Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wed Feb 13th Todays News

Constitutional Recognition Of Indigenous Australians - RECOGNISE

You Me Unity is the national conversation about updating Australia’s constitution to recognise both Indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Have your say! JanetCD's insight: Let us make this happen

David Ball • I have Aboriginal ancestry but am not recognised as Aboriginal .. my culture being more related to my birthplace, NYC in USA. My concern regarding the issue of constitutional recognition is that it seems to me to be intrinsically racist without being beneficial. I feel cultural assets need to be supported and that all benefit when cultural assets are promoted. To distinguish Aboriginal peoples apart from everyone else is to promote a minority (which is ok) at the expense of cultural assets (which is not ok). So I feel that our energy is best devoted to other means of dealing with poverty and deprivation experienced by my cousins. I recognise the efforts of Mr Howard's government to deal with the issue in the top end and think effective intervention more helpful, noting that other equity issues pursued by the Rudd/Gillard government, like gender equality and disparity between rich and poor are much worse for their chosen policy.


February 13Ash Wednesday in Western Christianity (2013)
The covering of the Senne





[edit]Holidays and observances


Abbott shames Labor MPs with anti-corruption bill

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, February 13, 2013 (4:49am)

TONY Abbott is shaking Labor’s cage and the inmates are rattled.
Yesterday, Abbott challenged Labor MPs to side with ordinary workers instead of their union “mates’ network” and support criminal stiff penalties for officials who abuse their union positions and breach their union members’ trust.
The bait worked.
Employment Minister Bill Shorten bit immediately and claimed the Opposition was engaging in a “war on unions” to disguise a lack of workplace relations policy.
Abbott called for criminal penalties, including fines of $340,000 and jail terms of up to five years, to dissuade officials from abusing their power – and he made it clear that he only wanted the same penalties to apply to union bosses as apply to company officials.
Abbott signalled last year that he intended to introduce a private member’s bill to reel in union corruption.
Labor MPs looked like a rabble as he outlined his plan in the first reading speech and highlighted its application to amend the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act to apply to other entities, including employer associations and other lobby groups.
The bill would make it a criminal offence for officials to be “reckless” or “intentionally dishonest” and to fail to act in good faith or the best interests of the organisation.
“Lest anyone think that this is in some way anomalous or in some way singling out unions, I want to make it crystal clear that what this bill seeks to do is to put exactly the same regime as far as we can in place for unions and those running unions as applies to companies and those running companies,” he said.
“If a union official or a company official does the wrong thing, they should face the same penalty for the same wrongdoing.”
He noted that half the federal Labor MPs were former union officials and had to choose their loyalties when voting on his bill.
He had plenty of examples of union corruption to choose from and cited the ongoing Health Services Union scandal as he urged Labor MPs to prove their support for better governance by imposing tougher sanctions on union leaders who misuse funds.
The Gillard government’s treatment of union corruption has been a scandal in itself.
Now former Labor and recent independent MP Craig Thomson faces 154 charges, including allegations he used a HSU credit card while national secretary to pay for prostitutes.
And the AWU scandal is continuing to build.
If this is just one of the tactics Abbott intends to use to keep Labor on edge till the election, he is on a winner.
Labor MPs looked either ashamed – or guilty or left the Chamber entirely.
They should keep running.
The public is tired of union corruption and it is sick of Labor corruption.
With the Eddie Obeid affair ensuring coverage in NSW (if not in The Age), an important part of the electorate will be able to judge for itself which party is the more honest.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, February 13, 2013 (3:10pm)

Leftist movements typically fragment into ever-smaller leftist movements
Fairfax Media has ended its use of copy from The Guardian two days after the poaching of two of its most prominent political reporters for the British title’s Australian launch.
Mumbrella understands from sources inside Fairfax that the move is not retaliatory but rather because The Guardian is now viewed as a competitor. 
(Via PWAF, who notes: “Gizmodo and Jalopnik better never start Aussie editions, otherwise they’ll have no copy to poach!")



Tim Blair – Wednesday, February 13, 2013 (1:25pm)

Kevin Rudd attacks Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan. Gillardian forces respond
Federal Labor MPs have begun circulating an email critical of former prime minister Kevin Rudd, in a sign of continuing tension within the party.
The email, which was sent to Mr Rudd this morning and copied to some of his colleagues, accuses the former Labor leader of being “childish” and “disloyal”.
It was sent by a resident of Avalon Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches, and forwarded onto the ABC by one of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s supporters.
“Your determination to destabilise the government and your refusal to unconditionally support Julia Gillard, your leader and our Prime Minister, are despicable,” the emailer tells Mr Rudd.
“You delight in half smiles and non-committal responses.
“You really belong in the Liberal Party because you are being so helpful to Tony Abbott’s campaign and you don’t now really seem to stand for anything but Kevin.” 
This is either a sign of stabilidy or cerdaindy. Difficult to tell which.
UPDATE. Kevni gets him some government cheese, then is surprised by a fellow anti-Gillardian.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, February 13, 2013 (10:25am)

Here’s live video of alleged triple murderer Christopher Dorner’s hopefully-imminent capture, or otherwise.
UPDATE. Another victim: Fox is now reporting the death of a police officer involved in a shoot-out with Dorner.


