Friday, February 01, 2013

Fri 1st Feb Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Richard Heagren-Gibbs and Nhan Adam Tran. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

February 1Imbolc (Northern Hemisphere); Lughnasadh (Southern Hemisphere); Feast day of St. Brigit of Kildare (Western Christianity)
Trygve Lie





[edit]Holidays and observances


Gillard’s flaws again displayed

Piers Akerman – Friday, February 01, 2013 (6:18am)

AROUND the nation Labor politicians are shaking their heads and offering their critique of Julia Gillard’s decision to nominate an election date 226 days away.
Many are paraphrasing the catchphrase devastatingly used by slapstick comics Laurel and Hardy: “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into!”
Few can present a plausible explanation and most scoff at the Prime Minister’s claim to be delivering certainty to the Australian people by putting them on election notice nearly eight months before election day.
The virtues of visiting the Governor-General at Yarralumla about a month before the election to formally advise the head of state are so numerous that seasoned campaign managers from both sides of politics are reeling at the lack of wisdom Gillard has shown. Fairfax writer Peter Hartcher yesterday wrote: “The early announcement does not mean Gillard loses a prime minister’s tactical advantage of surprise. It just means she exercised it yesterday instead of August.”
Hartcher seems unable to understand exactly what it is that Gillard has given away.
It certainly was surprising to learn in January that a September date had been set for the election, but what is truly surprising is the tactical loss to the ALP. Out went the ALP’s ability to block-book prime advertising space and time in the pre-election weeks - which the Opposition and special interest groups around the nation began doing on Wednesday afternoon.
Gone was the free kick given to the incumbent by the media with the anticipation of the ritual trip to Yarralumla, and the focus on the sitting Prime Minister to give lift-off to the campaign proper.
Lost is the opportunity to keep the Opposition seriously off-balance in the run-up to the election.
Even the timing of the prime ministerial address to the National Press Club made no tactical sense.
It is understood Gillard’s office was given first refusal of dates for her address and the choice was made to precede Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who spoke yesterday and was able to address issues raised and take questions and offer rebuttals to remarks made the day before by his opponent.
Gillard could have gone on second (another joke, this time from Abbott and Costello, hovers) and gazumped whatever political territory he chose to stake out for himself - but she threw away the opportunity.
These are tactical advantages that no political party gives away lightly.
There seems to be a consensus among her colleagues that Gillard is not so lacking in judgment that she would give such tactical advantage away unless her hand was being forced by threatening events beyond her control. The possibilities include another leadership challenge by her predecessor Kevin Rudd, or the resignations of two MPs she has supported - the former speaker Peter Slipper and the former HSU union boss Craig Thomson, who was arrested by NSW police early yesterday afternoon.
It is no secret Rudd has always thought he was robbed of his prime ministership by a successor who has performed poorly and achieved even less than he did in his savagely curtailed term as leader.
The announcement of the September election date makes it almost impossible for his handful of supporters to organise another challenge without attracting odium for distracting the party during a (prolonged) election campaign.
The resignations of either Slipper or Thomson are trickier, as it would be to the advantage of both to resign and take their parliamentary retirement benefits (which in Slipper’s case would be of great value, less in Thomson’s case) if they believed there was the possibility the authorities might successfully prosecute them.
The omens are not good for Labor. Over the years, the Tasmanian seat of Bass has been regarded as a national bellwether.
Last Friday, the Launceston Examiner published a poll, little realising the election date would be announced within fives days.
The ReachTEL poll found the Liberal Party would win Bass in a landslide. Liberal candidate Andrew Nikolic leads incumbent Labor MP Geoff Lyons 60.3 per cent to 39.7 per cent, after distribution of preferences along 2010 election lines. The result reflected a 26-point turnaround since the 2010 election, unrivalled since the Liberals took the seat in a 1975 by-election.
The Examiner survey held no joy for the Greens either. They polled just 8.7 per cent in the survey, after polling 14 per cent last September.
That poll was followed on Tuesday by a survey of the nation’s 54 most marginal seats published by The Financial Review which found Labor risked losing a least 18 seats had an election been held now.
The results for NSW were shocking, with an average 12.2 per cent swing against Labor in the state’s 16 marginal seats. The best case for the Coalition was a thumping 91 seats and the worst case would still give it a handy margin.
Gillard may have been spooked by these numbers and made a panicky decision to nominate the election date on the run. No matter what reasons given to rationalise her bizarre decision, her poor judgment is again on display.



