Open Thread – Wed 20 Dec 2023


The Grand Canal, Venice, Maurice Prendergast, 1899

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DrBeauGan
DrBeauGan
December 20, 2023 12:03 am

Boo!

Colonel Crispin Berka
Colonel Crispin Berka
December 20, 2023 12:06 am

Comment 2 and a half.
The comment so good we added an extra half!

Barking Toad
Barking Toad
December 20, 2023 12:14 am

Tird!

Muddy
Muddy
December 20, 2023 12:14 am

Quiet, so quiet.
Noice.

Barking Toad
Barking Toad
December 20, 2023 12:15 am

Or fourth

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 12:19 am

The universe in which the chaos of civil war presents a potential vacuum,

This vacuum? Something worse than the mullahs regime?

and they won’t need an invite from the locals. Still, I would mostly think any armed opposition could be dealt with by the IRGC.

Yeah, they’re pretty decent at killing women not wearing headscarfs properly in public.

Did you see the reaction from the soccer goers when they showed a representation of the Hamarse flag? There appears to be a lot of support for the regime in the wider public. NOT!

Bruce in WA
December 20, 2023 12:20 am

OK, so it’s not the weekend, but it’s getting close to Christmas and it just reminded me of when we were kids (some 65+ years ago) and my Dad (gone 13 years now) would sing this to us, enjoying our total confusion at what he was saying.

So here we are, with my favourite singer at the moment and a wonderful female trio, with a very old Christmas carol.

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 12:23 am

The regime will see no positive in aligning with the West if it also means having to be smothered with the secular liberal values.

Lol. That’s pretty much what Iranians are wanting even if you hate it.

Bruce in WA
December 20, 2023 12:27 am

Been holding it in but I just have to “flex” (as the kids say) about my granddaughter, without identifying her.

Let’s see: SIX Year 12 prizes at her prestigious girls’ school PLUS an ATAR score of 99.3.

This is one very proud grandfather!

Damon
Damon
December 20, 2023 12:37 am

Native wit will take you just so far. Getting places IRL requires work. BTDT.

Bruce in WA
December 20, 2023 12:40 am

Talking about Poms coming to Australia for a better life …

A Diary of a Pom In Karratha

August 31st

Just got transferred with work into our new home in Karratha, Western Australia, now this is a town that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings.

What a place! I watched the sunset from a deck chair on the veranda. It was beautiful. I’ve finally found my my home. I love it here.

September 13th

Really heating up. Got to 35 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I’m turning into a sun worshipper.

September 30th

Had the backyard landscaped with tropical plants today. Lots of palms and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing lawn for me. Another scorcher today, but i love it here.

October 10th

This temperature hasn’t been below 35 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat.

At least today it’s kind of windy though. But getting used to the heat is taking longer than I expected.

October 15th

Fell asleep by the pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body. Missed 3 days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ol’ sun in a climate like this.

October 20th

I missed Kitty (our cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time i got to the hot car for lunch, Kitty had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag and stank up the $3,000 leather upholstery. I told the kids that she ran way. The car now smells like Whiskettes and cat sh1t. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat.

October 25th

The wind sucks. It feels like a giant fxxking blow dryer!! And its hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the blink and the AC repairman charged $200 just to drive over and tell me he needed to order parts.

October 30th

Been sleeping outside by the pool for 3 nights now. Bloody $900,000 house and we can’t even go inside.

Why did I ever come here?

November 4th

Its 38 degrees. Finally got the ol’ air-conditioner fixe today. It cost $1,500 and gets the temp down to 25, but the bloody humidity makes the house feel like its about 30. Stupid repairman.

I hate this stupid fxxkin place.

November 8th

If another wise arse cracks, “Hot enough for you today?” I’m going to fxxkin throttle him. Fxxkin heat!

By the time I get to work, the car’s radiator was boiling over, my clothes are soaking fukin wet, and I smell like baked cat!!

November 9th

Tried to run some messages after work. Wore shorts, and sat on the black leather seats in the ol’ car.

I though my fxxkin arse was on fire. I lost two layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and my fxxkin arse. Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried arse and baked cat.

November 10th

The weather report might as well be a fxxkin recording. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. Hot and fukin sunny.

It’s been too hot to do anything for two damn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn’t it ever rain in this damn fukin place? Water rationing will be next, so my $5,000 worth of palms just might dry up and blow into the fukin pool. Even the palms can’t live in this fxxkin heat.

November 14th

Welcome to HELL!!!! Temperature got to 45 today. Now the air-conditioner’s gone in my car.

The repairman came to fix it and said “Hot enough for you today?”

My wife had to spend the $2,500 mortgage payment to bail my arse out of jail for assaulting the stupid fxxker. Fxxk Karratha! What kind of sick demented fukin idiot would want to live here?

December 1st

WHAT????? This is the first day of summer??? You are fxxkin kidding me!!!

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 12:44 am

I did. My point was that’s exactly what the Iranian public wants.

Bruce in WA
December 20, 2023 12:53 am

Goodnight fellow Cats and kittens.

Tomorrow is our Christmas Day. The family will be together for just one day. so it’s all round to our place for a full-on Christmas dinner … ham, turkey, pork roast with all the trimmings, plus ice-cream put and pav for dessert.

‘Cos Dearly Beloved and I are catching a plane on Thursday … leaving at 7.00 am! … to Sydney, to get on a cruise the following day for a round trip to NZ for Christmas and New Year. Covid here we come! 😀

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 12:57 am

Yep, they want DEI.

All roads lead to DEI. 🙂

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 12:59 am

I don’t like the ALP or LNP but that doesn’t mean I want a civil war.

You already have a civil war. It’s just that one side has the guns and the other side doesn’t and currently subdued.

MatrixTransform
December 20, 2023 1:04 am

Cerberus isn’t asleep until all three heads stop barking

Mark Bolton
December 20, 2023 1:04 am

Gentlemen .. clearly you get your information from “Riddle of the Sands ” ..wherein you will find these nefarious “mullahs” …. and in so far as you do it will likely leave you better informed than CNN or the ABC …

Mark Bolton
December 20, 2023 1:09 am

@ Bruce in WA … May the Season Bring you and Yours Joy and Peace !!

Mark Bolton
December 20, 2023 1:18 am

… so you would wish to introduce wider use of firearms into what ever dissatisfaction we may feel about how we are being governed?

Are you sure this is wise?

Alamak!
December 20, 2023 2:24 am

The regime will see no positive in aligning with the West if it also means having to be smothered with the secular liberal values.

Yes, this is exactly what the Iranian regime are rejecting now i.e. liberal democracy with people living how they choose.

How to break the deadlock in Iran and change the ME apart from violence, death & hate? Perhaps the orange man could be crazy enough to propose a deal of the century …

/IMAGINE

Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 4:01 am
Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 4:02 am
Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 4:03 am
Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 4:04 am
Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 4:05 am
Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 4:06 am
Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 4:07 am
DrBeauGan
DrBeauGan
December 20, 2023 4:17 am

Thanks Tom.

Tintarella di Luna
Tintarella di Luna
December 20, 2023 5:23 am

Bruce in WA
Dec 20, 2023 12:20 AM

Thanks for the Meli Kalikimaka with Geoff Castelucci and the sweet-as female trio — really love Geoff Castelucci’s version of Ghost Riders in the Sky as well as his personal history.

Petros
Petros
December 20, 2023 5:46 am

Congratulations Bruce of WA. What is she going to do?

Tintarella di Luna
Tintarella di Luna
December 20, 2023 5:53 am

Well done to your granddaughter Bruce of WA. The world is waiting for her contribution

alwaysright
alwaysright
December 20, 2023 6:00 am

What are you guys doing up? So early or so late .
Shat the bed?

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
December 20, 2023 6:07 am

Hmmm, I wonder what this means?

Judge Orders Epstein Documents Unsealed (19 Dec)

The names of more than 170 people with ties to Jeffrey Epstein, including victims and former employees, are set to be named in a slew of court documents a Manhattan federal judge has authorized to be unsealed, the New York Post reports.

Judge Loretta Preska Monday ordered the documents in the defamation lawsuit that Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre brought in 2015 against Epstein madam Ghislaine Maxwell, be “unsealed in full.”

Appointed by George Bush but presiding in a Manhattan court. The politics are interesting and so is the timing just before the primaries.

Beertruk
Beertruk
December 20, 2023 6:51 am

Tim Blair at Quadrant:

Let us Praise Lefties Who Won’t Shut Up
17th December 2023

Tim Blair
Columnist

There are two good reasons for continued analysis of the Voice to Parliament’s referendum defeat. The first reason, obviously, is to further understand how a conservative movement not only prevailed during an era of woke, but how we did so having begun our campaign with such a huge polling disadvantage.

And, moreover, an enormous media, business, sports and political deficit. From the outset, the No vote had no big-league supporters.

The second reason for continued analysis, just as obviously, is because it’s fun to ridicule leftists when they lose—especially when they plainly lack the coping ability that a sense of humour might provide. On October 14, the day of glorious judgment, they went down scowling and sneering. Rather than accept the people’s will, pre-fab Voice personality Thomas Mayo angrily declared: “We won’t take no for an answer.”

Well, mate, you just did. You and your team copped a resounding No from just about every electorate in the country, aside from a few inner-city Teal tofu zones and our degenerate narcotics-legalising capital. Elsewhere, reason reigned. Two of the strongest No electorates outside of Queensland were Parkes in New South Wales, with a 78.8 per cent No vote, and my own enlightened electorate of Mallee in Victoria, narrowly shaded on 78.4 per cent.

All credit to Parkes. They just put in a better effort on the day.

Massive credit, too, to Jacinta Price and Warren Mundine, whose crusades against the irrational and destructive Voice push were thrilling and tireless. As a friend in the Yes camp unhappily observed, this Aboriginal-focused referendum presented two of the most compelling Aboriginal orators of our time—but they both worked for No.

Price was especially impressive, landing the campaign’s finest woke slapdown during her National Press Club appearance in mid-September. Asked by some white kid in the audience if Australian Aborigines suffered because of colonisation, Price simply replied: “No.” She then elaborated: “A positive impact, absolutely. I mean, now we have running water, readily available food.”

This was a simple truth, empirically established not just in Australia but throughout the planet. Modernity wins. It’s why nobody is begging for dentistry without anaesthetic. As a species, humanity’s entire aim has been to drag ourselves forward—towards, in other words, running water and readily available food. Yet the Sydney Morning Herald was appalled, claiming that Price had challenged “widely held views of Indigenous and intergenerational disadvantage”.

For “widely held”, read “mistaken”, “conde­scending” or “perverse”. A little more on colonialism later, from a little moron. First, please consider how leftist Voice promoters did so much to destroy their own case, and how this fits a long-standing pattern of leftist behaviour by comparison to conservatives. As my US friend Jim Treacher once put it, leftists want conservatives to shut up while conservatives want leftists to keep talking.