On 2GB, February 13

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(7:15pm)

 2GB podcastsGlobal warming - general
On with Steve Price from 8pm. Listen live here. Talkback:  131 873
Last night’s show - featuring an argument with Trade Minister Craig Emerson on global warming - can be heard here
To repeat what I wrote below:
Emerson’s arguments against there having been a pause in the warming for some 16 yearswere three-fold. Let me go through them.
Emerson’s first argument: The Met has noted that the past decade was warmer than the previous one. (Read the Met’s argument here.)
Status: fail.
I pointed out, this does not contradict the proposition that there has been a warming pause for 16 years.  It’s like saying I’m wrong to say my 18 year old hasn’t grown this past year, since he’s been taller these past five years than he was the five years before. There was indeed a warming from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s that has left temperatures at an elevated plateau. The temperatures remain high, but any temperature rise over the past 16 years is still nil or statistically insignificant.
Emerson’s second argument: Various global warming authorities say warming has occurred over the past half century and is man-made. 
Status: fail.
Global warming has occurred over the past half century and may - or may not - be largely human caused. But this does not contradict the proposition that there has been no statistically significant warming over the last 16 of those 50 years.  Again, my son has grown over the past 18 years, but that is not to say he’s grown over the past year.
Emerson’s third argument: Global warming authorities say warming will occur in the future and is man-made.
Status: fail. 
I agree that global warming may well resume, perhaps even this year, and it may or may not be man-made. But this does not contradict the proposition that the past 16 years, at least, have had no statistically significant warming. My son might have one final growth spurt, but that does change the fact that he hasn’t grown over the past year.
I hope I’m not being unfair to Emerson in summing up his arguments or in taking this chance to try to extract them from the yelling, filibustering and complaints of interruption and write them down here for greater clarity.
After all, a massive carbon tax has been imposed on the economy, and $10 billion of green energy schemes are being funded, on the basis of a belief by Emerson and his colleagues that the world is heating dangerously, thanks to man.
I think the world hasn’t heated at all, at least not by anything statistically significant, for 16 years and Emerson and his colleagues ought to know it and change their policies accordingly.
I am profoundly depressed that Emerson refuses to accept the facts and offers only patently flawed and misleading arguments to rebut the truth. I cannot believe he truly believes in his arguments, and am angry with myself that I did not make my arguments so clearly that he could no longer deny them.
(I will update this with actual quotes when I get around to transcribing some of the “debate”.) 


Obama sees climate disasters that scientists can’t

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(4:46pm)

 Global warming - propaganda
Barack Obama in his State of the Union address today ignored the 16-year warming pause and beat up the global warming scare, using weather to argue the climate had changed for the worse:
“Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires and floods, all are now more frequent and more intense,” the president said. 
They are? Not true of floods, for instance, says Professor Roger Pielke Jr:
The latest draft report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there is no known increase in floods worldwide, either:
There continues to be a lack of evidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale… Observations to date provide no conclusive and general proof as to how climate change affects flood behaviour.
What of droughts, then? Here’s what the IPCC says about droughts in the United States - and, again, it’s not at all what Obama claimed:
The IPCC, consulting the damage bill from climate related disasters, sees no increase caused by climate change:
Professor John McAneney, the director of Risk Frontiers, an independent research group funded mostly by the insurance industry, said that based on a database of natural hazard events in Australia, including some dating from 1803, “there has been no increase in the frequency of natural hazard events since 1950"…
“When this data set, and many other data sets in different jurisdictions across the world and for many different perils, is corrected for the increases in numbers of buildings at risk and their value, no long-term trend remains,” Professor McAneney said. ‘’It is indisputable that the rising toll of natural disasters is due to more people and assets at risk.”
Or let’s take the weather event most exploited over the past months by the president and his allies - Tropical Storm Sandy.
Pielke compares the normalised losses created by Sandy to that caused by previous storms and cyclones and discovers nothing unusual:
Late last year, the British Met Office released data showing no statistically significant warming for 16 years. Another data set from the Remote Sensing Systems Microwave Sounding Units even shows a slight cooling since 1997 though, again, it’s not statistically significant…

The IPCC insists that some jiggling of the temperature data it uses means “all products now show a warming trend since 1998” but it still concedes—and this is the important bit—“none of these are statistically significant”.

None. Other prominent scientists are more upfront.

“The data confirms the existence of a ‘pause’ in the warming,” confirms Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Why do so many warmist politicians lie about global warming? Why are they in denial about the science?

One of Australia’s most mendacious politicians, in charge of the most mendacious public policy in our history, is Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.
Yet he has the hide to today call Tony Abbott “deceitful” and “Australia’s biggest bullshit artist”.
If Abbott used such a term the commentariat would be in uproar. Yet watch Combet be forgiven the most cheap and personal abuse, using language you wouldn’t repeat before children.
Combet is a disgrace and lowers the standards of parliament.
The truest “bullshit artist” is the man blowing billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on futile attempts to “stop” a global warming that actually paused 16 years ago, while committing us to a carbon trading system that is developing a massive black hole. He is a man falsely claiming we’re not ahead of the world and that climate catastrophes are increasing.
Combet will go down in history as a man who, given power, tried to convince Australia of a catastrophic warming that was bogus, and peddled multi-billion-dollar plans that were pure snake oil. The Elmer Gantry of Australian politics, spitting venom as his great scam collapsed. Windtowers around the country will stand as momuments to his colossal folly.


