A Vertical Triptych

Inspired by Tanya Plibersek, Catherine Perry, and Gravel:

451 thoughts on “A Vertical Triptych

  1. It is hard, Because my Mother died in July last year, everything is darker for me and I find it difficult to enjoy things, and adversity seems insurmountable. This makes the political scene seem hopeless to me I have an unending feeling that no matter what, the Trumps, Boris, Scotty From Marketing and Putin types have hijacked intelligence, education, common sense and ethics.

    I have come to assume these thugs will remain in power because people are too intellectually lazy to question anything and too wrapped up in ‘me me me’ to make decisions based on the good of all.

    How can anyone look at those fires and act as our Prime Minister did? How can the latest polls still see this bank of global-heating enablers still get 48% TPP?

    What Australian would give the Liberal Party first choice in TPP, let alone 48%?

    It is beyond me.

  2. Here’s yet another example (as if we needed any more) of the way government cost-cutting is adversely affecting the lives of disabled Australians, this time those who are hearing-impaired –

    CapTel text-captioned telephones will not work as of February in blow for Australia’s deaf community

    Thousands of hearing-impaired Australians could face a return to 1980s technology from today after the Federal Government cancelled a deal to support text-captioning telephones.

    Phones with CapTel captioning display words on a large screen in near real time, so deaf and hearing-impaired users can make calls and see the responses.

    But in a decision criticised by disability advocates, the phones will not work as of February 1, after the Department of Communications declined to renew the service provider’s contract with the National Relay Service (NRS).

    A new company won the contract.

    It will force users to take up alternative options, with many choosing to revert back to what are known as TTY teletypewriter phones — technology first introduced in the 1980s

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-31/last-days-of-captel-for-australia-deaf-community/11909648

    What bastard thought this was a good idea?

    This was first announced last September, but no-one outside Cap Tel users took any notice.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/can-t-do-without-it-deaf-australians-anxious-about-end-of-phone-captioning-service-20190923-p52u1g.html

    The new company c is Concentrix, based in California with Australian offices. They say they can do the job for less than the old system was costing. So they should, considering they are using technology that is 30 – 40 years out of date.

    It’s all about money for this government, what is best for Australians in need of a bit of assistance doesn’t matter to them.

  3. Puffy

    It’s great to see you chatting again. Sorry you are still grieving and hope things will start to look brighter for you soon.

    I have written down your suggestion for Netflix, but unfortunately since we changed servers I can’t get our chromecast thing to work……..and don’t know how to get help with it. Rang new ISP, but they don’t help with chromecast. Have followed instructions on videos and other instructions. Still no go. Might have to pay a real tech person that knows how to sort it.

    As a by the by, Razz had another toe amputated today. Razz said it missed its three mates and wanted to join it. When we’ve told other people they all put on their sorrowful faces and voices. Razz and I have both laughed and told them there are worse things in the world that can happen, than lose toes that aren’t needed when you’re in a wheelchair. Oh and Razz then says ‘don’t ask me to count past 16’.

    • Gravel ‘n’ Razz:

      No need to pay anyone! Just ask, and there are many nexperts at The Pub who will give their advice without charge! (Come on, Ducky, Kaffee, and apologies for everyone whose expertise I’ve forgotten …).

      As for using toes as counting aids: there was one gorgeous little boy in a mini-longitudinal study of ours who on all 3 occasions when the answer would be greater than 10 seized his foot and, presumably visualised continuing his count on his toes …

  4. Not getting a mention in the media today –

    Thousands of people rallied on the lawns of Parliament House today protesting against government inaction on climate change, Adani, the cashless debit card and more.

    Here are a few photos of the crowd.

    And a couple of posters –

    If you use Facebook have a look at the page for the Say No Seven for more.

