Friday, May 10, 2013

Fri May 10th Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Christine Chandra. You were born on the same date as Christopher Columbus visiting the Cayman Islands and discovering turtles there had good taste 1503. Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to nominate for President of the USA 1872. Shackleton completed one of history's greatest small boat journeys in 1916. J Edgar Hoover became what was later to be known as FBI chief in 1924. And in 1981, François Mitterrand became the first socialist president elected to the French Fifth Republic. So you don't have to do those tasks .. I wish you well with yours.


Tim Blair – Friday, May 10, 2013 (11:36am)

The perfect symbol of our capital city – a bloated, gaseous, multi-breasted monster feeding those who dwell in its poisonous shadow while leeching off the rest of us:


Good Lord. The ghastly beast takes flight next week: 
Skywhale, a 23m-high, 34m-wide hot air balloon resembling a whale-like creature, will be unveiled in Canberra tomorrow as the headline commission for the Centenary of Canberra celebrations. The balloon will be tethered to the National Gallery of Australia to coincide with a sculpture symposium before making its first flight over the capital on Monday …
The work, a “relative bargain for public art” at $172,000, will be hard to miss. Bristol balloon-makers Camerons made Skywhale from 3.5km of fabric. 
So they’ve celebrated Canberra’s centenary by sending money to England. Brilliant!
UPDATE. Oh, the huge mammaries!
UPDATE II. Skywhale’s Canberra symbolism is now complete
ACT taxpayers are paying at least $100,000 more than the territory government has indicated for the controversial Skywhale hot air balloon.
Official documents reveal the balloon is costing at least $334,000, not the $170,000 figure quoted by ACT Government officials. 
UPDATE III. They paid for it but don’t own it
Canberrans don’t own the Skywhale hot air balloon, despite spending $170,000 on the controversial piece of art.
Centenary of Canberra creative director Robyn Archer confirmed that the 23 metre tall creation is not owned by the ACT Government, but the company that operates the balloon. 
Makes sense. Further from Archer: 
She also defended its relation to Canberra and the city’s centenary, saying the “connection couldn’t be plainer” …
“The connection with the centenary is ‘look at how many amazing people Canberra has produced over these years’.” 
Nothing says “‘look at how many amazing people Canberra has produced” quite like a hideous airborne turtle with ten tits.



Tim Blair – Friday, May 10, 2013 (2:05am)