Marco Rubio’s sip in reply

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(4:07pm)

Little things can give people away. The nervousness and and awkward haste suggests a man less sure of himself than you’d want in a president.
That said, I believe that Rubio’s response to the State of the Union address was excellent. It won’t move the needle; that’s too much to expect from such a speech. The significance of the speech lies in its character as an audition of a promising party leader.
In my opinion, Rubio more than passed the audition. He “called” the president where he needed to be called — the debt, problems with Obamacare, the sequester (which he noted was Obama’s idea), and so forth. But Rubio was more about presenting a positive, conservative vision. Tonight, I believe he lived up to John’s advance billing, i.e., that “no one articulates the conservative vision better.”
As for immigration, Rubio shrewdly had little to say, and nothing to say (unless I missed it) about a path to citizenship. I’ll give the Senator this much credit — apparently he’s not going to stick his neck out any further than he already has on the citizenship side until he’s more satisfied than currently on the border security side.
In his address before a joint session of Congress, Mr. Obama told lawmakers, “We need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them.” The president laid out a series of actions Washington can take to revive the economy, including investments in the private sector. 
Rubio, however, charged tonight that Mr. Obama considers a free enterprise economy as “the cause of our problems.” 
“His solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more,” Rubio said of the president. “And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle class taxpayers - that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried...” 
Rubio addressed areas in which Republicans believe government should act, such as energy policy: “Of course solar and wind energy should be a part of our energy portfolio,” he said. “But God also blessed America with abundant coal, oil and natural gas. Instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so-called ‘clean energy’ companies like Solyndra, let’s open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration.”


Your politicians, your government, your money

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(10:30am)

Plenty of reason to wish for a giant broom to sweep out Parliament - and some grossly expensive schemes with it. From Senate estimates hearings last night, as the Liberals press Communications Minister Steve Conroy and NBN head Mike Quigley for data:
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: And that paragraph states: “Now that NBN Co has reached volume rollout it is impractical for NBN Co to provide ad hoc updates on financial and deployment metrics to a level of granularity not already provided for in public releases, parliamentary reporting processes and regular rollout information provided on our website for the use of access seekers.” ...
STEPHEN CONROY: I think if you actually took the time to do your own research instead of wasting taxpayers’ money you’d find almost everything that you were seeking - almost everything - is available online on NBN’s websites. All the construction, all of this sort of- it’s actually all there if you’re not too lazy to go and look for it....
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: Senator Conroy, I listen to your diatribe in silence.
BILL HEFFERNAN: Full of shit.
STEPHEN CONROY: You’ve obviously been drinking. Go somewhere else and annoy somebody else.
STEPHEN CONROY: Go somewhere else.
BILL HEFFERNAN: You can withdraw that if you like.
(Senator Conroy laughs)
I haven’t been bloody drinking.
DOUG CAMERON: Senator Heffernan, will you withdraw that remark that said that Mr Quigley is brain dead?
(Sound of Senator Heffernan speaking in the background)
Will you withdraw, will you withdraw?…
BILL HEFFERNAN: I think he should withdraw…
DOUG CAMERON: You should withdraw- thanks. Senator Birmingham…
BILL HEFFERNAN: But I’d like to hear him talk. Can you talk?
MIKE QUIGLEY: Bill, please.
DOUG CAMERON: Mr Quigley, do not engage with Senator Heffernan.
DOUG CAMERON: It would be totally counterproductive…
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: How many new customers has NBN Co signed up in Tasmania in the last 12 months?
STEPHEN CONROY: Ah… I’m happy to take that on notice.
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: You did take it on notice and we didn’t get a bloody answer!


The constitution is not racist, but “reformers” plan to make it so

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(10:03am)

The ABC peddles the Left’s spin: 
TONY EASTLEY: It’s five years today since Kevin Rudd as prime minister made the landmark apology to Indigenous Australians for the grief, mistreatment and suffering endured since European settlers landed two centuries ago.
There’s still more to be done, including reworking the outdated and racist wording of the Constitution. In Canberra today MPs will take the next step towards that reform.
In fact, as Keith Windschuttle noted, there is nothing racist in the Constitution, despite the claims of a Gillard-appointed panel demanding change:
The panel’s first recommendation is for the repeal of Section 25, which says in full: 
For the purposes of the last section, if by the law of any State, all persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State, then, in reckoning the number of people of the State or of the Commonwealth, persons of the race resident in that state shall not be counted.
[Panel members] Langton and Davis claim to have legal opinion that Section 25 could be interpreted as contemplating a denial of the franchise on the grounds of race. But the real reason this section was included was because in the 1890s Queensland and Western Australia did not allow full-blood Aborigines to vote in state elections. The framers of the Constitution wanted a measure to bring both states into line with all the others where Aborigines did have the franchise. The section was designed to penalize, by reducing their federal representation, those states that did not conform. In other words, rather than denying them the franchise, the framers of the Constitution supported giving all Aborigines that right from the very outset…

The only other passage the panel identifies as racially offensive is Section 51 (xxvi). This reads in full: 
The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to: (xxvi.) The people of any race, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws.
Again, unless the panel failed to research its topic properly, it should have been well aware that not once since Federation has this section lent support to discrimination or racial abuse of Aboriginal people. Every time state and Commonwealth laws in this field have been tested in the High Court, their intention has been found to be for the benefit of Aboriginal people.
PETER LLOYD: And so to Canberra where today MPs will start the debate about some proposals. They include repealing a section which lets the government make special laws for, quote, “people of any race”, inserting sections that recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, bans racial discrimination and affirms English is our national language, while recognising that Indigenous languages were the nation’s first tongues.
Two questions:
- Do you think we should treat each other equally, regardless of “race” or ethnicity?
- Then why do you want a new Constitution that treats people differently on the grounds of race?
But what a wonderful opportunity for the ABC to peddle dubious atrocity stories: 
Between now and then you’ll be hearing and seeing a younger generation of Indigenous faces stepping up to sell the case for why this all matters.
One of them is Jason Glanville, a whiz kid leader and mentor and businessmanwhose grandmother was seized as a teenager and enslaved as a servant for four years.
Enslaved? Seriously? Australia had slavery now?
Glanville’s grandmother was raised in a Cootamundra home for Aboriginal girls deemed in need of help, and received vocational training to help her find work as domestic help. That home has been long the target of unlikely atrocity claims by “stolen generations” activists.