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    According to David Crowe and Rob Harris, McCormack has been put on notice by his party.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/nationals-leader-michael-mccormack-says-disunity-is-over-after-spill-20200204-p53xrf.html
    The SMH editorial says that just when you thought the era of Machiavellian leadership challenges had subsided in Canberra, the Nationals appear determined to show us there is still some way to go and their squabbling is distracting them from the important work that needs to be done.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nationals-squabbling-distracts-from-important-work-to-be-done-20200204-p53xny.html
    The Australian explores the divided state of the National Party.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/barnaby-joyce-joyless-for-now-but-nationals-divided/news-story/65cce0bc0b85b6b6425775f3f545ac2b
    Michelle Grattan says Scott Morrison dodged a bullet when the Nationals clung on to Michael McCormack.
    https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-michael-mccormacks-battle-to-hold-off-a-second-shot-from-joyces-locker-131164
    Phil Coorey tells us how the climate war is raging inside the Coalition.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/climate-war-rages-inside-the-coalition-20200204-p53xi8
    And Sarah Martin writes on Morrison facing a fresh internal row over climate change policy, with MPs clashing over the issue in the first Coalition party room meeting of the year.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/04/coalition-mps-clash-over-climate-policy-in-first-partyroom-meeting-of-2020
    And he says that the pro-coal agenda is rat poison for Morrison.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/pro-coal-agenda-is-rat-poison-for-morrison-20200204-p53xi3
    The AFR’s Andrew Clark says that now the Nationals are the miners’ party.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/miners-are-the-nationals-new-base-20200204-p53xpu
    Paul Karp reports that “dark money” would be eliminated from Australian politics under a plan by senator Jacqui Lambie to require the declaration of multiple small donations and for fundraising dinners to be declared as gifts.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/05/open-to-corruption-jacqui-lambie-plans-to-end-flow-of-dark-money-to-political-parties
    Ross Gittins explains what pollies really mean when they say they are protecting jobs.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/what-pollies-really-mean-when-they-say-they-are-protecting-jobs-20200204-p53xj9.html
    Spin doctor Belinda Noble advises her fellow practitioners that they will come to regret spruiking fossil fuels. She won’t be popular with many of them!
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/my-fellow-spin-doctors-you-re-going-to-regret-spruiking-fossil-fuels-20200204-p53xk6.html
    Warwick McFadyen has some questions for Jim Molan after his disastrous QandA performance.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/so-if-humans-aren-t-causing-climate-change-senator-who-or-what-is-20200204-p53xl5.html
    Stephen Bartholomeusz outlines how the coronavirus could cause collapse of world’s supply chains.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/coronavirus-could-cause-collapse-of-world-s-supply-chains-20200204-p53xk1.html
    By over-promising and under-delivering on the economy, the RBA has become reactionary, contributing to interest rates falling to record low levels writes David Scutt.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/rinse-repeat-the-rba-must-ditch-its-permanently-panglossian-view-20200204-p53xqi.html
    Are P2 facemasks the new baby formula? Dana McCauley reports that pharmacists are being urged to limit sales of them.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/pharmacists-urged-to-limit-mask-sales-amid-panic-buying-and-on-selling-20200204-p53xn6.html
    Rob Harris on the vanquished Barnaby Joyce.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-issue-is-finalised-barnaby-joyce-licks-wounds-vows-to-get-back-to-his-day-job-20200204-p53xrl.html
    Jacqui Maley says that this won’t be the end of Barnaby’s ambition.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/we-know-barnaby-joyce-all-too-well-and-this-won-t-be-the-end-of-the-story-20200204-p53xl0.html
    Meanwhile Joyce has warned colleagues against allowing bushfires to be used for advancing “hobby horse” issues, in a thinly veiled reference to climate change.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6614047/barnaby-bucks-on-climate-hobby-horse/?cs=14350
    Michael Pascoe tells us that the RBA said many things, but not, “There’s goes the surplus!”.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2020/02/04/rba-here-comes-the-feds/
    Nine months after the Election, we find out who bought it. From News Corp to GetUp, from Adani to the Australian Bankers Association, Stephen Mayne looks at the big donors, what they are buying, and why the media coverage of campaign finance is so resoundingly pathetic.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/quid-pro-quo-who-paid-who-before-the-election-and-what-do-they-want/
    The balance of power in the SA Liberal Party has spectacularly shifted with members of the Right faction determining to effectively cut three senior federal MPs adrift in the bitter aftermath of the weekend’s bloody Senate preselection.
    https://indaily.com.au/news/2020/02/04/lib-coup-as-sensible-centre-cuts-hard-right-adrift/
    Adrian Rollins reports that the federal government is facing calls to establish an independent arbiter of ministerial standards as it continues to grapple with fallout from the sports rorts scandal.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6611358/calls-for-ministerial-watchdog-following-sports-rorts-saga/?cs=14350
    The other states are quite fractious over the massive energy deal handed to NSW by Morrison. They want one for themselves!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/states-fractious-over-energy-deals-after-nsw-receives-massive-gift-20200204-p53xnl.html
    Bur researcher Tim Baxter writes that Morrison’s gas transition plan is a dangerous road to nowhere.
    https://theconversation.com/scott-morrisons-gas-transition-plan-is-a-dangerous-road-to-nowhere-130951
    Neil McMahon reckons Hamish McDonald might be the best thing that happened to the ABC in years.
    https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/q-and-a-hamish-macdonald-proves-a-superstar-in-an-open-collared-shirt-20200204-p53xgn.html
    Sam Maiden says that, courtesy of a FoI request denial, we’ll never get to know the cost of the PM’s Hawaii holiday.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/02/04/pm-morrison-holiday-costs-under-wraps/
    David Tyler describes Scotty as a hollow man hollowing out our democracy.
    https://theaimn.com/scotty-a-hollow-man-hollowing-out-our-democracy/
    It is ludicrous to suggest that McKenzie undertook the massive misuse of public money without the PM’s authorisation, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mckenzie-morrison-and-smoking-sport-rorts-pork-barrels,13558
    Whether it’s bushfires or coronavirus, Facebook and Youtube need to start taking responsibility for misinformation or making way for alternatives that will writes Peter Wells. He really gives Facebook a serve.
    https://www.smh.com.au/technology/on-fake-news-social-giants-need-to-do-better-or-get-out-of-the-way-20200203-p53x54.html
    The Guardian tells us that the far-right ‘hate factory’ is still active on Facebook despite the company’s pledge to stop it.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/05/far-right-hate-factory-still-active-on-facebook-despite-pledge-to-stop-it
    Euan Black writes that Australia’s private health insurance system is seriously ill and only three insurers are likely to survive, according to the country’s prudential regulator, APRA.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2020/02/04/apra-private-health-insurance/
    Dispensing rates of opioids have skyrocketed as some become addicted via prescriptions then hit the dark web for their fix. This is worrying given the US experience.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/australia-s-opioid-crisis-deaths-rise-as-companies-encourage-doctors-to-prescribe-20200203-p53x72.html
    John Crace is in great form as he piles into the Tories.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/04/democracy-is-for-wimps-tories-come-out-against-freedom-of-expression
    Today’s “Arsehole of the Week” nomination comes from the UK.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/rogue-breast-surgeon-hurt-over-1-000-patients-in-uk-20200205-p53xte.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Alan Moir

    Simon Letch

    Matt Golding





    John Shakespeare

    Mark David with one new and one old one.


    An oldie from Cathy Wilcox.

    Leak has a good point with this one.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/2a72cf6616bfa23b168623e199300a95?width=1024

    From the US










  6. Jacqui Lambie is getting very above herself. She has realised she has power and that has resulted in a severe case of Bigheaditis.

    Not only is she planning a private member’s bill on donations, she’s also allowing her personal hatred of John Setka to influence her plans to allow the government’s union-bashing bill through the Senate.

    Jacqui Lambie wants deal on union-busting bill ‘as soon as possible’
    Crossbencher ‘hopes to think’ she is close to a deal with government on union penalty bill unexpectedly defeated last year
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/04/jacqui-lambie-wants-deal-on-union-busting-bill-as-soon-as-possible

    The key quote in this article is –

    …. as soon as the attorney [general] and I can come to an agreement that we’re happy with what we’ve got – then we’ll get it up there, we don’t want to be mucking around with it.
    “The attorney [general] has got things to move on to as well. Then everyone has stability, we all know what’s going on, and all the other unions have got stability.”

    That last line – “all the other unions”? She didn’t mention the CFMEU, but it’s clear that’s the union she was referring to. She hates that union because of Setka and she wants to destroy it. She has met Setka, she is said to have cooked him a roast. Maybe he refused her advances that day, who knows? He certainly ignored her attempt to persuade him to resign as union leader.

    https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-now-the-senators-are-taking-on-john-setka-123798

    For her, for some reason, it’s become personal and she’s willing to punish all unions because of her irrational dislike of one man.

