Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wed 20th Mar Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Helen TranVinh Tran and John Wilson. Born on the same day as Freema Agyamen across the years. Making you like a friend with the Time Lord.

Aussies landed with fare for refugee taxi-driver lover

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, March 20, 2013 (3:31am)

HOTEL Australia is now open for dirty weekends.
That’s the clear message from the Refugee Review Tribunal which has given a refugee visa to an adulterous Iraqi taxi driver who thinks the cuckolded husband of his lover might hunt him down if he stayed in his home country.
This refugee racket is getting sillier and sillier.
We have already given asylum to one or more of Saddam Hussein’s executioners on the grounds that relatives of victims might want revenge.
Why wouldn’t they?
Saddam was one of the most barbaric dictators in the Middle East and his sons were just as monstrous.
The killers they employed show no mercy, and the now-empty torture chambers in the notorious Baghdad prisons they used are still haunting.
But Hotel Australia is open to anyone who can pay a people smuggler and convince the tribunal that their life may be at risk if they stuck around the scene of their crime – or in the case of the adulterer, their folly.
According to The Australian, the amorous Shia taxi driver was caught in a tryst with the wife of an Iraqi soldier.
He was, not surprisingly, chased through the streets and even had a few shots fired at him.
Although his asylum claim was initially rejected by the Immigration Department, the refugee was among more than 500 boatpeople to successfully appeal their case at the Refugee Review Tribunal since July.
The Australian reported that in the past eight months, three quarters of boatpeople who appealed against their failed asylum claims in the RRT have been rewarded with permanent residency in Australia.
The tribunal accepted the Iraqi man had no viable asylum claim under the 1951 Refugee Convention but decided to grant him “complementary protection” because he would probably have faced serious harm if returned.
Giving evidence to the tribunal, the taxi driver recounted how his 31-year marriage to a cousin had grown tiresome - including in the bedroom - when an attractive, unmarried 38-year-old woman hired his cab in 2006.
They struck up an instant rapport and, after five meetings, the infatuated man approached her family with a plan to divorce his wife and wed the younger woman.
The offer, which was made behind his wife’s back, was rebuffed. A marriage was instead arranged to the Iraqi soldier, whom her family liked better.
The taxi driver and his lover were apart for six months, until the woman began inviting him over for sex whenever her husband was at work, often twice a week.
The affair ended after 18 months, when the soldier came home earlier than expected at 9pm one night. The taxi driver was frightened for his life - extramarital relations are sometimes punished by “honour killing” in extreme Islamic circles—and jumped a wall into the front garden.
The soldier, recognising the taxi driver and incensed by what he had uncovered, drew his handgun and gave chase, firing several rounds at him through the darkness.
As the soldier and his family hunted for him, the taxi driver fled across Iraq’s southern border to Kuwait. The refugee’s family sought to negotiate a truce, but the soldier was in no mood to deal.
After flying to Malaysia, he reached Indonesia before making the treacherous month-long journey to Australia aboard a smuggler’s boat.
His mistress was beaten by her husband until she confessed the affair, and he then divorced her.
Refugee Review Tribunal member Rosemary Mathlin found in December that although he did not fear harm for a conventional reason - such as race or political opinion - she awarded “complementary protection” because it was “highly probable that if the applicant returns to Iraq he will be killed by the husband of his former lover”.
Ms Mathlin said it would be unreasonable to expect the man, from Thi Qar province in Iraq’s south, to resettle elsewhere in Iraq, such as a Shia neighbourhood in Baghdad, even if the husband did not find him.
“Without (tribal and family connections) he would face discrimination in relation to housing, employment and basic services, and . . . he may even face physical danger.”
Iraqi law prescribes a lesser sentence for ``honour killing’’ than it does for murder.
But why is Australia buying into what is little more than a blown-up domestic dispute?
If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.
This taxi-driver should have realised the meter was running against him when he started canoodling.
Aussies shouldn’t have to pick up the fare now. 