Much if not most of the arguments aimed at Mundine and Price were intended to disqualify them. They were frequently denounced during the Voice debate, as they’ve been denounced by hostile entities throughout their professional lives, as betrayers of the Aboriginal cause. Leftists, aware of how powerful were Mundine and Price’s arguments, wanted to shame them into silence. They wanted them to shut up.

But conservatives couldn’t get enough of Voice boosters Mayo, Megan Davis and especially Marcia Langton, whose ruinous interview with the Australian—published on April 8, when support for the Voice still ran at close to 60 per cent—seemed to accelerate the Yes team’s slide.

In one of Australia’s greatest electoral misreadings, Langton threatened a ban on welcome-to-country ceremonies—and, just to sweeten the deal, a ban on her own conference appearances. “I imagine that most Australians who are non-Indigenous, if we lose the referendum, will not be able to look me in the eye,” she told the Australian.

It was a risk we were evidently prepared to take.

“How are they going to ever ask an Indigenous person, a Traditional Owner, for a welcome to country?” Langton continued. “How are they ever going to be able to ask me to come and speak at their conference? If they have the temerity to do it, of course the answer is going to be no.”

Keep digging, Marcia. Keep digging until you’ve worn down an entire Bunnings worth of shovels to useless wooden stumps. And by all means keep talking—although you might work on your pronunciation of specious. Despite her decades in academia, Professor Langton thinks it’s a three-syllable word. Television auto-captioning renders her attempts as speciesist, which adds a whole new level of confusion.

Another Aboriginal academic, Uluru Statement from the Heart co-author Megan Davis, probably wished she’d been silent in the years prior to October’s Voice vote. Maybe then she wouldn’t have left such a trail of verbal and written evidence contradicting Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s claim that the Statement was just a single-page document.

Sky TV’s Peta Credlin—besides Price and Mundine, the most persuasive No plaintiff—helpfully rounded up all of Davis’s page-worthy performances. In 2018: “The Uluru Statement from the Heart isn’t just the first one-page statement. It’s actually a very lengthy document of about eighteen to twenty pages, and a very powerful part of this document reflects what happened in the dialogues.” In 2022: “The Uluru Statement … is occasionally mistaken as merely a one-page document … in totality [it] is closer to eighteen pages.”

Again in 2022: “It’s actually like eighteen pages, the Uluru Statement. People only read the first.” And once more from 2022, just to drive home the multi-page message: “It’s very important for Australians to read the Statement, and the Statement is also much bigger. It’s actually eighteen pages.”

On August 8, by which time the Yes case was circling helplessly like a punctured-hull Bismarck, Davis offered this online clarification: “The Uluru statement is ONE PAGE.” Whatever you say, Professor. And at that point the Voice to Parliament was a shot duck.

It takes a special talent to destroy a political quest that in its initial stages was so generously supported. It takes an even greater talent to demolish the period of healing or grace that often follows a contentious vote. The Voice team not only bunged on a week-long post-election sookfest, but in so doing demonstrated that the Voice might not have been as “advisory” as they’d promised.

After all, the Australian electorate had just presented this advice: “No.” Fairly straightforward. Easy to understand. Not much room for misinterpretation. Yet Voice advocates, as our mate Mayo explained, just weren’t having it.

Nor was ex-ABC host turned national man in mourning Stan Grant, who in an Australian National University sob speech on October 30 took peculiar issue with the referendum result. “I am hearing that word: no,” Grant said, apparently imagining that the entire $300 million Voice-voting process was about Stan Grant.

He was just warming up. No, Grant continued, was “that word without love. That word of rejection. That word from which no other word can come. This morning in the darkness I am hearing the cold-hearted no of a country so comfortable it need not care.” Seems like “no” is the problem then—except, presumably, when we say no to racism, no to child abuse, no to poverty, no to sickness and so on. It isn’t exclusively a “word of rejection”, unless you’re more or less unfamiliar with the concept of words in general.

Then came Grant’s finest moment. Taking sarcastic aim at Jacinta Price and her rational view on colonisation, Grant fumed: “I drink from a bubbler and I give thanks for running water. That’s the measure of history, we have running water now. Thank you colonisation.”

Running water is one of the greatest single advances in human history. It has probably saved more lives than any other basic technology. To this day, in remote Third World locations, a lack of running water invariably leads to the spread of deadly illnesses.

The Left launched their Voice campaign with the full support of Australia’s wealthiest institutions. They ended that campaign complaining about indoor plumbing. This fascinating episode deserves to be studied for decades.

A central document in that study must be The Voice to Parliament Handbook, co-written by Voice frontman Thomas Mayo and ABC veteran Kerry O’Brien, with illustrations by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Cathy Wilcox.

It’s a rousing call for Aboriginal justice—created by two of the whitest people in the Australian media and a cranky ex-wharfie who celebrates the contribution of “communist elders” to “our struggle”.

You know, the more historians examine this referendum, the more they may be inclined to wonder how it ended up being defeated by 60 per cent to 40. A more reasonable result might have been 90–10.

Tim Blair’s Dily Tele linky to his Quadrant article:

How Yes Turned Wonderfully to No

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 6:54 am

Dot, with reference to your Molly post last night, I’m not sure if that would be enough “bait”.
Coke, definitely.
Molly, I dunno.
Someone having a bad reaction to molly could have the same outcome, ie spewing their guts up until they crash.

Farmer Gez
Farmer Gez
December 20, 2023 6:58 am

Cool days for December around here.
We’ve had only short spells of warm clear days this harvest and very changeable weather.
Finishing on canola which is a slow grind as picking up of windrows dictates the output tonnage and not the capacity of the header.
It’s nice stuff to deliver if the winds not blowing. There’s little dust and the small oily black grain quietly slides out of the truck without fuss.
The price isn’t where we’d like as a bigger than expected soybean harvest in Brazil is hanging over the market.
Plenty of sheep feed which is nice while our minds are on harvest logistics and mechanical matters. The rains have produced regrowth in paddocks that’s either sprayed, eaten or a combination of both. Our fat lambs are having a Christmas lunch everyday.

shatterzzz
December 20, 2023 7:01 am

Close to time for Brandon to stand up & be counted .. but has he the bottle to do a Benny ..? Methinx NOT!
https://www.breitbart.com/middle-east/2023/12/19/houthis-threaten-u-s-red-sea-coalition-vow-no-end-to-attacks-unless-israel-lets-hamas-thrive/

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 7:03 am

If you didn’t read the Australian, you wouldn’t know the real state of play regarding the defamation hearings.

calli
calli
December 20, 2023 7:05 am

You guys know far too much about illicit substances for my liking.

My first thought…what does Meldrum have to do with it? 😀

shatterzzz
December 20, 2023 7:05 am

I’ll be surprised if this story garners a headline in any of the, usual, media/press outlets ..! doesn’t fit the ‘we luvs Hamas” agenda …..
https://www.breitbart.com/middle-east/2023/12/19/gaza-hospital-manager-hamas-turned-us-into-military-installation/

calli
calli
December 20, 2023 7:08 am

And did he remove his hat?

Cassie of Sydney
December 20, 2023 7:10 am

Janet A’s piece titled “Bruce Lehrmann defamation saga is ruled by feelings, not facts” in today’s Oz is a corker.

Cassie of Sydney
December 20, 2023 7:10 am

Who or what is Molly?

calli
calli
December 20, 2023 7:13 am

It’s Ecstasy, Cassie. MDMA.

alwaysright
alwaysright
December 20, 2023 7:16 am

Who or what is Molly?

Molybdenum, element 42

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 7:17 am

If 22 year old staffers can afford cocaine over MDMA, we clearly pay them too much.

That’s my point.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
December 20, 2023 7:18 am

More EV fun.

Which Cars Depreciate The Fastest? (19 Dec)

However, there’s another segment of the market that also drops in value quickly—electric vehicles. Analysis found that EVs lose roughly 49% of their value on the resale market, the worst amongst the categories specified.

Rank…Segment…Average 5-Yr Depreciation (%)
1…EVs……….49%
2…SUVs…….41%
3…Hybrids..37%
4…Trucks…..35%

Audi hits brakes on EV rollout as enthusiasm wanes (19 Dec)

Audi will hit the brakes on its rollout of electric car models as consumer enthusiasm wanes in the face of high prices compared to petrol models.

Gernot Dollner, the boss of the Volkswagen-owned brand, said that he wants to avoid flooding dealerships and factories with the vehicles as sales slow.

“The advantage of EVs (electric vehicles) is becoming visible to consumers step by step,” Mr Dollner told Bloomberg News.

Yes Mr Dollner the advantage of EVs is becoming very visible to consumers. That’s why they aren’t buying them.

Real Deal
Real Deal
December 20, 2023 7:18 am

Janet A’s piece titled “Bruce Lehrmann defamation saga is ruled by feelings, not facts” in today’s Oz is a corker.

Beat me to it, Cassie. Just read it. Kept reading quotes to my wife over breakfast. The quote about a 13 year old reading Dolly and “feelings” is one of the most brutal yet deserving put downs I have read.

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 7:19 am

Molly is cheap. 20 bucks a pop.
Coke is not. 300 bucks a bag.

If you hear of someone having a big night/weekend “on the bags”, you know they have more money than sense.

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 7:20 am

Fresh Allegations of Plagiarism Unearthed in Official Academic Complaint Against Claudine Gay
Harvard’s Research Integrity Office received the complaint on Tuesday, detailing over 40 cases of alleged plagiarism

https://freebeacon.com/campus/fresh-allegations-of-plagiarism-unearthed-in-official-academic-complaint-against-claudine-gay/

calli
calli
December 20, 2023 7:23 am

Alwaysright, you’re onto something! Perhaps they suspected problems with nitrogen fixing in their leguminous parts.

duncanm
duncanm
December 20, 2023 7:23 am
shatterzzz
December 20, 2023 7:26 am

MERRY CHRISTMAS .. LOL!
https://ibb.co/PhzWYT6

Top Ender
Top Ender
December 20, 2023 7:29 am

Re-posted from the old thread…someone has been having a whinge in Greg Sheridan’s ear:

The Albanese government’s decision not to send a naval ship to the Red Sea is a devastating indictment of our military incompetence and perhaps a turning point in modern Australian history.

Not for decades have we been so radically unprepared militarily, and incapable, as we are now.

There is one overriding reason we can’t send a ship. None of the 10 operational surface fleet vessels we allegedly have available (seven Anzac frigates currently operational and three air warfare destroyers) has any counter-drone defence capabilities.

The Houthi rebels in Yemen are firing drones at ships. We could shoot these drones down with our fabulously expensive anti-ship missiles, each of them vastly more expensive than drones, but very soon, say in a day and a half, an Anzac frigate would run out of such missiles and have to sail all the way back to Australia to replenish. The Houthis have armed drones. The Australian Defence Force does not have in its entire order of battle one single armed drone.