SBS bullies employees with dissident political views

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(9:02am)

This SBS email discriminates against employees who (rightly) believe the “stolen generations” is a misnomer or even myth, or that the apology was a pointless or even damaging piece of political theatre:
Brought to you on behalf of SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid and NITV Channel Manager Tanya Denning. 
SBS acknowledges the fifth anniversary of the National Apology. On 13 February 2008 the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, moved a motion of apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples with specific reference to the Stolen Generations in the Australian Parliament. The Apology Speech formally recognised and condoned the terrible loss and pain caused by successive Australian Governments when children were stolen from their families and communities torn apart.
To help us commemorate this day please join us on Wednesday 13 February from 11:00am – 12:00pm in the Conference Room in Melbourne and the Atrium in Sydney to quietly reflect on how we are travelling with reconciliation by signing an SBS Pledge Book (arrangements are being made for Canberra employees). The SBS Pledge Books are designed to present an opportunity for SBS employees to document their personal messages of commitment to healing for the Stolen Generations and to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
How dare SBS pressure employees into holding a particular set of political views? This is impertinent, patronising and offensive - and the kind of conduct that could well constitute work-place harassment under the Gillard Government’s proposed discrimination laws.
(Thanks to reader J.)


How to spot a fake local. He supports Gillard

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(8:54am)

Labor - or one of its public service supporters - doesn’t dare leave it to locals to speak for themselves:
The management of the Colac Hospital in south-western Victoria blamed Commonwealth funding cuts for a decision to close its overnight emergency care centre.
The editor of the Colac Herald, David McKenzie, says the newspaper’s website received many comments from people purporting to be locals who defended the Federal Government.
But Mr McKenzie became suspicious when the comments online did not match the general community reaction.
“Then I noticed that a lot of those comments were from the same IP address,” he said.
“On closer inspection they weren’t real email addresses but they were all from the same IP address from Parliament House in Canberra.
“They show up as the Department of Parliamentary Services… But these people were pretending to be employees of Colac companies, general people in our community, grass-roots people.”
(Thanks to reader Keith.)


Snow falls, alarmists perform u-turn on skis

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(8:28am)

 Global warming - dud predictions
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Third Assessment Report in 2001 was clear:
In the US this week: 
A BEHEMOTH storm packing hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions has swept through the US Northeast, dumping more than half a metre of snow on New England and knocking out power to 650,000 homes and businesses.

Revisions are hastily made, as James M. Taylor notes:
Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, and Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, explained to the media at the UCS press conference why they believe global warming caused the heavy snowfalls in the northeast these past two winters…
During the question and answer portion of the UCS press conference, I quoted the IPCC Third Assessment Report and asked Masters and Serreze if they were saying IPCC was wrong on the science.
“I would say that we always learn,” replied Serreze. “Have we learned a great deal since the IPCC 2001 report? I would say yes, we have. Climate science, like any other field, is a constantly evolving field and we are always learning.”.. 
The IPCC Third Assessment Report was as straightforward as one can get asserting that global warming would cause a decline in heavy snow events… But now that real-world evidence has proven IPCC wrong, the alarmists have pulled an about-face and are claiming global warming is causing more frequent heavy snow events.
The next time alarmists talk about “settled science”, tell them about the snow job.
(Thanks to reader handjive.)


Another Labor tax to raise less than already spent

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(8:18am)

 Carbon tax
It’s not just the mining tax.
Here’s another tax the Gillard Government has designed that will raise less than expected, even though the revenue has also been promised in handouts: 
The government’s carbon pricing scheme was based on forecasts that the market-based carbon price would continue to rise steadily after a $25.40 a tonne fixed price in 2015 converts to a floating price.
But unreported modelling for the Climate Change Authority reveals a central case used to calculate the economic impact of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) assumes the carbon price will “fall from July 2015” to $10.72 a tonne. European carbon prices are currently trading at $5 to $6, making a fall in the Australian price more likely. 
I am surprised the Opposition has not raised the implications of the fall in the world price for carbon allowances on the Government’s budget forecasts. It’s been so obviously a looming disaster for Labor.
Bad enough as the mining tax is, in its own fundamentally flawed right, even more ominously it points to exactly the same incompetence, but on a much bigger scale, with the carbon tax. As with the mining tax, the PM, Treasurer and Treasury have locked in the revenue expected with a $23 tax—and rushed to spend every penny before a penny arrived.
So what happens when, and if, we link to Europe and its carbon price of less than $10? The spending commitments are locked in; the revenue won’t arrive.
No doubt Julia and Wayne will blame it on the GFC.
I’d nominate a different culprit. Stupidity.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 


Bolt Report returns on March 3

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(7:38am)

Insiders in some controversy over ratings.  Meanwhile, I am told The Bolt Report will be back on air on Channel 10 at 10am on March 3.
Set your timers now.
It’s not an explicit bias, acknowledged and open, that makes the ABC so frustrating. It’s the implicit, unexamined one that leads interviewers to assume what they should question and to treat promises as deeds: 
Jon Faine with Tony Abbott, ABC 774 Melbourne, April 17, 2012:
FAINE: If you do offer in-principle support for it (the National Disability Insurance Scheme), how do you pay for it without a mining tax?