Tim Blair – Friday, February 01, 2013 (5:10pm)

Fairfax is running ridiculous truther propaganda. Here’s how this load of lies is being promoted on the Age‘s front page:


(Via Adam I.)



Tim Blair – Friday, February 01, 2013 (2:29pm)

Some action headed Sydney’s way:




Tim Blair – Friday, February 01, 2013 (1:15pm)

Mummy’s boy wins an awesome endorsement
Julian Assange will run for a Senate seat in the 2013 federal election and his mum reckons he’ll be awesome.
Christine Assange confirmed her son’s candidacy on Wednesday after WikiLeaks tweeted the news.
“He will be awesome,” she said. 
In fact, he’ll probably still be hiding from the cops in an Ecuadorean embassy office. One bookiethinks Julian Awesome might yet succeed.



Tim Blair – Friday, February 01, 2013 (11:56am)

An all-star cast for a zero-star movie
Despite the dizzying array of talent involved both in front of and behind the camera, this god-awful exercise is so painfully unfunny, so screamingly bad that it immediately qualifies as one of the worst films of all time. 
Sounds like a must-see. And in other negative review developments: 
Thanks to a decades-long career of self-promotion coupled with the advantages of having TV producer parents and a famous literary figure for a grandfather, Laid creator Marieke Hardy launched her first sitcom with a wave of publicity (largely from her employer, Fairfax) unrivalled in the annals of Australian television. The show tanked, largely because it was creepy and sad and somewhat confused about what it was saying. So of course, it got a second series, which was more of the same only with slightly less fanfare from the slowly backing away Fairfax and even less viewers thanks to no-one liking it the first time around. It’s hard to know what was worse: the fact this crap got a second series or the fact the second series had even less happening than the first. 
Your taxes at work, friends.


Media takes on al-Gore

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(7:47pm)

Al Gore finds the media out of love with him on his book tour. Selling his TV station to oil-backed Al Jazeera (which bought the access Gore won through his political connections) seems to have woken many to his hypocrisy.
Wait until they start to check his record on climate change scaremongering.


Thomson’s lawyer abuses two workers

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(7:27pm)

Craig Thomson was a union official, purportedly representing workers.
He then became a Labor MP, purportedly representing workers.
These two goons put on rubber gloves, one stood in front of him, one stood behind him, and they said ‘take off your shirt’ ... He had to take all of his clothes off and stand naked in front of these two galoots
Of course, since Thomson - former union official and Labor MP - is charged with ripping off union members, I should be less surprised (although he does protest his innocence).
Prison officers in NSW are represented by the Public Service Association of NSW. Will it speak in defence of its members who have been so publicly abused? Let’s hear from the PSA general secretary Anne Gardiner, a Greens member.
Nice line from Premier Barry O’Farrell, although I rather think further jibes at Thomson are best left unsaid:
“I think Mr Thomson and his lawyer need to calm down a bit - after all, the allegations surrounding Craig Thomson are that he was all too ready to take his clothes off in front of strangers in exchange for money.”


“Worst film ever”

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(7:23pm)

Not a line you’d expect, especially about a film starring our Hugh:
Odd, that this one line is all you need know about the film’s box office potential. Yet it got made.


Gillard in trouble, Rudd in the news

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(11:30am)

Kevin Rudd noisily defends Julia Gillard over a conspiracy theory that - with this publicity - many others will be slower to dismiss: 
KEVIN Rudd says he believes Julia Gillard knew nothing of Craig Thomson’s impending arrest when she nominated September 14 as the election date.
The opposition has suggested Ms Gillard may have been tipped off by police, and sought to lock in the election date to hedge against the possibility of a by-election in Thomson’s seat of Dobell.
“I don’t think that’s the case and I’d be highly surprised if anyone knew of the activities of the police in what they did with Craig Thomson yesterday,” he told Seven’s Sunrise program, as he returned to a regular slot on the network. 
CABINET Minister Tony Burke was unceremoniously dumped from Seven’s Sunrise program by email yesterday afternoon to make way for Kevin Rudd’s return to the show that made him a political star.

