Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Wed Jun 5th Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Linda Huynh. You were born on that remarkable day, when in 663 the Daming Palace became the government seat and royal residence of the Tang empire during Emperor Gaozong's reign. Being mainly old people, I always think the government should have seats. Anything less is cruel. In 1862, as the Treaty of Saigon was signed, ceding parts of southern Vietnam to France, the guerrilla leader Truong Dinh decided to defy Emperor Tu Duc of Vietnam and fight on against the Europeans. Poor Vietnam deserves peace and prosperity .. and freedom. In 1947, At a speech at Harvard University, United States Secretary of State George Marshall called for economic aid to war-torn Europe, outlining a recovery program that became known as the Marshall Plan. And, Juicily, in 1963, the British Secretary of State for War John Profumo admitted he lied to the House of Commons during enquiries about his involvement in a sex scandal and resigned. It is your birthday, you choose your wish. But be it scandal, freedom, dignity or giving, own it, as you were born to it.
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NBN adds death to its delivery

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, June 05, 2013 (5:42am)

THERE is no doubt asbestos fibres can kill.
There should be no debate about their lethal effect, nor about the dreadful death that mesothelioma brings.
Slow, painful, torturing.
Yet Independent Rob Oakeshott is running a Twitter campaign to support the Not Bloody Necessary broadband networks stumbling response to its unfolding asbestos-in-pits disaster and claiming it is a “beat-up”.
No wonder The Daily Telegraph has dubbed the man once known as Dopeshott “Joakeshott”.
Labor’s response to the asbestos fibre scandal has been one of confusion and cover-up.
No-one, it would appear, is responsible for this part of the NBN stuff-up though Labor MPs and Ministers jostle to be in the picture when a new roll-out takes place in their electorates.
When it turns to cactus, they head for the hills.
Leader-in-waiting Bill Shorten, the man who said he agrees with everything Gillard says even when he doesn’t know what she is saying, is trying to blame the Opposition for not taking action.
This is truly the last act of delusion of a failed government – it thinks the Opposition should be taking responsibility for the running of the country.
Even the unions involved in the NBN roll-out have had enough and are demanding that their government act.
The NBN has certainly delivered.
It has delivered huge debt.
It has brought an over-expensive gold-plated service to homeowners who either can’t afford it or don’t want it.
Now it is delivering death.
Another Labor success story. 

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Poor polls the bread and butter of Labor’s last days

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, June 04, 2013 (8:25pm)

YOU know you’ve lost the respect of the electorate when schoolkids start hurling their sandwiches at you. If we were to rate prime ministers on the “sandwich index”, Julia Gillard is down one Vegemite and one salami, and two teenagers have been suspended from their respective schools for declaring voting intentions they are too young to register at the ballot box in 100 days.
This is bad news for the country and bad news for the office of prime minister, which ought to be held in high esteem. With Julia Gillard in the chair, however, the electorate’s tolerance has been tested. So, too, it seems is the patience of Labor MPs as they face an electoral bloodbath.
Newspoll showed Labor’s primary vote down in the death zone of 30 per cent while the Coalition is up three points to 49 per cent. This translates to 42 to 58 per cent for the Coalition on a two party-preferred basis.
Gillard’s personal approval reflected the sandwich index, plunging three points to 28, while dissatisfaction with her performance rose to 62 per cent. Even in her home ground of Victoria, she is several sandwiches short of a picnic, with another poll by JWS Research showing swings as high as 15 per cent against Labor and the loss of as many as six seats. Further, internal Labor polling reportedly suggests the loss of every seat in Queensland, except Griffith, leaving Kevin Rudd last man standing. That really would be poetic justice.
Labor is left with what one friend calls the “dependocracy” for support - people on welfare or in protected jobs, who have been the recipients of Gillard largesse. All that’s left for Labor is to laugh.
Former whip Joel Fitzgibbon yesterday couldn’t even be bothered pretending. When asked by David Koch about the latest dire poll predictions, he held up a piece of paper and began to read: “Hang on Kochie, I just brought a manual with me ... It says I should say: ‘Polls come and go, but the only poll that matters is on election day’.” Later he quipped: “I do know there’s a seminar on in Parliament House this week for retiring MPs. I hope there’s not a rush for the door.”
Martin Ferguson is the latest MP to announce his retirement and he is not expected to be the last, as what is left of the once great Labor Party disintegrates.
Emblematic of the rot is the unseemly pre-selection battle for his safe seat of Batman.
Gillard is backing Senator David Feeney, the factional warlord who engineered the ousting of Kevin Rudd. Now he’s come to collect the debt.
Not that his rivals are superior - backed by the Socialist Left for no better reason than they are women. As Emily’s Lister Tanya Plibersek put it, Batman is “a great opportunity obviously to continue to work on our equal opportunity targets”.
Yep. Gender quotas are what counts when your party is dying. You have to laugh. Since sandwich throwing is unacceptable, and free speech is under threat, Australians are resorting to underground black humour, emailing cartoons, jokes and videos.
One video doing the rounds is titled: “Would I lie to you,” featuring a m aaclange of Gillard highlights dating back a decade, with hairstyles to match. There is the Rudd coup: “A good government was losing its way.”
There is the famous: “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.”
There is her proud declaration the government would dismantle Howard-era border protection and implement the policy she drew up as shadow immigration minister. “Labor will end the so-called Pacific Solution, the processing and detaining of asylum seekers on Pacific islands, because it is costly, unsustainable and wrong.”
There is her 2010 Lowy institute speech: “A regional processing centre removes the incentive once and for all for the people smugglers to send boats to Australia.”
There is the surplus that never eventuated. “No ifs, no buts. Failure is not an option here”. There are cameo appearances from Craig Thompson and Peter Slipper - to Benny Hill music - and the bizarre song and dance routine Craig Emerson performed to a Skyhooks tune.
Ah. Memories. It is an unedifying 12 minutes summarising a government that has descended to Keystone Cops farce.
News that NBN contractors have been reckless with the old asbestos-laden Telstra pits they are digging up to lay cable is simply the last straw.
The NBN can now be bundled into Labor’s legacy of incompetence, failure and waste, on a par with the pink batts and school halls scandals.
Yet again, the government’s refusal to perform basic due diligence or cost benefit analysis before a huge outlay of cash has brought it undone.
It’s clear the Gillard experiment has failed. It has lurched from one catastrophe to another, whether imposing a carbon tax and renewable energy imposts that have driven up energy prices and helped kill off manufacturing jobs, or destroying the live cattle trade because of a TV program, or trying to legislate the “hate media” into submission, or flinging open the door to more than 35,000 asylum seekers since the last election, blowing out the Budget by $3.2 billion and luring hundreds of men, women and children to their deaths at sea.
As the polls pile up, it is remarkable how meekly Labor MPs accept their fate, silent like lambs before slaughter.
One explanation came in the reported remarks of an unnamed senior Labor figure: “We’re not going to win but some think they can influence the future.”
Good luck with that. Until then, Gillard should avoid visiting any more schools. Two sandwiches is unfortunate. Three would be a trend. 