Abbott: ... out of the budget, which is what the Productivity Commission recommended.

Faine: A budget that factors in a mining tax. ... You say you’ll repeal it. So, how will you pay for the NDIS if you’re in government?

Abbott: Well, out of the budget ...

Faine: But Labor will pay for it in part through its tax reforms and a mining tax. ... How will you pay for an NDIS?
Abbott: Well, one of the interesting features about the mining tax is that I think the government is highly unlikely to raise anything like the revenue that it says it will, because all of the big companies say that they’re not going to be paying it.

Faine: That’s their problem. I’m asking you about yours.

Abbott: Well, we will meet the costs of the NDIS from the budget ...

Faine: Without the mining tax, how do you do that? It’s not a magic pudding.
Faine actually put the words “mining tax” and “not a magic pudding” in very close proximity yet failed to connect them. As is now obvious to all, there is no way in this wide world that the pathetic mining tax, which collected just $126 million in its first six months, can pay for the Government’s planned NDIS, conservatively estimated to cost $6 billion a year.
So Faine’s question, highlighted above, should in fact have been: 
If you do offer in-principle support for it (the National Disability Insurance Scheme), how do you pay for it with a mining tax?


Rudd takes revenge on Swan, who owes an apology

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(7:16am)

Kevin Rudd was dumped as Prime Minister after his government tried to hit miners with a bungled super-profits tax. The rejigged mining tax designed after his removal has now raised less than one eighth of the revenue that was expected and already spent.
So who is to blame for the debacle? Rudd is only too pleased to name that incompetent man:
‘’Well,’’ said Rudd, ‘’The origin of the mining tax, as you know, came from the Henry Review which was established by the Treasurer [Wayne Swan]. TheTreasurer brought it to the relevant ministers of the government including then deputy prime minister [Julia Gillard] and myself. We supported the Treasurer’s decision.’’

Interviewer, David Speers: Sorry, Wayne Swan’s proposal for the mining tax?

Rudd: ‘’Yeah, yeah, and the government supported him, led by myself and other senior ministers. Of course after the government’s leadership changed,the Treasurer and the new Prime Minister elected to make some significant changes to the structure of the tax. I think we are all familiar with what those changes are. So, I think in terms of any future changes to the tax, given the fact that it has not collected any real revenue of any significance so far, that really is a matter for the Prime Minister and the Treasurer to consider and I’ll leave it with them …’’
Wayne Swan specialises on perhaps this government’s defining characteristic - to meet argument with personal abuse. And there is no fouler example than this - Swan accusing miner Twiggy Forrest in 2011 of being a tax dodger for warning of exactly the flaw that has made Swan’s mining tax a colossal flop:
Mr Forrest said new analysis by accounting firm BDO revealed Treasury forecasts of an $11 billion budget boost from the MRRT were an ‘’absolute fiction’’.
He said tax would allow the world’s biggest miners to wipe out Australia’s smallest because of the huge deductions available for the industry’s biggest players… With the MRRT now being debated in the parliament, Mr Forrest has been meeting key independents Rob Oakeshott, Bob Katter and Andrew Wilkie…
‘’They were quite shocked,’’ he said.
That last bit raises this question for reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
If they were shocked by what Twiggy told them, it begs the question why did Wilkie and Rob ‘I was duped’ Oakeshott vote to pass the MRRT legislation?
The Tasmanian independent told Fairfax Media he had been wrong to believe Treasury predictions of company liabilities under the renegotiated tax instead of the alternative arguments put forward at the time by Fortescue Metals Group’s Andrew Forrest…
‘’It is beyond argument that the government was wrong, is wrong, and Andrew Forrest is right,’’ he said.He said the government owed Mr Forrest an apology for ignoring his warnings that the depreciation allowances were too generous.
The first mining tax was far too antagonistic to the industry and became pivotal in the destruction of Kevin Rudd’s leadership while the second tax is far too ineffectual and undermines Julia Gillard’s economic credentials.
Swan is in the gun for this extraordinary bungle, but in 2010 it was Julia Gillard who took most of the credit for negotiating this dud mining tax: 
PM: ... I’ve obviously stamped my authority on these negotiations, the way I wanted them conducted… This was a big item on my to-do list, and we’ve got it done....
MITCHELL: So did Kevin Rudd muck it up?

PM: Well Neil, you know, I’ve taken a different approach. And obviously I believe the approach has paid dividends with this breakthrough signed last night and announced this morning.
No tax for the big miners to pay for a long time yet:
Mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have built up a $1.7 billion arsenal of tax credits - and do not have to pay any mining tax until they are used up.
...we’ve of course ended up with a tax that doesn’t raise much revenue but which at the same time manages to be a major negative for the resources industry.
That’s a combination that takes some genius… Aside from the sheer all-encompassing incompetence, the single most troubling aspect of the mining tax debacle is the complete inability of the Prime Minister and the Treasurer to understand its fundamental flaw - even though they are using the (unseen) flaw as the basis for justifying why it isn’t going to raise much revenue…
As Gillard and Swan keep intoning like a pair of wind-up dolls, when profits are high, the tax will be high; when profits are low, it’ll be low.
Doh. Precisely. And that is precisely why you don’t do what the duo then set about precisely doing: spending the money which was expected to be raised on new recurrent spending.


