Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekend 29th and 30th Jun Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Rex Lee and Diana Lam. Born on the same day, across the years. Your day is notable, including 1894, London's Tower Bridge, a combined bascule and suspension bridge over the River Thames, opened. In 1908, A massive explosion occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, knocking over 80 million trees over 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi). In 1934, Adolf Hitler violently purged members of the Sturmabteilung, its leader Ernst Röhm, and other political rivals on the Night of the Long Knives, executing at least 85 people. In 1963, A car bomb intended for Mafia boss Salvatore Greco killed seven police and military officers near Palermo. In 1971, The Soviet Soyuz 11 spacecraft suffered an uncontrolled decompression during preparations for reentry, killing cosmonauts Vladislav Volkov, Georgiy Dobrovolskiy and Viktor Patsayev—the only human deaths to occur in space. Grim reading, but how dare anyone raise their hand to you? The bridge is a fitting monument. Cheers.
Happy birthday and many happy returns John MarkhamQuan Hong Kiet andMichelle Le. Born on the same day, across the years. On your day in 1613, The original Globe Theatre in London burned to the ground after a cannon employed for special effects misfired during a performance of William Shakespeare's Henry VIII and ignited the theatre's roof. In 1776, The first privateer battle of the American Revolutionary War was fought at the Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet near Cape May, New Jersey. In 1967, Actress Jayne Mansfield, her boyfriend Sam Brody, and their driver were killed in a car accident outside of New Orleans, while her children Miklós, Zoltán, and Mariska Hargitay escaped with only minor injuries. In 1974, Isabel Perón was sworn in as the first female President of Argentina, replacing her ill husband Juan Perón, who died two days later. In 2007, Apple Inc. released the first generation iPhone, which revolutionized the smartphone industry and made the company one of the world's most valuable publicly traded companies. This says much about you. You battle against tremendous odds, and sometimes all your brilliance is let down by special effects. You know that two enormous air bags won't make a car much safer. And when you ask Siri about Peron it comes back with Madonna singing "Don't Cry for me Argentina." Ride the bumps and enjoy life!

Ruddites get off to sticky start as ministers disappear

Piers Akerman – Sunday, June 30, 2013 (12:35am)

Former Labor Climate Change Minister Greg Combet is the latest former frontbencher to announce he will quit politics at the next election.
He joins Defence Minister Steven Smith, Education Minister Peter Garrett and Trade Minister Craig Emerson.
About a third of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Cabinet resigned after Kevin Rudd was recycled as Prime Minister by Caucus Wednesday night.
Not one of Gillard’s handbag hit squad was among them.
So much for the sisterhood’s solidarity. Emily’s Listers seem to lack the courage of their conviction or they have such piddling principles that they can rationalise the worth to the Labor Party is of far greater value than their commitment to the gender war they prosecuted when they were part of Gillard’s Amazonian Guard.
Shrill, shrieking but not there when needed.
Rudd has not failed to disappoint since his return, telling a press conference that the Coalition’s plans to stop the boats could trigger a conflict with Indonesia.
He even evoked Konfrontasi – the conflict between Australia and Indonesia in the ‘60s in which Australian troops were deployed, and some were killed, during the struggle with the Sukarno regime.
He later tried to back pedal and Attorney General Mark Dreyfus was sent out yesterday to hose Rudd’s dangerous remarks down but it was too late.
The Seven network’s Andrew O’Keefe played the role of Labor stooge during an interview with shadow foreign minister Julie Bishop.
It’s well worth watching – O’Keefe digs himself in deeper and Bishop smiles serenely as he makes an absolute idiot of himself.
Though there were various polls bouncing around throughout Saturday, it is apparent that the electorate is still enjoying Rudd’s celebrity candidate status and hasn’t given a thought as to what he actually is saying.
They will, soon, and they will find that the “new” Rudd is the “old” Rudd.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader Tony Abbott was cheered to the rafters by a crowd of around 2000 after being introduced by former Prime Minister John Howard.
Howard’s presence alone reminded the faithful what the nation is realising it has missed for six years.
In summarising the events of the week, Abbott said: “I make this solemn prediction. At some stage under Kevin Rudd people will get nostalgic even for Julia Gillard. And you can say what you like about Julia Gillard but I also say this: the first female Prime Minister of our country did not deserve to be dragged down by internal treachery. She did not.
“She did not. It is the job of the Australian people to change the Prime Ministership.
“It is not the job of the faceless men.
“There is a rent in our polity, there is a rent in our polity, because twice in just three years an incumbent Prime Minister has been dragged down by faceless men inside the Labor Party.
“Not only have we seen the Prime Minister dragged down, but we have seen one third of the Cabinet resign. This is a political crisis. It is a political crisis.”
Bet you don’t see those words printed in your newspaper on paper Sunday.
As for the treacherous sob sisters, Finance Minister Penny Wong is still recovering from Liberal Senator Michaela Cash’s attack.
Wong didn’t take thirty pieces of silver, her price was the job of Government Leader in the Senate.
But she begged the dealmakers to ensure that her fingerprints would not be found on the dagger which finished Gillard.


Nelson Mandela is a saint and his accomplice FW de Klerk an unsung hero

Piers Akerman – Saturday, June 29, 2013 (11:17pm)

THE towering figure of Nelson Mandela stands out against the global landscape like no other African.