    Lambie needs to remember that these days the typical union member is a woman, mostly working in education, public service, nursing or community service. By constantly referring to “union thugs” the government and the worst offender, the Crime Minister, are not only pushing a mythical stereotype of the typical union member being a foul-mouthed bloke in a blue singlet, they are also denigrating a lot of women.

    Does Lambie really want to push that fake stereotype?

    Porter will offer her the usual bag of magic beans in exchange for her vote and because she’s not the brightest senator by any means she will probably fall for the same old trick yet again and allow Porter and the government to have their way. Then all those hard-working female union members will be worse off thanks to Lambie. Is that really what she wants?

  7. From Chis Bowen this morning –

    Medicare is one of Labor’s proudest achievements. We built it and we’ll always protect it.

    But Scott Morrison has decided to kick off 2020 with a fresh round of cuts to Medicare bulk billing.

    Here’s what’s happened.

    The government encourages GPs to bulk bill vulnerable patients by paying them for each time they bulk bill. That payment is a “bulk billing incentive”.

    But in 14 areas across Australia, Scott Morrison has slashed the size of this payment.

    Some GPs are now warning that they’ll have to stop bulk billing some vulnerable patients or close.

    Labor will always fight for vulnerable Australians. We need your help to get the government to guarantee to protect bulk billing incentives.

    The first step in getting the government to act is to expose what they’re doing. Can you help spread the news by sharing this graphic?

    Make no mistake, children and pensioners who are facing these cuts will find it harder to see their GP.

    Australia’s healthcare system is the envy of the world and we should never let the Liberals and Nationals weaken it.

    I hope we can count on your support,

    Chris Bowen
    Shadow Minister for Health

    Here’s the story (May, last year) –

    Medicare bulk-billing changes will lead to reduced services, doctors warn
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-22/medicare-changes-see-doctors-pulling-out-of-outer-metro-areas/11134250

    Here’s more up to date news (you might need an incognito window) –

    Cutting bulk billing incentive will cause pain to Hunter patients
    https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6568192/cutting-bulk-billing-incentive-will-cause-pain-to-hunter-patients/

  8. Confession time.

    My oven is now clean, for the first time in approx 7 years. Lots of soaking racks etc. in sugar soap solution. Followed by lots of scrubbing with metal scrubbers. Followed by carefully flaking off as much of the remaining burnt-on stuff as possible using various sharp implements (OH was quite helpful here).

    I don’t like caustic oven cleaners one little bit for environmental and health reasons. But it had to be done.

    My Chinese New Year Resolution is: each time I roast meat, I will wipe the oven as soon as it’s cool enough.

    Next major chore: dusting and vacuuming most of the upstairs rooms. And tidying those spaces that are nominally under my control.

    • Well done, Fiona. We have screaming in the background here. Hang on, it’s saying free bed and board if you come and clean me. I think our oven needs your loving attention. 🙂

  9. Stop complaining about your phone bill 🙂

    “Cost to Message London Is “Exorbitant”
    Originally published in August 1866

    We had occasion to send a telegraphic message to our correspondent in London, through the Atlantic Cable, consisting of exactly twenty words. According to the published schedule, that should have gone forward for £20 sterling, but the director at this end charged £24, or $120 in gold, so as to cover the date of transmission. We wish the Submarine Telegraph Company success, but it seems to us impossible that the public can submit to such exorbitant, and as it appears to us, unreasonable charges.”

    —Scientific American, August 1866

  10. Onya, Nancy!

    An emboldened Donald Trump bragged about the “great American comeback” in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, in a speech resembling an 81-minute re-election rally that prompted the most powerful woman in Congress to rip up her copy of the speech on national television.

    The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said she tore up the address, which he delivered on the eve of the verdict in his impeachment trial, because she couldn’t find “one page with truth on it”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/04/state-of-the-union-address-trump-impeachment-trial

  11. I might be the only oldie on the planet (except for a friend who feels the same way) who thinks this, but a cruise is my idea of hell on earth.

    I’ve heard too many horror stories that have put me off ever wanting to go on one of these hell-ships, had I ever been silly enough to think even for a second that a cruise might be a good idea. .

    Novovirus rampaging through ships. Whole families getting seasick for the entire cruise. Fights breaking out between drunk passengers. A friend of No 1 son sailing into a cyclone on what was supposed to be a romantic second honeymoon – he described the sea being so rough the whole ship was awash with vomit. An elderly friend taking a cruise with another old woman who died a few days out from Sydney and the body having to be frozen for the duration.

    There is no way you’d get me on one of these ships, no bribe could be big enough.

    As if the whole thing wasn’t already horrific enough now there’s coronavirus to add to the problems.

    Last week there was this news –

    6,000 passengers stuck on cruise ship in Italy over coronavirus fears
    Huge liner remains on lockdown though preliminary tests on two passengers suggest they are not carrying virus
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/30/6000-passengers-stuck-on-cruise-ship-in-italy-over-coronavirus-fears

    Turned out to be just the flu, but that’s awful anyway – stuck on a huge ship with 6000 other people all coughing and sniffing and spreading flu germs Yuck!

    And today there was this –

    Coronavirus: cruise ship carrying 3,700 quarantined in Japan after 10 test positive
    Infected passengers removed from Diamond Princess and taken to hospital
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/05/coronavirus-cruise-ship-carrying-3700-quarantined-in-japan-after-10-test-positive

    A cruise ship is the ideal environment for a plague to flourish. Why would anyone want to go?

    • I don’t like sailing in big ships one little bit. Like my mum, I suffer from mal de mer.

      As for cruising for FUN??? Words, for once, fail me.

    • My wife and I did a four night cruise once (Brisbane to Airlie Beach and back). It was fine, better than I expected, really. (Having a “conference” on the two at-sea days may have helped.)

      Seasickness wasn’t a problem – we always took tablets. Just as well – the venue for the “conference” was top deck, near the front of the ship, and it bobbed around quite a lot. Which probably explains …

      … A new experience for both of us: mal de debarquement (MDS). Quite unpleasant, but it passed after a couple of days. I suspect being indoors on a moving ship was the problem.