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WATCH MY TEA

Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 05, 2013 (1:08pm)

Doug Cameron worries about spillage during a tantrum from fellow Labor senator Mark Bishop:



(Via CL)
UPDATE. The fun continues: 
Outspoken Labor backbencher Laurie Ferguson has called a critic of his statements on asylum seekers a ‘’sad, badly informed halfwit’’ and intimated the writer was a drunk in an email exchange.
Mr Ferguson, a western Sydney MP, made news yesterday for reportedly telling his colleagues in Labor caucus they would be ‘’dead in the water’’ if they did not perform better in the debate about asylum seeker policy …
That drew an angry email from Kevin Griffith, who described himself as a former Labor voted disillusioned with the party’s immigration policy.
‘’Boat arrivals are not significant, ‘’ Mr Griffith wrote at 10:37pm on Tuesday. ‘’You have surrendered to the racists. Shame ALP.’’
Ten minutes later, the member for Werriwa sent a poorly-typed, strongly-worded response:
‘’I do not think the the. Vietnamese. Krong or. Bangladeshis. I seoarately met today or the. Bahraini. Shiites and assyrians on whose behalf. I spome yesterday think. I am racist,’’ he said.
‘’You are a sad badly informed halfwit. Keep off the turp. s’’ 
It’s always a good idea to keep off the turp. And avoid the Krong.
(Via Puzzled)

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REAL REAL JULIA

Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 05, 2013 (12:35pm)

The real Julia Gillard supposedly emerged in 2010, but according to senator Doug Cameron she’s still concealed by spin
Senator Cameron said Ms Gillard should replace her spin doctors and be herself.
“She’s got to stop running the lines she gets,” Senator Cameron told ABC News 24.
“She’s a talented, effective politician. She’s just got to be herself.”
He said he didn’t read the “nonsense” lines prepared for MPs each day by “some kid” in the prime minister’s office. 
Labor’s faceless men have evidently been replaced by an unidentified child. Progress! The Courier-Mail‘s Dennis Atkins, usually friendly towards Labor, now sees doom: “Here we are with 10 more sitting days and nowhere to hide. This is Australia’s first dead Government walking.”

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PERSPECTIVE GAINED

Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 05, 2013 (12:13pm)

Following 2011’s Fukushima panic, I noted
The nuclear fear crowd lacks a certain sense of perspective. 
The Age’s John Watson now writes: 
Recent authoritative reports have reached a remarkable conclusion about a supposedly “deadly” disaster. No one died, nor is likely to die, according to the most comprehensive assessments since the Fukushima nuclear plant was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. 

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Labor’s Laurie Ferguson warns against the turps

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (8:00pm)

Tim Blair wonders what got into the Labor Member for Werriwa, Laurie Ferguson, who sent this email to a party member angry at Labor’s “racist” boat people policies:

I do not think the the. Vietnamese. Krong or. Bangladeshis. I seoarately met today or the. Bahraini. Shiites and assyrians on whose behalf. I spome yesterday think. I am racist,…
You are a sad badly informed halfwit. Keep off the turp. s 

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Brendan O’Connor sure explains why boat people think we’re easy

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (3:16pm)

Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor is making a clown show of his defence of the handling of a convicted jihadist terrorist who was kept in low-security detention for a year after arriving by boat.
What O’Connor said yesterday:
The first time I was briefed on this matter was on the 17th of April this year. And the, and that, and I received that brief and it was the first, I guess the first time on which the matters itself related to this incident, these series of incidents, was provided to me.
I can also advise the Honourable Member that as I’m advised that the, my predecessor, then minister of immigration [Chris Bowen], was not, was not briefed on this matter.
Oops. Not true, O’Connor admits today:
I was advised that the former Minister for Immigration was not briefed on the matter of the Egyptian detainee.
I was subsequently advised, that the former Minister’s office received a submission relating to this matter on 28 September 2012.
Curious. Did O’Connor check with Chris Bowen - a Rudd loyalist forced out after the bungled challenge in March - before claiming Bowen has not been told about the jihadist, either? 

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Wasn’t Labor the party of Big Hugs and compassion?