Oz – Greg Sheridan

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 7:30 am

Four pieces in the Oz today re defamation case.
All good reads.

calli
calli
December 20, 2023 7:31 am

If they aren’t going to pursue the line that there was some sort of HR “conspiracy” in PH, where does that leave Wilkinson?

It definitely makes Morrison who swallowed it, hook line and sinker, look rather silly. What on earth was he apologising for?

alwaysright
alwaysright
December 20, 2023 7:31 am

Love Spooner

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 7:34 am

Dr Professor Martin Goldbergstein Esq., PhD, delivers very black pilled care bear content today.

The Christian Ziegler Controversy

(Republican thruple cucks himself to dominant bisexual anti trans social climbing wife.)

It’s enough to make one think of hermitage.

shatterzzz
December 20, 2023 7:34 am

Bruce in WA
Dec 20, 2023 12:40 AM
Talking about Poms coming to Australia for a better life …
A Diary of a Pom In Karratha

Or, alternately, you could enjoy winter in North Dakota ….

Moved to North Dakota this fall. We heard that summers are fun and winter is beautiful. We think there is no more beautiful a place in the whole world!

December 8 – 6:00 PM It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic, we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9 – We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had! Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks.

This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!

December 12 – The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment! My neighbor tells me not to worry- we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice man, I’m glad he’s our neighbor.

December 14 – Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so.

December 15 – 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska, after all.

December 16 – Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17 – Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. God! I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20 – Electricity’s back on, but had another 14 inches of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling! Took all day. The damn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but. they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22 – Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it’s so cold, it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob-who has a plow on his truck-for the rest of the winter, but he says he’s too busy. I think the asshole is lying.

December 23 – Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she, nuts?!! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago. She says she did but I think she’s lying.

December 24 – 6 inches – Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snow plow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling, and then he comes down the street…at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents…but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplow.

December 25 – Merry f—ing Christmas! 20 more inches of the damn slop tonight – snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God, I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s a fricking idiot. If I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to feed her through a chipper shredder.

December 26 – Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27 – Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $4,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28 – Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. The BITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29 – 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?December 30 – Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, not only for the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass. The wife went home to her mother. Nine more inches predicted.

December 31 – I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8 – Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed ???

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 7:36 am

None of the 10 operational surface fleet vessels we allegedly have available (seven Anzac frigates currently operational and three air warfare destroyers) has any counter-drone defence capabilities.

They spent the counter-drone money on gender reassignments.

Top Ender
Top Ender
December 20, 2023 7:46 am

JANET ALBRECHTSEN

Bruce Lehrmann defamation saga is ruled by feelings, not facts

It’s hard to think of a more fitting end to the year, to a defamation trial and to an almost five-year-long national debacle.

Having secured $2.4m from taxpayers in a murky settlement overseen by the Albanese government, and giving evidence in a defamation trial, Brittany Higgins jetted out of the country with fiance David Sharaz late Monday night, just hours after Fiona Brown, her former boss, entered the witness box.

Brown is traumatised and unemployed after being drawn into a saga that started when two young people went into Parliament House inebriated and in breach of security rules in 2019. The highly respected political staffer gave evidence this week challenging claims by Higgins – and aired on The Project – that the young staffer told Brown she had been raped, was treated poorly by Brown and was forced to choose between her career and reporting an alleged rape.

Higgins, meanwhile, was en route to France, and a new home she has purchased in Provence. She, Sharaz, and her mother and father – there to farewell them at Brisbane airport – were kitted out in white. It takes some effort to arrange that sort of colour co-ordinated imagery to match the suffragette white Higgins wore at her March for Justice appearance in 2021.

The former Liberal staffer has left one heck of a mess behind her. Even to a casual observer, one of the unmistakeable themes in the defamation trial brought by Bruce Lehrmann against Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson has been how often imagery and feelings have taken centre stage at key moments. Listening to Higgins and Wilkinson give evidence was like strolling into an empty, echoing tunnel with Shirley Bassey’s rendition of Feelings on repeat. I lost track of the number of times they spoke about how they felt, what they perceived, making claims without offering clear corroborating facts.

One doesn’t need to be a journalist to know the surest path to finding the truth is to follow the facts. Whatever else we might learn about defamation laws in this case, we are learning that when people allow their feelings to take the upper hand, the result is a god-awful mess. Throughout this month-long trial in Sydney’s Federal Court, Justice Michael Lee has shown he has little time for feelings, untethered from facts.

Brittany Higgins and her fiance David Sharaz depart Brisbane international Airport bound for France. They were farewelled by her parents at the business class gate.
Brittany Higgins and her fiance David Sharaz depart Brisbane international Airport bound for France. They were farewelled by her parents at the business class gate.

He has asked Higgins and Wilkinson to refrain from delivering speeches or monologues, to stop talking about how they felt, without explaining what facts led them to believe something. He asked Higgins what actual events led her to claim she had to choose between her career and taking a rape complaint to police, what facts supported what Lee called this “obstruction” allegation.

This, after all, was at the centre of the claim, aired in her interview with Wilkinson on The Project in 2021, of a political cover-up. “You’ve given me evidence of what you felt … What I would like you to do is tell me specifically what express words or the actual actions – not your feelings – of either (a) Fiona Brown (b) Senator Reynolds or (c) members of the federal police or (d) anyone else you perceived to be in authority (who) obstructed you or threw up a roadblock or forced you to choose between your career and pursuing your complaint in 2019.”

Higgins could not point to anything said or done by Brown, Linda Reynolds, the AFP, or anyone else in a position of authority over her. Instead, the former staffer claimed Brown knew things Higgins didn’t. Higgins said the meeting with Brown and Reynolds, held in the office where the alleged rape occurred, made her feel threatened.

“Don’t worry about what you felt. I’m asking what they said or did,” Lee reiterated.

“They said ‘if you go to police let us know’. And it was framed in the context – it made reference to the election,” Higgins told the judge.

“What was said?” Lee asked.

“I can’t specifically remember the wording,” Higgins said.

“Just listen to the questions,” Lee told Wilkinson when she gave evidence, “give your shortest truthful answer to them and don’t worry about engaging in speeches.” Lee asked the former Project host what made her form the view Reynolds was “lying through her teeth” when the senator was speaking in parliament in the days after the Project interview. Wilkinson responded that she could not say what she was specifically viewing when she made those comments. If we could bottle and sell Lee’s ability to probe for facts, there would be a marked improvement in our media’s attention to detail and fairness.

During his cross-examination of her, Lehrmann’s barrister, Matthew Richardson SC, asked Wilkinson to point to facts that supported Higgins’s claim, dutifully ran by The Project, that she felt her job was on the line. Wilkinson said “the words … being said were possibly different to the way they were being perceived” by Higgins.

“What you’re doing, Ms Wilkinson, is drawing a distinction between what you believe Ms Higgins felt and what was actually said to her. Is that correct?” Richardson put to her. “Yes, I’m reading between the lines,” Wilkinson said. “Maybe I’m just attuned to reading between the lines a little more than you are, Mr Richardson,” she said when probed again. Wilkinson was asked what precisely caused Higgins to feel the pressure to choose between her job and going to police.

Wilkinson: “The way Parliament House works. And if you’re not a team player, you probably won’t advance your career very far.”

Richardson: “Did she ever actually articulate anything Brown or Reynolds had done that would have constituted pressure not to go to the police?”

Wilkinson: “She’s an intelligent young woman. She could read between the lines, Mr Richardson.”

Richardson: “Did she ever articulate any word or any action that constituted on the part of Reynolds or Brown pressure not to go to the police?

Wilkinson: “No.”

Richardson: “Didn’t you see that as a potential problem with her allegation?”

Wilkinson: “No, I didn’t.”

Richardson: “Something that warranted further investigation, Ms Wilkinson?”

Wilkinson: “I feel we investigated this story extremely well, Mr Richardson.”

Until this trial, I hadn’t come across this many references to feelings since reading Dolly magazine at the age of 13. But here it was from grown women, one a journalist.

Richardson put to Wilkinson that it was completely unreasonable for her to draw the inference that something “sinister” was going on in relation to Higgins when Yaron Finkelstein and another staffer from the prime minister’s office were seen entering Reynolds’s office a few days after the alleged assault.

Her answer was: “I know how politics works, Mr Richardson.”

What precisely does Wilkinson know about politics? The Australian has been told Finkelstein never went to Reynolds’s office, and didn’t speak to Brown. Knowing something about politics and having evidence to claim there had been a systemic cover-up to prevent a woman going to police can be two separate things.

I know the hours are rotten in politics, the travel is taxing, and the book allowance is generous. So what?

Whether the conduct of Wilkinson or Ten attracts the defence of qualified privilege is, of course, for the judge to decide. But still, after listening to a whole lot of feelings, and claims about reading between the lines and knowing about politics, it’s a legitimate exercise to wonder if the former editor of Dolly and Cleo, former Beauty and The Beast panellist, morning show host and Project host should ever have made wicked claims against Brown, Reynolds, Scott Morrison and others that they effectively hushed up a rape. Facts are preferable to assertions that one knows about politics and can read between the lines.

Listening to Wilkinson in the witness box, I can’t help wondering whether she thought this story – which landed in her lap via Higgins’s partner, Sharaz, and his emails to her, headed #MeTooLiberal Party Pitch – was her chance to hit the big league of political and #MeToo journalism. She won the Logie, after all. But she also derailed a criminal trial, delaying it for three months, with a foolish look-at-me speech that prejudiced proceedings to test the claims on The Project that Higgins was raped.

While courts have made the fair point that the qualified privilege defence doesn’t demand a “counsel of perfection” from journalists, by the same token, it’s a safe bet that if a journalist effectively mimics a psychic to conjure up claims of serious misconduct about innocent people, then they might expect a whole lot of trouble.

Wilkinson got stroppy in the witness box last week when Richardson suggested she was captured by her source, committed to Higgins’s version and thrilled by the riveting commercial appeal of her version. “Don’t make me sound like a cheap tabloid journalist, Mr Richardson,” she snapped.

The judge will determine what kind of journalist Wilkinson is – was she a crusader for a cause or a careful journalist? The starting point is that intelligent, fair-minded journalists talk more about facts than they do about feelings or perceptions, especially when making serious allegations of covering up a rape. Feelings, unsubstantiated by facts, can enter the realm of fantasies.

Complete article from the Oz – no comments allowed

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 7:46 am

(Republican thruple cucks himself to dominant bisexual anti trans social climbing wife.)

Imagine how they celebrated Thanksgiving?
Gives stuffing the turkey new meaning.

Cassie of Sydney
December 20, 2023 7:49 am

Beat me to it, Cassie. Just read it. Kept reading quotes to my wife over breakfast. The quote about a 13 year old reading Dolly and “feelings” is one of the most brutal yet deserving put downs I have read.”