Peter Lehmann - there’ll be better wine in heaven now

Piers Akerman – Saturday, June 29, 2013 (4:47pm)

EVERY wine bottle carries a fancy back label these days with extravagant descriptions of the contents running from the florid to the faintly obscene.
Winemaking legend and Barossa Baron, Peter Lehmann, who died Friday warrants a back label the size of the Encyclopaedia Britannica flowing with poetry, sung to music.
South Australia has lost a legend, the nation has lost a champion, grape growers and winemakers have lost a hero, his wife, Margaret, has lost a soul-mate and thousands of others who may have only known Peter through his label have lost a provider of great wines at reasonable prices.
I have lost a great mate. Though Peter was in every way irreligious, I reckon the winemaking in Heaven is going to get a shakeup.
Many, many readers of The Advertiser may recall The Adelaide Vines project – our attempt in the late ‘80s to help homeowners usefully get rid of their surplus backyard grapes which would otherwise feed the birds or just rot and possibly spread vine diseases.
The ‘Tiser floated the idea and the response was overwhelming. Nobody had any idea how many grapes were grown in Adelaide but there were tonnes.
Everyone wanted to donate theirs to the Vines and that’s when I first met the Lehmanns.
Someone would have to try and make wine from these mongrel varieties – and we’re talking about grapes that had never been seen in Australia before, bunches grown from cuttings smuggled in from someone’s original homeland in granny’s knickers.
That someone was Peter, who put his hand up and took giant skips up to his Tanunda winery across his weighbridge and to the crushers – watched by thousands of readers who had followed the caravan in their cars.
Nearly a year later, the first vintage was released and sold. Ok, it wasn’t knock-your-socks off, but it was quaffable and it raised more than $50,000 which was donated to charity. A charity that looked after people with drinking problems.
The time, the effort, the skill, the hospitality that Peter and Margaret put in was typical and it was nothing to them.
Peter had already made his name for the stand he took during the vintages of 1978 and 1979 when his employer, Saltram’s (then controlled by the multinational Dalgetty’s) told its long-term growers that it had enough grapes and would not take their fruit.
The decision could have meant disaster for the dozens of families of small grape growers. With no money behind him, he offered to crush their fruit and pay them for the grapes from the proceeds of the sale of the young bulk wine.
The name of the company he set up for this purpose was Masterson, named for the Damon Runyon character Sky Masterson, who wagered his soul in a craps game with the tambourine-shaking Salvation Army missionary Miss Sarah Brown. Mr Lehmann’s labels have included the gamblers’ card, the Queen of Clubs.
Peter lost a kidney a year after our Adelaide Vines project and in recent years was undergoing twice-weekly dialysis.
He knew he held life’s bad cards in his hand but he played them to the end.
An end that deserved to be perfumed with rich Barossa earth and a deep dark shiraz.


Allergic to KRuddPM 2.0

Miranda Devine – Saturday, June 29, 2013 (11:19pm)

KEVIN Rudd was late for his first press conference on Wednesday night. He arrived in Parliament House’s packed Blue Room half an hour after the appointed time of 10.15pm.
You might think: so what, he’s a busy man. He’s just achieved vindication. Give the guy a break.
But the atmosphere in that room of seasoned political journalists in Canberra was utterly unforgiving. As the clock ticked on, exasperated hacks groaned: “He hasn’t changed one bit”.
Far from the media giving him a honeymoon, there was no detectable tolerance for Rudd’s foibles that night. Rather there was a near universal allergic reaction.
When Rudd started saying “rock around the country” and “cooking with gas” the snickering was audible. Aspects of his personality that seemed quirky and interesting six years ago now are just flaky and annoying.
Sure enough, for all his talk of being a new man, the old Rudd is back, exactly the same.
Watching him in his first Question Time on Thursday was like 2010 all over again. The same tics, the hair flick, the idiosyncratic slang, the numbered points, the fussy arrangement of papers, the grandiosity.
The question is: will the nation remember the old KRudd and switch off him as fast as it did three years ago, before he was summarily removed by his colleagues?
I looked back at a speech I made in early 2009, when Rudd was riding high, having been named by Newspoll as the most popular prime minister in history, with a 73 per cent satisfaction rating. To me, and I suspect the rest of the media at that time, he was still an enigma.
He was adored by the public as a cherubic John Howard clone, but his popularity was inversely proportional to how well you knew him.
The clue to Kevin Rudd, I found, is to think of him as the hologram in Red Dwarf, a wholly constructed personality. He is KRuddMP, his twitter avatar (1.2 million followers, cheesy grin, flashing V for victory from the back bench, mobile phone in hand.)
Kevin Rudd the person is invisible. You can’t get a handle on him like you would a human. You must rely on a forensic profile of his actions, following a trail of policy blunders and fractured relationships to construct a picture of the real Rudd. The problem for Rudd is that, before he was ousted in 2010, that picture was starting to come into focus, and his poll approval began to plunge.
KRuddMP’s inflated self importance had not translated to any achievements. Instead there was the Copenhagen climate summit and the “ratf#@r” Chinese, the delay of the ETS, the Oceanic Viking standoff which re-started the people smuggler trade, the pink batts debacle, the school halls waste, the 2020 summit which came to nothing. And the small stories which leaked out of unreasonable private behaviour: reducing an air hostess to tears, making important people like Defence boss Angus Houston wait for hours outside his office, sidelining his colleagues. Tony Abbott had the measure of him earlier than most, which is why Rudd’s colleagues ousted him, before the public wisened up.
But, for his colleagues this week, an ominous sign that Rudd hasn’t changed came in his second press conference. It began as a sort of mea culpa, but it ended in defiance.
“If I have learnt one thing from my previous period as prime minister (it) is the absolute importance of proper orderly consultation with cabinet colleagues ...
“We can all say it’s too busy, there’s a global financial crisis going on, sorry colleagues, don’t have time, we’ve got to save the banks from falling. These all seem pretty good justifications at the time ... “
(Translation: I was singlehandedly saving the world in 2008-9-10 but my needy colleagues wanted me to hold their hands. Well, I will, but it’s their weakness, not mine.)
Warning! Warning, Will Robinson!
Rudd’s lack of self awareness is another enduring characteristic. He says he offers the politics of hope and optimism, while Abbott is mired in the “old politics of negativity.”
Yet he spent the last week in attacks on Abbott so negative they make Gillard’s misogyny speech look mild: a vote for Abbot would send the nation into recession and spark military conflict with Indonesia. That is the politics of optimism?
Rudd’s pitch taps into something voters in western Sydney mentioned two weeks ago when they gave him an ecstatic welcome. They see his time in office as a link to the Howard era, as if Howard and Rudd were a tag team of economic prosperity. Although Rudd was the architect of the policies that bedeviled Gillard, they regard him as a cleanskin.
So on Thursday in Question Time and again on Friday, Rudd referred to John Howard no fewer than seven times. “It is rare a person is given a second opportunity to lead one of the major political parties of Australia. Mr Howard was extended that opportunity. I’ve been extended that opportunity.”
But the opposition is not going to let their hero be co-opted so easily.
A sign that Howard will have a major role in their campaign plans was his appearance at a Liberal rally yesterday at the Melbourne showground. Howard waxed lyrical about Abbott: “I’m proud to call him my friend.”
Abbott then took to the stage: “When John Howard passed the microphone to me I thought, yes, the baton change has been effected.”
So much has happened in politics in this last historic week that it will take time to properly digest. But the best question was asked by a young journalist on Wednesday night after the announcement that Rudd had won the caucus vote 57 to 45.
“Did the party make the wrong decision three years ago?”
No one from Labor will answer that question, but the answer is obvious in the beaming face of Rudd, PM 2.0.
Much of the public will see the restoration of Rudd as righting a wrong they never came to terms with. It is a deserved humiliation for the so-called faceless men of the union movement who tried to control our parliament. But it has also rendered Julia Gillard’s prime ministership illegitimate.
The destruction of the most formidable female politician of her generation is one of the greatest tragedies of this whole farce.
Of course, Gillard didn’t help herself by embracing Anne Summers’ neolithic victim feminism, but she didn’t deserve to be used up and spat out by her party. Far from making it easier for the women that come after her, as she claimed in her farewell press conference, Labor has poisoned that well.
The nation is now allergic to the idea of female exceptionalism. Whether it also catches the Blue Room’s allergy to Rudd before election day is to be seen.