Misogyny and the strange final days of a desperate government

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, March 19, 2013 (7:54pm)

JULIA Gillard called Tony Abbott a misogynist again in Parliament Tuesday - but this time under her breath.
Perhaps she wanted to goad him, or perhaps the word has become a personal talisman. She doesn’t have much else, other than describing herself as a “strong, feisty woman” pitted against a “policy weak man”.
This kind of self praise and personal invective is hardly likely to endear the Prime Minister to voters.
But if there is any method in the madness of Canberra at present, it can only be that the government is fashioning a future Labor narrative. This will tell of a heroic reforming government trying to save the planet, support disabled people, reform education, protect the public from the media, and save Australian jobs.
But it is thwarted in this noble quest by the vested interests that really control the country: media barons, mining magnates, greedy billionaires and the Murdoch press.
In much the same way that an earlier generation came to see the Whitlam government as glorious, perhaps it is conceivable that one day history will rewrite the Gillard era.
But the people don’t see it that way, judging by rock-bottom opinion polls, which show the Coalition leading by eight points and Julia Gillard’s personal satisfaction rating plummeting. Tony Abbott is now preferred as prime minister by 49 per cent, compared to Gillard’s 43 per cent, according to Monday’s Nielsen poll.
His growing personal popularity destroys Labor’s main election strategy to cast Abbott as a “misogynist”.
The strategy was supposed to highlight the caricature of Abbott as a weird Catholic self-flagellating zealot determined to lock up women’s ovaries. Instead it released him from that straitjacket by focusing attention on his personal life.
Lo and behold, the public found a family man with three daughters and a wife who love him; and the icing on the cake, a gay sister with whom he has respectful debates about same-sex marriage.
Madison magazine is the latest to put the Opposition Leader to the test. Its April issue, out today, features Abbott grilled by a panel of women, including media personality Sarah Murdoch, feminist academic Dr Kate Gleeson and me, with best-selling author Sandra Lee moderating. The topics ranged from budgie smugglers and Malcolm Turnbull to abortion and gay marriage.
But despite the pink roses and convivial surroundings of Madison’s Park St offices, the conversation got fiery at times.
Murdoch said Gillard had used “misogyny as a political tool to distract from the real issue being discussed, (and that) was extremely offensive to me. Tony, it’s difficult for a man to be in that situation. You can’t defend yourself”.
Abbott then explained for the first time the effect Gillard’s October speech had on him: “I was bemused it was so over the top, a complete personal attack and so contrary to what I know myself to be.
“The Prime Minister, to her credit, made a virtue of never having played the gender card when she first came into the job and again, to her credit, never played the gender card until the position was particularly dire.”
That was a red rag to Gleeson: “How does one play the gender card?” she asked.
“A female accusing a male opponent of sexism and misogyny is playing the gender card,” said Abbott.
“The definition of a misogynist, unless it’s changed recently, is someone who hates women. And I don’t think there is the slightest evidence to say I am one.”
“We can give some examples of you being deeply sexist, if you like,” retorted Gleeson.
And it was on.
The most contentious topic for Gleeson was abortion. Because Abbott is a Catholic conservative, he is suspect in the eyes of the Emily’s List brigade who harp on a speech he gave in 2004 saying it was a tragedy that there are 100,000 abortions in Australia every year.
Abbott regrets some of the language he used then: “I should not have used the phrase ‘easy way’ (out). But I think a fair-minded reader of that speech would see the last thing I was trying to suggest was that just because I was a Catholic I had some kind of responsibility to impose Catholic social teaching on our polity. In fact, I completely rejected that.”
On gay marriage Abbott said he was “unpersuaded” but “I have been a bit personally torn on this because Chris (Forster), my sister, came out as gay four or five years ago ... And she is a very lively disputant. I have been well and truly buttonholed.”
He said he was “flabbergasted” when Forster told him she was leaving her marriage. “But, at the same time, you understand these things do happen. And in the case of anyone you love it shouldn’t mean that you cease to love that person because the essential person is unchanged.”
Asked to sum up his vision for Australia, he said: “I think people need to have purpose and meaning in their life. Everyone needs something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to.”
Which in the end is what women want as much as men.