Is this all there is to Australian sport’s “blackest day”?

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(6:48am)

The good name of Australian sport has been utterly trashed - over allegations so thin that no police anywhere are yet investigating:
ACC chief executive John Lawler, under pressure to defend his agency’s handling of last week’s sensational report warning crime gangs were infiltrating the major professional sports, said the operation had largely gathered intelligence rather than evidence and was not intended to result in arrests. “The purpose of such an operation is not to make arrests,” Mr Lawler told Senate estimates yesterday. “The purpose is to understand the threat, risk and vulnerabilities.”..
In an interview with The Australian, ACC executive director Paul Jevtovic confirmed the dissemination of intelligence from the report had yet to result in a single active police investigation.
Essendon was the first club identified as being a target of the ACC investigation and has been widely pilloried for allegedly wide-spread use of performance-enhancing drugs. Yet the ACC seems to have been remarkably relaxed over what it itself found: 
The Australian understands no current Essendon player was examined by the ACC despite the AFL club being the subject of serious doping allegations… It can also be revealed that Stephen Dank, the scientist who designed and administered the club’s 2012 treatment program suspected of breaching anti-doping rules, appeared twice before the ACC… It is understood he was not accused of committing a crime in the course of either interview. 
As for the six NRL clubs since identified:
Less than a week after the Australian Crime Commission went public with claims that drug use was rampant across the codes, five of the six NRL clubs implicated in the report emerged from meetings with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency confident they had little to fear… Only Cronulla declined to comment on its talks with ASADA ...
There is one gain for the Gillard Government, which magnified the damage by having two ministers hold a press conference to trumpet the report and lecture sporting codes on their shame. The ACC is takingthe blame for suggesting the stunt:
Mr Lawler also defended his decision to invite federal ministers and the heads of the major sports to Canberra to the public release of the report, saying the highly public launch had delivered an “important message of public safety” about drugs in sport.
Well, actually the message sent wasn’t about “public safety” about drugs in sport, but how Australia sport was allegedly corrupt, with widespread drug use, match fixing and organised crime links.

The match fixing allegations boil down to one unspecified allegation involving one game in one code: 
AN NRL game held in Sydney is understood to have been identified by the Australian Crime Commission’s probe into sport as an instance of suspected match fixing.

It is believed NSW Police have been told about the suspect game, which was referred to last Thursday by Federal Justice Minister Jason Clare, who said authorities were investigating a potential case of match fixing with links with organised crime and doping in Australian professional sport.
Does this really justify smearing all Australian sport last week? Enormous damage was done to the international reputation of our athletes, and for too little reason that anyone can yet see.
Flanked by the earnest-looking [Justice Minister Jason] Clare and Sport Minister Kate Lundy, an even more earnest-looking ACC chief executive John Lawler outlined what everyone with an IQ over 20 already knew. Customs and Border Protection agencies were seizing record amounts of performance-enhancing drugs destined for, wait for it, athletes. There were also groundbreaking revelations that organised crime had become involved.


I, like many others, waited keenly for the Lance Armstrong moment, when a prominent athlete would be led away in handcuffs.

It never occurred and probably never will…
What I did notice were some very bewildered sporting code executives with looks on their faces that said: “Why am I here and where is the evidence I can take back to my board to explain the enormous damage you have just done to our sport?”

The dust has now settled and questions are being asked about the veracity of the allegations and the timing of this “event"…
I don’t suggest for one minute that ACC’s revelation came as the Gillard government was reeling from Act IV of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption sellout play, “The Obeids”, and the emerging scandal of “Thredbo-gate” - how a couple of prominent Gillard government ministers took advantage of free skiing at one of our most expensive playgrounds.


The core of Labor’s troubles: the applause of the ABC

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY132013(12:07am)

I agree with Sinclair Davidson, who says that among the many fine contributions made by the IPA’s James Paterson to Monday’s Q&A, this remark stood out:
JAMES PATERSON: And so, thank you, Corinne, for that excellent suggestion. But I have to take exception to one thing that Senator Evans said and that is that we can take applause on Q&A as a representative sample of the Australian population. I suspect if the Labor Government is using that instead of real polls maybe that is why they’re in such a bad state.
What Paterson had to say about the Government’s free speech (see the clip) was similarly crisp and informed with great good sense. Labor should be ashamed that a young man in his early 20s can so clearly spell out flaws in proposed laws drafted by an army of Labor lawyers and apparatchiks nearly twice his age.


More reason for Emerson to apologise for being wrong about global warming

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY122013(8:59pm)

 Global warming - general
Attention Craig Emerson, Minister for Trade in the government which gave us the carbon tax.
Last week you claimed I was wrong to say the world hadn’t warmed for 16 years.
You refused to apologise or retract.
You refused to apologise or retract.
Today I will try again. Professor Sinclair Davidson has recalculated the temperature of the past 18 years using HADCRUT3 data and agrees:  from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming.
Craig, will you now apologise and retract?
Minister, when the facts change, do you change your opinion?
Cut & Paste helps Emerson by summing up in an easy-to-read way the counter-evidencehe must address.
Thanks to Emerson for calling into our 2GB show a few minutes ago (click on the link to listen). I had hoped to have a calm, point-by-point discussion of the science, but I am afraid it degenerated quickly - and I suspect this wasn’t just because I am too impatient for answers and too quick to respond.