Pull no punches with brawling players

Miranda Devine – Saturday, June 29, 2013 (11:18pm)

THE chorus of condemnation of the referees who sent off four players after a massive brawl during the second State of Origin game last week is a sign of something rotten in rugby league.
The sin-bin ruling has been slammed as “ridiculous” , “embarrassing” and a mistake by everyone from Wally Lewis to Bill Harrigan. There have even been calls for the referees to be sacked.
It’s easy to be wise after the fact, watching that all-in punch-up between the Blues and the Maroons on slow motion replay. But try figuring out who threw the first punches when you’re a referee in the thick of it, having to make the call in real time in the middle of an iconic game. The referees were simply enforcing the NRL’s long overdue no-biff rule which followed Paul Gallen’s disgusting three punches on Nate Myles in Origin I.
The punch-up at a subsequent U-20s match shows you how corrosive Gallen’s behaviour was.
As parents, we try to teach our children to respect the referee’s decision. It’s a lesson for life, to abide by the rules.
It teaches them to become useful citizens, and subsume their individual interests for the good of the team.
That’s one of the reasons we encourage our children to play team sports, and here are the elders of rugby league thumbing their noses at the rules.
It’s become a badge of honour for some to badmouth referees. You see it at State of Origin and you see it on suburban football grounds.
I’ve seen sensible looking parents yelling abuse at a teenage referee at an U-12 match. Who would want to become a referee?
Yes, young men love going the biff and viewers love watching it. The dirty secret is that it has become an integral part of the marketing of the game.
But it only encourages the escalating violence that afflicts our streets every Friday and Saturday night. As a mother, it’s bad enough to watch your sons being battered legitimately in scrums and tackles. If we wanted them to take a fist to the head we’d have enrolled them in boxing lessons.
Referees are crucial to safeguard player safety. If they are not respected, honoured and protected then the game is finished.
The NRL cannot back down. Next time the players decide to brawl, sin-bin the lot of them.



Tim Blair – Saturday, June 29, 2013 (4:37pm)

The key to a successful road block is to block the road.


The Bolt Report today

Andrew Bolt June 30 2013 (6:33am)

A huge show on Network Ten at 10am and 4pm.
Guests: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Peter Costello and Michael Costa on the rise of Kevin Rudd. 
Plus Rudd warns of one war - but ends one started by Julia Gillard.
The twitter feed.
The place the videos appear


Howard: Rudd’s war talk “disgraceful”

Andrew Bolt June 30 2013 (5:52am)

John Howard whacks Kevin Rudd for claiming an Abbott Government would risk war with Indonesia by turning back the boats:

Mr Howard delivered a scathing assessment of the resurrected prime minister, accusing him of being the architect of Labor’s asylum seeker policy which he dubbed “the single biggest policy failure of this government."…
Mr Howard hit back on Saturday, accusing the prime minister of being a “policy chameleon” on border protection and jeopardising the relationship he had spent years building with our regional neighbour.

“What the current prime minister of Australia has done to that relationship over the last two days is absolutely disgraceful,” he said.


Rudd struggles to find a team

Andrew Bolt June 30 2013 (5:41am)

Kevin Rudd has a struggle to overcome hatreds and fill key portfolios left vacant by the walkout of six ministers:

New Treasurer Chris Bowen, who managed the strategy for Mr Rudd’s return, had also been charged with making initial offers to some prospective ministers.
One responded with an outright “no” when asked to take on the contentious immigration portfolio. Mr Rudd is still trying to coax former communications minister Stephen Conroy to serve in his cabinet.
A Labor source close to the negotiations told Fairfax Media the Prime Minister had found it “extremely difficult” to fill his front bench and the wider ministry. “It has been a mess,” the source said.
“He’s had a knock-back or two; let’s put it that way. The talent pool has shrunk and those who are left don’t all want to work with Kevin.”
Rudd’s problem is that he needs to find replacements for the ministers who were in charge of the contentious and complicated NBN, Gonski changes and carbon tax after Steve Conroy, Peter Garrett and Greg Combet all walked out on him. The leak suggests he’s also moving on Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor, who won’t be chuffed to read this.
And note, a few days after Rudd’s win and the leaking is starting…
Rudd goes for symbolism:

KEVIN Rudd will elevate a record number of women into cabinet, proving he is determined to ensure the “men in blue ties” do not dominate the political landscape.
Victorians Jacinta Collins and Catherine King and Tasmanian Julie Collins are all getting promotions to cabinet.
Overall, he will increase the number of women in the full ministry from nine to 11.
But hiring heavy-hitters in is harder:

Rudd is acutely aware of the small talent pool he ended up with. His 12.30pm press conference on Friday was meant to be the announcement of his new cabinet but instead became the flagging of policy changes. That was because up until an hour before his appearance, Rudd was trying to persuade at least one of the resigned ministers to come back and work for him. He had not succeeded in time for his media appearance.


