Welcome to 2020 …

and good luck to everyone on board – we will need it.

Note: Cartoon reproduced with the kind permission of Jon Kudelka.

1,086 thoughts on “Welcome to 2020 …

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers on Sparse Sunday.

    A vengeful and passionate Malcolm Turnbull writes that Scott Morrison can’t afford to waste the bushfire crisis when Australia urgently needs its own green new deal. This will make a good subject for David Speers’ interview with Morrison this morning.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/12/scott-morrison-cant-afford-to-waste-the-bushfire-crisis-when-australia-urgently-needs-its-own-green-new-deal
    In a rare convergence of interests, peak bodies for small and large employers joined the Australian Council of Trade Unions in demanding that affected workers, sole traders and firefighters receive proper compensation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/unions-and-employers-join-forces-to-demand-increased-bushfire-relief-for-workers-and-fireys-20200109-p53q4t.html
    Peter Hannam reports that the Berejiklian government has sacked Anissa Levy, the coordinator-general of its main environmental agencies.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/state-government-sacks-top-environment-official-in-latest-shake-up-20200111-p53qkk.html
    The Coalition continued to ignore warnings about the results of climate change and now must bear responsibility for our bushfire catastrophe, writes John Wren in his weekly round up.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/wrens-week-climate-change-denialism-sparked-the-fires,13480
    Australia’s most prestigious scientific organisation has added to growing pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison over climate change policy, calling on the government to “take stronger action” in response to the unprecedented bushfire crisis. There’s nowhere (apart from Murdochia) for Morrison to hide.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-s-top-scientists-urge-government-to-do-more-on-global-warming-20200111-p53qlc.html
    Now that the damage has been done, it’s time to think forward to how we can prevent another large-scale bushfire tragedy from happening again, writes Dr Kim Sawyer.
    https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/measuring-the-bushfire-tragedy-and-what-we-can-do–next,13481
    I can’t work out whether or not this contribution is satire.
    https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/pray-for-strength-to-face-the-future-with-courage-20200109-p53q6b.html
    John Bolton will be blocked from testifying at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, the president has indicated, despite the former national security adviser insisting he would do so if he received a subpoena.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/11/john-bolton-impeachment-testimony-donald-trump
    This is interesting. As Moore’s law reaches the end of its dominion, Myhrvold’s laws suggest that we basically have only two options. Either we moderate our ambitions or we go back to writing leaner, more efficient code. In other words, back to the future.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/11/we-are-approaching-the-limits-of-computer-power-we-need-new-programmers-n-ow

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir


    Matt Golding

    Reg Lynch

    From the US




  2. Could someone watching Speers and Scrott , brave souls that they are, please provide a bit of a commentary as a) The Wild Wild West has to wait to see and b) Not sure if I can handle watching the thing called Scomo in action.

    • Don’t ask me, I have no intention of watching. I’ll wait and read comments.

      I cannot think of a worse way to start Sunday morning than watching Sooty trying to lie his way through an interview. I hope Speers crucifies him.

      Maybe someone will live tweet a commentary. Or there’s always iview,

  3. “I can’t work out whether or not this contribution is satire”

    Carol Frost’s article is not satire, it’s serious comment, or intended to be, although it certainly reads as satire on religious wingnuttery.

    Ms Frost occasionally writes for the SMH and The Age, always on religious topics. I know nothing else about her because there’s nothing to be found, except a couple of links to her work.

  4. Is Scott Morrison now the most despised man in the world? Looks like it.

    This is a good summary of reactions in Europe and especially the UK. Being Australian is now a reason for shame. Thanks, SootyFromMarketing, you’ve done a great job of making Australians international pariahs.

    Climate action protesters angry over Australia’s bushfires rally across Europe
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-11/scott-morrison-labelled-laughing-stock-europe-climate-protests/11859988

    • The world laughed at how “dumb ass” the Americans are for voting for Dubya and now Trump. Now Yaaay we join the “Dumb ass” club as far as the world is concerned because we keep electing “climate change is crap” governments. How Dumb Are We !

  5. One lie I detected in the coverage of this morning’s interview was Sooty going on and on about calling in the ADF.

    He did not do any such thing.