Mr Rudd faced off against his old sparring partner Joe Hockey on Sunrise this morning after agreeing early last month to resume duties with the network.


This man? In charge of the defence of the US?

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(10:54am)

Barack Obama sure picks them. First he lost his first pick for Secretary of State, thanks to Susan Rice’s bizarre attempts to explain away the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Now his pick for Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel is in deep strife after a flustering performance during confirmation hearings: 
Between withering attacks from former colleagues on his past positions on the Iraq war and Israel, Chuck Hagel, a Republican ex-senator, said he supported “containment” of Iran’s nuclear programme.
Mr Obama rejects the Cold War-era doctrine, insisting the US will prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. After being handed a note by an aide, Mr Hagel said he had misspoken, adding: “We don’t have a position on containment.” He was corrected by Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate armed service committee, who told him: “We do have a position on containment, which is we do not favour containment.”
Mr Hagel also surpised the hearing by saying that Iran, led by an autocratic ayatollah, had “an elected, legitimate government, whether we agree or not”.
He later retracted the word “legitimate” after the White House refused to agree with his description. Mr Hagel said he merely meant that Iran had been recognised by the UN and maintained diplomatic relations with many western countries.
Oh dear: 
Playing back to Hagel his comments about America being a bully was also excruciating: 
Another whoopsie on Iran being “legitimate”: 
This exchange on his former claim that the surge in Iraq would be the “most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam” was particularly damaging: 
CNN reports that even Democrat senators were “very surprised” and “perplexed” by Hagel’s performance and “shocked” at how “ill-prepared” he seemed. 


Why won’t the royal commission tackle this abuse instead?

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(10:37am)

Mere money cannot change culture: 
A STRATEGY to tackle child sex abuse in Aboriginal communities has failed despite the investment of tens of millions in taxpayer dollars over five years to address the problem, a scathing report by the NSW Ombudsman has found…
- Many Aboriginal communities may not be safe for children, and better government services are not the answer. The real problem is the culture, too often valorised.
- The Gillard Government’s royal commission into child sexual abuse in institutions seems too focused on rehashing abuses committed decades ago, often by men now dead or jailed, andseems set to ignore the worst abuse of children right now. Abuse in Aboriginal communities which we can still stop.


Don’t ever mention your children, Tony

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(10:21am)

How dare that wicked Tony Abbott mention his family. The Guardian sniffs out evil:
DURING the speech Abbott also aired his credentials as a family man. “I want the best possible life for my three daughters, as we all do for our children. I want it to be easier for them than it was for (my wife) Margie to have a family and keep a career,” he said. The Prime Minister has no children and Abbott has been criticised for snide remarks about this.
Is the Guardian suggesting that having no children is shameful?
Or does it fear many voters may think a family man could understand their own situation better than the childless - and that those voters are morons who should be put back in their box?
Is Abbott never to mention or show his family between now and the election? 


A kernel of sense, in a callus of indifference

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(9:33am)

A LEADING figure within the ultra-orthodox Jewish movement that governs yeshiva colleges in Australia has ridiculed victims of sex abuse, likening the impact of child molestation to the “embarrassment” of diarrhoea and insisting victims are “not that damaged”.
The comments by Rabbi Manis Friedman, a prominent New York-based leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, were condemned by Sydney Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, as an attempt to “theologically trivialise” the impact of child sex abuse…
In a video-taped interview posted on YouTube this week and since removed, Rabbi Friedman questions whether sexual abuse is a big averiah (sin) and why victims of abuse feel damaged. “You are not that damaged—cut it out,” he said. “If in fact you did do an averiah, so do two mitzvois (good deeds). Regain your balance.”
Rabbi Friedman suggests abuse was endemic within the ultra-orthodox community, saying “there is hardly a kid who comes to a yeshiva, to a program, that hasn’t been molested”. In a lengthy and at times rambling interview, the rabbi recalls the case of an abuse victim who sought his advice on whether to tell his fiance about his experiences.
“He said: ‘Do I have to tell that I was molested?’. I said: ‘Do you have to tell that you once had diarrhoea?’ It’s embarrassing but nobody’s business.”
The rabbi also recalls a conversation he had with a girl who confided in him that she was molested when she was nine. “So? Nobody is allowed to touch you? What are you, holy?” he said. “I said to this girl . . . ‘Do you think you are the only one who was molested? Do you think your mother and grandmother back in Russia made it through their teenage years without being molested by a shegetz? Why are you so fragile?”
Shegetz is a derogatory word for a non-Jewish man.
There is a kernel of an argument here which the full video makes clearer - that we too quickly treat the sexual abuse of children, which is unforgivable, as a catastrophe from which they cannot and should not be expected to recover. That we risk reducing such children for ever after to a permanent status of helpless, damaged victim, robbed of agency. 
But that kernel of sense seems buried here in a callus of indifference.  Some of the Rabbi’s comments seem to me heartless, likely to humiliate and silence a child in need of help, and likely to comfort her - or his - abuser. For this reason, I condemn them.