Standing up for freedom

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, March 19, 2013 (7:50pm)

I WAS proud of my colleague Piers Akerman for his impassioned defence of freedom of the press on Sunday, even while being mocked by the giggling gerties on the couch of ABC-TV’s Insiders program.
It is astonishing that the other three journalists on the show did not comprehend how important the issue of press freedom is, nor how fragile.
Barrie Cassidy, Karen Middleton and Malcolm Farr thought it simply ridiculous of Piers to refer to totalitarian regimes.
“One of the things.. that the Soviet Union and… every despotic government has done is attack the freedom of the press”, he began.
Middleton interjected: “Piers Akerman, the human headline. Here we go”
The panel snickered and laughed.
Piers blew up: “I can’t believe I’m sitting here on a program with three journalists and you think that freedom of the press is a laughing matter. “.
A little later Cassidy asked: “Did the proprietors have this coming?”
Had it coming?
After the show, Channel Ten’s Paul Bongiorno joined the journalistic sneer team with this tweet: “Catch a repeat of Insiders on ABC24 tonight to see the rancid right hyperventilating over accountability they don’t want.”
Accountability? Is that what government regulation of the press is called by journalists now.
Akerman, a lifelong fan of Russian literature, travelled to the former Soviet Union as a journalist, and met people who had risked their lives to circumvent government censorship. He once sat in an editorial conference at the official government newspaper, Pravda – which is the Russian word for “truth”, in true Orwellian fashion, just as the Gillard government calls its press regulations “self regulation”.
He saw Pravda’s editorial committee discuss stories but unable to make editorial decisions because they had to wait for government approval.
Perhaps Australian journalists who fancy themselves too “sophisticated” to defend freedom just take it for granted.
They should talk to Vietnamese born radio broadcaster Viet Tran, OAM, who “trembles with fear” when he hears Senator Conroy talk of a politically appointed Public Interest Media Advocate.
“I have considered myself to be so lucky to live in a democratic country like Australia. Please let my children enjoy the same freedoms, among which freedom of the press is one of the most vital. They should not be forced to read the ruling party’s line of propaganda as I was earlier in my life.”
Or reader Antanas Kramilius of Fairfield: “I was a 12-year-old when Stalin’s tanks brought ``freedom’’ to Lithuania. In two weeks, all our newspapers were closed and some editors were arrested. Is that what this government in Australia is planning to do? Wake up Australians before is too late.”

Or Joseph Fernandez, former editor-in-chief of Malaysia’s Daily Express who worked under the threat of “arrest, intimidation and unemployment” by Mahathir Mohamad’s government.
“To me, having come from an environment where the government made no pretence whatsoever about licensing, these [Conroy] terms look to me like a default licensing strategy.”
Do we really have to experience repression to recognise the threat?



Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 20, 2013 (12:17pm)

Mummy blogger Fi reports: 
A couple of weeks ago I shared how I dined with the Prime Minister.
I promised a follow-up post, without the politics, and with more of the personal details we all love in the blogosphere.
I held off publishing this blog post as I was waiting to receive the pro photographs from the Prime Minister’s office.
They had taken some gorgeous photos of the PM with my darling Miss E and I and I wanted to publish them in this post.
Sadly, I was contacted by the PM’s office last week to inform me that all photographs were lost when they were deleted off the memory card by mistake. 
They can’t get anything right. Meanwhile, Joel Fitzgibbon despairs over Labor leaks
‘’Obviously, internally people are looking at the polls and they are expressing concern about the future of the government and indeed the party and you’ll get conversations and those conversations are, unfortunately, making their way into the media. We should keep them internal,’’ he said. 


Question of the week

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(6:37pm)

Malcolm Turnbull has been in top form lately:


If Crean’s her friend, Gillard needs no enemies

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(9:15am)

SIMON CREAN: The future for us is not in changing the leader. It’s demonstrating strength of leadership.
QUESTION: Is that happening?
SIMON CREAN: That’s what must happen.
QUESTION: But is it happening?
SIMON CREAN: That’s what we all have to resolve. It does happen.
QUESTION: But is it happening? Is Julia Gillard demonstrating
SIMON CREAN: I won’t give up trying to make it happen.
QUESTION: So it’s not happening?
SIMON CREAN: It’s happening in part.


