Tuesday 31 December 2019

New Year’s Eve Fireworks (Updated).

Fireworks began early today. It’s beyond the scope of this post to provide an extensive coverage. Here I offer only a few highlights.

Mallacoota, Victoria, at about 0733 AEDT:


A little later during the day:


Sunday 29 December 2019

Fires, Firies, and Fireworks (Updated).

Self employed and small and medium-sized business employees acting as volunteer firefighters for the NSW Rural Fire Services will receive up to $6,000 (tax free), at the rate of $300 per day, as compensation for income loss.

The announcement was made Sunday morning by Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian during a press conference at the Sydney headquarters of the RFS. It comes after Morrison repeatedly dismissed calls to compensate firefighters for their losses. They were there because they wanted, Morrison said two weeks ago, to widespread criticism.

Wednesday 25 December 2019

On Faith, Heroes, and Hope.

I have faith in humanity. Coming from a self-described cynic, that profession of faith may sound contradictory. Maybe it is. I am aware of that.

Let me explain.

That faith is not based on believing all people good or heroic, smart or wise. Some clearly are not and will never be. It would take too much self-delusion, I think, to deny that in this movie there really are “bad” guys (I use scare quotes deliberately).

Saturday 14 December 2019

The War of the End of the World (Updated).


That’s a good representation of the sky over Sydney on Friday, December 6. It’s artistically composed and faithful to reality. Temperature had not risen much yet: at 1600 AEDT that day it was 27.4º C in Sydney, according to my little weather station (humidity: 57%).

That red, luminous disk is not the full Moon, although one could be forgiven to think otherwise (as people I spoke to afterwards, as a matter of fact, did). It wasn’t the Moon, because, for one, the real Moon was midway between new and full.

Monday 9 December 2019

Join the Fight!

It didn’t surprise me that Scott (“Duterte Knockoff”) Morrison and his errand boy Christian Porter reintroduced the Union-Bashing Bill on behalf of the big end of town. Like I said, Morrison is waging a class war on unions and workers and he will not stop willingly.

What did surprise me was that they rammed it through the Lower House of Parliament the week following their initial failure, before parliamentary break. You have to give it to them: the bastards know what they stand for. We could learn that from them.

Monday 2 December 2019

Meet the Quiet Australians (Updated).

Smart and experienced local political observers, like the ABC’s Laura Tingle, have thought long and hard about Scott Morrison’s “Quiet Australians”. They even went to the field to learn straight from them what makes them tick.

Readers might remember. During his election speech, Morrison appealed to the vote of those Quiet Australians to explain his May 18 surprising election victory (a little earlier he had also appealed to God’s miraculous intervention):