Deep thoughts from the ABC’s Jonathan Green
Here’s a thing about journalism: it’s a craft, a set of trade skills that can be applied pretty universally to a range of situations. 
Oh, absolutely. Journalism is extremely helpful when changing a car battery, for example. 
And that’s what makes the job such an endless fascination, the daily compilation of instant understanding, the constant search to arrange the varied aspects of an argument and present them, not according to your own judgment of right or wrong, but for the consideration of others.
That is the service. The true calling at the heart of the craft: to simply inform without bias or favour. 
Jonathan. Green. Is. Lecturing. Us. About. Bias. This is really happening. 
As has been extensively documented, this edifice, a cornerstone of smart democratic practice, is crumbling. The happy commercial accidents that funded journalism businesses for a century and a half and led to a political culture of well-scrutinised accountability are going, going, almost gone. 
He’s right; commercial funding does bring about a culture of accountability. Privatise the ABC! 
We are yet to stumble upon new ones. 
The ABC seems to have stumbled upon a reliable enough business model. It asks for more than $1,000,000,000 every year, and the government just hands it over. 
Two kinds of journalism look certain to endure. The subspecies that has perhaps the best chance of commercial survival is the debased populism of the tabloids, the papers that drip faux familiarity - they’re “For Your City” - then feed their readers on a patronising diet of calculated political fabrication, fear mongering and pap. 
Thank you, Jonathan, for simply informing us “without bias or favour”. 
The readership is huge, but it’s an abusive relationship based on the daily betrayal of trust. 
We trust our readers enough to not take their money unless they buy the paper or subscribe to our sites. How does it work at the ABC? 
The other ‘journalism’ that ‘works’ in this uncertain environment is the sort of polemic that may have limited commercial worth but enormous political purpose ... and this might be the most unfortunate mutation of the craft in our times, turning journalism to cynically political purpose while claiming all the protections, rights and respectability of the fourth estate.
Fox News - that’s the best example of how this works … 
Fox News is of “limited commercial worth”, you say? Let’s check the latest financial reports:
• “Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp trebled earnings in the first three months of this year as revenues soared at Fox News.”
• “News Corp. beat Wall Street’s forecast for the January-March quarter, helped by growing revenue from pay TV networks including Fox News Channel …”
• “Operating income in entertainment, which includes Fox News, FX and US sports networks, rose 17% from a year ago to $993 million …”
A better example of “turning journalism to cynically political purpose” might be Green’s publication ofAlene Composta, a hoaxer whose intention, she informed Green, was to “nudge the [2011 NSW] election toward Labor” and “do everything we can, use every tool we can, to help Kristina”. 
This is not journalism created with intellectual curiosity to inform; this is journalism dedicated to the insistent prosecution of a series of political propositions. 
Well, we’d like to bang on all the time about misogyny and the threat of climate change, but the ABC seems to have those areas covered. 
And then we have the opinion formers of the tabloid blogosphere. Little s-bends of ill-humour like the Daily Telegraph’s Tim Blair, or great vaulted Taj Mahals of polished ego like the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt. They are not for profit. 
We aren’t? That’ll be news to our accountants. 
They are for politics and influence, pivots of opinion, so loud, so insistent, so ubiquitous that they are capable of turning the national mind. 
Not everyone is as obsessed with us as are you, Jonathan. 
Lately from this politicised fringe … 
Fringe? Fringe? A couple of seconds ago we were “turning the national mind”. That’s some demotion. 
… we have had a repeated argument: that journalism here at the ABC is some act of leftist collectivism, a case made conclusive by the absence of figures that might be clearly identified, by the likes of Bolt or Gerard Henderson, as being “of the right”.
Which misses the point entirely. Journalism is neither of the right or left; it is, for want of something less pompous, of the truth. 
Then the ABC shouldn’t have any problem with, as Andrew Bolt suggests, hiring a few conservatives. 
In any journalism worth its salt the convictions of the reporter are an irrelevance and the journalism that might be produced under the influence of personal prejudice is a betrayal of professional practice and the implied trust of all who consume it. 
Some time ago, when he was editor of Crikey, Green – in his pursuit of journalistic purity – hired abunch of idiots to smear me and Bolt. (It didn’t work out; Crikey ended up getting sued and the idiots variously ran away or were fired.) Nothing about that episode suggests any personal prejudice on Green’s part. Nothing at all. 
Who knows how many journalists have personal political sympathies to the left or right. What is certain is that it should not matter. 
It seems to matter at the ABC. In other news, I can exclusively report without bias or favour that conditions inside Green’s head remain spacious and affordable. I’ve been living here for several years now and couldn’t be happier.


Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (4:34pm)

On Network Ten at 10am on Sunday: Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop, polling guru Mark Textor and former Labor president Warren Mundine. 


I’d rather be paid in curry laksa myself

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (2:58pm)

Has any minister this year given an interview so full of bluster and empty of content as Workplace Minister Bull Shorten did last night to whip up fear over the Opposition’s pale workplace policy?

This reminds me of all the stories that we saw on WorkChoices where if you’re delivering pizzas, unscrupulous operators’d pay the people with food, not money. It’s right there in black and white.
Abbott will have workers paid in pizzas?
Yeah, right.
Oh, I just noticed I made a typo in Shorten’s name. I went to change it, but then figured my fat fingers knew better. 


ABC’s star witness against the church said he lied

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (2:26pm)

Chief Inspector Peter Fox, the ABC’s star witness in the case against the Catholic Church, faces quite a few allegations himself in the inquiry he wanted. Admitting he lied isn’t the worst of it, either:

The New South Wales policeman at the centre of a special commission into the handling of sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church has admitted he deliberately ignored directions from his superior to cease contact with the media. Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox faced intense scrutiny on day two of the inquiry in Newcastle. Peter Fox said he lied to colleagues because he thought they were not police with integrity, commitment or professionalism. In one email read to the inquiry, he described his superiors as pricks who should shove it. As Suzie Smith reports, there was a total breakdown of trust between DCI Fox and some of his superiors.
The lie:
DCI Fox told the inquiry he intentionally disobeyed an order from the Newcastle commander Max Mitchell to bring all his investigation documents…
“So you lied to the police at the meeting?” she said.
PETER FOX...: Oh absolutely yes, I deliberately kept them myself
JAMELLE WELLS: Peter Fox was cross-examined by Wayne Roser, the barrister for a number of police officers appearing at the inquiry. He accused Peter Fox of breaching a suppression order by tweeting information about witnesses. Mr Roser said the tweet was another example of Peter Fox trying to undermine the strike force set up to investigate child sexual abuse allegations. 
“… from July, 2010 until now you’ve used every endeavour to undermine the Strikeforce Lantle?”
“… I tried to assist it in every way ...”.
Peter Fox denied claims that he’d changed police computer records to suggest that he was the chief investigator on the Denis McAlinden matter. He said the changes had been made for administrative reasons. He also denied that his appearance on the ABC’s Lateline program had been scripted for him, but he agreed that his intention was to push for a Royal Commission.
Fox was remarkably chummy with journalists, not least on the ABC:

The NSW Police Force has painted whistleblower Peter Fox as a troublemaker who passed on confidential documents to journalists to undermine the sex abuse investigation he was excluded from in 2010 in the hope he could write a book about it. 
Wayne Roser SC, the barrister representing several senior police, told the Commission of Inquiry Inspector Fox asked Newcastle Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy to amend a six-page report on his sexual abuse investigations before he passed it on to his superiors…
The inquiry heard Inspector Fox appeared on ABC TV’s Lateline program the night his open letter to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell calling for a royal commission into the matter was published.
Mr Roser suggested Inspector Fox’s interview with Lateline presenter Tony Jones was scripted.
He read out emails from Inspector Fox to ABC journalist Suzanne Smith asking to drip feed information saying “it will only give us longer coverage"…
The inspector denied his answers were produced or that he had written a book.
Mind you, I have from the start regarded his evidence with suspicion, not least after he kept referring to Cardinal Pell as “Mr Pell”. No such suspicion was apparent with the ABC, however.
Try collusion instead.
(Thanks to readers Turtle and Sydney.) 


Keep Canberra out of the town hall

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (1:58pm)

Julie Novak warns against Labor’s bid to extend federal control to every town hall:

In yet another case of ‘look over there, not over here at our budget mess,’ Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the commonwealth government will put the issue of financial recognition of Australia’s 560?odd local councils and shires in the Australian constitution to a referendum at the forthcoming election.
If the conclusions made by the expert panel on local government constitutional recognition are any guide, the referendum question will likely come in the form of including local government authorities, and similar bodies, in Section 96 of the Australian constitution.
For those unfamiliar with this passage, in its present guise it enables the commonwealth parliament to grant financial assistance to any state, on terms and conditions that it thinks fit. In practice, and against the background of various historical, legal, political and other factors, Section 96 has been used to effectively destroy the constitutional and economic fabric of decentralised Australian federalism, through the growing dependence of the states upon an elaborate array of untied and tied financial grants from the commonwealth.
During the twentieth century, and especially from the Whitlam period, the commonwealth has also extended the reach of its grants system to incorporate local governments. Last financial year councils and shires across the country received about $2.7 billion in untied financial assistance…
In accordance with the present specification of Section 96, grants to local governments are provided through a process in which the funds are passed onto state governments, who then agree to pass funds to councils and shires.
While commonwealth funding of local governments remains an egregious slight on the integrity of what is left of Australian federalism, one could, admittedly not with great conviction, say that the present arrangement of grants ‘through’ the states at least respects the correct understanding that ‘local governments’ are, in fact, administrative sub-units of state governments…
If the proposal is accepted, the creeping Canberra control of local services through funding agreements, thus far, could come in a tidal wave instead. This would not represent a new turn for subsidiarity, but acceleration in Australia’s agonising evolution into a European-style unitary state…
Australians ... would do well to reject this elitist proposal to entrench Canberra’s stifling influence in every town hall.


Canberra parodies itself

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (1:51pm)

It is full of hot air.
It costs a bomb.
it was paid for by taxpayers.
It is hypocrisy, given the warmist faith.
it is the perfect symbol for Canberra’s centenary.