When Conroy tries to silence a friend, what else might he do?

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(9:00am)

STEPHEN CONROY: Traditionally it has been a minister who has had a fair amount of sway. And what we’ve done is created a position, a statutory independent position, that can’t take direction from the Government.
BARRIE CASSIDY: But appointed by the Government?
STEPHEN CONROY: But so’s the head of the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority), the regulatory body that looks after your regulation here on television. I appoint Chris Chapman to head up the agency that administers broadcast standards. No-one suggests I give him a ring every day and say look, Barrie Cassidy gave me a hard time...
But here is what I suggest, Steve. That you have rung up a media boss to warn against them giving me a platform.
I am obliged to respect a confidentiality, so cannot yet give details.
Bit if that is what Conroy does already - and to silence someone he once called friend - what else might he do if given the chance?
Many observers, including numerous Labor colleagues, feel Conroy has let his hatred of Murdoch and News get the better of him. It now appears to have been a huge misjudgment that could be the catalyst to end Julia Gillard’s leadership.
Such a view of Conroy’s culpability ignores the fact that the Prime Minister shares his bloodlust against News and is said to have completely backed the introduction of the legislation. But the joy at Conroy’s pain shows the level of antipathy held by many in business, politics and the media.
Anyone who has been on the wrong side of Conroy – and it is not a small club – is unlikely to forget the experience quickly.
In July 2009 the Communications Minister took personal exception to a page one feature I had written in The Australian Financial Review. It suggested that Telstra held the trump card in its negotiations with Labor’s national broadband network because NBN Co needed access to the telco’s ageing copper network.
On the morning the story appeared, Conroy called to explain why I was an utter disgrace to journalism. Confidentiality prevents me from disclosing what he said. But he was by turns barking with rage, quietly menacing, overbearing and profane.
This is a Minister now wanting more say over how the press reports. How could you possibly trust him?


Labor uses doctored evidence to grab state control of the media

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(8:21am)

 Free speech
How despicable - and hypocritical. The deceitful Gillard Government itself doctors a quote to justify its attack on the free press:
Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, used the example of an offer to double contributions as evidence for the need to reform the Press Council and appoint a Public Interest Media Advocate…
But the former head of the Australian Press Council, Professor Ken McKinnon, said tonight the conversation which he related to an inquiry into media standards was said jovially over a lunch.
In his evidence to the Finkelstein Inquiry into media standards, Professor McKinnon… said: “One editor jovially once remarked that he would rather double his annual contribution than have a complaint upheld.”
The exchange is recorded in Professor McKinnon’s written notes which he gave to the Finkelstein Inquiry.
BARRIE CASSIDY:  Why is that needed? Where is the public benefit in that?
STEPHEN CONROY: I’ve been entertained by the claim that this is a solution looking for a problem. Well let me read you some quotes from evidence given publicly to the Finkelstein Inquiry. It may come as a surprise to you, Barrie, they didn’t get a lot of coverage in the mainstream media.
Let me read to you Professor Ken McKinnon who was a former chair of the Australian Press Council. He said: “I had an editor say to me if you promise not to uphold any complaints from my paper we will double our subscription, is that a deal?”
A joke by an editor is presented by Conroy was a serious proposal. And it is done by Conroy omitting a crucial word.
Doug Cameron seized on the same doctored non-evidence, presenting a joke by one editor as an offer by an entire media group.
Professor Ken McKinnon, the former chair of the Press Council, indicated that he had been approached by one media group to say that they would double their contributions to the Press Council, provided no adverse findings were made against them. That wasn’t your group, was it? 
CHAIR:  You are aware of Professor Ken McKinnon?
Mr Williams : Yes; he is a friend of mine.
CHAIR: He is a friend of yours. Has he ever raised with you the issue of being told by one of the media groups that if he dropped off some of the claims and allegations that were being made against the group, the group would double its
Mr Williams : No, he has never raised that with me.
CHAIR: Are you aware of that claim?
Mr Williams : I became aware of it yesterday when I heard the minister give that recital. We have conducted an investigation to the extent we could since yesterday.
CHAIR: To the extent you could, has anyone from News Limited taken that position with Professor McKinnon?…
CHAIR: Why don’t you ask Professor McKinnon who said it to him?… Maybe we will ask Professor McKinnon.
Mr Williams : Senator, I am perfectly happy to ask Ken McKinnon about that.
CHAIR: Excellent.
Mr Williams : I am perfectly happy to do that, and I am very confident of the answer: the answer is no. In any case, I hope you had regard to what Campbell said. He said, ‘No editor is in any position to make any commitment to the Press Council as to money being given to the Press Council. It’s simply not true.’
Mr Williams : It’s not true.
CHAIR: That’s your submission.
Mr Williams : That happens to be the truth
CHAIR: If that’s your submission, that’s fine.
Mr Williams : That is the way it operates.
CHAIR: That is fine. Professor McKinnon made the statement that somewhere it will come out who it was. Every group is denying it was them, and you have joined the list. That is okay. 
CHAIR: ...If I could draw your attention to that, maybe you can once again establish that it was no-one from Fairfax that made that comment to Ken McKinnon.
Mr Hywood : It was certainly not me.
And Labor has the hide to complain about misreporting of the media, using this misreport as one of its key evidences for the need for state control over the media.
So, what other evidence does the Government have of the media being out of control?
Throw out these louts before they do real damage.
More damage, I mean. 