Europe’s carbon price crashes to $4.45. Gillard’s still $23

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(8:38am)

The Gillard Government’s carbon trading plans are in tatters after two developments in Europe overnight, leaving it staring at billions of dollars in Budget deficits.
First, the EU carbon trading scheme to which the Government linked Australia from 2015 has been rocked with fresh evidence of fraud: 
The investigation is centred on 25 of the bank’s staff, according to German prosecutors, and involves allegations of tax evasion, money laundering and obstruction of justice linked to carbon trading certificates.
But worse, the price for carbon credits has plunged again - to just $4.45 a tonne, a fraction of the current Australian price of $23. 
European Union carbon permits had their biggest ever monthly drop as nations in the bloc may object to a regulatory plan to temporarily cut the volume of supply sold at auctions through 2015.
This is a disaster for the Gillard Government, whose decision to set our own price at $23 a tonne looks even more reckless.
But also remember how Climate Change Minister Greg Combet hailed the agreement last year to link the Australian carbon scheme to Europe’s from 2015, when the carbon tax will turn into a price set by trading instead:
“Linking the Australian and European Union systems reaffirms that carbon markets are the prime vehicle for tackling climate change and the most efficient means of achieving emissions reductions.” Mr Combet said…
“It is further evidence of strong international cooperation on climate change and will build further momentum towards establishing a robust international carbon market.” 
And Combet gave this assurance:
He was asked if the government would face a budget shortfall, in contrast to the $9.4 billion of revenue it had predicted the floating price would generate in the 2015/16 budget.
“It is three years away and the Treasury modelling is something that we stand by,” Mr Combet said.
Now Combet’s mendacious spin has been shattered. The European market is not “efficient” but possibly corrupt.
More seriously, the international price is virtually certain to be not $29 two years from now, but much, much less. The price will probably be so low that it will drive no move to green power.
It will also force the Government to slash its carbon tax compensation to consumers - or else rack up massive losses from funding handouts pegged at a $23 tonne tax through the sale of carbon allowances that must fall to worth, what, $10 to keep us competitive?
Under present rules, Australian companies can buy 50 per cent of carbon credits from overseas: 37.5?per cent can be from the European market and 12.5 per cent can be even cheaper international permits.
How cheap?
Take New Zealand’s:
Spot permits in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) fell 6.5 percent week-on-week to close Thursday at NZ$2.45 ($2.05), the lowest weekly closing price ever recorded as fresh supply continued to find its way to the market.
To summarise. The Government’s carbon price from 2015 is almost certain to be: 
- higher on average than prices overseas.
- too low to fund the current compensation to consumers, leaving the Budget short of billions of dollars.
- too low to drive any big cut in emissions.
More from Watts Up with That


Thomson arrested. Abbott in dock

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(8:22am)