  12. I’m a big fan of sailing. I like the movement (no trace of sea sickness) but, as for floating hotels …

    Going around the Canary Islands in this for twelve days three years ago was heaven

    Accommodation for 40: there were 18 of us. Sail at night and tour during the day.

  13. The Third Reich reemerges with this version of Arbeit macht frei.

    “Socialism destroys nations,” said Trump after welcoming Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaido. “But always remember, freedom unifies the soul.”

    Pelosi shook her head as she mouthed the words to herself over again. Freedom unifies the soul. Can a soul be divided and shattered like a horcrux? How does freedom put a soul back together? And most importantly, did this speech get reviewed before it passed the president’s lips?

    There was an excellent article in TGA a couple of days ago about Brexit and the rerise of nationalism (and “get lost you foreigners!”). It presented good reasons why the RWNJ people are in control: Trump, Johnson, Sooty; and never mind the central East of Europe!

  14. I am like Gravel and Razz. I watch TV through Freeview and Chromecast.

    The system is playing up. I can no longer watch Channel 9 or 10 and SBS and ABC keep dropping out. I guess I will have to pay an electrician to check all the coaxial cable wiring so I can watch TV through the aerial. The 4G filter worked a treat NOT

    • The problem is probably the antenna and/or the wiring at that end.

      I’m not sure about country areas, but after TV went fully digital, the previous spread of VHF and UHF channels has been crammed into just the VHF band – the UHF spectrum has been flogged off to mobile phone providers.
      https://myswitch.digitalready.gov.au/

      It’s possible that tweaking the antenna alignment might work; the new frequencies might not “bounce” the same way.

      Replacing your old TV antenna with a new VHF-only “digital” antenna is probably a good starting point; you may as well get it replacing the old wiring with quad-shielded coax.

    • Netflix, Stan etc usually allow three profiles/devices per account. So we share or swap. I only watch ABC and SBS free to air.

      Mum only had that Murdoch Foxtel crap for sport. Since Mum passed they got the flick with their last bill tossed in the bin.

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    No coronavirus virus case reported by Indonesia. Are they playing a dangerous game?
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/who-concerned-indonesia-appears-to-be-coronavirus-free-20200205-p53xzj.html
    Meanwhile Australia’s top universities face losses of hundreds of millions in revenue, and still don’t know exactly which of their students are stuck overseas.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/top-universities-face-losing-thousands-of-students-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-20200205-p53y2i.html
    And according to Peter Dutton families fleeing the coronavirus epidemic in China could be sent to isolated mining camps or hotels as Christmas Island fills up with plane-loads of Australians.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/australia-considers-sending-coronavirus-evacuees-to-mining-camps-20200205-p53y2h.html
    RBA governor Philip Lowe has warned climate change will leave businesses with stranded assets while urging governments to borrow more to protect it from a warming environment.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rba-governor-warns-of-profound-impact-from-climate-change-urges-investment-20200205-p53y13.html
    Jess Irvine wonders if Rowe’s confidence is justified though.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/cheers-to-our-cup-half-full-economy-because-the-alternative-is-sobering-20200205-p53y1k.html
    The RBA is upbeat about the economy, but we need a more effective measure than GDP says Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/feb/06/the-rba-is-upbeat-about-the-economy-but-we-need-a-more-effective-measure-than-gdp
    Alexandra Smith thinks that Andrew Constance could rise from the ashes to be the next NSW premier.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/why-andrew-constance-could-rise-from-the-ashes-to-be-the-next-nsw-premier-20200204-p53xkn.html
    Rob Harris reports that electric car sales have more than tripled in Australia in the past year, as industry advocates urge the Morrison government to follow Britain’s ban on new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars within 15 years.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/sharp-jump-in-electric-vehicle-sales-underscores-untapped-potential-20200202-p53wx3.html
    The Morrison government has refused to release any legal advice on the botched Centrelink robodebt scheme to a Senate inquiry examining the program, prompting claims from Labor of a “whitewash” reports Luke Henriques-Gomes.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/05/centrelink-robodebt-scandal-labor-cries-foul-over-refusal-to-release-legal-advice
    The Canberra Times editorial says Joyce will likely challenge again – and soon!
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6614314/ordeal-by-barnaby-joyce-far-from-over/?cs=14258
    The RFS has recruited NSW’s first Indigenous fire crews, in what is hoped to be part of a broader push to harness traditional knowledge.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-s-first-indigenous-fire-crews-break-barriers-in-outback-towns-20200128-p53vis.html
    And now Adam Bandt wants to impose a new billion-dollar levy on big polluters to fund a doubling of paid firefighters in Australia.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/greens-want-coal-levy-to-fund-more-paid-firefighters-20200205-p53y0n.html
    The Canberra Times reports that the company leading a consortium bidding for a lucrative $1 billion visa processing contract and headed by a close associate of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, donated more than $130,000 to the Liberal Party in the lead-up to the last federal election.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6613837/pm-ally-donates-bids-for-1bn-contract/?cs=14350
    Barnaby Joyce has delivered a brutal sledge against the man he failed to depose in a leadership coup and – believe it or not – it’s all about mangling the English language writes Sam Maiden.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/2020/02/05/barnaby-joyce-mccormack-learnings/
    Jennifer Hewett explains how climate change is Morrison’s new marketing challenge.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/morrison-s-new-marketing-challenge-climate-change-20200205-p53y0y
    Scott Morrison’s Government is missing a prime opportunity to invest in renewables and change our energy mix, writes Dr Graeme McLeay.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-coalitions-climate-policy-is-an-international-embarrassment,13559
    Hazard reduction burning had little to no effect in slowing the severe fires that devastated more than 5m hectares across New South Wales this summer, an analysis has found.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/06/hazard-reduction-burning-had-little-to-no-effect-in-slowing-this-summers-bushfires
    George Williams explains why the religious bill misses the mark – again! He says that in its current form it threatens to sow division and to embolden people to attack others in personal and hurtful ways under the cloak of religion.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/religious-freedom-once-again-bill-misses-the-mark/news-story/8a8d1902bec0ba34b99de58b8678e041
    Rob Harris tells us how key figures in the contentious “sports rorts” saga will be hauled before an inquiry in the coming weeks after Labor vowed to use all of the powers available to the Senate to probe any wider involvement within the Morrison government. I wonder how many refusals to appear will occur.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/senate-to-investigate-key-figures-in-sports-rorts-20200205-p53y3b.html
    Paul Karp reports that video has emerged online of a member of Scott Morrison’s electorate staff being lauded for helping Cronulla Sailing Club win an $8,400 grant, as the Senate moved on Wednesday to set up an inquiry into the controversial $100m community sport infrastructure grant program.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/05/morrison-staffer-who-helped-club-win-grant-caught-on-video-urging-crowd-to-vote-liberal
    More on this story from Sam Maiden.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/australian-politics/2020/02/05/scott-morrison-sailing-club-funding/
    Kay Lee writes about the problem with ministerial discretion.
    https://theaimn.com/the-problem-with-ministerial-discretion/
    Britain’s government announced on Wednesday it is considering a change in the way the BBC is funded that would severely dent the coffers of the nation’s public broadcaster. It must be a conservative thing.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/boris-johnson-s-government-at-odds-with-media-eyes-bbc-funding-change-20200206-p53y63.html
    Patrick Heath reports that West Australian health insurer HBF has launched a major play to break into the east coast market, as it seeks to capitalise on dissatisfaction over rising premiums.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/wa-player-hbf-to-swoop-east-amid-health-insurance-woes-20200205-p53y15.html
    An estimated 70 per cent of all emerging diseases are of wild animal origin, writes the head of wildlife research at World Animal Protection who advocates for a ban on all wildlife trade.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-global-ban-on-all-wildlife-trade-is-the-only-way-to-stop-deadly-diseases-like-coronavirus-20200205-p53xyb.html
    Case studies of Woolworths, Coles, News Corp, Telstra and the Big Four banks show how a few large companies exert excessive influence over Parliament and increasingly scrape out the wealth from their supply chains, a phenomenon which is leading to further inequality. Lindy Edwards reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/one-per-cent-how-a-few-big-companies-shape-the-laws/
    Consumer groups argue the “no surcharge” restrictions imposed by Afterpay are increasing the cost of goods for all shoppers. They want the RBA to regulate the red-hot “buy now, pay later” sector.
    https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/consumers-join-retailers-in-war-on-afterpay-20200205-p53y02
    Tony Featherstone explores the high cost of loneliness in the gig economy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/high-cost-of-loneliness-in-the-gig-economy-20200204-p53xpf.html
    Matthew Knott writes that Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night displayed a US President in command of his party, full of confidence and with a credible plan to win a second term in office.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-high-on-confidence-unleashes-his-re-election-strategy-20200205-p53y2g.html
    Stephen Bartholomeusz tells us how Trump’s man Wilbur could blow up trade war truce.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/how-a-man-called-wilbur-could-blow-up-trade-war-truce-20200205-p53xyc.html
    According to Ali Kazak, a former Palestinian ambassador to Australia, the Trump ‘‘deal’’ envisages Israeli sovereignty extending into a host of ‘‘enclaves’’ within any future Palestinian state, making a nonsense of any claim to have given Palestinians territorial contiguity.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/when-robbing-palestinians-of-their-rights-is-called-a-peace-plan-20200131-p53wg3.html
    Rugby’s Super League says it has taken steps to be able to intervene in the future to stop controversial signings, following Israel Folau’s move to the Catalan Dragons.
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/super-league-changes-rules-after-controversial-israel-folau-signing-20200206-p53y5r.html
    Peter FitzSimons says the Catalans Dragons are playing with fire – and they will get burnt.
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/catalans-dragons-are-playing-with-fire-and-they-will-get-burnt-20200205-p53y34.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Matt Golding