My thoughts too, I read that line about Dolly and ‘feelings’ and thoughts…..OUCH!

Sweet, so sweet.

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 7:50 am

Great summer weather in Sydney town today.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
December 20, 2023 7:53 am

Yay Florence the Machine is back baby!

Snowy Hydro tunnel boring machine moving a year after getting stuck (14 Dec)

This is fun since there’s an oped by a guy named Ted Woodley in the Paywallian. I couldn’t see what it said, but I found another article from him about the same issue. It is a fine tale of double-woe.

Another dud Snowy Hydro project, squandering over $1.5bn of taxpayers’ money (6 Dec)

Most media attention on Snowy Hydro’s two mega-projects has been focused on the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro scheme, understandably because of its scale.

The Snowy 2.0 ‘highlights’ reel include its recent ‘review and reset’ to $12 billion (that really is more like $25 billion when all costs are included – twelve times the initial estimate), and tunnelling machine Florence taking twenty one months to bore a really short tunnel (150 metres).

HPP is Snowy Hydro’s 660 MW gas/diesel power station being constructed at Kurri Kurri, NSW. It was given the thumbs up by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in May 2021, after the energy sector failed to respond to his ultimatum “to build 1,000 megawatts of new dispatchable energy to replace Liddell power station before it closes in 2023”.

So, it is now apparent that the all-up cost for HPP will be well over $1.5 billion, $1 billion more than the initial estimate of just 2½ years ago. Not quite attaining Snowy 2.0’s staggering levels of underestimation, but still 2.5 times understated.

Like Snowy 2.0, HPP is locationally challenged. For Snowy 2.0 its remote location in Kosciuszko National Park has required 1,000 kilometres of transmission connections to Sydney and Melbourne, costing over $10 billion – a ludicrous eight times Snowy Hydro’s initial estimate of $1bn to $2bn.

The Kurri power station was originally supposed to burn green hydrogen, except it turned out there isn’t any. Weird that. I am amused now to see it is going to be run on diesel.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Cassie of Sydney
December 20, 2023 7:54 am

It definitely makes Morrison who swallowed it, hook line and sinker, look rather silly. What on earth was he apologising for?

Scumbag was trying to ingratiate himself with people who’d never vote for him or his party in a heartbeat. Morrison left behind a morgue full of corpses, here are some….

1. Bruce Lehrmann
2. Christian Porter
3. Alan Tudge
4. Andrew Laming
5. Craig Kelly
6. Bettina Arndt
7. George Christensen

Note the common thread in all of the above? Morrison either could not or would not lay a glove on Labor but instead joined in bringing down his own.

A pathetic legacy.

Boambee John
Boambee John
December 20, 2023 7:55 am

dover0beach
Dec 19, 2023 10:42 PM
Trump wouldn’t hit the Houthi’s directly, but he would put the Iranians in a full court press economically and/or slice and dice a Republican Guard commander to achieve the same outcomes.

What more can the US do to Iran economically beyond the current boycott?

The current “boycott” seems to involve the US providing cash to Iran by the pallet load.

Perhaps Creepy Joe could try a genuine boycott?

Boambee John
Boambee John
December 20, 2023 8:01 am

Dover

Trump neutered iran, china, russia and the mutant in NK.

They don’t look like neutered at the moment

.

Trump has not been president for almost three years, look at what Creepy Joe has been doing.

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 8:04 am

2. Christian Porter

FMD, the Lehrmann case has showed the way.
Porter should have pursued his.
As soon as the stigmata situation was revealed, it would have been all over.
Plus all the comms between all parties.
Like the Labor candidate engaging with the lawyer on something ridiculous to stop her acting on behalf of Porter.

shatterzzz
December 20, 2023 8:06 am

Yay Florence the Machine is back baby!

Methinx, Florence heard about all the “expert’ tunnel makers from Gaza shovelling into Oz and realised her “sicko” certificate was about to expire .. permanently .. LOL!

GreyRanga
GreyRanga
December 20, 2023 8:08 am

Delt, Re Chanel No5. Wife went to a blind perfume tasting, so to speak. The favorite one, 100%, Chanel No5.

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 8:14 am

They spent the counter-drone money on gender reassignments.

…and plenty of inappropriately timed and placed BBW BIPOC twerking. What an ill fitting (LOL) way to honour Teddy Sheehan VC and future sea power.

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 8:16 am

Porter should have pursued his.

As soon as the stigmata situation was revealed, it would have been all over.
Plus all the comms between all parties.

Mhmmm.

Plus all the comms between all parties.

This is the way.

bons
bons
December 20, 2023 8:17 am

Things are indeed becoming a touch wierd.

Howling torrents oif rain a few hundred kilometres north of us. Benign green everywhere south. Near constant storm belts to the west. And we are in what is becoming a long term drought.

Whatever I said or did God, just tell me and I will fix it.

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 8:17 am

Imagine how they celebrated Thanksgiving?
Gives stuffing the turkey new meaning.

Don’t even think about Turducken.

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 8:18 am

This is what Labor Blackout Bowen & Albosleezy are pushing in Australia!

Scottish battery factory goes bust in fresh blow to UK’s net zero industry
AMTE Power has seen its finances tip into the red due to a lack of orders and investment

AMTE Power, a high-performance battery developer, has called in administrators in a fresh blow to Britain’s net zero industry.

The company warned in the summer that it was in financial trouble and had days to find a new backer or help from existing shareholders.

An investor pulled the plug on fresh funding after plans to build a new plant in Dundee were scrapped.

AMTE said in a stock market notice: “The board has no other options to secure finance in the time available and has therefore concluded that the company has insufficient funds to continue trading.”

It said it appointed FRP Advisory as administrator to find a buyer and trading of its shares are suspended.

The company, which is based in Oxfordshire but has its main operations in Thurso, planned a 0.5GWh half-gigafactory in Dundee to make batteries for potential clients such as BMW and Cosworth.

AMTE had a long history in developing lithium cells, making some of the first examples in the 1990s. Recently, AMTE said it tested cells that can be charged fully in six minutes in a breakthrough for charging technology.

However, it has been making a loss. It did not get the firm orders it needed from carmakers and other potential customers, or a patient investor that could fuel an expansion in production.

The company’s requests for government help were rebuffed and it considered selling the business or moving to the US because of the incentives on offer for gigafactory builders.

It was attracted by the $370bn (£290bn) of subsidies on offer from US President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to speed up green power production in America.

AMTE’s fate mirrors that of Britishvolt, another would-be independent UK gigafactory.

Britishvolt was the brainchild of former investment banker Orral Nadjari, who saw the looming demand for batteries from carmakers in the UK and a gap in the market for an independent producer, planning a £3.8bn factory in Blyth, Northumberland.

But it ran out of funding after borrowing became more expensive. At the time of its demise in January, the company had signed initial deals with carmakers such as Aston Martin, but it had secured no firm orders.

Meanwhile, most of the biggest carmakers in the UK, including Nissan, JLR, Mini and Aston Martin, have secured alternative supplies for cells.

JLR’s owner Tata will build a plant in the UK after securing government funding, Nissan has its own factories near its carbuilding plant in Sunderland while Mini will obtain cells from its owner BMW. Aston Martin has partnered with US electric carmaker Lucid to develop its EVs and cells.

Without firm orders, Britishvolt’s government funding dried up, as did private investment, tipping the company into administration.

More than 200 staff lost their jobs when Britishvolt collapsed in January.

The company had attracted support from the then prime minister Boris Johnson as a way to build a domestic electric vehicle battery industry.

Its assets were bought by Australian firm Recharge Industries.

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 8:24 am

The Chinese Communist Party linked to funding for climate activists in the US and UK

By Jo Nova

The Chinese Communist Party just wants to save the Earth, right?

Even though China is the largest single user of fossil fuels on Earth, for some reason The Energy Foundation China — an NGO dedicated to worrying about carbon emissions — spent nearly $4 million working on reducing US emissions instead of Sino ones.

They also spent some undisclosed amount helping the Grantham Research Institute in London last year.

So we have donors in a developing country giving generously to the US and UK because the rich first world is too poor to fund their own environmental philanthropy groups, right?

The Energy Foundation China (EFC) generously wants to help the US phase out coal and electrify their cars.

But that’s just the nice political power that the CCP is (the kind that also builds fortified islands in shipping lanes):

Nelson_Kidd-Players
Nelson_Kidd-Players
December 20, 2023 8:24 am

For dreamers of a beach holiday, the Port Douglas beachcam is a way to see what one’s missing.

Currently it shows a closed beach that is still wet as Jasper’s water continues to drain. Quite a different sight from four miles of largely dry sand with various bodies scattered across it.

132andBush
132andBush
December 20, 2023 8:25 am

Cool days for December around here.

The only fire risk from this ElNino will be from people lighting them to keep warm.

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 8:27 am

The defamation debacle
Was shining, like a national Eukelele

Packed a couple of pineapples
Gonna get me some peace of mind

I’m going into obscurity, obscurity
After seizing total power
I’m going into obscurity

Diplomatic postings and consultancies
and we are going into obscurity

My child is a trillion dollars of debt
She is the child of two previous governments

The Treasury Keynseians are haunted by the ghost of the old man
We’re looking and ghosts and shills yeah

They say that losing office is like a window to your core
Everyone sees you have no core beliefs

I’m going into obscurity
Sydney random office, I’m going into obscurity

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 8:27 am

‘National energy self-harm’ continues as politicians push accelerated renewables roll-out

Sky News host Chris Kenny says Australia’s “national energy self-harm” continues as politicians, activists and unions push for an accelerated renewables roll-out.

CIS Energy Program Director Aidan Morrison model warned and the Integrated System Plan haven’t been focused on containing real costs, but on bolstering the net zero goals and policy choices already made by the government.

“There is no real effort in the integrated system plan to find the lowest cost system overall, just the lowest cost one that fits with what governments have already committed to,” he said.

Mr Kenny expressed concern about Australia “leaping into the unknown” with its renewables plan.

“We now have expert confirmation that the hugely expensive and accelerated renewables roll-out will continue to push up prices, turning out energy-rich country into one with energy costs that continue to nobble our economy and damage our future,” he said. “And we also have expert confirmation that it might not even work, we might not have enough energy available when we need it.”

Cassie of Sydney
December 20, 2023 8:28 am

Porter should have pursued his.

Yep. I suspect Scumbag was cajoling and bullying Porter to just accept the ludicrous and fantastical crapola and move on. What is clear is that Scumbag did not have anyone’s back, in fact, he was quite prepared to go out of his way to support his ideological enemies rather than having the back of his own. Unbelievable and Terrible. Andrew Laming has publicly said as much.

The whole thing was an intricate stitch up. A spider web of allegations designed to damage and bring down the Coalition government. This spider web included the Higgins’ allegations, the Porter allegations, Laming and Tudge. It worked beautifully, thanks to the ineptness and spinelessness of Morrison.