Chaos. Gillard drops another attempt to muzzle

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(8:07am)

New Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus is dropping the Government’s planned consolidation of the five anti-discrimination acts. He wants a ``lot more work to be done’’ on changes that reversed the onus of proof, expanded the grounds of complaint and originally threatened to make giving offence on even political grounds unlawful: 
JULIA Gillard and her new Attorney-General have dumped their anti-discrimination reforms, breaking an election promise, outraging many Labor MPs and further destabilising the Prime Minister’s leadership.
Yesterday Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus ... said the exposure draft was being sent back to his department for a “lot more work to be done” on the proposed reforms.
“We can’t go forward at this time,” he said…
“What I can’t do, between receipt of the Senate committee’s report and the end of these autumn sittings, is taken account of, fully consider what are more than 100 suggestions that arise from the Senate committee’s report.”
We could attack Dreyfus for demonstrating how dysfunctional this Government is, proposing draconian limits to free speech (now with the media laws) only to be forced into a messy retreat. All pain for the government, for no gain.
But I’d rather thank him for withdrawing the bills. I’m disappointed Dreyfus did not acknowledge how outrageous some of the Government proposals were - how authoritarian - but be grateful they are gone. For now.
Janet Albrechtsen is grateful to Roxon - and to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy - for reminding us that the Left is the natural enemy of free speech:
Her equally misguided attempt to set boundaries around speech pursuant to her Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill is another example of what many members of the Left will do if given the chance.
Their paternalist preference for a new measure—fair speech, not free speech, where they determine what is fair—reeks of conceit and an assumption that people are too stupid to be trusted with unfettered speech.


Labor considers Crean - a year too late

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(8:03am)

Can Julia Gillard survive the week?
Senior ministers described the atmosphere across the Labor government as feverish, and one told Fairfax he wouldn’t be surprised if a leadership ballot was forced on caucus before the end of the week.
This should have been done more than a year ago, as I argued at the time, to give him the time to show Labor could government calmly and well.
Now it is too late. Labor needs a sugar hit before the polls, and Kevin Rudd is the only one likely to give it: 
A spokesman for Mr Crean said there was ‘’no substance to the reports’’. 
However, another senior figure pointed out that if Ms Gillard’s position deteriorated to the point she felt it necessary to throw open the leadership and Mr Crean’s name was put forward, Kevin Rudd would immediately nominate.
The Age essentially calls Foreign Minister Bob Carr a liar when he says he still backs Gillard: 
The manoeuvring came at the end of a day in which two ministers had to reaffirm their support for the Prime Minister after reports in The Age that they had lost confidence in the Prime Minister.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Mental Health and Ageing Minister Mark Butler made separate public comments stating their support for her leadership.
Senator Carr [said]… ‘’She has my support and I think the media’s in a frenzy of speculation – speculation feeding on itself that generates these stories.’’… 
The Age editor-in-chief Andrew Holden said: ‘’The Age stands by its story. Peter [Hartcher] and Mark [Kenny] are highly experienced political reporters and not given to flights of fancy.’’
Butler’s denial isn’t quite:
Mr Butler made his contribution via Twitter. ‘’Still a proud member of Julia Gillard’s team, contrary to latest media frenzy,’’ he tweeted.