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (3:13pm)

Labor’s Senator Mark Bishop has an unusual way of chairing the Senate Economics Legislation Committee.
UPDATE
More biffo as Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon strides into a media pack, sending a photographer flying:
image
Damage on both sides:

JOEL Fitzgibbon has been kicked in the balls. Literally.
A media scrum in Parliament House this morning with the former chief government whip saw a Channel Nine cameraman stumble backwards into a large pot plant.
The cameraman fell into the pot and as his legs went into the air they caught Mr Fitzgibbon’s crown jewels.
UPDATE
The Coalition’s Scott Morrison finds in a brutal way who makes the better story - him or Fitzgibbon.
(Thanks to reader roger.) 

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Damn you, Mr Wrabbit

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (11:26am)

Via Michael Smith, an eerily impressive polemic. 

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Models broken, warming paused. Warmists should say sorry

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (9:55am)

Global warming - dud predictions, Global warming - general
image
The warmists’ models seem to have wildly exaggerated the warming threat:
Courtesy of John Christy, a comparison between 73 CMIP5 models (archived at the KNMI Climate Explorer website) and observations for the tropical bulk tropospheric temperature (aka “MT") since 1979…
Now, in what universe do the above results not represent an epic failure for the models? I continue to suspect that the main source of disagreement is that the models’ positive feedbacks are too strong…and possibly of even the wrong sign.
And, of course, the world still fails to warm as we were told it must:

image
(Thanks to reader TedM.) 

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David Gower on “feral” Australians

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (9:50am)

The great David Gower is joking in part, but there is a deserved sting in his sledge:

“I’m tempted to say, how can you have a clash of cultures when you’re playing against a country with no culture? That would almost be sledging."…
Gower, who played 117 Tests from 1978 to 1992 and captained England to victory in the 1985 Ashes series, said that Australian crowds, as well as players, were adept at dishing out verbal abuse.
“If you’re on the boundary you have to be very, very thick-skinned, because the Aussie crowd will try you with absolutely anything,” he said.
“The trouble is, if they’ve had 10 cans of lager, their ability to come up with something akin to Oscar Wilde diminishes. A lot of it therefore tends to be very stereotypical. But it’s feral; if they sense weakness, they’ll come at you.
“It’s the same with sledging on the field. There’s a certain animal mentality, and if they sense a bit of weakness, they’ll try it on more.
“The great thing is just to smile, because the smile completely confuses them...”
Not a big fan of sledging.  

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NBN behind in every way - including wireless

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (9:41am)

The real scandal with the NBN - tens of billions of dollars wasted:

Construction of the wireless section of the national broadband network is running so far behind schedule that less than half the planned homes and offices will be connected by its June 30 target.
NBN Co has blamed tall trees blocking signals and a lack of accurate addresses for the slow rollout. But experts said inadequate planning and poor management were also to blame for the delays, which now mean that two of the NBN’s three delivery systems – wireless, fibre and satellite – will miss their original targets…
NBN Co’s statistics show that in April about 17,000 premises had access to wireless broadband, two years after Ericsson was hired to build the network for up to $1.1 billion. NBN Co’s August 2012 corporate plan set a goal of 70,000 wireless premises to be passed by June 30, a ­target it can no longer achieve.
Two and a half months ago NBN Co admitted it would miss its fibre rollout targets by up to 44 per cent, a failure blamed on skills shortages and ­problems with contractors.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 

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Is Bob Carr really saying he didn’t ask Gillard to resign?

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (9:31am)

Julia Gillard denies:

Ms Gillard, who saw off a botched coup attempt by Kevin Rudd supporters almost three months ago, was questioned in parliament about an article written by columnist Phillip Adams in The Australian on Tuesday.
Mr Adams said “a lengthening number of Labor heavies have told Gillard, publicly or privately, that she has to go” and named Foreign Minister Bob Carr.
Senator Carr’s shadow Julie Bishop raised the issue in question time, asking Ms Gillard if she could confirm he had approached her to quit for the good of the party.
“That report is entirely untrue,” the prime minister said.
Is “totally inaccurate” the same as “totally false”?
image
It’s not as if it would be the first time Carr has denied what is true:

Fairfax journalist Peter Hartcher, who wrote the original story, said on Tuesday that Senator Carr’s colleagues were ‘’astonished today to hear him say that the Prime Minister enjoys his full support’’.
And:

Party sources said Senator Arbib’s resignation had been unexpected, but when it occurred Mr Carr’s name was one of the first that came to mind to fill the casual Senate vacancy.
Mr Carr issued a statement yesterday saying he was “not pursuing” the vacant Senate seat.

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Asbestos risk: choose reason or Ray Hadley’s scare

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (9:04am)