Suspended Labor MP Craig Thomson is arrested and charged with the first of what police say will be 150 offences involving fraud. This is a man Labor spent $300,000 and huge political capital in defending.
TONY JONES: Did Tony Abbott go too far when he accused the Prime Minister of running a protection racket for Craig Thomson?…
TONY JONES: Protection racket is a neatly chosen phrase though isn’t it? It has connotations of criminality, even Mafia-style behaviour. It wasn’t a slip of the tongue, was it?…
TONY JONES: So political protector. You confine it to that, do you? Because protection racket could imply some form of criminality, some form of, for example, perverting the course of justice behind the scenes. There’s no allegation that the Prime Minister’s done anything like that or used her power in any way to change the course of the investigation, is there?…
TONY JONES: Let’s get it straight what the allegation is. There’s no suggestion at all is there, or allegation that the Prime Minister used her power as Prime Minister inappropriately in any way to affect the investigations into Craig Thomson?…
TONY JONES: Does the Coalition have any evidence at all the Prime Minister’s decision to lock in September 14 as the election date was in any way motivated by prior knowledge of what was about to happen to Craig Thomson, his arrest and being charged?…
TONY JONES: ... are you at all concerned about the way Mr Thomson has been treated, about the circus around his arrest, the dragging in of television cameras along with five police to arrest him at home when surely they could have rung him up and asked him simply to present himself at the police station?…
TONY JONES: Well his lawyer denies, I believe, that he was given a prior opportunity to present himself to the police and says this is some kind of colosseum-like circus that’s been constructed with a media alongside. Are you at all worried at all that that could in any way impair due process?
(Thanks to reader But of Course.)
ABC radio host Jon Faine opens his program today with this comment on the charging of Craig Thomson:
Despite the frenzy of many media colleagues, they are merely procedural matters.
Move along, folks. Nothing to see.
A more interesting and relevant question: is an MP facing court action from Fair Work Australia and another 150 charges laid by police in any position between now and the election to properly represent his constituents?  Should he not resign?
Craig Thomson was stripped naked and searched by court officers on the NSW Central Coast in an attempt to intimidate him, the embattled federal MP’s lawyer says…
‘‘These two goons put on rubber gloves, one stood in front of him, one stood behind him, and they said ‘take off your shirt’,’’ [Chris] McArdle told Network Ten…
Mr McArdle described the treatment of his client as ‘‘absolutely extraordinary intimidation of an innocent man’’.
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said that strip searches were a standard procedure for people coming into custody and that there were no reports of any use of force against Mr Thomson. 
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Mark Kenny starts his report:
The surprise arrest of beleaguered former Labor MP Craig Thomson...
Er, a surprise to whom? 


Roxon’s backdown not good enough. Does she hate me so much?

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(8:01am)

 Free speech
ATTORNEY-General Nicola Roxon has admitted her proposed anti-discrimination laws were poorly drafted, confirming the government has dropped controversial provisions that would have prohibited offensive conduct.
Roxon has announced that the phrase “offends, insults or intimidates” may be removed from the definition of discrimination under the exposure draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012.
But these changes don’t come close to going far enough…
It’s worth noting is that no changes have been proposed regarding the reverse burden of proof under the draft Bill. In practical terms, a complainant need only make out the barest case – a prima facie case. This is the test courts usually employ to determine whether a claim should be dismissed before it is even heard. But under the draft Bill, the prima facie test is all the complainant needs to prove. The burden is then placed on the defendant to show that he is innocent of wrongdoing…
Even if the “offends, insults or intimidates” clause is removed, the definition of discrimination would still include the word “harassing,” which is ambiguous enough to allow judicial interpretations that would infringe free speech. 
The government has dug itself in on these laws for too long – obviously unwilling to admit that the “offends or insults” test is too onerous because that would mean admitting by extension that Bolt was convicted under laws that were too restrictive. Back in 2011, government MPs and ministers lined up to condemn Bolt and endorse his conviction. So, blinded by their antipathy towards the popular conservative commentator, they have been sticking stubbornly to their proposed new laws despite widespread opposition and a range of eminent experts arguing that they will stifle free speech.
Sadly, however, Ms Roxon says the government’s changes will only drop the “offends or insults” test from the other areas of anti-discrimination laws, such as age, gender and disability, and keep it in place for racial vilification. This is wrong-headed. The test for discriminatory language should be the same, in law, across all areas of discrimination. That is supposed to be the very purpose of this consolidation of the law.
We can presume that the only reason the government doesn’t want to extend this sensible change to all areas of discrimination, is because it does not want to admit that Bolt was convicted under unreasonable laws – that Bolt was right.
Under clause 124 of the proposed bill, once a complainant establishes a prima facie case, then the onus of proof lies on the respondent to prove that he did not engage in the impugned conduct for a proscribed reason or purpose: “ ... it is to be presumed in the proceedings that the alleged reason or purpose is the reason or purpose (or one of the reasons or purposes) why or for which the other person engaged, or proposed to engage, in the conduct, unless the contrary is proved”.
That is invariably the key issue in cases of this kind; to reverse the onus of proof on that question is to put the respondent in an “innocent until proven guilty” position.
As well, under clause 8, the offending reason or purpose need not be the sole or even the predominant reason or purpose. It need only be one among several (otherwise innocent) reasons or purposes…
While the Attorney-General may be about to beat a tactical retreat on clause 19(2) [which extends the law to conduct which “offends, insults or intimidates"], the same words are repeated elsewhere in the bill, in the re-enactment of the infamous section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act ...
This would continue to prohibit conduct which “is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people”.
This was, of course, the provision by which Andrew Bolt’s right of free speech was notoriously abridged…
... the draft bill [also] makes the reach of anti-discrimination law much more invasive by expanding the categories of “protected attributes” and the “areas of public life” to which its provisions apply.
Thus, the legislation provides for not only the existing and familiar grounds of protection from unfair discrimination such as race, gender and marital status; it includes vague new grounds such as political opinion and social origin.