A word on nukes from “moderate” Fatah

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (12:43pm)

A reason to prefer nuclear weapons in the hands of Israel and not its enemies:

I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning,” vowed Jibril Rajoub during an interview with the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV channel, as reported by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). Jibril Rajoub is the Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and Chairman of the PA Olympic Committee.
Note. As the New York Times sees it, Rajoub represents the moderate, pro-peace Palestinians:

Since their 2007 split, Mr. Abbas’s Fatah faction, which dominates in the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, have signed four reconciliation agreements that have failed to come to fruition…
But many analysts say that the gulf between the militant, Islamist Hamas and the more moderate, negotiation-oriented Fatah remains deep on major policy questions like whether to recognize Israel and what the borders of a future Palestinian state should be.
(Thanks to reader Gab.) 


No blow hard for climate blowhards

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (12:41pm)

Global warming - dud predictions
Another deadly sign of global warming. or not:

The USA in the last 12 months has seen the fewest number of tornadoes since at least 1954, and the death tolls from the dangerous storms have dropped dramatically since 2011.
(Thanks to readers stopthegreenfraud and butcher boy.) 


Labor believed its own lies, and now Richo feels sick

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (12:33pm)

Graham Richardson was a senior minister of a successful Labor Government. What he writes now of the deceit and incompetence of a Labor Government that believed its own bullshit is precisely what only wicked conservatives warned of a year or two ago:
The unravelling of budget predictions and projections continues apace…

In May last year the budget predicted 5400 asylum-seekers this financial year. That number was revised to 12,190 in February. So far this year, more than 20,000 have arrived. The budget forecasts bear little or no relation to reality. Who serves up these ridiculous estimates? In so many areas of the budget, the forecasts are laughable…
Either these bureaucrats are incompetent or they are doing the bidding of their political masters. The lower the number of predicted arrivals, the less the provision to pay for them in the budget has to be…
I have written before on the courageous predictions for the European carbon price. Only a few weeks ago, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet was telling us that, yes, there was a disparity between the budget prediction of a price of $29 a tonne in 2015 (when our scheme is to link to its European counterpart) and the current European price of about $4. But, he suggested, there might be an economic recovery in Europe by 2015 and the price might not seem so silly.
Given everyone in this country with an IQ over 50 knew that this was a crock, it came as no surprise that the minister should confess this week that the predicted price would be lowered in next week’s budget and the promised compensation for the higher price would therefore be abolished…
There is so little credibility for the government to stand on that no one is bothering to listen… September can’t come soon enough. The election will see carnage on a scale not seen in most slaughterhouses. 


Mark Scott does not realise his ABC staff have made his denials look stupid

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (11:10am)

I’ve argued that the ABC is in breach of its charter and editorial principles by giving the Left a monopoly of its main current affairs shows. All the main current affairs shows are hosted by journalists of the Left, and every host of Media Watch in its 24 years has been of the Left.
To help redress this astonishing imbalance, I even nobly offered to host Media Watch myself.
Since then the ABC has responded by proving my point. That is, when it wasn’t feigning ignorance.
The ABC’s managing director, Mark Scott, was less than frank. He claimed to be unaware of the views of his presenters, other than Phillip Adams - which, if true, betrays an astonishing tin ear. He also made the false claim that former ABC chairman Maurice Newman had not criticised the ABC for its bias and groupthink.
This was no more than Scott sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting la-la-la.
But surely he can no longer pretend. The attacks on me since from his ABC staff, present and past, have made clearer than even anything I’ve written that the ABC has indeed become a closed workshop, maintained by the Left.
Jonathan Holmes of Media Watch retaliated with a long segment that was nothing more than a deceitful character assassination, replete with factual errors, which actually conceded what he barely pretended to deny. His argument, such as it was, seemed to be that one of the seven past Media Watch hosts believed in free speech, so clearly there was balance and only a vile conservative would deny it. Or something like that.
Jonathan Green of Radio National penned a pompous piece declaring conservatives were biased but the Left was not, which is why, apparently, only the Left is entitled to host an ABC program. His piece recalled the self-serving argument of an earlier Media Watch host, David Marr, that only “soft Leftie” journalists were real ones:

The natural culture of journalism is kind of vaguely soft-Left inquiry sceptical of authority. I mean, that’s just the world out of which journalists come. If they don’t come out of that world, they really can’t be reporters. I mean, if you’re not sceptical of authority, find another job. You know, just find another job. And that is kind of a soft-leftie kind of culture.
Now another former Media Watch host, Richard Ackland, takes massive offence at Shadow Attorney General George Brandis making the obvious point that many on the Left did not defend free speech when it came under the worst attack in peace-time - and from Labor. Note that Ackland, disgracefully and tellingly silent or dismissive when conservatives are being shut up or threatened, once again has nothing at all to say in criticism of anyone but ... conservatives.
Ackland’s demonology today comprises Brandis ("a misplaced attempt to rekindle the tired and tiresome culture wars"), former Coalition attorney-general Philip Ruddock, Howard-era ministers, Peter Costello, me, the Institute of Public Affairs, Rupert Murdoch, Glenn Milne and Tony Abbott ("the ABC cringes in anticipation of what an Abbott government might do its ‘freedoms’").
Is there a better illustration of the “them” that a Media Watch host regards as hostile to his “us”? And note that Ackland has the ABC cringeing collectively at the prospect of a Coalition victory. Is this not in every respect an endorsement of my argument?
Well, yes. But Ackland, every bit as vain as Green despite his widely panned performance as Media Watch host, argues that conservatives (whom he ignorantly confuses with the “right-wing") don’t deserve a job with the ABC anyway:

Brandis joined the chorus calling for more right-wing voices on the national public broadcaster. Apparently, right-wing voices should be on the ABC by right, if they can’t get there by wit.
These clowns seriously think they are making an argument against my proposition, rather than confirming it in every detail. They are so blind that they believe their stupidity to be the height of profundity.
Sadly, Mark Scott seems unable to see how much his staff have undermined his initial defence. He actually recommends people read Green’s piece:
Tim Blair’s response is more to the point. After a spectacular fact-check of Green’s piece - including Green’s hilarious claim that Fox News is “of limited commercial worth” - Blair concludes;

In other news, I can exclusively report without bias or favour that conditions inside Green’s head remain spacious and affordable. I’ve been living here for several years now and couldn’t be happier.
Richard Ackland goes to huge lengths to somehow portray the Liberals as enemies of free speech. This from a partisan hack who has had almost nothing to say in condemnation of the massive - and real - assault on free speech under this government, cheered on by the Left and at times by Ackland himself. As I’ve said:

It was the Greens that called for an inquiry to punish the “hate media” for “bias”, especially in coverage of global warming. It was Labor which held that inquiry, backed by many journalists of the Left and staffed by academics of the Left. It was Labor which recently proposed draconian laws against a free press. It was academics of the Left who cheered them on. It was Labor who proposed draconian anti-discrimination laws limiting free speech. Again, academics and many journalists of the Left cheered them on, as did the Human Rights Commission. It was a Labor-drafted law that had me found guilty of expressing an unlawful opinion, and it is the Liberal party which proposes now to amend it.
What was Ackland’s response to these shameful attacks, and especially to Labor’s attempt to put the press under government supervision?:

The self-righteous bloviating from press interests ... shrill coverage from News Ltd papers in particular ... Senator Conroy can’t be far wrong with his tiny package of media reforms ... special pleaders ...  overegged rhetoric ...  The complaints are a bit rum ... overwrought protests ...
In that apologia for Labor censorship the former Media Watch host again offered a gallery of his favorite villains - every one of them conservatives, with even Malcolm Turnbull declared to be too Right to be right:
...News Ltd papers ... the Daily Telegraph ... Kim Williams ...  Rupert Murdoch ...  David Flint ...  Malcolm Turnbull ...  Liberal Party ... Murdoch’s News Ltd ...
And once again the former Media Watch host characterised the ABC as an organisation which collectively feared conservative politicians:

... a Liberal Party spokesman whose leader has growled at the ABC about its ‘’bias’’ and about whom the public broadcaster lives in fear of retribution.
If even ABC presenters - past and present - confirm the bias of the ABC and confess their fear of conservatives, how can Mark Scott in all conscience deny the leftist groupthink of the organisation he leads?
What will Scott do to uphold the ABC’s charter and provide a diversity of voices among presenters of the ABC’s current affairs shows? This monoculture is a fraud on the taxpayers.
(Montage thanks to Media Watch Dog.)  