Boat arrivals keep soaring

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(8:02am)

Last year set a record of 17,000 boat people arrivals. This year threatens to be even worse. Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison:
Two more illegal boat arrivals, with a total of almost 150 people on board, means 1,000 more people have arrived by boat so far this year than over the same period last year...
19 March 2013 - Border Protection Command intercepts vessel…
19 March 2013 - Border Protection Command intercepts vessel…
18 March 2013 - Border Protection Command intercepts vessel…
15 March 2013 - Border Protection Command assists vessel…
15 March 2013 - Border Protection Command intercepts vessel…
14 March 2013 - Border Protection Command intercepts vessel… 
14 March 2013 - Border Protection Command assists vessel…
14 March 2013 - Australian authorities assist vessel…
12 March 2013 - Border Protection Command assists vessel…
12 March 2013 - Border Protection Command intercepts vessel…
10 March 2013 - Border Protection Command intercepts vessel…
9 March 2013 - Border Protection Command assists vessel…
8 March 2013 - Border Protection Command intercepts vessel…
5 March 2013 - Border Protection Command assists vessel
In the last six years of the Howard Government, just 18 boats arrived. In just the last two weeks of the Gillard Government, 14 boats have arrived.


The Press Council distorts debate, as Labor wants

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(7:22am)

 Free speech
The Press Council, made overmighty by publishers fearing the Gillard Government would otherwise impose even worse, has already tried to stifle free speech in ways that suit Labor, which now wants it made even more overbearing under government regulation.
It has demanded that highly deceptive spin by warmists be included in a column which accurately reported that the warmists’ data in fact showed a pause in the warming.
It has objected to the tone of an article by another sceptic, James Delingpole, in which a victim of useless windfarms was accurately reported:
AS a NSW sheep farmer fighting tooth and nail to stop a wind farm development near his beloved home told me the other day in trenchant style: “The wind-farm business is bloody well near a p***** ring.
“They’re f . . .king our families and knowingly doing so.”
From the offensive adjudication by the Australian Press Council, which seems to me staffed by warmists only too quick to censor:
THE report of the anonymous remarks concerning paedophilia, a very serious and odious crime, were highly offensive.
The Council’s principles . . . are breached where, as in this case, the level of offensiveness is so high that it outweighs the very strong public interest in freedom of speech.
It was fully justifiable in the public interest to convey the intensity of feeling by some opponents of wind farms but that goal did not require quoting the reference to paedophilia.
Far, far more offensive than Delingpole’s article was the Press Council’s attempt to censor it.
And even more offensive was the jeering, insulting, belittling and plain nasty heckling from Senator Doug Cameron of two IPA staffers who appeared before his committee yesterday to defend free speech. I’ll write about the insults later, but here is where Cameron betrays Labor’s real intention - to punish opinions it does not like:
DOUG Cameron: So people can be equated to pedophiles as far as the (Institute of Public Affairs) is concerned?
Chris Berg: . . . If you’re only going to defend speech you agree with then you’re not defending free speech at all.
Cameron: So after the publication of that article, then we had the Press Council determination, we had the IPA press release, basically saying you should be allowed to do whatever you like, The Australian published Mr Delingpole’s response which again repeated some of the issues that the Press Council said should not have been there, is that fair and legal?. . . The Australian can basically ignore the Press Council and just print . . .
Berg: That’s the definition of a voluntary self-regulatory scheme.
Cameron: So it’s all voluntary. It’s really meaningless, the Press Council?
Berg: I wouldn’t say it’s meaningless . . .
Cameron: But The Australian decided it was just going to repeat the same allegation in a different form. It’s just ignoring the Press Council
Berg: I think that it’s defying the Press Council in that case.
Cameron: Defying?. . . That’s ok?. . . And then. . . Christopher Pearson repeats the pedophile statement. 
But linking sceptics to pedophiles is fine when it’s done by ABC science presenter Robyn ”100 metres” Williams: 
ROBYN Williams: Now what if I told you pedophilia is good for children ?