Great campaign launch - for Abbott

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(6:50am)

JULIA Gillard’s strategy of announcing the election date seven months early was exposed twice yesterday by events that showed why it wasn’t a good idea.
The first was that Tony Abbott was able to present his speech to the National Press Club with all of the ceremony and atmosphere of an election campaign launch, which galvanised his presentation and tone as the alternative prime minister…
The second blow was the arrest of former Labor MP Craig Thomson on fraud charges…
Gillard’s second day of Australia’s longest election campaign was spent arguing that it really wasn’t a campaign and refusing to comment about Thomson’s arrest. It’s hard to appear as a working prime minister putting pressure on the opposition, even if you are in a disaster zone, if you have to fend off questions about your political judgment and the arrest of your former colleague.
Yet that was the whole point of ceding the advantage of announcing the election date: regain political momentum, focus on being in control and put pressure on Abbott to come up with detailed and costed promises.
Shanahan is a bit unfair on the second point. The Thomson scandal is not a product of the election announcement and would have been a massive embarrassment for Gillard in any event - and may well remain so all the way to election day. And there are still 225 days to go…
But on the first point he is clearly correct. Abbott looked pretty good, thanks in part to Gillard.
But the real problem for Gillard in this latest decision is that it is part of a pattern where she has been dismissive of processes, conveniently stretched precedent to suit herself, left ministers out to dry publicly, faced caucus revolts and dismally failed to implement unilateral decisions.

In late 2011, Gillard argued in cabinet against a recommendation to open offshore processing of asylum-seekers on Nauru, and then 12 months later announced offshore processing on Nauru; up to April last year, Gillard stood by former Labor MP Craig Thomson and former Speaker Peter Slipper, until overnight deciding a “line had been crossed”; Bill Shorten was told to argue publicly against a royal commission into child sexual abuse just before Gillard announced there would a royal commission; Gillard unilaterally insisted cabinet back a vote against Palestine in the UN, only to back down the next day in the face of a backbench revolt; after three years of insisting there would be a budget surplus as part of sound economic management, Gillard and Wayne Swan have conceded it is unlikely; and there is now Labor outrage in the Northern Territory over dumping long-term senator Trish Crossin and putting up Nova Peris, who wasn’t even a member of the ALP, as a Senate candidate.

All of these failures have been accompanied by comprehensive revelations of cabinet splits, challenges to the Prime Minister’s authority, descriptions of her judgments as “crazy” or “insane”, and complaints that she is not consulting her colleagues.

Gillard’s decision has bought her time and pushed the election back beyond the three years by an extra 3 1/2 weeks. She has narrowly extended her term and given herself the maximum time to defeat the Coalition.

She has also avoided looking indecisive as the year progressed, if she prevaricated and looked as if she was afraid to go to the polls. By July (the third anniversary of her calling the last election) the Coalition head-kickers would have been baying that she was scared to go to the people. It would not have been a good look.
But this caveat:
Her unorthodox decision to announce an election date more than seven months away appears bold and authoritative, but an announcement at the National Press Club is not legally or constitutionally binding. It is her present intention to go to September 14, but things can change.