Boambee John
Boambee John
December 20, 2023 8:29 am

Farmer Gez
Dec 20, 2023 6:58 AM
Cool days for December around here.
We’ve had only short spells of warm clear days this harvest and very changeable weather.

How did the court case go?

Cassie of Sydney
December 20, 2023 8:31 am

Just note the contrast between Sleazy and Scumbag. Sleazy has the back of damaged goods like the vile witch Gallagher, Scumbag had nobody’s back, except his own.

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 8:35 am

The AFR View

More questions, no answers, about Turkish flights take-off

It would be in the national interest for the aviation white paper to lay out a proper pro-competition, pro-passenger framework so that regulatory decisions don’t continue to invite speculation about integrity.

The good Christmas tidings for local travellers and foreign visitors making the long haul to and from Europe is that the Albanese government’s decision to quietly approve a five-fold increase in Turkish Airlines flights between Australia and Turkey promises a more competitive international aviation market in the future.

On top of the welcome additional capacity, the extra services to be scheduled by one of the world’s largest airlines will give Australians an alternative route flying out of Sydney and Melbourne to Istanbul – potentially non-stop – to reach European destinations.

However, the bad Christmas tiding is that those who have purchased their tickets and are flying off on overseas jaunts over the end-of-year holiday period may have enjoyed some relief from sky-high ticket prices in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis if the request by Qatar Airways to double its 28 flights between Australia and its Doha hub hadn’t been rejected by the government this year.

The different treatment received by two Middle Eastern airlines seeking to operate additional services here has again underscored the opaque regulatory processes around the bilateral air services agreements that determine which airlines do and don’t get approval to fly in and out of Australia.

In July, when The Australian Financial Review revealed the still-yet-to-be-credibly explained decision to block Qatar Airways’ application to run extra flights, Transport Minister Catherine King went to ground after offering a string of risible excuses and justifications from preventing carbon emissions to safeguarding Australian jobs.

All the dodgy ducking and weaving only raised suspicions of regulatory capture and running an anticompetitive protection racket to shield Qantas profits amid the aviation sector’s long recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the hapless Ms King immediately went into hiding and refused media requests to explain why, after grounding the Qatari bid, Turkish Airlines’ bid for extra flights was given clearance for take-off and landing.

In a country such as Australia, isolated at the foot of Asia by the tyranny of distance, governments should be publicly accountable for decisions that affect airline competition, influence the cost of travel, and have important consequences for the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Regulatory roulette, with the seeming stench of corporate cronyism, has become a running political problem for the government.

Instead, the lack of any clearly stated and coherent rationale for approving one airline’s application and knocking back another opens the way for renewed speculation about political deals and backroom lobbying ruling the Australian skies, including the role Qantas may have played.

In theory, the aviation white paper due to be released in mid-2024 is an opportunity to draw a line under this episode of regulatory roulette which, together with the seeming stench of corporate cronyism, has become a running political problem for the government.

Yet, the question of aviation competition covered just three of the 224 pages of Labor’s preliminary green paper, and it was only the furore over Qatar and Qantas that forced aviation regulation to be belatedly included in Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ two-year competition policy review.

Governments the world over use aviation regulation as a form of industry protection for their state-owned national carriers.

Australia’s hybrid version of this remains that governments do what’s good for the now privatised Qantas.

In its white paper submission, Qantas’ main local competitor, Virgin Australia, calls for more openness and clarity around how air rights are awarded.

It would be in the national interest for the aviation white paper to lay out a proper pro-competition, pro-passenger framework for aviation so that regulatory decisions are guided by transparent principles, allowing airlines and potential entrants to operate according to clearly defined rules, and so the public can have confidence that the whole process is aimed at reducing costs and improving services.

Such a framework would leave no room for speculation about the integrity of aviation policymaking, which the total lack of transparency around the government’s decision to wave off one airline and wave in another continues to invite.

Crossie
Crossie
December 20, 2023 8:36 am

feelthebern
Dec 20, 2023 7:50 AM
Great summer weather in Sydney town today.

Not complaining, I can open a window and breathe in some fresh air. Don’t have to water the garden either.

feelthebern
feelthebern
December 20, 2023 8:39 am

I’m not complaining either Crossie.
A deluge in Sydney washes away the filth temporarily.

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 8:41 am

Now That Blackrock-Biden White House Have Forced EV Mandates, China Moves Massive Investment into Mexico to Make EV’s for U.S Market

December 18, 2023 – Sundance

The headline is the non-pretending reality.

Now that Joe Biden has designated EPA mandates for U.S. automobiles that include having at least 50% of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2030 {LINK}, three major Chinese EV manufacturers are reportedly building manufacturing facilities in Mexico.

Blackrock invests in China and EV’s. Biden policy supports China and EV’s.

Blackrock invests in Ukraine. Biden policy supports Ukraine reconstruction.

Biden puts Blackrock Investment Institute Chairman Tom Donilon in charge of U.S-China policy.

It’s almost as if….

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 8:41 am

Some say the deadliest black widow spiders don’t even mate with males.

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 8:43 am

Weird that. I am amused now to see it is going to be run on diesel.

Locally sourced, 90% organic diesel though. So there’s that!

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 8:44 am

Two Strategic War Fronts to Watch – The First to Be Announced Tomorrow

December 18, 2023 – Sundance

In the world of tracking geopolitical maneuvers closely, particularly as it relates to military intervention, it becomes critical at a certain point to get more deliberate.

Two fronts seem like they are about to open on the geopolitical stage. The first in Yemen, the second in Moldova. We can watch them unfold together if we begin from the same baseline.

132andBush
132andBush
December 20, 2023 8:45 am

BJ

Will be announced at 10am.

C.L.
C.L.
December 20, 2023 8:52 am

He must be a luvvie:

High-profile Melbourne identity is charged with rape as the shocking reason his identity must be kept secret is revealed.

A well-known Melbourne man aged in his 60s, who is often seen with sports and entertainment stars, has been charged with rape.

His name can’t be revealed due to a gag order put in place by the court to keep his identity secret over mental health fears and the risk of self-harm.

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 8:54 am

Dot
Dec 20, 2023 8:27 AM

To this tune Dot?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP6a-7MP91g

Boambee John
Boambee John
December 20, 2023 8:54 am

132andBush

I was a bit confused, thought the announcement was to be yesterday.

Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 8:59 am

Love Spooner

Duncanm, many thanks for posting today’s excellent Spooner. The slackers at the Paywallian were supposed to post it around midnight, but they still hadn’t got around to it by 4am.

Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 9:04 am

If you hear of someone having a big night/weekend “on the bags”, you know they have more money than sense.

Famous Robin Williams quote: “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you you’re making too much damned money.”

Roger
Roger
December 20, 2023 9:05 am

Lethbridge has nailed our Boy Premier once again.

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 9:08 am

Somone gets it!

Crossie
Crossie
December 20, 2023 9:09 am

Governments the world over use aviation regulation as a form of industry protection for their state-owned national carriers.

Australia’s hybrid version of this remains that governments do what’s good for the now privatised Qantas.

Since our governments are acting only in the interest of Qantas then voters must demand that Qantas be nationalised. They can’t have it both ways. If Qantas is going to behave like it’s late 70s with its manipulation of government then we all want a say.

Figures
Figures
December 20, 2023 9:11 am

He must be a luvvie:

I’ve said that if you’re on a rape jury you should automatically assume that the prosecution is lying. However, if the accused is a leftist then just vote to convict.

There really isn’t any reason for any leftist of any kind not to be in prison.

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 9:11 am

On the Zigler chap…
Remember Jounos get off on knowing about this stuff but selectively keeping it under wraps as “private stuff”.
Because knowing your local member is a furry bisexual bestialist whos married to his sisterwife shouldnt affect your vote.

Indolent
Indolent
December 20, 2023 9:12 am
Dr Faustus
Dr Faustus
December 20, 2023 9:12 am

In Christopher Skase 2.0 news:

Reynolds seeks freezing order as Higgins leaves for new life in France
[Unlinkable OZ]

On Tuesday, lawyers for Senator Reynolds wrote to Ms Higgins’ lawyer Leon Zwier, referring to media reports she and Mr Sharaz had left the country. “If such reports are true, we consider that an application for freezing orders is appropriate. Please advise as a matter of urgency your client’s intentions in respect of her travel to France and your availability to confer in respect of our client’s proposed application.”

Lawyers described the amount and speed of the settlement – finalised just days after Bruce Lehrmann’s rape trial was abandoned in the ACT ­Supreme Court – as “extraordinary” and “unprecedented”.

Christmas.
Exactly when you set off to start a new life in a non-Anglophone country where you have precisely no connection.

At least the degenerates who handed over the payola have to stay for the music.

Crossie
Crossie
December 20, 2023 9:13 am

Blackrock invests in China and EV’s. Biden policy supports China and EV’s.
Blackrock invests in Ukraine. Biden policy supports Ukraine reconstruction.
Biden puts Blackrock Investment Institute Chairman Tom Donilon in charge of U.S-China policy.

It’s almost as if….

It’s almost as if there is a bank account in the Cayman Islands in the name of Hunter Biden pinging with deposits following each of these activities.

Roger
Roger
December 20, 2023 9:13 am

None of the 10 operational surface fleet vessels we allegedly have available (seven Anzac frigates currently operational and three air warfare destroyers) has any counter-drone defence capabilities.

The army has been working with drones for years; what has the navy been doing…or not doing over the same period?

People need to be sacked over this, preferably the highest ranking officers responsible and their counterparts in Defence.

Indolent
Indolent
December 20, 2023 9:14 am
thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 9:15 am

Jane Karosene was today years old when she found out something ….
So its gerbil worming.

Jane Caro
@JaneCaro
Fire generated thunderstorms! Are we worried yet?

Dunny Brush
Dunny Brush
December 20, 2023 9:17 am

C.L: he ain’t no lovie.

Crossie
Crossie
December 20, 2023 9:19 am

A well-known Melbourne man aged in his 60s, who is often seen with sports and entertainment stars, has been charged with rape.

His name can’t be revealed due to a gag order put in place by the court to keep his identity secret over mental health fears and the risk of self-harm.

Risk of self-harm by whom? The alleged victim or the alleged perpetrator? However, I will assume it is a Labor personality since Coalition personalities do not get any such considerations.

Roger
Roger
December 20, 2023 9:21 am

ABC news –

Chinese-Australian businessman found guilty of trying to influence former minister Alan Tudge

…faces jail time after a jury found him guilty of trying to secretly influence former federal minister Alan Tudge to advance the aims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Di Sanh “Sunny” Duong is believed to be the first person to be found guilty of the offence of planning to commit an act of foreign interference, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Duong was formerly a Liberal Party member and candidate.

