Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sun 24th Mar Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Vanna EngChris Hubbard and Zyzz Sergeyevich. Zyzz was an inspiration, and he passed too soon .. it is good to be fit. But not good to take it to extremes ..

Julia Gillard’s cabinet purge leaves shallow talent pool

Piers Akerman – Sunday, March 24, 2013 (12:13am)

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard repeatedly claims that she is busy governing but that is just another Gillard falsehood.


Julia’s betrayed the sisterhood

Miranda Devine – Sunday, March 24, 2013 (12:14am)

Would Julia Gillard still be prime minister if she were not a woman? She has managed to split her party and the nation, sowing division and discord on gender, class and xenophobic lines that have won her the approval of Pauline Hanson but few others. 


Violence unpunished, death encouraged

Miranda Devine – Sunday, March 24, 2013 (12:05am)

One of the roles of courts is to apply sentences that act as a deterrent. 



Tim Blair – Sunday, March 24, 2013 (2:26pm)

Earth Hour powers up
In a break from the usual Earth Hour protocol, selected venues – including the Opera house and the Arts Centre Melbourne – glowed a dark green to represent the campaign’s push for people to embrace renewable energy. 
So they used light to mark an event that calls on people to turn lights off. Makes sense. Meanwhile, reader Don N. hit the on switch for 117 lights plus three heaters:


“The lights on the wall,” writes Don, “can be seen from a long way away.” Tony M. emails: “Here’s how it passed in our (messy) house. I tried to go the whole hog and even put the oven light on. Fix your eyes on the antler horns, move down a bit, then to the right.” Always good advice:


Richard G. enjoyed North Korea hour with some freestyle car revving and total household illumination:


“Happy Hour of Power everyone,” emails Steph’s Mum. “Things are buzzing at my place. To all the cave dwellers, this is how to light up your feline friends safely.” Behold electrocat:


Andrew S. collected an Earth Hour pamphlet at Melbourne’s Dandenong Plaza and forced the poor document to witness Gaia’s humiliation:


A minimalist study from Lawrie of Wingham depicts his addition this year of a 1500 watt floodlight to our Hour of Power festivities:


“We are winning,” writes Lawrie. “Global warming is dead except at Fairfax and the ABC and let’s not forget our bought and paid for CSIRO. Keep up your brilliant work.” Will do, sir. AndyG55 loaded 2000w+ of stage lights into his backyard and set the night ablaze:


Further from Andy:


At half time in the Easts v Broncos game, Dominic P. recorded this Hour of Power tribute:


The Clarence Valley is home to Neal M., who at 81 finds his Hour of Power enthusiasm undimmed:


“Here is my tribute to Earth Hour,” emails Howie M. “A shot I took a while ago of my VZ Holden wagon in all its glory!”


Howie was also visited last night by the Illuminitroll, an Australian spirit creature that blesses Hour of Power participants. May we all bask in his light again next year.


Bolt Report today

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(11:00am)

Here we go… with Tony Abbott, Michael Kroger and Cassandra Wilkinson.
Video of the show here.
The transcript of my interview with Tony Abbott: 
24 MARCH 2013
ANDREW BOLT, PRESENTER: Last week couldn’t have gone better for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. The unpopular Julia Gillard stays Prime Minister, and the very popular Kevin Rudd has been forced to promise he will never lead Labor again. Tony Abbott, thanks for joining me. Do you believe Kevin Rudd is out for good? 


How now, Brown’s cow of a solar idea

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(10:21am)

Well, it is the way to go. The Greens have recently rescued the proposals for base load solar power stations, which will go in rural and regional Australia to make sure they are progressing.... We want this country to be at the cutting edge. I repeat, the example is firm and true. In Germany, where they did this because the Greens were in the balance of power, they have created 350,000 jobs. It was the strongest component of the German economy during the recent recession. It’s good economics.
Bosch said it will sell or shut down its heavily loss-making solar energy operations, the latest blow to the industry as Germany curbs green energy subsidies and cheap Chinese imports flood the market.
One problem? Germany isn’t getting much sun, what with all this snow and freezing weather: 
No, this year, Germany has not only been treated to the darkest winter on record, sending wretched residents to the brink of despair. To top it off, the official beginning of spring has also been marked with record snowfall...
(Thanks to reader David.)