In the faint hope Emerson can be educated

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY012013(12:07am)

 Global warming - propaganda
One man presents science on the ABC. The other is a senior minister in the government that’s imposed the carbon tax.
You would expect both not to be so ignorant about the very basic data on global warming:
In the foolish hope that these two men may reconsider their opinions after consulting the evidence, here is data from the British Met showing no statistically significant warming for 16 years:
An admission from the godfather of global warming, NASA’s James Hansen:
The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slow down in the growth rate of net climate forcing.
“The data confirms the existence of a ‘pause’ in the warming,” confirmed Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
There has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995.
Yet more (almost) confirmation, this time from global warming evangelist Phil Jones, of the Climatic Research Unit of Climategate notoriety, who jiggles the dates to produce a still-statistically insignificant trend:
I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level.
Do Dr Karl and Emerson truly dispute this evidence? Are they so in denial?
PS: an apology would be nice.
Other data sets - some with controversial adjustments - dispute there have been 16 years of no warming. But Professor Ole Humlum has normalised and superimposed all five global monthly temperature estimates and produced a simple running 37 month mean of the average of all five temperature records. The result - more than a decade of no warming: 
Plotting a trend from 1997 would produce a trend line showing no statistically significant warming.
None of this is to say the world did not warm last century and will not resume warming at some stage. The point is that the world over the past 16 years has not warmed as climate models and warmist scientists predicted.
How could a Minister of the Gillard Government not know any of this after foisting a carbon tax on us to help “stop” global warming? He should be told.
(Thanks to readers Stephen and Janama.)




"The Day John Wayne Called My Mom" by John Garrity, a fantastic commentary displaying the relationship between JOHN WAYNE & his fans. Who is the John Wayne in your life & why?

John Howard

Jesus took your beating at the cross so that you can receive the abundance of His blessings today (Isa 53:5).

This is a mosque in Iran..the yellow banner hanging in the background reads..."Death to Israel"......I have never in my life seen a house of prayer say death to a people....
We all witnessed a horrible performance by Senator Chuck Hagel at his confirmation hearing today. It would be best if Hagel withdrew himself and saved the Administration further embarrassment. Now, if the president were to ask me whom he should nominate, my recommendation would be Former Under Secretary of Defense, Michele Flournoy. She thoroughly impressed me with her competence and directness during several hearings before the HASC. I believe she would put good policy before politics and not be just an administration puppet. Now Hon. Under Secretary Flournoy, don't go and mess up my endorsement! 
Allen West

French sculptor Bruno Catalano is intriguing! I saw his work yesterday in Singapore. His bronze travelers figures lack mid-sections, and seem to be suspended in mid air. The lack of midsection represents Bruno Catalano's invitation to viewers to simply fill in the blanks. — in Singapore, Singapore.
[Phishing Alert] If you receive the following message, don't fall for it: "I saw you in this video on FB? Who posted this of you? Hah! Skip video to 1:45 ! Type in with no spaces and search your name"

This is a classic example of a socially engineered phishing attempt. Check out this alert for more details and what to do if you fall for it:

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"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." Calvin Coolidge



Adastra Superyacht

The Adastra is so hi-tech that you can even control it with your Apple iPad within a 50 metre range.Its range is 4,000 miles, enough to go from the UK to New York in a single trip without refueling. With a length of 42m, it has a maximum speed of 22.5 knots, weighs in at 52 tonnes and has the capacity to host nine guests with room for up to six crew members. With her shiny body and smooth curves, this £15-million superyacht is a real wealth symbol.

..."God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." —1Pe 5:5

Though already anointed as king over Israel, David went to the battlefield to deliver bread and cheese to his brothers at the command of his father, Jesse. As a result of his submission to his father’s instructions, David found himself to be at the right place at the right time, slaying Goliath in the valley of Elah. 

Beloved, when we humble ourselves and submit to the authorities that God has placed over us, we will find ourselves like David, at the right place at the right time, doing great and mighty exploits for God!

It's Throw back Thursday! Do you have any awesome throwback pics that include REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups? Let's see them!

Thanks to our fan TJ for the photo

Sephardic Salsa with homemade Baked Pita Chips. A garlicky, delicious alternative to Salsa Fresca.

Recipe here:
The Obama administration, the most corrupt Administration in recent history, is now donating money to journalist associations so they can setup trainings for journalists to learn how to report on Obamacare. Hit the share button so others can see this and comment below!