Colonel Crispin Berka
Colonel Crispin Berka
December 20, 2023 9:21 am

Convicted terrorist Benbrika walks free as blame game begins | ABC News

Does anybody believe the Department of Correctional Services actually provides correctional services? Apparently the media don’t if they have the chance to hype up a prisoner release. The Attorney General has been told the 20 years imprisonment already served has been enough to lower the risk of re-offence to a manageable level. On what basis could anyone disagree?
And is Mr Binbrika a special case or is there something, shall we say, systemic about the origin of his offense such that he is simply the tip of the iceberg?

Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
December 20, 2023 9:23 am

Lawyers described the amount and speed of the settlement – finalised just days after Bruce Lehrmann’s rape trial was abandoned in the ACT ­Supreme Court – as “extraordinary” and “unprecedented”.

As Barnaby Joyce says, would that any veterans could be paid such a settlement, and so promptly!

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 9:27 am

Tom
Dec 20, 2023 8:59 AM

Love Spooner

Duncanm, many thanks for posting today’s excellent Spooner. The slackers at the Paywallian were supposed to post it around midnight, but they still hadn’t got around to it by 4am.

Tom,

surely the time has come as to why the Australian Taxpayer is Funding BOM?

Why not contract Weather out to an external supplier – e.g

https://www.ventusky.com/?p=-33.1;159.3;5&l=feel&t=20231219/2100

https://meteologix.com/au/model-charts/euro/significant-weather.html

Which is based on

Model charts for Australia (Significant Weather) | ECMWF IFS HRES 0z …
ECMWF IFS GFS 0.125 GFS UK GEM This service is based on data and products of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ECMWF IFS HRES 0z/12z (10 days) – Current model charts of parameter “Significant Weather” for map “Australia”

Why not just go with European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and give BOM the Flick?

With Deepmind AI, associated with ECMWF, BOM & Staff are Redundant.

Tom
Tom
December 20, 2023 9:28 am

People need to be sacked over this, preferably the highest ranking officers responsible and their counterparts in Defence.

The shiny bums who run the ADF from their palatial Russell Hill offices are public servants who’ve never been to war and know nothing about how to plan for one.

They’re a perfect fit for the Hamas apologists running the Elbow regime.

Bourne1879
Bourne1879
December 20, 2023 9:29 am

Daily Mail

Over 170 of Jeffrey Epstein’s high-profile associates will be NAMED in court documents set to be unsealed in the first days of 2024

Gonna be interesting.

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 9:30 am

THIS IS REAL

A new movie coming out, “The Societeh fa Magi-cal Neegras”

No, it’s really real.

The plot is Magical Neegras stop white people from chimping out. White people are the black man’s burden.

I wonder if they’ll have gems such as this:

I’ll remember that…There was a time… when I could’ve had you shot.

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 9:31 am

See there is supposed to be an unsealing of a list of names connected with Epstein.

Im going out on a limb here, statute of limitations has expired for potential charges???

Wally Dalí
Wally Dalí
December 20, 2023 9:31 am

Bruce in WA, great news of the granddaughter’s haul.
(sheesh, my daughters are only just in high school, and I worry they’ve peaked too early… like I did)
So, big question, what do you think she is going to do?

Robert Sewell
December 20, 2023 9:32 am

Mother Lode

Dec 19, 2023 2:23 PM
Paying by card (in the new fashion) must introduce another level of awkward.
Swiping cards?
Some images cannot be recognised as to sickening to imagine until you have imagined them.
You bastard!

Explain to me, darling wife, just how did you get these friction burns again?

Crossie
Crossie
December 20, 2023 9:33 am

The release of Epstein’s client list will not show us anything useful. There will be numerous redactions, in the interest of national security of course, and the released names will be the ones we already know or those the establishment wants to destroy.

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 9:33 am

See there is supposed to be an unsealing of a list of names connected with Epstein.

Im going out on a limb here, statute of limitations has expired for potential charges???

It’s all so contrived. How does this advance the current civil proceeding?

Roger
Roger
December 20, 2023 9:33 am

AFR –

‘Albanese condemns antisemitism at Lowy Institute.’

But what does he propose to do about increasing antisemitism?

As I’ve already suggested, what about licensing imams as France & Germany do?

What about screening potential immigrants for antisemitic views?

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 9:33 am

Roger
Dec 20, 2023 9:13 AM
None of the 10 operational surface fleet vessels we allegedly have available (seven Anzac frigates currently operational and three air warfare destroyers) has any counter-drone defence capabilities.

The army has been working with drones for years; what has the navy been doing…or not doing over the same period?

People need to be sacked over this, preferably the highest ranking officers responsible and their counterparts in Defence.

Roger,

have been following the use of Drones in the Russia/Ukraine stoush and have been amazed by the Videos of capabilities of Drones

https://askeptic.substack.com/

https://simplicius76.substack.com/

Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
December 20, 2023 9:34 am

The shiny bums who run the ADF from their palatial Russell Hill offices are public servants who’ve never been to war and know nothing about how to plan for one.

Somebody coined the phrase “swivel chair hussars ” to describe them.

Crossie
Crossie
December 20, 2023 9:35 am

Anti-ship missiles at aerial drones?

Isn’t that like aiming ICBMs at mosquitos?

Delta A
Delta A
December 20, 2023 9:37 am

P
Dec 19, 2023 10:47 PM

Thank you, P. That was just wonderful.

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 9:38 am

Cooking instructions for Dot.
Because i done want to see you starve.
https://twitter.com/EnronChairman/status/1737093803364716549

Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
December 20, 2023 9:39 am

stephen rice stephen rice
Who said conspiracy? Lisa Wilkinson’s lawyer abandons cover-up claim

7:01AM December 20, 2023

Lisa Wilkinson’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC had just finished her cross-examination of Fiona Brown when Justice Michael Lee moved in with a trademark killer question.

“Can I proceed on the basis that no submission will be made Ms Brown was a knowing participant in a systemic
cover-up of a rape?” he asked.

There was a pause as Ms Chrysanthou took stock of this question.

It was only last week that her client had sat in the same witness box and told the Federal Court she believed Brown, former chief of staff to then-minister Linda Reynolds was “getting instructions from the prime minister’s office” and it followed she and Reynolds were “knowing participants in a systemic cover-up”.

“You’d agree that it would be wicked conduct … being involved in the systemic cover-up of a rape allegation?” Lee had asked.

“Yeah, it was about keeping the details away from the media,” Wilkinson replied.

Those words may have flashed through Chrysanthou’s mind as she considered her response.

“Not for the purposes of these proceedings, your Honour,” she agreed after a long moment – there would be no submission that Brown was engaged in a systematic cover-up of the rape.

That stunning concession may not win Bruce Lehrmann his defamation case against Wilkinson and the Ten Network, but it puts a torpedo through the bows of a central claim in their case – that Brittany Higgins was a victim of powerful forces inside the Morrison government who pressured her to stay silent or risk her career.

If Brown wasn’t part of the giant conspiracy, who was?

On the evidence Chrysanthou extracted from Brown on Tuesday, Reynolds had been determined to get the police involved even before Higgins had verbalised her rape claim, let alone decided to make a complaint.

Brown told the court she feared losing her job after defying orders from both Reynolds and another minister, Alex Hawke – a close confidante of Scott Morrison – to make a police report without Higgins’ consent, before the young staffer had said she was raped.

Higgins had said she did not want to make a police report, and wanted to speak to her father before making a decision, Brown said.

Brown said she was doing what she’d been told to do by Department of Finance executive Lauren Barons: “Ms Higgins needed to have her agency and it was her right to make a police report.”

The most startling evidence that Chrysanthou extracted from Brown on Tuesday was that she believed Reynolds and Hawke were trying to protect themselves when they demanded she go to the police.

Brown: “There was no consideration of Ms Higgins – consideration for themselves but not Ms Higgins.”

Chrysanthou: “You felt they were covering themselves – that’s all they were worrying about?”

Brown: “Yes.”

It’s not a pretty allegation to make about Reynolds and Hawke – that they simply wanted to be able to say they did something – but it shoots down the proposition that the government was intent on silencing the young woman and covering up the rape.

Wilkinson had been convinced the story involved “an extraordinary cover-up”, as she texted a colleague, after reading a timeline of the case prepared by Higgins fiance David Sharaz.

The Project had claimed its story was about “a young woman forced to choose between her career and the pursuit of justice” – and put Brown squarely at the centre of that allegation.

From allegedly ignoring Higgins’ first disclosure of a rape to claims she’d offered Higgins a “payout” to get her out of the way in the lead-up to the election, the implication was clear: Brown was part of the rot.

Wilkinson doubled down on those claims in the witness box, saying Reynolds and Brown had been “very, very careful in the lead-up to a tightly contested election”. She said she believed they were taking advice and later, that they were “loyal servants”, to the Prime Minister’s office.

“That’s the way politics works,” Ms Wilkinson said.

The Project’s brutal portrayal of Brown ended her career and left her so traumatised that Justice Lee delayed the livestream of the defamation proceedings to allow her time to seek medical help should she need it.

In her final moments giving evidence on Tuesday, Brown, who had been confident but restrained in the witness box, gave an impassioned reply to the allegations of cover-up.

“There was none,” she told Steven Whybrow SC, for Lehrmann, “absolutely none”.

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 9:40 am

It’s over for the Ten-cels.

Roger
Roger
December 20, 2023 9:40 am

Audi will hit the brakes on its rollout of electric car models as consumer enthusiasm wanes

Gernot Döllner, the boss of the Volkswagen-owned brand, said that he wants to avoid flooding dealerships as sales slow.

– The Telegraph (UK)

Dot
Dot
December 20, 2023 9:41 am

mole

I like the bit where she contributed to society.

Crossie
Crossie
December 20, 2023 9:41 am

As Barnaby Joyce says, would that any veterans could be paid such a settlement, and so promptly!

His government were in power for nine years until 18 months ago so why didn’t they streamline the process for veterans in all that time?

Barnaby should not open his mouth without first engaging the brain.

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 9:42 am

If it is increasingly failing it is only because it parallels the US’s declining economic position.

Absolute or relative?

C.L.
C.L.
December 20, 2023 9:42 am

People need to be sacked over this, preferably the highest ranking officers responsible and their counterparts in Defence.

The idiocy of this country’s ‘leaders’ is limitless.

We don’t need nuclear submarines in the 2070s to “stand up to” China.

We do need an up-to-date surface fleet capable of sea lane policing, interdiction and anti-drone warfare. Guess which one Canberra chose.

Having said that, I’m suspicious of the Biden junta ‘requesting’ that we send a single boat over there to do whatever. This is obviously a political initiative, not a military one.

Black Ball
Black Ball
December 20, 2023 9:43 am

Herald Sun:

Triple-0 whistleblowers in Victoria say the embattled service remains chronically ­understaffed, with as few as four people rostered on at times to cover the entire state.

Leaked internal records ­expose critical delays of more than a minute for emergency calls to be answered, well above the five-second target.