You’d rightly find it outrageous. But there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths again and again in recent times, distorting the science (of climate change).. . . And the former chairman of the ABC, Maurice Newman. . . came out with some drivel in The Australian newspaper a couple of weeks ago about how climate science is a religion.
A COMPLAINT by former ABC chairman Maurice Newman over a radio program that linked scepticism about human-induced climate change to advocacy of pedophilia has been dismissed by the national broadcaster. . . . An ABC spokeswoman said . . . because the editorial context of the segment was reasonable, meaning “harm and offence” was justified.
IT’S important to note that unlike Williams, Delingpole wasn’t the person making the objectionable comparison. He simply reported it.
TONY Jones: What is the public interest test?
David Feeney (Labor faction boss): Well, I guess the public interest test will be how on earth does the public interest be served by having further consolidation in the media industry.
Jones: So this is isn’t this one of the . . .
Barnaby Joyce: It’s the vibe.
Jones: You call for a public interest test but can’t explain it
Feeney: Well, it’s not something that I am able to take you through in verse and song but it is . . .
Joyce: Can anybody?. . . But we’ve got this funny feeling that once this person arrives that the public interest will be very closely aligned to views of Senator Conroy.
TONY JONES: Viv, can I just ask you, as a young activist because there has been some claims in the media by opinion makers, by people who are writing columns and so on, that young activists are not engaged in this free speech debate with the same passion that they would have been engaged in internet free speech debate, for example?
VIV BENJAMIN (CEO of the Oaktree Foundation): That’s because we’re not watching the mainstream media. We are on the internet. That’s where we get our media from. We’re on social media, we’re online, we’re making our own news.
TONY JONES: But I’ve got to tell you this regulator we are talking about regulates both the internet and the newspapers.
VIV BENJAMIN: Blogs as well?


Gillard’s slur a hit last year, withdrawn this

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(7:06am)

The Opposition should have made the same protest last year, when Julia Gillard first tried that foul smear. But at least this time she’s forced to withdraw it: 
After describing herself as “a feisty lady” and slamming the Opposition Leader as “a policy weak man” during question time, Ms Gillard spat “Misogynist Tony is back” across the dispatch box after taking her seat…
Amid the uproar, manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne leapt to his feet and repeated the word, demanding that the Speaker make her withdraw…
Ms Burke said she had not heard the Prime Minister’s remarks but asked her to withdraw.
“If the Leader of the Opposition is upset in any way then I withdraw,” she said.
As Coalition members erupted in fury, Ms Burke ordered the Prime Minister to apologise “unreservedly” and sat down manager of government business Anthony Albanese as he attempted to take a point of order.
The Opposition should have responded just as strongly last year.


Labor exposed as the eternal enemy of free speech

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(6:49am)

The damage is done. Cabinet and caucus have crossed the threshold to authorise new instruments of state power against the media. This is now a Labor value. It guarantees a permanent divide.
While not every member of the Left supports Conroy’s attempt to muzzle the media, the silence of so many within Labor is telling. This dark episode is a stellar lesson of the Left’s illiberal DNA.
Or are Kelly and Albrechtsen too pessimistic?
In his crusade to ensure government regulation and oversight of media content, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is pursuing a regulatory act that would breach fundamentally the liberal ideal of a free press…
[The] introduction of a government-appointed Public Interest Media Advocate who can determine what constitutes the “public interest” in relation to approving the standards of self-regulatory bodies is where the true danger lies…
Conroy has put freedom of speech and the independence of the press as an election issue… For the many members of the Labor Party at a youth level who are strong advocates of civil liberties, the abridgment of these freedoms should never be an election issue but protected by Labor governments.
Congratulations to Kahlon on her courage and integrity to fight for a free press when so many Labor MPs won’t.