I hope to transcribe bits of the discussion tomorrow.
In the meantime, Emerson’s arguments against there having been a pause in the warming for some 16 years were three-fold. Let me go through them.
Emerson’s first argument: The Met has noted that the past decade was warmer than the previous one. (Read the Met’s argument here.)
Status: fail.
I pointed out, this does not contradict the proposition that there has been a warming pause for 16 years.  It’s like saying I’m wrong to say my 18 year old hasn’t grown this past year, since he’s been taller these past five years than he was the five years before. There was indeed a warming from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s that has left temperatures at an elevated plateau. The temperatures remain high, but any temperature rise over the past 16 years is still nil or statistically insignificant.
Emerson’s second argument: Various global warming authorities say warming has occurred over the past half century and is man-made. 
Status: fail.
Global warming has occurred over the past half century and may - or may not - be largely human caused. But this does not contradict the proposition that there has been no statistically significant warming over the last 16 of those 50 years.  Again, my son has grown over the past 18 years, but that is not to say he’s grown over the past year.
Emerson’s third argument: Global warming authorities say warming will occur in the future and is man-made.
Status: fail. 
I agree that global warming may well resume, perhaps even this year, and it may or may not be man-made. But this does not contradict the proposition that the past 16 years, at least, have had no statistically significant warming. My son might have one final growth spurt, but that does change the fact that he hasn’t grown over the past year.
I hope I’m not being unfair to Emerson in summing up his arguments or in taking this chance to try to extract them from the yelling, filibustering and complaints of interruption and write them down here for greater clarity.
After all, a massive carbon tax has been imposed on the economy, and $10 billion of green energy schemes are being funded, on the basis of a belief by Emerson and his colleagues that the world is heating dangerously, thanks to man.
I think the world hasn’t heated at all, at least not by anything statistically significant, for 16 years and Emerson and his colleagues ought to know it and change their policies accordingly.
I am profoundly depressed that Emerson refuses to accept the facts and offers only patently flawed and misleading arguments to rebut the truth. I cannot believe he truly believes in his arguments, and am angry with myself that I did not make my arguments so clearly that he could no longer deny them. 


Tweeted by Roma Downey
Actor Neil Patrick Harris and Roma Downey photographed at the Grammy party! "So much fun! Neil is excited to see The Bible Series coming 3.3.13!"--Roma Downey
Roma plays the Mother Mary in the Bible Series. Neil Patrick Harris is not involved in the project, he is an excited fan like all of us here on Roma's Official Facebook who can't wait to see it air on the History Channel on 3.3.13 for 5 Sunday evenings through Easter Sunday. He is spreading the word to others! Are you?

Beachy Head is a chalk headland in Southern England, close to the town of Eastbourne in the county of East Sussex, immediately east of the Seven Sisters. Beachy Head is located within the administrative area of the Eastbourne Borough Council which owns the land. The cliff there is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162 m (530 ft) above sea level. The peak allows views of the south east coast from Dungeness to the east, to Selsey Bill in the west. Its height has also made it one of the most notorious suicide spots in the world.


You can remain safe, secure and stable in these troubling times of shaking! This revelatory message expounds on the importance of building our lives on the firm, unshakable foundation of grace and the finished work of Jesus. When we count totally on the Lord's grace, instead of things man-made for every facet of our lives, we will enjoy true security and stability because what's built on His grace cannot be lost! If you want a rock-solid family life, career or ministry, then listen to His voice of grace today!




Check out this week's blog about the way in which the Sports Minister and others have gone about trashing the reputation of Australian sport:


Object at rest

If you have a digital file of your X-ray, you can now get it printed on your cast.

By Casttoo:


The Gull of Rodeo

This pic was shot towards the end of the SF - Marin Aperture Academy workshop this last weekend. I didn't have much time to shoot since the sun was setting fast and there were questions to be answered for at least half of the 13 people who were taking the class… I did a quick and fast hand held shot with my 50mm. That was good enough.
And as a woman, I don't relate to GIRLS. I didn't relate to Sex and the City either. I relate to The West Wing and The Sopranos. They are SO my life.
I had a great conversation with one of my favourite friends (yes, I rank them) about the show GIRLS. I said that I liked Marnie a lot and felt bad for her. My friend insisted Marnie was crazy and controlling and a psycho. I argued she was misunderstood and I sympathised with her. My friend then replied, "you must be a Marnie then" - Community Channel

Carnival in Venice.

Thou mayest not click like nor share till thou hast found the cat.

Italdesign Giugiaro Brivido concept

A room with a view in Greece


And things were still going so well on Valentine's day !!! 


I love you snowman.


Penelope attends a charity event in Beverly Hills

Paid to do it, but fails to make his friend's wife pregnant after 72 attempts


February 13th, 2013

The Northern Territory Government welcomes today’s announcement by Rio Tinto to keep the alumina refinery in Gove open.

Commitment by Rio Tinto to continue operating the refinery follows this week’s decision by the Northern Territory Government to supply enough gas to keep the operation open for ten years.

The Government will now proceed to finalise the necessary documents and formalise the arrangements for the release of gas as soon as possible.

A $1.2billion project is now likely in the Northern Territory, made up of approximately $500million in infrastructure upgrades to allow Eni to flow gas from Blacktip to Gove, $200million for Pacific Aluminium to convert their generators to gas at the Gove refinery, and approximately $500million to construct the new pipeline.

The Commonwealth Government has shown its support for the Northern Territory Government’s decision to release gas to Rio Tinto, and must now follow through on their commitment to underwrite the financing of a gas pipeline to Gove.