A screenshot of an internal databoard released to the Herald Sun shows that just before 5pm on Monday, 11 Victorians had been waiting up to one minute and seven seconds for their police, fire and ambulance emergency calls to be answered.

What a state. State of terminal decline. Simply unacceptable rubbish from our so called elites.

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 9:44 am

I don’t quite this “decline” as the US economic position is it’s still the largest economy in the world and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Diogenes
Diogenes
December 20, 2023 9:44 am

The Project’s brutal portrayal of Brown ended her career and left her so traumatised that Justice Lee delayed the livestream of the defamation proceedings to allow her time to seek medical help should she need it.

Another possible defamation case ?

C.L.
C.L.
December 20, 2023 9:45 am

His government were in power for nine years until 18 months ago so why didn’t they streamline the process for veterans in all that time?

Barnaby should not open his mouth without first engaging the brain.

Hear hear. I’m tired of Barnaby’s Lindsey Graham schtick. Red meat on Sky, lentil burgers in government. He needs to call it a day.

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 9:46 am

Having said that, I’m suspicious of the Biden junta ‘requesting’ that we send a single boat over there to do whatever. This is obviously a political initiative, not a military one.

Well yes, it is. And that’s the point. Even China is helping out by providing naval escort.

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 9:47 am

thefrollickingmole
Dec 20, 2023 9:38 AM
Cooking instructions for Dot.

Because i done want to see you starve.

https://twitter.com/EnronChairman/status/1737093803364716549

My eyes are still bouncing – I will stick with Coffee

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 9:49 am

Economist view on the Red Sea problem.

Attacks on shipping in the Red Sea are a blow to global trade
But alternative routes are a boon for shipping firms

Until the Suez Canal opened in 1869, merchant ships in the Red Sea mostly carried coffee, spices and slaves. The waterway changed everything. So far in 2023 around 24,000 vessels have plied the passage, accounting for some 10% of global seaborne trade by volume, according to Clarksons, a shipbroker. That includes 20% of the world’s container traffic, nearly 10% of seaborne oil and 8% of liquefied natural gas.
So missile and drone attacks by Houthi militants in Yemen on ships passing through the narrow strait of Bab al-Mandab, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, apparently in support of Palestinians in Gaza, looks like the latest blow to the shipping industry—and to its customers. It has struck just as both groups try to return to normality after the upheavals of the pandemic and, more recently, troubles that include a drought that has restricted large vessels from passing through the Panama Canal for several months.

A dozen Houthi attacks in recent weeks and four more on December 18th pose an unacceptable danger to shipping. Container firms accounting for some 95% of the capacity that usually crosses Suez, including giants like Swiss-based msc and Denmark’s Maersk, have suspended services in the area. A few energy firms, such as bp and Equinor, have also temporarily stopped their ships from using the canal. As when the route was disrupted in 2021 after Ever Given, a giant container ship, ran aground and blocked the canal for six days, shipping companies are already rerouting vessels around Africa. This will extend journeys from around 31 to 40 days between Asia and Northern Europe, reckons Clarksons. Unless the route can safely reopen, delays and the inevitable disruption at ports as vessels arrive out of schedule will create disorder in the coming months.
Still, this Suez crisis will not “put a cork in global trade”, says Lars Jensen of Vespucci Maritime, a consultancy. The reason for cautious optimism has to do with the shipping industry’s remorseless cyclicality. Unlike during the Ever Given fiasco, supply chains are not currently under immense strain. Back then cuts to capacity coupled with a surge in spending by locked-down consumers had sent shipping rates surging to astronomical levels. A global index from Drewry, another consultancy, hit over $10,000 per standard container. On some routes, spot rates surpassed $20,000. That helped push shipping firms’ combined net profits in 2022 to $215bn, according to the John McCown Container Report, an industry compendium, compared with cumulative loss of $8.5bn in 2016-19.

The shipping firms’ customary response to such price signals is to order new vessels. Those are starting to arrive. Though demand has remained flat over the past year or two, the global fleet’s capacity will swell by 9% this year and another 11% in 2024, according to ing, a bank. Already, the industry’s profits are forecast to plunge by 80% in 2023. With capacity to spare, running longer routes should not cause the disruption seen at the height of covid-19. Drewry’s index is now becalmed at $1,500 or so (see chart). Rates could double as a result of the Red Sea turmoil, reckons Peter Sand at Xeneta, a freight-data firm. But they will probably stay well below their pandemic peaks—and so will shipping companies’ profits. ?

Top Ender
Top Ender
December 20, 2023 9:51 am

I’m suspicious of the Biden junta ‘requesting’ that we send a single boat over there to do whatever. This is obviously a political initiative, not a military one.

Having served with the US on several occasions, once you get through their incredible politeness, it’s clear what they want is a “flag in the ground” beside theirs. That way when it comes to clobbering time, they can say it is a “coalition” effort. They don’t need the actual foreign military working with them, although it can be useful.

Bruce in WA
December 20, 2023 9:53 am

For those who asked … granddaughter not yet sure what she wants to be but has been accepted into law/politics at UWA, so that’s where she’ll start.

C.L.
C.L.
December 20, 2023 9:54 am

The US flotilla includes two carriers and their support vessels + a few thousand Marines. An ADF fishing boat is of no military consequence or use in this arena.

Even China is helping out by providing naval escort.

I think “helping out” is a novel description of what Beijing is doing there.

Turnip
Turnip
December 20, 2023 9:55 am

Can’t help but think that the old Metalstorm would be a cheap and effective defence against drones for ships.

Crossie
Crossie
December 20, 2023 9:55 am

What a state. State of terminal decline. Simply unacceptable rubbish from our so called elites.

Sadly, Victoria’s current Opposition have no plans to fix any of the problems. They are too busy expelling the conservatives from their ranks.

Delta A
Delta A
December 20, 2023 9:56 am

Thank you, Muddy, for your kind comments last night.

Boambee John
Boambee John
December 20, 2023 9:57 am

dover0beach
Dec 20, 2023 9:38 AM
The current “boycott” seems to involve the US providing cash to Iran by the pallet load.

Perhaps Creepy Joe could try a genuine boycott?

Those pallets are Iranian, frozen by US sanctions. That sanctions regime remains in effect. If it is increasingly failing it is only because it parallels the US’s declining economic position.

If the sanctions regime remains in effect, why is the US breaching its own sanctions regime? A more confusing than usual day for Creepy Joe?

cohenite
December 20, 2023 9:58 am

Trump cured the ME while in office by stopping the chunks from buying iranian oil. The iranians could not finance their vermin proxies, hamas and hezbellah. To make sure the iranians got the message he blew the bastard solemani up. He kept the chunks in line by virtue of his simple genius of lowering company tax in the US which sent US and other companies based in chunkland back to the West. The chunks were bleeding and were not going to provoke Trump further. He dealt with puttie by blowing up his main airfield in Syria. Puttie pulled his head in. Trump then brokered a widespread ME peace settlement. Last but not least he went to NK and gave the fat little shit a tummy tickle.

All of that good work was shat down the gurgler by the corpse and obama when they cheated Trump out of office. The US is now markedly weaker and can’t even get enough soldiers with its woke policies. So, even if Trump did get back in, despite massive cheating and possible incarceration he will start from behind the eight ball and will have to clean up the US first, an almost impossible job. But make no mistake he cleaned up the world when he was in office because he treated the commies and muzzies like the naughty retards they are.

Crossie
Crossie
December 20, 2023 9:58 am

I’m not sure that Trump, for instance, could have done more in Ukraine, he might, however, have done less and in the end avoid the entire thing at all.

That is the whole point, if Trump were still president there would have been no Ukraine/Russia war.

Cassie of Sydney
December 20, 2023 9:59 am

“C.L.
Dec 20, 2023 8:52 AM
He must be a luvvie:

High-profile Melbourne identity is charged with rape as the shocking reason his identity must be kept secret is revealed.”

Well, he’s clearly NOT a Catholic priest, nor a Liberal, National, or One Nation politician, nor a Coalition staffer.

A luvvie indeed!

OldOzzie
OldOzzie
December 20, 2023 9:59 am

dover0beach
Dec 20, 2023 9:52 AM
Big Serge ??????
@witte_sergei
Ukrainian sources suggesting that the AFU needs 20,000 replacements per month to keep their existing formations combat task capable. Insanity.

Just wow.

dover,

from today

More AFU Downers from the Press Mill + Persian Gulf Updates

SIMPLICIUS THE THINKER

NYTimes brings us this stark highlight:

With Ukraine’s military facing mounting deaths and a stalemate on the battlefield, army recruiters have become increasingly aggressive in their efforts to replenish the ranks, in some cases pulling men off the streets and whisking them to recruiting centers using intimidation and even physical force.

In fact, this has been happening since the beginning, but it’s only now that MSM finally feels at liberty to reveal it. What next, they’ll start reporting on all the pole-tying saran-wrap incidents?

Times goes on to report that disabled people and even those meant to be exempt are all part of the recent corralling efforts, which sees AFU commissars steal their passports to keep them from running. The article highlights various intimidation methods and outright dead-of-night body-snatching:

This report is particularly salient given that Ukraine’s GUR head Kiril Budanov just released his own damning admission about the current state of recruitment in the country, during a panel called “2024: Challenges and Prospects”:

“We don’t have so many people willing to do anything. I’m not even talking about fighting, but this is current. There will be losses and this number must be maintained constantly,” added the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate. Now the effectiveness of forcibly mobilized Ukrainians is almost zero. This was stated by the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate Budanov.

“Everyone who wanted to came in the first six months. Who is being called up now? Unfortunately, there will not be a good answer here. If you don’t find motivation for these people, then how many people are not forced or according to the law, then their efficiency will be almost zero. What in principle, this is what has been happening lately,” Budanov said.

He believes that financial benefits for those mobilized are no longer in first place. “Most of our people, although everyone shouts “I am Ukrainian, Ukraine is above all,” have not felt themselves to be citizens of Ukraine. They do not have the feeling that the enemy has captured the territory and this is my sacred duty to defend this country. Everyone is rooting for Ukraine , but everyone is running,” added the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate.

He candidly admits that not only have mobilization pools dried up, with everyone who actually wanted to be there already having signed up in the first 6 months of war; but further, and more damningly, that the effectiveness of soldiers who were forcibly mobilized is ‘near zero’.

Which brings us to the second article, again from NYTimes, about the AFU Marines’ horrific struggles on the Dnieper front. In the last report I covered a BBC article about this same issue, but this doozy from NYTimes is even more eye-openingly forthright:

Just a few choice highlights:

Soldiers and marines who have taken part in the river crossings described the offensive as brutalizing and futile, as waves of Ukrainian troops have been struck down on the river banks or in the water, even before they reach the other side.

“We were sitting in the water at night and we were shelled by everything,” the marine, Maksym, said. “My comrades were dying in front of my eyes.”