Dear Mr McGeough, no one from the CIA asked me to say you seem unhinged

Andrew Bolt June 30 2013 (5:28am)

Former Sydney Morning Herald editor Paul McGeough, a Pilgerite, has lost all sense of proportion, equating the US with tyranny, discussion with violence, reporting with a conspiracy, and a news report with a pistol:

Take the treatment of The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, the journalist behind sensational leaks on Washington’s classified domestic and international phone and internet surveillance.
Greenwald figured they’d come after him. And then he got the email from the New York Daily News and a call from The New York Times — clearly, someone had been going through the trashcan of his life....
New York papers just had to talk to him about a company in which Greenwald had sold out to his partners all of nine years ago. Among other things, it distributed adult videos. Get that down, now. Key words — ‘’adult videos’’; connotations — deviant, kinky, not one of us.
Then there was an unpaid tax liability from the winding up of Greenwald’s legal practice, still the subject of negotiations between his lawyers and the IRS. Connotations — tax evasion; perhaps fraud. Oh, and more than a decade back Greenwald defaulted on a student loan — now covered by a payment plan agreement. Connotation — irresponsible, rides on coattails of law-abiding citizens…
Proud and all as Americans are of the first amendment, at times like this it can be reduced to a decorative nuisance.
In Turkey, you see Erdogan and his bovver boys coming — they come through the front door. But when it comes to shooting the messenger in the US, they use the backdoor and a silencer … and they find a grubby colleague of the targeted journalist to pull the trigger. Saddest of all is how there’s always a media volunteer to act as would-be character and career assassin.


No immigration program should bring war to our streets

Andrew Bolt June 30 2013 (5:17am)

I don’t think this is how our immigration program should work:
After two years and an estimated 100,000 deaths, the civil war in Syria has spilled on to the streets of Sydney. Auburn, Lakemba and Bankstown are the new battle lines…
Mustapha al-Majzoub, a Sydney sheikh killed in Syria last year, ... was one of about 200 Australians to travel to the war zone in the past two years. The Australian Federal Police believe a significant proportion of these mostly Lebanese dual citizens are fighting with the Syrian resistance, about half of whom are in al-Qaeda aligned Al-Nusra Front, which was put on a Federal Police terrorist blacklist in March…
Seventeen incidents of sectarian violence in Melbourne and Sydney have been reported in the media but Fairfax Media has uncovered details of many more.
The conflicts in Sydney have ranged from bitter verbal exchanges on a Lakemba street to the firebombing, bashing and extortion of the owner of a Bankstown juice bar.
According to court documents, a group of men from al-Risalah, led by owner Wisam Haddad, told Juicylicious owner Ali Issawi they would hunt down any supporters of Assad, ‘’crush them down with our feet’’ and ‘’slaughter your necks, all of you’’…
Another Shiite Muslim, 29-year-old Ali Ibrahim, ... made comments in support of Assad on Facebook. Fifteen minutes later, he answered the front door of his Punchbowl home and was shot twice in the legs…
Shops have been firebombed and their owners coerced into selling cheaply since a list of 22 Shiite businesses to boycott circulated online last year....
After his $200,000 Bankstown chicken shop was firebombed two days before it was due to open last year, Rockdale City councillor Michael Nagi simply gave up and quietly withdrew from the area. 


Galaxy poll: Rudd ahead of Abbott, Coalition ahead of Labor

Andrew Bolt June 30 2013 (5:10am)

Labor will get some heart from this poll, although it’s still behind and the sample is very small (1000):

According to the Galaxy poll, taken exclusively for News Limited papers, Mr Rudd is considered the better choice for prime minister by 51 per cent of voters compared with Tony Abbott’s 34 per cent.

The Labor Party is also back in the electoral fight with a two-party preferred result of 49 per cent to the Coalition’s 51 per cent.
The other post-Rudd-rise polls:

Reachtel: Labor 48, Coalition 52.
Morgan: Labor 49.5, Coalition 50.5.
Not every one is a fan:
Winding slowly through mosh pits of handshakes, baby huggings and delirious cheers of congratulations, the Labor leader kept repeating a single phrase: “It’s good to be back.” After an invitation to the local Presbyterian church barbecue, the Prime Minister ordered a sausage sandwich with onion and barbecue sauce, before asking the price.
“It’s $50 for you,” the church volunteer replied.
Mr Rudd then produced a $20 note from his breast pocket and said “keep the change.”
Sounds like one of those Building the Education Revolution contracts. 


The price of carbon: Greg Combet quits politics

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (4:45pm)

The latest to jump ship:

GREG Combet will quit politics at the next election in the latest high profile departure from the Rudd Government.
Anointed by Bob Hawke as a future Labor leader, the [former] Climate Change Minister made the announcement late this afternoon…
“My reasons are personal and are not attributable to the change in the leadership of the Labor Party this week, although this has provided a catalyst for my decision.”
Also quitting at the election:
Julia Gillard
Stephen Smith, Defence Minister
Nicola Roxon, former Attorney General
Craig Emerson, former Trade Minister
Martin Ferguson, former Resources Minister
Robert McClelland, former Attorney General
Chris Evans, former Government Leader in the Senate
Peter Garrett, former School Education Minister.
All were in the Ministry just two years ago, but are bailing.
Smell of death.
But this is also the price of carbon. Add two more resignations this past week - Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott - and the retirement of Greens leader Bob Brown, then only one of the six who negotiated the carbon tax just three years ago is left in politics:

Global warming isn’t a threat to the planet. It is a threat to politicians who fall for the scare. 