    As I’ve said about a zillion times now the ADF have been involved since at least 8 November, the day the sky turned blood red in Port Macquarie as the mid-north coast and other parts of NSW went up in flames.

    The PM does not have to “call in the troops” or order “boots on the ground”. State premiers can and have done that, see all the media coverage given to Daniel Andrews doing exactly that for proof. The Minister for Defence can do it, and has. Councils can do it, Singleton council is one that did that very early on. Individual base commanders can just offer support if they see the need.

    The PM says he has called in the reservists. How would we know who was responsible for that decision given Sooty lies every time he speaks? The only clue that he might have been telling the truth (perhaps for the first time ever) is the inept way that call-out was handled and the resulting confusion. That mess had Sooty’s grotty fingerprints all over it.

    The PM does not have the authority to call in anyone, reservists or regular ADF personnel, it’s the GG’s job to do that, and he is the one who authorised the call-out.

    ADF participation has been barely mentioned until the last week, so many Australians absolutely believe the PM when he claimed to be “sending in the troops”. The real truth is the ADF have been doing a great deal in the areas they excel at – logistics, planning, communication, transport, supporting civilians and more. soldiers are not usually trained firefighters, their usefulness comes in other ways.

    Take note of this statement from the Department of Defence on what the ADF can and cannot do, especially the first sentence.

    The ADF is not trained, equipped or certified to undertake ground-based or aerial bush firefighting and does not get involved in the direct act of fighting bushfires outside Defence property.

    The state and territory governments have primary responsibility for the protection of life, property and the environment, and for coordinating and planning emergency responses or recovery actions in disaster-affected areas within their jurisdiction.

    The ADF is able to support the states and territories, within resource limitations, in accordance with Defence Assistance to the Civil Community arrangements as part of a whole-of-government response, where state or territory capacity or resources do not exist, or are not available in sufficient time.

    Defence has arrangements in place to call out ADF reservists if required to supplement regular personnel.

    Defence is working with Emergency Management Australia to identify what other ADF capabilities, such as aviation, logistics, transport, engineering and accommodation support can be provided to aid firefighting efforts in eastern Australia.

    Defence is postured to provide further airlift support and is prepared to provide assistance in areas such as aerial fire reconnaissance, logistical support (ground transport, accommodation, meals etc.) and engineering (field work) upon request from state or territory governments

    https://news.defence.gov.au/national/operation-bushfire-assist-2019-2020

  6. Some more information on the Reserves call-out –

    Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 2019-2020
    https://www.defencereservessupport.gov.au/call-out-orders/operation-bushfire-assist-2019-2020/

    So there you have it – the GG acted on the advice of the Minster for Defence, not the PM, despite what the media and SootyFromMarketing might say.

    And – the Reserves WILL NOT be doing any firefighting because they are not trained firefighters.

    Those who are involved in the Reserve Call Out will form part of a Joint Task Force in their respective state and provide assistance according to their skill set. As they are not ADF trained firefighters, this will not include firefighting duties

    Linda Reynolds made this clear when the involvement of the reserves was announced last weekend.

    I do not know what it will take to convince the majority of Australians that “the Army” DOES NOT FIGHT FIRES.

    I really don’t know where this idiotic idea came from. I’ve lost count of the number of “When will he call in the Army” comments I’ve seen on social media from apparently sane, intelligent people who really need to spend a lot less time tweeting or making Facebook comments and a lot more time searching for what is actually happening.

    Sooty is desperately trying to give the impression he alone called in the ADF, when actually he had little or nothing to do with it. He wants to be seen as the hero who initiated an “unprecedented” (his favourite word this morning” call-out of the ADF when really he did nothing much at all.

  7. If my memory is correct after the2009 Victorian fires, a village of portables was built at Kinglake for the burnt out residents pretty quickly

    Not sure the NSW response extends to temporary housing

    Just heard that a friends house which survived the fires in Conjola Park has been condemned for asbestos contamination – surely a forensic clean would be cheaper than bulldoze and rebuild

    Good to hear Gravel and Razz are safe

    • Gigilene
      Godd ? As ‘good’ as a pedestrian getting off the road because they can see a car coming off in the distance. Scrott and the government’s response remains deserving of that French radio guy’s “”Scott Morrison est un con “

  8. KK

    Nothing to do do with Morrison. It’s due to RFS. It did not happen on Black Saturday, Vic where 180 died. Why wen’t people told to evacuate by the RFS that time?