Fresh troops arriving on the east bank have to step on soldiers’ bodies that lie tangled in the churned mud, said Oleksiy, an experienced soldier who fought in Krynky in October and has since crossed multiple times to help evacuate the wounded.

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 9:59 am

What a state. State of terminal decline. Simply unacceptable rubbish from our so called elites.

Sicktoria: Emergency calls are optional spending

Also Sicktoria: Lots of money for arts grants..

To pick a couple for mockery.
Auspicious Arts Projects on behalf of Joel Bray, West Footscray, $28,034: Second stage creative development of a contemporary dance-theatre work by artist Joel Bray exploring themes of colonisation, sex, consent and queerness.

BalletLab Association Inc (Phillip Adams BalletLab) on behalf of Ryan New, South Melbourne, $16,455: Second stage creative development of SICK, a contemporary dance work critiquing and challenging expectations of artists with disability, by dancer Ryan New in collaboration with BalletLab.

University of Melbourne on behalf of Chris Kohn, Rosanna, $60,000: For rehearsal and presentation of the world premiere season of the theatre work La Belle Epoque at Arts Centre Melbourne in 2020.

Diogenes
Diogenes
December 20, 2023 10:01 am

I think “helping out” is a novel description of what Beijing is doing there.

According to a video on the US Naval Institute YouTube channel, China regularly deploys ships to the Middle East for 3 month rotations to assist in anti piracy patrols.

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 10:04 am

Its a good way for China to get “blue water” capable navy, plus they have a very active interest in sea lanes remaining open.
Im sure there is plenty of information gathering going on with both the US & China when their ships are near each other.

Boambee John
Boambee John
December 20, 2023 10:05 am

CL

The idiocy of this country’s ‘leaders’ is limitless.

We don’t need nuclear submarines in the 2070s to “stand up to” China.

By the time the first one arrives, its most useful role is likely to be as a “mothership” to remotely controlled crewless submersibles.

See the discussion of Navy’s apparently limited interest in both airborne drones and countermeasures against them above. This seems to be more than matched by an even more limited interest in uncrewed submersibles.

As with Navy’s approach to personnel management, the standard attitude seems to be “What would Lord Nelson have done?”

Top Ender
Top Ender
December 20, 2023 10:07 am

Here’s the Drake drone defence system as deployed to US ships. Pretty simple and could be retro-fitted to RAN ships en route:

https://www.thedefensepost.com/2021/09/09/us-navy-anti-drone-system/

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 10:12 am

Yeah, it is pretty novel as it also impact on their trade route.

Wally Dalí
Wally Dalí
December 20, 2023 10:12 am

granddaughter not yet sure what she wants to be but has been accepted into law/politics at UWA,
Condolences. Gillard, Wong, and Bishop all topped the class and studied law, and now look at them- barren Lizard People.
Get the idea of a Gap Year, or an apprenticeship into her head, before it’s too late. The de facto “public service exam” railroad of fourteen years school -> five years uni -> fifty years with a laptop, is swallowing a whole generation of western women.

Salvatore, Iron Publican
December 20, 2023 10:13 am

Black Ball Dec 20, 2023 9:43 AM
Herald Sun:
Triple-0 whistleblowers in Victoria say the embattled service remains chronically ­understaffed, with as few as four people rostered on at times to cover the entire state.

The Andrews govt was running the state with a skeleton public service?

Roger
Roger
December 20, 2023 10:14 am

UK government issues guidance to schools:

Children cannot change gender

“Social transitioning” should be extremely rare

Parents must be told if child expresses wish to change gender

A teacher’s refusal to use preferred pronouns (“misgendering”) will not attract sanctions

The guidance applies to all state run and independent schools but is not legally enforceable.

Liz Truss has introduced a Private Members Bill to encode the above measures and other protections into law.

Top Ender
Top Ender
December 20, 2023 10:15 am

The trouble with ship defence systems like Metal Storm, or Phalanx, or Goalkeeper etc is that they a) eventually run out of ammo, and b) are not great against small cheap drones if they are deployed in swarms.

Sancho Panzer
Sancho Panzer
December 20, 2023 10:15 am

Janet A in the Oz.

Until this trial, I hadn’t come across this many references to feelings since reading Dolly magazine at the age of 13. But here it was from grown women, one a journalist.

Oooomph!
That’s gotta hurt.

lotocoti
lotocoti
December 20, 2023 10:22 am

Malfunction Junction has always been slow to adapt to emerging technologies.
Way back when, Moresby’s crew chipped in to buy one of those new fangled GPS
gadgets to make finding Australia a bit easier.
Commander, Air* wanted to fit a holder on the ship’s helicopter to make finding Australia a bit quicker too.
A task which was bureaucratically impossible, because Ships’ Companies weren’t supposed to just think up stuff and give it a go.
*A technically accurate designation, although only deployed on runs ashore.

Rabz
December 20, 2023 10:24 am

What on earth was Goose Morristeen apologising for?

His insurmountable stupidity and mediocrity – which of course, he didn’t realise at the time. His apology to Hoggins was truly cringe-worthy. Here’s some excerpts:

“I am sorry. We are sorry. I am sorry to Ms Hoggins for the terrible things that took place here,” he said. “The place that should have been a place for safety and contribution, turned out to be a nightmare*. “I am sorry for far more than that. All of those who came before Ms Hoggins. And enjoyed the same, but she had the courage to speak**, and so here we are.”

Apart from the sheer clunking condescending idiocy, what does this even mean? “The place that should have been a place for safety and contribution, turned out to be a nightmare”.

It was all self inflicted, you fat useless happy clapping imbecile.

* Certainly for taxpayers and discerning voters.
** Anything uttered on the subject by Hoggins that may have borne any resemblance to reality has been accidental, unintentional or entirely coincidental. A crock of shite, indeed.

Boambee John
Boambee John
December 20, 2023 10:27 am

Salvatore, Iron Publican
Dec 20, 2023 10:13 AM
Black Ball Dec 20, 2023 9:43 AM
Herald Sun:
Triple-0 whistleblowers in Victoria say the embattled service remains chronically ­understaffed, with as few as four people rostered on at times to cover the entire state.

The Andrews govt was running the state with a skeleton public service?

Plenty of public serpents, but the priority was to polish Dan’s image, not look after the needs of the population.

Rabz
December 20, 2023 10:33 am

Goose Morristeen was so hopeless he presided over and completely mismanaged an entirely confected parliamentary sex scandal that didn’t involve any sex.

Then again, neither did the Porter one, despite the barking mad circular scribblings and the entirely confected misremembered allegations of a long dead female lunatic.

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 10:34 am

Priorities…
People priorities.
https://www.afr.com/politics/daniel-andrews-confirms-he-has-90-staff-but-that-s-just-the-start-20220811-p5b920
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has defended having more than 90 staff working in his personal, private office, saying they are “working incredibly hard”, but the true undisclosed staff number is believed to be much higher.

Mr Andrews confirmed on Thursday that his office has more than 90 staff, but the number is conflated with advisors in other ministerial offices, separate from the public service.

Freedom of Information requests by the state opposition put that staff number at 286 people, who were paid $50 million before the pandemic, with some claiming that figure had doubled to close to 600 people.

Frank
Frank
December 20, 2023 10:44 am

We don’t need nuclear submarines in the 2070s to “stand up to” China.

For that crucial second strike capability.

Roger
Roger
December 20, 2023 10:46 am

Goose Morristeen was so hopeless…

Scott Morrison’s political career was sponsored by his mentor John Howard.

The “father of Australia” has left us quite a legacy.

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 10:51 am

Rabz
Dec 20, 2023 10:33 AM

I think the main difference for Porter was he had stuck his dick in cray-cray.
Whereas Lerhmann has denied from the start sex took place.

Left Porter having to deny a dead madwomans allegations in the middle of a me too epidemic.
Even if hed won, he would have lost.
But it doesnt excuse Morriswine and the Libs for rolling over to it.

johanna
johanna
December 20, 2023 10:52 am

I’m suspicious of the Biden junta ‘requesting’ that we send a single boat over there to do whatever. This is obviously a political initiative, not a military one.

Probably. But also, no doubt they are well aware of the deplorable and decrepit state of our ships, and don’t want to embarrass us by asking for what we are unable to deliver.

I’m no Defence buff, but the appalling mismanagement of procurement and maintenance over at least the last 20 years has even penetrated my consciousness. Today I read the story about the KPMG rort, scheduled to cost almost a billion dollars to implement. Just another in the seemingly endless litany of failures by both the the Department and the conga line of ignorant Ministers who were supposed to control it.

Roger
Roger
December 20, 2023 10:52 am

I see Luxon is upsetting NZ’s race hustlers.

Must be doing something right.

Meanwhile he’s in Australia for talks with Albanese.

Unlike Ardern, economic cooperation rather than migration issues will be at the top of his agenda.

Buccaneer
Buccaneer
December 20, 2023 10:56 am

Brown said she was doing what she’d been told to do by Department of Finance executive Lauren Barons: “Ms Higgins needed to have her agency and it was her right to make a police report.”

The most startling evidence that Chrysanthou extracted from Brown on Tuesday was that she believed Reynolds and Hawke were trying to protect themselves when they demanded she go to the police.

Brown: “There was no consideration of Ms Higgins – consideration for themselves but not Ms Higgins.”

Chrysanthou: “You felt they were covering themselves – that’s all they were worrying about?”

Brown: “Yes.”

It’s not a pretty allegation to make about Reynolds and Hawke – that they simply wanted to be able to say they did something – but it shoots down the proposition that the government was intent on silencing the young woman and covering up the rape.

Well, it’s hard in retrospect, to claim Reynolds and Hawke misjudged this situation. As much as I personally dislike Hawke, what appears to have played out is a situation where a young woman and her media enablers have engaged the political opponents of the then government to leverage this for political advantage.

One might be tempted to ask Ms Brown how wedded she feels towards the idea of agency post this experience? Had she just gone to the police with the evidence that there had been a security breach, would it have played out differently?

Where are those committed to the me too movement who are horrified with the abuse of this concept of agency by Wilkinson et al? Instead we seem to see the abuse of headlines by some media outlets designed to paper over the actual events uncovered in this case…

JC
JC
December 20, 2023 10:56 am

Does that matter here?

It sure does.

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 20, 2023 10:58 am

This will end well.

philip lewis
@Phil_Lewis_
DENVER (AP) — Colorado Supreme Court declares Donald Trump ineligible for the presidency under Constitution’s insurrection clause.

1 2 3 7
  1. Headline of the day: The Matildas and Arsenal weapon tasked with filling Kerr-sized hole Fnarrr.

  2. And puts lie to the media’s claim that he held a firearms licence “for recreational purposes”.

  3. The word doing the rounds (as yet unsubstantiated) is a total ban on “recreational” firearm use. Can see a lot…

  4. Outstanding. Just outstanding commentary on the current semitic sentiment in this country. The back end of a Gray Connolly piece…

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