This is a lie

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (11:56am)

How many journalists and editors around Australia can personally vouch for this being false?

KEVIN RUDD: I will not tolerate anyone going out there and trashing Julia’s reputation. Let me tell you, I’ve got a bit of experience of that - it’s not pleasant, and it’s not right.
Sanctimony on stilts.  


The Michaelia Cash spray: the sisterhood drinking from the “chalice of blood”

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (11:48am)

Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash cuts loose. Over the top, rage Leftists. But you might think she nailed the hides of the sanctimonious to the wall from 2:12:
The sisterhood stabbing one of their own in the back… You’ve always got to like that, don’t you? When the sisterhood stab one of their own in the back…
I wonder how loud former prime minister Gillard screamed when her own sisterhood knifed her in the back and took her out - Minister Wong is now sitting reaping the spoils of the victory, drinking from the chalice of blood.
Readers cheer.

Bravo! Senator Cash. That is what they should have copped every time the sisterhood let loose on Tony Abbott or any other Conservative politician. Call them out for what they are! 

Thank you michaelia. I understand your anger. You spoke for me.
It was interesting reading the youtube comments underneath the video. It would seem that the left has quickly forgotten about the misogyny rhetoric.

Fan. bloody. tastic. Up there with the ‘famous’ misogyny rant. Hope it goes viral. Go girl
I think I’m in love.
My God, they really do believe this nonsense:

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott gave a “green light to the baying wolves’’ to attack Julia Gillard on the basis of gender, senior Labor Minister Penny Wong says.
But Wong admits herself that she is the sexist - for a long time voting for Gillard (and not Rudd) on the basis of gender:

I voted for Julia on the last occasion because I still believed that she was the person who should be Prime Minister and out of personal loyalty, and as the first female Prime Minister, I thought it was important to continue to support her.
Could Wong please explain the difference between good sexism and bad sexism? 


Mark Latham’s next column on Kevin Rudd should include a sorry to his readers

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (10:22am)

To the list of those who told us Kevin Rudd would never again be Prime Minister, add former Labor leader Mark Latham. Here is Latham in the Financial Review on June 20 – just six days before Rudd replaced Julia Gillard:
Rudd has had no intention of resuming the Labor leadership in this term of Parliament. Why would he? As a phenomenal egotist, he looks at politics through the prism of vanity. The worst thing that could happen to Rudd in 2013 is to run against Tony Abbott and lose. This would destroy his self-image and self-belief. It would also blow his status as a Labor Party martyr….
History tells us Rudd often backs away from a fight….  Given the preconditions Rudd has placed on returning to the leadership, it is impossible to take his bid seriously. He has said he will not challenge for the job, he wants a caucus coronation. That is, he expects the Gillard camp to surrender unconditionally and recognise him as a unifying, consensus leader.
This is why Rudd has set the comeback bar so high, knowing his enemies can never jump it…
In effect, Rudd is wrecking, not running. He embodies a destructive brand of selfishness, drawing people close to him but then abusing their goodwill. Just as he left Simon Crean stranded in the aborted leadership coup in March. Rudd is encouraging his caucus supporters to work for a goal which can never be realised. MPs like Joel Fitzgibbon and Eddie Husic are not smart enough to know how badly they are being used. Scores of journalists have also gone along for the ride, writing their 82nd Labor leadership story – in substance, a story about nothing.
Oops. Latham has already filed his next column. No apology:

The return of Kevin Rudd is the final hammer blow in the destruction of Labor’s moral code. The person who sabotaged its 2010 campaign is now its leader for the 2013 election.
The message for young activists on the so-called progressive side of politics is clear: the way ahead is through dishonesty, treachery and cowardice. If they sabotage an organisation, ultimately, they will be rewarded with its leadership. They too, like Mr Rudd, can be the ruler of the ruins.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 


Anyone But Conservatives

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (10:18am)

Reader Peter notes some campaigning by the conservative-free ABC:
ABC News Breakfast interviews three young people to see if Kevin Rudd’s appeal to young voters connects with them (Friday, 28 June 2013).
Who are the three young people they consult?

Dominic Ofner, President NSW Young Labor
Penny Parker, Women’s Officer, NSW Young Labor
John Birrell, NSW Young Labor Member
The ABC does it again. Reader Alan RM Jones:

On the 7pm bulletin last night, Rebecca Barrett reports that Julia Gillard never sought to make gender an issue (overlooking her previous form) then states: “her appearance was on the menu for discussions at Liberal Party fundraisers” with the following graphic on the screen making it appear the menu was on the table when that has been clearly refuted:

Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill notes another conservative-free zone on the ABC:

AB, with Cassidy hosting three fellow leftists in Tingle, Seccombe and Kenny on Insiders this Sunday, the count from 5 May to 29 June now stands at 30 appearances from the left, three from conservatives and three from the centre. 