  9. Gigilene
    The day before the merde hit the fan I was sitting comfortably at work in mild weathered Perth , just back for a couple of weeks from Darwin. While bludging that day (and the day before) I was reading the papers on line and I remember the warnings being put out by the Victorian fire people and pollies . The warnings about the expected conditions and fire index were apocalyptic and they were in The Australian so even Rupert had them, heck it was where i first read them. ‘Catastrophic conditions” was a phrase on high rotation. There were plenty of warnings it was going to be bad and to get the hell out. People obviously did not realise how bad it was going to be.

  10. I post this only because it is Ronni Salt, and she never says anything she has not researched and cannot prove. In this case she is not free to name her source.

    If it is true – and I have no reason to doubt it is – then surely a journalist should confront the PM on this instead of just accepting his lies without question or challenge, as Speers did this morning when FauxMo claimed his family holiday was intended to be on the south coast but had to be changed.

    Would it be likely when he booked this holiday in March that he was not expecting to be PM by December?

    • He’s the dog that caught the postie’s bike.

      Forever chasing, but NFI what to do when he succeeded.

  11. Gigilene
    At the time I hung out at Jack the Insiders blog . Yes it was a Rupert The Australian site but it was actually a ‘hotbed’ of anti Coalition sentiment. Like the Russians under Stalin we learnt how to send “coded” messages :). Jack himself spoke the same language and he like many other posters relied on humor to get the message across.Great fun that I still miss, it is now paywalled :(. Surprisingly and pleasantly so the Coalition supporters on the site were largely damned reasonable people. The loons hung out with Pies Akerman and BoltA.

  12. Going by some of the overseas media I’ve been reading, Australia is being rapidly led to the status of “pariah state” by this current government while our own media happily tags along for the ride.

  13. After Ash Wednesday in 1983 in Victoria it was found that evacuation actually caused a lot of deaths.
    To clear that up, there was no warning system at the time and people were evacuating much much too late and were being killed on the roads. Those people who had stayed to defend their properties were largely safe. There were only a few deaths among people who had opted to stay and defend.
    This resulted in a policy in Victoria of “People save homes, Homes save people”

    Fast Forward to Black Saturday, we had had a week of every day being in the 40s and very low humidity, so everything was kiln dried, all that was missing was wind. Saturday temperature was 47 humidity 4% and a gale. People were well and truly warned that Saturday was going to be bad, but they weren’t bothering to listen. Consequently when the wind came up and fires inevitably started people were very complacent, people expected their very own personal fire truck and were sitting inside under the air conditioner watching the cricket while the fire was burning in their yard. We were lucky in Bendigo, only one unfortunate disabled man near the origin of the fire died, but it was close. On the Sunday our crew was patrolling around the suburbs putting out spot fires and smouldering ruins, we patrolled up one street then turned around and were heading back to go somewhere else when someone on the truck saw a wisp of smoke starting to come from the eaves of an old house, we investigated, I decided to go inside and see if there was a manhole, I discovered a very frail old lady sitting there in the dark, too frail to evacuate herself during the fire she had just been sitting there with no electricity or gas. If we had not seen that wisp of smoke I have no doubt that she would have been caught in that house as it burned.

    After that enquiry it was decided to put people back in charge of themselves by issuing warnings that placed them back in the picture, telling them that there wont be a fire truck especially for them, that they needed to make the decision to evacuate, It’s still not mandatory like in NSW but the onus is very much on the individual to be responsible for their own safety.

    • Rusty Nut,

      If I recall correctly, the problem with Vic’s 2009 fires was the “stay or go” warning. People were sort of being given permission to stay and defend in situations were that was impossible.

      The new language in Vic is, to put it bluntly, “get the hell out of it”.

      Far more effective.

      Structures can be rebuilt.

      Lives can’t.

  14. Good thread from Senator Murray Watt pointing out the lies FauxMo told this morning about ADF involvement, trying to tell us it has never happened before and it’s all thanks to him they were deployed this time.