    Peter Broelman


    John Shakespeare

    Fiona Katauskas

    Johannes Leak on the economic effects of the coronavirus.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/c28779fdb89cdf01e61ed6d2044a756b?width=1024

    From the US












  16. Britain’s government announced on Wednesday it is considering a change in the way the BBC is funded that would severely dent the coffers of the nation’s public broadcaster. It must be a conservative thing.

    It is a Murdoch thing. Rupert’s dad went all out to stop the ABC news service even starting and the whole family has been on a jihad against public broadcasting ever since.

  17. Andrew Constance as NSW premier – oh puhleeze! That is such a joke.

    He seems to be earning all these accolades because- like so many other Australians, he fought off a fire that threatened his home.

    Don’t any of these fawnng journalists remember how Constance was savaged by – er – themselves – after his idiotic “Ferry McFerryface” decision?

    Ferry McFerryface fail leaves Transport Minister Andrew Constance red-faced
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/ferry-mcferryface-fail-leaves-andrew-constance-redfaced-20180130-h0qpm5.html

    Let’s look at some other highlights of Constance’s glittering career –

    The disastrous train timetable changes at the end of 2017 that caused chaos in Sydney.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/squeezing-more-out-of-sydneys-train-fleet-leaves-less-time-for-maintenance-20171216-h05r86.html

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-11/sydney-trains-delays-blamed-on-range-of-reasons/9319638

    Then there was the announcement that new trains ordered for the Blue Mountains line were too big to fit through tunnels on the route.As Minister for Transport and Infrastructure at the time this was a major stuff-up by Constance.

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/nsws-2-billion-new-trains-are-too-wide-to-get-through-tunnels/news-story/47bd2ee36f43cd3cdd2819078feb6011

    The Sydney Metro light rail project has been plagued by problems – here’s a list from late last year of faults with the driverless trains –

    https://ourtransport.org.au/sydney-metro-fails/

    As Minister for Transport Constance’s latest farce has been the $4.3 billion blowout in the cost of the Metro light rail project.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/4-3-billion-cost-blowout-in-sydney-s-metro-rail-project-20200203-p53x7n.html

    And yet, because Constance managed to be emotional on national TV all his many farces and stuff-ups have been forgotten and the MSM is pushing him as the next premier. Why? Have these goldfish-brained twits forgotten what has been happening over the last few years? Don’t they remember how inept this man is?

  18. What a cruel caption 😆

    Australian flag [left], wall, Scott Morrison [c], Australian flag [right] Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

  19. They say the bushfires have brought out the best in us.

    Really?