Media
I am appalled by the fear-mongering and the assumption that to ask for information is a sin:
Andrew Bolt on radio 2GB on Monday: 
ALL I’m really saying is that all the discussions I’ve heard, I’ve only heard that asbestos is dangerous, that asbestos is there, panic! When what I actually want to know is what is the actual danger.
Ray Hadley on 2GB yesterday:
TO say I’m appalled would be an understatement . . . What I’m appalled about is that someone would go on this radio station so ill-informed about the dangers of asbestos. That’s what I’m appalled about. Andrew, let me give you a quick lesson, and tonight I suggest you get a lung disease specialist on to talk about it in detail. The danger in its undisturbed form is not a problem. But if for any reason it is broken up or disturbed, as it is from NBN Co and Telstra, one flake—one flake—can attach itself to the lung of one of the workmen or one of the workers walking past it and down the track that will cause a long and painful and unnecessary death. And I’m appalled that you wouldn’t know.
Let’s now hear from an expert, rather than a fear-monger:
ELEANOR HALL: Professor Bruce Armstrong is a public health specialist, who’s been investigating asbestos related disease for decades and he says that in this instance, the dangers of asbestos contamination have been exaggerated… What do you see is the risk associated with the asbestos that we find bound within these concrete fibres?
BRUCE ARMSTRONG: It’s very low. Provided it remains bound in the asbestos cement form then the risk from it is negligible.
ELIZA HARVEY: So therefore how should we be discussing this risk in light of this week’s debate about the dangers of excavating the pits?
BRUCE ARMSTRONG: The hazard that was generated, to the extent that I know anything about exactly what happened, would have been to the workers knocking the asbestos around and not to people living nearby. Those fibres, to the extent that they were present around the workers would be very rapidly diluted in a large volume of air and the probability that anyone else is exposed is going to be very low…
I think that people are starting to attach to being even close to asbestos cement sheeting the same kind of hazard as men experienced in Hardie or Wittenoom, and this is just not the case. It is absolutely negligible…
The politicians are also beating this up. I don’t believe ... at the moment we are getting an accurate representation of the size of the risk from the Government side.
They too are tending to portray it in a very negative light, this is a major problem, and not saying anything to reduce the risk that people might feel and obviously the Opposition has an interest in trying to make it look as black as possible.
Richard Simpson of Spring Hill Workplace Consulting:
I’m writing to you, just after having heard Ray Hadley carry on with the hysteria that is being mimicked throughout the press....
My background is that as a Factual Investigator between 1991 and 2003, and I investigated all the asbestos claims for WorkCover Queensland during that period…
The three types of asbestos, mostly used in Australia were, Chrysotile (white asbestos), a member of the Serpentine class, Amosite (brown asbestos ) and Crocidolite, being Amphibole class fibers .
Chrysotile was the most used form of asbestos in Australia, having been used in most of the products of James Hardie and Wunderlich. This is the material found in fibro houses and such things as the Telstra pits mentioned so regularly in the last few days.
Chrysotile, being a member of the Serpentine class mineral, is a curly fibre that does not stay in the lung as it is both too large and of the wrong shape. Research shows this to be true, and in fact if it lodges in the upper lung it is expelled within 7 to 10 days. The only known problem is that of thickened pleural plaques, which according to relevant information shown in the literature, is not fatal, nor does it lead to any problems such as cancer or mesothelioma. This problem is caused by constantly working environment containing a lot of fibres, such as plants run by James Hardie at Newfarm, Brisbane et al.
This type of problem is usually associated with a dose-related intake, commonly seen by those who worked in the various factories using the product. In fact, it only results in a lung capacity problem of less than 5 to 10%, and is usually picked up my scans for other problems such as those associated with problem smokers. It is not usually known to the sufferer as there are no real symptoms.
NSW Ministry of Health site:

How can asbestos affect my health? 
Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. The risk of contracting these diseases increases with the number of fibres inhaled and the risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibres is also greater if you smoke. People who get health problems from inhaling asbestos have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time. 
When does asbestos pose a risk to health?

...Small quantities of asbestos fibres are present in the air at all times, and are being breathed by everyone without any ill effects. Most people are exposed to very small amounts of asbestos as they go about their daily lives and do not develop asbestos-related health problems…
People who have suffered health effects from exposure to asbestos have generally worked in either the asbestos mining or milling industry, worked in industries involved in making or installing asbestos products, or are from the immediate families of these people. In all of these situations there was exposure to high levels of airborne dust, from either the processes involved or from the clothes of the workers…
Different forms of asbestos material, different risk levels

If asbestos fibres are in a stable material such as bonded in asbestos-cement sheeting such as fibro and in good condition they pose little health risk. However where fibro or other bonded asbestos sheeting is broken, damaged or mishandled fibres can become loose and airborne posing a risk to health
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland:
The predominant reason proposed for a lower potency for chrysotile (white asbestos), compared with other asbestos fibres, is the shorter residence time in the lung. This could be the result of: 
chrysotile being chemically unstable in the lung and the leaching of magnesium, eventually leading to dissolution of the fibre; and

chrysotile rapidly fragmenting into very short fibrils that are easily phagocytosed and removed from the lung.
It has also been postulated that due to their serpentine shape inhaled chrysotile fibres are less likely to reach the parenchyma.
The straight needle-like amphiboles of crocidolite and amosite are more likely to become airborne and their excellent aerodynamic properties mean they are more likely to reach the alveoli compared with chrysotile asbestos which is a curly fibre…
A meta-analysis undertaken by Hodgson and Darnton of 17 epidemiologic studies concluded that the risk of lung cancer doubled at a cumulative exposure of about 20 fibre/mL-years for amphibole and at about 1600 fibre/mL-years for pure chrysotile fibres.

We had a discussion of the real risks last night. Listen here if you prefer reason to hysteria.
Bottom line: the fear of the asbestos in the Telstra pits is wildly exaggerated. Residents seem to be in infinitesimal danger of any risk at all. Even the danger to the workers (which is not to be excused) seems to be very, very low, and almost certainly not fatal.
I think people deserve to be told that, don’t you?
UPDATE
Reader Andrew sums it up neatly:

1) The telecom pits are not made from Asbestos. They are made from asbestos cement, where the fibres are bound into the concrete matrix. Obviously anything that breaks the matrix down (angle grinders, power saws) and forms dust is bad as humans can then inhale the fibres.
2) There are three types of asbestos: white, blue and brown – their technical names being Chrysotile, Crocidolite and Amosite.
3) Blue and brown asbestos are known as amphibole fibres – these are highly cancerous due to their needle-like shape (they are easily breathed deep into the lungs and lodge there permanently) and they cause mesothelioma due to their chemical composition.
4) White asbestos is a curly fibre and so does not go down into the lungs as easily. Also the white asbestos has a different chemical composition which almost never causes cancer. The main disease is asbestosis, which is like silicosis (a bigger killer), where the lungs are overwhelmed by the amount of fibre, not the type of fibre.
5) Unfortunately, in the past (1940-1960), a small amount of blue asbestos may have been added to the white asbestos to assist the filtration process when making asbestos cement products.
6) White asbestos is still widely mined and processed in Canada, China and Russia, and is used because cellulose fibre cement does not have the durability of asbestos cement in sheets and pipes – especially in the tropics. And because chrysotile is inert due to its chemistry.
I was the technical manager of two white asbestos mines in Canada in the early 1990’s, where we employed over 500 people. I did not send people to their death every day.