    FauxMo can try to rewrite history, but we know what really happened in past disasters, with the ADF quickly on the scene. We know how he shirked responsibility during the current fire crisis, tried to blame the premiers and state fire chiefs for his own blatant mistakes. We know he’s lying.

    FauxMo is way beyond deluded, he seems to be suffering some sort of brain defect or mental illness that makes it impossible for him to tell the truth and to admit fault.

  15. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/newspoll-scott-morrison-takes-a-hit-in-bushfires-backlash/news-story/bf5bd8690ca01bb4a8332e8a49fb4ed9

    Newspoll: Scott Morrison takes a hit in bushfires backlash

    Full table here (no paywall)
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/17c3b03fb54af250dfc94c143a665111

  16. After a discussion with family today, one thing that may be influencing votes but has fallen under the radar: interest rates.

    Perhaps these days with the RBA’s interest rate of less than 1%, a lot of swinging voters may have been spooked by the prospect of Labor’s proposed sweeping changes altering the situation so suddenly their mortgage on their $800,000 home gets much higher to them in costs, hence their decision to back the Coalition.

    I know that interest rates were a thing that wasn’t noticed much since the 2004 and 2007 elections, but, memories are long. I think that Labor should come up with a way to neutralize that deep-down fear, especially with Boomer and Gen-X voters that remember the situation with the 1990 recession and its contrast with the 2004 election that was fought and won by the Coalition about interest rates.

  17. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Crowe makes an attempt to decode the smoke signals from Morrison’s interview yesterday.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/reading-the-smoke-signals-from-morrison-on-climate-change-20200112-p53qt9.html
    The SMH editorial sees what Morrison said as a long overdue move to take climate change seriously. We shall see just what he did mean before very long I suspect.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/long-overdue-move-to-take-climate-change-seriously-20200112-p53qt6.html
    Sarah Martin reckons Morrison is looking for wriggle room.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/12/scott-morrison-looks-for-wriggle-room-on-climate-as-he-detects-the-whiff-of-backlash
    Chris Zappone writes that these bushfires gave us the moment when Australia came to terms with the reality of digital disinformation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/australia-s-bushfires-show-why-democracy-requires-shared-truths-20200110-p53qf1.html
    And Emily Bell says that Facebook’s refusal to fact-check political ads is reckless.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/commentisfree/2020/jan/12/facebook-us-election-2020-news-lies-campaigns-fact-check
    Australia has been flung into the global disinformation spotlight with bushfires, bots and arson claims.
    https://theconversation.com/bushfires-bots-and-arson-claims-australia-flung-in-the-global-disinformation-spotlight-129556
    The Canberra Times praises the clear and direct communication from Shane Fitzsimmons.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6575583/fitzsimmons-clear-communication-on-fires-is-a-welcome-balm/?cs=14258
    Graham Readfearn goes into detail on the underlying causes of Australia’s shocking bushfire season.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/13/explainer-what-are-the-underlying-causes-of-australias-shocking-bushfire-season
    The government will commit $50m for wildlife affected by bushfires as green groups call for action.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/13/government-to-commit-50m-for-wildlife-affected-by-bushfires-as-green-groups-call-for-action
    Peter Hannam reports that Inflows into Sydney’s dams have plunged to levels far below the previous worst drought but demand barely budged last year, slashing storage levels by almost a third.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/sydney-s-water-demand-drops-as-reservoir-inflows-dwindle-to-a-trickle-20200112-p53qrc.html
    David Crowe and Nick Bonyhady explain how many small businesses will be severely affected by the fires and their economic aftermath.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/fire-hit-small-businesses-call-for-federal-help-20200112-p53qs8.html
    A climate disaster levy could provide the best mechanism to address significant environmental costs, writes Edward Treloar.
    https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/a-climate-disaster-levy-might-just-be-a-good-idea,13478
    Australia’s ferocious bushfires have taken a devastating toll on wildlife, with an estimated 1.25 billion killed and experts now warning that some species may be pushed to extinction writes Isabelle Lane.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/science/environment/2020/01/12/bushfires-wildlife-rescue-extinction/
    Climate risk expert Professor Ross Bradstock welcomes Morrison to his trial by fire. He makes some important points on what a national inquiry should address and how its findings should be managed.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/welcome-prime-minister-to-your-trial-by-fire-20200112-p53qt1.html
    John Curtin Research Centre’s Nick Dyrenfurth says Morrison should be careful of what he prays for. Not a bad article this one.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/morrison-s-lesson-be-careful-what-you-pray-for-20200110-p53qeb.html
    The Department of Human Services has apologised for an error that led to bushfire victims being denied emergency payments. Stuart Robert you are a champ! And a wonderful Pentecostal.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-apologises-for-bushfire-payment-bungle-20200112-p53qs5.html
    Fergus Hunter reports that the federal government will put $76 million into emergency mental health services for bushfire-affected communities, with Morrison pointing to the widespread trauma caused by the unprecedented crisis.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-announces-mental-health-funding-to-tackle-bushfire-trauma-20200111-p53qna.html
    Some of Australia’s most extreme Christian-right parties have withdrawn from politics, claiming the election of Prime Minister Scott Morrison had rendered them redundant. Say no more!
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/christian-right-groups-say-pm-scott-morrison-stole-their-thunder-20200110-p53qgw.html
    According to Nick Toscano ageing infrastructure, extreme weather and a policy vacuum have generated a blame game as Australia transitions to a new energy era.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/perfect-storm-the-energy-industry-struggles-to-keep-the-lights-on-20200110-p53qie.html
    Dominic Powell tells us that a leading executive at Coles says Australian supermarkets could be checkout-free in 10 years as innovation in retail technology and an increasing focus on costs quickly make the traditional purchasing experience redundant.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/customers-will-just-walk-out-coles-exec-flags-checkout-free-stores-within-10-years-20200110-p53qbd.html
    With the NBN roll out due to be completed by June this year Jennifer Duke looks at how it will stack up against future needs.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/the-biggest-issue-for-the-nbn-in-2020-isn-t-writedowns-it-s-upgrades-20200103-p53oho.html
    Tony Walker is of the opinion that thanks to Trump the world faces the terrible possibility of a nuclear arms race in the world’s most volatile region with all the risks that would be inherent in proliferation on this sort of scale. Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia would be among those joining the race.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/iran-is-now-almost-certain-to-accelerate-its-nuclear-program-20200110-p53qds.html
    Nicole Hemmer wonders if Trump is willing to risk war with Iran in order to cling to office.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/is-trump-willing-to-risk-war-with-iran-to-cling-to-office-20200112-p53qrl.html
    Bloomberg contributor Therese Raphael looks at the road ahead for Boris Johnson and his Brexit negotiations with the EU.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/brexit-enters-its-harry-and-meghan-phase-20200113-p53qw4.html
    For today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” we have this creature.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/lamborghini-driving-drug-accused-fights-afp-for-return-of-assets-20191222-p53m87.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding


    Andrew Dyson

    Mark David

    Johannes Leak really is a piece of work!
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/bee3711875afeac9e08978b0084e1496?width=1024

    From the US


  18. A climate disaster levy could provide the best mechanism to address significant environmental costs, writes Edward Treloar.

    Come on Mr Treloar leave out the weasel words it’s a “climate disaster tax” 🙂

  19. FauxMo is never going to change his stance on climate change because the Nats will not allow it.

    He needs the Nats to stay in government and will cave in to whatever loons like Barnaby and Elvis Mcwhatsisname demand.

    And that’s without mentioning the Queensland Nats.

    Murray Watt nails it.

  20. Worthy contenders for the Arsehole of the Week Award –

    Drag queens reading to kids in Brisbane library confronted by UQ Liberal National Club members

    “This morning a good friend of mine took her daughter along to a children’s story telling event by two gorgeous Drag Queens, when a screaming group of UQ young Libs stormed the event, causing chaos and distress to children and everybody there,” she posted on her Instagram page.

    “Our world is in need of love & healing, now more than ever. What they did today was add to the bigotry, division and trauma young children are left to face in today’s society.

    “Bless the two Queens who were there to bring joy to children and their families.”
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-13/lnp-distances-itself-from-drag-queen-protesters/11861762

    Young Libs and Nats really are a special breed of haters.

  21. I wish the media (and everyone else) would stop referring to religious hate groups as “Christian”. There is nothing of Christianity in these groups, their leaders are extreme-right egotistical nutters who preach hate and bigotry as a way to make themselves rich and notorious.

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