    Add that to the list of Australians finding creative ways of ripping off bushfire victims and conducting fake phone fundraisers, supermarkets having to be locked and guarded to stop looting and all the other criminal activities the MSM plays down because the myth of “Aussie mateship” must be protected.

  20. Shame on Labor for supporting this jingoistic rubbish – it’s one of those rare occasions when I’m with the Greens.

    Labor has supported a motion by Liberals Eric Abetz and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells asking schools to consider having children recite the same pledge that naturalised Australian citizens must make.

    The motion states that the Senate: notes the Australian citizenship pledge, which in part reads as follows: I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey; and (b) calls on all schools to consider having the citizenship pledge recited by students on appropriate occasions.

    This is a slight troll of Labor education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek – who supports the idea, has done since 2011, and reiterated the value of the pledge as recently as Australia Day.

    It got up 51 to 9, with only the Greens voting against. Among the Labor members who voted on it: Tony Sheldon, Louise Pratt, Jenny McAllister, Tim Ayres, Murray Watt, Kimberley Kitching, Deb O’Neill, Helen Polley, Don Farrell and Kim Carr

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2020/feb/06/morrison-albanese-coronavirus-economy-politics-live?page=with:block-5e3b78108f086a28115a6752#comment-138007314

    I remember being made to say a similar pledge at every Monday morning assembly of my primary school years. Something about honouring my god, serving my queen and saluting the flag. No-one cared what they were reciting, to us it just meant a few more minutes standing outside in the baking sun or freezing cold when we would much rather have been in our nice, comfortable classrooms.

    .

    • Does anyone remember when and why such a pledge was discontinued in Australian schools? I started teaching around 1978 and don’t remember it in primary schools. My children never spouted one in the 80s or 90s.

      What effect (or good) has it done for the only English speaking ‘democracy’ that is known to spout such a ‘plegde’, apart from reinforcing the delusion that the USA has a manifest destiny to impose itself over the rest of the world? And that only started in 1945 with the beginning of the Cold War!

    • It must have been a post-war-1950s thing, that’s when I was in primary school.

      By the time I started teaching (in NSW) in 1968 the pledge had disappeared. Maybe some schools still used similar things.

      Despite what you might see online there was never any fake US-style hand on heart stuff, we just stood there, squinting in the sun, said the pledge and then sang God Save the Queen. (Primary schools didn’t have school songs back then.)

      It’s a shame Labor wants to drag us back to the 1950s.

    • I can just remember as a primary school kid in the mid-50s reciting something at assembly. The only words I can remember are “I will obey her cheerfully”. Funny thing, but at the time I thought the word was “Chiffley”.

  21. Just wait until Connie and EricA get going on this ‘patriotism trolling” in earnest. Labor will of course roll over and follow them all the way down into the patriot cesspit.

  22. Katharine lets fly

    Precision matters, so let’s be very precise. The Australian federal police has not conducted a deep dive into what went on in Angus Taylor’s office – how it came to pass that a dodgy document was deployed in a political attack against the Sydney lord mayor, Clover Moore.

    The police haven’t investigated. They have declined to investigate.

    According to the AFP’s statement issued on Thursday, the New South Wales police handed them “information” about the inquiry they had undertaken last year into the controversy. The AFP perused this information and determined “it is unlikely further investigation will result in obtaining sufficient evidence to substantiate a commonwealth offence”.

    Now this is kind of curious, because nobody at any point asked the police to consider whether a commonwealth offence had been committed. The referral was very precise. It asked for an assessment of whether an offence had been committed under NSW law.

    But I suspect a number of us do care if documents have been falsified and whether fake documents are being deployed in public debate.

    That would seem to me to be quite harmful activity in an age where citizens in democracies don’t know who, or what, to trust in politics and public life, and are suspicious of institutions that once enjoyed significant levels of respect.

    Not being able to determine what’s true, and people not being held accountable when falsehoods happen, is incredibly harmful. It’s more than harmful, actually. Corrosive is a better word.

  23. I’m sure many of us have just received this email:

    Hello Fiona,

    Last year we made some bold statements about how the Guardian plans to be a force for good in confronting the climate emergency.

    We made our language more urgent. We committed to carbon neutrality. We accelerated our divestment from fossil fuels. We vowed to double down on our reporting, to lay bare just how severe things have become.

    As a result, you and tens of thousands like you took the important step of signing up to fund our work, so we want to keep you updated with progress, decisions and watershed moments in our journey together.

    This week we have announced that we will no longer accept advertising from fossil fuel extractive companies. It is a bold step which will cost us money. But the bigger picture is more important, particularly in light of the horrifying summer of bushfires we are still enduring. We hope it will send a signal, encourage others to follow suit, increase the pressure on oil companies, miners and other extractive industries to change course.

    Let us know what you think. And please do spread the word. This movement is gathering steam and we are committed to doing our part.

    Thanks again for your generosity in supporting Guardian Australia. We look forward to your continued support into the future.

    My continued support goes without saying.

  24. That would be the Liu / Frydenberg AEC

    Labor has asked the Australian electoral commission to investigate why the Liberal party declared and then removed a $165,000 donation from the company of a Scott Morrison ally and key bidder for a $1bn government contract.

    The Liberals are still refusing to explain how they could have mistakenly declared a $165,000 donation from Southern Strategy, a company linked to Liberal heavyweight Scott Briggs. Briggs is leading a consortium of companies hoping to win the massive contract to privatise Australia’s visa processing system.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/06/labor-asks-aec-to-investigate-liberal-party-over-morrison-ally-donation-error

  25. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/south-east/court-documents-reveal-cop-michael-lamb-allegedly-leaked-crime-data-to-3aws-neil-mitchell/news-story/b6364a4d9d81fbef836053a7f746e25a

    Court documents reveal cop Michael Lamb allegedly leaked crime data to 3AW’s Neil Mitchell
    Jon Andrews, Frankston Standard Leader
    February 6, 2020 6:00am

    Suspended Frankston cop and failed pollie Michael Lamb allegedly leaked police information to 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in an attempt to bolster his chances of becoming an MP, a court has been told.

    Court documents exclusively obtained by The Leader allege he was the “police source” backgrounding Mitchell about crimes including aggravated burglaries, robberies and a shooting.