Is this really our future?

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(10:16am)

Even if the NBN, now way behind its targets, is completed by 2021, will this technology really still be state of the art? Here’s what it looks like in your home: 
Does that look like the future?
(Thanks to reader Wally.)


A finger to the bullies, or someone

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(9:56am)

From the launch last week of Bully Australia (picture since removed from the web site):
Hmm. Not a great ad for the cause, or something else: 
(Thanks to reader Robert.)


Now they can’t be bothered saving Earth for even an hour

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(6:11am)

No sign of Earth Hour (from 8.30pm) having made the slightest difference to electricity demand in NSW:
None in Victoria, when you take into account the huge spike afterwards: 
Reader SusieQ:
I attended a party in a tower at Docklands last night, and was there from about 7.45pm until midnight. I spent most of the evening admiring the view of city lights from the balcony. There was no visible sign of Earth Hour at all. I did not see any diminution in illumination at all. 
(Thanks to reader Baldrick.)


Everybody else out

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(5:53am)

It takes a lot of money and time to reach Petra esepcially from the Israel side of the border, and I’d sure be ticked off to have to waste two hours of it waiting for a freeloader:
In full sightseeing mode, Obama flew by helicopter to Petra for a two-hour walking tour of the restored ruins of a city more than 2,000 years old some of which is carved into sandstone cliffs.
Ordinary tourists had been cleared out for the president’s visit, and guards with assault weapons followed his every step.
Great site, though. Highly recommended.


Western jihadists practice in Syria

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(5:45am)

More than 1,000 Muslims from across Europe are currently active as Islamic jihadists, or holy warriors, in Syria, which has replaced Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia as the main destination for militant Islamists seeking to obtain immediate combat experience with little or no official scrutiny…
In Britain,… Foreign Secretary William Hague recently said, “Syria is now the number one destination for jihadists anywhere in the world today. This includes a number of individuals connected with the United Kingdom and other European countries. They may not pose a threat to us when they first go to Syria, but if they survive, some may return ideologically hardened and with experience of weapons and explosives.”
British authorities believe that more than 100 British Muslims have gone to fight in Syria in the hope of overthrowing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and replacing it with an Islamic state.
Many of the British Muslims in Syria have joined extremist groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra, the most dangerous and effective Sunni jihadist group fighting against the Assad regime. Jabhat al-Nusra, linked to al-Qaeda, was declared a terrorist organization by the United States in December 2012…
[A] British freelance photographer, John Cantlie, ... was abducted by a group of British jihadists near the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria....  In an account of his experience published in The Sunday Times on August 5, 2012..., Cantlie wrote: “I ended up running for my life, barefoot and handcuffed, while British jihadists—young men with south London accents—shot to kill. They were aiming their Kalashnikovs at a British journalist, Londoner against Londoner in a rocky landscape that looked like the Scottish Highlands. Bullets kicking up dirt as I ran. A bullet through my arm, another grazing my ear. And not a Syrian in sight. This wasn’t what I had expected.”


What will it take to make some people drop Labor?

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(5:28am)

After the week Labor has had, these catastrophic results come as a surprise. You mean a third of voters would still back Labor?
The exclusive Galaxy poll asked 1005 voters: “Do you think the Office of the Prime Minister has been damaged by Labor’s leadership instability?”
While 87 per cent of Coalition voters said yes, most telling was that 56 per cent of Labor voters also agreed…
But voters are divided over whether an early election is the answer, with just 44 per cent - only slightly higher than in earlier polls - wanting to vote as soon as possible…
Support for the Labor Party is unchanged at a rock-bottom 32 per cent, a result that would mean Ms Gillard presides over the lowest primary vote since the 1930s and loses up to 18 seats.
Labor will count itself lucky some people are so tribal: 
Reader TdeF:
On a sample of only 1005 people a 1% swing is just 10 people. Random variation is 3% so Labor could be as low as 28% or as high as 35%. It continues to show that only 1 out of 3 people intends to vote Labor. Many of these have vote Labor regardless.The figures also presume a steady 13% Green vote. After 5 years of Green madness, a lot of aspirational young voters might realise they have been conned. A drop in the Green vote as in WA from 12% to 8% would mean 2PP 40% to 60%, a swing of 10% and ALP electoral wipeout, especially in country and outer metropolitan areas.