McTernan blames sexist Australians for Gillard’s fall - and his failure

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (9:30am)

John McTernan failed as Julia Gillard’s communications chief and now blames every other man but himself:
Australia prides itself on being a classless society. It is certainly the most egalitarian I have worked in. The belief that everyone should be given a “fair go” runs deep, but at the same time there exists a very powerful sense of mateship, of male values and a male-inscribed culture. And it is the tension between these two characteristics of Australian life that is the backdrop to the abrupt end this week to Julia Gillard’s prime ministership.
She is the best parliamentary performer of her generation, male or female, something the world appreciated when her “misogyny speech” in the House of Representatives in October 2012 went viral. She went into the chamber with just four bullet points, stood up and made an impact that resounded around the world…
It was a speech that also hit a nerve in Australia. She spoke to every woman who had been slighted by men in a business meeting, or experienced sexism in the workplace. And it went wider. Every other group that had ever felt oppressed in Australia knew that she was lifting a cloud in their society…
Gillard has faced serial abuse as a woman on a scale I believe is unprecedented in modern politics… That negative, corrosive, anti-woman rhetoric that Gillard endured for so long has damaged Australian politics, and public opinion…
Tony Abbott encouraged negativity. So he was happy to stand in front of groups holding banners that labelled Gillard a “bitch” and a “witch”. His presence legitimised such abuse.
Then there was the recent fund-raiser for another senior opposition figure, Mal Brough, where a menu produced for the restaurant owner said it served “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – small breasts, huge thighs and a big red box”. The next day she was asked live on air by radio host Howard Sattler if her partner Tim was gay… It took me back to Britain in the 1980s, where a largely successful battle was fought to end the use of racist or sexist abuse in public discourse. Australia is 30 years behind…
... as Australia’s first woman prime minister, leading a minority government, against a negative opposition, she became a lightning rod for deep-rooted misogynist forces in society. As a politician she was more than a match for the men around her…
The irony is that, though she could have done so, Gillard never sought to gain advancement in her career by playing on being a woman. She ended up reaping all the disadvantages and none of the benefits.
A few of the things McTernan got factually wrong in this article for a British paper only too willing to believe Australia is a nation of women-hating Neanderthals:
Abbott was not “happy” to stand in front of those signs. He did not see them at the time, and denounced them instantly when he learned they’d been there. The organisers of the rally had tried to remove one of them, held up by a lone crank. Not one Liberal said the “ditch the witch” sign was legitimate, and it’s appeared at not one rally since that’s been addressed by a Liberal MP.
Gillard in fact gained advantage in her political career by being a founding member of Emily’s List, which promoted her and other women on the grounds of their gender.
Gillard sought advantage from her gender by posing for a gushing 13-page spread in Women’s Weekly in 2010 and, disastrously, another spread this month - organised by McTernan- showing her knitting.
Gillard sought advantage from her gender by giving the misogyny speech which falsely claimed Abbott was a woman-hater and which McTernan then promoted, using even contacts in Britain, to galvanise the women’s vote.
Gillard sought advantage from her gender by launching the Women for Gillard movement, set up with McTernan’s help.
Gillard faced different abuse through being a woman but no worse abuse than hurled at male politicians. Labor endorsed a Rock Against Howard CD calling John Howard a “filthy slut” and urging listeners to “kick him ‘til he’s dead”. Only yesterday, Tony Abbott was slimed by Labor as a jock so stupid he could take us to war with Indonesia.
I don’t think McTernan understands the country he tried to influence. The Australia he describes of macho men doing down a great woman out of sheer sexist spite seems more informed by the Bazza McKenzie movies of 40 years ago than any shoe-leather tour of this country I have lived in all my life - a country that produced the widely-loved Joy Baluch, mayor of blue-collar Port Augusta for nearly 30 years until her death in May.
John, I warned you privately many times you were misreading this country. You were selling us short. You were insulting us by thinking we would fall for your politics of division. I urged you to appeal instead to our desire for unity.
You failed. Don’t now piss on us in revenge.
(Thanks to reader ed.)  


Carr complains that tribunals Rudd stacked are too soft on boat people

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (9:20am)

Labor is now blaming the very tribunals it stacked for letting in too many boat people:
Up to 90 per cent of people who arrive by boat are considered genuine refugees, but [Foreign Affairs Minister Bob] Carr said his “impression” was that now, as arrivals spiked, most were economic migrants…
“There have been boats where 100 per cent of them have been people who are fleeing countries where they’re the majority ethnic and religious group,” he said…

Senator’s Carr’s Foreign Affairs Department would provide courts and tribunals with large folders of “objective information” about the source countries for refugee cases..., which would mean tribunal members and judges would “have less discretion on whether [refugees are claiming] persecution”.
We need to be more hard-edged about this,” he said.
But guess who was Prime Minister when these tribunals were stacked with members more likely to grant refugee status? From May, 2010:

The two members of the Rudd Government’s Refugee Review Tribunal say they operate under a “culture of fear”, with their jobs under threat if they reject too many claims.
They believe two members have already lost their jobs for being too tough, and more could follow when the next round of appointments (and dumpings) are announced next month…
Neither member dared to let me identify them, but both confirmed what former RRT member Peter Katsambanis told me this month - that RRT members have been told not to reject too many appeals against Immigration Department decisions to send asylum seekers home.
The members say five RRT colleagues reapplying for their jobs were recently grilled by the selection panel about their low rate of accepting claims of asylum seekers (known as the “set aside” rate).
One was allegedly told: “We expect to see an improvement.”
Both members, like Katsambanis, say the four-man panel which decides on RRT appointments includes a refugee activist with a conflict of interest.
John Gibson is also president of the Refugee Council of Australia and works as a lawyer for asylum seekers who are turned down by the RRT.
And in June 2010:

The 25 RRT members who were reappointed last week have, over the past three years, rejected appeals by asylum seekers in 62 per cent of cases.
In contrast, the 18 RRT members who were sacked rejected 78 per cent of appeals. What’s more, the toughest four RRT members were all sacked.
Here are some of the people who will replace them. There’s Charlie Powles, a Refugee and Immigration Law Centre solicitor, and Anthony Krohn, a Melbourne barrister who has worked for many asylum seekers and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service.
Add to them the director of the Brisbane Catholic Archdiocese’s Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care; a solicitor for the refugee advocacy group Southern Communities Advocacy Legal Education Service; and a solicitor for Sydney’s Immigration Advice and Rights Centre. Notice a pattern?
Reader Samantha Whybrow, a former visa officer at our High Commission in Sri Lanka, writes:
I hope you can spare time to read of my frustrating experiences as a visa officer at the Australian High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka....
I should say from the beginning that I am not a disgruntled ex-employee who was sacked.  I made a decision to resign from the department due to a difference in ethics on the issues I describe below. 
In February 2012 the Regional Director for DIAC in South Asia ....  told me “it does not matter if even 90% of humanitarian claims turn out to be false because the numbers are so small."…