As Abetz says: not everything the Libs would like

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (9:42am)

The union scare campaign delays essential workplace reform for another three years:
WORKERS would be able to trade off entitlements more easily and unions would face increased hurdles to entering sites under the Coalition’s workplace policy.
The opposition’s long-awaited policy, released yesterday, aims to reassure voters about their pay and conditions while seeking to undermine the influence of unions.
Unveiling the policy, Tony Abbott confirmed that the Productivity Commission would be charged with overhauling the nation’s workplace laws if the Coalition won the September 14 election but, as revealed in The Australian two months ago, major changes to the Fair Work Act would be delayed until after the 2016 election.
Judith Sloan:
Rather than frighten the horses, the policy outlines a series of modest changes and it handballs the assessment of the Fair Work Act to the Productivity Commission.
As if the Coalition really needs a PC inquiry to tell them what is wrong with the Fair Work Act…
In particular, the Coalition’s policy does nothing significant to assist small business, which has been hit hard by the modern awards, including higher penalty rates and unfair dismissal laws. Astoundingly, the Coalition policy leaves these issues alone.
The faith put in the Fair Work Commission by the Coalition is naive and misplaced. The Coalition can expect no favours from the FWC, stacked to the gills with Labor mates, as the interpretation of the law involves large subjective elements.
What a shameless scaremonger:
ACTU president Ged Kearney said that individual flexibility arrangements were Australian Workplace Agreements under another name. “What it means is (workers) lose wages, they lose conditions, they lose any semblance of negotiating power in the workplace and ultimately they lose respect,” she said.
The Freudian slip last night of the Coalition’s workplace relations spokesman, Eric Abetz, says it all: is upset that we haven’t done everything that we want - that they want us to do...
The business leaders whingeing today should explain why they did not speak up when the battle was being fought:
Former Howard government minister Alexander Downer said business leaders were paying the price for not speaking up loudly enough for WorkChoices at the height of the controversy.
‘’As I said to people in the business community through 2006 and 2007, if the Liberal Party lose the 2007 election, you won’t live to see a flexible system like WorkChoices ever return,’’ he told ABC radio.


Latham changes class

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (7:28am)

It’s not the same unless Latham says it:

Mark Latham in The Australian Financial Review yesterday: 
[NICK] CATER [author of The Lucky Country] has mounted an extraordinary argument: that in the first decade of the 21st century, a new “self-appointed ruling class” emerged in Australia, comprising university graduates who were “cosmopolitan and sophisticated”. These powerful elites “did not simply feel better off but better than their fellow Australians”.
Latham in his 2003 book, From the Suburbs: Building a Nation from Our Neighbourhood:

IN the 1970s, however, a new group of influential people emerged in society. The policy advances of the old Left such as the expansion of higher education, public broadcasting and other cultural programs produced a new generation of insiders. This was the progressive establishment, led by academics, artists and other cultural producers. 


How the Left killed The Age

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (6:50am)

An audience so far to the Left made The Age a niche publication when it desperately needed a broader audience:

As for you, readers of The Age, Roy Morgan research data quoted in Sally Young’s book How Australia Decides, found that in 2008, almost 54 per cent of you supported Labor, just 23 per cent the Liberals and fully 16 per cent of Age readers intended voting for the Greens.
One reason for that - or one symbol of the problem - is The Age in years has never had a conservative columnist on staff, apparently sharing the view of ABC presenters that conservatives are vile and biased, unlike the Left, and therefore not proper journalists. Why would you hire one?
This means it’s closed off debates it should have opened, which is not just bad journalism and an insult to the readers. It is also very boring.
Result: not even the move to tabloid format could save the print edition of The Age (and sibling Sydney Morning Herald) from losing sales faster than other mastheads in the March quarter:
The Age weekday sales were down 12.6 per cent to 144,277, its Saturday edition was down 8.9 per cent to 219,696, and The Sunday Age was down 13.6 per cent to 178,141.
Weekday sales of The SMH fell 18.2 per cent compared with the previous March quarter to 148,037, while the Saturday edition was down 13.6 per cent to 253,240. Sales of its Sunday paper, the Sun Herald, were down 24.4 per cent to 290,174.
News Corp’s The Australian had a weekday sales decline of 6.6 per cent to 119,490, while its weekend edition was down 8.9 per cent to 264,547.
Weekday editions of the Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph recorded near double-digit sales declines, while weekend editions recorded declines in the 7.1 to 8.2 per cent range.
Yes, digital sales are up, but papers earn a lot, lot less from those, and Fairfax still isn’t even charged metered access.
The weekday print edition of The Age will die within a couple of years. Then it will struggle to survive online against what it has failed to fight - a taxpayer-funded ABC that is giving news and views for free to exactly the same Leftist audience which The Age must sell to.
Yes, the News Ltd publications are in the same struggle to survive, but the tabloids have bigger audiences, slower declines and more advanced schemes to charge on line.   