When the best can’t back Gillard…

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(5:19am)

How far will this purge go?
Note how Gillard has purged ministers of the capability of Martin Ferguson. Simon Crean, Chris Bowen and (possibly) Anthony Albanese, yet keeps Stephen Conroy and Peter Garrett.


Torbay claim

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(5:15am)

THE Nationals were passed information claiming that former state MP Richard Torbay gave questionable evidence in a court case two decades ago while he was head of the University of New England Union.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal magistrate Roger Prowse passed on his concerns to the Nationals that evidence Mr Torbay gave in a criminal case - in which Mr Prowse appeared as a solicitor - conflicted with an earlier letter he had written to former university union colleague Thomas Peter Hudson.
The information was given to the Nationals 18 months before Mr Torbay was pre-selected by the party to run against independent Tony Windsor. The letter only emerged after Hudson had been convicted of illegally cashing cheques. Mr Torbay last week quit his position as University of New England chancellor and his Northern Tablelands seat.


No comment

Andrew BoltMARCH242013(12:01am)

 Free speech
I am told our absurd laws against free speech make it too dangerous for me to ask an obvious question of this Aboriginal climatologist, and to suggest a better way to get along with each other.
The Aboriginal climatologist is on the right.
Reader Jagger:
Gardening Australia has recently morphed from a relaxing, informative and educational gardening program for those of us who enjoy a bit of gardening to an earth worship crusade, born again green revolution indoctrination. I thought we were finally past all this nonsense? To the ABC, nose rubbing will simply not catch on. In fact it looks utterly ridiculous. This is Australia, not Borneo 1912. Move on! 
(Thanks to reader Chris.)


Wilkie warns: stability or early election

Andrew BoltMARCH232013(9:44pm)

Andrew Wilkie is the independent who, along with Bob Katter, is most likely to keep his seat, and therefore has less to lose for an early election: 
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said he’ll put a motion of no confidence to the next sitting of the House of Representatives on budget day, May 14.
Mr Wilkie said he had not made a decision on whether he would support the motion…
However, after a week that he described as an “unmitigated disaster” for Labor, marked by failure to pass its media reforms and the aborted leadership coup, Mr Wilkie said the government needed to get its act together.


So this explains which war? The terrorist attacks on the West? US involvement in Vietnam? Afghanistan? I am sure the propagandists which assert this simple notion would hurt anyone to defend it. - ed
I sang the piece and Particle Dots made a gift to me some years ago on iCompositions. Bryn reminded me of this piece recently, and because my earlier posts on this had weakly included the music file I decided to redo it in HD. 
I am in love, and she doesn't love me. This is ok, if a blow to my pride. I have some homework to do. It is my job to let her see how she seems through my eyes. It is also my job to listen to her. I am sure I will cross lines in pursuing my agenda. Not to harm her, but to find a way to include her as my friend. Maybe I cannot. Maybe my dream is merely a phantasm. And so I include these pictures which are real. 

To get these pictures, I needed to forgive my rapist. I did that, because I believe that God wants me to. 
I was raised as an Atheist. I learned, after reading the Bible, that God loves me, and you. This is his song for you too. He loves you, and wants to be with you. 
All the elements are me and mine. ARIA ISRC number AUAWN1303124


Seeing as everyone seems to be showing off their food here's my contribution! Yummy Nepali dinner

A cool shelf cloud I spotted out of the corner of my eye after a bust day in Nebraska. The cloud was illuminated by lightning within it and was only visible when the strikes happened. The trick to this was to do a long exposure with a high ISO, but not too long and not too high.

*Yawn* Who's awake now? We are! Adding the final bits and pieces to the short for Monday release!