    Police allege the Frankston Senior-Sergeant tried to gain political advantage by releasing sensitive information to the popular radio journalist regarding 21 crimes in an effort to create a climate of fear as he campaigned for the 2018 state election.

    Michael David Lamb, 53, faces four charges of illegally disclosing police information between January and June 2018.

    He strenuously denies the allegations.

    ……………………………..

    Prosecutors are alleging Mr Lamb’s aim was to try to create a media crime wave storm to get him voted in to the seat of Frankston at the November 2018 Victoria state election.

    But his candidature crumbled after he became involved in a trainwreck interview with Sky News’ political editor David Speers.

    He ended up with 33 per cent of the primary vote – less than the previous Liberal candidate – and Labor was returned with a much higher margin.

    • As I handed out How To Votes at the 2018 election most people voting for the fella who removed the level crossings

  26. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Adrian Rollins reports that a former head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Michael Keating, has taken an extraordinary swipe at current secretary Philip Gaetjens over his report clearing former minister Bridget McKenzie of political bias.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6618603/report-reflects-poorly-on-gaetjens-ex-pmc-head/?cs=14350
    Sarah Martin reveals that the Coalition has quietly spent another $150m sports grant fund promised in last year’s budget without opening up the process to public applications. Does this mob have no shame?
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/07/coalition-quietly-spent-another-150m-sports-grant-fund-during-election-campaign
    Here we go! Six farmers are preparing to take legal action, arguing that a massive bushfire in northern NSW could have been prevented if more hazard reduction had been allowed.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/we-saw-this-coming-for-years-farmers-take-legal-action-after-fires-20200206-p53ygl.html
    AFP’s failure to investigate Angus Taylor has corrosive consequences for our democracy writes an angry Katharine Murphy.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/06/afps-failure-to-investigate-angus-taylor-has-corrosive-consequences-for-our-democracy
    An examination of political corruption is well overdue, but ultimately pointless if implemented by the very body under investigation, writes Noely Neate.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/a-federal-icac-is-pointless-if-conducted-by-a-corrupt-government,13563
    “Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink, Say No More!” Terrence Mills examines the entrails if the Angus Taylor forged document case.
    https://theaimn.com/nudge-nudge-wink-wink-say-no-more/
    David Crowe unloads on the secretive, opaque world of political donations.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/in-the-bag-a-1-billion-stash-of-secretive-political-donations-20200206-p53ydk.html
    The AAP reports that Barnaby Joyce has issued a warning to the prime minister over the promotion of only those who backed Nationals leader Michael McCormack in the recent attempted coup.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6618898/joyce-warns-pm-over-cabinet-promotions/?cs=14231
    And Dennis Shanahan says that Joyce has told Morrison that the failure to put any of his supporters into the ministry has created a Nationals rebel group in the House of Representatives capable of blocking Coalition legislation.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/barnaby-joyce-warns-scott-morrison-nats-to-cross-floor/news-story/ff49758a6ca4329ddd972a24ddaf158a
    Shanahan continues, declaring that It is absurd to suggest that the latest Morrison-McCormack ministry is the best available for the government. Not only is it short of talent and unbalanced, it also threatens the stability of the Nationals and the Coalition itself.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/reshuffle-threatens-to-undo-scott-morrisons-unity-push/news-story/ad5567821657f6e21cea3a3bb92b032e
    Sam Maiden goes further and says that Joyce and some rebel Nats are already plotting a payback.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/02/06/barnaby-joyce-warns-pm-rebel-nationals/
    Shane Wright says that the government is preparing for a substantial economic and budget hit from the coronavirus outbreak as figures show December’s bushfires hurt retailers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-prepares-for-virus-economic-downturn-as-fires-hit-retailers-20200206-p53yee.html
    Former NSW auditor-general Tony Harris declares that if we move on from the sports grants now as the Coalition wants, we tolerate corruption.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/06/if-we-move-on-from-the-sports-grants-now-as-the-coalition-wants-we-tolerate-corruption
    Dana McCauley tells us that Jacqui Lambie says she wants to protect the rights of nurses, firefighters and teachers to take industrial action in pursuit of better pay and conditions as she pushes for significant amendments to the government’s union-busting legislation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/jacqui-lambie-vows-to-protect-right-to-strike-for-nurses-firies-and-teachers-20200206-p53yg4.html
    The Australian Christian Lobby, which has more than 170,000 supporters, has described the religious discrimination bill as containing “fundamental deficiencies which need to be ­addressed”.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/religion-bill-has-elemental-flaws-christians-tell-christian-porter/news-story/36c66c113baafed6cb5fca1502110f12
    Meanwhile Richo writes that empty churches are showing that religion’s grip on us is loosening.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/empty-churches-show-religions-grip-on-us-loosening/news-story/f1f42f828dc23ab2fe3e06953f7dca9a
    The asinine ScoMo brand, daggy dad from next door, is no longer fit for purpose writes a contributor to the AIM.
    https://theaimn.com/r-i-p-daggy-dad-the-re-branding-of-scomo/
    In Scott Morrison’s speech to the press club last week, an important nuance went unnoticed. The prime minister basically sounded the death knell for coal-fired power posits Phil Coorey.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/how-morrison-quietly-sounded-the-death-knell-for-coal-20200205-p53y45
    In her review if the past week Michelle Grattan begins her contribution with, “As this week showed, a clean end to a ministerial scandal is seldom possible. Even so, the aftershocks of the sports rorts affair have been major, and they’ll continue to plague the government.”
    https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-in-tune-with-the-summer-a-week-of-wildness-starts-the-parliamentary-year-131320
    Stuart Robert has defended the government’s handling of its controversial welfare debt recovery system after internal emails revealed the Department of Social Services was told the so-called ‘robodebt’ scheme was illegal. The HIDE of the man!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/not-lawful-lawyers-warned-federal-government-on-robodebt-scheme-20200206-p53ydt.html
    Jennifer Hewett says the Morrison government isn’t so keen on the RBA’s governor’s message that governments should be doing a lot more to ensure strong and consistent growth.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/why-the-pm-keeps-ignoring-the-rba-governor-20200206-p53yfz
    The New Daily explains how Australia’s bushfire victims are at risk of having their claims denied thanks to ambiguous terms in insurance policies. A review of 26 home and contents insurance policies by consumer advocate Choice found 21 used terms were “vague, clumsy and worryingly open to interpretation” when describing fire coverage.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/consumer/2020/02/06/bushfire-insurance-cover/
    More job cuts by Tesltra and the CPSU says we should expect longer call centre wait times.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/longer-wait-times-telstra-to-cut-another-280-jobs-20200206-p53yew.html
    Statistics show that Peter Dutton is failing to handle immigration affairs and is tarnishing Australia’s reputation as a humane sanctuary, writes Abul Rizvi.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/peter-duttons-trifecta-of-border-protection-failures,13569
    Gas analyst Bruce Robertson gives us the reasons why fracking Narrabri is no solution for cheaper energy or cutting emissions. It really destroys the premises of Morrison’s big plan.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/why-fracking-narrabri-is-no-solution-for-cheaper-energy-or-cutting-emissions-20200206-p53yeh.html
    James Massola reports that the free trade deal between Australia and Indonesia will not just boost both economies, it could also end the “roller coaster” relationship between the two countries at a time of growing regional tensions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/jokowi-speech-and-trade-deal-a-chance-to-cement-fair-dinkum-partnership-20200206-p53yje.html
    Richard Whitington explains how Labor insiders have undone Whitlam’s hard work to broaden the church.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/how-labor-insiders-have-undone-whitlam-s-hard-work-to-broaden-the-church-20200206-p53yce.html
    Leadership spills aside, we have a Government littered with climate denialists and two major progressive parties effectively acting as their enablers, writes Michelle Pini.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/leadership-spills-and-coal-smudged-deals,13568
    According to the London Telegraph the Chinese government is fighting both the coronavirus and the truth.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/the-coronavirus-is-far-from-under-control-and-the-threat-to-the-global-economy-is-growing-20200206-p53y72.html
    Tory McGuire asks what the point of the impeachment was. Trump got away with it.
    https://www.smh.com.au/please-explain/us-politics-wrap-win-for-trump-loss-for-the-democrats-20200206-p53yep.html
    Stephen Bartholomeusz writes that investment heavyweights such as the Future Fund increasingly see private equity and unlisted assets generating better returns than those in liquid markets.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/illiquid-gold-why-future-fund-looks-beyond-our-shrinking-sharemarket-20200206-p53yal.html
    Patrick Hatch reports that the Hong Kong gambling giant, Melco, has bailed on its $880m plan to build up a large stake in James Packer’s casino group.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/melco-dumps-880m-crown-deal-with-james-packer-20200206-p53yjf.html
    Trump’s disregard for the law should be of deep concern to citizens of democracies everywhere, including in Australia says Chris Zappone.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/what-the-trump-impeachment-acquittal-will-cost-you-20200204-p53xob.html
    As expected, Trump is out of his tree with post-impeachment tirades.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/dishonest-and-corrupt-trump-unleashes-fury-at-impeachment-enemies-20200207-p53yju.html
    Andrew Gawthorpe writes that the acquittal of Donald Trump reminds us once again of the fragility of American democracy. The failure of impeachment along blatantly partisan lines means that the crucial barriers protecting us from authoritarianism cannot be relied on. The fate of the country’s institutions is left to the mercies of a man singularly unfit to safeguard them.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/05/impeachment-was-a-health-check-for-american-democracy-it-is-not-well
    The Guardian looks at the response of the world’s press to the Trump acquittal.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/06/hollow-pretence-justice-global-press-trump-impeachment-acquittal
    Here’s today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/inside-the-files-that-reveal-alleged-identity-takeover-of-more-than-100-australians-20200206-p53yet.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Jim Pavlidis