NBN delayed again

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(6:01am)

Is anyone surprised to hear of yet further delays?
THE construction of Labor’s $37.4 billion National Broadband Network is behind schedule by 10 weeks as the companies building the mammoth project struggle against a dearth of qualified workers and ambitious rollout targets…
Under the targets, the NBN Co has said it would pass a total of 341,000 homes and businesses (comprising 286,000 existing homes and 55,000 newly built homes) with the fibre portion of the network by June 30. However, as of December 31, only 72,400 premises had been passed.
It is expected that as many as 140,000 premises could now be slashed from that June target.
The revision, however, is not yet a fait accompli, and the NBN Co has this week been engaged in vigorous discussions with its construction partners on ways to ramp up the rollout to still achieve its targets.
So many billions, so few homes connected.


Gillard’s “Education Revolution” should have started closer to home

Andrew BoltMARCH202013(12:06am)

First Bloke Tim Mathieson to the CEO of the Richmond football club after seeing Tony Abbott getting the same VIP treatment enjoyed by him and mate Barrie Cassidy: 

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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for March 19th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Dodge of the Day: Reporter asks Jay Carney if Obama plans to cut back on lavish vacations and golf trips

At Monday’s White House press conference, Jay Carney took an approach not unlike Sunday’s Durbin strategy when faced with a question that he didn’t want to address...

Mayor Bloomberg on overdrive: While the ruling on my large soda ban is being appealed, let’s hide the cigarettes!

The Energizer Bunny of nanny statism just keeps going and going...

More From the Right Side of the Web

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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His bowels are also the only ones he can relate to.


March 20Nowruz in Iran, Central Asia, and Zoroastrianism (2013)
Douglas MacArthur





[edit]Holidays and observances


On the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by coalition forces, Fox News Channel's James Rosen and White House Press Sec. Jay Carney engaged in a heated exchange over the value of that conflict and whether any credit was due to President George W. Bush for going ahead with the invasion. Carney conceded that "credit is due" to President Bush for sending American troops into Iraq in 2003 which led to the toppling of Saddam Hussein.




Who needs Jenga when you've got a Tim Tam tower to play with?

I am going over the address that I will deliver this evening at the reception for US President Barack Obama

As at the 15th March 2013, total Commonwealth Government Debt is $268,836,000,000.00



.. a family .. with little people and bigger ones .. all doing their job


Still, I feel that God needs to be part of any equation .. or the end will be bitter. - ed

Smile, today is World Happiness Day! What makes you happy?

For Chenda in Cambodia, it’s spending time with the people she loves. Chenda says she used to worry about her family's future, but with support from World Vision, she can now enjoy being a kid.

We hope you can spread a little happiness today!

Noted speech therapist John Wayne uses an unorthodox, yet effective method to cure a young man of a speech impediment


John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich

My name is Barney Day. I'm thirty-five years old. I like to take pictures. Thank you.



When you pray in the Spirit, a shield goes up all around you, quenching all of the enemy’s fiery darts! Check out today's devotional. Be sure to click "like" to help spread the word! Thanks, all!
What pleases Jesus' heart and brings Him joy? Contrary to popular opinion, it's not our doing things for Him, or our giving to Him. What pleases Him is our coming to Him and taking from His limitless supply! Be blown away by our Lord's goodness and generosity in this video excerpt.
The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. (Ps 138:8, NLT)
Because you are born of God, you are born to win the fights of life! When you wake up in the morning, say “I am a winner because God is a winner!” Check out today's devotional. Be sure to click "like" to help spread the word! Thanks, all!
In Psalm 110:1, the Bible says, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’” Did you notice that God is not saying, “Sit only when all your enemies have been destroyed”? 

“Sit” is a picture of rest and what God is saying to us is to stop worrying and struggling, and start resting and believing in His love for us. 

Instead of being conscious of your challenges, choose to be conscious that God is bringing all your enemies under your feet because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross.

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