-midnight-australia-should-be-worried-126768
    Sally Whyte reports that Australians living in aged care are often denied proper health care, with disturbing accounts of misdiagnosed, mistreated or ignored health issues as described to the aged care royal commission yesterday.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6533706/heart-attack-ignored-royal-commission-hears/?cs=14350
    Dan Tehan has called on state counterparts to “move quickly” towards a rollout of improved teaching methods across Australia’s schools to better track students’ development and help turn around declining academic results.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/education-minister-pushes-for-back-to-basics-approach-in-schools-20191209-p53i7z.html
    The Australian’s environment editor, Graham Lloyd, planned an eco-retreat in the Peruvian jungle where a shaman would use plants with hallucinogenic properties to treat illness and depression, a Melbourne court has heard.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/dec/09/the-australian-environment-editor-graham-lloyd-retreat-shaman-hallucinogens-court-told
    Rob Harris tells us that today the Morrison government will begin the first major reset of its international aid and development program since 2013, appointing former diplomat and senior bureaucrat Dennis Richardson to head an expert panel.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/foreign-aid-budget-set-for-new-priorities-in-major-review-20191209-p53i46.html
    Stephen Koukoulas reckons the Reserve Bank of Australia has made a range of serious policy errors over the past few years, and the Australian economy is weaker because of those mistakes and misjudgments.
    https://thekouk.com/item/699-the-rba-has-the-tools-to-fix-the-economy-but-is-reluctant-to-use-them.html
    John Falzon writes that Despite the extraordinary suppression of parliamentary debate as it tries its hand at a macabre resurrection, the recent defeat of the misnamed Ensuring Integrity Bill has left the Government and those whose interests it serves apoplectic with rage.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6531282/defeat-of-union-busting-bill-a-tangible-sign-of-hope/?cs=14258
    A group representing the interests of some of the country’s biggest institutional investors is pushing for mandatory reporting of workplace death and safety incidents at S&P/ASX 200 companies, after a joint investigation with accounting firm EY found major disclosure gaps.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/investor-group-urges-better-workplace-safety-reporting-at-top-firms-20191209-p53i3p.html
    After a lengthy review ASIC has released a 96-page document setting out updated guidance for responsible lending laws, which are intended to stop consumers from taking on “unsuitable” debts.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/asic-aims-to-provide-clarity-on-credit-with-responsible-lending-update-20191209-p53i8k.html
    Denis Atkins thinks the rape claim will tarnish Bob Hawke’s legacy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/rape-claim-will-tarnish-the-hawke-legacy-20191209-p53i2w.html
    Neil McMahon summarises last night’s Q and A.
    https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/it-was-vintage-malcolm-turnbull-on-q-and-a-as-tony-jones-bowed-out-20191210-p53iei.html
    Bevan Shields says that Johnson’s and Corbyn’s popularity ratings would offer even Prince Andrew some comfort.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/johnson-and-corbyn-s-popularity-ratings-would-offer-even-prince-andrew-some-comfort-20191209-p53i15.html
    Boris Johnson has been accused of not caring after he repeatedly refused during a TV interview to look at a photo of a four-year-old boy forced to sleep on the floor at an overcrowded A&E unit, before pocketing the reporter’s phone on which he was being shown the picture.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/09/refuses-to-look-at-picture-of-boy-forced-to-sleep-on-hospital-floor
    Marina Hyde says that the boy on the floor photo prompted Boris to add larceny to mendacity.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/09/boy-on-the-floor-photo-prompts-boris-to-add-larceny-to-mendacity
    And John Harris opines that a Boris Johnson victory would do nothing to hide the growing gap between Conservatism and the country at large.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/09/wins-tories-future-boris-johnson-victory-conservatism
    Russia has been banned from the Olympics and other events. Enough for nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/russia-banned-from-olympics-and-world-cup-for-doping-20191209-p53ie5.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and Albo’s coal epiphany.

    Cathy Wilcox on the opacity of this government.

    Alan Moir goes to Madrid.

    From Matt Golding.




    John Shakespeare with Albo’s coal conversion.

    Mark David goes to the future.


    Peter Broelman lines up Morrison’s performance with the fires.

    Zanetti back to normal.

    From the US








  17. NZ lives with a lot of geothermal activity so being part of the “background noise” of life such familiarity can make for a bit of complacency. Or perhaps even acceptance of it being part of the risk of living there, hundreds have been killed in various events since European settlement.

  18. The Premier of Queensland is a dill, an attention-seeking loon.

    Queensland to bid for 2032 Olympic Games
    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/queensland-to-bid-for-2032-olympic-games-20191209-p53ia6.html

    Isn’t it time the Olympic Games were abandoned?

    Does anyone really care about them any more?

    I remember the way infrastructure in NSW, especially the country rail system. was deliberately starved of funds for maintenance so Sydney could pay for the 2000 Olympics. NSW has never really recovered from that splurge.

    I hope the Queensland bid fails. Just the bidding process is expensive enough to put a huge dent in a state’s budget. There must be things Queensland needs more than their government spending billions on pointless sports fests for professional athletes.

    Here is a very interesting article on the real cost of hosting the Olympic Games.

    The Economics of Hosting the Olympic Games
    The costs of hosting the Olympics have skyrocketed, while the economic benefits are far from clear. This has led to fewer states interested in playing host and a search for options to lighten the burdens of staging the big event.
    https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/economics-hosting-olympic-games

    I hate to think what the cost will be in 2032 – if Queensland is still there.