    Simon Letch

    Matt Golding



    A nice little gif from Glen Le Lievre

    Johannes Leak just can’t help himself when it comes to the Greens.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/38a947ff1c0d757743392e36e549928e?width=1024

    From the US











  27. “Here we go! Six farmers are preparing to take legal action, arguing that a massive bushfire in northern NSW could have been prevented if more hazard reduction had been allowed.”

    This case should be thrown out of court.

    Here’s why.

    National parks are not grazing grounds for cattle, they are set up to exclude grazing. Cattle destroy habitats for small animals, their hooves compact the soil, cattle eat new growth and do untold damage. If these whinging farmers want extra grazing land then they can buy more to extend their farms.Why should farmers be permitted to use national parks as extensions of their farms?

    This area has been in severe drought for a couple of years. Hazard reduction burning in areas suitable has been impossible for a long time. Any attempt would have resulted in a huge bushfire that would probably have been bigger than the one we had.

    The only reason burns have not been done is the drought. You cannot do a hazard reduction burn in a tinder-dry forest. No-one was “too scared to burn anything because they think they will end up in jail” unless they were afraid of being charged with arson.

    Much of the Guy Fawkes River National Park is inaccessible, the area is mountainous. Hazard reduction burns are impossible in places like this, even when conditions are perfect and fire trails are in perfect condition.

    The fire is believed to have started around Ebor, a farming area. Maybe some dimwitted farmer tried to bit of burning-off and it got out of hand. We will never know.

    The article’s language is ludicrous. Like this –

    ” It then quickly became a firestorm that swept across the state.”

    No, it didn’t. Crews kept it confined to the mountains. The fire spread though the national park into neighbouring parks and was contained before it reached any major towns. On the coast it went nowhere near Coffs Harbour, it didn’t even get close to Dorrigo. Several fires merged to become that “mega-fire”.

    Whoever wrote this article should be ashamed of themselves for peddling lies and for their lack of research.

    Turns out the Brazier family are very prominent in and around Guyra. I’d say the National Party is pushing this legal action, probably financing it, because it uses all their favourite lies about hazard reduction. I would not be at all surprised if Barnaby is involved. Guyra is in his electorate.

  28. Plague ship!!!

    Why do our media always present things from an Australia-only perspective?

    Everyone on this ship is confined to their cabins, not just Australians.

    Australians ‘trapped in their cabins’ as coronavirus outbreak strikes cruise ship
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australians-trapped-in-their-cabins-as-coronavirus-outbreak-strikes-cruise-ship

    Do watch David Abel’s video. He’s doing a great job. And yes, he did get his banana this morning.

    If you use Facebook (I can’t be the only Pubster who does) you can keep up with his reports here –
    https://www.facebook.com/david.abel.75

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