At the time of his statement I had just spent at least 30 minutes in a meeting with him detailing the strong concerns I held with regard to the integrity of the humanitarian visa programme. 
These concerns arose from interviews I had conducted with spouses/family members of humanitarian visa recipients that strongly indicated a visa had been granted on the basis of false information given to the department. 
I had previously presented my concerns to diplomatic staff at the High Commission, to then Deputy Secretary (Jackie Wilson) on her visit to Sri Lanka around November 2011, as well as to then Minister Chris Bowen (whom I met ... in February 2012). 
In my interviews with family members of people granted humanitarian visas (who were then applying for visas themselves) I asked why their family member had gone to Australia. 
In a large number of cases I was provided with responses such as, “the gem business was not good”, “I don’t know”, “business was not good”, “our children are in Australia”, “Australia is giving visas for Sri Lankans”.
When I compared these statements with the statements the humanitarian visa recipient had made to officials in Australia I found extraordinary contradictions that lead me to strongly believe the (humanitarian) claim had been fabricated. 
In one case a woman informed the department in her claim that she had been beaten in front of her husband, yet her husband stated no such events ever took place and they just didn’t want to live in Sri Lanka anymore so when his wife got a tourist visa to see their grandchild their daughter told her to apply for a visa to stay.
In another extraordinary case a woman claimed she had been thrown in jail for some time and had to escape, yet her family told me no one in the family had ever been bothered by the police or security forces at all and certainly had never been in jail. 
One man told the department he had been a member of a political party and beaten because of this, however his wife (who was also his cousin and thus knew him from childhood) informed me he had never belonged to any such party and had never had troubles with the government.
In a concerning number of cases the wives of humanitarian visa recipients informed me they had no idea where their husband was or what he was doing in the preceding three years coinciding with the escalation in conflict. 
These wives provided very limited information regarding their husbands’ whereabouts and activities during that time, leading me to question whether they were the spouse at all and creating great concern amongst staff that they were concealing illegal activities.
There were many more such instances. 
Over a period of two and a half years I continued to report these instances to senior (immigration) staff at the High Commission.  I continued to get frustrated that no one in higher authority gave me direction in how to investigate the matter further or what to do about it.  I was told to keep a list although no one ever asked to look at my list. 
I was informed by senior staff in the High Commission that I shouldn’t get so worried and that the police had to deal with this sort of frustration all of the time in the course of their work…
In the mean-time, while I was coming across a large number of suspect claims, I was also continuing to refuse any application for asylum that came from Sri Lankans still living in Sri Lanka—having been informed that it was not politically expedient to be granting visas to people still living in their home country. 
[The] comment that it wouldn’t matter if 90% of humanitarian claims were false (because the numbers were so small) was made in February 2012.  Over the next few months I believe almost as many or more Sri Lankans arrived in Australia to claim asylum than in the previous three years combined despite an overall improvement in the country situation.
I believe that situation was entirely foreseeable given the understanding amongst the applicants I spoke to that Australia had ‘visas for Sri Lankans’ and that the department was not interested in investigating claims that appeared—on the basis of new and relevant information—to be false. 
I also believe it is likely that this type of scenario is not isolated to Sri Lanka.  


Be angry instead at the angry summer scaremongers

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (8:42am)

Global warming - dud predictions
David Karoly, whose much-ballyhooed co-authored paper claiming unprecedented warning in Australasia was so error-riddled it had to be withdrawn, tries a fresh scare:

MAN-MADE climate change is likely to have played a role in the “angry” summer Australians endured this year, researchers say…
Study co-author David Karoly said the chance of Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide eventually experiencing 50 degree Celsius days “are quite high” due to ongoing climate change.
But Bob Tisdale checks the temperature records for summer against what the climate models predicted and finds a big, big gap:

As illustrated, ... there wasn’t anything unusual about the land surface temperature for the 2013 season. The other thing that really stands out is the fact that, based on the linear trends, summertime surface temperatures haven’t warmed since 1979. The linear trends are basically flat. On other hand, the models show that summertime land surface temperatures should have warmed at a rate of about 0.22 to 0.236 deg C per decade. Oops, they missed yet again.
Tisdale adds:

That’s not to say that Australia land surface temperatures haven’t warmed since 1979. The monthly data shows that Australia land surface temperatures warmed at a rate of about 0.07 deg C per decade. However, the models show that if greenhouse gases were responsible for the warming, Australia land surface temperature anomalies should have warmed at a rate that’s more than 3 times faster. The modelers still overshot the mark by a sizeable amount.


Just two days into the job, and Rudd talks war with Indonesia

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (8:03am)

Let’s check reviews for Kevin Rudd’s second day in office.
First, Rudd’s performance:

I’m very concerned about whether, if Mr Abbott were to become prime minister and continues that rhetoric and that posture and actually tries to translate it into reality, I really wonder whether he’s trying to risk some sort of conflict with Indonesia… What I’m talking about is diplomatic conflict, but I’m always wary about where diplomatic conflicts go. Konfrontasi with Indonesia evolved over a set of words and turned into something else. Let’s just, let’s just call it for what it is…
What happens on Day 1 when Field Marshal Tony puts out the order to the captain of the naval frigate X to turn back a bunch of boats? And you have got a naval frigate from the Indonesian Navy on the other side of the equation? 
Now the reviews…
Retired Admiral Chris Barrie:
I think it’s going too far to suggest that we might actually engage in a shooting war over it.
Indonesia has dismissed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s suggestion that the Coalition’s asylum seeker policy could cause “conflict"… Mr Faizasyah says it is not appropriate to comment on Mr Rudd’s suggestion because it relates to internal Australian political matters.
Paul Kelly:

KEVIN Rudd’s warning of conflict with Indonesia is a reckless mistake that betrays the sheer depth of Labor’s frustration over its failure to stop the boats.
Rudd broke every rule in the book for dealing with Indonesia. His remarks misread Jakarta, risk the prospects for co-operation and are unwarranted on the basis of Tony Abbott’s turning the boats policy.
Martin Newbery, former senior Australian trade official in Jakarta:

These comments are irresponsible and reckless and intended for domestic political purposes. They show a lack of sensitivity towards the bigger picture of Australia’s important relationships.
Greg Sheridan:

Rudd’s vast experience in international affairs makes his astonishing gaffe yesterday on Indonesia almost incomprehensible. Rudd ... yesterday he made one of the most irresponsible interventions any Australian prime minister has ever made....
Rudd ... canvassed military conflict between Australia and Indonesia. This is an almost insane thing for an Australian leader to do…
Rudd’s strange and dangerous remarks on Konfrontasi are likely to set all manner of hares running in Indonesia. They are extremely dangerous.


The First Bloke says thanks for the ride

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (7:41am)

Tim had a great time:
It’s been an amazing three years personally for me, having gone to the royal wedding and met the Queen in Buckingham Palace, gone to Washington, meet the Obamas, to China, all that sort of stuff. And also just getting to live in both the premises, the Lodge and Kirribilli, its been an amazing privilege and an amazing experience.


The Age rages at an Abbott joke, lets pass a Rudd howler

Andrew Bolt June 29 2013 (7:26am)

Tony Abbott tells joke. Leftists take it literally and explode.
Reader Gab:

Abbott makes a tiny wry joke about Turnbull inventing the Internet at [yesterday’s] Liberal meeting and Fairfax goes into a meltdown along with some IT industry morons. Liberal ministers laughed, Abbott smiled at the joke he made.
Is the Left really that shallow and humourless? Are they that petty and hateful as to make a mountain out of something so innocuous? Are they so dumb that they took Abbott’s joke seriously? Get a grip.
The Fairfax report:

Mr Abbott’s comments got a laugh from his colleagues, but geeks everywhere have gotten all worked up about it, just like when they got worked up about Mr Abbott’s comments that he was “no Bill Gates” or a “tech head”.
“Yes, Turnbull was one of the first Australian businesspeople to appreciate the commercial potential of the internet, and made a killing out of it. But he did not virtually invent anything,” wrote blog
“Tony Abbott should avoid further embarrassment by not opening his mouth ever again on anything related to telecommunications. He’s had years to get it right, and he still has no clue.""Let me clarify something for you, Mr Abbott: You might have been joking, but the joke wasn’t funny. Malcolm Turnbull didn’t invent squat in terms of the internet in Australia,” wrote tech blog Delimiter.
I suppose it’s true what they say: haters gonna hate.
On the other hand, Kevin Rudd tells in all earnestness something far more fanciful - that Tony Abbott’s boat people policy could plunge us into war with Indonesia.
In The Age, not a word of criticism, other than this single line in one column:

But he had already called the Opposition Leader ‘’Field Marshal Tony’’, suggesting he really wanted to implant the wild idea that Mr Abbott could somehow spark war with Indonesia by turning back asylum seeker boats.


Dr John Mendoza, the former Chief Executive of the Mental Health Council and of the Australian Sports Drug Agency, told Adelaide radio that in his opinion Kevin Rudd was a sociopath. Heavy language, not repeated in other media although they reported some of his diagnosis.

John Mendoza, who resigned as Rudd’s mental health adviser, says the former PM is “not fit for office” and he will “leave the country” if Rudd returns to The Lodge. “There was constantly work being done on ridiculous timetables,” he says. “There’s a litany of discarded policy and wasted effort during the Rudd years. The public was never told the truth.”

Mendoza told ABC radio yesterday he quit from the Mental Health Council because Mr Rudd’s leadership was dysfunctional, erratic and chaotic.

Kevin Rudd’s one-time senior adviser on mental health says the former prime minister was removed from the top job for his “own wellbeing”.

“The Australian public is now starting to understand that he (Mr Rudd) wasn’t knifed in the back, in fact he was removed for his own wellbeing and the Government of the country had to function,” Professor Mendoza said.

Extraordinary stuff. And it might just explain a lot.



4 her



The Milwaukee art museum at sunset. This city was a pleasant surprise during my travels with Yahoo! as the designated weather photographer. This space age, strange looking architectural edifice actually has moving parts I was told. I would have liked to have stayed longer to see it move its' wings. — at Milwaukee Art Museum.

Last night's wet weather grind. If you've never done agility ladder drills in the rain then we dare you to give it a go, just don't let the potential slipping stop you, it's all part of the challenge!#team9lives #9livesparkour

I'm not asking for help. I'm just venting. Thursday I realized I was having a gout attack. Usually, I just keep to bed for a day and it goes. But I've now been bed ridden for two days and it looks like hanging around. It is my left knee, which is unusual. I know how to navigate around my right one. But I sat in a chair at 2:30 am and couldn't get out of it until 9:30. Then I am assaulted on the net by a former student who wants to be helpful but who isn't. I know far more about this than he does. And a former friend starts making really bizarre attacks .. It is lucky I don't own a gun. The pain is so intense! I'd do something I would regret .. But one thing I don't regret is embracing God. Prayer support would be good.

Twilight over Manhattan.

Taken while on tour with Yahoo! on their OTR campaign. I left my heart in New York City...
 — atHunters Point, Long Island City, New York.


Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
Prayer for the Lonely and Brokenhearted
O Lord my God,whose love restores the brokenhearted of this world,pour out your love,we beseech you,upon those who feel lonely, abandoned, or unloved.Thou knowest what they want, O my God. Thou knowest the name of that need which lies beneath their speechless heart. Thou knowest that, because they are made in Thine image, Strengthen their hope to meet the days ahead,give them the courage to form life-giving friendships,and bless them with the joy of your eternal peace.Amen.
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