I love TED. I don't agree with everything it presents .. but it makes me think. I would love to differentiate this from a Fad to mainstream. I agree with the precepts .. I agree with the philosophy .. I don't see how to meaningfully implement it en masse. Change the world .. one person at a time. - ed

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Cute ^_^


Day 20 | I will miss you.

It's moment like this that touches my heart very deeply.

It's Tyler's interview day today. I dressed him like a little man. Alannah and I walked with him into the school yard and Alannah said " I'm going to miss you Taiyah". As Tyler disappeared with his teacher into the classroom, I turned and walked away. As I didn't feel Alannah presence next to me, I turned around to look for her. I saw her. She stood there, tippie toe trying to catch a glimpse of her brother. My heart hurts. So much.

Tyler's interview went well. His teacher said she will be so lucky to have him in her class as he is so lovely and she even complimented how handsome he looks :)

I love this piece of song art I made yesterday for a song I'm working on. Had to share it before I uploaded it with the song (which isn't finished!). ;) I'm not singing right now due to a throat problem that the oral surgeon told me will take 10 - 14 days to heal. Sigh. Making more visual art instead. ;)
Carla J. Patterson
With a 7 and a half month election called and a MP arrest, the past few days have been certainly been eventful and have illustrated this Governments inability to put the Australian people first. With both Houses sitting for the first time in 2013 next week, I am looking forward to fighting for my the residents in Dickson and holding the Government to account.



The TARDIS has been on countless adventures with every incarnation of the Doctor. Travelling across all of space and time (and back again!) Watch the TARDIS' first on-screen flight in 1963 here on our YouTube channel:

Capturing some moving art to go with some of the new Zion tracks. Can't wait to show you all. #welcomezion #un1t3d

Whilst there were some interesting things happening in Dobell this afternoon, I was meeting with primary producers/retailers Nicky and Wade. Since the introduction of the carbon tax, Nicky and Wade have seen a significant increase in their operating costs. The Liberal Coalition Government has a positive plan to deliver a strong and prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia, including abolishing the carbon tax.

Stories from Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt

A group portrait of members of the 52nd Battalion. 

We know one of the men in this photo, Sergeant John Alexander Spence, who is sitting in the centre of the front row. Sgt Spence was a labourer from Fremantle in Western Australia and had previously served in the Australian Navy. He enlisted in August 1915 originally with the 12th Battalion but they were transferred to the newly formed 52nd Battalion in March 1916. This photo was taken almost nine months later when the unit was stationed in Vignacourt for two weeks.

Spence was quickly promoted to Sergeant not long after his arrival on the Western Front, following a battle at Mouquet Farm. In August 1917 he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty during the battle. He led his men ‘with great courage’ to capture two enemy field guns. He was again recognised for being an outstanding soldier in April 1918 when he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery for his actions in the front lines at Dernancourt.

It was only a few days after he was awarded the medal that he suffered a severe wound to his thigh from a shell burst. The wound was bad enough to send him to hospital in England and then on home to Australia. He never returned to the Western Front.

Sgt John Alexander Spence also appears in these other photos from the Thuillier collection:

The monkey in the photo is believed to be the 8th Field Ambulance unit mascot, ‘Jenny’. The 8th Field Ambulance were in Vignacourt at the same time as the 52nd Battalion. Jenny succumbed to the harsh cold of the Somme winter only a few weeks after this photo was taken.


God wants you to receive from Him every time you go to His Word! Let Joseph Prince show you, through the beautiful Old Testament story of Ruth and Boaz, how much our Lord Jesus wants to meet with you, show you His grace and feed you Himself as you study His Word. Discover how, like Ruth, you can go from just gleaning blessings to having personal, intimate and life-transforming encounters with the Blesser Himself. And like Ruth, you can't help but experience His kindness, walk in His favor and see Him turn all your troubles around for you! 

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God is not out to get you. He is out to bless you. And He wants you blessed more than you can ever ask or imagine! Check out today's devotional. Be sure to click "like" to help spread the word! Thanks, all!


The top 3 contenders on Israel's MasterChef reality show. 

First place went to Tom (Centre) a German-born convert to Judaism. Second place went to Salma Fayoumi, a Muslim Arab woman. Third place went to Jackie Azoulay, an Orthodox Jewish woman.

Gotta love the diversity in Israel!
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