At least the Liberals spend less to do nothing about the weather

Andrew Bolt May 10 2013 (6:37am)

The one good thing about the Coalition’s climate change policy is that it wastes less than the Government’s in making zero difference to the temperature:
Tony Abbott is facing growing discontent among his colleagues about his $3.2 billion Direct Action plan to combat climate change.
Liberal MPs Mal Washer and Dennis Jensen say the Coalition should review or consider abandoning parts of the policy in the light of “dire economic circumstances”. 

Say it in Arabic instead, Professor

Andrew Bolt May 09 2013 (9:07pm)

Tim Blair is right. If Professor Stephen Hawking really wants to boycott Israeli stuff, let him start with the equipment he uses to communicate



As Chairman of the Pine Rivers District Red Shield Appeal, I today attended the Pine Rivers District Red Shield Appeal Launch at Club Pine Rivers. It was great to hear the touching story of guest speaker Mandy Harradine, and to see such an outpouring of support from our community. Please consider volunteering or making a donation to the 2013 Red Shield Appeal.





Fancy seeing JOHN WAYNE on the GQ Style Blog today!

Community Channel's inspiration, eh Don Kramer?
I can't wait till the day come where I can stay in bed all day and watch how I met your mother and big bang theory.


Meet one of our friendly Team mascots - "Sunday"! She's the first to test out our brand new agility ladders and she seems to enjoy how they feel, with 21 rungs of pain and pleasure on each ladder and a million reasons for us to work harder. If you know you have what it takes then bring your A game tonight cause Sunday will find out if you've been slacking off, and she'll probably take one of your lives to add to her current 9. #9lives1love #team9lives #9livesparkour #streetworkout #nodaysoff

Listen to My words,
Let them embrace your soul;
The truth will set you free,
Yea, it will make you whole.

Child, why do you wander?
Why do you look for hope?
Seek Me and My word
For freedom eternal in scope.

Nothing this world can offer
Can make you truly free;
Freedom is found in truth,
Freedom is found in Me.

Do you hear the wind now,
As it rustles through the trees?
So it is with those of Spirit,
Those who follow as I please.

Whither it goes, whence it comes,
Surely one cannot know;
So too with those of Spirit,
For the Way of God they go.

So come, My child, and follow,
Follow Me and the words I say;
I am Your eternal Guide,
I am the Truth, I am the Way.

I will set you free
In ways you knew not before;
I will make you fly,
Like an eagle you will soar.

Let the truth transform you,
Let it warm your very heart;
Lo, I am with you always,
Trust we will never part.

Listen to My words,
Let Me embrace your soul;
The truth has set you free,
Yea, I have made you whole.

Ring of Fire

Perfect annular eclipse, from a ridge somewhere west of Plutonic Gold Mine, near the south/sunrise limit, approx 200 km from Newman.

The horizon was perfectly clear, what an amazing sight seeing the squished Sun in annular eclipse. Full sequence of photos to follow - have to lug 40 kg of gear down a mountain, walk it 1 km to my car, and drive back to pick up remotely deployed cameras elsewhere in the eclipse path.

Stay tuned!

Canon 5D Mark III, 500 mm, 1/1000 s @ f/8, ISO 100


An absolute stunning photo of St Michaels Mount,Cornwall, UK by Michael Saunders - Please 'Share' 
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The Doctor Who Pop-Up Shop in Sydney, Australia has opened! We love these guys who came to the opening in costumes! 

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John Gorton as Prime Minister rode roughshod over Ministers and senior officials to lead the Independence push for P-NG, according to Gorton’s account of events released by the National Library in 2010.

I recall in 1975 Whitlam bathing in the pomp and ceremony of Independence celebrations but I recall more clearly the hard work of John Gorton in the late sixties.

He copped plenty of resistance from expats and colonialists with investments at stake.

Bob Wurth, a journo in Wewak in the early seventies explained the expat anger: “I spat in the bastard’s soup and mixed it in!” proclaimed the fat Aussie chef as he maliciously wiped his hands on his greasy apron.

The fat chef wasn’t talking about Gorton. The recipient of his spit was the then Opposition leader, Gough Whitlam.

P-NG became self-governing in 1973. Independence was proclaimed in 1975 and it was Gough Whitlam who nearly stuffed it.