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The new Tony is actually much older

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (8:52am)

Paul Kelly on the transformation of Tony Abbott:

JULIA Gillard indulged in Labor’s deepest nostalgia this week - reminding the public of the old Tony Abbott who had opened his mouth before his brain and had “insulted Bernie Banton on his deathbed”.
It was a lethal invocation of a Tony Abbott that Labor still dreams about but who has disappeared. This is the Opposition Leader who was to be unelectable. It is the Abbott who was supposed to save Labor from its serial misdemeanours. It is the Abbott who was a climate change denier, a sexist, an alpha male, a mad monk, a policy-free zone, a politician prone to ill-disciplined indiscretions and a leader outside the acceptable norms for the sensible Australian electorate.
Don’t think these labels constitute an exaggeration. They don’t. They are the exact words with which Abbott was dismissed in private by senior Labor figures after his December 1, 2009, election by one vote over Malcolm Turnbull as leader of the Liberal Party.
Indeed, the orthodox view at the time was that Abbott would be a short-term leader. This view was not limited to Labor. It had currency among Liberals and within the media for obvious reasons.
For obvious reasons?
One obvious reason not mentioned by Kelly is simply that Abbott has more political judgement than Julia Gillard. He got the big calls right - not least on the carbon tax that Malcolm Turnbull would have waved through. Policy, in the end, counts for more than popularity, and the Canberra press gallery and Labor didn’t realise for a long time how right Abbott was on policy and how very, very wrong was Gillard.
Another obvious reason not mentioned is the groupthink of Labor and much of the media - a collective belief in a preferred narrative. Another obvious reason is no sense of time or appreciation of Abbott’s true character. Abbott was not what the media portrayed - or rather, he had far more to him than described. Among those things was an intelligence, decency, sensitivity, self-criticism and willingness to learn. Abbott was always going to grow, and I was astonished how few journalists could predict that or even credit it as it happened, literally under their noses, ever since 2010, when Abbott committed a couple of notorious gaffes, not least his “gospel truth” confession.
I am certain Abbott’s fundamental remaking dates from then, and not late last year, as Kelly says. As I wrote three years ago:

In these two interviews - on the ABC and 3AW - Abbott may have felt true-to-himself honest, but to many voters he in fact showed he was unable to impose or assume an authority he does not as yet feel.
He did not feel strong enough to stare his tormenting interviewers down, as would a Hawke, or intimidate them, as would a Keating, or even stonewall them into submission, as would a Howard.
He aaahed like a schoolboy, and seemed almost apologetic.
Bad. Regret it though we should, a mob is more likely to follow a bold leader over a cliff than a doubting one to paradise.
To make it worse, Abbott is still enjoying the dangerous luxury of public self-questioning, of an almost boyish kind.
That’s refreshing to a degree in any man, in that it indicates honesty and humility - good Christian virtues. But Abbott has been called as leader, and on him ride the hopes and interests of millions, which makes his self-flagellation an indulgence…
I am being harsh here. With Abbott, after all, the Coalition has an exquisite dilemma: he is the leader whose boldness and smarts brought them unexpectedly back into the game - 50-50 with Labor in the latest polls. Yet he’s also the reason why many voters still seem to doubt the party is safe to vote for…
This is a time for a Henry V, not a Hamlet. To command, rather than doubt. To assume authority, rather than question his own fitness. To shut up, rather than confess.
Duty now requires it, even if conscience rebels.
Yes, yes, Kelly is right - Abbott started to wear more blue ties last year. But the most critical change he made was to imagine himself a leader, and to banish the luxury of doubt. For Abbott, a moral and self-deprecating man, that has meant a heroic struggle.
Check for yourself. The difference between Abbott today and this one of three years ago is not the color of his tie, or even some switch to positive:
That Tony is gone.
And I completely agree with Kelly on this:

It is impossible to predict how an opposition leader will perform as a prime minister. But Abbott’s opponents have misread him and underestimated him on a chronic basis. They see Abbott only through their prejudices and these have proven to be an unreliable guide.
They would mock the notion of Abbott as a figure of unity. Yet Abbott clearly plans to project this quality in the coming campaign. The divisions Labor has generated in the country offer Abbott a perfect opportunity to fill the unity vacuum. His intention is signposted everywhere.