So they say
“Clearly Anthony Albanese's position as Minister and Leader of the Government in the House of Representatives is untenable. During the previous leadership challenge, Mr Albanese tearfully declared his support for Kevin Rudd. He cannot be Leader of the Government in the House of Representatives if he is not a loyal supporter of the Leader of the Government and that is still Julia Gillard. Labor backbenchers like Laurie Ferguson consider Albanese to be a "gutless wonder". Mr Albanese does not believe Julia Gillard is Labor's best leader and the backbench has no confidence in him. If he has any honour he should follow the other Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Whips who have already resigned. If he won't go the Prime Minister must sack him or her house will still be divided.” - Warren Truss


The dark side of the Moon has long intrigued scientists, and not the shadow cast by the ever-changing alignment of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Rather, they're fascinated by the extreme poles of the Moon's surface that, due to its nearly perfectly perpendicular orbit in relation to the Sun, feature craters that haven't seen light in an estimated 2 billion years.

Such craters, for example, would be ripe for trapped volatiles like water.

Launched in June 2009 and costing $504 million, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been hard at work taking images of the Moon's surface, which NASA is now piecing together into stunning 3D images.

While the LRO lacks a stereo camera, scientists at NASA are creating anaglyph imaging by putting together images the spacecraft takes using lasers.



Last light at Davenport. The waves were smashing against the rocks, and I had to retreat hastily several times while attempting to get this shot. The long exposure flattened the ocean into a serene misty scene, but it was anything but that.



“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people.

The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?”

Girl's dream


Polls show a massive 71% believe the Office of PM has been trashed while other polling for the Government remains terminal. 

Blame can be sheeted home to Rudd but it is Gillard’s appalling judgment that has kept polling on bedrock.

Rudd could easily have been disposed of after his abortive February 2012 challenge but again Gillard’s vindictive nature over-rode her common sense.

She has shown her eagerness to accept every resignation offered no matter the loss of scarce talent to the Party.

I wrote on Februrary 2012, after the failed Rudd challenge: “...she (Gillard) has always maintained Rudd did an excellent job (as Foreign Minister) and he has done.

“There is no doubt that Rudd is the best Foreign Affairs Minister available and he loves the job. I believe he would accept the Ministry again, given a statement of confidence in him that was missing before.

“... will Gillard show good grace? It would be in her interest to do so because it would take Rudd from the back bench where he will still be a pest. Foreign Affairs could take him right out of the venom loop.

“Mmm, let’s see what Gillard is made of.”

Fast forward to today and we witness what Gillard is made of, and it has little to do with sound political judgment.

The worst option for Gillard was to leave Rudd stranded and alone on the backbench where he could plot a second coming.

Kevin Rudd was in his element in a first-class seat with his hairdryer, where he could practise his unintelligible Mandarin to his heart’s content in between abusing hosties. That’s our Kev.

He relished the crass trappings of Foreign Affairs and had paid in spades salivating over his anticipated UN seat.

At the time Rudd had rightly proffered his resignation but Gillard did not have to accept it. She chose feminist vindictiveness over magnanimity. She is now reaping the reward.

Kev would not have been a threat in Foreign Affairs but he was always going to be a mischievous menace with time on his hands on the back bench.

He was confined to watching the wench’s backside at the despatch box with bile welling in his bloated tummy.

Gillard was always going to receive another Kev salvo. It was just a matter of when and how.

But Gillard can’t plan more than a day ahead and when the corrupt Arbib flew the coop the Senate vacancy went to Bob Carr.

The unelected Carr was given Kev’s job. Can you imagine how such a double whammy must have affected Kev?

He had to sit and watch a bumbling Bob Carr occupy his beloved UN seat.

But vengeance has its penalties and a treacherous Carr has now turned on Gillard.

She is taking Labor to new lows with female venom always supplanting sound judgment.

This time, the damage to the Labor brand is immense and there is no-one left to turn to for electoral recovery.

And that’s just how our Julia wants it.


Something a bit more subdued… a rural scene from Western Pennsylvania.

(T). 15-year-old rape survivor has been sentenced to be whipped 100 times in public!

The girl's stepfather is accused of raping her for years and murdering the baby she bore. Now the court says she must be flogged for “sex outside marriage”! President Waheed of the Maldives is already feeling global pressure on this, and we can force him to save this girl and change the law to spare other victims this cruel fate. This is how we can end the War on Women – by standing up every time an outrage like this happens.

Exxon Valdez





[edit]Holidays and observances

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