  19. Oh Good Lord, now Albo is pushing the government lies –

    And that would likely lead to an actual increase in global emissions because much of our coal is much better quality than is available from the alternatives. So we need to be sensible about the way we examine this

    FFS!

    Here's Matt Canavan, just 6 weeks ago, saying the same thing, comparing coal mined in India and to Australian "clean" coal –

    Adani’s coal from the Galilee Basin will be about 5550 kilocalories per kilogram. Indian coal is around 3000 kilocalories per kilogram. So that means when a tonne of Galilee coal is used compared to Indian coal it will produce roughly 50 per cent more energy. Hence there will be fewer emissions for every tonne of coal used.
    India plans to continue to use coal for decades, so if we don’t use Australian coal global emissions will be much higher

    https://www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/canavan/speeches/address-international-mining-and-resources-conference

    It’s actually a very nasty, racist “we are so much better and richer than all those primitive brown people” speech.

    According to this 2016 report from the Australia Institute less than 1% of jobs in Queensland are in the coal mining industry, so what’s all this bullshit about losing votes because of Labor’s lack of support for coal?

    https://www.tai.org.au/content/facts-jobs-coal-and-queensland

    I’d say it had more to do with all the newspapers in Queensland being owned by Murdoch so there was no counter to the constant attack on Shorten over his entire time as LOTO. That and the National Pensioner Stupidity Epidemic that caused hundreds of thousands of deluded oldies to completely mishear the entire franking credits debate and believe they would be given “pensioner grants” worth thousands of dollars each if they returned FauxMo’s government.

    Albo thinks they love him in Queensland. I think he’s delusional. Why would Queenslanders living in country towns have a soft spot for a city-dweller from NSW?

    Hubris in spades.

  20. Pretty grim stories. From the description of the burns several more will die.
    .
    .

    White Island eruption: First responder tells of horror ‘everyone was horrifically burnt’

    When the first boatload came back from the island, someone yelled: “Is anyone a doctor?”

    There were two – one from England and another from Slovenia – while Hopkins, a pastor from Hamilton, and his daughter Lilliani are trained in first aid.

    That was when it sunk in how serious the situation was.

    The outside decks were used for first aid, while those who’d been on the boat and were unhurt – about 30 – stayed indoors.

    Boatload after boatload of injured people were ferried back from the island.

    “I don’t think there was anyone that came off who wasn’t badly burnt.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12292461
    .

  21. Morrison rejects calls for more assistance for firefighters

    Asked about concerns about the time that volunteer firefighters are being asked to continue volunteering without pay, and reports they’re crowd-sourcing funds for water and food on the ground, the prime minister Scott Morrison rejected the suggestion the federal government could do more.

    Speaking in Sydney a few minutes ago Morrison said:

    No, I don’t share that view because I know what the practice is and I know what the experience is and I know what’s happening on the ground and I know that whether it’s the ADF or any other agency of the commonwealth, all of those agencies, our efforts have been channelled and coordinated [into] the response of the state and territory staff on the ground. That is what is set up. That is what was intended to be set up and that is operating and I’m pleased with the way those arrangements are being worked out and if there is any other matter that would need to be addressed, it would be raised with the commonwealth, because there is a direct line to make sure that happens

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/dec/10/nsw-fires-sydney-smoke-bushfires-qld-australia-new-south-wales-rural-fire-live-news-latest-updates

    Would it really hurt if he gave emergency funding to the RFS to at least buy food and drinks for their firefighters, instead of pushing everything onto the state governments?

    He will not lift a finger to be helpful, or to provide funding. He just strolls into a fire control centre with a camera crew in tow for a photo op on the very rare occasions he remembers there is an ongoing disaster.

    Still no word on commonwealth assistance to those who have lost their homes either. You have to dig around on the government’s Disaster Assist website to find out what help you could get. So far the NSW bushfires section does not mention the NSW South Coast or Central Coast. They are not keeping up with developments.
    https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/Pages/disasters/current-disasters/New-South-Wales/northern-nsw-bushfires-31082019-onwards.aspx

    DHS has more up-to-date information.

    By now a real PM would have addressed the nation, outlined all the ways the government could help, poured out funding, but not this arrogant bastard. He is a disgrace.

    • TLBD
      Scrott would be lovin’ the smoke and flames. It makes him feel so much closer the The Rapture.

    • He hopes it all burns, the whole country. His cult brainwashing tells him fires and drought are a sign of the approaching End of Days, and he just can’t wait.

      I’ve met his kind of religious nutter before. Back in the 1960s I had acquaintances who while not Pentecostal at the time certainly would have gone that way eventually. When the Six Day War happened in 1967 they were ecstatic because they thought Armageddon was about to happen and that would mean Jesus would soon return. They were devastated when the very brief conflict ended. I was into anti-Vietnam protests at the time, I did not appreciate their brain-dead enthusiasm for more war.

    • If they’re unhappy with Morrison, and rightly so, they will have forgotten by the time the elections are due. That’s if they aren’t any fires.

  22. The PM’s and Gladys Berejiklian’s absence from ongoing crisis management is not careless. It is adamant. It is wilful. There are photographs

    In the context of revelations about Berejiklian’s cuts to fire services and national parks, what’s emerged from the ashes of NSW is a dreaded realisation that in the charred remains of the state is the neoliberals’ small government endgame.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/10/i-marched-against-john-howard-but-he-showed-leadership-in-a-way-scott-morrison-is-refusing-to

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