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The Press Council is out of control. Free speech is costing too much

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (8:37am)

Free speech, Media
Freaked by the Gillard Government’s threats to muzzled the free press and punish unfriendly papers in particular, newspaper bosses strengthened the Press Council, now under the control of a man of the Left.
That turns out to be a mistake. I’ve noted the Press Council’s offensive restriction on journalists calling the boat people “illegal immigrants”. I’ve mentioned my experiences when discussing the pause in global warming. Dennis Shanahan describes his own troubles - a perfect example of how the process is the punishment:

... the press council ... received three complaints - some of which were based purely on remarks on Twitter, and also included some complaints about the ABC and SBS, two of which were subsequently dropped on the morning of a formal hearing - and deemed them worthy of investigation… For months journalists and lawyers were tied up in written responses, legal advice and trips to Sydney to confer and attend a round-table headed by Disney.
The hearing against me was mixed up with complaints about The Daily Telegraph and the judgment dragged on through Christmas into February.
The result from the APC after a nine-month investigation, enormous expenditure, legal advice and cross-examination over the remaining complaint was that there was no transgression in my reporting and that the only journalistic sin committed was to use double quotation marks on the website instead of single quotes or no quotes at all.
The Australian is now wide awake to the dangerous rod it created for its own back:
Yet the APC now seems to have been emboldened by this history and is in danger of misconceiving its role. It should be an arch-defender of press freedom and robust contests of ideas. But instead of addressing errors of fact or inadequate provision for redress or clarification, it is seeking to arbitrate matters of public taste, political correctness and personal offence.
Current chairman Julian Disney has a background in academia and social services policy—he headed ACOSS as a public advocate. While he is well placed to judge matters of fact and fairness, he is no better placed than any other individual to describe or define the boundaries of taste or offence. Newspapers already have effective and efficient arbiters of such intangibles—their readers. Yet Professor Disney and his council might have it otherwise.
In December they adjudicated against an opinion piece by James Delingpole ("Wind farm scam a huge cover-up") published in The Australian on May 3, 2012. The article appeared on our opinion pages, clearly relaying the writer’s strongly held views, yet the APC found it had erred in likening green-energy subsidies to a “kind of government-endorsed Ponzi scheme” and caused offence with a ribald quote from an anonymous farmer.
“It was fully justifiable in the public interest to convey the intensity of feeling by some opponents of wind farms,” ruled the council, “but that goal did not require quoting the reference to paedophilia.” If any authority decrees what metaphors are allowed in order to convey personal opinions, or rules out any quotes it deigns offensive to one group or another, then free speech can only be in mortal peril.
What is acceptable around Professor Disney’s dining table might not pass muster elsewhere, or vice versa. How can anyone judge? Who is to judge? Readers, as always, we prefer to defer to your collective judgment.

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Minister has more to worry about than silly terrorists

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (8:30am)

Why would the Minister be interested in a convicted terrorist in a low-security detention centre, anyway?
IMMIGRATION department officials did not tell the federal minister for eight months that an Egyptian asylum-seeker was a convicted jihadist terrorist.
The man arrived in Australia on an asylum-seeker boat with his family on May 9 last year.
A member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad - linked to al-Qa’ida - the unnamed man was convicted in 1999 of premeditated murder, destruction of property, firearm and explosives offences and membership of a terrorist group.
In August last year, intelligence agency ASIO told the immigration department about the man.
Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor told the Federation Chamber of parliament last night that information was not passed to him until April this year.
Business as usual under the government. Door wide open, stroll right in. 

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Queensland’s Budget sounds too much like a Gillard one

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (8:09am)

Has Queensland’s Newman Government lost its reforming courage too soon?  Its Budget yesterday revealed a hell of a deficit for a state, and its prediction of a big surge in the economy sounds too much like Gillardnomics - spending more borrowed money on welfare on an irrational hope that Something Will Turn Up to deliver a promised surplus:
A $1 billion surplus is now forecast in 2015-16 - a year later than promised. There was a deficit of $8.6bn this financial year...
Delivering his second budget since the Liberal National Party’s record election win last year, Mr Nicholls also moved to blunt federal Labor plans to use the Newman government public service sackings against Tony Abbott, with the budget announcing 1400 fewer planned redundancies this year and 1200 new frontline jobs, starting next month.
Mr Nicholls said the sackings and an efficiency drive across departments, which capped overall spending increases at 1.1 per cent, had enabled selective funding boosts in education (6.6 per cent), health (4.5 per cent) and disability services (4.7 per cent)…
Before the projected return to surplus in 2015-16, Treasury forecasts a slowing in Queensland’s economic growth, from 3.5 per cent this year to 3 per cent across the following two years as the $60bn construction of three coal-seam gas to liquefied natural gas plants on Curtis Island, off Gladstone, winds down.
Economic growth is then forecast to double in 2015-16 to 6 per cent - a rate not seen since the mining and property boom of 2004-05 - on the back of an LNG-led jump in exports of more than 23 per cent.

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Are the ACTU’s ads moaning about Gillard?

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (12:09am)

image
The script for the ACTU’s new ads raises several questions.
Why must this sad family look Greek or Italian? Does the ACTU think Greeks and Italians are more likely to feel like losers? Or does the ACTU think the rest of us think that way about Greeks and Italians?
Why are there still bastard bosses after years of the most pro-union Labor Government in decades?  What more does the ACTU want from this lot?
Or are more workers doing it tough because Labor has hurt the economy?
And why, in this election year, does this script have nothing to say in Labor’s favor?
UPDATE
Reader Doh:

As a grandson of Italian immigrants, I find this characterisation based on heritage offensive. Bunch of racists.
Besides, any children of Greek/Italian immigrants worth their salt should have several properties under their belts by 30 anyway.

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A consultation for that rash and a bout of climate change

Andrew Bolt June 05 2013 (12:01am)

The Greens have lost a quarter of their support since the election, according to Newspoll yesterday. Is that because a fashionable unreason eventually becomes too expensive - or too ludicrous?

Here is one reason the Greens can never be more than a fringe group:

Former Australian Defence Forces Colonel Stuart Yeaman and Dr Sandra Bayley will join lead state candidate Adam Stone to represent the Greens.