He strutted around ignorant of the internal native politics that Gorton had nurtured.

Not many people knew of Gorton’s ground work. He had not even informed his Cabinet, but that was the way Jolly John Gorton got things done.

PN-G was a savage place beset with warring head-hunting tribes.

David Hay was the Administrator and Warwick Smith Departmental Head, Smith hadn’t the stomach for Independence... to suggest he was obstructionist was a gross understatement.

In a series of clever personnel manoeuvres, Gorton negated Smith, leaving the path clear to home rule.

“Now”, said Gorton to the Jifs (Chiefs), “tell me you blokes want independence and you can have it next week!”

In his account of events Gorton claimed Whitlam had made a blue in P-NG. “He was talking Independence to the Mataungans in New Britain and promising all sorts of shit to them, but they were mainly Tolai people from Rabaul and were much more advanced than the ordinary natives, they took things on face value.”

Gorton claimed Whitlam was addressing the wrong crowd and, “bloody hell did we have trouble with them later”, he moaned.

Whitlam’s only P-NG legacy was that his stupid actions reversed Gorton’s good work. Gorton knew the sensitivity of tribal politics intimately.

“The Mataungans wanted the land and would not allow other New Guineans on New Britain to have any”, said Gorton.

“Many of the Tolai people in New Britain in the late sixties had formed the Mataungan Association, led by Oscar Tammur. The Association used violence to attain their ends, nearly upsetting self rule completely.”

Jolly John had done the hard yards to repair the botching of Whitlam who had merely fronted for the pageantry.

History ain’t always what we’re told and 25 years after Gorton gave this account, the National Library was able to release details of what actually happened.

The soon to be late Gough Whitlam was the grandstander and the late Jolly John was the grand planner.




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Photo: Tuesday's advanced level Warriors drilling stationary and running one-arm wallclimbs. Every 10 minutes we drop down to do 30 x pushups, enough is never enough! #team9lives #9livesparkour
Tuesday's advanced level Warriors drilling stationary and running one-arm wallclimbs. Every 10 minutes we drop down to do 30 x pushups, enough is never enough! #team9lives #9livesparkour



HISTORY IN THE HEADLINES: An Arizona chemist has solved a historical mystery by determining the color of the railroad car that transported Abraham Lincoln's body almost 150 years ago.



As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.

But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How could you be so slow"
"My child," He said, "What could I do?
You never did let go."


I don't give up on people because God never gave up on me. When it comes to problems I don't know how to deal with I go with the saying let go and let God... Holly



It's been eight months since the terror attacks in Benghazi and I couldn't agree with Rep. Trey Gowdy more: "There's no statute of limitations on the truth."  

Our Ambassador to Libya and three brave Americans were killed in the attacks and their families, along with the American people, have yet to hear the full story. Join me in demanding a full congressional hearing on the Benghazi tragedy.  

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing is a good first step, but many questions remain:

- Has there been a cover-up with the Benghazi tragedy?
- Why didn't the United States send military assistance to Libya when the attacks began?

- Why did United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice appear on five Sunday morning talk shows and say the attacks were instead demonstrations as a result of a YouTube video?

- Were the talking points altered two months before the presidential election in order to fit the Obama Administration's narrative that al Qaeda was on its heels?

- Why did it take so long for the Obama administration to admit this was an act of terror?
Two words are all you need to take away from the Benghazi hearing - "it matters."  One of the three state department whistleblowers choked back tears as he told committee members that "it matters" for all involved to get the full story on Benghazi.  
Surely you share the sentiment that "it matters" these victims' families have gone through a Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter and no doubt birthdays without their loved ones.  

It matters that they find closure.

It matters that we learn the truth. 

It matters that we can trust our administration.

It matters that we take steps to make sure this never happens again.

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Rick Santorum
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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for May 9th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

NBC’s Chuck Todd: Obama administration actions on Benghazi ‘very rational’

On Morning Joe, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd auditioned for Jay Carney’s job explained why he thinks those investigating the Benghazi attack are pushing a conspiracy theory and laughed off any notion of it developing into a major scandal.

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This morning on "FOX & Friends," Michelle discussed yesterday's stunning Benghazi testimony and its fallout.

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Take it easy, buddy.


May 10Mother's Day in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico; Constitution Day in the Federated States of Micronesia
Victoria Woodhull


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