This signals the beginning of new opportunities for the Northern Territory with more than 700 new jobs to be created and a significant injection into the Territory economy.

Today’s decision has secured the future of Gove and will allow its community to look-ahead with certainty.

Last week’s meetings in London with Rio Tinto CEO, Sam Walsh, proved extremely valuable as I demonstrated my commitment to work with industry to grow the domestic gas market in the Northern Territory and nationally.

The complex negotiations to get gas to Gove also highlighted a need for a national pipeline grid, connecting the Northern Territory with the existing pipeline infrastructure across Australia.

I will continue to drive the agenda for a national energy policy incorporating the connection of a national pipeline grid. This issue has been well received during my recent meetings with international energy companies and my federal colleagues.


The more the public grows skeptical of the global warming hoax, the more desperate the charlatans behind it become. 

There is no global warming if by that one means a sudden, dramatic increase in the overall temperature of the Earth. It is not, nor ever was, caused by an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere; currently a miniscule 0.038 percent. Climate science has demonstrated that CO2 increases show up centuries after a major change in the Earth’s temperature, not before.

In recent testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Dr. John Christy, Alabama’s state climatologist, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, said, “It is popular again to claim that extreme events, such as the current central U.S. drought are evidence of human-caused climate change. Actually, the Earth is very large, the weather is very dynamic, and extreme events will continue to occur somewhere, every year, naturally. The recent ‘extremes’ were exceeded in previous decades.”

Recent examples of the Warmists to convince the public that the Earth is in peril include an opinion by the president of the radical Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp, in The Wall Street Journal, and a PBS television report featuring NASA’s Dr. James Hansen, offering a statistical analysis as bogus as his 1988 testimony that global warming was man-made and going to kill us all if we didn’t destroy the economy by outlawing CO2 emissions.

For More :


Justin Bieber sloth


{Ephesians 3:17-19}
"That CHRIST may dwell in your hearts by Faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in Love"

"May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height"

"And to know the LOVE of CHRIST which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of GOD"



Valentines Day is tomorrow ! Have you made your plans yet ? ♥


Do you think this is worth $2,100?

Astronomers are asking for help in naming two newly discovered moons of Pluto, P4 and P5. Find out how to cast your vote here:

When we were little children and full of fear, our first instinct would be to grab our parents hand for comfort. When we grow up and are faced with a situation of fear we can still grab our Fathers hand for comfort. God is always with us. He will never leave us. 

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

Nice place to put a tree, Canberra! O.o
Regardless of the odds stacked against you, God’s favor can and will turn things around for you (Mk 10:27).





This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.—Josh 1:8–9

Joshua was appointed the new leader of Israel after Moses died and he was to bring God’s people into the Promised Land. Not an easy task at all! Moses had been a great leader and left big shoes for Joshua to fill.

Yet, Joshua managed to lead the people into their promised land. What was Joshua’s secret to good success? Well, the Bible tells us that he meditated on God’s Word day and night, and God caused all that his hands touched to prosper.

Beloved, have you been given new responsibilities at work? Are you feeling the weight of expectations on you? Why not open your Bible, pick a scripture and start meditating on it throughout the day?

Speak the words to yourself, and let the Word of Christ feed and nourish you, strengthen you, and impart wisdom and favor to you. You will surely see good success for any task that is in your hands today, for God’s way always produces supernatural results!


The pilot episode of PRI's POP 101 series, this video takes a fresh, humorous approach to the demographic issues facing the world today. Be sure to watch the sequel here:

Visit and spread the word: the world is not overpopulated!

 his family in the 1989 movie National Lampoons; Christmas Vacation. 

It should be live on Sky (A-Pac) and ABC News Radio (630 on the AM dial)

The colossal forecasting error by the Treasurer, promising $15 billion worth of expenditure, and expecting this revenue to come from the mining tax – but with mining tax only raising a fraction of what he forecast – has left the Australia with no money to pay for Labor's promises.

Likewise, in the movie National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, expecting to receive a Xmas bonus, Clark Griswald wrote cheques before he’d received the bonus - and instead of receiving a fat bonus check, he got one year’s free membership to the ‘Jelly of the Month Club’.

And although Labor’s mining tax has grossed $126 million, when you remove the lower company tax payments and the admin costs, it has raised almost nothing – in fact the country would probably be better off with free membership for the ‘Jelly of the Month Club’ than Labor's Mining Tax.> Craig Kelly

Because of Jesus' finished work, you have the same favor that He has with God. And all the Father’s promises of provision, healing and restoration are yours! Check out today's devotional. Be sure to click "like" to help spread the word! Thanks, all!

Our FINAL EPISODE is about to begin! Hit 'Like' if you’re tuning in and share your thoughts below, or on Twitter using #NextStopHollywood
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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for February 12th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Biden: We’re counting on the ‘legitimate news media’ to help spread our message on guns

Who is Joe Biden talking about when he says “legitimate media”?

Sheila Jackson Lee on staking out an aisle seat for some TV face time before SOTU: I’m always working on behalf of my constituents

Sheila Jackson Lee might think her constituency is ill-informed on some issues (hard to argue with her there — after all, they keep electing Sheila Jackson Lee), but that doesn’t stop her from tirelessly working on their behalf by spending several hours holding an aisle seat for State of the Union speeches...

Candy Crowley asks panel: Was Dr. Carson’s prayer breakfast speech offensive?

By now you may have already listened to the speech that Baltimore neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast last week...

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Another great example of Democrats' commitment to prioritizing.

Michelle's Top Tweets

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But that couch is super-comfy.
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