Dr Bayley?
She had qualified in medicine in 1984 in Newcastle after working as a teacher and guidance officer for some years.
She brings to the practice of medicine:
- a focus on looking after the body and mind so they are less vulnerable to illness… - inclusion of non pharmacological management of illness conditions eg. acupuncture, relaxation and stress reduction practices, attention to diet, recreation and sometimes spiritual practice.
- a recognition of the environmental crisis we face with global warming with its health implications for our futures – and how we can respond to these challenges…
- a willingness to discuss the big issues such as life, death, climate change, grief, suicide. Nothing is so terrible that it can’t be discussed with your doctor.
Are chats about global warming with your Greens GP now funded by Medicare? 

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John Wayne talks about The Alamo
- Film Clip -

At this link:
http://independentfilmnewsandmedia.com/john-wayne-talks-alamo/
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NSW predicting a win is like Wayne Swan predicting a surplus.

Peter Dutton

The truth hurts. But unlike the treasurer's battles, each state of origin game begins balanced. Where as Swan began hist first game with an 80 point lead, and now faces the humiliation of facing his own bad choices in each subsequent match. - ed
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Wayne Swan continues to demonstrate why Labor can't be trusted.

In May, Swan said "it is not necessary to do anything about the debt cap at all". But today, Treasury admitted that the $300 billion debt ceiling will be broken - it's now going up to $340 billion! http://lbr.al/hesm
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She's not conservative .. I get the issue, but .. how about letting kids discover their world instead of militantly dominating it? Not everything is right, and kids need to learn how to deal with the imperfect.
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Turkish nationalism, or Turkish national socialism? ... This is the Turkish leader who is lecturing the Israelis how to behave humanely. - ed===

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Ick! Is this photo of a Taco Bell employee part of a larger, more grotesque problem?http://tinyurl.com/mu29olk
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Phillip Jensen - Father and Son

Sailing was their hobby. They joined a club and sailed together most weekends. They were part of that great armada of small sailing boats that ply their way around Sydney Harbour. Theirs was the joy of a father and son working together as they raced against others.
But as a father and son crew they were slightly unusual. The young boy was the skipper and the dad was the crewmember. It was a risk. The boy had to take great responsibility. More responsibility than most fathers would give to their sons. But the father had confidence in his boy's ability. He was sure that his son was up to the challenge. So, rather than teach his son how to sail by being the skipper he became the crew and let his son skipper. Other fathers were rather astonished. Many commented on what seemed a strange way to operate.
Some fathers questioned who was really in charge. To them it looked as if the boy was playing at being skipper. They wrongly assumed that the father was really making the decisions and giving the orders from his position as the crew. But in fact the boy was fully in charge of the boat and his father was his crewmember. The father genuinely handed over all authority to his son.
Others questioned how this affected their relationship as father and son. Did this kind of “role reversal” continue in life? But the father was very clear. On the boat the son was in charge as the skipper. He submitted himself to his son. He took orders from his son and did what he was told. But once ashore he was the father who ruled his household, and his son returned to being in submission to him. Neither the father nor the son had any difficulty in distinguishing between being on board or on shore. There was never any doubt who was in charge in any situation.
This sailing duo illustrates many aspects of the Bible's teaching on submission.
We submit ourselves to a person in authority. Authority is not derived from power or ability but from God's appointment (Romans 13:1). Of course people can abuse authority. They can become tyrants using their authority in ways that are unjust and even inhumane. But one person's sinfulness does not alter the reality that all authority comes from God, and that we should submit ourselves to those whom God appoints.
This father and son illustrate what the Bible means by submitting ourselves to one another. In this case both father and son submitted themselves to the other in the appropriate circumstances. They were not really sailing as father and son but as skipper and crew. There cannot be two captains on a boat. The skipper must be able to call the shots knowing the crew will follow his orders. On board, the father became the crew and so submitted himself to his son. Once off the boat they reverted to the normal honour and obedience that a son should have towards his father. Even the Lord Jesus submitted himself to his earthly parents (Luke 2:52).
But even more interesting, they stimulate thought about the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. Jesus knew that his Father was “Lord of heaven and earth” (Matthew 11:25). Yet in his death and resurrection he could rightly say to his disciples “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18), for God had made him “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36) and gave him the name above every name (Phil 2:9-10). While Christ now reigns over this world he does not reign over his Father. The Father is subjecting everything under his Son—but when all is under Christ's authority then the Son will hand his kingdom over to his Father. He too will be subject to his Father, for God will “be all in all”. (1 Corinthians 15:23-28).
The boy who skippered his father is now a man. He told me his story for he is so proud to honour his father.

I value these posts. In my walk with God, I read the bible three years ago. And then read it aloud and posted it on youtube the next year. I now need to re read it again, but this time differently to study aspects. I haven't yet got to where I can reach out at will to different parts and draw them together .. I'm not a bible scholar. So I value these posts. But .. subject matter! I have spent most of my life in Western Sydney and the yuppy values of boating, while beautiful and with roots in the bible, leaves me wanting things closer to home. I was reading Delderfield's Swann saga the other day .. and this brings home beautifully what I enjoyed in the second book "Give us this day." Family illustrates authority - ed
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Doctor Who Cyberman spotted on local bus
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This is how whales sleep!
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SOMEONE’S ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL Larry Pickering

As illegal immigration becomes the major election issue, a culture of indifference by authorities as to who enters our borders has slowly emerged. Here’s just one reason why... explained by one of many exasperated AFP whistle-blowers. 

“Giving them phones was an expensive way to discover who they are but if they arrived by boat without any form of ID it was really the only way we had”, according to the AFP officer. “But now it’s all gone wrong!”

Millions of dollars spent on supplying phones and paying for calls (up to $20,000 a quarter for a single male detainee) has allowed ASIO to track their contacts via conversations and texts back to family members.

“ ...they got smart, they used coded messages, but by using interpreters we could mostly figure out what they were saying... well, that’s when we could trust the interpreters.

“Some of them spent 8 hours every day on the phone and we needed a full-time person plus an interpreter for each detainee to try to unscramble it all”, said the officer who spent 18 months at a major detention centre.

He asked that I not name the centre.

There was frustration and hopelessness in his demeanour as he explained the process in past tense:

“Sometimes we knew they were up to no good but if we knocked them back they just used the appeals process to have our security rulings overturned.

"It was almost impossible to legally prove intent when they talked in coded stuff and in different dialects. Now it’s just one big mess. Everyone’s given up.

"These guys are too smart and we have made it easier for them.”

Was frustration the reason he asked for a transfer?
“Yeah, it’s a crazy system. These guys threw any ID they had overboard knowing it would take us months, even years, to discover who they were and in the meantime they were allowed to live in our suburbs on bridging visas with 89% of the Newstart allowance and all sorts of other shit.

“The worst part is when we know there’s something dodgy about a detainee but we can’t legally prove it. We have to ignore it or we get tied up with one guy in an appeals tribunal instead of rushing to try to process the thousands of waiting arrivals before they get released on these damned bridging visas.

“It’s reached a stage now that, unless you were Osama bin Laden’s Imam, they will wave you through. There’s just too many of them.”

It appears from many other sources of information, the processing of illegal immigrants has become nigh impossible and those responsible for border control have all but given up.

It’s another classic case of throwing voluminous amounts money at a problem and simply walking away from it.

Deceiving our security protocols has become an Islamic art form.

Cell phones might have been a bright idea initially but with tens of thousands used for free calls to each other, and back to their country of origin, they now know more about us than we do about them.

Immigration has built Australia, we need it and welcome it but we must know who our immigrants are.

The moneyed Islamists have discovered a way to reside here, unidentified, while destitute, legitimate refugees sit rotting and starving in cages in Malaysia.

You can forget Labor’s museum of other disasters, unless this one is fixed soon we better start looking for another island.

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4 her
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A Pauline Hanson voter
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There are some days that makes you question whether or not your story will ever have a happy ending. Sometimes you have feelings of fear, doubt, worry or confusion. And you even wonder if you can go on. But just know that you're alive for a beautiful purpose. God has his hands on you. "The process" might not always "feel good". But the things you learn through it, the strength you discover from it and the priceless rewards is going to all be worthwhile. Cheer up child of God. We win  Holly
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PRAY ALONG.
Heavenly Father, I come to You today releasing every part of my mind, will and emotions to You. Show me ways that I can demonstrate my faith in You. Help me to make wise decisions so that I can walk in higher places with You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin

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Show Your Faith.
The Scripture says,“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
(James 2:18, NKJV)
Let your actions prove your faith in Him. For example, Maybe you need a financial breakthrough. Are you obeying Him and being faithful in your finances? Maybe you lost your job. Are you putting your resume out and knocking on new doors? That’s one way to take a step of faith.Today, make sure you put action behind your faith. Make it visible in the eyes of God and man and watch Him come through on your behalf.God bless you.
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Friend,
Donate Now Button
Patriot Voices is leading the charge to defend all the conservative groups across America that are being targeted by the IRS.
But we need your help.
The other day, I spoke out on Patriot Voices radio against the Obama Administration and the IRS.  And we are publicizing the incredibly horrible story of what our friends at True the Vote have had to endure as well.
However, the IRS bureaucrats are still continuing their attacks on grassroots Americans.  We can't let them get away with it!
They are not a political organization, and it is shameful they would target any groups for political purposes.
My friend, the IRS has a standing vendetta against limited-government conservatives like you and me.  It is run by professional liberal bureaucrats who believe it is their mission to "have Barack Obama's back" and protect the federal government from the American people.
We can't allow the most powerful taxing authority in the country to have this much political power!
And that's why Patriot Voices is going to fight back.
We are going to help as many local groups who have been singled out by the IRS as we can.
I am committed to bringing awareness to the IRS scandal at every opportunity I get.
And, I guarantee we will eventually triumph.
But first, I really do need your financial help.
This scandal is moving very quickly.  The attacks on local grassroots groups are continuing. 
Liberals in Washington and in the media are circling the wagons.  They are desperately trying to protect all the bureaucrats and Obama Administration officials who orchestrated this illegal harassment campaign.
We can't let them get away with it!
Please help me defend the conservative grassroots so that we can get to the bottom of this scandal once and for all.
Thank you and God bless,
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Rick Santorum

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michelle at garden of the gods
Hi everyone! Here's the MichelleMalkin.com newsletter for June 4th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Paid liar Bob Gibbs: Issa should apologize for calling Jay Carney a ‘paid liar’

The only way referring to Jay Carney as a “paid liar” is an inaccurate statement is if Carney works for free, and that’s certainly not the case...

Transparency update: Sebelius, other Obama appointees, using secret email addresses; Labor Dept. tried to charge A.P. $1 million for FOIA docs

2009: “For a long time now, there’s been too much secrecy in this city … the Freedom of Information Act is perhaps the most powerful instrument we have for making our government honest and transparent … Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency”...

Budget battle: Fmr. IRS commish vs. acting IRS commish

During a House hearing last month, outgoing IRS Commissioner Steve Miller said part of the solution to the corruption in the agency would be to, naturally, increase their budget...

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Yesterday on "America Live," Michelle and Megyn Kelly discussed the unauthorized iris scans being conducted in Florida schools.

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Yeah. Unimaginative. As opposed to hobbitj, whose cup of creativity clearly runneth over.

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June 5Father's Day and Constitution Day in Denmark
George Marshall

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